Testing FAQ

The purpose of this testing is to detect asymptomatic students who have SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Asymptomatic people with SARS-CoV-2 can transmit the virus to those around them. By identifying asymptomatic students through testing, we can limit the spread of COVID-19. Anyone who is asymptomatic and tests positive needs to isolate from the date notified of the positive test result until the date that is 10 days from the date of test collection.

PBA expects all students to be tested for COVID-19 at the beginning of the semester. To facilitate students’ ability to get tested PBA has established a relationship with a local emergency medicine physician to provide testing on the West Palm Beach campus, beginning on August 17. As Orange County is currently in Phase 2 of Governor DeSantis’ Step by Step plan, PBA will not be facilitating testing at the Orlando campus. Orlando students are expected to arrange testing on their own and submit their test results through Medicat. If a student has an objection to being tested, they may fill out the exemption request form to request an exemption.

If you tested negative but have not been following strict COVID-19 prevention practices (physical distancing, wearing facial coverings, avoiding large gatherings, hygiene), you should still be tested upon return to campus as you may have contracted the virus between the time of your last negative test and now. Please submit your test result to Medicat.

1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials: https://pba.medicatconnect.com/

2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”

3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”

4. Upload your test results.

1. You will receive an e-mail no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, August 13 with instructions on how to sign up for an appointment. The email will also contain links to the required medical forms. These should be completed and uploaded according to the directions in the email.

2. Appointments will take place on-campus, with specific location to be communicated via email. At the time of the appointment, you will need to present your government-issued photo identification. Please bring a copy of your government-issued photo identification, as well as a copy of your health insurance card. The doctor’s office will keep the photocopies. The doctor’s office will process the visit and cost of the test with your insurance company and will not charge a co-pay for this service. Although the consent form states in paragraph 3 that you agree to be financially responsible for deductibles, coinsurance and uncovered services not covered by your insurance, if your insurance company denies payment for the testing, the provider has agreed not to pursue further collection from you.
Students will be physically distanced during this process, and it is important not to arrive at the testing area more than 20 minutes prior to the appointment time to maintain physical distancing.

PBA will be using a PCR RNA test.

Nasal swab.

PBA recommends using our test for both the convenience and to establish a relationship between the student and a local physician experienced in testing for COVID-19. This physician has also agreed to provide care to students who test positive or become symptomatic throughout the school year.

PBA recommends that you use a PCR RNA test that tests for presence of the virus’ genetic code. Please submit your results to PBA through Medicat:

1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials. https://pba.medicatconnect.com/

2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”

3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”

4. Upload your test results.

PBA recommended that students be tested on their own 7-10 days before you return to campus. This was to allow students time to receive their results and change move-in arrangements so they could isolate more comfortably at home if they tested positive. If you have been tested any time within the last 90 days please submit your test results through Medicat.

1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials. https://pba.medicatconnect.com/

2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”

3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”

4. Upload your test results.

The CDC recommends that all persons testing positive for COVID-19 isolate for at least 10 days, regardless of symptoms. Symptomatic people should also be fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of feverlowering medication and experience a significant reduction in symptoms. If you tested positive BEFORE your return to campus you must be cleared by Health Alert, please submit your test result to Medicat and email Health Alert at healthalert@pba.edu

1. Log on to the Medicat portal with your PBA login credentials. https://pba.medicatconnect.com/

2. On the top right of the screen, click “Upload.”

3. Scroll down, click the drop down box and select “COVID-19 Results.”

4. Upload your test results.

If you test positive after you arrive on campus, then you will need to isolate for at least 10 days, regardless of symptoms. Symptomatic students should also be fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-lowering medication and experience a significant reduction in symptoms before ending isolation. A Health Alert team member will contact you daily during your isolation to check on you and clear you to return to campus when appropriate.

Commuter students are expected to isolate at their place of residence. Residential (on campus) students will follow guidelines and directives of the Office of Residence Life and the Health Alert Care Team. Residence Life has set aside facilities that are designated specifically for isolation and quarantine.

In accordance with the July 22 CDC update, students who test positive with a viral RNA or antigen test up to 90 days before returning to campus do not require repeated testing. If it has been longer than 90 days, PBA recommends re-resting at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.

At this time, the CDC does not recommend using antibody testing in place of viral fragment testing. Therefore, PBA recommends that even if you have antibodies, you should be still be tested for viral RNA, which detects the presence of potentially active infection with SARS-CoV-2.

The time for test results varies based on demand for testing at any given moment. As of August 7, the wait time is now approximately 5 - 7 days, but as COVID-19 declines in Florida, our provider predicts the wait time may become shorter.
WHEN WILL PARENTS/GUARDIANS BE NOTIFIED THAT THEIR STUDENT HAS COVID-19?

PBA follows FERPA and HIPAA requirements and cannot disclose protected information to parents and/ or guardians. Parents/guardians will not be notified by the University if their student (who is 18 or above) tests positive for COVID-19. Students are expected — and highly encouraged by the University — to communicate with their parents/guardians concerning their health. Students may sign a HIPAA waiver if they would like the University to be able to communicate with parents/guardians concerning their COVID-19 status; however, the University will not notify parents. Students may sign a FERPA waiver if they would like the University to be able to communicate with parents/guardians concerning their academic status and other non-health related issues.

There are two categories of tests for SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus. There are multiple types of tests in each category.

1. Tests that look for the presence of viral fragments. These fragments can be either genetic code (RNA) or proteins that the virus produces (antigen). These tests can be nasal swab, throat swab or saliva (cheek swab).

2. Tests that look for signs of an immune response to SARS-CoV-2. These look for antibodies (immunoglobulins) against the virus. This is a blood test. PBA does not recommend this kind of test as it is not a sign of potential active infection.

Although the term COVID-19 is often used interchangeably with SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, COVID-19 actually refers to the symptoms caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus. An individual can also be an asymptomatic carrier of SARS-CoV-2. Asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus. What is often referred to as a “COVID-19 test” is actually a test for the SARS-CoV-2.

Even rapid testing is not rapid with the volume of tests that are currently being conducted each day in Florida. When testing large numbers of people at once, the limiting factor becomes the number of tests in line waiting to be processed. If a testing machine can return a test result in 15 minutes, that is four tests an hour. A lab with 10 machines that runs twelve hours a day can process 480 tests a day. If we are collecting 500 tests a day, then we are using up that lab’s entire capacity for the day. (Please note, that these numbers are not meant to reflect the lab PBA is using. They are meant to illustrate why even rapid tests may take several days to return results.) When demand across the country is higher, results times can vary from 2 - 14 days.