Testing to diagnose COVID-19 is one component of a comprehensive strategy and should be used in conjunction with promoting behaviors that reduce spread, maintaining healthy environments, maintaining healthy operations, and preparing for when someone gets sick. Mount Union’s testing strategy aligns with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio: Guidance for COVID-19 Testing at Institutions of Higher Education.
The University will focus its efforts on quickly testing students, faculty, and staff members who become symptomatic, which is considered the most critical success factor for the sustained re-opening of campuses this fall according to Responsible RestartOhio: Guidance for COVID-19 Testing at Institutions of Higher Education.
The term “isolation,” as defined by the CDC, is used in reference to the separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Thus, in the case of COVID-19, isolation will be required for those who have tested positive for the illness.
When a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, they can either go home to recover or they will be isolated in a college-owned house on campus, reserved specifically for isolation. Faculty and staff members diagnosed with COVID-19 should isolate at home while avoiding close contact with other individuals until their test results are returned.
When diagnosed with COVID-19, the Alliance City Health Department (or health department of jurisdiction) will follow up with those who have tested positive daily and monitor their temperature and symptoms. Initially, they will also conduct a thorough contact tracing interview to ascertain who else might be considered a probable case for COVID-19. Any impacted community member will be notified.
The term “quarantine,” as defined by the CDC, is used in reference to the separation and restriction of the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Thus, in the case of COVID-19, quarantine will be required for those who have been closer than six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes two days before illness onset or, for asymptomatic individuals, two days prior to the date on which they received their test for COVID-19.
If a campus community member is identified in this way, they will be required to quarantine, in a designated location, for at least 14 days. Students can either quarantine at home or on campus. Students may be relocated to a new room assignment for quarantine and once there will be required to stay in their rooms and always wear a mask when leaving their room; students in quarantine should only leave their rooms for healthcare appointments. Faculty and staff members needing to quarantine should do so at home while avoiding close contact with other individuals until their test results are returned.
During quarantine, campus community members will monitor their temperature and symptoms and keep a log of any possible symptoms if they occur. The Alliance City Health Department will be checking in with probable cases several times a week.
Once two weeks have passed since receiving the final dose of COVID-19 vaccine, those who are fully vaccinated (received both doses) do not have to quarantine if exposed to the virus unless they are displaying symptoms.