Updated Feb. 2, 2021

Testing is a cornerstone for successful COVID-19 management at a college, particularly on a residential campus. Testing, combined with scrupulous adherence to personal mitigation practices (keeping adequate distance from others, wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing, not touching your face, and staying home when not feeling well) allows for the highest degree of success in terms of mitigation.

Our testing strategy is built upon the following pillars:



Pre-arrival testing will be done to reduce the likelihood of excess demand on isolation spaces and to limit the opportunity for COVID-19 spread during the move-in period. Students who test positive during the pre-arrival testing phase will not be permitted to move into housing or be on campus until cleared by a physician and/or producing a subsequent negative test result. Pre-arrival testing is being conducted through a partnership with Vault Health. Registration instructions for pre-arrival testing were emailed to students Jan. 5. 

Arrival testing will be conducted as an additional safety measure after a negative pre-arrival test. Students will sign up for arrival testing through MyHousing. Students then will be asked to limit their activities while awaiting the result of their arrival test. Read more about arrival on campus. A student who generates a positive test upon arrival will be isolated on campus until cleared by the College physician.

Weekly monitoring testing will be conducted throughout the semester for all students. Students will sign up for a unique time slot during the first week of class that will be their designated testing time throughout the semester. Weekly testing will take place in the Wilson Room of Pfenning Alumni Center and will be a professionally monitored mid-nasal PCR test. Students regularly failing to show up for their scheduled testing will face consequences through our conduct processes.

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of a scheduled test will be excluded from testing protocols until the end of that period. It is the responsibility of the person who has tested positive to provide Bailey Health Center with a copy of the lab result well in advance of the scheduled test.

On-site rapid testing for symptomatic patients will be conducted if necessary. This will allow the College to quickly determine if individuals displaying symptoms have COVID-19 and need to rapidly isolate, and for contact tracing and quarantining of close contacts, all of which are critical in limiting spread of the disease.

Point-of-care diagnostic testing for symptomatic individuals is available at Bailey Health Center. Results will be available shortly after the test is administered. Rapid results of COVID-19 testing will be used to make important decisions in patient care and guide public health actions through contact tracing. Students tested by providers in the community must submit results to Bailey Health Center as soon as they are available. 


Faculty and Staff

Designated faculty and staff working on campus at least two days per week will be tested weekly throughout the spring semester as part of our mitigation strategy. Like our students, these faculty and staff will have an assigned day and time for their test each week. The testing will occur in the Wilson Room of Pfenning Alumni Center and will be a medically observed self-administered mid-nasal PCR test. Faculty and staff are responsible for ensuring compliance with their testing appointments each week. 

Faculty and staff not designated in the weekly testing program who may need to be tested for another reason will fill out a brief screening questionnaire online or at the health center. Visit the health center website, select the patient portal, enter your Lafayette credentials, and select “forms” on the menu. The COVID-19 screening form will be used to establish a proper ICD-10 insurance diagnostic code for testing. Employees will be given an order for SARS-COV-2 by polymerase chain reaction at Bailey Health Center and referred to a local lab facility. If the employee is a member of the College’s medical plan, the test will be covered by Capital Blue Cross with no member cost. Employees should notify their supervisors if they test positive after an appointment with their provider.