Testing is an important part of a comprehensive, layered public health plan to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. The University of Minnesota has established MTest. This set of public health protocols was developed by our Health Emergency Response Office with support from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and experts from Boynton Health, the University’s Medical School and School of Public Health on the Twin Cities campus, and the Duluth campus’s Health Service medical director. MTest supports all students, faculty, and staff as we return to campus this fall.
Testing for the Twin Cities Campus
- Those who are symptomatic or have had exposure—defined as being in close proximity (less than six feet away) for 15 minutes or more—to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 positive test, should call Boynton Health, 612-625-7900, or other trusted testing facilities. The University’s testing protocols follow guidance for higher education institutions from public health experts, including MDH and University health experts.
- Testing at Boynton Health is available to Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff when clinically recommended. For University employees, testing is limited to those who have selected Boynton Health as their primary care clinic. If students, staff or faculty are on campus and feel ill, testing is available at Boynton Health. It is important to remember that physical distancing, personal hygiene, and wearing a face covering are critical to controlling the spread of the virus.
- When a member of the University community tests positive for COVID-19, they will be instructed by public health officials to isolate for 10 days after symptoms first appear to reduce the risk of infecting others. Isolation should then continue until the individual has experienced 24 hours without a fever. Those who have been notified of their exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case may be instructed to remain in quarantine, in a space with a separate room and bathroom, for at least 14 days or until otherwise directed by health care or public health professionals.
- University housing and dining services will support students living on campus who require isolation or quarantine.
- Students who do not live in University-owned housing will need to make a plan in case they are instructed by public health officials to isolate or quarantine in their residence.
- Students, faculty, staff members, or others who may have been exposed to a confirmed positive case—defined as being in close proximity (less than six feet) for 15 minutes or more with or without a face covering—will be notified by health care or public health officials through contact tracing—an interview with a public health official to learn of others who may have been exposed. Names of people who test positive or who may have been exposed will not be released, per HIPAA and FERPA rules.
- The University of Minnesota will carefully monitor public health data collected and tracked by local and state health officials to determine if and when the University should alter its current operational status.
- To slow the spread of COVID-19 and support the health of our community, it is vital that each of us continues to practice simple and effective prevention measures.
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