To Students and Families:
We write with more specific information related to the planned COVID-19 testing protocols for the winter term at K. This is a lengthier message than usual because we have a great deal of information to provide related both to arrival and ongoing surveillance testing.As a reminder, all classes will be offered virtually during the first week of the winter term, from January 4–8, 2021. In-person classes and hybrid classes with in-person elements will begin their scheduled in-person meetings during the second week of classes, January 11–15, 2021. Online-only courses will start as scheduled on January 4 and will continue virtually through the end of the academic term.
Arrival and Surveillance Testing: Who Will Participate?
All students who will be living on campus or who will be physically present on campus for any reason during the winter term will participate in arrival and surveillance testing. This includes students who live off campus but work on campus and/or who plan to use campus resources—including but not limited to the library, the bookstore, the Fitness and Wellness Center, rehearsal space, studio space, dining, the Student Health Center, the Mail Center or campus mailbox, and who plan to visit campus for any reason for any amount of time. In short, every student who plans to spend any amount of time on campus at any point during the Winter term will be part of the arrival and surveillance testing plans. This is the surest way to keep the campus as safe as possible.Students who will not spend any time on campus in the winter (because they live far away, for example), may opt out of the testing program via the Student Testing Opt Out Form.
Arrival testing will occur in the Banquet Room of the Hicks Student Center. In an effort to control the density of the testing location and to ensure efficient traffic flow, family members and friends will not be permitted in the building. Family and friends may wait outside or in their vehicles, if they choose, and we appreciate their understanding and cooperation in this process.
Off-campus students who have not opted out of testing via the Student Testing Opt Out Form will have three opportunities for arrival testing:
- Saturday, January 2 from 3–5 p.m.
- Sunday, January 3 from 3–5 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 6 from 2–5 p.m.
All off-campus students must complete arrival testing during these scheduled times.Staff members will direct students to and through the testing process to retain the necessary distance from others. All students are required to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose. A robust staff of medical personnel will be on hand to administer the tests as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even so, you may have a short wait. All students must bring a photo ID to complete the testing process.All students who are tested are expected to quarantine at home until their test results are complete. This means students should stay in their living space, and should not interact with others unless at least six feet distant and masked. Students awaiting test results should not interact with others beyond their place of residence until test results are known. Test results will be shared with students via their K College email address from the Student Health Center.
Residential students (students assigned to the residence halls) will have three options for testing, all of which coincide with scheduled arrival times for the residence halls. Students approved for early arrival (RAs, international students and athletes, for example) will receive specific information about their arrival testing processes from their campus point person.
- Friday, January 8 from 4–6 p.m.
- Saturday, January 9, from 2–5 p.m.
- Sunday, January 10, from 2–5 p.m.
All residential students must complete arrival testing during these times.Residential students have already received detailed check-in information from the Office of Residential Life. Please refer to that communication, available at the Residential Life COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines page.Arrival testing is the first part of the residential check-in process, and will start at the Hicks Student Center. Staff members will direct students to and through the testing process to retain the necessary distance from others. All students are required to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose. A robust staff of medical personnel will be on hand to administer the tests as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even so, you may have a short wait. All students must bring a photo ID to complete the testing process.
NOTE TO STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOT COMPLETED THE REQUIRED ENTRY IMMUNIZATIONS: If you receive an email from the Student Health Center stating that you are not cleared to move in, you must complete and submit the requirements listed by noon on Thursday, December 31, 2020, or you will not be able to move into your residence hall and begin in-person courses. Numerous reminders have been sent seeking resolution to this matter. The Student Health Center will not provide immunizations to new students. If you are unable to complete the requirements, please contact the Office of Residential Life to let them know that you will not be able to move on campus.
All students who are tested are expected to quarantine in their residence hall until their test results are complete. This means students should stay in their residence hall, and leave only to go to the dining hall, and should not interact with others unless at least six feet distant and masked. Students awaiting test results should not interact with others beyond their place of residence until test results are known. Test results will be shared with students via their Kalamazoo College email from the Student Health Center.
More information about arrival testing can be found at the COVID-19 website: Initial COVID-19 Testing for Students.
The goal of surveillance testing is to test about 10% of the campus population per week, as a way of gauging the presence of the COVID-19 virus among employees and students.Surveillance testing will occur Monday through Wednesday, from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.,enabling all test results to be received and acted on prior to the weekend. All students who will be on campus for any amount of time for any reason during the winter term will be part of the surveillance testing program, as indicated above. Surveillance testing is not optional as it is an important public health tool.Students will be randomly assigned to testing cohorts, and will be notified of their testing date during the week prior to their assigned date. They will have the ability to schedule the exact time of the test, and are expected to arrive on time and ready for the test. We estimate that each student will likely be surveillance tested only once or twice during the ten-week winter term. The College will continue to monitor emerging testing technology, which may alter the method and frequency of testing over time. Students will be notified of test results via their Kalamazoo College email from the Student Health Center, and are expected to comply with all directives related to quarantine and isolation.
More information about surveillance testing can be found at the COVID-19 website: Student Surveillance Testing.
The Bookstore will be closed for in-person shopping during the three days of move in, January 8–10, but curbside pickup will be available from 4–6 p.m. Visit kcollegebookstore.com to place pickup orders for textbooks and general merchandise. When you select “Hicks Center Pickup” as your shipping method, your order will be bagged up and ready for pickup when you arrive on campus. Students will be able to pick up their orders at the front of the Bookstore from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on move-in days or during normal store operating hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.). Orders can also be picked up outside the Hicks Center during these hours. To do so, please go to the main front entrance of the Hicks Center, call the Bookstore at 269-337-7317, and someone will bring your order to you. Orders do take time to process, so if you plan on picking up an order, please place it the day before you are scheduled to arrive.
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally and within the state as we prepare for the winter term. New cases in the Kalamazoo region continue to decline and the initial availability of vaccines is an additional source of optimism for the spring term and beyond. Even with these positive signs, it remains important for all of us to be vigilant in our individual behaviors to limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the coming months by continuing to mask, remaining physically distant from others, carefully monitoring our own health, and, for those returning to campus in a few weeks, following testing protocols and the Community Safety Commitments. If we do these things, we can protect not only our own health, but the health of others in the campus and the greater Kalamazoo communities.
We wish you well as the year ends and as we move into 2021.
Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students
Danette Ifert Johnson