Embracing the Measures that Keep Us Safe: Testing

Although current CDC guidance to America’s colleges and universities does not recommend entry testing of students and personnel returning to campus, Beacon believes that both entry and surveillance testing is a sound and responsible strategy for enhancing the community’s safety. In so doing, the College is establishing a baseline of health as students, faculty, and staff enter a deliberately risk-mitigated environment and will continue to monitor those on campus.

Summary for Students

  • Prior to their arrival on campus, all students registered to attend the College for the spring semester must submit to an FDA-approved COVID-19 test and provide official medical certification of a negative result.
  • Any spring semester student registered for on-campus attendance who tests positive for the active COVID-19 virus as a result of this process must quarantine at home for at least 10 days, be re-tested, and provide certification of a negative FDA-approved PCR test result prior to being allowed on campus.Students in this rare situation will be encouraged to participate in the academic program remotely until such time as a negative test result is certified and on-campus arrangements can be made..
  • Upon arrival, all spring semester students registered for on-campus learning (both residential and commuting) will be serology (antibody) tested. Students with a negative result (indicating no exposure to the COVID-19 virus will be cleared to fully engage the community (under the purview of the RCI provisions).
  • A student who tests positive for active COVID antibodies (IgM — indicating recent exposure to the virus) will be quarantined and sent immediately for a rapid PCR (virus) test at the University of Florida Health/LRMC or an equivalent clinical setting. Should this PCR testing result in a positive confirmation, the student will be directed, depending on individual circumstances, to either: 1) be quarantined in a designated campus residence (allowed to take classes remotely); or 2) return home until a 7 to 10-day waiting period and re-testing is completed.
  • As part of the College’s health monitoring protocols, all students will again be surveillance tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies (serology testing) two weeks after their arrival. Such testing may continue at varying intervals during the semester as campus conditions warrant.

Summary for Employees

  • All Beacon personnel (faculty and staff) and Sodexo-affiliated employees must be tested using the same FDA-authorized serology (antibody) protocol as that administered to all students. A negative test result must be confirmed by the administering nurse and the Office of Human Resources before the employee can enter the campus for the Spring 2021 semester.
  • As part of the College’s health monitoring protocols, all Beacon and Sodexo-associated employees will again be surveillance tested for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies (serology testing) two weeks after their arrival. Such testing may continue at varying intervals during the semester as campus conditions warrant.
  • Any personnel who tests positive for active COVID antibodies (IgM – indicating recent exposure to the virus) will be re-tested immediately utilizing the serology test procedure. If the retest is positive, the employee will be asked to immediately leave campus for home until such time as a rapid PCR test can be scheduled.
  • Should this PCR testing result in a positive confirmation, the employee must isolate at home for a 7 to 10-day waiting period, be re-tested via the PCR method, and provide to the Office of Human Resources a certification of a negative test result prior to being approved for a return to campus. In the event that a quarantined employee’s condition allows, the individual may work remotely with the supervisor’s authorization.

NOTE: It is important to recognize that, in its testing protocols, the College effectively employs both surveillance (antibody) and PCR (viral) testing as complementary and responsibly calibrated strategies to effectively monitor and protect the community’s well-being and that of its individual members. Beacon College is not a diagnostic center. We do, however, believe that the institution is obligated in as timely a manner as is possible to know whether our students and employees have been exposed to the virus. If they test positive (for IgM) using the serology (antibody) protocol, these individuals are sent immediately to an FDA-approved clinical setting to undergo a PCR (diagnostic, viral) test to determine whether he or she is COVID active (at which time isolation protocols take effect).