This message contains details about ongoing testing procedures as well as about EXIT TESTING before you leave campus at the end of Module 2. F&M has developed a number of options to ensure you are able to complete the semester successfully and return home safely for winter break.
We are presenting several options below, and, in particular, an option for voluntary exit testing, so that students can make the decision that is right for them and their families.
Modified Universal Testing Will Continue
For Module 2, we have used a revised testing approach that divides residential and commuter students into three groups. Each group has already been tested once. For the second round, the schedule is:
Group A on Nov. 2 or 3
Group B on Nov. 9 or 10
Group C on Nov. 16 or 17
Individuals may be called for additional tests if concerns arise – for example, in regard to wastewater test results or the possibility of a cluster of infections.
Wastewater Testing Will Continue
We will continue wastewater testing at least through Nov. 22. What actions we take in response to any positive findings will depend on the level of evidence of the virus’s presence as well as other information on the presence of infections in that location.
New Voluntary Option: Exit Testing
Some families have asked whether students can get a COVID-19 test before leaving campus on or before Nov. 22. These requests have emerged from concerns about students returning home with a risk of infecting vulnerable family members. We are able to provide students with the opportunity to sign up for testing if they are concerned about potentially exposing family members.
For students in Group C, testing on Monday, Nov. 16 or Tuesday, Nov. 17 – which is part of their usual required testing – serves as exit testing, given that results should be received by Nov. 19.
If you are a member of Groups A or B you may also be tested on Nov. 16 or 17.
Whether or not you are interested in that extra test on those dates, we ask that all members of Groups A or B fill out this form:
We will need an accurate estimate of demand for this voluntary exit testing so that we have adequate staff and supplies available. Please fill out this form if you are a member of Group A or B regardless of whether you plan to take advantage of this opportunity, or are at present undecided.
Additional Information on Exiting
Keep in mind that no COVID-19 test is 100% accurate. Receiving a negative test result is not a guarantee of not being infected.
If you have particular concerns about possibly endangering a family member or friend when you return home, you may want to consider voluntary quarantine in your on-campus housing for 14 days prior to departing. And again, please consider availing yourself of the optional exit testing described above.
Students who test positive on Nov. 16 or 17, or who are close contacts of those who have tested positive, will, as usual, stay in quarantine and isolation in Schnader for up to 14 days after the date of the test. The College will maintain support for students in quarantine or isolation during this period, including regular check-ins and food delivery. If you receive a positive test result or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are able to travel home safely via a private car, you may travel home instead of staying in isolation in Schnader.
Franklin & Marshall is acting in an abundance of caution in using both wastewater testing and individual universal testing to identify the presence and spread of the virus. This approach, coupled with the option to be tested in the week prior to departure, as well as the option to quarantine in one’s room before departure, provide individual students with an array of choices to manage their safe return home for the winter break. Please think through these matters carefully and consult with your family and friends at home to make the choices that maximize safety for all.
My colleagues and I are grateful for the great work and adherence to protocols by students, and we believe that our plans will help to maintain health and safety not only on campus but for families and friends of students at home.
Alan Caniglia (on behalf of the Pandemic Operations Response Team - PORT)
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives