Loyola University Maryland

Coronavirus Updates

Spring 2021 - Testing

Testing for COVID-19 will be key to both initiation and maintenance of a healthy semester for our community.

Baseline/Pre-Return Testing Requirements 

  • Residential students: We will not require proof of a negative PCR test prior to the arrival of undergraduate students who will be living in Loyola housing. Instead, baseline testing for undergraduate residential students will be conducted on campus upon students’ arrival. In order to mitigate risk and provide a cohesive opening experience for all residential undergraduate students, the entire community will participate in a Campus Arrival Restriction Period (CARP) beginning on Jan. 11 and continuing through Jan. 20. During CARP, residential students will limit their interactions with others, dining facilities will be open for students to pick up grab-and-go meals, the Fitness and Aquatic Center will be closed, and in-person meetings and events will not be held. The first two days of classes will be held online to allow for all test results to be received before the start of in-person classes and other interactions on Jan. 21.
  • Off-campus Students/Commuters: Students who are living off-campus in non-Loyola housing will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test that has been administered on Jan. 5 or preferably later prior to returning to campus for classes or use of any Loyola facilities. These students will not be part of the baseline testing on campus. We will require that off-campus students stay off campus except for essential purposes until after the CARP is complete on Jan. 20. We also encourage students living off-campus and commuting to treat CARP as a time of preparation with limited interaction with others and safe, healthy decisions—the same decisions we hope you will continue to make through the semester.
  • Graduate Students: Prior to returning to any of Loyola’s campuses, all graduate students who will be taking classes in person will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test that has been administered on Jan. 5 or later.
  • Faculty/Staff/Administrators: During the fall semester, faculty, staff, and administrators have been vigilant in participating in the GetVitalCheck screening tool. Those with recent exposure and/or symptoms have received medical evaluation and testing, as appropriate, on an ongoing basis. No pre-return/clearance testing will be required for faculty, staff, and administrators.

Surveillance Testing

In addition to the pre-return and on-arrival baseline testing measures, Loyola will also conduct ongoing random surveillance testing of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Surveillance testing of the student population will include undergraduate students living in both Loyola housing and non-Loyola off-campus housing, as well as some of the graduate student population. 

Student testing

Surveillance testing and symptomatic testing of students will be facilitated through an outside partner, which will provide on-site testing. Students will be selected via a randomized list each week. Once selected, they will be notified to schedule their testing appointment through a streamlined process through the outside partner’s platform. Testing will be done on-site at Loyola at a predetermined location. 

Additional details about testing locations and how students will be notified will be posted to the SHS website and communicated directly to students prior to the start of the spring semester.

Employee testing

We will test a random sample of faculty, staff, and administrators each week during the spring semester.  This includes any employee who may come to campus regularly or on a sporadic basis. The only exceptions will be those who have a medial exemption from testing; are on a leave of absence or sabbatical; or those who are approved to work 100% remotely during the spring semester either due to a medical accommodation or as designated by their divisional Vice President or dean, and noted in human resources. Faculty, staff, and administrators will receive more information from human resources about surveillance testing, which will be offered on-site through GetVitalCheck, including testing locations and how faculty, staff, and administrators will be notified to schedule testing.

Self-administered swab tests

Baseline and surveillance testing done on campus for students will be done through a self-administered swab. This method allows for the student to administer the nasal swab (not nasopharyngeal) test themselves. There will be a healthcare provider overseeing the process to ensure the testing method is being done correctly and provide verbal guidance or assistance as needed. Employee surveillance testing will be done on campus through GetVitalCheck.

Symptomatic Testing

Undergraduate students who report symptoms through Campus Clear will be contacted by SHS, who will work to arrange testing as needed. Graduate students who report symptoms through Campus Clear have the option to obtain testing through their primary care physician or can contact SHS who can assist in arranging testing as necessary. Faculty, staff, and administrators will continue to report symptoms, exposure, or positive cases through the GetVitalCheck platform and will be directed to medical case management as appropriate.

Contact Tracing

Recognizing that contact tracing will be critical to maintaining a safe, healthy campus community, Loyola is partnering with an outside company, Heathcare IT Leaders, to support our contact tracing efforts. Healthcare IT Leaders will extend and streamline Loyola's internal contact tracing efforts, which will be aligned with state and local guidelines. Students’ and employees’ cooperation with contact tracers will be essential to promoting the health of our community.