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Testing for Students

August 14, 2020

GuideSafe Testing Updates

August 4, 2020

Dear Returning and New Students,

We are looking forward to seeing you on “The Hill,” Fall 2020. As shared in previous communications, classes will begin on Monday, August 17th – please review your method of course delivery in Banner, and contact your advisor with questions or concerns.

Alabama A&M University has outlined steps for students to complete for this fall (see below). As a reminder, students must have a negative COVID-19 test on file with the Student Health and Wellness Center before arriving to campus, with no exceptions. GuideSafe™ Entry COVID Testing is required for all AAMU students except online students not coming to campus this fall.

STEP 1: COVID-19 Testing

AAMU students will receive a free coronavirus test through the the GuideSafe™ Entry Testing, supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama. The test involves a nasal swab just inside the nostril, which is easy to self-administer and less invasive than the nasopharyngeal swab.

  • When will I get my email about testing?

    GuideSafe™ Entry Testing has started sending emails out to students’ AAMU email accounts. If you have not received an email, you will within the next 3-7 days from testing@guidesafe.org. You will sign up through that email correspondence for an appointment time based on the schedule below:

    • Registration for onsite testing locations will open beginning August 3rd for all residential students.
    • Registration will open beginning August 7th for commuter students.
    • Students who live out of state will receive at-home kits. Those will be mailed to students prior to their arrival date. If a student has arrived in Huntsville or the State already, there will be a link in the email called Student Address Entry Form where the student can update to a local address. GuideSafe will redirect you to a testing location instead of an at-home kit.
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  • Are you under the age of 19?

    AAMU students under the age of 19 will need parental or guardian consent before you can schedule your testing date. Students, please have your parent or guardian complete and virtually sign the three consent forms located here. Please have the consent form signed by your parent or guardian by August 7, 2020. Through the AdobeSign system, the form will automatically come to GuideSafeTM Testing once it is submitted. The three forms provide AAMU the appropriate permissions for you to be tested for COVID-19.

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  • What if I test positive?
    Those who test positive should self-isolate at home and provide documentation of medical clearance (negative test results) from a health care provider prior to returning to AAMU. Medical clearance documentation can be sent to studenthealth@aamu.edu.Back to Top
  • What if I have already tested for COVID-19?

    If you were previously tested but have a negative test result, you will need to test through GuideSafe™ unless the test was performed within 14 days of arrival to AAMU’s campus.

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  • Where do I send my results?

    If you use GuideSafe™ Testing with either the at-home test kit or test in person, the results will be submitted by the testing lab for you. If you test at a drive-up location or clinic, email your results to studenthealth@aamu.edu.

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  • Why am I being tested?

    Our ability to test every student entering campus this fall will go a long way in helping us maintain a safe environment for you this semester. At AAMU, testing will supplement other safety strategies such as the use of cloth face coverings and observing six-feet physical distancing, as well as daily symptom health check.

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  • What if I am an online student?

    All AAMU students who will be physically present on campus are required to be tested. Online students who are living in university-owned housing will be required to complete the test. Students who are taking online classes and not coming to AAMU’s campus this fall will not be required to take the COVID test.

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  • Do I need a test on-file before moving in?

    Yes, all residential students must have a negative test on-file with the Student Health and Counseling Center at time of check-in, no exceptions.

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  • Do I need a test on-file if I live off-campus?

    Yes, commuter students must have a negative test on-file with the Student Health and Counseling Center before arriving to campus for classes, no exceptions.

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STEP 2: Education

Students are required to complete Alabama A&M’s Back to Campus COVID-19 Certification by August 10, 2020 (for students living on campus) or August 17, 2020 (for students living off-campus). View instructions on how to access training.

Step 3: AAMU Healthcheck (Monitoring of Symptoms)

AAMU Healthcheck is a daily COVID-19 self-screening assessment tool that allows users to report related symptoms and exposure. Once active, you may access the Healthcheck via any mobile device or computer with internet access. Students are expected to self-monitor, daily. Failure to do so will result in the student being asked to vacate campus housing after the third (3rd) missed AAMU Healthcheck.

Housing and Residence Life

Due to COVID-19, move-in for Fall 2020 is scheduled across two weeks. Please confirm your designated move-in date. If you are delayed and need to arrive at a later date, be sure to notify housing of your anticipated arrival date by email: housing@aamu.edu. Unfortunately, early arrivals will not be allowed, no exceptions. We ask you to pack lightly and confirm travel plans to return home or a safe location should the need arrive to vacate campus due to COVID-19.

  • Will I need to quarantine upon arriving to campus?

    Students traveling to campus on a shared carrier (bus, train, plane, etc.) will be asked to quarantine due to a greater risk of exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual.

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  • What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

    According to the CDC, 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.

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  • Do I need a plan for isolation and quarantine?

    All students living on campus are required to have an isolation or quarantine plan. Although the University can accommodate a small number of students in isolation/quarantine, all students should have a clear plan to vacate campus should the need arise. Be sure to:

    • Communicate and confirm your plan with family/support system.
    • Consider the impact of potential isolation/quarantine on your physical and mental health, and plan accordingly. Telehealth visits will be available through the Student Health and Counseling Center. Students with a life-threatening emergency should call 911; when calling, please inform the dispatcher that you are in isolation/quarantine.
    • Have a back-up plan, if needed.
    • Have a thorough understanding of your health insurance plan.
    • Pack a grab-and-go bag. This will come in handy if you are asked to isolate or quarantine by the Student Health Center as you will not be able to leave your designated safe-space, if on campus. The bag should include:
      • Cleaning Supplies (EPA approved disinfecting wipes)
      • Self-Care and Prescription Medication(s) (always follow directions on package)
      • Thermometer and Face Coverings
      • Comfort Food
      • Comfortable Clothing
      • Towels, XL Twin-size sheets/blanket(s), and Personal Hygiene items
      • Phone Charger
      • Self-Care Items (puzzles, crafts, books, etc.)
      • Academic Material (laptop and charger, books, folders, writing utensils, etc.)
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When you arrive to AAMU

  • Face coverings are required on campus in shared spaces (classrooms, labs, offices, residential halls common areas such as laundry rooms, elevators and hallways, etc.). The University will provide one reusable face covering, you may bring 3-4 more in maroon, white and/or gray.
  • Continue to follow university and the CDC guidelines.
  • Practice six-feet physical distancing.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as needed.
  • Complete AAMU Healthcheck daily.

In closing, please remember that our time together this fall will be based up our ability to collectively work at maintaining the health and safety of all campus members.

Sincerely,
Gary B. Crosby, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs


July 28, 2020

Dear AAMU Students,

We are looking forward to having you back on “The Hill!” We have been working hard to prepare for your return to campus this fall. You may view the Fall 2020 Campus Re-Engagement Plan.

I am writing to provide additional information about what is expected of you prior to returning to campus, and across the semester.

The following are steps we need students to take in order to protect our campus, to the extent possible.

Before arriving to campus

  1. Education

Students are required to complete Alabama A&M’s Back to Campus COVID-19 Certification by August 10, 2020 (for student living on campus) or August 17, 2020 (for students living off-campus). Click link for instructions on how to access training: https://www.aamu.edu/campus-life/student-support/health-services/covid-19-online-training-certification.html

  1. AAMU Healthcheck

Students are required to complete the AAMU Healthcheck portion of the GuideSafe™ platform, powered by UAB. AAMU Healthcheck is a daily COVID-19 self-screening assessment tool that allows users to report related symptoms and exposure. Information will be sent to your AAMU email from healthcheck@uab.edu. You may access the Healthcheck via any mobile device or computer with internet access. The AAMU Healthcheck will become available no later than August 5, 2020.

  1. COVID Testing (See attachment for detailed information)

All AAMU students will receive a free coronavirus test through the GuideSafe™ Entry Testing, supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama. The test involves a nasal swab just inside the nostril, which is easy to self-administer and less invasive than the nasopharyngeal swab. The attachment contains detailed information bout COVID Testing and what to do based on those results.

Testing will begin the first week of August, but students should not test more than 14 days before returning to campus. You will receive additional information on how to get tested soon.

  1. Passport

Upon completing the AAMU Healthcheck, a link will be emailed to your AAMU email to provide a daily Passport. Students living in the residence halls or university-owned housing must show their passport during move-in, upon entering classes, shared spaces, etc. See examples below
image of passort with green checkmarkImage of passport with red x

  1. The University will provide a COVID monitoring kit (thermometer, face covering, and hand sanitizer). Students should use thermometer to monitor body temperature daily.

Traveling to Alabama A&M University

  1. If you are traveling by air, train, or bus, consider packing Lysol wipes to wipe down surfaces such as chairs, seat trays, and armrests prior to use.
  2. Wear a cloth face covering when using public transportation and when in restaurants or gas stations.
  3. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
  4. If you are driving, plan your stops and try to avoid high-risk areas. You can view these areas on the CDC website. There you will be able to see the breakdown of cases by state, county, and city.

When you arrive to Alabama A&M University

  1. Cloth face coverings are required on campus. The University will provide 1 (one) face covering, please bring 3-4 additional coverings in the following colors: grey, maroon or black, only.
  2. Continue to follow university guidelines and the CDC guidelines .
  3. Practice six-feet physical distancing.
  4. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as needed.
  5. Complete the AAMU Healthcheck daily.

Housing and Residence Life will provide residents with information related to move-in. Each resident is allowed to bring 2 guests to assist with move-in. Residents and guests will have temperature taken and asked a series of questions. Guests from high-risk categories (as determined by the CDC) are asked not to enter the halls. More information about move-in can be found on Housing’s website: https://www.aamu.edu/campus-life/housing/move-in-day.html

Should you have questions about testing, please contact the Student Health and Counseling Center at studenthealth@aamu.edu. And remember, it takes all of us working together to contribute to a safe, healthy, and welcoming environment for our campus community.

Stay Well!
Gary B. Crosby, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Important COVID Testing for Students

INITIAL TESTING: All Alabama A&M University students will receive a free coronavirus test through the GuideSafe™ Entry Testing program, supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama. The test involves a nasal swab just inside the nostril, which is easy to self-administer and less invasive than the nasopharyngeal swab.

  • Information will be sent to students’ AAMU email from testing@guidesafe.org.
  • Testing will begin the first week of August, but students should not test more than 14 days before returning to campus. You will receive additional information on how to get tested soon from testing@guidesafe.org.
  • GuideSafe™ Entry Testing will provide free tests to every student. You will receive an email from testing@guidesafe.org in the next couple of weeks, with sign-up instructions. The email from testing@guidesafe.org will tell you about the way you will get your coronavirus test. Act promptly, so the results can be processed in time for arrival.
  • At-Home Kit. GuideSafe™ Testing has contracted with providers for UPS Health to send self-administered at-home test kits. This is likely how many out-of-state students and early arrivals will be tested. This test will require swabbing just inside the nostril – not the more invasive process you may have heard about — and sending the sample back in the pre-paid packaging. If you get a kit, complete and return it immediately.
  • In Person. There will be 14 locations throughout Alabama to test in person. Pilot clinics will begin July 26 in limited locations, with additional locations coming on line the following week. Please note: these are NOT for day of arrival at AAMU! You need to visit this location at least 3 days before you plan to return to campus, so you can have your results upon arriving to campus. The email from testing@guidesafe.org will have details about scheduling your test.
  • Students will not be able to choose between an at-home kit or on-site testing, but you will be directed to the best resource to get your test results to you before you come to campus.
  • Private Option. If you want your doctor to test, you can do so, but at your expense. Simply have the test done within 14 days of your return to campus and send the results to studenthealth@aamu.edu.
  • Minors under age 19. AAMU students under the age of 19 will need parental consent before you can schedule your testing date. Students, please have your parents complete and virtually sign the three consent forms located here. Please have the consent form signed by your parents by August 1, 2020. Through the AdobeSign system, the form will automatically come to GuideSafeTM Testing once it is submitted. The three forms provide AAMU the appropriate permissions for you to be tested for COVID-19.
  • NOTE: Due to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrictions, out of state minors (under 18), those living outside of the United States or residents of New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island will not be able to participate in the at-home testing kit option for entry testing provided by GuideSafe Testing. Students who are not eligible for an at-home testing kit have the following two options to complete the COVID-19 entry testing requirements prior to coming to campus:
  • Identify a testing option such as a drug store, your primary care physician, or a drive-thru testing. This can include a testing option in your community or once you are in Alabama, as long as it is within the 14-day window of your entry to campus.
  • GuideSafe Testing has 13 test sites set up across Alabama. To use this option, please email testing@guidesafe.org now to register to receive a test at one of these locations once you are in Alabama.

What if I test positive?

Those who test positive should self-isolate at home and have medical clearance from a health care provider prior to returning to Alabama A&M University. Medical clearance documentation can be sent to studenthealth@aamu.edu.

What if I already had COVID-19?

You should not retest through GuideSafe™ if you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 12 weeks. Provide those test results and the clearance from your current health care provider via email to studenthealth@aamu.edu.

Where Do I Send My Results?

If you use GuideSafe™ Testing with either the at-home test kit or test in person, the results will be submitted by the testing lab for you.

If you test privately or need to share a prior positive, email your results to studenthealth@aamu.edu

Why Am I Being Tested?

Our ability to test every student entering campus this fall will go a long way in helping us maintain a safe environment for you this semester. At Alabama A&M University, testing will supplement other safety strategies such as the use of cloth face coverings and observing six-feet physical distancing, as well as daily symptom health check.

REMINDER: Students must test negative prior to checking into housing (for residential students) or the first day of classes (for commuter students0

SENTINEL TESTING: Sentinel testing will involve Alabama A&M University employees and students to signal trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus. It involves a randomize sample of 2.5% of employees and students.

image of nose with sways in nostrilsimage of hands holding testing swab container and swab in hand

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