COVID-19 Virus Testing (3/5/21)
As part of the University of South Florida’s ongoing commitment to the well-being of students, faculty and staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made several updates to our public health processes and requirements for the spring 2021 semester.
Return to Campus Assessment
All faculty, staff and students will be required to complete our Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment prior to the start of the semester. Based on your feedback, we have improved this survey to provide more flexibility in your responses.
This assessment must be completed by all students, faculty and staff prior to the semester, including those who completed it prior to the fall semester. It can be accessed by visiting MyUSF or clicking the graphic below.
Daily Symptom Check and CampusPass
If you indicated on the Return to Campus Assessment that you would be coming to campus on a regular (at least once a week) basis, you will be required to complete the USF Daily Symptom Tracker every day. The tool helps you monitor your own health and maintain a healthy environment for all members of the USF community and will alert a university health care provider to contact you to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19 or need other support.
Persons who indicated they were only coming in occasionally, rarely or not at all do not have to complete the Daily Symptom Tracker every day, and they will not get daily reminders. However, on the days they do come to campus, they will need to complete the Tracker in order to be cleared for their visit.
When you complete the daily tracker and are approved to return to campus, you will receive a green check (CampusPass) that will allow you to enter USF facilities. Be prepared to show this CampusPass anywhere on campus. No one is allowed on campus without a CampusPass.
Individuals returning to campus will also be placed in a pool for weekly random COVID-19 testing, which the university will continue to utilize as an important part of our disease-mitigation strategy. Those selected at random will receive specific instructions to receive a test. If you are selected, you must participate, unless you can provide a COVID-19 test result from within the past 14 days.
You are also now required to self-report if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive. You should self-report through the Daily Symptom Tracker app and notify your instructors and/or your supervisor.
All members of the USF community are encouraged to get tested if you develop any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Tampa campus: Hillsborough County offers a testing site next to campus at the University Mall parking garage. Please check the county website for details. Students can also contact Student Health Services for possible testing accommodations.
- St. Petersburg campus: A testing site is open on campus outside of the Student Life Center (SLC) by appointment only. Individuals who wish to be tested can check the hours of operation and must register for an appointment online.
- Sarasota-Manatee campus: A testing site is open on campus. Individuals who wish to be tested can check the hours of operation and must register for an appointment online.
Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment & Daily Symptom Check
Based on feedback from fall semester, changes were made to the Daily Symptom Tracker notification process. Only those who answered that they would be on campus regularly, through the Spring Return to Campus Assessment, will receive daily email and text message (if elected) reminders.
No. If you indicated in the Return to Campus survey that you would be coming to the campus occasionally, rarely or not at all, the Daily Symptom Tracker only needs to be filled out on days you are coming to campus. Please note: A new feature of the Daily Symptom Tracker allows users to self-report if they have tested positive, been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, whether or not they are coming to campus. Such reports help the university support our community and allow us to determine if there has been any exposure risk to others.
Yes. Please be prepared to show your Campus Pass at various service locations across campus as well as in any face-to-face classes. It is also possible that you will be randomly asked by USF employees to show that Campus Pass outside of service areas.
The data is stored in HIPAA-compliant software and databases. Only Student Health Services will have access to individual data.
Identifiable information, such as names, date of birth, and address, is accessible to Student Health Services personnel for case management, tracking, and patient care purposes. All IT professionals who maintain the software for the surveys are trained in HIPAA privacy. USF College of Public Health researchers will have access only to de-identified answers so that they can track the health status of the USF community.
Only students in identified groups, such as residential students and student-athletes, will need to submit test results. If you are in an identified student group, you will be contacted directly.
The Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment is the instrument USF is using to plan the resources and policies the university will need to make the re-entry to campuses as safe as possible. These questions help us plan for classroom, housing, and facilities resources. This information gives Student Health Services a baseline of information they will need to manage individual cases in the event that a person tests positive or needs to go into isolation. The survey also includes several questions related to isolation readiness. It also gives a baseline for aggregate data that allows USF leaders to make decisions for the health and safety of the on-campus populations.
The USF Daily Symptom Check is much shorter, only three questions, and allows leadership to monitor the risks to the USF populations and for Student Health Services to identify individuals that may need to be tested or isolated.
The USF Daily Symptom Check allows leadership to monitor the risks to the USF populations and for Student Health Services to identify individuals who may need to be tested or isolated. It will help to ensure everyone is monitoring their health and self-isolating if they have symptoms which could indicate they have contracted COVID-19. Only those who answered that they would be returning to campus regularly (at least once a week) in the Return to Campus Assessment are now required to submit the tracker every day.
On the Daily Symptom Check, please reply "No" if you were tested as a result of a mandatory screening by SHS or a random test ordered by SHS. Only answer "yes" if you were tested based on potential COVID symptoms or exposure. If you were tested and cleared by SHS in the last 24 hours, you should also report "no."
On the Daily Symptom Check, please reply "No" if you were tested as a result of a mandatory screening by SHS, your clinical site or random test ordered by SHS. Only answer "yes" if you were tested based on potential COVID symptoms or exposure. If you were tested and cleared by SHS or your clinical site in the last 24 hours, you should also report "no."
When you answered that you would be returning in the Return to Campus Assessment, you were signed up for the Daily Symptom Tracker and its reminders. To prevent abuse of the system, anyone who answered they are returning regularly (at least once a week) is locked into the Daily Symptom Checks for the rest of the term and must fill it out every day regardless if they are returning to campus for that day. Your participation ensures the Student Health Services and Public Health professionals have an accurate accounting of who is and who is not coming to campus today.
The reminder system only updates hourly between 6:15 a.m. and 9:15 p.m. each day. So if you still receive reminders within an hour of having taken the Daily Symptom Checker, please disregard them. If it’s been over an hour and you still see the reminders, please report the issue to the IT Help Desk so that IT can resolve the issue.
Please respond with your primary campus. Two questions after that, you will indicate that you do not intend to come to campus today.
If you volunteer your cell phone number in the Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment, USF will send you text messages to remind you to fill out the USF Daily Symptom Check. Student Health Services may also use this number to contact you should they need to follow up with you about your responses or in the event you will be selected for random testing.
Human Resources will have a progressive disciplinary process in line with our current disciplinary processes for the university. Contact your HR Service Center if you need assistance managing that process.
If you should come in contact with a student who is flagged for not completing the assessment, please remind them to complete it. Remind the student that their NetID may be disabled if they do not complete it.
If a testing facility calls you, please ask the testing facility if they could email you a test result and upload the email into the assessment. If they text you your results, please take a screen shot of the test results and upload the screen shot. Student Health Services will review the results and contact you if there are any other questions.
If you responded to the assessment stating you would not be coming to campus at all, you are able to update your responses. You can do so by clicking the link in MyUSF. To prevent abuse of the system, anyone who answered that they are returning to campus in any frequency will not be able to update their responses.
Yes, but you may be asked to self-isolate and remain off campus for a two-week period. You may also be subject to disciplinary action.
Yes, faculty and staff will be required to participate in the random testing if they plan to go to a USF location. Refusal to participate may result in removal from campus, self-isolation for 14 days and disciplinary action.
No. Students, faculty and staff required to be tested under the random testing protocol will not be charged for tests.
We will assess these situations on a case-by-case basis. The surveillance strategy is designed to detect viral activity on campus, so depending on how often you are coming to campus, you may still need to participate in the testing program.
If you are drawn as part of the weekly random sample, you need to participate during that specific week. Where necessary, we will work with individuals to determine an alternative method to acquire a test.
If environmental sampling indicates the presence of the virus in a particular space, persons who have been in that space may be asked to be tested. Similarly, if responses to the Daily Symptom Checker indicate a greater than anticipated number of persons with symptoms in a specific population or linked to a particular space on campus, members of that population or who have been in that space may be asked to be tested.
No. Unlike a situation where a person is known to have been directly exposed to a person positive for COVID-19, the presumption in the surveillance strategy is that no one is infected unless and until we learn otherwise. We will use the most rapid test method available so that results can be obtained as quickly as possible and any positive cases will be isolated immediately.
For additional questions about USF and coronavirus, visit usf.edu/covidquestions.