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Testing, Tracing, Quarantine & Isolation

Surveillance Testing Results for week ending 11/21/2020

Population TestedTotal Number TestedPositive Results
Residential Students73210
Faculty/Staff2171
Off-campus Students3151
On Campus Vendor20
Non-UML Community29*
Prior Week Total1,29512
* Positive test results reflect our UML Campus Community Members only and do not reflect any results for non-UML community testing partners as they are external agencies who are not part of our UML Community.  

Number TestedNumber Positive
Fall 2020 Cumulative Total13,64128

Surveillance testing is being conducted on all residential students and select commuter students, faculty and staff. See below for more information.

Other Reported COVID-19 Diagnoses

Prior week
Diagnosed cases reported0
Reported cases in this category are separate from surveillance testing being conducted on campus. A COVID-19 diagnosis is protected health information and the university can only release in aggregate information campus community members chose to share.

All positive surveillance results and diagnosed cases listed above are reviewed by the university’s COVID-19 Risk Response Team in a timely manner to ensure an appropriate campus risk assessment review and mitigation strategy deployment.

UMass Lowell Testing Program

The UMass Lowell asymptomatic testing program for COVID-19 is designed to mitigate community spread through early detection of infection. Our asymptomatic program includes the following.

If you have questions about your scheduled COVID-19 test, please email COVIDtesting@uml.edu.

For Students

  • Students who reside on campus are required to be tested upon arrival and then once a week.
  • We are no longer scheduling COVID-19 surveillance tests for fall semester. New residential students needing to be tested to comply with their housing contracts are scheduled through Residence Life as part of the move in process.
  • Any student who is a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and was not selected for the UML Surveillance testing program, is eligible to participate in the Stop the Spread testing initiative offered free of change.  Please visit Stop the Spread for more information.  Residents of New Hampshire can find information about free testing in their state at https://business.nh.gov/DOS_COVID19Testing/. Anyone can register for testing at CVS.

For Faculty and Staff

  • Selected faculty who are teaching or conducting research on campus and are determined to have significant repeated student contact will be offered weekly testing, based on current plans.
  • Selected staff who regularly work on campus and are determined to have significant repeated student contact will be offered weekly testing, based on current plans.
  • Faculty or staff who reside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and are not selected for the UML Surveillance testing program, are eligible to participate in the Stop the Spread testing initiative offered free of change.  Please visit Stop the Spread for more information.  Residents of New Hampshire can find information about free testing in their state at https://business.nh.gov/DOS_COVID19Testing/. Anyone can register for testing at CVS.

Surveillance Testing Procedure

The Emergency Operations and Wellness Center Team will be at the Moloney Ball Room, University Crossing, Room 260 for asymptomatic testing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 
Those participating in Surveillance Testing will follow these steps weekly:
  1. Go to the Testing Location
    Make sure you have an appointment scheduled before arriving at the testing location and bring your campus ID. Face covering, hand hygiene and social distancing are required at all times while in the testing center. Go the Moloney Ball Room on the second floor of University Crossing at 220 Pawtucket St., Room 260, Lowell.
  2. Get Your Test Results
    Your test results will ready in 24 to 36 hours.
    Individuals who test negative will be notified via email from Careevolve@lknotification.com. You will need to log in to a secure portal to get your results. 
    Students who test positive will receive a call from the local Board of Health and a UMass Lowell Health Services nurse, who will explain further steps. Individuals who test positive will be required to isolate in accordance with the guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health authorities. We will assist you every step of the way. 
    Employees who test positive will receive a call from their local Board of Health and a Circle Health employee, who will explain further steps. Individuals who test positive will be required to isolate in accordance with the guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health authorities.

Symptomatic Testing

Daily symptom monitoring and testing will occur throughout the semester. Students, faculty and staff shall conduct a daily self-screening, and those with any COVID-19 symptoms, living either on or off-campus, will be expected to report those symptoms as follows:
  • Students: If you live on campus or are commuting to campus, call the COVID line at 978-934-COV2 (2682) or email Student_SymptomReporting@uml.edu to talk to a health care professional. You should stay in your room or at home until you talk to the professional to discuss next steps to support your health and the health of our community. If you are taking your classes remotely, contacting your primary care provider is good option to consider.
  • Employees: Contact your supervisor and email the COVID-19 HR Response Team at COVID19HR@uml.edu or call Kim Casey at 978-934-3557.
Clinical testing of symptomatic individuals and those determined to be close contacts with a COVID-19 positive individual will also be promptly tested. Infection rates will be monitored on campus and in the Lowell area.

Testing & Contact Tracing

Testing

UMass Lowell will conduct weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing of its entire residential student population and select cohorts of commuter students, faculty and staff who frequently interact with others on campus. This step exceeds all current Centers for Disease Control recommendations. 

Testing for any students who exhibit symptoms will be available through the Wellness Center. Symptomatic faculty and staff should contact their doctors for testing. 

Surveillance testing is conducted among populations who are not showing symptoms in an effort to identify potential cases early and quickly isolate them before the virus can spread. UMass Lowell has partnered with the Broad Institute, a biomedical research center affiliated with MIT and Harvard University.

  • Tests will be self-administered and are minimally invasive. The individual being tested will collect the sample themselves by inserting a swab that looks like a “q-tip” just as far as the bottom of the cotton tip into one of their own nostrils, rotate it around the sides of the nostril for 15 seconds, and then use the swab to repeat the same procedure in the other nostril. 
  • Surveillance testing will be conducted by the university at no cost to individuals. 
  • Results will be shared via email as quickly as possible, with results expected within 24 to 48 hours. Residential students who test positive will follow their isolation plan. Contract tracing to identify exposed individuals will be undertaken in partnership with the Department of Public Health.
  • Results will only be shared with the Department of Public Health if the test is positive. This is protected health information and will not be shared with parents of students or other campus community members. Read more about contact tracing below.
  • Testing does not replace or reduce the importance of social distancing, wearing face coverings, washing hands, isolation or quarantine.

Students from Non-exempt States: Students coming from or who have travelled to states not on the exempt list in the two weeks prior to arriving on campus:

  • Must move their belongings into their room assignment. Sign up for move-in time using the Online Housing Gateway
  • Students will be tested upon arrival and will quarantine at the ICC in a single until they receive a negative result. Typically two to four days, hopefully less. 
  • A negative test from prior to arriving on campus will not exempt a student from initial testing and quarantine on campus.
  • If a student receives a positive result they will remain in isolation in the ICC.

Contact Tracing

The role of the university in contact tracing can be characterized as supportive. The statutory responsibilities of local public health are to initiate and lead contact tracing. As a reminder, a close contact is defined as someone who was closer than six feet from you for longer than 15 minutes.  

Our role as an organization would be (if requested) to clarify the scope of contact a student or staff member might have had while on campus. Local public health authorities may also contact the University if there are unusual and/or alarming levels of disease requiring more intensive investigations and accompanying interventions. The status of an employee's or student’s health is considered protected health information and will not be shared with the community in a manner that would violate the right to privacy of that community member.  

Health Services will be asked to conduct the 14-day symptom assessment review and support the logistics of isolation and quarantine when a positive case is identified in our student population. This will be recorded by Health Services in the manner of other protected health information.

Quarantine & Isolation Plan

Quarantine

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. You may be required to quarantine if you feel healthy AND had contact with a person with COVID-19:

  • Students living in the residence halls will quarantine in their current residence hall assignment. They should stay in their bedroom and have limited contact with other people until 14 days after their last exposure.  Individuals should only leave their room to get food or use the bathroom. And should wear a mask whenever leaving their room.
  • Per standard public health protocols, students who are quarantined will be contacted by a HS staff member on a periodic basis to conduct a general wellness review including a symptom review.  Follow up will be implemented as indicated.  The process will be documented in their existing medical record and treated as all other protected health information (PHI) would be in a medical record.
  • If directed by an outside agency to quarantine, students should report that information to the Wellness Center.  Health Services will register that information in the student’s health record and will follow up with the student during the quarantine period.
  • Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19.  Students should notify their health care provider or the Wellness Center first if symptoms emerge and then notify the Wellness Center to update their health record. 
  • Stay away from people who are at higher-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Students will be able to use their meal plans to order food and have it delivered to a designated pick up location within their residence hall.

Isolation

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.  Prior to moving onto campus, residential students will identify an off-campus isolation plan through the Housing Portal.  

In the event that a student contracts COVID-19 or they need to evacuate campus, students will be instructed to vacate campus to their designated Isolation location.  In the event a student is unable to designate an isolation plan, a plan will be implemented that isolates the student in a room on campus. 

You will be required to isolate if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or, are waiting for test results, or have cough, fever, or shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Separate yourself from others.
  • Students who live in the residence halls will be asked to isolate at their permanent address or other location they have identified through their isolation plan registered with Residence Life.  Residential students who are unable to isolate off campus will be relocated to an on campus isolation space.  
    • Students will be able to use their meal plans to order food and have it delivered outside of their on campus isolation room.
  • Students should monitor their symptoms daily and notify their health care provider or Health Services if symptoms worsen.  
  • Per standard public health protocols, students who are placed in isolation will be contacted by a HS staff member on a periodic basis to conduct a general wellness review including a symptom review.  Follow up will be implemented as indicated. The process will be documented in their existing medical record and treated as all other protected health information (PHI) would be in a medical record.

Be Prepared and Have a Go Bag

As we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know that at UML keeping our community healthy and safe is imbedded in everything we do.
With that in mind we’ve developed protocols based on guidance from health officials and have plans in place for students who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 to follow an isolation protocol on campus if they are unable to isolate off campus.  

Making a Go Bag

To keep you and everyone in our community healthy and safe, as well as for  your comfort, we want you to be ready should you test positive for COVID-19 while living on campus.
In an unpredictable time as we continue to live with a pandemic, taking charge of what you are able to control can be a very empowering. Creating a “Go Bag” is something completely in your control and is an important part of being prepared if you are instructed to isolate.
Right now, take about 15 minutes to get a “Go Bag” ready in the event that you need to leave your current room to go to your self-designated off campus isolation location or relocate to the on campus isolation housing as time will be of the essence to minimize exposure to others  should you need to move to another space. 
The suggested list (below) includes items that you may use on a regular basis - a good strategy might be for you to put all of the items nearby each other so you can gather them quickly.
If you need to be moved to on campus isolation housing, rest assured that basics like a bed, bed linens and meals will be provided.
As you put your Go Bag items together, please keep in mind that should you need to be in isolation, you will be in a different space for a period of up to 14 days, so having all of the important stuff in your life ready to go will make life easier for you during that time period.  
Here are some suggested items as you consider what to include in your Go Bag.
  • ALWAYS have your UML ID with you – ALWAYS.
  • Personal hygiene items, including bath towels
  • Face coverings
  • Containers of the medications you take, including nonprescription (over the counter drugs) as well as prescription medication. Be sure to have enough for 14 days.
  • A thermometer (part of the supplies we advised students to bring when moving back on campus).
  • Phone and charger
  • Your laptop and charger
  • All your important documents, including insurance cards and, if an international student, your passport
  • Notepad, pen/pencil
  • Several changes of clothes/underclothes/pajamas
Doing this now is important as you may have very little time to prepare if you need to be temporarily moved.  Having all of this together will allow you to grab and go and have the items you’ll need while away from your residence hall and leave you able to continue with school and personal responsibilities.