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Students expected to get COVID-19 test before Thanksgiving travel

A message to UD students from Tim Dowling, director of Student Health Services

Dear UD Students,

In anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving break, it is important for all University of Delaware students to do everything possible this week to help protect themselves, their families and their friends during the holiday. Students currently residing on campus, taking a face-to-face class or utilizing on-campus facilities are expected to take a COVID-19 test before traveling. Students living off-campus are also strongly encouraged to do so.

The number of cases is rising in Delaware and throughout the nation, and a test — even for those who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms — is essential for slowing the spread of the virus.

Students in the Newark area can sign up to take a test at the following locations and times:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 17: The state of Delaware is offering testing at Laird Campus parking lot #6 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; no appointment is necessary. Information about the Tuesday testing site is available here.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18: Please note, this is only for students who do not have symptoms (which may include fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, loss of taste or smell). UD is offering testing at Clayton Hall between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m and in the Rodney Room of Perkins Student Center between 9 and 11:30 a.m. Information about those testing sites is available here. If there are no appointment slots open for the testing sites, walk-up tests will be available.
    • Students must bring their UD ID and will also need to complete a daily health check on a computer or mobile device to show proof of clearance to enter a campus facility on the date of entry.
    • If you are a student in the Newark area and are experiencing any COVID-like symptom, call Student Health at 302-831-2226 as soon as possible to make an appointment for testing.
  • Thursday, Nov. 19: The state of Delaware is offering testing at Laird Campus parking lot #6 between 9 a.m. and noon; no appointment is necessary. Information about the Thursday testing site will be available here on Tuesday.
  • Saturday, Nov. 21: New Castle County is offering testing at UD’s STAR Campus between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; an appointment is required. Information about the Saturday testing site will be here on Thursday.
  • Ongoing: Information about additional testing locations throughout the state, including the Newark 24/7 Urgent Care Center, ChristianaCare-GoHealth Urgent Care and the Floyd I. Hudson State Service Center is available here. Please call any of these additional testing locations in advance to confirm availability. Note that Newark Urgent Care, located at 324 East Main St., is planning a 48-hour marathon coronavirus testing event that will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and run through 10 a.m., Thursday. Free rapid tests will be available around the clock and free of charge to all. No appointments are necessary, and results will be available within 20 minutes.

Test results are generally available within 24 to 48 hours. If your test is positive, travel should only be done in consultation with a medical professional at Student Health Services or the Delaware Department of Health.

Students should take all reasonable steps to quarantine and avoid contact with other people from the time they take the test until they arrive wherever they are staying for the break. We understand that some students must continue to work, attend in-person class or travel and therefore cannot completely self-quarantine. Please focus on doing whatever is possible to avoid exposure to the virus by being especially vigilant about physical distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands often.

Also, it is highly recommended that students get tested after arriving at their destination. If you are traveling out of state, check your state’s public health department for additional testing locations and travel guidance. Students should continue to wear a face covering during the break whenever they are around other people, including family members and friends.

After Thanksgiving, all students currently residing on campus and/or using campus facilities must get tested on both Monday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday, Dec. 2, at University surveillance testing sites. All off-campus students should also get tested upon return to the Newark area. All returning students will need to quarantine until they have their test results.

Again, if you are a student in the Newark area and experiencing any COVID-like symptom, call Student Health at 302-831-2226 as soon as possible to make an appointment for testing.

I want to thank all UD students who have remained vigilant throughout the fall semester in following the COVID protocols that are necessary to protect our community. Now, we must all continue to practice safe and healthy behaviors during the Thanksgiving break. If you have any questions, please visit UD’s coronavirus website, which has a list of FAQs, or contact coronavirus@udel.edu.

Sincerely,

Dr. Tim Dowling, Medical Director, Student Health Services

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