COVID-19 Clearance at UTC Gets Serious for Students Returning in the Spring

By Taralyn Wiley, Staff Writer—

As the spring semester kicks into gear, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students are set to move back into their dorms, but only after they take the necessary precautions.

Before students are allowed to move into their home away from home, they must receive a negative result from a free COVID-19 test provided by the university at Engel Stadium. Students who test positive will receive a confirmation test and then be given the option to stay in an isolated space on campus. Students should receive their results within an hour of the test being administered. 

There are approximately 3,000 students returning to campus living this semester, and Dr. Kristi Wick expressed the need to create a safe environment.

“They have to have a test here at this testing site, unless they are exempted for another reason before they can check in for housing,” Wick said. 

Testing started Jan. 14 at Engel Stadium, and 800 tests were conducted in the first 48 hours. This is a one-time test for students, and there is currently no set plan or schedule for periodic testing throughout the semester. 

“There will be some routine testing that comes alone in the next few weeks and there will be more information, but it will not be everyone and it will not have to do with face-to-face classes,” Wick said.

At this time, only students living on campus are required to be tested. Students living off campus and attending face-to-face classes are not required, nor are students attending any campus sponsored events. 

A list of instructions provided by University Health Services detail the steps students must take once they arrive on campus when it comes to their COVID-19 clearance. The page also has a detailed testing schedule and an FAQ section. 

Testing will continue through Monday, Jan. 18, and students are required to get tested at least an hour prior to check-in so there is time for their results to come through.

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