COVID-19 testing on Marquette’s campus

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Outside of the medical clinic, where students can call for questions regarding COVID-19

As students return to Marquette’s campus, 92% have submitted proof of vaccination against COVID-19, putting Marquette at the threshold for achieving herd immunity. For the remaining percentage of students without vaccination status, COVID-19 protocols will vary in regard to testing. 

Unvaccinated students will be required to take a COVID-19 test every other week, which will take place in the Rec Center Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. Students will be notified via Marquette email for their required test. 

Unvaccinated students who fail to attend and complete an assigned COVID-19 test will potentially be issued a $50 fine, referral to a student conduct hearing and prohibition from buildings or facilities on campus until a test is complete. 

Keli Wollmer, executive director of the Marquette University Medical Clinic, said on-campus COVID-19 testing will be conducted via saliva tests versus the traditional nasal swab method, making this year’s testing generally less invasive but still “very accurate.” 

Although there is no vaccine requirement among faculty and staff, they will be required to participate in mandatory COVID-19 testing if no proof of vaccination is given. 

Bruce Deal, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said he’s not worried about not having a vaccine requirement among faculty/staff since he believes a majority of the university’s professors are already vaccinated. 

Since faculty/staff were “strongly encouraged” to upload proof of vaccination by Aug. 30, data on the percentage vaccinated is not yet available.

However, Deal is relieved that the university decided to push mandatory COVID-19 tests every other week for unvaccinated students. 

“I think it was a smart move,” Deal said. “It will help pressure kids to get vaccinated.”

A.J. Grove, assistant director and team physician at Marquette’s medical clinic, also encourages students to get vaccinated despite still being able to contract COVID-19, due to its ability to lower the risk of infection, transmission and overall severity of the virus — which is especially important as the Delta variant emerges. 

The vaccine protects extremely well against severe disease and hospitalization,” Grove said. “Hospitals around the US are seeing more severe disease and hospitalization for unvaccinated young adults because of the Delta variant.” 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, data suggests that the Delta variant may not only be more severe than previous strains among the unvaccinated population but is also more than twice as contagious. 

In a report from last month, the CDC also estimated that the Delta variant—which was first identified in India— was the cause of more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases, making it the predominant strain of the virus in the U.S.

For students looking to get a COVID-19 test regardless of vaccination status, symptomatic and closed contact testing will continue to be performed in Coughlin Hall and can be scheduled through the COVID hotline at 414-288-7184.

This story was written by Claire Driscol. She can be reached at claire.driscol@marquette.edu.