Utah System of High Education releases COVID-19 testing plan for universities

The Utah System of Higher Education released its testing plan.

The Utah System of Higher Education has officially released its plan for the widespread COVID-19 testing of college students during spring semester.

In a document released on Dec. 22 the USHE laid out plans for different types of testing, each for a different circumstance. 

As students return to campus on Jan. 11, they are asked to take a COVID-19 test. According to USHE, there is a significant risk that students may return from break with asymptomatic infection, which may spread to other students. This re-entry testing is designed to mitigate the impact of said infections and will take place over the first two weeks of classes. 

At UVU, testing will be done in the Sorenson Center Ballroom at no cost to students. Though there are no academic penalties for not being tested, the administration has encouraged students to be tested and to do everything possible to slow the spread of COVID-19.

After the university has completed re-entry testing, they will begin randomized surveillance testing to identify any trends in infections. Students selected for randomized testing will be notified via email.

According to a release by Val Peterson, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Wayne Vaught, Vice President of Academic Affairs, students in specialized programs, labs or athletic programs will be tested more frequently. 

The USHE plan allows for more focused testing, which includes the aforementioned students. Included in the plan are students in specific residence halls, in athletic programs and staff that work on-campus regularly. These new focused testing protocols will be done in addition to standard contact tracing.

UVU will be making exceptions to the testing protocol for students who have either tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days or have been fully vaccinated, Vaught and Peterson stated.

View the official USHE plan here.

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