Westminster College will not need to complete the statewide bi-weekly COVID-19 testing for students, continuing with its same protocols for the Spring semester, the school announced in a statement on its website. The change comes after the state updated its testing mandate for private institutions, no longer applying to the college.
When Gov. Gary Herbert initially announced plans to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Utah, the mandate stated colleges must begin testing students weekly. This was later updated Nov. 23, changing the requirement to bi-weekly testing instead.
It also changed requirements for private institutions, stating only schools with more than 10,000 students had to comply. Because Westminster only has roughly 2,000 students as of the Fall 2020 semester, the mandate no longer applies to the college.
As a result, the school will continue its testing protocols from the Fall semester.
“While the state testing mandate no longer applies to Westminster, the college will continue to make your health and the health of our community a top priority,” the school said in a statement. “Regular COVID-19 testing will continue on campus during Spring Semester 2021. Westminster students must adhere to the testing protocols.”
While Westminster will continue its protocols, there will be “minor changes,” according to the Student Health Services. However, it’s unclear what these changes will be.
The Student Health Services did not respond in time for deadline, as the clinic is closed over the winter break.
Residential students will still be required to test negative for the coronavirus 120 hours prior to arriving on campus. Students will move in during their assigned times that will be staggered beginning Jan. 11.
“Residents will not be able to access the halls with ID cards without completing the form and submitting test results,” the school said in a statement.
Students who live on campus will still be required to be tested two or three times throughout the semester, which is consistent with the Fall semester.
There will still be regular testing for student-athletes — who are regularly tested, especially before competitions — and students who report being exposed or experiencing symptoms.
*Correction: A previous version of this story and its headline incorrectly stated Westminster College would waive testing. The college will not need to require bi-weekly testing because the state’s requirements were changed, no longer applying to Westminster.