Administration Updates COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Category 3
Provost lauds community’s adherence to health guidelines, keeping the campus safe
- Individuals in Category 3 must be tested once a week every time they are on campus for all or part of a seven-day period
- Individuals in Category 3 must be tested the first time they return to campus during the fall semester
- Daily health screenings are still required
As the University continues to adapt its COVID-19 guidelines and protocols to protect the health of the BU community, the administration has revised testing requirements for faculty and staff who are assigned to testing Category 3. Starting Monday, October 5, community members in Category 3 must be tested once a week every time they are on campus for all or part of a seven-day period, in addition to being tested the first time they return to campus during the fall semester.
The testing update, affecting only individuals in Category 3, was clarified Monday in a letter sent to faculty and staff by Provost Jean Morrison and Gary Nicksa, senior vice president for operations. The change means individuals in Category 3 who come to campus during two weeks of a month should be tested during each of those weeks. Daily health screening is still required.
“The update is being made to reflect and appreciate the wide spectrum of schedules of those faculty and staff in Category 3 without requiring someone to come to campus more frequently than their schedule would dictate for the sole purpose of testing,” says Judy Platt, BU’s Student Health Services director. “We also know that community exposures are possible and incorporating more regular testing for Category 3 faculty and staff will help to identify these cases.”
The provost’s letter notes that faculty and staff in Category 3 are not required to take a test during seven-day periods when they are not on campus at all, and further clarifies that individuals in Category 1 or 2 are required to be tested at least once within every seven days. COVID-19 testing Category 3 includes:
- Commuting faculty and staff whose job duties require very limited contact with students and who can control their contact with other faculty and staff. This could include faculty who teach only one class a week and therefore have limited interactions with students.
- Graduate students in degree programs that meet only once per week or less.
Morrison and Nicksa’s letter thanks the BU community for their adherence to University guidelines for social distancing, face covering, daily health screening, testing, and other public health protocols. That commitment, they say, has resulted in extremely low positivity rates, as evidenced by the University’s public dashboard.
“We are pleased with the remarkable job the entire BU community is doing to ensure our well-being,” Nicksa says. “The low positive test rate is one indication of the serious commitment faculty and staff have made to following the University’s public health guidelines.”
The provost’s letter urges faculty and staff to continue to follow other COVID-19–related protocols and advice, including scheduling testing appointments through the employee portal Healthway and arriving at the testing site on time, with a BU ID or an ID number readily available. Community members are also encouraged to verify their testing category on myBUworks, and if a change is desired or warranted, to talk with their department chair or manager. Faculty and staff should also complete their Daily Health Screening every day. Community members assigned to Category 1, 2, or 3 should complete their Daily Health Screening through Healthway every day of the week, including weekends and holidays, whether they plan to be on campus or not. People assigned to Category 4 are not required to either complete the daily health screening or take a COVID-19 test through the BU program.
Faculty and staff who have questions are encouraged to reach out to COVID-19 Employee Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.