Emerson will allow rapid tests for back to campus testing requirement


Photo: Hongyu Liu

A sign of the COVID testing site of Emerson College and Tufts University.

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

Students who are unable to secure a PCR test before arriving on Emerson’s campus in Boston, Los Angeles, or Kasteel Well will be able to attest to a negative result returned from a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival, college officials announced Friday. 

On  Dec. 22, the college announced that all students returning to campus facilities were required to receive a PCR test within 72 hours of their arrival. The reversal comes as PCR tests grow increasingly scarce across the country.

One parent wrote in the college’s parent and family programs Facebook group that they were having difficulty locating one of the tests. 

“Right now finding a PCR test in our area is crazy,” they wrote. 

Other parents chimed in with similar experiences. 

“Agreed, this is tricky,” another wrote. “I don’t have a lot of faith we will have results in time.”

“I haven’t been able to even get a PCR test appointment for my student … it really seems unlikely we will be able to get a PCR, much less results, in time,” a parent wrote. 

The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts continue to explode—the state reported more than 20,000 new cases on Friday, the second day in a row that benchmark has been cleared. 

Students will have to attest to their negative result in the Emerson app within 24 hours of their arrival on campus.