Testing protocols during COVID-19

Protocols for testing, tracing, and isolation of students

The College community will adhere to a specific set of testing, tracing, quarantine and notification protocols as we return to residence this fall.

Testing, tracing, and isolation

The College is developing protocols, consistent with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Health Association, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for contact tracing and establishing spaces to isolate any student who tests positive for COVID-19. We are also developing plans to appropriately quarantine students who have been exposed to COVID-19 to decrease transmission and prevent outbreaks. Additionally, various community members across campus have completed training this summer through Johns Hopkins University to conduct contact tracing in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Our goal is to minimize the possibility of an escalation of positive cases on campus through mitigation, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, and on-campus testing. As they are identified, all cases will be reported to the state Department of Health for ongoing consultation and guidance.

The campus COVID-19 leadership team will monitor ongoing COVID-19 related infections and transmissions at the campus, local, and state levels and adjust campus activities accordingly. Although there are no industry standards or regulations about conditions that trigger an evacuation of a building, a campus facility, or the campus as a whole, the College will continue to monitor the level of risk and take reasonable precautions as needed to protect students, faculty, and staff.

All students and employees will be responsible for monitoring their health on a daily basis and will be provided information about what to do if they feel ill or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The College Health Center will provide testing for symptomatic students, as can the local hospital. The College intends to provide both random and targeted testing of students (a process known as “surveillance testing”) to monitor the health of the community.

Campus notification

The College will assess each report individually, based on the circumstances at the time, and decide whether the report represents a broader health and safety threat to the campus community. In that case, a notification will be sent alerting students who are currently on campus and all employees. Additionally, the community will be informed of any significant updates or changes in cases, such as multiple reported cases, signs of community spread, etc.

Persons who have been in close contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will be individually notified by the Health Center as a function of contact tracing. Those individuals will be advised to quarantine and monitor their symptoms.

Close contact: Close contact is defined as being within approximately six feet (two meters) of someone who has COVID-19 for more than 10 minutes. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with someone who has COVID-19 OR having direct contact with infectious fluids from a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils, keyboard, writing instruments).

When any member of the campus community is found to have COVID-19, the College will work with trained College staff and Pennsylvania Department of Health officials to screen and assess with whom the community member has been in contact, in which areas of campus, and when they were last on campus. With this information, the College will alert those who have been in regular contact or “close contact” as defined by the CDC, and will require those individuals to quarantine themselves for 14 days; the College will provide rooms for students who are in quarantine; employees must quarantine at home. The College will monitor the health status for students in quarantine and take steps to permit students to continue their academic progress. Students who are quarantined must remain confined to their immediate surroundings during the period of quarantine. Additionally, the College will alert Facilities Services to do a deep cleaning of the impacted areas.