Skip to content

Testing and Contact Tracing

Is the University conducting COVID-19 testing 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.

What is a pre-arrival test?

A pre-arrival test is the first mandatory COVID-19 test taken within a 72-hour window before setting foot on campus. The test can be administered at MCPHS testing sites—trailers on University property but not inside buildings—or individuals may contact their primary care practitioner (PCP) or use an approved outside testing service. All tests done on campus are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests; tests done at an outside faculty must be a PCR test. No rapid antigen tests will be accepted.

Is there ongoing testing?

Yes. Following the initial pre-arrival and arrival tests, students are required to test once a week, no older than every 7 days. 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 sites are located behind 10 Lincoln Square at the corner of School Street, and at 34 Mechanic Street.
  • The Manchester campus testing site is located in the lower lot of the Manchester campus, off 49 Hollis Street. 

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

Fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) and unvaccinated (with approved exemption) campus-based students, faculty, and staff  are required to test once a week, no older than 7 days. Daily symptom reporting is no longer required. Please continue to self-monitor symptoms and stay home when 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 will not reimburse you should you choose to use an outside facility other than the tests offered at the campus testing sites.

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

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

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

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

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

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 sites are located behind 10 Lincoln Square at the corner of School Street, and at 34 Mechanic Street.
  • The Manchester campus testing site is located in the lower lot of the Manchester campus, off 49 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. 

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.

If I test negative in both the pre-arrival and arrival tests, am I allowed to see patients in my first week?

Yes. 

Where do I present my off-campus test result?

You must submit your negative PCR test result 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?

Following CDC guidelines, everyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home and isolate from other people for 5 full days regardless of vaccination status. If cleared from isolation on day 6, you must wear a mask (KN95, KF94 or N95) mask at all times while around others until the completion of 10 full days.

Individuals exposed and have not tested positive, that are not vaccinated or up to date with vaccination (received primary series but not the booster and eligible) must quarantine following exposure for 5 full days and test on day 5 after exposure. You must wear a mask (KN95, KF94 or N95) at all times while around others until the completion of 10 full days (days 6-10).

Individuals exposed and up to date on vaccination (primary series plus booster, if eligible) and are not displaying symptoms, do not need to quarantine but must test on day 5 after last exposure and must wear a mask (KN95, KF94 or N95) at all times while around others until the completion of 10 full days. If at any time you display COVID-19 related symptoms, you must test and stay home until results are released.

Students who are in isolation or quarantined should contact their faculty regarding their academic coursework.

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 happens if I arrive on campus with a negative test result more than 72 hours before my classes start?

If you are not able to provide a negative test result within 72 hours prior to your arrival, you will be advised to schedule an arrival test, and you will undergo a restriction of movement and self-monitoring protocol in your off-campus residence or within the residence hall pending the return of a negative COVID-19 test result.

What if I cannot schedule an appointment in time for class?  

Please email covid19team@mcphs.edu and contact your professors.

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. 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