COVID-19 Student Screening Testing Program

COVID-19 Testing Plan for Jan Term 2021, Spring Semester 2021, Easter Recess 2021

The College plan for SARS-CoV-2 screening testing, which refers to testing for students who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, is outlined here. This plan focuses heavily on the periods when students return to Saint Mary’s College from outlying areas - specifically at the beginning of Jan term, Spring term, and after Easter break. 

COVID-19 testing is only one piece of the COVID-19 safety puzzle. While testing is extremely important in assessing the health of a community at a moment in time, layering multiple COVID-19 safety precautions simultaneously must be part of your daily routine. The COVID-19 Health and Wellness page details safety precautions that should be taken habitually. Thank you for your commitment to our 2021 COVID-19 screening testing plan and for making intentional choices that contribute to community health during this pandemic.

Screening Testing for Students

COVID-19 testing for on-campus students will take place in the courtyard adjacent to the Health & Wellness Center (Augustine Hall) on Tuesdays. Any student who tests positive in screening testing will be contacted by the Health & Wellness Center. The College Contact Tracing Team will then conduct a case investigation and contact close contacts of confirmed positive cases who will need to quarantine. Residential students who test positive and require isolation or are close contacts and require quarantine will be connected with the Residential Care Team for support. 


Category Description Testing Required?
Group 1 Students who are living on campus, undergraduate students who work on-campus but live off-campus and meet specified criteria, athletes and approved club sport athletes. Yes / Mandatory
Group 2 Undergraduate students living off campus who come to the College to attend approved in-person classes Mandatory when on-campus classes resume
Group 3 Students living off-campus who are not attending on-campus classes but come to campus to use facilities No - These students should complete LiveSafe Daily Health Screening each day they come to campus
Group 4 Students living off campus and who never come to campus  No


Required Return to Campus Screening Testing

Saint Mary’s College requires students to complete two return COVID tests. Following the first COVID-19 test, students will be expected to limit their activities as outlined by the College and continue to follow all campus-wide health and wellness protocols until they have received the result of their first COVID test.  Notification of test results will be sent to students via the testing app, approximately one day. This testing is mandatory and there is no charge to students for this testing.

*Please note that students may also be subject to self-quarantine after travel depending on any current local, regional, or state requirements that are in place. We recommend that you check current Contra Costa County Health Services Travel Advisory guidelines. 

Group 1 students will test 2 times during their first week of return to campus: 

         Jan term return testing dates (post-Christmas break):

  • Sunday, January 3, 2021
  • Thursday, January 7, 2021

Spring term return testing dates (post-Jan Term break):

  • Sunday, February 7, 2021
  • Thursday, February 11, 2021

Spring term return testing dates (post-Easter break):

  • Tuesday, April 6, 2021
  • Sunday, April 11, 2021

Group 2 students will begin testing when on-campus classes resume for off-campus students

*Off-campus students in on-campus classes for spring term will be added to the testing protocols and will follow the same schedule as Group 1.

Groups 3 & 4 students: 

No on-campus testing is required for these groups. We recommend that all off-campus students obtain regular COVID-19 screening testing in their communities. Complete the LiveSafe Daily Health Screening any day you are authorized to come to campus.

Required Ongoing Screening COVID-19 Testing

After the on-campus students’ initial return to campus screening testing is complete, weekly COVID screening testing will be performed on a schedule set by the College. Students required to participate in screening testing will receive an email communication from the Health and Wellness Center that indicates next steps. This testing is mandatory and there is no charge to students for this testing.

The frequency of student screening testing may shift in response to Contra Costa County COVID-19 case count trends and other key metrics. Regular COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic students provides a diagnostic snapshot of the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in our College community. When asymptomatic carriers are identified and promptly isolated, our students will have a chance to continue on with their residential SMC experience during the current world pandemic.

Testing for Students with COVID-19 Symptoms or Following Exposure to a Positive COVID-19 Case

Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case can be tested at the Health & Wellness Center during operational clinic hours. Students with COVID-19 symptoms or a community exposure should call the Health & Wellness Center and they will be advised by a clinic Nurse. If a residential student tests positive, they will be referred to the Saint Mary’s College Residential Care Team for isolation support and guidance. 

Students who receive a positive COVID-19 test result from an off-campus clinic are asked to report this result to the Health and Wellness Center.

COVID-19 testing protocols are developed referencing current CDC guidelines and in collaboration with Contra Costa County Health Services and are subject to change based on many factors. COVID-19 testing mode and frequency are set forth by the College. 


Helpful links:

Additional community resources that provide COVID-19 testing: