University Begins Surveillance Testing

August 28, 2020

With completion of the large-scale COVID-19 student testing prior to the start of fall classes, the University is implementing ongoing surveillance testing as part of its comprehensive plan to maintain the safest possible environment for students, faculty and staff on all campuses.

Developed in consultation with the Mercer School of Medicine, surveillance testing involves randomly selecting students to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals to help mitigate campus outbreaks. Sampling will be stratified based upon risk categories. Voluntary testing of students will be included in the surveillance testing initiative.

Surveillance testing for students in graduate and professional programs in Macon and Atlanta began on August 25, and surveillance testing for Macon undergraduates will begin on Tuesday, September 1.

Student-athletes will be systematically tested according to guidance provided by the NCAA, and other campus populations such as student organizations and students who live in Mercer housing will be tested as warranted.

Students selected for surveillance testing will receive notification via email. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test procedures are used, with results typically returned in one to two business days. Negative results will be communicated by e-mail and positive cases will be communicated by phone. Asymptomatic students will not need to isolate while waiting for test results.

Students, faculty and staff are particularly encouraged to track their daily self-screening for symptoms using the #CampusClear app and follow University protocols should symptoms develop.

If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, call the Provost’s Office at (478) 301-2110.