Ongoing testing is an important part of Samford’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among Samford’s campus community. Random testing of asymptomatic students and employees allows us to be better informed of the existence of COVID-19 on campus and the potential for emerging hotspots. The test information is critical to our efforts to continue in-person instruction and on-campus residential life.
A multi-level approach to on-campus testing is underway, consisting of focused and random sentinel testing. Testing is performed on campus using a self-administered swab just inside the nostril that is easy and painless. Test results are available either at the test site or online usually within 36 hours.
You may receive an email notifying you of your selection for focus or sentinel COVID-19 testing. If so, you should immediately read and follow the email instructions regarding test arrangements. Look for emails from firstname.lastname@example.org and Samford’s test provider email@example.com.
Register for Testing
All employees and students who will be on campus at any time during the 2020-21 academic year should create an account at healthy.verily.com using your samford.edu email address. The registration process is very simple and requires only a few minutes of time. Students who previously created a Verily account as a part of the entry testing by GuideSafe are already registered. To view the steps for creating an account, see the short instructional video.
In order to monitor the health of the Samford community, the university is conducting rapid antigen focus testing of students and employees. This testing allows the university to promptly respond to any suspected increase in COVID-19 exposures in a specific campus location or within an identified group of individuals who may be more likely to have contracted COVID-19. Unless we test all persons in a focus area, individuals within a focus area are randomly selected to develop a representative sample. Focus testing began on September 3 and will continue throughout the academic year.
Random Sentinel Testing
Sentinel testing is a COVID-19 testing program that tests a random sample of individuals within our Samford community (faculty, staff and students) to monitor campus prevalence. This data will help us understand the underlying prevalence of COVID-19 within our campus community and will allow us to promptly respond to changes in infection rates on campus.
Sentinel testing began on campus the week of September 7 and participation is mandatory for students and employees who are working, attending class or living on Samford’s campus this academic year. Individuals enrolled in a fully online program who will not be on campus at any time during the fall or spring semesters are excluded from testing. Employees who are working remotely this academic year are also excluded.
Sentinel Testing Process
- Each week, approximately 3% of students and employees on campus will be randomly selected for COVID-19 testing.
- If you are selected you will receive an email from Healthy@Verily.com asking you to schedule an appointment for COVID-19 random sentinel testing. If you receive this e-mail, please click on the link provided to log into your Verily account and complete the pre-test symptoms screen and select an appointment time from the options listed.
- The sentinel testing selection process is random, so it is possible you may be selected on repeat occasions, and even within a few days of a prior test. If you are selected for testing within one week of a prior test and do not wish to be tested again, forward the most recent email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you decline the test.
- The test consists of an observed nasal self-swab. A member of the testing team will observe each self-test to ensure accuracy and provide coaching if needed. You will be contacted within 36 hours with results.
- If you test negative for COVID-19, you will receive results via email within 36 hours of testing.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call to give you next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks or if you are currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you should opt-out of sentinel testing.
Required Testing for the Spring Semester
COVID-19 testing will be required of all employees and students prior to returning to campus in January, 2021. Samford will utilize the Everlywell home collection molecular PCR test kit and provided test kits at no charge to all employees and students in late November and December. If you choose to use your own healthcare provider for your required PCR test, you are responsible for any costs incurred.
Regardless of whether you are using a kit supplied by Samford or submitting a result from a PCR test administered by your healthcare provider, all PCR tests must be taken no more than seven days prior to your return to campus. Everyone must upload a copy of your PCR test result to be cleared for entry to campus. For those taking a Samford-provided test, you may submit a screenshot of the test result sent to you electronically by Everlywell.
The upload link for submitting all test results is located here (samford.edu/go/UploadResults). This is very important as we’ve recently learned our testing partner, Everlywell, will not be providing test results directly to the University.
If you use the Everlywell test kit, please remember that your test sample must be returned to a UPS dropbox on the same day as sample collection. If you are returning to campus on January 4, to avoid potential weekend and holiday delays you should arrange to take your test and drop it off on Monday, 12/28. A prepaid shipping label will be included in your test kit. Your results will be available online 24-48 hours after the test sample arrives at the lab. Only those who test negative and upload their test results will be permitted to return to campus.
In order to verify your PCR test results have been received and you are cleared to reenter campus, visit samford.edu/go/MyCovidStatus.
January 2021 Return-to-Campus for Employees and Students Who Recently Tested Positive for COVID-19
Employees and students who have tested positive for COVID-19 based on a PCR test administered on or after November 1, 2020 can be admitted to campus without a negative test result if the individual:
- Has on record with, or provides to, the university a copy of the prior positive COVID-19 result. The upload link for submitting all test results is located here (samford.edu/go/UploadResults).
- Shows no current symptoms associated with COVID-19; and,
- In the 48-hour period prior to returning to campus, has not been in close contact with someone infected with or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
If you are a student and have questions or concerns about Samford’s testing requirements, you should send them to email@example.com.
If you are an employee and have questions or concerns, you should send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.