CSU announces plan for required COVID-19 screenings during spring semester

Student taking COVID saliva test

Colorado State University leaders have announced plans for screening students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 as the spring semester gets underway.

The University relies on the members of the community to do their part in keeping each other healthy. This includes participating in mandatory routine screenings for COVID, following all public health requirements, and diligently reporting concerns – COVID symptoms, potential exposures, or concerns about the health of others, through the COVID Reporter.

“The Pandemic Preparedness Team and testing team have built capacity to screen as many students, faculty and staff as possible at the start of the semester and to mandate screening on a weekly schedule,” said Marc Barker, assistant vice president for safety and risk services. “We are working through final details to build additional capacity to screen more faculty, staff and students who will be on university grounds within the next few weeks. The Pandemic Preparedness Team will continue to update the university community with more information about screening requirements in the coming days and weeks.”

“Mandatory screening for COVID is the foundation of any successful effort to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially in a community as large as ours,” added CSU President Joyce McConnell. “After our successful fall semester, when our entire community demonstrated their commitment to keeping one another healthy and safe, I am confident that we will see continued commitment from our students, faculty and staff, including participation in mandatory screenings by those who are regularly on campus.”

To support the university’s goal of maintaining in-person operations and academic activities, Colorado State University has made COVID screening available to students, faculty and staff free of charge.

Student taking COVID saliva test

Required screening

Beginning Monday, Jan. 18, the following students, faculty and staff are required, per University policy, to screen weekly:

  • All students living in University housing
  • All students living in a fraternity or sorority house
  • All freshmen and sophomores in one or more face-to-face or lab courses
  • All staff who are regularly physically on a CSU campus or other university grounds in Larimer County, including staff involved in research
  • All faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants who are teaching a face-to-face class or laboratory who are regularly physically on a CSU campus or other university grounds in Larimer County

Any student, faculty or staff member who is not required to screen may still participate in screening as often as they wish, including employees who do not work in Larimer County, such as Extension, Forest Service and Agricultural Experiment Station employees.

Additional students, faculty and staff will be added to a mandatory schedule in the coming weeks that will include all junior, senior, graduate, professional or second bachelor students in one or more face-to-face or lab courses, all students in one or more hybrid class who are not already screening, and all faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants who are teaching a hybrid class and are not already screening.

To get screened, all students, faculty and staff must first register and then schedule a screening time; links to the registration and scheduling forms were sent to all students, faculty and staff in a Jan. 14 email from the Pandemic Preparedness Team.

Sign for COVID saliva test

Screening exemptions

Groups currently exempt from mandatory screening:

  • Students who are taking online classes only and who are not living in University housing or a fraternity or sorority house, and employees who are working remotely exclusively and are not regularly on a campus or CSU worksite in Larimer County are not expected to screen on this schedule. It is, however, permissible for individuals in these later groups to occasionally visit university grounds for very brief periods of time, such as to pick up mail, a file or library materials, and not be screened weekly.
  • Anyone who has tested positive in the last 90 days by testing at a CSU testing site OR who has submitted proof of that positive test to CSU Public Health should not screen until 90 days have passed since their positive test. Screening within 90 days of a positive test often results in another positive test result (and the individual is no longer considered COVID positive).

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms, believes they may have been exposed, or is concerned about their work, living or academic environment should report through the COVID Reporter.

Any student, faculty or staff member may choose to screen as often as they want to at a CSU screening site. Testing is also available at non-university sites (See other locations to get tested).

CSU saliva screening or nasal swab testing is only available to students, faculty and staff with a current and valid CSU ID. Family members of students, faculty and staff are not eligible for saliva screening, with the exception of immediate adult family members living in University housing; those family members must bring a photo ID and submit proof of a University housing address at the screening site.