Shenandoah University to test all residential students for COVID-19

shenandoah universityShenandoah University will implement on-site COVID-19 testing for its nearly 1,000 residential students during its four-day move-in process later this month.

Through a partnership with NEXT Molecular Analytics, all residential students arriving Aug. 18-19 and Aug. 21-22 for the fall semester will be tested for COVID-19 upon arriving on campus. Testing will be free for these students.

Shenandoah has also encouraged all students — whether undergraduate or graduate, residential or commuter — to get tested 5 to 7 days before coming to campus and to send the university a copy of their negative test.

“We know that Shenandoah will not be immune to the effects of COVID-19,” said President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., “but we hope that testing residential students and encouraging others to get tested before starting classes will reduce the impact of the virus and help us more accurately define how much illness is in our community. We are grateful for the support and advice of Valley Health in considering the testing options. The leaders of Valley Health, as well as those at the Lord Fairfax Health District, have been invaluable in helping us understand the steps we need to take to keep our campus and community as safe as possible.”

Testing Residential Students

Following COVID-19 testing during the move-in process, residential students will be permitted to move into their assigned room. They will remain with their roommate, if they have one, while waiting for their test results and, if they do share a room, they will be required to wear a face covering and to follow strict social distancing guidelines until test results are received. Although students will stay in their room during this time, they will be able to enjoy virtual activities via Zoom. Meals will also be made available for students. Resident assistants and Residence Life staff will reach out to students to touch base and offer support during this period.

If upon arrival a student is symptomatic, they may be asked to return home and isolate with their family. If that is not possible, the university has designated isolation/quarantine rooms where these students can wait for their test results.

Students who receive positive test results for COVID-19 will be moved into one of several designated isolation rooms, equipped with a private bathroom, campus Wi-Fi, and meal options. Recently, Shenandoah began leasing the property and buildings previously occupied by the Perkins Restaurant and the Clarion Inn & Conference Center located on Millwood Avenue and Mall Boulevard across from the university. These buildings, known as South Campus Commons, will provide 139 single rooms and a second dining hall for use starting this fall.

The university is also exploring potential surveillance testing of students during the upcoming semester.

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