COVID-19 Testing Center
Mount Holyoke College developed an asymptomatic testing program in order to quickly identify positive COVID-19 cases. Our testing and contact tracing programs, along with our strict public health protocols and shared commitment to the community compact, have helped prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. We have been testing since August 12, 2020. Testing data can be viewed on the College’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Asymptomatic Testing Only
Employees and students must do a daily health self-check. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who had a close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 cannot come to the MHC testing center. Employees must stay home, contact their supervisor and follow the reporting protocols detailed in the Employee Reporting Chart in my.mtholyoke. Students must stay in their room and call Health Services immediately: (413) 538-2242.
Testing Center Location
The testing center is located on the lower level of Carr Laboratory, as shown on the campus map. Enter through the accessible doors on Gateway Road, across from the Reese Psychology and Education Building.
Hours of Operation
You must schedule an appointment for testing.
Upcoming Dates and Times
The testing center is closed every Wednesday and will follow the College’s holiday, break and adverse weather closing and delay schedules. While this page will be updated regularly, in some cases we may have to make changes without notice. Every effort will be made to get an announcement out to the community. During adverse weather, call the College’s weather line: (413) 538-2330.
Scheduling a Testing Appointment
In order to ensure that physical distancing requirements and COVID-19 building occupancy limits are upheld, it is critical that all students, faculty and staff have a reserved time slot for testing. Testing appointments — for students, faculty and staff — are scheduled through the Embark system. Supervisors and department heads may opt to schedule the testing slots on behalf of some or all of the staff members in their department. Employees should discuss those scheduling arrangements with their supervisor, not testing center staff. Please be considerate and honor your appointments and remember to bring your OneCard with you. OneCards are required for testing.
Instructions on scheduling a time slot:
- Go to embark.mtholyoke.edu.
- Click on “sign in” in the upper right hand corner and log in with your username and password.
- Once you arrive at your homepage you can either scroll down to "Upcoming Events," or you can click on the calendar icon at the top of the page to be brought to the main events page. On the events page, scroll or search to find “COVID Testing” and then click “Register.”
- Select the day(s) you want to book. Click “Register.”
- Select the time slot(s) you want to book. Click “Confirm My Registration.”
- You will receive an email confirmation. Underneath the event information, you will see the slot(s) you reserved. You can add it to your calendar by clicking on "Download to Google Calendar.”
If you have questions about Embark, please email email@example.com.
Who is Being Tested
Our testing center is for in-person students and designated College employees. In-person students have mandatory testing twice per week. Students with questions about their testing requirements should contact the Office of Residential Life by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (413) 538-2088. Designated employees are tested either once or twice per week, depending on the number of times they come to campus to work and the contact they have with students and colleagues throughout their work day. The Office of Human Resources has created the COVID Testing Enroll/Disenroll form, which should be completed by supervisors, department heads, faculty and instructional staff. Employees with questions about their testing requirements should ask their supervisor or contact Human Resources by emailing email@example.com or calling (413) 538-2503.
Students and employees that are fully vaccinated must remain in the testing program at this time. Much has yet to be learned about how well vaccines prevent vaccinated people from spreading the virus to others, how long vaccines protect people, the effectiveness against new variants and how many people need to be vaccinated before most people are considered protected (population or ‘herd’ immunity). Vaccinated individuals, like everyone else authorized to be on campus, must continue to be tested, wear a face covering or mask and follow all other health and safety protocols.
Testing for Travel
Mount Holyoke’s testing center is for all in-person students and work-related testing for employees. Students are not permitted to travel beyond a 10-mile radius of campus.
All nonessential College-sponsored travel is suspended. Essential travel on behalf of the College must be specifically approved by the Division's Vice President. Employees planning to travel (for MHC VP-approved or personal reasons) must follow the Massachusetts Travel Advisory, including the 10-day quarantine upon return. You must stay home. You cannot come to the MHC testing center (or to campus at all), even if you are eligible for on-campus work-related testing, and you should not interact with others in-person during this time. You can eliminate the need to quarantine, or quarantine for less time ONLY if you get tested in accordance with the MA Travel Advisory. You must get tested by your own doctor or other testing site (not Mount Holyoke’s) and securely send the negative results to Human Resources. If you were fully vaccinated more than 14 days ago and you do not have symptoms, you do not have to quarantine.
About the Test
Samples are collected using a nasal swab. This is a non-invasive, self-administered test. Our testing center is inside a science lab and we chose this location because it has the best building ventilation on campus. The test takes just a few seconds once you’ve become familiar with the process. After processing through the check-in station, testers stand in front of a fume hood, blow their nose (if they did not already do that before coming to the testing center), pop open their tube, remove the wrapper from their swab, lower their mask, make three circles inside the edge of both nostrils, raise their mask, put the swab in the tube, cap it and proceed to the check-out station. Samples are sent to the Broad Institute’s COVID-19 testing lab for analysis. The Broad Institute has partnered with more than 100 colleges and universities in Massachusetts and the surrounding region. The analytical process detects genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR tests (or molecular tests) are highly accurate.
If you test negative, your results will be emailed to you when they are available. With your first results, you will receive an email from CareEvolve@lnotification.com with the subject line “Lab results available from your provider — Register now.” You will be directed to a patient registration page to create your account. Results should be ready 24–36 hours after your test. If you test positive, you will receive a phone call from Health Services and guidance will be provided. Upon learning of a positive result, trained contact tracers move quicky to locate that individual, provide guidance on quarantine and isolation protocols, coordinate with the South Hadley board of health, and quickly identify any close contacts that they may have had.