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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of November 23, 2020,
for the spring 2021 semester.

Smith College A Culture of Care

Coronavirus Screening

Coronavirus Screening

The following groups are included in the college’s mandatory, twice-weekly coronavirus screening: students approved to be in residence on or near campus and approved on-campus employees. Smith’s asymptomatic screening program is managed by the Broad Institute.

This dashboard will be updated twice per week. In accordance with applicable privacy laws, the college will not release any personally identifying information regarding individual cases.

Coronavirus Screening Activity
Confirmed positive cases since last update 0
Total inconclusive* results to date 308
Total confirmed positive cases to date 4
Total screenings performed to date 16,992
Last updated: November 29, 2020
*An inconclusive result indicates an error in processing or collection. Individuals with inconclusive results are rescreened as soon as possible.

Please note: This dashboard only reports data from the on-campus screening program. 

The coronavirus asymptomatic screening site is at the Carroll Room in the Campus Center and will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday 7 to 10 a.m.

More information about on-campus isolation and quarantine is available in the student handbook.

Please send any questions regarding coronavirus screening or contact tracing to testingandtracing@smith.edu.

  • Local, approved off-campus students must be screened one time per week. On-campus students must be screened two times per week.
  • Students who have been approved to live near campus must schedule their own screenings.
  • Appointments are available for scheduling for the next two weeks. Check back to schedule future appointments.
  • Informed consent forms for the asymptomatic screening will be completed on site at your first testing appointment.
  • Results will be made available 36–48 hours after the screening is completed. Results will be emailed from the Broad Institute’s lab software, CareEvolve.
  • When signing into CareEvolve for the first time, you will be prompted to confirm demographic information. Please select “unknown” for gender and use the college’s ZIP code—01063. This information can be updated after viewing your initial negative test results.
  • A note about gender classification in CareEvolve: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which CareEvolve must report screening data to, currently dictates that “gender” (their term) be coded into only four categories: “other,” “unknown,” “female” and “male.” You will be asked to indicate which category your screening results should be coded into and unfortunately, based on Massachusetts requirements, we can provide only these four choices. Each member of our community has been loaded into the system with a gender identity listed as “unknown,” to not presume each member's gender.
    Smith College acknowledges that these categories are not inclusive or accurate, and they are not the categories we use to provide clinical care to students. We apologize to students, as does the Broad Institute. We have been in contact with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ask them to reconfigure how they categorize and use the term “gender” and we will continue to work to change this requirement.
  • Only negative screening results will be communicated via email.
  • Positive screening results will be communicated by health-care staff at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness.
  • Students who test positive will speak with a member of the college’s Contact Tracing Team, who will provide guidance about isolation protocols and how to access needed health care.
  • Isolation space on campus will be available to residential students and, when possible, to students who have been approved for local, off-campus status.

The coronavirus asymptomatic screening site is at the Carroll Room in the Campus Center and will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday 7 to 10 a.m.

Please send any questions regarding coronavirus screening or contact tracing to testingandtracing@smith.edu.

  • Employees that are on campus three times or more per week must be screened twice per week. Campus Safety, Health Service and other employees who work in residential houses where students are currently staying must also be screened twice a week. Employees on campus two times or less per week must screen once per week.
  • All employees required to work on campus must have a manager submit a return to campus request on their behalf. Faculty members may request these themselves. This is a required and very important first step into getting into the testing protocol pool. When this request is submitted, we are ensuring that you are in the Broad Institute’s lab software used for processing asymptomatic testing.
  • Employees must schedule their own screening(s). Appointments will be scheduled for the next two weeks. Please check back to schedule future appointments.
  • Informed consent forms for the asymptomatic screening will be completed on site at the first screening appointment.
  • Results will be made available 36–48 hours after the screening is completed. Results will be emailed from the Broad Institute’s lab software, CareEvolve.
  • Only negative screening results will be communicated via email.
  • Positive screening results will be communicated by health-care staff at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness. Employees who receive a positive screening result should contact their manager and their human resources representative as soon as possible to discuss next steps.
  • A member of the college’s Contact Tracing Team will reach out to test-positive employees within 24 hours to discuss any close contacts they may have had on campus. Cases will then be passed on to the local Board of Health, which will interview the employee about any close contacts in the employee’s town of residence.
  • When signing into CareEvolve for the first time you will be prompted to confirm demographic information. Please select “unknown” for gender and enter your home ZIP code. This information can be updated after viewing your initial negative screening results.
  • A note about gender classification in CareEvolve: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which CareEvolve must report screening data to, currently dictates that “gender” (their term) be coded into only four categories: “other,” “unknown,” “female” and “male.” You will be asked to indicate which category your test results should be coded into and unfortunately, based on Massachusetts requirements, we can only provide these four choices. Each member of our community has been loaded into the system with a gender identity listed as “unknown,” to not presume each member's gender.
    Smith College acknowledges that these categories are not inclusive or accurate, and they are not the categories we use to provide clinical care to students. We apologize to students, as does the Broad Institute. We have been in contact with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ask them to reconfigure how they categorize and use the term “gender” and we will continue to work to change this requirement.

If you test positive for COVID-19

  • If you test positive after completing an asymptomatic screening, someone on the Schacht Center staff will call you to discuss your test result and offer guidance about how to access any needed medical care and how to navigate the state required isolation period.
  • After receiving a positive result, a member of the HR team will assist you in how to record your time on your timesheet (if applicable) and will assist in notifying your manager that you are approved for a leave of absence from your position. You will continue to be paid for any time spent in quarantine or isolation.
  • In accordance with state Department of Public Health requirements, a member of the college’s contact tracing team will call you within 24 hours of receiving your positive test result. The tracer’s job is to interview you and make sure you are connected with appropriate medical resources, offer broad information about isolation/quarantine guidelines, and work with you to identify anyone on campus with whom you may have had close contact. You will also be contacted by your local Board of Health in the city or town of your residence. They will work with you to ensure you have any additional support you need and will inquire about anyone in your local community with whom you have had direct contact.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, you will be able to return to work approximately 10 days after receiving your positive result. The Office of Human Resources will guide you in submitting appropriate medical certification to return to work.
  • If you do develop symptoms, you should contact your primary health-care provider for guidance. You may return to work after:
    1. 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
    2. 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
    3. Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
    4. Your doctor has cleared you to return to work and provided the Office of Human Resources with appropriate medical certification to return to work.
  • After you test positive, you will continue to show positive test results for up to 90 days. You should discontinue asymptomatic screening protocol during this time. A representative from the asymptomatic screening and contract tracing team will be in touch with you at the end of the 90 days to remind you to begin asymptomatic screening again.

Symptomatic Screening

Students in Residence

  • Symptomatic testing is available for students at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness. Students who have fallen ill and suspect that it may be COVID-19 should immediately call the Schacht Center to schedule a test.

Employees On Campus

  • Employees who have developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home, complete this form and contact their primary health-care provider to determine if a symptomatic COVID-19 test is warranted.
  • Employees should remain home until they have been cleared for return by their primary health-care provider.

Coronavirus Screening FAQ

Why are we doing asymptomatic screening if the transmission of asymptomatic infections is rare?
The CDC warns that you can still pass along the virus even if you feel well and experience no symptoms. College campuses by nature are close- knit communities in which faculty, staff, and students all have regular interaction. Even though Smith has a limited number of students living on campus, there is still a sizable number of employees and students on campus on any given day. The asymptomatic screening process is in place to slow any potential outbreaks and decrease the rate of infection. Doing so can help lessen pressures on our local health-care institutions and prevent them from being overwhelmed by an outbreak on campus that could spread into our local community.

Why do we have an indoor space vs. an outdoor space for screening? Wouldn’t it be safer to do the screening outdoors, especially when you have to pull down your mask during screening?
The Carroll Room is a safe option for indoor screening. This room is a negative pressure room, which means the air is constantly being filtered outside and fresh air is filtered in. There is no recycled air coming back into this room.

Individuals who enter a testing booth are asked to pull their masks or approved face coverings just below their nose, but to keep the rest of their face covered. The ease of the collection process ensures that an individual’s mask is down for only a few seconds. We also have a regular cleaning protocol for the booths, which are in place to keep the staff safe who are working on site several hours each day.

As nice as an outdoor space would be, we had to find a more permanent option since the screening will span into the winter months. Since we have to have staff observing the swabbing it's not realistic to have them working outside for extended periods of time when the weather gets colder.

What happens if a line forms? How are we doing crowd control at the screening location?
During the first week of screening, the average wait time in line was no more than a few minutes. There are floor markers in place and staff monitoring the line to ensure that physical distancing measures are maintained. When the line does get longer, people are asked to wait outside. As we continue the screening process, we trust that the process will be streamlined even further and will prevent long lines from forming.

I see some people wearing masks or approved face coverings incorrectly—can there be communication sent out about the safety guidelines?
The entire campus community was required to complete a coronavirus campus training by early August. This outlined all of the safety measures in place and rules that community members need to follow in order to come to campus. Nonetheless, it is an ongoing process to ensure that all campus community members understand and adhere to the guidelines for wearing face coverings correctly. At the test site, we will continue to provide educational signage and offer friendly reminders about appropriate mask hygiene. We also appreciate help from the campus community as a whole and encourage everyone to have respectful conversations with peers when we notice ways to improve adherence to our shared safety guidelines.

What if I have trouble logging in to CareEvolve and haven’t received my results?
You will not be able to log in to CareEvolve, the The Broad Institute's lab software for accessing results until after you complete your first coronavirus screening and the registration process. Positive results will only be communicated by Schacht Center staff.

After completing your first screening, you will receive a message from CareEvolve titled "Lab results available from your provider-register now.” Depending on how your email is set up, this message might be filtered into a different view. Please search in your trash, spam, and other email folders.