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COVID-19 Screening, Testing, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine/Isolation

Screening

Before their first interaction with the campus community each day, faculty members, staff members, and students will be required to complete a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms or recent exposure to someone who has tested positive. Employees and students who live off campus will complete self-screening before coming to campus. Students who live on campus will complete screening before leaving their rooms. This will occur through the use of a mobile/desktop messaging system, using the platform that provides Friar Alert emergency messages. Faculty and staff members began using the system on Monday, Aug. 17 and students have been using it since classes began on Monday, Aug. 31.

  • Visitor checkpoint screening protocols have been established at campus entry points and places that are heavily visited by the public. Visitors interact with trained personnel who administer screening questions, collect and report data, and advise visitors accordingly. Those experiencing symptoms or reporting contact with someone who has tested positive are denied entry to campus or, if they are already on campus, directed to leave.
  • Students were required to complete a COVID-19 health emergency form, disclosing their intentions if they test positive for COVID-19 during the semester. Options are be isolating at home, isolating at a local relative’s home, or — for on-campus resident students — isolating in the College’s designated location.

Testing

The College has developed a testing program, subject to change based on evolving conditions and modified state/federal guidelines, centered on:

  • point-of-care diagnostic (PCR) testing for symptomatic individuals and close contacts of symptomatic individuals;
  • point-of-origin (PCR) testing, i.e. a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of repopulating campus and broad population testing of the campus community at the time of repopulating campus, and:
  • additional population PCR testing throughout the academic year according to best practices, as outlined by public health agencies and experts.

International students and students from states on Rhode Island’s list of “hot spot” states arrived on campus or traveled to another non-hot spot location to quarantine 14 days prior to the start of in-person classes.

Any student, faculty member, or staff member who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms will be tested (in the case of students) or asked to get a test from their healthcare providers (in the case of faculty or staff). Any person experiencing symptoms of illness (in other words, any symptomatic cases) must avoid in-person interactions with the campus community. If a symptomatic case tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, this individual is then considered a confirmed COVID-19 case, and they will follow the College’s isolation procedures.

Testing Step-by-Step for Students

Contact Tracing

Once a confirmed COVID-19 case is identified and isolated, a contact tracing team will identify and notify the individual’s close contacts. Close contacts will then be advised to self-quarantine at home or in their on-campus residence for 14 days. If a student is identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, they may need to self-quarantine in a separate location depending on their residential situation.

The contact tracing team will follow up with close contacts for a period of up to 14 days. Those who have confirmed COVID-19 cases will not be permitted on campus until current public health guidelines for ending isolation are met (i.e., minimum 10 days isolation and a minimum of three consecutive days free of symptoms).

Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases must avoid in-person interactions with others in the campus community as part of their self-quarantine. Close contacts may elect to be tested, but a negative result will not shorten the 14-day self-quarantine. The contact tracing team will follow up with individuals in self-quarantine. If a close contact tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, this individual is then considered a confirmed COVID-19 case, and they will follow the relevant isolation procedures.

Isolation and Quarantine

ISOLATION

When a student tests positive for COVID-19, he or she will enter the isolation protocol. It is the College’s preference that they will return to their home to isolate for the appropriate amount of time. This applies to students within a reasonable commuting distance where the student can be transported home safely by a parent/family member.

If the return home option is not feasible due to travel distance, availability of care at home, presence of an at-risk/immunocompromised individual at home, etc., the student will be isolated on campus, as long as he or she is an on-campus resident student.

QUARANTINE

When a student is identified as a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19, he or she will enter the quarantine protocol. As with isolation, it is the College’s preference that they will return to their home to quarantine for the appropriate amount of time.

The College will provide quarantine space for on-campus resident students who do not choose to return home.

OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS, INCLUDING THOSE IN HYBRID HOUSING

Students who live off campus (including those in hybrid housing) will follow a different process. Those who test positive will go into isolation, as required by the state. It is the College’s preference that they will return home to isolate or that they will isolate in their off-campus dwelling (i.e. apartment, in most cases) or with family. Because of space and safety considerations, the College cannot bring a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 into the on-campus population. Similarly, an off-campus student (including one in hybrid housing) who is identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19 will quarantine, preferably at home but, if that is not an option, in their off-campus dwelling. The College will not be able to accommodate off-campus students in quarantine.

RESOURCES AND SUPPORT

Once relocated to the isolation/quarantine location, the student will be assigned a PC staff member for management of care. The assigned staff member will make daily contact with the student to ensure their well-being.

Mental health resources will be made available to students in quarantine/isolation to ensure they have support they may need.

Students will be able to continue their academic studies via remote learning during their quarantine/isolation period.

Food for quarantined/isolated students will be delivered to the outside of the room/house by PC’s campus dining service provider, Sodexo.

Faculty/staff members who test positive will be instructed to isolate at home.

QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION SPACE

The College has identified the first floor and a section of the second floor of Davis Hall as its primary quarantine and isolation space. Working with our environmental health and safety and physical plant colleagues, we have designed a plan that aligns with all the available expert guidance on creating such spaces.

Specifically, students in quarantine or isolation will enter the building through a designated entrance and those going to the second floor will use a separate stairwell that will be off limits to other students. The section of the second floor that we will use is separated by doors on each end. Each apartment within Davis has a dedicated heating/cooling unit only serving that specific apartment. Air is not circulated or shared with other apartments. All heating/cooling units have been serviced and filters are changed regularly. Students in quarantine or isolation will not be allowed to leave their assigned rooms until fully cleared by medical personnel and after they have completed their quarantine time period. All meals will be delivered and the area will be strictly monitored.

Please note: the College’s expectation is that students that live within a reasonable distance of the College return home during any assigned quarantine or isolation period.