Last updated: Thursday, September 3, 2020
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 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.
Albion is providing COVID-19 testing for all students and employees. Appointments are scheduled via the Aura app. Testing is scheduled every Tuesday and Thursday in Washington-Gardner, with students and employees are being tested every other week. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 on campus and adjust our testing schedule accordingly.
The following dates are student testing dates:
September 8, 10, 22, 24
October 6, 8, 20, 22
November 3, 5, 17, 19
The following dates are employee testing dates:
September 1, 3, 15, 17, 29
October 1, 13, 15, 27, 29
November 10, 12, 24
December 1, 3, 15, 17
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.
Students can optionally fill out the below HIPAA and FERPA authorization forms to allow records to be released to parents and guardians. If the release is related to COVID-19 testing results, the completed form must be sent to Cheryl Krause ().
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. 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.
Testing is vital to the College’s plan to open for the Fall 2020 semester, so the College will not bill students or their insurance for COVID-19 testing on campus.
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.
Yes, Albion College has partnered with Eurofins to perform wastewater testing for the COVID-19 virus in many of our larger residence halls including Seaton, Wesley, and the fraternities. We are currently evaluating the expansion of the program to include other residence halls. If positive cases are identified via wastewater testing, we will take action immediately to quarantine students in these residence halls and do individual testing to more narrowly isolate potential cases. More information about wastewater testing.
Albion College is using the Aura app to report student test results directly to students, collect student self-reported daily health assessments and share reminders with students about the public health practices they should be following.
The Aura app also has the capability to record the location of students throughout the day, much like a fitness app might record your run or your steps. This location data is an essential tool for rapid tracing of any close contacts of a student who has a positive test result. The location data can also be used to notify campus authorities if a student leaves campus so that we can manage the risks associated with someone leaving campus and returning.
Albion College does not access the detailed ongoing location of each student. Albion College only uses location data for contract tracing in the event of a positive test.
The Aura app is fully HIPAA compliant. Students sign an informed consent and a FERPA and HIPAA release so that the College may share necessary demographic data with the lab, along with the sample collected, and the testing lab may share test results with the College.
Albion College takes seriously protecting all confidential information. The makers of the Aura app have assured us that they are conducting daily internal security audits and that they have consulted with external, independent security firms to ensure that the Aura app is safe and will keep all personal information, of every member on our campus, confidential. The data being collected is specific to COVID-19 and includes only COVID test results, the daily self- reported health assessment, and location. All data will be destroyed once the semester is over.
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.