Testing and Campus Arrivals | St. Lawrence University Always Forward: Returning to St. Lawrence

Testing and Campus Arrivals

Doing all we can to ensure safety the moment our students step on campus will set the tone for the semester. This will require some cooperation from students prior to their arrival and during periodic testing throughout the semester. We’re motivated by the shared belief that we all have a part to play in our community’s wellbeing. Our goal is to work closely with students, faculty, and staff on practices that keep us all safe.

On-Campus Testing Overview

St. Lawrence University is coordinating with St. Lawrence County Public Health, with the regional St. Lawrence Health Systems, and with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to require testing upon arrival to campus for all students and to mandate testing of employees who work on campus (those who have received the Return to Work letter from Human Resources) during student arrival periods and during the semester when students are in residence. (Employees: Please visit the Employee Information section for more details.)

Following the student arrival period each semester, the University will establish a clinic format to test students and employees with The Broad Institute's CRSP SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Diagnostic Assay for in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory specimens. This means the test is designed to detect the presence of the genomic material of the SARS-CoV2 novel coronavirus, the pathogen responsible for the disease known as COVID-19. The test is a nasal swab administered by each patient under medical observation.

The diagnostic work is performed at the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP) which is the clinical testing laboratory at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.  This laboratory operates under a set of government regulations known as CLIA that allow it to run high complexity molecular tests, such as the one used to detect coronavirus.  The test that is run by CRSP is a modified version of a test developed by the CDC. Results are expected within 24 hours after the laboratory in Boston receives the samples; samples will be transported every evening after the day’s testing clinic.  

Each semester, students who arrive on campus with a negative test result and who have attested to self-quarantining for the days between the test and their arrival on campus will be allowed to assume full campus participation with appropriate social-distancing practices. 

Students who test positive will be placed in isolation until released by a health-care provider if they live more than 500 miles from Canton.  

Students who test positive and who live within 500 miles of Canton should have a plan for returning home safely and when they return to campus will be required to take a second test and have negative results.  COVID-positive students may continue their education online if faculty approve such modality for each course.

Results Notification:

Students will receive an email message when results are available if their result is conclusive and negative. If their test is either inconclusive (which can happen for a number of reasons) or positive, they will receive a call from Health Services.  If it is inconclusive, they will receive instructions for being re-tested. Should they receive positive results they will be moved to a quarantine room immediately.  At this point, they will not have access to their residence hall, the ability to use their id to eat on campus, or access to any other University buildings.  They should always have a bag prepared with resources for quarantine so that they can quickly move to their quarantine room.  Their faculty will be informed that they are unable to attend any in-person class meetings. Should a student test positive, Health Services is obligated to inform Public Health, and Public Health will have an Isolation Order delivered. 

Given the potential for a positive test, we ask that students work out plans before they move to campus for getting home if they live within 500 miles of Canton. 

Fall 2020 Semester Testing Plan

Weekly Tests

St. Lawrence will conduct two clinics a week (Tuesday and Wednesday) using a random sampling of employees and students for selection. (Employees can find information about their tests on the Employee Information page.) Students should expect to be tested at least once every three weeks, with the goal of every other week, and possibly more often. A student's selection date will not be in any pattern; the same student could be selected two weeks in a row, for example. 

Lisa Cania will send an email to the students selected for each week’s clinic and ask them to make an appointment for a test at a date and time from the two days offered that works best for them. Students should not make an appointment unless they receive a notice from Lisa Cania that they have been selected. Clinics will be held in Leithead Fieldhouse.

Wastewater Testing 

St. Lawrence also will begin an auxiliary surveillance testing process using sampling of residence hall wastewater, with samples brought to Clarkson University twice weekly.  Wastewater sampling can pick up a virus trace several days before symptoms and even before the nasal test shows a positive result. The sampling should begin at the end of September.

Spring and Summer Semesters (Semesters II and III)

The University will tentatively will follow the same pattern of on-site testing upon arrival and at intervals, pending advice from St. Lawrence County Public Health and the evolution of testing and/or vaccines and treatment.

  • Tentative move-in/testing dates: January 2-6
  • Second round of testing: January 18-20
  • Randomized testing:
    • January 26 
    • February 2, 9, 16, 23 
    • March 2, 9, 16, 23; 30
    • April 6, 13

Summer Semester (Semester III) dates to be planned once enrollment is known more reliably.

Campus Arrival Testing

All students must be tested with a diagnostic molecular (PCR) test, not a rapid point of care test, ideally 5-7 days, but no more than 10 days, prior to coming to campus.  Students will be required to upload their test result to the student portal prior to arriving on campus.  After the students are tested prior to coming to campus, they must self-quarantine for the same 5-10 day period to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.  A student who receives a positive test result and/or who is in isolation or quarantine prior to their arrival on campus needs to postpone travel until cleared to return by a medical professional, working with local public health departments. Details about reporting test results are forthcoming from the Student Health Services office.

Students who report a negative test result to campus will be allowed to check-in, with this process including the mandatory on-campus testing procedure described below.  Students who do not have a test result (whether they were unable to be tested or they did not receive their results in time for their travel to campus) will be quarantined until they receive a negative test result from the University’s mandatory testing clinic and assessed a fee of $100/day of quarantine.  This fee may be reduced or waived based on documented financial need or evidence of good faith effort to be tested.

Students living closer than 500 miles from Canton who do not have a test result (whether they were unable to be tested or they did not receive their results in time for their travel to campus) will be scheduled for move-in Sept. 2-9. 

  • To do: You will be quarantined until you receive a negative test result from the University’s mandatory testing clinic and assessed a fee of $100/day of quarantine. This fee may be reduced or waived based on documented financial need or evidence of good faith effort to be tested.

Student living farther than 500 miles from Canton who do not have a test result (whether they were unable to be tested or they did not receive their results in time for their travel to campus) may arrive on your scheduled date and be placed in temporary quarantine until campus test results are received. 

All students must also be aware of the New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory. As the policy indicates, “If you have traveled from within one of the designated states with significant community spread as defined by the metrics above, or from a Level 2, 3 or 4 nation, you must quarantine when you enter New York for 14 days from the last travel within such designated state, provided on the date you enter into New York State that such state met the criteria for requiring such quarantine.” This means: 

Traveling From New York State or a State Not Listed on “Travel Advisory” States List

If you are traveling from New York State or a state not listed on the New York “travel advisory” states list and you have met the campus arrival and testing requirements we look forward to welcoming you to campus on your assigned move-in date.

To do:

  • Get a pre-arrival test within 10 days of your move-in date.
  • Self-isolate at home after your pre-test. 
  • Upload your pretest results to the portal (more information coming) by no later than 24 hours before your on-campus test appointment.
  • If your test results are negative, report to Leithead Field House on your assigned date and time for your test. You may move into your fall room assignment and test results will be expected within 36 hours.
  • If your test results are positive, follow guidance from your local health department and travel to campus only after being cleared by St. Lawrence's Health Center.

United States Students Traveling From Outside New York State from a State Listed on the “Travel Advisory” States List as of August 11 or traveling from Outside the United States:

If you are coming to St. Lawrence from outside of New York from a state on the “travel advisory” states list as of August 11 or from outside the United States, you need to follow the steps outlined by the state of New York.

To Do: 

  • Quarantine on your own in NY State or in a “safe” state for 14 days. 
  • We will waive the pre-test requirement for students from “travel advisory” states because you have been in quarantine and not had the opportunity to be tested.
  • Upon arrival at St Lawrence, we will require that you attest that within the prior 14 days you have NOT been in any state which is on the list of New York “travel advisory” states.
  • Report to Leithead Field House on assigned date and time for test. 
  • Enter temporary quarantine on campus until test results are received, planned for within 36 hours.

International Students

If you do not have a visa, and do not expect a visa appointment before August 4, you may enroll at St. Lawrence as a remote student taking courses online for the fall semester.  You may use your St. Lawrence merit scholarship towards tuition, which will be charged at full semester’s rate.

Alternately, you can plan to return to St. Lawrence for Spring and Summer semesters instead of taking Fall classes remotely.

If you choose this early arrival and on-campus quarantine option, please complete this form https://rb.gy/yivm6l by August 1, 2020.

If you have a visa or an appointment for a visa by July 31 and plan to attend in person this fall semester, please consider the following:

International Students Traveling From Outside the U.S. and Wishing to Quarantine on Campus

You may report to campus no later than August 7 unless approved by International Student Services and Residence Life. You will be placed in 14-day quarantine on campus. You will be tested at St. Lawrence at the conclusion of your 14-day quarantine. You will be provided access to your fall room assignment after St. Lawrence test results are received.

International Students in the U.S. or Traveling From Outside the U.S. and Choosing Off-Campus Quarantine

We will waive the pre-test requirement because you have been in quarantine and not had the opportunity to be tested.

To do:
  • Quarantine on your own in NY State or in a “safe” state for 14 days. 
  • We will waive the pre-test requirement for students from “travel advisory” states because you have been in quarantine and not had the opportunity to be tested. 
  • Upon arrival at St Lawrence, we will require that you attest that within the prior 14 days you have NOT been in any state which is on the list of New York “travel advisory” states.
  • Report to Leithead Field House on assigned date and time for test.
  • Enter temporary quarantine on campus until test results are received, planned for within 36 hours.
  • We will waive the $100 campus quarantine fee in recognition that you cannot take a test in your 14-day quarantine period.

Pre-Arrival Testing Options

We are able to offer two pre-arrival testing clinics, one in Nashua, NH on Wednesday, August 19th from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and one in Leithead Field House (on the St. Lawrence campus) on Tuesday, August 18th from 1:00-2:00pm. The Nashua clinic will be held in a tent on the property of the Nashua Hampton Inn, 407 Amherst Street, Nashua, NH.  Though this is not convenient for all of our students, we have limited tests available and chose locations that are accessible to students from four states, that allowed delivery to the lab on the same testing day, and that could be staffed by University personnel who also have duties with the on-campus clinics for faculty and staff, as well as students.

We expect that we can test approximately 300 students in Nashua on August 19th.  If you would like to do your pre-arrival test at this clinic, you must sign up for a slot in advance (we will schedule in 15 minute intervals).  On the day of the test, bring a photo id that includes your date of birth. Your student account will be billed $125.00 for this test.  Please go to https://v2.waitwhile.com/book/nashua if you wish to schedule an appointment (Don’t worry if the page says Waitlist – just click the schedule an appointment button.  Also, you may have to scroll to the August 19th. Both are issues that the software company is fixing).

We will be able to test 100 students in the clinic on August 18th on the St. Lawrence Campus.  If you would like to do your pre-arrival test at this clinic, you must sign up for a slot in advance (we will schedule in 15 minute intervals).  On the day of the test, bring a photo id that includes your date of birth. Your student account will be billed $125.00 for this test.  Please go to https://v2.waitwhile.com/book/leitheadfieldhouse if you wish to schedule an appointment. (Don’t worry if the page says Waitlist – just click the schedule an appointment button.  Also, you may have to scroll to the August 19th. Both are issues that the software company is fixing).

For both clinics, please note: 

  • Only St. Lawrence students may be tested.
  • If you are under 18 on the day of the test, you must have submitted the parent consent form and instead of a self-collected test, a staff member from our medical team will administer the test for you.
  • We expect to have results of the test within 36 hours. If you test positive, you will receive notification and you will not be allowed on campus until you have quarantined and have had a subsequent negative test and/or are cleared by a medical provider.
  • After the test, you should self-isolate until you come to campus.
  • You will still need to complete a test upon arrival on campus. 
  • We will accept appointments on a first-come, first-served basis.

We would also like to provide some additional resources:

  1. Tufts University is also offering a testing clinic for college students (there is also a link on this site to other places in Massachusetts offering testing to asymptomatic individuals) – https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/covidtesting.
  2. Pop up Testing Clinics
  3. There are a number of companies offering at-home tests.  While they seem to require that the person taking the test either be mildly symptomatic or have had possible exposure to COVID-19, this may be an option for some of you. You might explore https://www.letsgetchecked.com/us/en/home-coronavirus-test/  or https://www.everlywell.com/products/covid-19-test/  or https://www.pixel.labcorp.com/covid-19?fbclid=IwAR1sQ4F5EEZ1tYgmdY0KKab8krYQtkh89Hz98-K8dbzVpUYYnxXWxIznVJM
  4. You could also contact your local health department for testing options in your area.  We have heard from our sources that test-result time frames are improving, after a couple of slower weeks in July.

If you need to quarantine in either NY or a state not on the NY travel advisory list, we suggest that you consider ordering a home test kit so that you can be tested while in quarantine.  As long as you receive negative results within 10 days of coming to campus, this would enable you to move in without being in quarantine for 36 hours.  We also want you to be aware that NYS Department of Health (DOH) has issued an emergency health order mandating travelers from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide COVID-19 spread to complete a DOH traveler health form.  

Fall Semester Move-in Dates and Process

Students may be accompanied by one family member for move-in but that person may not enter the residence halls. We urge students to pack very lightly for the semester and bring only essential items and clothing they can carry to their room on their own without assistance.

Upperclass Students:

The move-in dates for upperclass students will occur on August 23, 24, and 25. Due to the testing requirements, all students must follow when they arrive to campus, each student will be assigned a specific move-in date and time slot. No early arrivals or date change requests will be permitted. 

Due to the complexities of housing placement, testing, and move-in procedures, students will be provided with their specific move-in date and time by no later than Friday, August 7.  

First-Year/New Students:

New Student Move-In Day is Saturday, August 22.

New International, HEOP, and Liberal Arts Science Scholars Students will move in on Thursday, August 20. Your program coordinators will be in touch via email with details.

Each student will receive an email from Residence Life no later than Friday, July 31, with their assigned individual time slot on their designated Move-In Day, along with instructions for where to report on campus and details related to parking, testing, and residence hall access.