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Spring Semester - Surveillance Testing Program FAQs

Updated on December 16, 2020 | 1:00 p.m.

Surveillance Testing Program FAQ Table of Contents

ABOUT THE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM

The Surveillance Testing Program is an innovative and comprehensive on-campus testing program designed to help identify the potential spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 among UW faculty, staff and students. The program uses a UW-developed lab test and will allow UW to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus -- allowing for quick quarantine, public heath contact tracing and rapid delivery of any necessary medical care. Early detection can help prevent disease transmission and protect others in the Laramie community.

The UW lab test is a saliva-based test that is processed in a pool of four samples at the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab (WSVL). The UW lab test is faster to submit, more cost effective, and provides rapid results, which allows the university to better detect COVID-19 cases early on.

However, unlike the Vault test, the UW lab test is not an official diagnostic test (currently, laboratory validated only; UW is pursuing CLIA certification and official FDA Authorization – see the FDA's FAQs on Testing for SARS-CoV-2). Therefore, individuals part of a positive testing pool will need to complete a confirmatory test that the University will provide separately. An officially recognized positive test result is required to legally authorize Wyoming Department of Health actions, such as quarantine or isolation orders.

Students, faculty and staff coming to campus or returning to work will be required to participate in the university’s Surveillance Testing Program.

Testing frequency expectations are as follows:

  • Undergraduate students: two times a week.
  • Graduate students and employees: one time per week.

Each week, individuals will receive an email to their UW account with a link to sign up for their appointment(s).

The university will provide reasonable accommodations and testing alternatives for faculty, staff and students who require medical accommodation, who are at high risk, or who have a family member who is at high risk. Individuals expected to participate in the Surveillance Testing Program can request a testing accommodation by completing a testing accommodation form. Testing accommodations may or may not pull the individual out of the testing population. Please visit the COVID-19 Testing Resources page and select the Student Accommodations or Faculty and Staff Accommodations page for further instructions.

If students or employees are unable to make a scheduled test AND are unable to reschedule an alternate time during the same week, exemptions may be available. Exemptions could include vacation, illness or other emergency situations. In addition, individuals may request an exemption to the testing program for the following:

  • Distance learners or remote employees who do not intend to return to campus or who plan to work remotely the entire semester.
  • Graduate students and employees who can self-isolate while on campus.

Testing exemptions only remove individuals from the test population for the dates specified.

To submit an exemption request, students and employees should go to the Testing Resources page on the university’s COVID response website, where students can identify as 100 percent online via Student Affairs and where employees can identify a Decentralized Human Resources Representative (DHR) who can enter employees into HCM as either remote or self-isolated.

Once the exemption request form has been submitted, the request will be reviewed by Human Resources for employees and Student Affairs for students (including student employees). Those with approved exemptions will be removed from the testing pool for the duration of the requested time period. After your requested end date, the student or employee will be expected to participate in the Surveillance Testing Program.

Every Friday, you will receive an email to your UW account with a link to sign up for an appointment. Please arrive on time. There will be signs directing you to the testing area, where saliva tests will be administered.

No, you will not be charged any additional fees for the Surveillance Testing Program.

If you are part of a positive pool, you will be notified. If your pool tests negative, there will be no notification.

For the initial test upon arrival, students, faculty and staff who are awaiting test results must shelter in place if possible and practice social distancing.

During the semester, if you are asked to complete a confirmatory test, you will be asked to shelter in place while you wait for your results, including the following restrictions:

  • You are not permitted to attend class in-person and must attend classes virtually until you have received your test results with the appropriate next steps.
  • If you are an employee or student employee, you are permitted to go to work as long as you can socially distance at all times. Otherwise, please notify your supervisor to discuss a modified work schedule including remote work, if applicable.
  • When interaction is necessary, practice social distancing by maintaining 6-feet of separation from other people.
  • We recommend you limit activities and engagement that are non-university-related unless you can socially distance.
  • You are not permitted to access the Wyoming Union (except for testing), Half Acre Gym, Libraries or other on-campus resources. These resources may be accessed virtually.
  • You are not permitted to attend any UW-related social or athletic events.
  • Limit contact with others in Washakie Dining Center, and eat your meals in your room or office.
  • Always wear a face covering.

Noncompliance with confirmatory testing and items outlined above may result in disciplinary action. 

For individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the university will follow isolation and quarantine requirements consistent with the Wyoming Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control.

No. The Surveillance Testing Program is designed as an early warning system for those who are not currently experiencing symptoms. Research shows that about 25 percent of people who are infected do not have symptoms but can still spread the virus to others.

If you are having mild symptoms, per guidance from the CDC, you should self-quarantine, meaning that you should stay home and stay as far from other people living with you as you can. If you have symptoms, you should also get in touch with Student Health Service or your health care provider, so that they can monitor your symptoms and be ready to provide care if your symptoms get worse. Please see the CDC guidance on what to do if you are sick.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, including, but not limited to, trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or the inability to arouse, and/or bluish lips or face, you should seek immediate medical attention. Please see the CDC guidance on coronavirus symptoms.

If you are unable to keep your testing appointment, please visit the COVID-19 Testing Resources and click “Reschedule Your Test.”

If you are unable to find your answer on the COVID-19 Testing Resources, please contact the COVID Hotline at COVID19@uwyo.edu or 307-766-2683.

EXEMPTIONS AND ACCOMMODATIONS

A testing exemption is a University-approved removal from the university’s Surveillance Testing Program.

Please visit the COVID-19 Testing Resources page and complete the Request a Test Exemption form if you are unable to make a scheduled test AND are unable to reschedule an alternate time during the same week.

If you are a student who is 100% online, please see “How can I get removed from the Surveillance Program if I’m a student who is 100% online and do not intend to use any in-person campus resources, such as Half Acre, the Union, etc.?”

If you are an employee who is 100% remote or can socially distance themselves at all times while on campus, please see “How can I get removed from the Surveillance Program if I’m an employee who is 100% remote and do not intend to come to campus this semester OR is a self-isolated worker who can socially distance at all times while on campus?”

Your request will be reviewed by Human Resources for employees and Student Affairs for students (including student employees). Only students will be notified whether their request is approved or denied. Employee exemptions will be automatically processed and audited at a later time.

Those with approved exemptions will be removed from the testing pool for the duration of the requested time period. After your requested end date, you will be expected to participate in the Surveillance Testing Program.

Testing accommodations provide reasonable accommodation and testing alternatives for faculty, staff and students who require medical accommodation, who are at high risk, or who have a family member that is at high risk. Testing accommodations may or may not pull the individual out of the testing population.

Please visit the COVID-19 Testing Resources page and select the Student Accommodations or Faculty and Staff Accommodations page for further instructions.

If you are an online-only student and do not intend to come to campus for any reason during the semester, please complete this form to identify as 100% online.

Please contact your Decentralized Human Resources Representative (DHR) who will tag you in HCM as either a remote or self-isolated worker. Your DHR representative will assist you with removing you from the testing population for the duration of your remote work or self-isolation.

A self-isolated worker is an employee who is working in any percentage on campus, but able to self-isolate. In this circumstance, self-isolation is defined as working in a private space with a closed door OR in a large shared space (such as a laboratory) with good ventilation where you are partitioned off from others, are able to work more than 6-feet apart, and have received approval from your supervisor. If you work in a large shared space, you must always wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Practicing good workplace hygiene, especially with shared equipment, is essential under these conditions. Self-isolated workers do not come into close contact with any other employees, student, and/or customers for an extended period at the workplace. For more information on how to socially distance please visit the and prevent yourself and others from getting sick please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Employees who meet the above definition should be indicated as able to self-isolate while on campus in HCM by their DHR. These workers must also understand this indication removes them from the testing population. As such it also comes with an expectation that they not frequent high traffic areas on campus such as Union, Half Acre Gym, library, in-person classes or athletic events. If a worker would like to include such activities in their campus presence OR they would simply prefer to be in the testing population, they should opt into testing via HCM self-service.
Note: that all updates to an employee’s status must be completed AND fully approved in HCM prior to 3:30 pm Thursday to be reflected in the following week’s testing population.

Examples include:

  • Employee working behind closed doors for most of their day and does not have a front facing job where they interact with customers. They may not go to the Union for coffee.
  • Custodian working alone on a night shift who can maintain 6 feet or more of distance from co-workers during meetings and on breaks.
  • Graduate student researcher working in a lab, wearing a mask, 6 feet apart from their lab mates. They must clean all shared equipment and may not go to the Union for lunch.

STUDENT COMPLIANCE

Students who miss their testing appointment(s) for the week and have not received an approved exemption or accommodation will be added to the University’s non-compliant list, which includes the following:

  • Students will receive an email notifying them they have been added to the non-compliant list;
  • Students will receive a “Red” COVID Pass status, restricting access to campus facilities; and
  • Students will be required to attend classes online.

Compliance will be monitored on a weekly testing cycle. Therefore, restrictions will remain in place for at least one week until the student is compliant with the University’s testing requirements or have received an approved exemption or testing accommodation.

Note: If you are a student employee, your supervisor will also be notified that you are not allowed on campus until you have completed your test and are deemed compliant in the following week.

Students who fail to participate in the Surveillance Program’s weekly testing without an approved exemption or accommodation will be issued a “Red” COVID Pass. A red status means the student is not allowed on campus (with the exception of participating in the Surveillance Testing Program) and is restricted from accessing high traffic UW facilities, such as in-person classes, Half Acre, the Union, UW athletic events, etc.

You will be removed from the non-compliance list when you meet the testing requirements for the current testing cycle or have received an approved exemption or testing accommodation. You will receive a “Green” COVID Pass once you are compliant with the current testing cycle requirements, which indicates you are cleared to come to campus.

Students may return to campus the Monday after you complete the current week’s testing cycle and have a “Green” COVID Pass.

Students who miss more than one testing appointment without an approved exemption or accommodation will be asked to shift to online instruction for the remainder of the fall semester and will be unable to access certain campus resources in person.

Further conduct procedures would ensue for any student who comes to campus in violation of the access restriction, including grounds for suspension for the semester.

Under an abundance of caution, it is recommended that they reach out to COVID Hub and share this contact information. Students will receive instructions on next steps from the COVID Hub, potentially including a request to quarantine.

EMPLOYEE COMPLIANCE

Employees may be subject to a series of interventions based on the number of missed appointments and will receive an orange COVID Pass until they are compliant with the university’s Surveillance Testing Program. More serious interventions may ensue after your first missed appointment.

Employees who fail to participate in the Surveillance Program’s weekly testing for the first time without an approved exemption or accommodation will be issued an “Orange” COVID Pass. An orange status means an employee is encouraged to work remotely, if possible or to work from your office as long as you can socially distance yourself and with your supervisor’s approval. You will still be allowed to come to campus, but you will be restricted from accessing high traffic UW facilities, such as Half Acre, the Union, etc.

Employees who fail to participate in the Surveillance Program more than once will receive a “Red” COVID Pass, indicating an employee is not allowed on campus (with the exception of testing) and is restricted from accessing high traffic UW facilities, such as Half Acre, the Union, etc.

You will be removed from the non-compliance list as long as you meet the testing requirements for the current testing cycle or have receive an approved exemption or testing accommodation. You will receive a green COVID Pass once you are compliant with the current testing cycle expectations, which indicates you are cleared to come to campus.

Employees may return to campus the Monday after you complete the current week’s testing cycle and have a “Green” COVID Pass.

No. Supervisors cannot specifically ask the employee for medical information (i.e., positive or negative COVID test). But supervisors are encouraged to remind their employees about the importance of testing when they’re asked to do so and remind them about their obligation to report a positive test result to the COVID Hub.

Employees are not obligated to tell their supervisors if they tested outside of the University’s COVID testing program, but they should report to their supervisors when they are not going to be in to work so that arrangements can be made for their absence. Employees are obligated to report a positive test result to the COVID Hub. This enables the COVID Hub to take swift action in initiating contact tracing, cleaning protocols, and other necessary measures.

Employees are not required to report their test results to their supervisors but are asked to report to their supervisors when they are not going to be in to work so that arrangements can be made for their absence. Employees are obligated to report a positive test result to the COVID Hub. Reporting positive test results is critical to the university community and enables the COVID Hub to take swift action in initiating contact tracing, cleaning protocols, and other necessary measures. Failure to report your test results compromises that goal and increases chance of disease transmission.

While HIPAA regulations allow for the limited exchange of information, the COVID Hub contact tracers have received special training on protecting privacy, including a 6-hour COVID-19 Contact Tracing course from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

No, but out-of-state personal travel is highly discouraged.

Under an abundance of caution, it is recommended that they reach out to COVID Hub and share this contact information. Employees will receive instructions on next steps from the COVID Hub, potentially including a request to quarantine.

UW LAB TEST RESULTS AND CONFIRMATORY TESTING

If you completed a UW lab test, you will not receive your results. Rather, if your sample is part of a positive testing pool, you will receive an email requesting you to complete a confirmatory test, and you will be contacted by a COVID Hub staff member. If your sample is part of a negative testing pool, you will not be contacted and no action will be required.

If your saliva sample is part of a positive testing pool, it means you may be carrying the virus that causes COVID-19 and must complete a confirmatory test to confirm your COVID-19 status. All four individuals part of the positive testing pool will be required to complete a confirmatory test and should shelter-in-place until they receive their confirmatory test results.

Other FAQs


In this time of uncertainty, we’re dedicated to helping answer your questions based on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 (novel coronavrius) pandemic.

 

>> COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

>> Surveillance Testing Program FAQs

>> Quarantine and Isolation Housing FAQs

>> Student FAQs

>> Staff FAQs

>> Faculty FAQs


Additional Health Information

UW’s interdepartmental task force is diligently monitoring events worldwide to try and anticipate and prepare for potential changes. Here are some essential resources for global travel alerts and warnings to visit before you travel abroad:

 

 

Contact Info

Contact UW’s COVID-19 Response Team by calling  (307) 766-COVD (2683) or emailing  COVID19@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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