Is COVID-19 testing mandatory for students?
- Students living on campus are required to be tested:
- Students on athletic teams, engaged in activities of increased risk such as dance or performance are required to be tested. Testing frequency varies based on the activity’s risk level.
- The universities also do random testing of the employees, contractors and students who are on campus to get up-to-date information about the state of the virus on each campus.
- Students may seek an accommodation or exemption based on disability or religious belief, each of which is individually evaluated.
- The universities do not require testing of students who are not coming to campus.
Are the test samples or the test results used for research?
The universities do not use test samples or test results gathered for the purposes of evaluating student health or monitoring of the population for research purposes.
Each university is engaged in numerous COVID-19-related research programs. Everyone who chooses to participate in research must first give their explicit consent to have their samples and data used for research. All studies using individual test results or samples require review and approval by the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which reviews all research involving people as participants. Everyone who chooses to participate is told clearly at the onset what the research project is and how the sample/data will be used. Participation is completely voluntary.
What steps are the universities taking to protect students' health data, including data obtained through contact tracing, against public disclosure?
All universities comply with state and federal privacy laws, including FERPA, HIPAA and medical confidentiality laws to protect health information and student privacy. Test results are maintained in secure databases and are only used for specific, limited purposes, including reporting to ADHS as is required by law, providing support to those who have tested positive, and informing campus protocols such as those for self-isolating, disinfecting and sanitizing, and notifying those who may have been in close contact. The universities use aggregate data to assess the state of COVID-19 within the university community.
The universities comply with HIPAA protocols and procedures for the storage and transmission of electronic health information. Each university provides additional privacy information to students as follows: