Miami students face coronavirus testing before being allowed to return to campus

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Miami University screened and tested students on their return to move into campus housing on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

The return of thousands of students to Miami University’s main campus later this month will begin like it did in September at the start of the school year: In a parking lot.

Miami officials have announced all residence hall students living on the Oxford campus will have to first be tested for coronavirus via a drive-through procedure in the parking area next to Millett Hall.

Explore'I’m excited for college to start’: Miami students move back to campus with extra screenings, testing

Students returning to residence halls will be assigned specific days and times for their drive up testing. Miami students living off campus and intending to attend live classes will also be assigned testing times at Harris Hall.

Classes at Miami and its regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, begin on Jan. 25. Students at the regionals will not face same testing since they have are no on-campus residence halls but other coronavirus prevention precautions will remain in place.

The university recently announced the coronavirus prevention procedures and said more information would be made available soon to students and staffers, who also must be tested.

“Thank you for your participation in helping to keep the Miami community healthy and safe,” said Jayne Brownell, vice president for student life at Miami.

Miami officials declined to comment or offer further details Monday.

But according to the school’s statement all students must decide by this coming Friday whether they will take classes in-person, or via a hybrid schedule or entirely remotely from home during the spring semester.

“Please note that if you choose to return to campus in person this spring, you must agree to (school policies regarding testing) … and you must participate in Miami’s COVID-19 Testing Program, both at entry and throughout the semester,” wrote Brownell.

She said “if you have tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19, you should submit your results through MedProctor by January 14 (even if you submitted them via email previously).”

“TriHealth will review your documentation to determine if you are exempt from arrival and ongoing testing throughout the spring.”

In a normal school calendar year, about 16,000 live on or near campus while attending classes on the Oxford campus. But less than half of the on-campus enrollment chose to live in residence halls during the fall semester.

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