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COVID-19 Testing

In line with current best practices, and consistent with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidance, Pepperdine has implemented a comprehensive, multi-layered testing strategy for use in particular circumstances and more widely in the community as an integral part of the University's COVID-19 prevention plan. The University has an ample supply of testing kits, on-site processing equipment, established relationships for off-site lab processing, and additional medical and support staff and is prepared for all needed testing during this academic year.

Testing Systems

The University is currently using a three-part COVID-19 testing system, which includes the following:


 

One-Time Entry Testing

Required For: All students accessing a Pepperdine campus or facility, regardless of vaccination status, including students arriving from international locations
COVID-19 Test Type: Either a rapid/antigen test or a PCR test
Testing Timeline: 72 hours before arrival on campus; results received and submitted to the Student Health Center Patient Portal prior to arrival on campus

As a precautionary measure and screening tool for the start of the semester in compliance with LACDPH guidance, Pepperdine requires all students accessing a Pepperdine campus or facility, regardless of vaccination status, including those students arriving from international locations, to obtain a diagnostic test for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before arrival at one of Pepperdine's campuses or facilities.

Before coming to campus, all students referenced above must do the following:

  • Take a COVID-19 test (either a rapid/antigen test or a PCR test) 72 hours before arriving on campus.
  • Upload the test results (positive or negative) to the Student Health Center Patient Portal before arriving on campus:
    1. Login to the Patient Portal using Pepperdine credentials (CAS)
    2. Select "Upload"
    3. Select "COVID-19 Test" and upload the test results

Students who test negative for COVID-19 are cleared to arrive on campus.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must:

  • Not come to campus
  • Contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3
  • Follow instructions from their physician or clinician
  • Isolate for 10 days or until symptoms resolve if beyond 10 days

 

Routine Screening Testing

Required For: All students, faculty, and staff accessing a Pepperdine campus or facility, regardless of vaccination status
COVID-19 Test Type: PCR test - saliva or mid nasal swab
Testing Timeline: Weekly (subject to change based on conditions)

Screening testing refers to the periodic testing of individuals, regardless of whether they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. Because people with COVID-19 can show no symptoms at all (asymptomatic), screening testing helps proactively identify COVID-19 cases and reduce further transmission in the community.

To prioritize health and safety and in compliance with LACDPH guidance, all students, faculty, and staff accessing a University campus or facility will be required to test on a regular basis (on a weekly basis beginning fall 2021). The frequency of testing is subject to change and will be determined by an ongoing analysis, considering such factors as public health orders and guidance, the number of people on campus, the presence of COVID-19 cases on campus, the level of COVID-19 transmission in the local community, and the percentage of Pepperdine community members who are vaccinated. For students, faculty, and staff accessing a campus or facility on an infrequent basis, routine screening testing will be required only for the week(s) when they will be present. Those who do not access a campus, or who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not have to test in a given week. Community members should email covid19testing@pepperdine.edu if one of these situations is applicable.

The Pepperdine community will be notified of required testing through weekly emails from the University's testing partner, SwabSeq UCLA, and asked to follow a link to register and schedule a testing appointment. Screening testing at the University is simple and quick, and community members do not need to quarantine while they wait for test results. Community members will do the following:

  • Use a web-based software platform to schedule testing
  • Once a week, go to an on-campus testing site
  • Use a nasal swab or saliva tube to submit a sample
  • See their test results in the web-based software within one business day

Results are delivered via email or text message, depending on the registrant's selected preference. Testing at the Malibu campus and graduate campuses is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 7 AM to 4 PM and on Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Additional dates and times may be scheduled to accommodate special circumstances and respond to the testing needs of the community.

Those who receive negative test results do not need to do anything and can continue normal activities. Though unlikely, test results could come back inconclusive on occasion. If results are inconclusive, a follow-up test will be conducted on the same sample without further action on the individual's part.

Those who receive positive test results must immediately:

  • Contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3
  • Isolate (refrain from going to campus or class, or otherwise interacting with other people)
  • Follow all Student Health Center instructions on next steps

An email invitation will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff required to participate in routine screening testing, including details on how to register for the web-based testing software, how to schedule a weekly test, and the on-campus locations and times for the available testing sites. Required routine screening testing will begin on the following schedule:

Group Screening Testing Start
All Staff Week of August 16, 2021
Caruso School of Law Students and Faculty Week of August 16, 2021
Seaver College Students and Faculty Week of August 30, 2021
Graziadio Business School Students and Faculty Week of August 30, 2021
School of Public Policy Students and Faculty Week of August 30, 2021
Graduate School of Education and Psychology Students and Faculty Week of September 6, 2021

The campus testing sites are only used for screening testing. If you are symptomatic or have had a known exposure to COVID-19, please DO NOT visit the campus routine screening testing sites to test for COVID-19. Instead, follow specific instructions for testing arrangements received through contact tracing, the Student Health Center (students), or your personal clinician (employees).


 

Diagnostic Testing

Used For: All symptomatic students, faculty, and staff (regardless of vaccination status), and those identified as close contact to a COVID-19 patient
COVID-19 Test Type: Either a rapid/antigen test and/or a PCR test (based on circumstances)
Testing Timeline: At the direction of the Student Health Center or clinician

Diagnostic testing is intended to identify current infection in individuals and is performed when a person has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or when a person is asymptomatic but has recent known or suspected exposure to COVID-19.

If you are symptomatic or have had a known exposure to COVID-19, please DO NOT visit the campus routine screening testing sites to test for COVID-19 and await specific instructions for testing arrangements.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Do not go to campus or to class
  • Remain in your residence
  • Contact the appropriate clinician
    • Students: Immediately call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3, and follow their instructions, which could include diagnostic testing and quarantine/isolation. Testing may be completed either at the Student Health Center, or urgent care facilities near graduate campus locations.
    • Faculty/Staff: Contact your clinician and follow their instructions, which could include diagnostic testing and quarantine/isolation. If you test positive for COVID-19, notify the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3, of your case so appropriate contact tracing can occur.

While awaiting your diagnostic test results following an exposure if you are asymptomatic:

  • Unvaccinated Students must quarantine for 10 days from the time of their exposure.
  • Vaccinated Students must follow LACDPH's modified quarantine procedures staying in their rooms, but continuing to attend classes and pick up their own food. However, all non-academic activities, social activities, and participation in athletic training, practice, and competition are prohibited.
  • Unvaccinated Faculty/Staff must quarantine for 10 days from the time of their exposure.
  • Vaccinated Faculty/Staff may continue to come to work as long as they remain asymptomatic.

While awaiting your diagnostic test results symptomatic individuals should not come to campus or class, should minimize contact with others, and follow the directives of their clinicians.

Those who receive positive test results should notify the Student Health Center immediately and follow their instructions, which will include directions on when it is safe to return to campus spaces. Those who receive positive test results, regardless of vaccination status, should isolate for a minimum of 10 days beginning the day of a positive test result for those who are asymptomatic or the day symptoms began for those who are symptomatic. Notification to the Student Health Center is necessary for contact tracing.


 

Prioritizing Health and Safety

The University has given deliberate attention and invested considerable resources to ensure its testing program is effective, simple, and adaptable to changing conditions.

The frequency of and types of testing required will be determined by an ongoing analysis considering many factors, including the following: (i) public health orders and guidance, (ii) the number of people on campus; (iii) the presence of COVID-19 cases on a campus; (iv) the level of COVID-19 transmission in the local community; and (v) the percentage of Pepperdine community members who are vaccinated.

If an outbreak of COVID-19 cases occurs, or if the University determines additional testing is needed for the continued health and safety of the community, the frequency of testing could increase. The University continues to review its testing protocols with its medical professionals and infectious disease specialists and will make adjustments as necessary.

The University is confident community members will comply with these important health and safety provisions. In the unlikely event of non-compliance, these matters will be directed to the Office of Community Standards for students, the Office of the Provost for faculty, or Human Resources for staff members. Consequences will be aligned with other failures to comply with University policy.

For questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at covid19info@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.8111.

Notice:

The most up-to-date information on testing can be found on the Pepperdine Restoration Plan "Test" website.