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Testing and Contact Tracing

Is the University conducting COVID-19 testing, symptom checking, and contact tracing?

Yes. The University has employed a robust COVID-19 testing and contact tracing regimen to mitigate community spread and to protect the health and safety of our students and other Community members. Our testing policy was developed by and is being implemented in conjunction with contracted medical and public health experts and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state, and local guidance.

The testing policy includes pre-arrival, arrival, and ongoing testing as appropriate for all students, faculty, staff, and other Community members. Note: pre-arrival testing and arrival testing occur only once.

Is there ongoing testing?

Yes. Following the initial pre-arrival and arrival tests, students are required to be retested regularly. Regular testing ensures a safe and healthy campus environment for everyone. Students can be tested at the campus testing sites:

  • The Boston campus testing site is located adjacent to the Fennell building on Palace Road.
  • The Worcester campus testing site is located behind 10 Lincoln Square at the corner of School Street.
  • The Manchester campus testing site is located in the lower lot of the Manchester campus, off Hollis Street. 

Students who have an approved reason not to be vaccinated will be required to undergo more frequent testing.

Download the COVID-19 Testing Frequency Schedule.

What is the procedure for ongoing testing, and how often does it occur?

Any vaccinated individual who comes to campus must have a negative test not older than seven days. Testing frequency is determined by vaccination status, frequency on campus, and symptom report. Download the COVID-19 Testing Frequency Schedulefor complete details.

All students, faculty, and staff must complete the symptom report located on the CoVerified app before coming to campus each day, wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, cover coughs and sneezes, frequently wash hands, avoid large groups, monitor health daily, and stay home if they are not feeling well.

Can I get tested outside of MCPHS at places such as a pharmacy or other clinic for ongoing testing?

Yes, you can. If you get tested at an outside facility, the PCR test must be within the correct time frame, and the results must be uploaded to the CoVerified app for approval.

MCPHS may not be able to reimburse you should you choose to use an outside facility other than the tests offered at the campus testing sites.

All outside tests must be PCR tests; no rapid antigen or home tests will be accepted.

You can work with your PCP or check your state's government website for testing information. Click on the following links for information for some states close to MCPHS:

Can I get tested at an outside testing center and then get tested again on campus?

Yes, but MCPHS will not be able to reimburse you should you choose to use an outside facility or an external testing service. If you get tested at an outside facility, the test must be within the correct time frame and the PCR results must be submitted to the CoVerified app for approval. All outside tests must be PCR tests; no rapid antigen or home tests will be accepted.

I am a student who is not on campus for the fall semester. Can I get a COVID-19 test?

Students who are completing all fall 2021 courses online, are working at clinical rotation sites, or are traditional online students, can get COVID-19 testing at any of the three MCPHS campuses.

Students who cannot get to one of the MCPHS campuses may get a test from one of the regional state testing centers or ordered by their PCP.

MCPHS will reimburse students for out-of-pocket testing costs related to their COVID-19 test if required by their clinical rotation only. Please contact COVID19team@mcphs.edu with details of your expenses.

If I am under 18, can I still get tested?

All MCPHS students can be tested on campus regardless of age.

What is symptom checking, and how does it work?

Each day, all students are expected to complete the symptom report located on the CoVerified app before engaging in activities on campus. This daily health screening questionnaire will help advise you on whether to remain at home or in your residence hall rather than engaging in activities on campus that may put you and others at risk for potential COVID-19 exposures.

What is contact tracing, and how does it work at MCPHS?

The COVID-19 Team uses the testing results and the daily health screening questionnaire to assist in its contact tracing efforts. The types of exposures to COVID-19 are (1) a confirmed exposure or (2) a potential exposure. A confirmed exposure is based on a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis through testing with a quantitative PCR test. A potential exposure is based on the identification of clinical symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

In the case of a confirmed or potential exposure to COVID-19 on campus, the COVID-19 Team’s contact tracing staff will reach out to the person or people who were exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Team will inform them of the nature of the exposure and advise them on the appropriate next steps. We will notify MCPHS close contacts of the person or persons who had either a confirmed or potential exposure on campus. The COVID-19 Team will adhere to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards and will never provide personally identifiable information about a confirmed COVID-19 case or potential COVID-19 case that may be a source of COVID-19 exposure.

Where are the testing sites located?

  • The Boston campus testing site is located adjacent to the Fennell building on Palace Road.
  • The Worcester campus testing site is located behind 10 Lincoln Square at the corner of School Street.
  • The Manchester campus testing site is located in the lower lot of the Manchester campus, off Hollis Street.

Test time availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please use the CoVerified app to schedule your test.

What should I expect when I get to the testing site?

Once you arrive at the testing site, you will proceed to the table to blow your nose in preparation for the test. Students should be prepared to present their MCPHS photo identification. Students will then self-administer the noninvasive nasal test swab. Please use the CoVerified app to schedule your test. Some walk-ins will be accepted at testing sites, but those with appointments will have priority.

Students must complete the symptom report on the CoVerified app before they arrive for their scheduled test. Visitors must wear masks at all times unless they need to be removed for specific procedures.

What items do I need on the day of the test?

Students should be prepared to present their MCPHS photo identification (ID).

What if I don’t have my MCPHS photo ID with me?

Students who do not have their MCPHS photo ID with them at the time of their test should give their name and date of birth at the testing site and provide their MCPHS email (not personal email) and must sign a consent form.

At all future tests, please remember to bring your photo ID with you to the MCPHS testing center for an efficient check-in.

How long does it take to find out the result of my test?

Test results should be available to students within 24 to 48 hours of the test being swabbed.

Where do I present my off-campus test results?

You must submit your negative PCR test results using the CoVerified app. On the home page menu, choose “Report,” then select “Upload Test Result.” Submission of test results will enable you to be admitted to class and on campus with the proper COVID-19 preventative precautions.

What should I do if I don’t get my test results back in time for classes or labs?

You must have a negative test result to attend classes, labs, or clinics. Therefore, please plan your testing appointments appropriately. If you do not receive your result in time, please contact covid19team@mcphs.edu, and we will do our best to assist you. You should also contact your professors.

Will I be notified of my test result?

When your test result is ready, Ellkay will send you a notification via email (NoReply@lknotification.com), CoVerified will also send a notification; however, you still need to review the test result in the CoVerified app to verify you have a negative result as opposed to an inconclusive result. If your test result is positive, you will receive a phone call.

What should I do if my test result is inconclusive?

If your test result is inconclusive, you will not be able to access campus. Following an inconclusive test result, you should immediately schedule another test at one of MCPHS’s testing centers.

How do I avoid an inconclusive test result?

Inconclusive tests are typically due to an inadequate sample. It is important to blow your nose well prior to testing, slowly swirl the cotton tip touching the inside of your nostril at least 4-5 times on each side for a total of 15 seconds. Place the swab with the cotton side down into the tube.

What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having the virus?

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, has been in contact with a positive case, or has symptoms, they will be asked to quarantine or isolate. Residential students will be expected to follow the University’s requirements regarding personal behavior, and students who have tested positive will be moved to a designated room for isolation if they cannot travel home with family. Students residing in a residential space with someone who requires isolation or quarantine may also be asked to quarantine to mitigate any further spread.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

What are the testing site hours of operation?

For testing site hours on all three campuses, please download the COVID-19 Testing Center Hours of Operation.

What if I am traveling to an MCPHS campus from another state or country?

There are currently no restrictions on vaccinated visitors to Massachusetts or New Hampshire. If you are traveling from outside the United States, please refer to the CDC’s international travel guidelines.

If you cannot acquire a negative test result from your PCP or urgent care clinic less than 72 hours before your arrival, you will have to take the following precautions for the health and safety of yourself and others:

You must contact Residence Life and the COVID-19 Team to let them know about your incoming arrival. Due to logistical planning complications, you are subject to quarantine/restriction of movement when you arrive at your on-campus residential accommodations. Upon your arrival on campus without a negative test result less than 72 hours old, you must immediately quarantine/restrict your movements to your room until you obtain a negative test result. If you live off campus, you must still notify the campus administration and COVID-19 Team of your arrival.

You must also abide by the University’s COVID-19 prevention precautions. This includes always wearing a face mask, washing hands, and maintaining proper sanitary/hygienic practices. You will be restricted to leaving your room or designated quarantine space only for essential services, such as going to get food or medicine.

COVID-19 Testing at MCPHS

Icons of a testing tube and a positive and a negative symbol.

MCPHS tests all students who are coming to campus to keep our community safe and healthy.

Watch the Video

COVID-19 Team Contact Information

covid19team@mcphs.edu
617.732.2798