First Week Updates and Reminders

With the new term underway, we write with some key reminders in advance of the resumption of limited in-person learning. Please note the revised information related to arrival and surveillance testing at the end of this message.

Academic Expectations
Just a reminder that winter term courses scheduled in the online-only modality will remain in online modality for the entire term. Courses in hybrid or required in-person components modalities are permitted to begin in-person activities on January 19, but some courses, particularly those in the hybrid modality, might not begin any scheduled in-person activities until sometime after that date. Keep in mind that masks, physical distance, frequent hand washing, and completion of the daily symptom checker are required for in-person settings.

Community Commitments
All members of the campus community are expected to abide by the Community Safety Commitments. These commitments include completing the daily symptom checker before coming to campus, masking, remaining physically distant from others, washing hands frequently, and participating in arrival and surveillance testing (unless you will not be on campus during the term and completed the opt out option).

Daily Symptom Checker
As noted above, one of the requirements for being on campus this winter is completion of the daily symptom checker using the MyChart app, which is available to students via their existing MyChart electronic medical records. When meeting with faculty or staff in person, students may be asked to show the green “clear” indicator to demonstrate that the daily symptom check has been completed. Get in the habit of completing it each morning to avoid hiccups when accessing campus resources.

TESTING PROTOCOLS AND EXPECTATIONS

Off-Campus Students

Off-campus students who will spend any amount of time on campus during the winter term for any reason will need to complete arrival testing. Off-campus students who will not spend any amount of time on campus in the winter term may opt out of arrival and surveillance testing using the opt out formPlease complete the opt out process by Friday, January 8, 2021. This will ensure that we work with the most accurate list of students to be tested.  

Arrival testing for off-campus students will occur at the following times in the Hicks Banquet Room:

  •             Saturday, January 9       2–5 p.m.
  •             Sunday, January 10       2–5 p.m.
  •             Monday, January 11       3–5 p.m.
  •             Tuesday, January 12      3–5 p.m.

Students can schedule their specific testing time and date

Reminders: Bring a photo ID of yourself, arrive at your scheduled time, do not bring friends, and wear a mask. If you are ill, stay home and contact the Student Health Center at 269-337-7200.

Residential Students

Every student living in a residence hall will complete COVID testing upon their arrival to campus, prior to moving into their residence hall. Testing times align with move-in times and will occur in the Hicks Banquet Room:

  •             Friday, January 15         4–6 p.m.
  •             Saturday, January 16     2–5 p.m.
  •             Sunday, January 17       2–5 p.m.

Students will be guided through the process individually by campus staff, while families will wait outside of the Hicks Student Center. Though the testing process itself is very quick, you may need to wait while others move through the process. We appreciate your patience. 

Reminders: Bring a photo ID of yourself, do not bring friends, wear a mask. If you are ill, stay home and contact the Office of Residential Life. 

Student Athletes

Information regarding your initial testing protocols will come through the Director of Athletics and coaching staff. 

Surveillance Testing

Once we get through initial testing, we will begin scheduling surveillance testing. Students will be notified via email when they are selected to test and will be sent a link to schedule their appointment.

CAMPUS ACTIVITY LEVELS

K will continue to adjust its balance of online and on-campus activities throughout the 2020-21 academic year (or as long as it takes for the COVID-19 pandemic to become controlled) based on current regional and local conditions. We have developed a Campus Activity Levels chart that indicates various levels of on-campus activity, using color-coded categories: 

Campus Activity Level color chart

Shifts in level will depend on regional, local, and campus conditions. For example, changes in the number of regional COVID cases, hospital capacity, testing response time, or staffing levels in critical areas could trigger a change in level. The College will conduct daily monitoring of relevant factors and communicate changes via Hornet Hive updates, K Alerts, and signs on campus. You may visit the COVID-19 webpage to learn more about the Campus Activity Levels.

The College will begin the Winter 2021 term at the Red (restricted; online classes only) level while conducting initial baseline testing of all students, faculty, and staff who plan to participate in on-campus activities. Once the initial testing is complete, we anticipate moving to Orange, operating at reduced density.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you on campus and virtually. 

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson
Provost

Campus Activity Levels

As has been the case throughout this pandemic, the first guiding principle of campus decision-making is providing a healthy and safe environment for those who work and learn on our campus. The second is ensuring that our students can continue to make progress toward graduation in a way that is as consistent with K’s overall educational philosophy and mission as possible.

K will continue to adjust its balance of online and on-campus activities throughout the 2020-21 academic year (or as long as it takes for the COVID-19 pandemic to become controlled), based on current regional and local conditions. The activity level chart indicates various levels of on-campus activity, using the following color-coded categories:

Campus Activity Levels color chart

The College will begin the Winter 2021 term at the Red (restricted; online classes only) level while conducting initial baseline testing of all students, faculty, and staff who plan to participate in on-campus activities. Once the initial testing is complete, we anticipate moving to Orange, operating at reduced density. Further shifts, from Orange to Yellow or back to Red or Purple, will depend on regional, local, and campus conditions. For example, changes in the number of regional COVID cases, hospital capacity, testing response time, or staffing levels in critical areas could trigger a change in level. The College will conduct daily monitoring of relevant factors and communicate changes via Hornet Hive updates, K Alert, and signs on campus.

Protecting the Hive: All students, faculty, and staff are expected to observe public health and social distancing guidelines, both on-campus and in off-campus interactions. These include maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other people, wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and participating in baseline and ongoing, random testing for the virus. The College has undertaken other mitigation measures, such as reducing the capacity of classroom and other spaces, limiting access to some facilities, and improving ventilation in buildings (sometimes reducing the ability to control heating and cooling).

Current Activity Level

Protecting the Hive: K will be operating at Red Level. All students, faculty, and staff are expected to observe public health and social distancing guidelines. Maintain at least a six foot distance from other people, wear masks, wash hands frequently, and participate in baseline and ongoing, random testing for the virus. Shifts to other levels will depend on regional, local, and campus conditions.

Remote Online Learning with Limited Access to Campus Facilities

  • No on-campus classes; very limited student access to campus facilities with Provost approval
  • Virtual mode or outdoors required for all meetings/sustained interactions
  • In-person services provided only with approval of relevant VP 
  • Residence halls have additional safety measures or reduced density
  • Outdoor work may be restricted

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Campus access requires approval by relevant VP or President
  • Must conduct daily health screening and follow all public health, social distancing restrictions

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

Activity Level Descriptions

Note: The intention of this grid is to provide a range of operating stages that allows us to respond to changing events but at any time, a mandate from federal, state or local government or public health officials may override these criteria to move to greater restrictions on activity. Loosening restrictions by any of these external sources will not, however, automatically result in loosening restrictions for on campus activity; loosening of restrictions on campus will be based on assessment by President’s Staff of local conditions on campus and in the Kalamazoo community.

YELLOW: Open, Social Distancing

Hybrid Learning, Campus Open with Social Distancing

  • Classes meet online, outdoors, or indoors, with social distancing
  • Designated indoor and outdoor study spaces and other facilities open, with social distancing restrictions
  • Meetings, advising, student and staff services: social distancing required; virtual mode and outdoors interactions encouraged
  • Residence halls open with single room occupancy and social distancing restrictions
  • Remote work encouraged; onsite staff may work on rotational schedule

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Initial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing
  • Complete health screening each day before coming to campus
  • Six feet physical distance when possible
  • Masking in common interior spaces and when distance not possible indoors or outdoors
  • Frequent hand washing

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

ORANGE: Reduced Density

Hybrid Learning, Cautiously Open at Reduced Density

  • Provost and Registrar will work with faculty to reduce density in classroom buildings for in person or hybrid courses
  • Limitations on indoor study spaces and other facilities (e.g., with reduced density and/or by appointment only)
  • Indoor non-class meetings/sustained interactions of five or more people require approval by relevant VP 
  • Increased social distancing restrictions in residence halls
  • Increased remote work per departmental/unit plan
  • Outdoor work or activities continue with required safety protocols

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Initial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing
  • Complete health screening each day before coming to campus
  • Six feet physical distance when possible
  • Masking in common interior spaces and when distance not possible indoors or outdoors
  • Frequent hand washing

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

RED: Restricted

Remote Online Learning with Limited Access to Campus Facilities

  • No on-campus classes; very limited student access to campus facilities with Provost approval
  • Virtual mode or outdoors required for all meetings/sustained interactions
  • In-person services provided only with approval of relevant VP 
  • Residence halls have additional safety measures or reduced density
  • Outdoor work may be restricted

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Campus access requires approval by relevant VP or President
  • Must conduct daily health screening and follow all public health, social distancing restrictions

Other: Business travel requires approval by relevant VP or President

PURPLE: Highly Restricted

Remote Online Learning. Campus access is restricted to essential activities

  • Campus closed to students and staff, except offices and employee support required to maintain safety, security, and basic operations of campus

Public Health and Social Distancing Restrictions:

  • Campus access allowed only as specified by relevant VP or President
  • Must conduct daily health screening and follow all public health, social distancing restrictionsInitial baseline and ongoing, random covid testing

Other: Business travel prohibited unless approved by relevant VP or President

COVID-19 Arrival Testing Dates and Times for Students

To Students and Families:

In light of the change to the College’s in-person learning and living schedule for winter term, communicated Monday, we write to provide updated information about COVID-19 arrival testing.

Early returning resident assistants, international students, and winter athletes have or will receive specific information from their campus contact people. 

Off-Campus Students

Off-campus students who will spend any amount of time on campus during the winter term for any reason will need to complete arrival testing. Off-campus students who will not spend any amount of time on campus in the winter term may opt out of arrival and surveillance testing through the Opt Out formPlease complete the opt out process by Wednesday, January 6, 2021. This will ensure that we work with the most accurate list of students to be tested.  

COVID-19 arrival testing for off-campus students will occur at the following times in the Hicks Banquet Room:

  • Saturday, January 9       2–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 10       2–5 p.m.
  • Monday, January 11      3–5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 12      3–5 p.m.

Students can schedule their specific testing time and date through the online scheduling form

Reminders: Bring a photo ID of yourself, arrive at your scheduled time, do not bring friends and wear a mask. You may not get COVID-19 arrival testing if you are ill or have a fever. Please contact the Student Health Center at 269-337-7200 should you need diagnostic COVID-19 testing.

Residential Students

Every student living in a residence hall will complete COVID-19 testing upon their arrival to campus, before moving into their residence hall. Testing times align with move-in times and will occur in the Hicks Banquet Room:

  • Friday, January 15         4–6 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 16     2–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 17       2–5 p.m.

Students will be guided through the process individually by campus staff, while families will wait outside of the Hicks Student Center. Though the testing process itself is very quick, you may need to wait while others move through the process. We appreciate your patience. 

Reminders: Bring a photo ID of yourself, do not bring friends and wear a mask. You may not get COVID-19 arrival testing if you are ill or have a fever. Please contact the Student Health Center at 269-337-7200 should you need diagnostic COVID-19 testing.

We will communicate again in early January, and hope that this revised information helps in your planning. As a reminder, the College will be closed from December 23–January 3. You may direct any questions over the holiday break via email to the pertinent department (click here for links to department contact information) and someone will follow up with you.

We wish you rest, relaxation, and restorative time as we end 2020, and we look forward to seeing you, virtually or in person, in the new year.

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson
Provost

K Student Arrival and Surveillance Testing Protocols; Bookstore Information

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 11–152021. 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

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

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

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.   

Surveillance Testing

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

Bookstore Information

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
Provost

Community Safety Commitments

Responsible, other-centered individual decisions aligned with public health guidance are the single-best way to “Protect the Hive” and the larger community from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In order to ensure the safest possible environment, the following list of Community Safety Commitments applies equally to every member of the campus community (students, faculty and staff), every visitor and every vendor or contractor.

Note that some departments and offices (Athletics, Residential Life, as examples) have requirements in addition to the ones listed here. All requirements pertain where appropriate.

  • Every person is expected to complete the daily symptom tracker (students using MyChart and employees using Campus Clear) prior to every campus visit, no matter how brief or infrequent.
  • Every person is expected to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose, indoors and outdoors, unless alone in a confined space (residence hall room, office) with the door closed. Exceptions for residential students include while bathing and brushing teeth.
  • Every person is expected to keep six (6) feet of distance from others in every campus setting.
  • Every person is expected to engage in frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
  • Every person is expected to abide by scheduled or phased activities, such as dining, as assigned to avoid unnecessary queuing and lines.
  • Every person is expected to participate in arrival and surveillance COVID testing, as scheduled. Note that testing time is limited so individuals may need to adjust personal schedules to accommodate the required testing.
  • Every student directed to quarantine or isolation (QI) campus housing is expected to respond promptly and to comply with all relevant directives and guidance. This includes remaining in QI housing for the duration of the QI period and cleaning up after themselves in shared spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Every student is expected to comply with the direction and advice of the Student Health Center, and to respect the finite human and medical resources available to them.  
  • Every person is expected to comply with contact tracing efforts. Consider downloading the state of Michigan COVID Alert app for mobile devices to provide additional contact tracing support.
  • Every residential student is expected to communicate with family, friends, and loved ones that they are not permitted in the residence halls after the initial move-in period.
  • Every person is expected to comply with College, local, state, and federal pandemic-related orders.
  • Every person is expected to comply with all Community Safety Commitments without relying on the reminders of others.
  • Every person is expected to abide by the best currently available public health guidance when they are not on campus. Every single decision made by each of us affects the health of every other person with whom we interact. 

These Commitments, and additional requirements for specific departments and offices, are expected to be kept, without reminders, by everyone equally. Students who fail to keep the Commitments risk immediate removal from campus, if they are in residence, or loss of privileges to use campus facilities if they are off-campus. To be clear, students enrolled in in-person or hybrid classes who are removed from campus or from campus privileges will jeopardize their ongoing in-person enrollment. Employees may face disciplinary action.

While we hope to rely on the good judgment of community members in abiding by the Community Safety Commitments, we will enforce them with speed and rigor if the situation warrants.

December 16, 2020

Student Surveillance Testing

What kind of test is it?
A PCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.  PCR tests provide fast and highly accurate results.

What can I expect when I am tested?
You will be asked to confirm personal information. To run a PCR test, a specimen will be collected from the nose via nasal mid-turbinate collection, which is a little bit less invasive than nasopharyngeal (back of nose).

Who administers the test?
The test will be administered by OptiMed Health Partners.

What information about me will be shared with OptiMed by the College?
In order to streamline the testing process, the following information will be shared with OptiMed: name, mailing address, phone, K email address, date of birth, sex, race/ethnicity. OptiMed will store the information in compliance with privacy regulations and practices.

Should I need to bring anything with me to the test?
You should bring a picture ID.

How long will the test take?
The test will take approximately 5 minutes.

Will all students be included in the selection pool?
All students are automatically included in the testing pool. Students will need to opt out if they will NOT be coming to campus at any time for any amount of time during winter 2021. Note that completion of the opt-out form only applies to winter term. If students need to opt back in they should contact the Student Development Office (studev@kzoo.edu).

How will students be selected?
Together in partnership with Information Services, a process has been established to randomly select from the pool of active students. A student will be returned to the surveillance testing pool after all students have been selected. A minimum of 40 people (students, faculty and staff) will be tested each week. Increased positivity rates may increase the number of faculty staff, and students tested.

How will students be notified that they have been selected?
The primary means of notification will be through the kzoo.edu email address. 

When will students be notified that they have been selected?
Selections will be made on Friday for the upcoming week. The notification will include a link to schedule your test.

How long will students have to complete their test?
You will have until Wednesday of your selected week to complete your test.

What happens if I am not available on the day that I am selected?
Please be in contact with the Student Health Center about your situation. They will work with you to ensure that you are tested on the next available day.

Who pays for the test?
Kalamazoo College will pay for initial and surveillance testing.

Where will the testing take place?
The testing will occur in the banquet room located on the lower level of the Hicks 

Who will have access to the results?
Results of the test will be accessible by OptiMed Health Partners and the Student Health Center. Testing numbers with no identifying information will be included on the testing dashboard.

How will I learn of the results?
The results will be communicated by the Student Health Center.

What happens if I do not or cannot participate in the testing?
You are asked to refrain from coming to campus until an initial COVID test is complete. There are no known medical reasons why someone would not be able to tolerate a COVID test.

Initial COVID-19 Testing for Students

Kalamazoo College has robust testing protocols in place as part of our plan for re-engagement. All faculty, staff, and students will be asked to partake in an initial COVID test during the beginning of the winter term and random surveillance testing throughout the remainder of the academic year. The following applies to the initial testing phase.

Why are we requiring initial testing?
Protecting the health and safety of our community continues to be our primary goal. Testing is one of many ways that we are protecting each other. Identifying asymptomatic people is a way of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

When will I be tested?

The initial testing schedule for students (excluding residential students) is:

  • Saturday, January 2, 3–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 3, 3–5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2–5 p.m.

First-year students moving into the residence halls will have their own schedule.

Will all students be included in the selection pool?
All students are automatically included in the testing pool. Students will need to opt out if they will NOT be coming to campus at any time for any amount of time during winter 2021. Note that completion of the opt-out form only applies to winter term. If students need to opt back in they should contact the Student Development Office (studev@kzoo.edu).

What kind of test is it?
A PCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) test looks for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.  PCR tests provide fast and highly accurate results.

Who administers the test?
The test will be administered by OptiMed Health Partners.

What information about me will be shared by the College with the testing professionals?
There are hundreds of people to be tested in a relatively short period of time. In order to streamline the testing process, the following information will be shared with OptiMed: name, mailing address, phone, K email address, date of birth, sex, race/ethnicity. OptiMed will store the information in compliance with privacy regulations and practices.

What can I expect when I am tested?
To run a PCR test, a specimen will be collect from the nose via nasal mid-turbinate collection, which is a little bit less invasive than nasopharyngeal (back of nose). 

Should I need to bring anything with me to the test?
You should bring a picture ID.

How long will the test take?
The test takes less than 5 minutes to administer. However, you should expect to wait due to the number of people to be tested. 

Who pays for the test?
Kalamazoo College will pay for initial and surveillance testing.

Where will the testing take place?
The testing will occur in the banquet room located on the lower level of the Hicks Student Center.

I am experiencing some symptoms of COVID-19. Am I able to be tested on campus?
For the safety of our community, please avoid coming to campus and contact the Student Health Center for more information. 

Who will have access to the results?
Results of the test will be accessible by OptiMed Health Partners and the Student Health Center. Testing numbers with no identifying information will be included on the testing dashboard.

How will I learn of the results?
The results will be communicated by the Student Health Center.

What happens if I do not or cannot participate in the testing?
You are asked to refrain from coming to campus until an initial COVID test is complete. There are no known medical reasons why someone would not be able to tolerate a COVID test.

My COVID-19 test is positive. Now what?
A positive test result means that you should follow the following steps. Additional information may be found by visiting the Student Health Center COVID-19 Resources page

  • On-campus residents:
    • Limit interaction with those around you. Stay in your room until given directions on moving to an isolation room. See the Isolation Plan webpage for more information on what to expect. 
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering.
    • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Cover cough and sneezes.
    • Don’t leave the isolation location.
    • Don’t share personal items.
    • Answer calls from your COVID Care Coordinator and the local Health Department.
    • Watch for severe symptoms or other health emergencies. If you need to call 911, tell them you have COVID-19.
    • After 10 days you may end isolation if you meet these criteria:
      • Have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
      • Other symptoms, like cough or shortness of breath, have improved.
  • Off-campus residents:
    • Limit interaction with those around you. 
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering.
    • Use meal or grocery delivery services when possible or ask family and friends for help.
    • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Cover cough and sneezes.
    • Consider people living with you. If you live with someone with health conditions, think about how to isolate from them.
    • Don’t leave home.
    • Don’t share personal items.
    • Don’t use public transportation, if you have another choice. 
    • Answer your health department’s call. They will reach out to begin contact tracing. They can also answer your questions.
    • Watch for severe symptoms or other health emergencies. If you need to call 911, tell them you have COVID-19.
    • After 10 days you may end isolation if you meet these criteria:
      • Have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
      • Other symptoms, like cough or shortness of breath, have improved.

My COVID-19 test is negative. What do I need to know?

  • If you had a known exposure to a confirmed case, contact the Student Health Center for more information.  You will need to quarantine until 14 days after your last exposure. On campus students will be moved into a quarantine space and out of their residence hall for the duration of their quarantine. 
  • If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case, and you are symptomatic, you may have another respiratory pathogen that is circulation in the community. Call the Student Health Center. Ask if you should be tested again or for another illness if you continue to have symptoms of COVID-19. Avoid group settings until 3 days after the last day of your respiratory symptoms and fever.
  • If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case and you are not symptomatic, you may return to your regular routine. Continue practicing physical distancing, wearing your clean mask and washing or sanitizing your hands frequently.

Who can I contact with questions?
You can contact the Student Health Center at 269-337-7200.

Winter Sports: Return-to-Campus Process

For our winter teams (basketball and swimming and diving), the return-to-campus process will be as follows:

  • Student-athletes and coaches will return to campus on January 9 and report to the Hicks Center in masks.
    • Women’s basketball will report at 2 p.m.
    • Men’s basketball at 2:30 p.m.
    • Swimming and diving at 3:15 p.m. 
  • Upon report time, the student will enter into the student center where they will have their temperature checked, fill out a health screening form, and then wait to be PCR tested for COVID-19.
  • If the student is living in the residence halls, they will be given their key to move in from their coach. The student will then go and unpack their belongings and quarantine for the night.
  • Dinner that night will be a grab and go from the dining center for all student-athletes, and that should be the only reason students leave their rooms or houses once tested and moved in. Your coaches will provide more details on meal times for the team.
  • Test results should come back to us the following day and then Phase II will begin (please refer to the previous email for that phasing process). For those living in off-campus housing, the same process will be followed. We are urging our students not to be within 6 feet of one another for more than 10 minutes if they can avoid that. It is important to stay as distant as possible, especially while awaiting test results.

We expect our student-athletes to be masked up at all times while on campus and in every in-person team setting. We understand that sometimes the mask will need to come down or be readjusted (e.g., water breaks); however, we expect all of our teams, players, coaches and support staff to mask up and protect the hive. We will provide all of our student-athletes with a game-day mask, but would urge them to come to campus with multiple masks that they will need for practices and daily life.

We also expect our student-athletes and staff to fill out a daily health screening from their phone or device BEFORE they come to campus. Students will be using the Bronson MyChart app and will report their results to their coaches. The winter student-athletes have been well informed about this, and our fall and spring teams will have meetings about this as well in the coming weeks. If you (the student) are not feeling well on any given day, then please call your athletic trainer and you and they will talk through what you should do that day.

We will follow all NCAA testing protocols while in season to keep our teams as safe as we are able in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The MIAA will have minimum expectations of care that all nine conference schools will follow so that we are all doing our part across Michigan and Indiana to be safe and responsible once we start competitions. As of now, we will only be playing MIAA competitions for our winter and fall schedules. We are still weighing out our options for spring as we continue to monitor local and state numbers to fight this pandemic. 

We also will not be permitting fans in our stands for any home contest this winter. We will livestream all of our home games for fans to watch in the comfort and safety of their own surroundings. We know this is not ideal for the parents, friends, families or student-athletes, especially for our senior student-athletes; however, this is one way we believe we can limit our risk while keeping fans connected to Hornet athletics. We have not made any decisions for fall/spring yet, but we will err on the side of caution in order to keep our students, faculty and staff in the safest and most low risk environments.

Winter Sports Phase-In Process

On December 13, our four winter teams (men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s basketball, and men’s basketball) will all begin a phasing-in period at home. Due to the fact that we were not in person in the fall, did nothing organized with our teams, and we have not properly phased our students into their environment, we will begin this process at home in order to come to campus and be ready to practice and compete this winter. What this means for our four winter teams is that we need them to quarantine at home for 14 days in order to report to campus on December 26. These are the guidelines that we are requiring our athletes, coaches and staff to adhere to for our process:  

Phase I: Dec. 13–26

For students who plan to travel back to campus by car:

  • Quarantine at home starting December 13.
  • Fill out a COVID-19 daily screening via the app.
  • Travel by car to Kalamazoo College for move-in instructions. 

If students are not able to quarantine at home, they will start their 14-day quarantine once they arrive in Kalamazoo. They should still begin their daily health screenings on December 13.

For students who will be traveling back by bus, train, plane, etc.

  • Fill out a COVID-19 daily screening via the app beginning December 13.
  • Quarantine will begin once you have entered the Kalamazoo area.  

What quarantining at home means for Phase I and what is expected of our students:

  • Restrict movement within and outside of the home. Avoid public areas, large gatherings, public transportation, etc.
  • Quarantining in the home includes eating meals in a private space or outdoors with family at least 6 feet apart.
  • Use separate servingware, utensils, glasses and plates.
  • Use a separate bathroom from other family members. If not possible, then disinfect the bathroom after each use.
  • Avoid physical contact, including hugging, kissing and shaking hands.
  • Wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet when in the presence of others (not in your bubble).

If quarantine is not possible, stay physically distant from family household members, wear a face covering and avoid close contact, including hugging and shaking hands, for the 14 days at home. Consider placing HEPA filter units in the home and opening windows to increase air circulation.

Phase II: Dec. 26–Jan. 8

  • Students arrive on campus for PCR test.
  • PCR test on day one.
  • Students will quarantine in their residence until all test results are back (or 14 days if student did not quarantine at home).
  • Testing protocols will then follow the NCAA recommendations for in-season athletes.
  • Complete daily COVID-19 symptom screening; temperatures will be taken.
  • Once initial tests are complete and the results are back, teams may begin practicing together with <50 participants; there will be no contact with one another in this stage.
  • Week 2 of Phase II: Teammates may start sharing equipment.
  • No locker room use for anything other than changing clothes will be permitted. 

Phase II: Jan. 922

  • Continue NCAA testing protocols as recommended for in-season athletes.
  • Daily COVID-19 symptom screening and temperatures taken.
  • Contact may begin in practices and in training sessions.
  • No locker room for anything other than changing clothes will be permitted.

Phase IV: Jan. 23

  • Competitions permitted.
  • Continue NCAA testing protocols as recommended for in-season athletes.
  • Daily COVID-19 symptoms screening and temperatures taken.

 If at any point we must shut things down due to outbreaks or as instructed by local, state, or federal health professionals or team medical doctors, then we will do so. Our first concern is the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and support staff. We will update you with more information in the coming weeks, particularly with information regarding game day protocols and policies that we will be enforcing this winter. Information will come out later for our fall/spring seasons as well. If you have any questions, please email those to athletic@kzoo.edu.

Winter Term Move-In

General student move-in* will be at following days and times in the Hicks Center: 

  • Friday, January 8, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. EST,
  • Saturday, January 9, 2021 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. EST
  • Sunday, January 10, 2021 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. EST

*Pre-season athletes and international students arriving prior to this on December 26 and January 1-3 respectively should refer to whatever information they receive, previous or forthcoming, from Athletics and the Center for International Programs.   

We encourage those who live close to move in on either Friday or Sunday, as we anticipate that students with longer travel distances will likely plan to arrive on Saturday.  Please note: The check-in times above will be strictly adhered to.  Keys will not be issued to students who arrive late and have not been tested. They will not be permitted to stay on campus and Campus Safety/Residential Life will not let them into rooms after hours.  Please find more details regarding move-in at the Residential Life COVID-19 page. If it is no longer your intention to live on campus, we ask that you let us know by submitting the opt out form.  Thank you!