The campus currently has four confirmed cases, but administration believes this is the best way to be proactive about preventing an outbreak when moving to phase two in residence halls. The results of this round of testing will inform and guide the administration through further decisions relating to academics and student interactions.
The testing is going to be conducted in partnership with Genetworx, a regional medical laboratory company, free of charge for students. Students will be emailed a link on Tuesday, September 8 with a link to sign up for a testing time.
Genetworx will be using the PCR (short-stick) test, which yields a 99% reliability rate. Results typically come back within a 72 hour time period after testing.
Students will be confidentially contacted through the Engle Center if they test positive to discuss next steps and care options. Once all of the results are reported to Messiah, they will update their public COVID-19 dashboard to reflect the positive cases. However, they will never release any personal information related to the medical condition of any individual students or employees.
A senior administrative team, known as the Integration and Response Team, has been carefully monitoring the situation throughout the summer and up to now. They will continue to monitor the condition of COVID-19 on campus and will quickly relay necessary information to students.
If a student tests positive for the virus, or if they have been in close contact with someone who has, they will be required to quarantine, either at a designated on-campus location or at their home. After their 14-day quarantine period, these students will be able to return to their on-campus residence and learning.
Students are able to opt out of this testing, but they will have to learn remotely for the remainder of the semester.
Check back soon for more updates from the administrators.