Important information about COVID-19 testing and self-screening

July 30, 2020

What you need to know before returning to TU this fall

covid test

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff on Thursday by the Return to TU Task Force co-chairs.

Earlier today, University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Dr. Jay Perman announced that all students, faculty and staff of USM universities and regional centers will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to their campuses. As a USM member institution, Towson University fully supports this decision. Additionally, all TU students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a daily self-screening of symptoms using the Tigers Care QuickScan tool.

The addition of the COVID-19 test and QuickScan requirements will provide additional layers of community protection on top of all the Return to TU preparations already underway and support members of our community in assessing their own health and well-being.

Required COVID-19 Testing

All individuals returning to campus will be required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. We understand individuals are returning to campus on different dates. As a result, we ask that all students, faculty and staff complete a COVID-19 PCR test within a 10 day window prior to their return to campus. Tests can be completed at the on-campus testing site in front of the TU Health Center or at a conveniently located facility near your home.

The university will bear the costs of the required COVID-19 PCR tests for all students, faculty and staff. Individuals taking the test at the on-campus Health Center testing site will not be billed for the test nor expected to pay when they take it. Individuals who take the test off-campus will be reimbursed for the cost of the test. A reimbursement form is available here.

Starting Friday, July 31, on-campus testing will be offered daily, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Individuals may  reserve a registration time.Towson University is aware of a compatibility issue in registering for a COVID-19 test when using a screen reader. If you are a screen reader user, the Health Center can accommodate you by providing a test without an appointment Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:30 a m and 3:00 p m . Testing will be conducted outdoors across from the Health Center. For questions about a COVID-19 test, please call the Health Center between 8 am and 5 pm at 4 1 0 7 0 4 2 4 6 6 or email healthcenter@towson.edu. For questions about accessibility at TU, please contact the ADA Coordinator's office at ada@towson.edu.  

The tests conducted on campus are administered via a gentle swab of the lower nasal passage. Results from the campus tests are returned in two to five business days on average. An email from the Health Center will inform individuals they are cleared to return to campus upon a negative test. If a test result is positive, the individual will receive a phone call from the Health Center.

Testing is also available at multiple sites around Maryland. Out-of-state residents are encouraged to check their state government and health websites for conveniently located testing sites.

Submitting evidence of negative COVID-19 PCR tests completed at off-campus sites will be secure, confidential and HIPAA-compliant. Faculty and staff may submit via email to . Students will receive additional communication on how to submit evidence of negative COVID-19 PCR tests completed at off-campus sites.

Additional information around TU’s testing requirements can be found here.

We recognize that this is an unanticipated request and scheduling a time to be tested—and the wait for the result—may take several days. As a result, administrative leave will be available for faculty and staff, if needed, until Aug. 10.

Tigers Care QuickScan

Beginning on Monday, Aug. 3, all faculty and staff will be required to complete the confidential self-screening of any COVID-19 symptoms or exposure each workday.

The QuickScan is a short, confidential and HIPAA-compliant online form. This self-screening assesses any possible COVID-19 symptoms and/or exposure to someone who may be infected. The QuickScan link will be emailed to faculty and staff each workday and must be completed by 9 a.m.

A completed QuickScan is required each workday whether faculty and staff are scheduled to report to campus or are working remotely. Based on your responses, you will be given confirmation to continue teleworking or commute to campus to work or you will be asked to stay home and await further instructions.

Students will receive information about when to begin use of the tool closer to the start of move-in and classes. Students will also need to complete the form each class day and will be informed of the process prior to arriving on campus.

To preview the self-screening form, you can view the Tigers Care QuickScan now.

Additional information about the Tigers Care QuickScan tool may be found here.

We also want to remind you that faculty and staff will receive Tigers Care packages via mail this week, if they haven’t already. Students will receive the packages at move-in if they are residents or at an on-campus pick up location upon their arrival for classes. The kits include a mask, hand sanitizer, and a digital thermometer to assist in completing the Tigers Care QuickScan.

Through our Tigers Care initiative, responsibility for on-campus safety is shared. There’s never been a more important time to protect yourself and help ensure the health of your fellow Tigers. Following simple guidelines—such as wearing your mask, washing your hands regularly and observing the physical distancing rule of six is safer—shows you care about the entire TU community.

TU’s mask guidance — that they must be worn while indoors and outdoors unless individuals are able to physically distance — is consistent with the latest executive order by Gov. Larry Hogan.

We appreciate your attention to these individual actions and responsibilities. Thank you in advance for doing your part to keep our campus healthy and safe.

Find the latest information, including frequently asked questions, at towson.edu/ReturnToTU

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.