Welcome back! There has recently been some misunderstandings about Truman’s COVID testing procedures so I hope to clarify this through this communication. However, remember that the CDC changes its guidance regularly (with the last testing update by them just earlier this week), so guidance will likely change several times over the course of the academic year.
The Student Health Center is providing rapid COVID testing for students who are symptomatic OR who have had contact with a positive case. Send-out PCR testing, initially or as a follow-up, may be recommended for some students but this is done at the clinical judgment of the clinician. All students who have met the CDC definition of close contact with a positive case (for 15 minutes or more at a distance of 6 feet or less) must observe a 14-day quarantine period, regardless of whether testing results are negative or positive. In some cases, it may make sense to retest at a later date and in some not.
CDC guidelines no longer require testing of positive contacts. However, due to the potential for rapid spread on a college campus, we will continue to test positive contacts in accordance with an agreement with our local health department.
Students who develop symptoms of COVID or who have been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID should call the SHC to set up a Zoom appointment with a SHC provider. The Zoom appointment allows the provider to determine the appropriateness of COVID testing or to determine if another evaluation is indicated. Following the Zoom appointment, if warranted, the provider will set up a time and explain the process for testing.
Insurance will be billed for the COVID-related Zoom appointment for students with insurance. Though the Health Center cannot guarantee payment by insurers, when medical necessity is proven, the appointment should be covered by insurance at 100 percent. This should be true regardless of deductibles, etc. The SHC does not charge for the test itself. Any student who has denial of payment through insurance for a COVID-related visit should contact the Health Center to research the problem. Students who do not have insurance have access to the Health Center’s reduced fee of $30 for the Zoom appointment and there is no charge for the test. PCR testing is done through an outside reference lab and the reference lab can also bill insurance.
If you are tested anywhere other than the Student Health Center and are notified of positive results, please contact the Health Center within 24 hours as we are responsible for maintaining the numbers for the campus and the public. COVID case numbers are currently being updated by 5 p.m. every Tuesday and can be found at https://www.truman.edu/coronavirus/reporting/. Please keep in mind that the Student Health Center is coordinating with our local health department and is including information from other area sources so data may change as information is obtained from any of those sources.
If you are told to quarantine or isolate due to contact with a COVID-positive individual or are COVID-positive yourself, and live in one of our residence halls, please contact the Residence Life Office (email@example.com) so that arrangements can be made for delivery of your meals. If notified on the evening or on weekends, there could be a delay but students can also contact a friend to pick up a meal for them at one of the campus dining locations in that interim period.
It is our goal to reduce the spread of this virus on our campus and we EACH play a part in achieving that goal. Please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and physical distance. We will get through this together!
Dr. Higgins and the Staff at the Student Health Center