UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Mandatory Testing Guidance

In line with UW System Policy, UWRF is introducing mandatory COVID-19 testing for students and employees. Testing will occur as outlined below:

  • Students living on-campus will be tested once per week.
  • Students living off-campus, but coming to campus regularly, will be tested once every two weeks.
  • UWRF employees working on campus will be tested every two weeks.

Your testing obligations will be managed through our online portal which will allow you a self-service style approach to organizing your testing schedule and retrieving information about results.

COVID-19 Testing Portal

How do I get a test?

Follow these steps to get a test:

  • Schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 test 
  • Complete an online screening within 24 hours of your testing appointment.
  • On the day of your test:
    • New in Spring 2021 - Because we will now use saliva based PCR testing, do not eat, drink, smoke, vape, or consume any other substances within 1 hour of your testing appointment. Initial antigen tests will be completed with a nasal swab.
    • Bring your smartphone, in case you need to sign up for test results, and your student ID.
    • Arrive on time to the first floor of Hagestad Hall.
  • Testing will be professionally administered and should only take a few minutes with results available within 15 minutes. If you need additional detailed confirmatory testing (PCR test), you may have an additional 15 minutes. If you did not withhold eating, drinking, vaping, or smoking 1 hour prior you will need to wait additional time. Depending on the results, appropriate information and medical advice will be presented.

I take or teach all of my classes online. How do I request an exception from the testing obligations?

All exception requests are managed through our online portal (https://covid19.uwrf.edu/). The form is located on the Test Obligations page.

  • Students - Please select 100% remote learner as your reason. You can check the box for "all semester" or enter a specific date range. This is an automatic approval process. You will see your official status update as soon as you close the form.
  • Staff - Please select 100% remote worker as your reason, check the box for "all semester" or enter a specific date range, and then provide us with your supervisor's name for final review and approval. We recommend you let your supervisor know you submitted the form as they will need to log into their own portal to approve the request.

How do I provide documentation of previous test results and what will be accepted?

  • Submit an exception request using the portal and provide documented proof of either having tested negative or positive. To find the exception request form log in to the Covid-19 Portal, click on the Test Obligations button. Under the "Current Obligations" section you will find a button labeled "Request an Exception". Select the appropriate reason. Once you provide us with the details and save your request, you will be prompted to upload supporting documentation, such as a previous test result. You can also download our visual direction guide here.
    • Negative tests must be completed within the last 2 days of the current date, or within your obligation date range.
    • Tested positive with a PCR test in the last 90 days and completed your isolation time. You will be excluded from testing for 90 days from the test date.
    • If you tested positive with only an antigen test, you will not receive an exclusion from testing as antigen tests are not recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as a confirmatory test. You may upload the test to get an exception for your current obligation only.
  • If you tested positive on campus and completed isolation in UWRF isolation space, you do NOT need to provide documentation. If you need a copy of your documentation, reach out to your contact tracer for another copy or chat with the contact tracing team in the portal.
  • Your test results can also be found in the portal.
  • Results from tests done by Vibrant Clinics through Student Health Services have to be uploaded using the portal.
  • We are currently not accepting at home, self-administered and processed COVID-19 tests as an acceptable form of exception to testing. Several self-administered, process at home options are rapidly coming to market, using a special kit to get results in minutes. Until the accuracy of these tests can be evaluated, we are presently not accepting those results as exceptions to testing.
  • We will continue to require that tests be conducted (and quality checked) by certified providers such as pharmacies, medical providers, drive-thru test centers, and mail-in kits requiring a video call with the laboratory. Free tests from the State of Wisconsin are mail-in and are accepted for results.

Where can I get a test?

Testing will be offered to UWRF students on the first floor of Hagestad Hall weekdays. Students may also use the university health care provider (Vibrant Health Clinic in River Falls) through Student Health Services or their own provider for testing. Tests done at Vibrant Clinics through Student Health Services have to be uploaded using the portal to get credit for testing.

What if I'm experiencing symptoms and there are no on-campus appointments available?

Walk-in testing is available at the first floor Hagestad Hall location if you are symptomatic and there are no open appointment times. Complete the online screening, do not eat, drink, vape, or smoke within 1 hour. Go to the testing site before 3:00 PM as a walk-in person.

Why should I get a test if I'm not experiencing any symptoms?

We have heard from most of our students who tested positive that they were surprised by their positive test results. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms at this time, you can get tested to help keep our campus community safe. It is important to realize that you can be infected and spread the virus but feel well and have no symptoms. 

What can I expect on the day of the test?

On the day of the test, you should arrive at Hagestad Hall, first floor. For this process to function smoothly, it is critical that you pay attention to the date and time of your appointment. Other things to note:

  • Prepare a bag for the potential of 10 days of isolation.
  • Do not eat, drink, vape, smoke, or consume anything for 1 hour prior to your appointment.
  • Bring your ID and smartphone.
  • Testing should only take about five minutes to complete. 
  • Antigen test results will be available in 15 minutes. Depending on the results, appropriate information and medical advice will be presented and additional PCR testing may be required.
  • PCR confirmation tests will take another 15 minutes to administer. Results from the PCR test will be available in 2-5 days.

Who should I contact if I haven't received the results of my PCR test results after the specified time period?

Those tested on campus should contact WHL at 608-668-2111.

 

COVID-19

Tests done on campus will be analyzed using two types of technology: antigen and PCR. Both tests will be done using a simple nasal swab (not a nasopharyngeal swab which probes deeper into the nasal cavity).

Antigen tests identify the presence of certain proteins on the surface of the virus. Results can be provided within a few minutes to allow quick identification of probable COVID-19 cases. A positive antigen test means you likely have COVID-19 and you will need to begin the isolation process. 

PCR tests detect the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19. This test is highly sensitive and specific and is considered an accurate diagnostic test. A positive PCR test means you have COVID-19 and you will be required to isolate.

If you have symptoms and the antigen test is negative a confirmatory PCR test is needed to ensure you are not infected. You must stay isolated until the PCR test comes back. 

 

 

  1. Try not to worry too much.

  2. Limit contact with others.

  3. Email your professors/supervisors. Let them know that you won't be in class or at work.

  4. Prepare a "ready bag". Include some comfy clothes, toiletries, your medications and non-perishable snacks you have on hand (don't go shopping!).

  5. Monitor your symptoms. If you become sicker, contact a health care provider.

  6. Get enough sleep and eat healthy food.

 

TAKE A DEEP BREATH. WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU WITH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

  • You were given a follow-up test to confirm that your result is positive.
  • Return to your residence hall room/apartment promptly, remain in your room, and do not attend class.
  • Notify your professors/supervisors that you will not be in class/at work for health reasons.
  • Do not go to the dining hall for meals. Talk with your roommate or close friend in the same residence hall to help you to get your meals. If you are on the campus dining plan, go here for more information and view instructions under the final question: https://www.uwrf.edu/Dining/FAQ.cfm
  • Follow the precautions listed below.
  • You will be required to isolate until your follow-up PCR test results are available. Usually 2-4 days.
    • If you are living on campus, a member of the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will contact you today to discuss your move to the UWRF designated temporary space location.
    • If you are living off campus and would like to move to a UWRF designated temporary space, a member of the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will guide you on the move-in process. There is a daily charge for lodging and meals.
    • If you are living off campus and determine that you can effectively restrict contact at your apartment without risk to others living with you, the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will contact you to discuss appropriate precautions and protocol.
    • Pierce County Public Health or a designated UWRF staff person will contact you to discuss your test result and conduct an initial investigation to obtain background information.
    • The UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will reach out to discuss your possible infectious and isolation timeline. They will also ask questions about your contacts (household, close, and intermediate) to help minimize the spread of the virus. Once your PCR test result is available, the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will either discuss your release or the process to move you to a UWRF designated isolation space.
  1. Breathe a sigh of relief and call/text your people.
  2. Continue to practice preventative measures. (Wear. Watch. Wash. Repeat.)
  3. Get enough sleep and eat healthy food.
  4. Get retested based on your prescribed schedule, but no longer than 2 weeks. While off-campus student must test every 2 weeks, we encourage you to test weekly as you come to campus.
  5. Encourage your friends to also get tested. Spread the word not the virus.
  6. Continue to self-monitor for symptoms.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH. WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU WITH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

  • You were given a follow-up test to confirm that your result is negative.
  • Return to your residence hall room/apartment and have limited contact with others until your follow-up PCR test results. Usually 2-4 days.
  • Notify your professors/supervisors that you will not be in class/at work for health reasons.
  • Do not go to the dining hall for meals. Talk with your roommate or close friend in the same residence hall to help you to get your meals. If you are on the campus dining plan, go here for more information and view instructions under the final question: https://www.uwrf.edu/Dining/FAQ.cfm
  • If you receive a negative PCR test result, you can continue with the normal health and safety precautions listed below. Please understand that you were negative at the time the sample was taken, not at the time you received your results. You should continue to frequently get tested.
  • If you receive a positive PCR test result, the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will contact you to discuss isolation procedures and support you through the process.
    • If you are living on campus, the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will assist you in moving to the UWRF designated isolation space. We do not recommend returning home, as you could risk infecting others at home.
    • If you are living off campus and would like to isolate at a UWRF designated isolation space, a member of the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will guide you on the move-in process. There is a daily charge for lodging and meals.
    • If you are living off campus and determine that you can effectively isolate at your apartment without risk to others living with you, the UWRF COVID-19 Support Team will contact you to discuss appropriate precautions and protocol.
    • Pierce County Public Health or a designated UWRF staff person will contact you to discuss your PCR test result and conduct an initial investigation to obtain background information.

Do not go to work if:

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19
  • You are in quarantine or isolation
  • Have symptoms of COVID-19

All students currently living on campus will be required to be tested before they can continue living in their residence hall or submit evidence of an approved test, as a condition of their return to campus.

In line with new UW System Policy, residence hall students must test weekly, or request an exception through the portal for each week they are not living on campus. Students who do not file for an exception by the deadline of their testing obligation window will be given 1 additional business day to get tested. If you have not filed for an exception and have not been tested, you will be escalated to the conduct adjudication process through the office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

We have published a new administrative policy, AP 01-128, to outline the testing protocol.

In line with the UW System Policy, testing of students who do not live on campus will be required. Students who are off-campus, but come to campus on a regular basis, will be tested every 2 weeks. Those who reside off-campus and are not testing because they are 100% remote learners may file for an exception through the portal. Students who will vary from week to week can request individual exceptions as well. Any student experiencing symptoms should make an appointment and must get tested as soon as possible.

Any individual that is physically working on campus must be tested no less than every 2 weeks.

Students who live off-campus and have jobs in the community are encouraged to get regularly tested at the UWRF on-campus testing site. This is especially important if you have a job in a high-risk setting or work with vulnerable individuals. Any student who has symptoms should make an appointment right away to get tested.

Stopping the spread


Limiting contact

If you are waiting to be tested and have symptoms, stay where you currently reside and avoid contact with individuals outside of your household unit to the extent possible. If you have questions about going to class or to work, contact your instructor or supervisor. You can also chat with our contact tracing team in the portal.

Quarantine

Students who have been in close contact with an infected individual will be required to quarantine. Each student in a university designated quarantine space will be provided with three meals and two snacks per day.* Students may elect to return home to quarantine. Learn more about quarantine here.

Isolation

Students who have received positive COVID-19 test results will be required to isolate. Students may elect to return home to isolate. 

  • Be safe. Remember, you are in ISOLATION. Please wear a mask and socially distance from others. Wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, wipe down frequently used surfaces often.
  • Be healthy. Stay healthy, eat meals. Talk with your roommate from your residence hall about helping you to get your meals. If you are on the campus dining plan, go here for more information: https://www.uwrf.edu/Dining/FAQ.cfm Please minimize use of restrooms and public spaces and wipe down all surfaces. Fees may apply for students not on a dining contract.
  • Be prepared. Review the Isolation packing list. Be expecting phone calls from the UWRF Quarantine and Isolation Support Team, Pierce County Public Health, and the UWRF Contact Tracing Team.  Depending upon your arrival time at your isolation placement, campus meals may not be delivered until the next day. Plan accordingly, bring snacks. 

Learn more about isolation here.