2.8.21: Spring 2021 COVID-19 Surveillance Testing for Teaching Assistants

A message sent to teaching assistants 

Dear Colleagues,

Once again, Lehigh will offer optional COVID-19 surveillance testing twice per month to faculty and staff, including TAs, who have regular in-person contact with students and colleagues on campus. If you are working remotely and do not come to campus frequently, please do not sign up for a test, as these are intended for those who have regular contact with others as part of their work responsibilities. Please disregard this message if you are an RA or a GA who does not have regular contact with students on campus. 

As you know, students are also completing weekly surveillance testing, with most students being tested on average every other week.

If you are a TA who would like to be tested, you can sign up for an appointment time for next week via [LINK PROVIDED VIA EMAIL]. Please note that this link is different from the one used by students for test scheduling. You will receive notifications in advance to sign up for future dates. For planning purposes, the next testing week for faculty and staff will be February 22. You should not schedule a test if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks.   

Do NOT come to campus for a surveillance test if: 

  • You feel sick. If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, please stay home. Contact your personal healthcare provider for guidance.

  • You have been identified as a close contact requiring quarantine.

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks. 

Important Information for All Those Being Tested

  • NEW: All testing will take place in the Butz Lobby of Zoellner Arts Center. Please enter the main Zoellner entrance via the west-side doors facing the Tamerler Courtyard. The testing stations are located on the 2nd floor of ZAC. You will queue up the stairs leading to the upper lobby. If you require elevator access, please take the elevator to the 2nd floor and queue there. 

  • NEW: Please sign up for your appointments via [LINK PROVIDED VIA EMAIL]. 

  • Use your Lehigh email address when scheduling your appointment. 

  • You will need your LIN to take the test. If you do not know it, please look it up on Banner in advance of your appointment and bring it with you. 

  • In the event of inclement weather, please watch for communications from the university regarding the status of COVID testing for that day. 

  • Lehigh volunteers and testing representatives from the organization Drug Free Sport will staff the testing site with proper social distancing and health protocols in place. Please hold to your scheduled appointment time to help minimize the number of individuals accessing the testing site at the same time.  

  • You must complete the daily COVID-19 self-assessment before coming to complete the Vault Health test, just as is required before accessing any campus buildings. Stay home if you do not feel well. 

  • Wear a face covering at all times, other than when you are taking your test.

  • Arrive at the assigned location at the scheduled appointment time with a smartphone or device. A smart device is required to log in or to register a new account. 

  • It is very important that you arrive at your scheduled date and time. The testing process should take approximately 15 minutes per person. You may be asked to stand in a socially distanced queue to wait for your appointment. Please follow all directional instructions and maintain 6’ of distance from others at all times. 

  • A volunteer will be on site to ensure social distancing and the flow of appointments. Please have your Lehigh ID available at all times.

  • Drink plenty of water so you are hydrated, which is key to producing enough saliva to successfully complete the test, but make sure to fast for 30 minutes before the test (NO food or drink, including water, and no smoking)

  • Using a smartphone or device, scan the provided QR code to visit Vault’s web-app for questions regarding COVID-19 exposure/symptoms. 

  • Enter the serial number on the Saliva Collection Device when prompted by the web-app.

  • Provide a saliva sample under test supervision.

  • Vault will return test results to all applicable parties electronically within 48-72 hours from the sample’s arrival at the lab.

  • After completing your test, you should immediately leave the area and avoid congregating in groups. Social distancing and the wearing of face coverings are required at all times. 

Please note: After completing your test, when you complete your daily Hawkwatch COVID-19 Self-Assessment, select that you completed a "Lehigh Administered Test." If everything else indicates you are approved to come to campus, this will allow you to receive a "green badge." You do not need to quarantine while you await your result.  

If You Receive a Positive Test Result

One can test positive for COVID-19 without symptoms. If you do test positive, you must isolate. If you test positive, you will receive follow-up from the Health and Wellness Center and will be instructed to isolate as per our isolation and quarantine protocol.

If you receive a positive result after the HWC closes on a weekday (4:00 p.m.), you can expect to hear from a HWC staff member the following weekday. 

If you receive your test result over the weekend, a clinician is available and on call at the number provided below for those experiencing medical issues; otherwise, you can expect to receive a follow-up from a HWC staff member on Monday. You should remain in your residence and self-isolate until you receive further directions from these teams.

If you are experiencing symptoms at any time, including while awaiting follow-up from the HWC for a positive test result, please call the HWC's main number at 610-758-3870. There is a HWC clinician-on-call after-hours and on weekends for medical concerns. At any time, if you are experiencing a true medical emergency, call LUPD at 610-758-4200 or dial 9-1-1.

If You Receive a Negative Test Result

Please remember that a negative test does not indicate that you are not infected or that you will not get infected in the coming days. It only indicates that you are not shedding detectable levels of the virus at the time that you took the test. Given the incubation time of the virus, tests will likely be negative for 2-3 days after the initial infection. Wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and practicing positive health behaviors are most critical.

Questions and Contact Information

-For all contact information, refer to the COVID-19 contacts resource page

-If you have any questions about the status of your test results, contact Vault Health at covid@vaulthealth.com. Do not call the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center for this information. 

-For surveillance testing FAQs, please visit the COVID-19 Surveillance Testing page. For answers not covered by the FAQ, contact inlutest@lehigh.edu.  

-For questions about COVID-19 related symptoms and symptomatic or close contact testing, contact the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870.

Thank you for your continued cooperation as we work together to ensure a safe and successful semester for all members of our community. 


Nathan Urban, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Chris Halladay, Associate Vice President, Human Resources