Testing, Quarantine and Isolation Procedures

The College set up multiple contracts for COVID-19 testing at the beginning of the summer to ensure that we would have multiple back-up plans given the strains on the testing pipeline that have been occurring periodically.  At this time, rapid antigen testing in the US has been diverted to serve only nursing homes, so we will be using high-accuracy PCR (molecular) testing for screening all students upon arrival, as well as for regular assessment of the health of the community over the semester. These tests are quick, relatively non-invasive nasal swabs procedures, with results returning within 48-72 hours.

When should I get tested?

  1. Every week, the College is randomly selecting up to 250 students for COVID-19 testing. If you are selected you will receive an email from testscots@wooster.edu informing you that you have been selected for surveillance testing and you will receive a link to a Bookings site where you can select from available dates and times to take a self-administered PCR nasal swab test.
  2. If you have been approved to leave campus overnight by the Dean of Students’ Office, you will be required to make an appointment for COVID-19 testing with the Wellness Center prior to your departure. Immediately upon your return to campus you will need to report for testing. You may not go to class in-person or dine in-person until your test results have returned.
  3. If you have been identified as a close contact to a case—define as having sustained exposure of longer than 15 minutes, unmasked and within six feet of someone with a positive test result—you will be contacted by the Wayne County Health Department and/or Wooster’s Director of Emergency Management with further instructions on required quarantine and COVID-19 testing.
  4. If you are concerned about having been exposed, you can send an email to testscots@wooster.edu and staff will provide you opportunities for testing.

Should I get a flu shot?

Now it is more important than ever for people to get their flu vaccine. Local and national public health experts confirm that individuals who get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time have a high risk of becoming critically ill. In order to support the health of our campus and local community, we want as many students, staff, and faculty as possible to be vaccinated. We have made flu vaccines available at NO COST, and encourage everyone to be vaccinated (unless you have a medical reason that a vaccine is not safe for you).

Where can I get a flu shot? Is it free?

Flu shots are offered for students FREE OF CHARGE through Longbrake Student Wellness Center Mondays from 1-4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. Bookings are open seven days in advance of each flu clinic date listed below. Schedule an appointment through Microsoft Bookings

  • Mon. Oct. 5: 1–4 p.m.
  • Wed. Oct. 7: 2–5 p.m.
  • Wed. Oct. 14: 2–5 p.m.
  • Mon. Oct. 19: 1–4 p.m.
  • Wed. Oct. 21: 2–5 p.m.
  • Mon. Oct. 26: 1–4 p.m.
  • Wed. Oct. 28: 2–5 p.m.
  • Mon. Nov. 2: 1–4 p.m.

How and when will I receive my test results?

You will be notified directly by email and text message (if you signed up for this option) from the testing company when your test results are complete. Results typically take between 24-48 hours after the lab receives the sample. If you receive a notice about an error with your test please send an email to testscots@wooster.edu to sign up for a new time.

What is the definition of a close contact?

The Wayne County Health Department conducts contact tracing to identify any individuals with whom the person may have been in close contact. The CDC defines close contact as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated,” as these are the circumstances in which the spread of illness is more likely.  If the Health Department identifies anyone within the campus community as a close contact, they will be in touch with that person directly.

Because of our campus public health protocols, which require masking and six feet of social distancing, the number of close contacts for an individual is likely to be very small.  For example, classmates, staff and faculty members are not likely to be close contacts, because of the ways that classrooms, offices, and other campus spaces have been de-densified. This is why these practices of masking and distancing are so critically important for everyone to follow. 

If you are determined to be a close contact of a positive case, you will be contacted by the Wayne County Health Department and/or Wooster’s Director of Emergency Management with further instructions on required quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

What happens if I test positive?

In the event you are notified that the test results are positive, or “abnormal” in the lab’s language please do the following:

  • Immediately go to your room and stay there. Do not take part in any activities or go to any public buildings.
  • Call the Wellness Center at 330-263-2319 to receive further instructions.
  • At that time, various offices of the College will give you any assistance needed.
  • You will be moved out of your room and into a comfortable isolation location. Please pack all your personal and academic items that you will need for up to 14 days.
  • A staff member will be assigned as your contact throughout your required time in isolation.

What happens when I’m in isolation?

While we are constantly examining public health guidance from various sources we are defaulting to the isolation/quarantine procedures recommended by our local Ohio and Wayne county experts. During the time you are in isolation you will have the full support of the College, including the Dean of Students’ Office, SPS, Wellness, Facilities, Dining Services, and others. The procedures outlined below are for the safety and health of you and the College community.

  • Accommodations: You will be provided a clean room with shared bathroom facilities. WiFi is provided. Custodial Services will provide fresh linens on Fridays of each week. You are required to stay in your assigned unit during isolation.
  • Daily Symptom Monitoring: While in isolation you will continue to have symptom checks per CDC guidelines with a nurse at the Wellness Center twice per day, typically at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Dining: Meals will be delivered to you three times a day. Boxed water and snacks will also be provided. You will receive a link to order your meals in advance.
  • Personal Laundry: The Wellness Center will provide laundry service for your personal items, if you are in need during your isolation stay.
  • Classes: We will contact your faculty to let them know a member of their class will not be attending in-person. You should be in touch with them if you have any difficulty participating or completing your coursework remotely.
  • Student Support: You will be contacted daily by a member of College staff to make sure you have everything you need.

Pending no onset of symptoms, you will be released from isolation in 14 days. When you are officially released, you will receive an email from the Dean of Students’ Office or the nursing staff at Longbrake Student Wellness Center.

Why is the isolation period 14 days?

While the current CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation is at least 10 days, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has released guidance specific to college campuses that identifies our type of congregate living as a risk cohort (p.2). This classification, combined with evidence that symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of the virus are transmittable up to 14 days, has led our local Wayne County Health Department to require 14 days of isolation for College of Wooster students who test positive for COVID-19.

What happens in quarantine?

While we are constantly examining public health guidance from various sources we are defaulting to the isolation/quarantine procedures recommended by our local Ohio and Wayne county experts. During the time you are in quarantine you will have the full support of the College, including the Dean of Students’ Office, SPS, Wellness, Facilities, Dining Services, and others. The procedures outlined below are for the safety and health of you and the College community.

  • Accommodations: You will be provided a clean private room with a private bathroom at a local hotel. WiFi is provided. You will be moved to a new room after seven days.
  • Daily Symptom Monitoring: You must record and report your symptoms daily using the “Scots Daily Health Check” app, which is being monitored by the nursing staff. You will be receiving daily email reminders from HealthCheck@wooster.edu at 7 a.m. to enter your symptoms. If you notice any symptoms while in quarantine, please call the Wellness Center at 330-263-2319 to speak to a nurse.
  • Dining: Lunch and dinner will be delivered daily. Boxed water and snacks will also be provided. You will receive a link to order your meals in advance. Breakfast is provided on site.
  • Classes: We will contact your faculty to let them know a member of their class will not be attending in-person. You should be in touch with them if you have any difficulty participating or completing your coursework remotely.
  • Student Support: You will be contacted daily by a member of College staff to make sure you have everything you need.

If you demonstrate no onset of symptoms and do not test positive, you will be released from quarantine in 14 days. When you are officially released, you will receive an email from the Dean of Students’ Office or the nursing staff at Longbrake Student Wellness Center.

How do I know if a student is cleared to leave isolation or quarantine?

We are working very closely with the administration and staff at the Wayne County Health Department. Typically, isolation and quarantine periods last for 14 days. If the period is less than 14 days, it would be a decision made by Wayne County Health Department. All students receive an email message from the Dean of Students' Office when they are released and are encouraged to share that if there are questions about their status.

What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, while quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Students who have a positive COVID-19 test or are symptomatic and awaiting test results will be required to move into isolation.

Students who are a close contact identified through contact tracing as having sustained exposure of longer than 15 minutes, unmasked and within six feet of someone with a positive test result are required to go into quarantine. Contact tracing is conducted by the Wayne County Health Department and Wooster’s Emergency Management Team.

Am I at risk if I believe I am a close contact to someone in quarantine? Should I also quarantine?

According to the Wayne County Health Department and standard contact tracing protocols as defined by Johns Hopkins University, only those individuals defined as close contacts to an individual who has tested positive are to quarantine. If you are concerned, you can send an email to testscots@wooster.edu and staff will provide you opportunities for testing.

Will I be required to quarantine and test if I leave campus?

Because students are living in a congregate setting, travel beyond Wooster, overnight travel, and travel to any event at which more than 20 people are expected are still not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you have an immediate and emergency need to leave campus overnight or beyond Wooster you may request to do so through the Dean of Students’ Office by completing the following form (“Follow-up to Thursday's campus update” 9/11).

Per the travel advisory from the Ohio Department of Health, students coming from areas identified by the State of Ohio as hot spots (positivity rate of 15% or greater) will be required to quarantine until their tests are returned. (Changes to the Fall 2020 plan 8/5).

If your family is at-risk can you get a test prior to going home?

There is ample testing in Ohio. If family members have particular concerns for the health of family in that moment, we should be able to assist.