Some Elite Colleges Require Weekly Testing For Vaccinated Students

Some Elite Colleges Require Weekly Testing For Vaccinated Students
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By Anne Dennon

Published on August 13, 2021

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A handful of elite colleges — Brown, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford — will require weekly coronavirus testing on top of vaccination for on-campus students this fall. Citing the increased risks of the delta variant, college leaders walked back earlier policies that said students would not be required to take COVID-19 tests after showing vaccination papers. Students at these schools who live or learn on campus are required to take a test before arriving and then submit to weekly testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told colleges that fully vaccinated campuses could return to normal this fall. However, at the end of July, the CDC reported that fully vaccinated people were still contracting and transmitting the virus.

So far, just a few campuses plan on mandating both vaccination and regular COVID-19 testing for students. However, many colleges have said that unvaccinated students will face regular testing. While other California college systems require the vaccine, Los Angeles Community College District says vaccination status will not prevent anyone from enrolling or attending class on campus, but unvaccinated students will need to be tested regularly.

The University of North Carolina (UNC) sidesteps requiring the vaccine by asking students to report their vaccination status in order to be exempt from regular COVID-19 testing. UNC sums up the rule as "Get Vaccinated or Get Tested Weekly" — or maybe even more frequently.

Some colleges that won't demand regular COVID-19 tests still plan on testing students upon their arrival to campus. The University of Texas, which has issued no mandate regarding vaccines or masks for the upcoming semester, will require all students — unvaccinated and vaccinated — to be tested within three days of the first day of class.

Most colleges will continue to foot the bill for COVID-19 testing, but some plan to pass along those costs. At the College of Idaho, unvaccinated students will be required to pay for weekly mandatory testing. Unvaccinated students at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama will be charged a $500 fee for weekly testing during the upcoming fall term. West Virginia Wesleyan College will also charge unvaccinated students a $750 fee. Additionally, the college says it will "be limited in the use of facilities and other indoor venues for the protection of the health and safety of the campus community."


Feature Image: Mario Tama / Staff / Getty Images News

Colleges across the U.S. have announced plans to return to in-person instruction this fall, but strict COVID-19 campus guidelines will remain in place. Colleges already require vaccines, but COVID-19 vaccines are approved for emergency use only, thrusting new mandates into a legal gray zone. Colleges across the U.S. are increasingly requiring COVID-19 vaccination for on-campus learning. Check out the full list of colleges that require the vaccine.