On July 24, President Johnson announced that Albion College has partnered with Testing Centers of America (TCA) to provide extensive testing and monitoring of the entire Albion College community for the fall.
Albion’s College’s COVID-19 testing and monitoring plan is comprehensive and on the forefront of public health responses to the current moment. One of the unique features of our testing plan is that it provides access for local residents and businesses to be included in the plan. This will help protect our wider community, as well as those on campus, demonstrating that we are all in this together.
Be assured that all health data will be managed in a HIPAA-compliant manner. Specifically: Albion College and the Service Provider receiving data that contains protected health information (“PHI”) from Client shall: (a) comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations relating to the maintenance of the PHI, the safeguarding of the confidentiality of the PHI, and the use and disclosure of the PHI; (b) use and disclose the PHI only for the purpose(s) identified by the College, as otherwise required by law, and for no other purpose; (c) use appropriate safeguards to prevent the use and disclosure of the PHI, other than for a use or disclosure expressly, unless written permission of the Client is obtained. Clients will be provided with HIPAA disclosures and Informed Consent documentation on participation.
Very soon, all students will be invited to download a new app that introduces you to our testing and public health protocols. The app will ask you to begin inputting daily health self-monitoring checks, including your temperature and your general health or symptoms. The app will also offer you daily reminders about common public health measures we should all be taking, such as washing hands frequently and wearing facial coverings. It will provide data for contact tracing, should that be needed. This app will be a platform on which you will receive your confidential testing results directly from our dedicated testing provider.
We will have a staggered move-in process with assigned dates by building and floor in order to allow for physical distancing and other health and safety measures. Upon move-in, all students will be tested for COVID-19 and will then self-quarantine for a three-day period or until negative test results are received. All students will receive a thermometer in kits when they arrive on campus. TCA has guaranteed no more than 72 hours for test results. If test results are positive, students will be moved immediately into campus isolation housing where they will have access to medical professionals, meals and technology. Students who are able to manage their symptoms on campus will remain in isolation housing until released from isolation by the Calhoun County Public Health Department as required by public health law. Students who have more severe symptoms will be transferred to Oaklawn Hospital for care, which will be the responsibility of the student through their insurance. This initial period will allow us to reach a steady, managed state on campus from the beginning of the semester. Over the semester, when students present with COVID-19 symptoms, they will be tested immediately and, if positive, will follow the same protocol as above. We will continue to conduct routine testing throughout the entire semester.
Staff and faculty will also participate in the testing program. Employees will be tested prior to the first in-person contact on campus and prior to the beginning of returning to work. If test results are positive, they will be immediately sent home to isolate and follow Calhoun County guidance for clearance to return to in-person work.
If the employee’s household exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, the employee will be asked to isolate at home and follow Calhoun County guidance for clearance before returning to in-person work.
Routine and random testing will continue throughout the academic year to continue to monitor the campus population.
It is critical that the broader Albion community also have access to this platform to help ensure safety off campus as well. Community members and partners will have the option to join our platform and receive access to testing.