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.
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available. Visit the Ohio Department of Health website for a Priority Populations Fact Sheet and a listing of vaccination providers throughout the state. If you are eligible for vaccination, you can also register by calling the Alliance City Health Department Call Center at (330) 238-3133.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on April 1, 2021 that Ohio higher education institutions will begin receiving allotments of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days. As a result, the University of Mount Union will begin hosting a series of on-campus vaccination clinics in collaboration with our partners at Aultman Alliance Community Hospital and the Alliance City Health Department.
The University will be receiving the Janssen Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose. This particular vaccine requires recipients to be 18 years of age or older. In addition, those who have already been fully vaccinated or have received the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are not eligible for the Janssen Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
The priorities for on-campus vaccination clinics, in accordance with Governor DeWine’s expectations, are undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff. However, the University does not want to waste vaccine doses. Thus, a no-waste list of campus community members who desire the vaccine will be established to ensure that vaccine doses do not end up being discarded. Individuals on this list may be able to receive the vaccine if there are additional doses available from an opened vial and no other individuals scheduled to receive the doses.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine is not being required at Mount Union, we strongly encourage members of the campus community to consider receiving it to protect themselves and others. This vaccination offers us the best opportunity to resume normal operations on campus for the 2021 Fall Semester.
Undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff who would like to submit a reservation to receive the vaccination should submit the COVID-19 Vaccination Reservation Form as soon as possible. Campus community members who would like to add their names to the no-waste list should submit the COVID-19 Vaccination No-Waste List Form. The links for both of these forms can be found in their Mount Union email or in UMU Today.