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CU, CSU telling students, staff to get COVID-19 tests before going home for Thanskgiving

CU Boulder said to complete a COVID-19 monitoring test 48-72 hours before travel.

BOULDER, Colo. — Both the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins are asking students and staff to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

CU recommended students who are returning home get a monitoring test 2-3 days before they leave campus.

Monitoring testing, CU said, is used to detect the potential of COVID-19, and on-campus students are already required to participate in the monitoring program weekly. Diagnostic (PCR) testing is used to establish the presence or absence of COVID-19. 

9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli said college students who don't know they're sick could pose the worst danger to their loved ones on Thanksgiving.

"You put together all those factors: the risk of infection being a little higher, the risk of being asymptomatic being higher and then the number of contacts being higher they really are the perfect vector or vehicle to really bring that virus into people's homes," Kohli said.

RELATED: Tips to minimize the risk of spreading the virus this Thanksgiving

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CU offers this guide to students getting tested:

  • A monitoring test is recommended 48 - 72 hours before traveling for students that have no symptoms.

> Where to get a test on campus. 

  • Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should schedule an appointment to be tested at Wardenburg Health Center as soon as possible.  
  • CU said those who are sick, recently tested positive or have been exposed to COVID-19 should delay travel.
  • Students may travel home by private vehicle only if they are under quarantine for a positive COVID-19 test or have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days. These students are not permitted to use public or shared transportation such as airplanes, trains and rideshares.  
  • Isolation is necessary for positive people for the COVID-19 diagnostic test until cleared by a case investigator. CU campus will have isolation spaced available for residents as needed, including after Nov. 25. Students living off-campus should follow these five steps for isolation, CU said. 

Staff and faculty information:

Experiencing no symptoms: 

The monitoring test is recommended 48-72 hours before travel and available at any location on campus. 

Those referred to Public Health Clinic:

> Go here to get a clinical diagnostic test at Wardenburg Health Center.

If students, staff or faculty receive a positive COVID-19 diagnostic (PCR) test, CU said they must follow isolation procedures and not travel. 

> More information on CU's monitoring test for the Holiday here. 

CU is going back to remote learning next week. CSU will go remote after Nov. 20.

RELATED: University of Colorado-Boulder shifts to remote learning for the rest of the semester