Testing, Monitoring, and Isolation

In order to detect and monitor the potential presence of COVID-19 in the Luther community, Luther is taking a three-pronged approach: 1. working closely with state and local health departments on cases of symptomatic individuals, 2. conducting tests of asymptomatic individuals through a contract with Tempus, 3. using CampusClear, a free phone app that allows individuals to daily screen for symptoms of COVID-19.

Testing of Asymptomatic Individuals

The college has purchased 2,000 viral tests from Tempus for use during the fall semester. The Tempus PCR test detects active SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Tempus tests will be used for asymptomatic testing protocols in the following manner: 

  1. All student-athletes will be tested upon arrival to campus. 
  2. Randomized testing will then proceed for students throughout the fall semester. 

Luther Health Service staff will oversee the collection of samples, using a simple nasal swab. Samples will be analyzed at Tempus labs in Chicago. Luther Health Service and the students tested will receive the test results. If a test is positive, Luther Health Service will work with the student and Winneshiek County Public Health to treat the student’s illness, isolate them from others, and conduct contact tracing. 

Testing of Symptomatic Individuals

Students, faculty, or staff who experience symptoms related to COVID-19 are asked not to report to class or to work, and to consult with their health care provider. Luther Health Service will refer students with symptoms to Winneshiek Medical Center for testing. Faculty or staff are asked to call Human Resources if they are in quarantine for COVID-19 symptoms or awaiting test results, so that extra cleaning of offices and shared spaces may be organized. State or local public health officials will interview anyone who receives a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 and notify close contacts of these individuals. Public health will give close contacts a directive to quarantine. Public Health will also release individuals who had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from isolation.

Living Arrangements for Students Who Need Isolation and Quarantine

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will complete an isolation period in Norby House (or other designated space) under the supervision of Winneshiek County Public Health and the Luther College Student Health Service. Students who need to quarantine will be moved from their campus residence to the Luther College Apartments, college-owned houses, or a local hotel (Fairfield Inn or Country Inn and Suites). Campus Safety and Security will deliver meals to all students in isolation or quarantine, including at hotels, and the Associate Dean for Student Life will provide case management.

Students who live within three hours’ driving distance from campus will be encouraged to return home for their quarantine and isolation/recuperation period if it is feasible. Feasibility of this option will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and returning home is not required.

Students who complete their isolation or quarantine on campus will not be allowed to leave the space for any reason other than a medical emergency. Students who leave their isolation or quarantine spaces without being released by either Winneshiek County Public Health or the Student Health Service will be found in violation of the COVID-19 addendum to the Student Code of Conduct. Students who have been directed to quarantine by Winneshiek County Public Health may not end their quarantine period early through obtaining a negative test for COVID-19.

Daily Symptom Monitoring

Every member of the Luther community, as well as visitors to our campus, are asked to check in with the CampusClear app daily before accessing any public campus spaces. Read our CampusClear FAQs for complete information.


The TestIowa program is a partnership between state leaders and private corporations to increase access to COVID-19 testing. The program is open to all Iowa residents, as well as to Luther students from other states or countries who reside on campus or in Decorah. TestIowa has a Winneshiek County clinic in Decorah. Students, faculty, and staff who are tested through the TestIowa program must quarantine while waiting to receive test results.

Students should consult with the Student Health Service (weekdays; 563-387-1045) or the Winneshiek Medical Center triage nurse (evenings and weekends; 563-382-2911; if prompted, leave a message) to determine if they need to be tested through TestIowa, before completing the required online assessment. Students are expected to notify the college before receiving any COVID-19 test that is not administered on campus, including those administered by the TestIowa program. Students may notify either the Student Health Service (weekdays) or Campus Safety and Security (evenings and weekends; 563-387-2111) about testing plans. Failure to notify the college in advance of receiving a COVID-19 test may result in a violation of the COVID-19 addendum to the Student Code of Conduct.

Faculty and staff should consult with their healthcare provider prior to filling out the TestIowa assessment.