Employee COVID Testing Update - August 30, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I hope this message finds you well as we begin the start of the fall semester. It’s been exciting to see our campus come alive over the past week with the return of students, faculty, and staff. As you know, the health and safety of our community continues to be our top priority. We are monitoring the latest COVID-19 public health guidance, particularly with the rise of the Delta variant.

Given that, today I am writing with an important COVID-19 testing update. After careful consideration, including a recommendation from Simmons Medical Director Dr. Danny Barker, we have decided that weekly COVID-19 testing will be required of ALL faculty and staff who are on the Boston Simmons campus at least one day a week – regardless of vaccination status, until further notice, starting the week of September 7.

These enhanced testing protocols are vital as we prioritize campus health, safety, and well-being. Below please find additional details about testing policies and procedures.

About the Test

Simmons is partnering with the Broad Institute, and the PCR test will be conducted by a self-administered nasal swab observed by a trained staff member. Tests will be sent to the Broad Institute, and results will be delivered via the CoVerified app within 24 hours. Details about the CoVerified app, how to access it and instructions for use are below.

Employees will test in the Park Science Building on the Academic Campus and are required to utilize CoVerified to schedule their testing appointments, view test results, and track testing compliance. Please log in to CoVerified through the mobile app or website to activate your account by September 1. If an employee wishes to get a test offsite, they should email their results to [email protected] each week to remain in compliance.

Getting started in CoVerified

Download the CoVerified mobile app or visit web.coverified.us to activate your account. On the login screen, enter your simmons.edu email address in the Username field. You should be redirected to the Simmons sign-on page. Verify your mobile phone number and answer the prompts to activate your account. Your status may initially be set to “Remote” but you should click “Return to Campus” once you know you will be physically on campus that week. If you are using the app, make sure to allow notifications so you can receive results in a timely manner and ensure we can reach out to you as needed.

You can also review the detailed instructions. If you have issues logging in to CoVerified, please reach out to Kaylen Addison.

To schedule a COVID-19 test, choose “Testing” on the bottom of the mobile app or “Schedule a Test” on the left side of the website. Testing appointments are not currently available, but will be added to the site by September 6.

If you are going to be off campus for two weeks or more, please set your status in CoVerified to “Remote.” When you return to campus, your status will be “Restricted” and you can test as soon as possible to get back into compliance.

Testing Results and Compliance

If an employee receives a positive test result, they should immediately go home, begin isolation and consult with their doctor as needed. Employees are required to remain isolated for ten days from the positive test result, AND until they are free from fever or COVID symptoms for 24 hours without the use of medication. A negative COVID test will not be required to return to work. Once you test positive, you do not need to test again for 90 days, per CDC guidelines.
Employees who test positive are required to notify their manager or academic unit head that they cannot come to campus during the isolation period. Faculty members should report to their academic unit head. If an employee receives a positive test from an off-campus COVID testing site, it is their responsibility to notify HR promptly at the secure address [email protected] for tracking purposes.

If the employee is not able to work while in isolation, they can use COVID-19 leave or accrued sick time to continue salary payments. If a faculty member is able and willing to teach their classes remotely while in isolation, they should do so, or consult with their academic unit head regarding available options.

I am so grateful for your hard work and commitment to health and safety during this pandemic. Thank you for your partnership on this extremely important initiative, which is vital to ensure a safe campus community this semester.