JBU requiring students to get COVID-19 test before classes start

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – John Brown University is requiring all students to get tested for COVID-19 before the spring semester.

JBU released the following statement:

Greetings from a very quiet JBU campus! I hope you have been enjoying the extended time of rest after a very busy semester. For the 260 students taking a winter term class, we hope your studies are going well.

We have some important things to communicate for the spring semester. We are grateful for a successful fall semester of in-person classes, but we also recognize that the spread of COVID-19 has recently increased dramatically. In Siloam Springs the number of active cases per 10,000 residents has tripled in recent weeks (from 35 new infections per 10k to 105 new infections per 10k). In addition, while local hospitals in Northwest Arkansas still have some capacity, they are serving record numbers of COVID-19 patients. We feel confident that our COVID-19 protocols on campus (masks, physical distancing, isolation, etc.) will continue to be helpful, but we want to get the best possible start to the semester.

With that in mind, we are requiring all students, faculty, and staff to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to the start of the spring semester. Tests must be taken on or after Monday, January 25, and results must be provided to JBU by Friday, January 29, at 2 p.m. If you have been approved to return to campus early (i.e. resident assistants, orientation leaders, international students, etc.), please work with your supervising staff member for additional information on the timing of your test. This includes graduate and online undergraduate students registered for in-person classes this spring.

We prefer PCR tests because of accuracy but will also accept an antigen “rapid” test. We ask students to use their JBU login to upload proof of their negative test results no later than Friday, January 29, at 2 p.m. We will take appropriate precautions to secure your private health information. Our ITS department is creating an online tool that will be available on Monday, January 25 at jbu.edu/uploadresults.

We expect that there will be some tests available for local students at JBU when we conduct tests for faculty and staff the week of January 25. Students will be able to sign up for those tests starting January 21 on a first-come, first-served basis. Please watch your JBU email for details on registering.

If your test comes back positive, please email Lea Hart, coordinator of student COVID-19 care, at lhart@jbu.edu to discuss when you can return to campus and online class participation.

If students have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days and can provide dated test results, they do not need to be tested prior to arrival. Please email the dated test results to nurse@jbu.edu unless nurse Rhonda already has your diagnosis recorded from the fall semester.

We understand it may take some time for you to find a local testing site, so we are communicating with you via several avenues to give you as much lead time as possible. If you have questions, please see our Student Testing FAQ. The FAQ also includes possible Northwest Arkansas testing sites as well as who to contact at JBU if you are having trouble getting tested.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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