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Testing

Testing Center Location and Hours

Testing on campus takes place in the gymnasium at the ‘Jo’, the new recreation center.

  • Mon: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tue: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wed (Late Date): 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Thu: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fri: 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There is no testing on the weekends.

Important: Do not go to the Jo to be tested if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Please contact Health Services if you are a student or your primary care provider if you are an employee. 

Testing Provider

We have transitioned to a new testing center provider, Triumvirate, and will no longer be testing with One Medical. Triumvirate will operate our center for the January term and into the spring semester. Triumvirate is an existing partner of the College, and also is running a very successful testing center at WPI. Test samples are processed by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the laboratory we have used since summer 2020. 

HC Clear

Going forward, all students, faculty and staff will use a new mobile website, HC Clear to replace the One Medical app. If you already have the One Medical app you can safely uninstall it. HC Clear will be the platform where students and employees: 

  1. Complete the daily symptom screenings;
  2. Schedule appointments at the testing center;
  3. Check real-time compliance with our protocols and;
  4. Review test results (you will also receive your results from the Broad, through their Care Evolve platform via email).

You will need to log in with their Holy Cross Google account, and should bookmark the website on your phone for easy access. It is mandatory for all employees to ensure that they are able to log into their Holy Cross email accounts. Please direct all questions regarding Holy Cross email access to the ITS help desk via email at helpdesk@holycross.edu or by phone (508) 793-3548. 

Kiosks on campus can also be used for accessing the HC Clear website for those who do not have smartphones.

Employee Testing Requirements

Based on an employee’s exposure to others on campus, employees will be required to test between one and three times a week. For example, employees who work on campus two or more days a week or have more than three hours of in-person contact with others will be tested once a week. Based on spring staffing plans, those who are required to test will get an email as the semester approaches alerting them of their testing frequency. 

Only employees who are approved by their department head to be on campus will be enrolled in testing. Your supervisor will inform you of your schedule for January and spring semester and HR will send employees an email explaining how to enroll in the testing program. 

Employees are not permitted to test on campus:

  • If they have been designated to work remotely;
  • To comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order;
  • For the sole purpose of getting tested on a day the employee is not scheduled to work on campus;
  • Or if they are ill and experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Employees who have been identified by their Departments as working remotely or coming to campus only once in a while will not need to participate in the College’s surveillance testing program. However, should an employee’s access to campus change over the course of the semester, the employee’s supervisor should contact Kate Kilby at kkilby@holycross.edu to enroll the employee in a testing profile. 

The College is conducting surveillance testing to mitigate outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus.  Employees MAY NOT come to campus to test if they are symptomatic and would like to be tested for COVID-19. Employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 MUST contact their supervisor to tell them that they will be out of work, and then contact Human Resources to discuss the return to work process. 

If you are ill DO NOT REPORT TO WORK. 

Student Testing Requirements

All students are required to test twice per week on non-consecutive days. Student athletes in competition are required to test more frequently. Students should work with their coaches to understand their specific requirements.

If extraordinary circumstances arise and the student believes they will not be able to satisfy the on-campus COVID testing requirement for a specific timeframe, the student must notify the COVID response team in advance by contacting covidtestingexemption@holycross.edu before any gap in compliance occurs.

Anyone who is symptomatic may not go to the testing center. Students must contact Health Services immediately if they are experiencing symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the goal of routine testing?

Many individuals infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 do not show any symptoms but can still spread it to others.  The goal of routine surveillance testing is to identify those individuals who are either asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and isolate them to prevent spread of the virus to others. Once we identify someone with a positive test, these individuals are isolated on or away from campus in order to mitigate further spread of infection in the Holy Cross community. 

What kind of test are we using?  

We are using a PCR test, which uses a nasal swab to look for evidence of an active viral infection.  

How do you administer the test?

This is a self-administered nasal swab, which is monitored by medical professionals. When you go into the testing center, they will provide you with a testing swab. You will be asked to insert it into the inner part of each nostril for five spins of the swab. Prior to coming to the testing site, you should blow your nose in a private place and ensure that there is no mucus on the lower part of your nostrils as excess mucus may prevent the test from being performed.

What does it feel like?  

The nasal swab is only inserted ½ inch into each nostril. While it may feel awkward, there is no pain. This is a less invasive nasal swab test than the one that goes deep into the nasal cavity.

How accurate is the test?  

PCR is currently the most sensitive and specific generally accepted test available for COVID. False positive and false negative tests can occur, but are believed to occur at a low frequency.

What is a false positive?

A false positive is a test indicating the person is infected when they really are not.

What is a false negative?

A false negative is a test result that is wrong because it indicates the person is not infected when they really are infected. A test can be negative when someone is in very early phases of infection, which is one reason we are  testing regularly. 

What if I don’t want to test?

The College is requiring testing twice per week for any student who is accessing campus in any way and for certain classifications of faculty and staff, based on the amount of time on campus and the level of exposure to others. Faculty and staff who fall within one of these categories will be required to participate in testing in order to return to campus. 

I am vaccinated. Do I still need to test?

Yes. At this time, we have made no changes to our policies for vaccinated individuals. We are continuing to monitor public health guidelines and will communicate any changes to this policy as they are made.

What if I want to get an extra test?

The College has purchased a specific number of tests based upon our testing needs. All faculty, staff, and students are limited to the testing schedule defined by the College.

May I get tested if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

If you believe that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine in your home, apartment, or residence hall room immediately.

  • Students living on campus should contact the Director of Health Services at 508-793-2276 (or during off-hours, our on-call physician at (508) 334-8830.)
  • Students living off-campus who have been given permission to come onto campus should contact the Director of Health Services at 508-793-2276 (or during off-hours, our on-call physician at (508) 334-8830.)
  • Students living off-campus who have not been given permission to come onto campus should contact their health care provider. 
  • Employees should contact their supervisor and their health care provider and follow their instructions.  

May I get tested if I am feeling sick?  

If you have symptoms you should NOT come to the testing site. Residential or approved off campus students should contact Student Health Services. Remote students and Employees should contact their health care provider, and they will determine whether or not you should get tested.
 

For Residential Students

How often do I have to test?  

Residential students are required to test twice per week.

How do I sign up for a test?  

Students must use HC Clear to make testing appointments. Sign in with your Holy Cross Google account.

Who gets my results?  

You will get results through HC Clear. Health Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health also receive your results.

What happens if I have a positive test?  

Our Isolation and Quarantine Coordinators (“IQ Coordinator”) check students’ test results throughout the day. When they receive notice of a positive test, they will implement our isolation and quarantine procedures and start contact tracing. 

For isolation, the IQ Coordinator will reach out to you and discuss whether you want to isolate at home or in the on-campus isolation space in Loyola Hall. If you decide to isolate on-campus, the IQ Coordinator will arrange for your move to Loyola, where you will remain through your isolation period, which will be no less than ten days. During your isolation period, the College will deliver fresh meals every day. Someone from Health Services will conduct a daily medical check-in. Our College CARE Team will also check-in to ensure that you have what you need while in isolation.  

Once you are in isolation, the IQ Coordinators will also start the contact tracing process. The IQ Coordinators will work with you to identify individuals with whom you came into close contact during the period in which we believe you may have been contagious. Please note that a Close Contact is not someone with whom you had a casual or brief encounter. A Close Contact is someone who was within six feet of distance of you for over fifteen minutes. Once we identify your Close Contacts, we will follow up with them directly on how to quarantine. For more information on Close Contacts, please see our FAQ on Contact Tracing

What happens if I have a negative test?  

You will receive test results through HC Clear. If your results are negative you will see a green check mark and a message that you are clear to access campus.

For Off-Campus Students Who Have Permission to Come onto Campus

How often do I have to test?  

Students who come onto campus are required to test twice per week.

How do I sign up for a test?  

Students must use HC Clear to make testing appointments. Sign in with your Holy Cross Google account.

Who gets my results?  

You will get results through HC Clear. Health Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health also receive your results.

What happens if I have a positive test?  

Our Isolation and Quarantine Coordinators (“IQ Coordinator”) check students’ test results throughout the day. When they receive notice of a positive test, they will implement our isolation and quarantine procedures and start contact tracing. 

For isolation, the IQ Coordinator will reach out to you and discuss your isolation options. The IQ Coordinators will also start the contact tracing process. The IQ Coordinators will work with you to identify individuals with whom you came into close contact during the period in which we believe you may have been contagious. Please note that a Close Contact is not someone with whom you had a casual or brief encounter. A Close Contact is someone who was within six feet of distance of you for over fifteen minutes. Once we identify your Close Contacts, we will follow up with them directly on how to quarantine. For more information on Close Contacts, please see our FAQ on Contact Tracing

What happens if I have a negative test?  

You will receive test results through HC Clear. If your results are negative you will see a green check mark and a message that you are clear to access campus.

Administrators, Faculty and Staff

How often do I have to test?  

Faculty and staff testing frequency is based on the amount of time you will be on campus and the level of exposure you will have to others while you are on campus. You should have received an email from Human Resources letting you know your testing requirement. If you have not received this email please contact your supervisor.

How do I sign up for a test?  

Students must use HC Clear to make testing appointments. Sign in with your Holy Cross Google account.

Who gets my results?  

You will get results through HC Clear. Health Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health also receive your results.

What happens if I have a positive test?  

If you receive a positive test, you will be required to isolate off campus through your contagion period. In the event of a positive test, please contact your health care provider and let them know about your test result. You and your health care provider should discuss the appropriate period of isolation and any other steps you should take.   

When can I return to work?  

When an employee who has been diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19 seeks to return to work, they should communicate as far in advance as possible with Human Resources about a return-to-work plan. As a general practice, Human Resources will require such employees to obtain return-to-work certifications or other appropriate documentation from their medical provider indicating that they are fully recovered and do not pose a risk of further transmission. If this proves impracticable or impossible, Human Resources may determine, based on available evidence and information, whether and when it is safe for the employee to return to work. Recovering employees may, in the College’s discretion, be permitted to return to work remotely, where remote working is an option, before they are permitted to return to campus, and additional documentation may be required before an employee can return to campus in these circumstances.

What happens if I have a negative test?  

You will receive test results through HC Clear. If your results are negative you will see a green check mark and a message that you are clear to access campus.

May I get tested if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

If you believe that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you may not come to campus. Please contact your health care provider and follow their directions. If you receive a positive test from your provider, please contact the IQ Coordinators at iqcoordinator@holycross.edu.