Testing & Contact Tracing

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus, Bucknell is implementing a rigorous testing and contact tracing program for all who live, work and study on campus, including students. 

Students will be tested for COVID-19 both before and after their arrival at Bucknell. There is no charge to students for these tests or shipping. 

More details about the testing process and contact tracing are below. A full description of what to expect if contact tracers call you can also be found in the Student Guide to Isolation, Quarantine & Contact Tracing.

On-campus Testing

All students will be required to take a weekly COVID-19 test until further notice. Please plan to schedule your first test in the Aura app once you arrive on campus.

  • In-state students should schedule a weekly test beginning the week of Feb. 1.
  • Out-of-state students will be tested at check-in during the move-in and should schedule a weekly test beginning the week of Feb. 8. 

All students should be tested only once per week.

Please note that advance appointments are required for testing; walk-ins are no longer accepted. 

COVID tests are required and will be offered in staggered, ongoing appointments on weekdays scheduled through the Bucknell App.

Do not get tested more frequently unless directed to do so by Student Health. Additional tests are not medically necessary and do not mitigate the need to follow consistent health and safety practices. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not go to the testing site. Instead, call Student Health at 570-577-1401 to immediately arrange a test.

A follow-up test is not required to confirm a diagnosis. PCR testing detects nucleic acid at a certain level, so when the viral load drops, as we expect over the course of illness, the results may change to "not detected" between one day and the next. For some people this drop takes longer than others, and the detection may also be affected by collection technique. This does not indicate a false positive on the initial test.

Instructions for Scheduling Your Test and Getting Results

  1. Open the Bucknell App and click the Herd Health icon on your mobile device.
  2. You will be prompted to install the iOS/Android native Aura app.
  3. Sign in using the Sign in with Google option, and use your Bucknell email credentials.
  4. Use the app to schedule your initial test as soon as possible.
  5. COVID tests will be mid-nasal tests administered and processed by Genetworks, with results expected within 48 hours. Check-in for testing will take place in the lobby of Sojka Pavilion, unless you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are quarantining (see below).
  6. You will receive results via the app about two days after each test. (If you test positive, you will be contacted by Bucknell Student Health with further instructions.)
  7. The app will remind you to schedule additional tests in the weeks ahead. 

For help, please refer to these frequently asked questions or contact techdesk@bucknell.edu.

If You Are Quarantining After Exposure or Have Symptoms of COVID-19

A separate, outdoor testing site has been set up behind the Graham Building. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are quarantining because you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, do not go to Sojka Pavillion. Make an appointment in the Aura app to be tested in the tent behind the Graham Building, using the method described above.

Once your test is scheduled, go to the tent behind the Graham Building to take your test. 


Testing by Other Providers

If you take a COVID test from an off-campus provider (such as CVS or Evangelical Community Hospital) and receive a positive result, immediately call Bucknell Student Health at 570-577-1401.


Students Who Have Been Vaccinated

Students who have been fully vaccinated (both doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) will no longer be included in on-campus testing beginning two weeks from receiving the final dose.

Send documentation of your Moderna or Pfizer mRNA COVID vaccine to Student Health at medicalrecords@bucknell.edu.


Contact Tracing

Bucknell has implemented a contact-tracing program to provide timely notification to those who have been in close contact with persons with confirmed cases of COVID-19. You may be contacted by phone by Bucknell's Contact Tracing Team or other health authorities by phone and directed to quarantine. These calls may come from numbers you do not recognize. It is important that you answer calls to your cell phone and follow the instructions contact tracers provide.

Bucknell is coordinating its own contact tracing program in order to avoid straining state resources as well as to stay informed about exposure to illness on campus to be able to make critical decisions for University operations. For a variety of reasons, Bucknell's contact tracing program will not extend beyond our campus community, and we will be unable to contact those who are not University students or employees.

Student Quarantine, Isolation and Contact Tracing Guide Cover image

Full details about Bucknell's Contact Tracing Program can be found in the Student Guide to Quarantine, Isolation, & Contact Tracing. Read the guide to learn: 

  • When and why you might be called by contact tracers
  • What you will be asked about, and what other information they'll provide
  • What to do next

Be prepared by reading the guide in case a contact tracer calls you.

Read the Student Guide

Contact Tracing Process

  1. The Contact Tracing Team is notified of a positive test, either by the Bucknell community member who was tested, a testing service authorized to release results or the state health department.
  2. The Contact Tracing Team contacts the Bucknell student or employee who tested positive and makes sure they are receiving the appropriate care and, importantly, are isolating.
  3. The Contact Tracing Team interviews the Bucknell student or employee to determine with whom on campus they may have come into close contact.*  The team will also have access to GPS data collected from the Herd Health app (from those who choose to use it), as well as WiFi connectivity point data from the campus network.**
  4. Based on this information, the Contact Tracing Team will contact potentially exposed Bucknell students and/or employees to notify and instruct them on next steps as appropriate.

*In this context, "close contact" is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes during the two days prior to the positive test result.

**This data will be accessed only for contact tracing purposes. Bucknell contact tracing efforts will maintain privacy and confidentiality.