Expanded Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing (EAST)

Current students, faculty, and staff are eligible for Luther’s expanded asymptomatic surveillance testing (EAST) program, with some restrictions noted below. This testing program is designed to work in tandem with physical distancing, face coverings, and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Schedule Your COVID Test

Please contact Vicky Jaeger, assistant director of wellness and the manager of Luther’s testing center, at [email protected] with any questions about the EAST program.

When is the EAST program starting?

The testing program is starting on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.

Why are we expanding COVID-19 surveillance testing now?

Social distancing and face coverings prevent most COVID infections, and routine testing provides an additional layer of protection. (See, for example, this study.) The scale of Luther’s asymptomatic testing program has been limited by the availability of testing supplies. Luther began working with Abbott in August 2020 to obtain testing supplies. Before January 2021, Abbott's supplies were available primarily to federal and state government agencies. In January 2021, Luther was able to place and receive an order of testing supplies from Abbott and has been working since to hire and train staff and equip the testing center.

Does adding the EAST program change anything about Luther’s protocols for face masks, physical distancing, and use of the CampusClear app?

No. The expanded testing program is an additional mitigation strategy and does not replace Luther's protocols for face masks and physical distancing and use of the CampusClear app.

Will Luther continue the asymptomatic testing program that has been focused on student-athletes, musicians, and RAs?

We will continue the existing testing program focused on student athletes.

Who may be tested through the EAST program?

The program is available to all Luther students, faculty, and staff, with the restrictions noted below.

Are students, faculty, and staff required to participate in the EAST program?

Participation is voluntary. Individuals are not required to participate, but it is strongly encouraged by the COVID Response Team.

Who is not eligible for the EAST program?

At this time, the program is not available to faculty emeriti or family members of students, faculty, and staff. The program is not available to members of the public.

Additional restrictions apply to all students, faculty, and staff. You cannot receive a test through the EAST program if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • You have been identified as a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are in quarantine. 

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who are in quarantine as a close contact of someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis should arrange for a test through the TestIowa program.

If I have already been vaccinated or if I already had COVID-19, can I participate in the EAST program?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days are not eligible to participate in the program. Due to limited capacities, individuals who have completed their vaccination for COVID-19 (both shots) are discouraged from participating in the program.

What type of COVID test will be used?

The EAST program will use the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test developed by Abbott. The test is a lateral flow immunoassay for the qualitative detection of nucleoplasmid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2. The BinaxNOW test is neither a PCR test nor an antibody test. Learn more on Abbott’s BinaxNow website.

How is the test administered?

The test analyzes specimens from a self-administered nasal swab that is obtained under the supervision of a healthcare professional. The participant inserts the test swab into each of their nostrils (approximately one inch) and rotates the swab five times. The participant then inserts the swab into the test card. (Watch a video that shows the testing process.) A member of the testing center staff will then complete the extraction of the specimen and seal the test card. Test results are interpreted by the testing center staff based on the presence or absence of visually detectable colored lines.

How often can I be tested?

Effective immediately, students, faculty, and staff may now receive an asymptomatic COVID-19 test two times in a 30-day period through Luther’s Expanded Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing (EAST) program.

How do I sign up to receive a test?

Individuals must schedule a testing appointment using Luther’s scheduling program. The appointment will identify both a date and time for the test. It will also collect demographic information that Luther is required to report to the state of Iowa along with test results.

How far in advance should I schedule my test?

We ask that students, faculty, and staff sign up at least 12 hours in advance. Reservations may be made up to seven days in advance. Same day appointments may be scheduled depending on participation rates and cancellations by emailing [email protected]

Can I reschedule my testing appointment if a conflict arises?

Yes, test appointments may be rescheduled. We have a six-hour cancellation policy. If you need to cancel or change your appointment after the six-hour window, please email [email protected]

Are walk-in tests allowed?

No. All participants must schedule a test in advance using Luther’s scheduling program.

Where do I go for my testing appointment?

The testing center for the EAST program is located at 404 High Street, a campus house located near the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music. View a campus map showing the testing center.

Is the testing center handicap accessible?

The testing center has limited accessibility. When you schedule an appointment, you can notify the testing center staff of any mobility limitations you have, and the staff will work with you on accommodations.

What are the hours of the testing facility?

The testing center will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday.

What do I need to do to prepare for the test?

All test participants are strongly encouraged to download the NAVICA app developed by Abbott and set up an account prior to arriving at the testing center. The NAVICA app may be downloaded from the App Store (Apple devices) or the Google Play Store (Android devices). 

The NAVICA app was designed by Abbott to pair with the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test for COVID-19. The app allows individuals to store, access, and display their BinaxNOW test results. The test results displayed through the NAVICA app are encrypted and available only to the test participant and the staff at the testing center.

All test participants are also encouraged to watch a video that shows the testing procedure.

Is the NAVICA app required to receive a test?

No. Individuals do not need to use the NAVICA app in order to participate.

What will happen when I arrive at the testing center?

The testing center manager will greet test participants and check their Luther College ID card to establish identification. The manager will then ask a series of screening questions to verify eligibility to receive a test. The questions screen for symptoms of COVID-19, past diagnosis of COVID-19, and exposure to COVID-19 by a close contact.

How long will my appointment last?

Upon arrival, appointments are expected to take approximately 15 minutes.

Do I need to wait at the testing center in order to receive the results?

No. Individuals will be asked to exit the testing center after the test has been administered.

How long will it take to receive my test results?

The results of the test will be determined by a member of the testing center staff 15-30 minutes following the completion of the test. Test participants who use the NAVICA app should receive their test results when the staff record the results. Test participants who do not use the NAVICA app may expect to receive their test results approximately one hour following the completion of the test.

Individuals who do not receive their test results after one hour should call the testing center at 563-419-1826. Individuals should not return to the testing center.

Do I need to take any precautions until I receive my results?

Yes. We encourage test participants to avoid interacting with others until they receive their test results.

How will I receive my test results?

Test participants who use the NAVICA app will receive a notification by email that their results are available for viewing on the app.

Test participants who do not use the NAVICA app will receive a text message for a negative result and a phone call for a positive test result.

What happens if I receive a negative test result?

This means your antigen test indicated that there is no evidence that you have COVID-19. A negative test result does not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection. Continue to wear your fask mask, observe physical distancing, frequently wash your hands, and use the CampusClear app.

Students who develop symptoms of COVID-19 following a negative test result should contact the Student Health Service (563-387-1045; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m to 8 p.m.) or Winneshiek Medical Center Emergency Services (563-382-2911; weekends and weekdays after 8 p.m.; ask for the triage nurse and let them know you are a Luther student). The Student Health Service and Winneshiek Medical Center may be fielding other calls, so please leave a message and someone will return your call.

What happens if I receive a positive test result?

A positive test result indicates that antigens from SARS-CoV-2 were detected, that you are infected with COVID-19, and you are presumed to be contagious. In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who receive a positive antigen test for COVID-19 must be tested again by a PCR molecular test to confirm the COVID-19 diagnosis.

If you receive a positive test result, you should isolate immediately and notify Luther Health Services (student) or Human Resources (faculty and staff). The Student Health Service will work with students to place them in an isolation space on campus. Faculty and staff should leave work immediately and return to their homes. You will be isolated from others until you are able to schedule a PCR test with TestIowa. If you receive a positive test result from the TestIowa program, you will be isolated for ten days following the receipt of the results of your PCR test. If you receive a negative test result from the TestIowa program, you will be released from isolation.

What will Luther do with the results of the test?

As required by the Emergency Use Authorization for the BinaxNOW test, Luther College will report all testing results to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Demographic information will also be shared with the IDPH for all test results. 

Student test results will be printed and included in corresponding medical files in the Student Health Service.

Logs of test performance will be recorded and may be shared upon request with the US Food and Drug Administration and Abbott, as required by the Emergency Use Authorization.

What if we see an increase in cases discovered through the EAST program? What actions will Luther take for community protection?

Luther’s operations and response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be guided by the system of COVID-19 indicators and alert levels. Results from the EAST program will be reflected in the following indicators: Alert Level in Winneshiek County, Test Positivity Rate in Winneshiek County, Luther Case Count Trend, Community Spread on Campus, and Occupancy of Campus Isolation/Quarantine Spaces.

What if I am feeling unwell on the day of my test?

If you are feeling unwell on the day of your test, you should contact Vicky Jaeger at  covidtestinglc[email protected]. You should also reschedule your test.

What if I have a test scheduled, but I was exposed to COVID and am in quarantine?

If you have a test scheduled and are in quarantine, you should contact Vicky Jaeger at  [email protected]. You should also reschedule your test.