Albion College releases COVID-19 testing plan



Albion, Mich. (WLNS) — Albion College President Mathew B. Johnson announced Tuesday an updated plan for the return to campus this fall, which includes an app to monitor COVID-19 testing.

To that end, Dr. Johnson said the College is partnering with Testing Centers of America (TCA) to provide testing and monitoring of the entire Albion College community—students, faculty and staff.

“Our COVID-19 testing and monitoring plan is comprehensive and on the forefront of public health responses to the current moment,” Dr. Johnson said.

Student Testing

All students will utilize ​Aura​, an app developed by ​Nucleus Healthcare​,​ that organizes the College’s COVID-19 testing. The app will ask for daily health self-monitoring inputs prior to campus arrival in August and will offer daily reminders about common public health measures that everyone should be taking.

Once students arrive on campus, the Aura app will provide regular community updates. ​All Protected Health Information relating to an individual registered on the App will be treated as confidential. This information will be used only to provide the services agreed to and will not be disclosed to any other person or entity without the individual’s written permission.

Upon move-in, all students will be tested for COVID-19 . (Details on a physically distanced move-in, stretched across several days, will be shared soon.) All students will then self-quarantine for a three-day period or until negative test results are received. TCA.

The TCA laboratory ​is compliant with the State of Michigan requirements and will report confidential testing results into the Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS), ​has guaranteed no more than 72 hours for the return of test results from when the sample is received by the laboratory.

If test results are positive, impacted students will be moved immediately into campus isolation housing and their isolation will be managed under the guidance of the Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD) as required by law.

Students who are able to manage their symptoms on campus will remain in isolation housing until released by the Health Department. Students who have more severe symptoms will be transferred to Oaklawn Hospital for care.

This initial period will provide an opportunity to reach a steady, managed state on campus from the beginning of the semester. Over the semester, when a student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, they will be tested immediately and, if tested positive, will follow the same protocol as above. Routine and random testing will continue to be conducted throughout the semester.

Staff and Faculty Testing

Staff and faculty will also participate on the app. Employees will be tested 14 days prior to the first in-person contact on campus and prior to the beginning of returning to work. If test results are positive, staff and faculty will immediately be sent home to isolate. Isolation and/or quarantine will be overseen by the Health Department. If they are negative, they may return to work and follow the testing regimen as written.

If an employee’s household identifies as having a positive COVID-19 test, the employee will be instructed to stay home, quarantine and/or isolate as determined by the Health Department. The isolation/quarantine will be lifted by the Health Department according to Public Health Guidelines and the employee will be allowed back to campus with a written release from the Health Department.

Routine and random testing will continue throughout the academic year.

Dr. Johnson also said that the College has invested in new technology, new cleaning processes and protocols, personal protective equipment (PPE) for faculty, students and staff, and other environmental modifications like plexiglass barriers and automatic door-opening devices.

Albion has developed a public health training curriculum that all students, faculty and staff will need to complete before returning to campus and has invested in new technology, new cleaning processes and protocols, personal protective equipment for faculty, students and staff, and other environmental modifications, such as plexiglass barriers and automatic door-opening devices.

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