University of Miami makes COVID-19 tests a requirement for students on campus

Howard Cohen
·2 min read
Some colleges and universities across the country, including the University of Miami, Florida State University and the University of Central Florida, are moving classes online as health experts worry that gatherings during the holiday season will lead to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Some colleges and universities across the country, including the University of Miami, Florida State University and the University of Central Florida, are moving classes online as health experts worry that gatherings during the holiday season will lead to COVID-19 outbreaks.

The University of Miami has added a new requirement of its on-campus students.

Get a COVID-19 test every two weeks for the remainder of the fall semester.

It’s not a request. It’s a requirement.

UM alerted its students and faculty that in an “adaptive response to the coronavirus pandemic, and as an added safeguard for our community,” the university is expanding its COVID-19 testing.

Students who will be on the Coral Gables or Marine campuses at any point during the remainder of the fall semester will be required to take a COVID-19 test every two weeks through the UScreen Testing Initiative.

Who the testing applies to

This new, mandatory testing requirement applies to any student who comes to campus for any reason:

Undergraduate students, whether residing on or off campus.

Graduate students (including those with teaching roles).

School of Law students.

Employees who are enrolled in in-person classes.

Students who are enrolled in fully remote instruction and don’t come to campus for any reason are not subject to this testing requirement.

This new testing initiative replaces the random surveillance testing for students, but random surveillance testing will continue for staff and faculty members.

UM, FIU COVID-19 dashboard

The move comes as UM reported a 3.6% positivity rate in COVID-19 cases as of Thursday and 10 new cases among students (four of whom are residential) and two faculty members on Wednesday, according to UM’s dashboard.

These numbers inched up a case a day since Sept. 6. The positivity rate has fluctuated on a day-to-day basis but was trending down in the latest report.

UM has reported 297 positive cases since launching its daily dashboard on Aug. 16.

By comparison, Florida International University’s dashboard reports 215 student cases and 113 faculty cases in its Sept. 6 report on the FIU dashboard.

FIU currently requires its students to check in on an app before the beginning of each day on campus. FIU, like UM, also requires face coverings and social distancing protocols.

FIU has a contact tracing team working to slow the spread of COVID-19 among the university community, according to its dashboard.

UM students to get instructions

UM students will receive specific instructions about how to acquire their test Friday afternoon, the university said.

The testing sites will be on the Gables campus at the Pavia and Albenga garages.

“Only students who comply with the testing protocol will be permitted on the Coral Gables or Marine campus. Students who do not comply will be blocked from taking the Daily Symptom Checker and receiving the “Good to Go” clearance, and may face disciplinary action,” UM said in a release to students and faculty.