‘TU Arrival Center’ to serve as COVID-19 testing site prior to students moving on campus

Tulane University students moving into residence halls this fall will have to make one important stop before heading to campus – the TU Arrival Center.

The center, located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown New Orleans, will serve as the mandatory COVID-19 testing site for all students who plan to move in to residence halls on campus. Tulane has partnered with the Hyatt Regency to utilize the entire property to provide testing, one-on-one health counseling and student/parent orientation sessions around critical services.

Undertaking a new approach to the move-in process has required collaboration from departments across the university.

"Our singular focus has been, ‘How do we best promote the safest return possible for our students and campus community?’ It is my hope that parents realize that the Arrival Center demonstrates that all of Tulane is committed to the health and well-being of our greatest asset, our students,” Brian Johnson, assistant vice president for Housing, Residence Life and Campus Recreation, said of the process.

For convenience, students and their parent(s), are highly encouraged to stay at the Hyatt Regency; however, it is not mandatory, Johnson said. Students should arrive at the center for testing 48 hours prior to their pre-selected move-in time slot.

According to Johnson, the tests will be administered by Tulane Health Services and will then be sent to the Tulane School of Medicine for analysis. Test results will come back within 24 to 36 hours, Scott Tims, assistant vice president of Campus Health, said. 

A student’s negative COVID-19 test will permit students to proceed with their on-campus move-in process. Students who test positive can stay with their parents until they are medically cleared or, if necessary, the university will use isolation space at Paterson Hall, Tims said.

Johnson said the return to campus plan promotes the safety of the campus community to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19.

“Testing students prior to their move-in on campus helps to reduce and limit the incidence of COVID-19 on our campus,” he said.

Parents will not be tested; however, all individuals at the Arrival Center will be asked to complete a personal health assessment each morning, and those who display COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to self-isolate.

Face coverings and social distancing will be required at the center, and hand sanitizer stations will be provided. The TU Arrival Center will also provide access to student/parent orientation sessions and critical services such as financial aid and advising.

The TU Arrival Center will remain open Aug. 8-18, with tentative hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tulane, in partnership with the Hyatt, has blocked off several rooms for students and parents to stay there at a discounted rate beginning Aug. 8. Additionally, shuttles will be provided to transport students to campus to move in after they receive test results.

Over the summer, students who planned to live on campus were asked to schedule their move-in time slot online, which allows the university to ensure only 25% of each residence hall would be moving in on a given day in support of social distancing guidelines. On-campus move-in will take place from Aug. 10-17, with the first four days designated for first-year students and the remaining four days designated for returning students.

For more information on the TU Arrival Center and Move-In, click here