Details on the Williams COVID-19 Testing program

To the Williams community,

As we prepare to reconvene on campus this fall, we’d like to share important information about the COVID testing process for students, faculty, and staff. We recognize that this is an unprecedented effort in the college’s history and anticipate that there’ll be bumps along the way, however, protecting the health and safety of every member of the Williams community is our top priority. Your patience, support, and understanding while we work through this process together is deeply appreciated. With that said, here’s what you need to know about the COVID testing process:

Important!

  1. Blow your nose just prior to testing. Solid matter will interfere with the test’s accuracy. Tissues will be provided at the entrance to all testing sites. If you have not blown your nose right before coming to the testing site, you will be asked to step aside and blow your nose.
  2. Bring your Williams College ID to the testing site. You cannot be tested without it. Temporary employees will be issued IDs.
  3. Professional EMTs will be on site to witness each test.
  4. Students under 18 years of age must have their tests administered by an on-site EMT.
  5. All required faculty, staff, and students will be sent a scheduling link for Snapappointments so you may begin to make appointments. We ask that you please enter your name only once a week into a time slot, as we need to make sure we have room for everyone to be tested.
  6. Only people who are asymptomatic should come to a testing site. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID need to contact their PCP, and students need to call the Health Center 413-597-2206.

 

Locations & Times

All students arriving on campus will be tested as part of the student arrival process, which is located at the Cole Field House. Students will be tested upon their arrival. Three days later, students will be tested for the second time. All students are required to quarantine in their rooms immediately after the first test until test results have been received. Assuming a negative test is received, students will be allowed to leave their rooms three days after their first test to go to the testing site at the parking garage, where they will be tested again. Once tested the second time, students are required to quarantine in their rooms until they receive the results of their second test. Assuming a negative test is received after the second test, students are free to move about the campus. Two negative tests are required prior to students being able to freely move about the campus.

A walk-through testing site will be located on the top, open-air level of Whitman Parking Garage, located at 45 Whitman Street.

  • From August 17-21, testing will be available from 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. for faculty and staff.
  • All students will be required to test at the Cole Field House site as part of their student arrival process.
  • From August 24-November 25, testing will be available for faculty and staff only from 8-10:30 a.m.
  • Testing for students, as well as faculty and staff, will be available from 11:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
  • A drive-through testing site will be located on the first floor of the Whitman Parking Garage. This location is for faculty and staff only.
  • As of this communication, testing will not be available on weekends.
  • Please remember to blow your nose prior to testing.
  • Only people who are asymptomatic should come to a testing site. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID need to contact their PCP, and students need to call the Health Center 413-597-2206.

How it works for Walk-Through Testing:

As you approach the walk-through testing site, you will be directed to the check-in tent that will be set up with two tables, 11 ID card readers, and plexiglass barriers.

Each ID card reader will be labeled 1 through 11, which will correlate with the lanes in the registration and the testing tents. For example, if you swipe your card at reader 4, you will enter the registration tent and be directed to lane 4. You will then leave the registration tent and be directed to lane 4 in the testing tent.

While you wait to move between tents, please be sure to maintain 6’ social distancing. Markers on the ground will indicate proper spacing.

Once inside the registration tent, an usher will greet you, ask for your number, and then direct you to the correct lane. You will then approach the registration table and be directed to stand no closer than the tape line on the ground. There will be a plexiglass barrier between you and the worker on every table.

Next, you’ll be asked to show your Williams ID card so your name can be verified. A label will be placed on a vial by the worker, and the vial will be placed in a tray that will be passed to you under the plexiglass barrier. Once you have your vial, you’ll be directed to the exit heading toward the testing tents, where you’ll be greeted by an EMT or medically trained professional.

You’ll again verify your name, and then be instructed to pick up the cotton swab on the table (still in its original, unopened packaging), open it, and conduct the nasal test. This test simply involves swabbing the inside of each nostril.

Once your test is completed, you will be directed to place your vial into the BROAD box located on the testing table, and you’ll be instructed to exit the testing site.

drive-through testing site will be located on the first floor of the Whitman Parking Garage. This location is for faculty and staff only. Testing will be available from August 17 to November 25, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. As of this communication, testing will not be available on weekends. Please remember to blow your nose prior to testing.

Please note that only people who are asymptomatic should come to a testing site. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID need to contact their PCP, and students need to call the Health Center 413-597-2206.

How it works for Drive-Through Testing:

When approaching the parking garage, please do not enter the garage from Route 7, the entrance for the drive-through testing is only from Whitman Street, behind the ’62 Center. Vehicles will be directed to the second level by traffic controllers, traveling around the circle from left to right. Follow the signage.

Once at the entrance to the second floor of the garage, the driver will enter a drive-through tent and be asked to tap their Williams ID card on the card reader and proceed into the garage, down to the first level.

Registration workers there will print out labels, place them on the vials, and hand the vial and one swab package to the EMT/trained worker, who hands them to the driver.

The EMT/trained worker will witness the test, and then request that the driver place the vial into the BROAD box. The driver will then exit the testing site.

Carpooling is not permitted; however, individuals who live together may arrive for testing in the same vehicle. They can each be tested provided they each have an appointment and are wearing a mask. Each person will need to present and tap on the card reader, a Williams ID.

Also, vehicles higher than 6’ 6” will not be able to access the parking garage. If your vehicle exceeds this height, you will not be permitted to enter the drive-through testing site.

 

Scheduling an Appointment

Testing at all sites is scheduled by appointment using Snapappointments. Appointments are scheduled in 15-minute blocks, starting at 8 a.m. Each 15-minute block can accommodate 10 people at the walk-through testing site and three people at the drive-through site. We will send the link for scheduling app directly to those faculty and staff on the high-contact testing required list. This link will be sent out no later than Thursday, August 13.

During the first week of testing, faculty, and staff can schedule appointments from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. All students will be tested at the Cole Field House site during this first week (August 17-21).

 

Test Results Notification & Contact Tracing

When the medical provider notifies a person that they have tested positive for COVID, we will explain to them that a contact tracer will be reaching out shortly.

Leslie Drager is the local Williamstown lead contact tracer. She will request information such as who the infected individual had contact with in the last 2-3 days. (Massachusetts defines close contact as face to face for 10 or more minutes, less than 6’ apart.)  The tracer will not request information such as Social Security numbers or banking information. If you receive a call requesting this information, do not share it, as it may be a scam.

In addition, be aware that you may receive a call from the Massachusetts Tracing Team, using the caller ID “MA COVID TEAM” and area codes 833 and/or 857.

Negative test results will be available on the Broad online platform and app.

Rita L. Coppola-Wallace
Executive Director, Design and Construction (Testing Site Manager)

Deborah Flynn
Director of Medical Services

Danielle Gonzalez, PHR, SHRM-CP
Director | Human Resources