Meredith College is adding entrance testing to its COVID-19 prevention strategies for the Spring 2021 semester, like many other area colleges and universities. All employees and students are required to provide notice of negative COVID PCR test results before they are approved to return to campus in 2021.
FAQs and information on Entrance Testing are being updated frequently. Please check back often for more information. (Updated 1/19/21)
Where Should I Submit Results?
Employees can submit results by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Employees can also opt to submit test results at https://cvdsubmit.meredith.edu using their Meredith NetID. (Private employee information is treated with great care, but the system created by Technology Services may offer additional security in the transmission of information.)
Students will use the electronic submission system developed by Technology Services to submit their test results. Students should submit test results at https://cvdsubmit.meredith.edu using their Meredith NetID.
Please allow 24 business hours after you submit your negative test result for your clearance to return to campus to be processed.
Please note that all test results need to be submitted, whether positive or negative. Those who report negative test results will be given clearance to return to campus. Please do not return to campus if your COVID-19 test is positive. Employees should contact HR for guidance. Students should contact Student Health at email@example.com or 919-760-8535.
To protect your own privacy, please do not submit notices of test results directly to your supervisors, professors, or other campus personnel.
What kind of test is required? What should I expect during the testing procedure?
Meredith College is requiring PCR tests, some of which may be self-administered and some of which still require swabs by a medical provider. The self-administered tests are not as invasive as some others.
I understand that we need to have a certain type of test (PCR) to return. Why is the type of test so important?
There are essentially two broad categories of testing:
- PCR test: PCR testing, which is required by Meredith College, is considered the “gold standard” in SARS-CoV-2 detection. This test detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even for those who have no symptoms. Turnaround time is longer, generally in the 2-3 day range but results can be in as little as 12-24 hours.
- Antigen test (frequently referred to as a rapid test): This test, which is not accepted for Meredith College Entrance Testing, detects protein fragments specific to the Coronavirus. Turnaround time for results is usually quick, and in some cases, results can be reported within 15 minutes.
Rapid antigen tests are approved for use only in patients with symptoms of COVID-19. While the rapid test can deliver results very quickly, the results may not always be accurate. The rapid antigen test does not meet Meredith’s entrance testing requirement.
Why is Entrance Testing required?
Meredith’s entrance testing plan for the Spring 2021 semester is guided by state and federal recommendations, the scientific and clinical expertise of healthcare providers and higher education organizations, and valuable lessons learned during this ongoing pandemic. According to the National Institute for Health (NIH), testing is one of the best strategies for interrupting the spread of COVID-19, as it helps identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals and alert them to the need to isolate before unknowingly spreading the virus to others. As we return to campus, we want to have as much assurance and confidence as possible that we all return in good health. We have seen increasing upticks in cases at the end of the fall semester and are concerned that the extended winter break may have created opportunities for more exposure. As always, we base our recommendations and mandates on the best evidence and advice we have to create a safe, positive experience for our Meredith community.
Who has to complete Entrance Testing?
Individuals required to show proof of negative COVID PCR test results are:
- All employees who will be working on campus in Spring 2021
- All students living in residence halls and on-campus apartments
- All students who are enrolled in face-to-face (fully in-person or hybrid) courses
- All students who work on campus
- Any student or employee who wants to come to campus for any purpose at any time during the spring semester.
How far ahead of returning to campus should an employee or student be tested?
The test should be taken within five days before an employee or student is expected to return to campus.
What should I do if I had a known COVID-19 exposure over the winter break?
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 during the winter break, you need to follow current guidance for quarantine, the full 14 days per CDC, before completing entrance testing.
If I test positive for COVID-19 as part of Entrance Testing, what do I do?
Please do not return to campus if your COVID-19 test is positive. Employees should contact HR for guidance. Students should contact Student Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-760-8535.
I have had a positive COVID-19 result within 90 days of my planned return to campus. What should I do?
If you are a student and have tested positive in the previous 90 days (ex: moving in January 10, 2021 would be October 12, 2020), please contact Student Health prior to testing. Employees should contact Human Resources.
Do employees or students who aren’t coming to campus in the spring have to get a test?
No. But any employee or student coming to campus for any reason (get something from an office, visit the library, have a meal) should test within five days before coming to campus for the first time in 2021.
Where Should I Complete Testing?
You may test at a site of your choosing. Testing costs are paid at 100% by Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, CIGNA, and most other insurance carriers.
There are also many free testing sites available where tests are administered without any out-of-pocket costs. A list of currently available North Carolina State Testing Locations can be found on the NC DHHS website.
Here is the criteria required in order for COVID-19 testing to be covered under the BCBS Student Blue policy:
- It’s ordered by a health care provider (primary care is the most common ordering provider),
- Your provider has deemed it medically necessary in order for them to provide you with the right care and treatment, and
- the test has been cleared, approved, or given emergency authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Employees who go for testing after December 31 may need to state that they work on a residential campus in order for the test to be covered by insurance.
Where is testing available?
Wake County is providing six sites for free COVID-19 testing into 2021, with park locations offering Sunday hours. There’s no cost, no appointment necessary, no insurance needed, and no ID required. Walk-ups are welcome.
The following locations will be open Monday through Saturday every week:
- Swinburne Parking Lot Drive-Thru Testing, 2845 Kidd Road, Raleigh, 27610, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Departure Drive Building Drive-thru Testing, 5809 Departure Drive, Raleigh 27616, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays)
- Radeas Labs Drive-thru Testing, 907 Gateway Commons Circle, Wake Forest 27587, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wake County offers free drive-thru testing at the following City of Raleigh parks:
- Zebulon Community Park, 401 S. Arendell Ave., Zebulon, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Sertoma Arts Center, 1400 W Millbrook Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Rd, Garner, NC 27529, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
- Jaycee Park, 2405 Wade Ave., Raleigh 27607, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Some of these locations are on bus lines and have non-drive thru options. Please call the location to ensure accessibility as needed.
Is there an expiration date on this requirement? If I am a student or employee who isn’t coming to campus in January, do I still have to test?
Employees and students need to test within five days prior they come to campus for the first time in the spring semester—whenever that return is planned. There is no end date to this requirement at this time; when we can announce one, we will be delighted to do so.
What about campus guests (alumnae, visitors to the library, campus store patrons, or campus tour students & families)?
No. Visitors are not required to test before coming to campus. However, visitors should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and not come to campus if they are symptomatic or have recent known exposure to someone with COVID-19. Visitors will continue to be expected to use the Campus Clear app in order to gain entrance to campus.