Spring 2021 Pre-Return Testing

Dear students and families,

The University's COVID Task Force is hard at work preparing for your safe return to campus next month. While a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon, it will be several months before the vaccine is widely available, and we must all remain vigilant in protecting the health of our campus community this spring.

For the sake of everyone's safety, Jacksonville University is updating its testing requirements for returning to campus in January. Please be advised that all students taking in-person classes, living on campus, or planning to visit campus this spring must be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus. Here is what this means for you:

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, all students returning to campus from winter break must get tested for COVID-19 four to five days before your initial arrival on campus, and test results must be submitted to the Student Health Center via the Patient Portal prior to your return. (Please see the attached FAQs for how to upload results to the portal.) For example, if you are returning to your residence hall on Jan. 22, you should be tested on Jan. 17 or 18.
  • Both antigen and PCR tests will be accepted.
  • If your test is positive, please fill out this form, immediately isolate and await further instructions from the university. Please note: you will still need to submit your results to the Student Health Center via the Patient Portal.
  • Students who tested positive for COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding the start of spring semester (between Oct. 24 to Jan. 22) do not need to repeat the test as it could be falsely positive. This is in line with CDC guidance. However, these students will need to fill out the Exemption Request Form and submit their previously positive test results to the Student Health Center via the Patient Portal.
  • Student-athletes may be required to follow more stringent testing and reporting policies established by the Athletics department because of the elevated risks associated with athletic activities. Look for guidance specific to student-athletes from the Athletics department in the coming days.

Your dedication last fall is why we were able to remain on campus and keep COVID case counts well below levels in the broader Jacksonville community. Moving forward into spring semester, we need to maintain that same level of diligence. The health and safety of students, faculty and staff is our top priority, and we thank you in advance for the important part you play in that.

Please take a moment to read through the attached FAQs for more information about the Ready to Return testing protocol, and please take care of yourself and your loved ones this holiday season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is required to get tested?

All students taking in-person classes, living on campus, or planning to come to campus for work, study groups, library access, etc. must participate in the Spring Return to Campus Testing protocol. Student-athletes may be required to follow more stringent testing and reporting policies established by the Athletics department because of the elevated risks associated with athletic activities.

What type of test is accepted?

Both antigen and PCR tests will be accepted.

When should I get tested before returning to campus?

COVID tests must be administered 4-5 days before you arrive on campus for spring.

How do I submit my results?

Test results must be submitted to the Student Health Center via the ​Patient Portal​ before arriving to campus. Once you log in to the portal, look for the Spring 2020-21 COVID Results Form under the Forms tab for further instruction. Student-athletes who left campus for winter break:​ submit your return-to-campus test results directly to the athletic trainer assigned to your sport.

What happens if my test result is positive?

Students with positive test results should immediately isolate, report their positive test result through our​ online form, and await further instructions from the University. Please note: you still need to submit your results to the Student Health Center via the ​Patient Portal​. A University Administrator will contact you to discuss next steps, which may include starting the semester remotely, and the Student Health Center will contact you to serve as a healthcare resource.

If I tested positive for COVID already, do I still need to get tested prior to my return in the spring?

If you tested positive for COVID in the 90 days preceding the start of spring semester (between Oct. 24 to Jan. 22), you do not need to repeat the test as it could be falsely positive. This is in line with CDC guidance. You will need to fill out the ​Exemption Request Form​ and submit your previously positive test results to the Student Health Center via the ​Patient Portal​. If you cannot locate your test results, contact the facility where you were tested and request a copy.

What if I plan on returning to campus prior to January 2021 or if I stayed on campus for winter break?

To protect the health and safety of our campus community this spring, all students must be tested ahead of the spring term. If you are returning to campus before January, the University will communicate with you directly with testing guidance unique to your situation. Student-athletes who remained on-campus during winter break can utilize their Athletics return-to-competition test as their return-to-spring test.

I’m a student-athlete who left campus for the winter break and will be tested upon my return to campus. Do I still need to get a COVID test prior to my return?

Yes. We are asking anyone who returned home or left campus for the break to get tested BEFORE returning to campus. Student-athletes may be required to follow more stringent testing and reporting policies established by the Athletics department because of the elevated risks associated with athletic activities.

I live off campus and commute for in-person classes. When should I get tested?

To protect the health and safety of our campus community this spring, all students taking classes on campus must be tested ahead of the spring term. Students living off campus should get tested 4-5 days before you plan to be on campus for any reason, whether that is picking up textbooks from the Bookstore or attending your first class.

Can I apply for an exemption for this testing requirement?

Testing exemptions may be requested through ​our online form​. Please plan to provide documentation to support your exemption request. Acceptable reasons for an exemption include:

  • A disability that physically precludes you from being tested.
  • A sincerely held religious belief that prevents you from being tested.
  • You are currently sick and unable to get to the testing facility.
  • An order by public health officials or a health provider to maintain quarantine/isolation.
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding the start of spring semester (between Oct. 24 to Jan. 22). In addition to submitting the online exemption form, please submit your positive test results directly to the Student Health Center via the ​Patient Portal​.
  • If all of your courses are online, you do not have a university housing contract, and you have verified you will not be physically on campus during the semester.

What happens if I don’t get tested and I haven’t requested an exemption? Or what if my exemption is denied?

To protect the health and safety of our campus community, we must each do our part. Getting tested prior to your arrival on campus is not optional. It is required. Failure to provide a test result within your respective timeline may result in disciplinary action.

Where can I find a list of testing locations in Jacksonville?

For local students needing Jacksonville-based testing centers, please visit the City of Jacksonville COVID testing website.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the Spring Return to Campus COVID test?

Please email ​CareTeam@ju.edu​ with questions.

I'm an international student and plan to attend in-person classes on campus this spring. What do I need to do?

Following CDC guidance, students returning to campus from International travel should adhere to the following return to campus protocols:

  • Follow ​Spring Return to Campus Testing Guidelines​ for testing requirements prior to your return to campus.
  • Return to your 2020-21 housing assignment.
  • Schedule an appointment at the Student Health Center for a COVID test 3-5 days after returning to campus from your international travels. This means you will get tested 4-5 days prior to traveling back to campus AND tested 3-5 days after you’ve returned.
  • Until you have received your test results from the second test, please follow this guidance from the CDC:
    • Please remain on campus.
    • Use “to go” options only for on-campus dining.
    • Avoid groups of any size and avoid close, prolonged exposure to individuals.
    • Begin the academic term remotely (contact Louis Reich, Director of International Student Services, for more information).