Welcome to the Nebraska Today COVID-19 Digest (2022 spring semester edition). This is a regular feature intended to deliver the university’s most current pandemic-related news and help you navigate campus.
These briefs are updated regularly and appear in the Nebraska Today newsletter.
The most recent update, posted at 2 p.m. May 10, outlines the availability of COVID-19 testing on campus through the summer sessions. Learn more below.
On-campus COVID testing to continue through summer
(May 10) — The university will continue to offer free, voluntary, on-campus testing for COVID-19 through the summer.
The saliva-based testing will be available to students, faculty and staff at the site outside the Nebraska Union. Operation hours will be Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.; Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday, 8 to 11 a.m. The tests are available by making an appointment online or by checking in at an open testing booth.
Hours may change to meet the needs of the campus community. Details about testing and how to make an appointment, are available on the university’s COVID-19 website.
Updates on COVID-19 protocols for summer sessions and plans for the fall 2022 semester will be announced as needed.
Second boosters available for ages 50+
(April 19) — The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department is now offering second COVID-19 booster vaccinations for all individuals ages 50-plus. Two large-scale vaccination clinics for those 50 or older will be held at Pinnacle Bank Arena from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 27. Details on the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone age 5 or above are available on the LLCHD website
Mask requirement when traveling in university vehicles ends
(April 19) — There currently are no COVID-19 restrictions or mask requirements while traveling in university vehicles. This update follows an April 18 announcement that the federal government will no longer enforce a U.S. mask mandate on public transportation. Learn more about this and other recent pandemic updates on the university's COVID-19 website.
University ends random mitigation testing
(April 5) — After consulting with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is ending its COVID-19 random mitigation testing program.
The shift comes after ongoing low COVID-19 infection rates in the campus community, including a zero percent positivity in random mitigation testing during the week of March 28.
The university may return to random mitigation testing if necessary due to local increases in COVID-19 cases.
Voluntary testing for COVID-19 continues to be offered on campus. Learn more about accessing the free, saliva-based testing program on the university’s COVID-19 website.
Guidelines updated for youth events held on campus
(April 5) — The university has updated its Youth Activity Safety Policy to include COVID-19 health and safety measures.
The policy applies to all events sponsored by the university (even those outside of Lancaster County) that will include attendees 18 years old and younger. It includes specific details about events of 500 or more; pre-event guidelines; and what to do should a participant become symptomatic.
EDITOR'S NOTE — All items that follow were posted prior to March 7. For the most current details on the university's COVID-19 response, click here.
Print option available for COVID-19 test results
The university's COVID-19 Testing Portal now offers an option that allows students, faculty and staff to generate a printable document for any selected test result. The option is intended for members of the campus community who need to show a test result for things such as travel.
The option is available by clicking "Test Results." Access the option through the university's online COVID-19 Testing Portal.
Campus event guidelines shift with dip in positive cases
Reflecting local declines in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is relaxing its event policy as it relates to the global pandemic.
Effective Feb. 19, the updated guidelines are available here and include recommendations on how to hold safe events. All Recognized Student Organizations planning events must still follow the event planning and registration process facilitated by Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement. And any events with the potential for 500 or more participants must be pre-approved by campus administrators and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
Public health officials extend mask requirement through Feb. 25
Following an extension of an order from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln community will continue to wear masks when indoors.
The policy will remain in effect for the duration of the county’s directed health measures. Due to local COVID-19 trends in hospitalizations, positivity rate and other factors, county health officials have extended the Lincoln-Lancaster County mask mandate to Feb. 25. The extension was announced by local health officials on Feb. 8.
The facial mask requirement will be implemented as it has been previously followed on campus.
Random mitigation testing for all — regardless of vaccine status — begins
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln begins random mitigation COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff during the week of Jan. 30.
Each week, a percentage of the university community will be randomly selected for participation in COVID-19 testing. Those selected will be notified via email on the Thursday of the week before testing must be completed. For example, individuals who must test by Feb. 4 were notified on Jan. 27.
Participation is required — regardless of vaccination status — for any students, faculty and staff who have a presence on campus during the spring semester. Testing is available Sunday to Friday by appointment through the Safer Community app and COVID-19 Testing Portal, or via drop-in at a testing site.
As selection is truly random, students, faculty and staff may be selected multiple times for the weekly testing.
The university’s saliva-based COVID-19 testing program remains open to all students, faculty and staff who are symptomatic or for those exposed to the virus. Per Centers for Disease Control guidance, it is best to get tested five days after exposure or as soon as symptoms occur.
The university’s COVID-19 testing program helps track spread of the virus among the campus community and shapes protocols as the semester continues. Details about further changes to campus screening for COVID-19 will continue to be announced.
Positive test? Follow these isolation guidelines
A recent update from the Centers for Disease Control has adjusted isolation guidance for all individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. This guidance should be followed by all Huskers — students, faculty and staff — during the spring semester.
If you test positive:
• Stay home, mask and monitor for at least five full days — with that count starting on the first full day AFTER a positive test or when symptoms started.
• If you start out asymptomatic and symptoms begin within the five full-day isolation period, restart the count. The first full day AFTER symptoms start is your new Day 1.
• By Day 6, if you've had no fever for 24 hours and your symptoms are gone or getting better, then you can leave your house and return to regular activities (fully masked).
• By Day 6, if you have a fever, continue to stay home until the fever is gone and symptoms improve.
• Regardless of fever status, continue to wear a mask when around others for at least five more days (that would be 10 total days after the positive test or symptoms started)
• On Day 10, if you have no fever or symptoms, it will be the last day for masking around others.
• If fever or symptoms continue on Day 10, continue to mask until fever is gone.
Additional isolation guidance
• Give space to people who live with you.
• Do not host visitors.
• Stay in a separate part of the home if possible and use a different restroom if you can.
• Wear a mask over your mouth and nose for 10 days — especially if you are living with others.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds each time.
• Clean all “high touch” surfaces — Wipe down and sanitize all shared spaces often.
• Watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
Re-entry testing for students, faculty, staff begins
The university has started it's required round of student, faculty and staff re-entry testing for the spring semester. The testing was announced Jan. 5 and is required for all Huskers who will be on campus during the spring semester.
The testing — which must be completed through the university’s on-campus, saliva-based testing program — will be staggered, starting the week of Jan. 9-13 for faculty, staff and student workers. All other students are asked to complete the testing during the first week of the semester, Jan. 14-21.
Appointments for the on-campus testing can be made through the Safer Community app,/a> or online testing portal. To accommodate the testing, expanded hours will be available Jan. 14-21.
Additional information regarding on-campus testing is available on the university’s COVID-19 website.
Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test in the last 90 days can claim a testing exemption.
Also, students traveling back to Lincoln are being asked to test prior to returning to campus. Huskers who test positive must delay their return to campus as required by the Centers for Disease Control.
University event policy updated
Due to the current surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is recommending that all campus events through Feb. 4 take place in a virtual manner whenever possible.
The recommendation is part of a temporary update to the university’s policy for events that take place in any university facility. The update, which includes a number of measures to structure events as safely as possible, is available for review online.
The policy is in effect through Feb. 4 but may be adjusted or extended if necessary.
Learn more about the university’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
Questions about quarantine, isolation protocols?
The university offers students, faculty and staff the most recent information about quarantine and isolation protocols on the COVID-19 website. Click here for quarantine protocols. Click here for isolation protocols. Broader information regarding health and safety on campus during the pandemic is available here.
What if I test positive?
Members of the campus community who test positive for COVID-19 can find the most current protocols on the university’s COVID-19 website. Details are available in the “Testing, Reporting and Contact Tracing” section.
Dashboard offers regular updates regarding virus cases
The university’s COVID-19 Dashboard provides regular updates on daily cases, positivity rates and other trends regarding the virus in the campus community. The dashboard is updated daily.
What if I have a question related to the university’s pandemic response?
The university’s COVID-19 website is intended to be a resource for any question regarding our ongoing pandemic response. If you are unable to find an answer on the site, send your inquiry via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.