Important Message on COVID-19 Vaccines

To Students and Families:

As we continue to plan for in-person living and learning next academic year, we are writing to share that Kalamazoo College will require students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus next fall. This will include any student who intends to live on campus, attend classes or engage in any in-person activities. We will grant limited exceptions for medical reasons, as we do with other vaccinations. 

The scientific evidence is overwhelming that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 and related serious outcomes. They are an important component in helping us return to a more “pre-pandemic” way of life on campus. We appreciate the many students, faculty and staff who have already received their vaccinations and voluntarily shared their status with the College; this information helps with planning and decision-making as we continue our gradual reopening. 

The health of our community is our number one priority, as it has been since the start of the pandemic. Our decision-making will continue to be driven by credible scientific data and public health guidance. We recognize some people may still have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. If you have general questions about the vaccines, please visit the CDC website or the FDA website for more information. 

In the weeks to come, we will communicate more details about K’s requirement, including how to register your vaccination and guidance for international students. Please watch your email or look for updates on the COVID-19 website as information becomes available.  

We look forward to welcoming our community safely back to campus in the fall. Thank you for “Protecting the Hive.”

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

Danette Ifert Johnson
Provost

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for Students

Kalamazoo College is thrilled to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. This vaccination opportunity is for ALL K students age 18 and older.

Thursday, April 15, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 
OR
Thursday, April 22, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 
Hicks Student Center—Banquet Room

Register for your appointment by selecting an available time to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. Vaccine supply is limited.

By scheduling an appointment, please note:

  • You are committing to return 4 weeks later at the same time for dose #2.  This means an appointment on 4/15 and 5/13 OR 4/22 and 5/20.
  • Bring your health insurance card (or social security number if you do not have insurance) and a government-issued identification card.
  • Complete the consent forms OR arrive 5 minutes early to complete a paper copy.
  • You MUST wait up to 30 minutes after receiving the injection as a safety precaution.

Visit the Student Health Center website for more information.

Thank you for Protecting the Hive!

Vigilance Still Required! Protect the Hive.

Recent data from state and county public health officials are showing a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases in our area. The daily case count in Michigan is approaching levels last seen during the late November–January surge. On March 31, Michigan’s seven-day positivity rate for coronavirus diagnostic tests was 12.3% and on March 29, the rate in Kalamazoo County was 14.2%. (The goal is to keep positivity rates below 3% to reduce spread.) Additionally, variants of the coronavirus are becoming more prevalent, with Michigan (along with Florida) topping the list of states seeing the spread of those variants. Younger people are now being infected at a higher rate compared to previous surges, and hospitalizations have increased among younger populations that haven’t yet been vaccinated. Fortunately, K’s seven-day positivity rate remains low at 0.2%, thanks to everyone’s commitment to following our safety protocols. 

While vaccines will help a great deal in the long term, the data shows that in the short term, we need to double down on public health guidance about masking, distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene. With some states loosening restrictions and spring weather providing more outdoor activities, it’s going to be tempting to let our guard down; however, public health officials from the CDC to the local health department are imploring us to stay the course:

  • Mask up, back up and wash up. Please continue to follow K’s protocols inside and outside while on campus, even after you’ve been vaccinated. 
  • Get vaccinated when available. The COVID-19 vaccine is now open to all adults age 16+ in Kalamazoo County. While not mandatory, it is very strongly encouraged. The College will be hosting on-site vaccination clinics for students age 18 and older to be held on April 15 and April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please watch your email for more information, including how to register for an appointment. If students are unable to attend the clinic, we encourage you to sign up for other vaccination opportunities in the area, including the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department, Bronson Hospital, Rite Aid pharmacy, Meijer and Walgreens. You can also visit the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website to search for vaccine opportunities by county. Other vaccination opportunities may be available on campus at a later date; however, timing is dependent on vaccine availability.
  • The Campus Activity Level will remain at Orange. Until we see state and local data improve, we will stay at our current level.

Together we can continue to stop the spread. Thank you for Protecting the Hive. 

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

Danette Ifert Johnson
Provost

Spring Term COVID-19 Testing Expectations

Testing has been an important part of campus health and safety practices, and will be so again in the spring.

As a reminder, the first week of class in the spring—March 29-April 2—will be fully online. All courses, regardless of the planned format for teaching, will be offered virtually during that week to accommodate our arrival testing protocol.

Do I need to participate in arrival testing? 

Arrival testing is required of every student who will spend any amount of time on campus for any reason—to attend class, for work, to access campus resources, for dining, to pick up mail, to attend outdoor events, and the like.  This also includes students who remained on campus for spring break and students who are participating in athletics.

What if I’m not planning to be on campus at all this spring?

Students who will not spend any time on campus during the spring should complete the Opt Out form.  Doing so will indicate that such students will never be on campus and will not need to participate in the testing protocol.

Remember: Students who are not part of the testing protocol will not be permitted on campus for any reason, including outdoor events, and will have keycard access deactivated. If you think you may come to campus, please sign up for arrival testing.

 If I’m moving in for the first time this spring, when and how do I test?

For students living in the residence halls, the Office of Residential Life has provided information about move-in dates and times.  Arrival testing for students moving into the residence halls for the first time will occur at the following dates and times, and can be scheduled here:

  • Saturday, March 27: 1–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 28: 1–5 p.m.

New students to the halls are required to complete arrival testing before receiving their room key.

What if I’m returning to the residence halls after spring break or staying on campus through break?

Students returning to the halls or staying for spring break can schedule a time to complete arrival testing on any of the available days.

What if I live off-campus?

For off-campus students, arrival testing will occur at the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, March 27: 1–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 28: 1–5 p.m.
  • Monday, March 29: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 30: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 31: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 3: 3–5 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 4: 3–5 p.m.

Do I need to schedule my appointment?

Yes! Students are required to schedule their arrival testing time , or to complete the Opt Out form by 5 p.m., Friday, March 26, 2021.  There are a limited number of appt slots available so if your arrival window is short, please schedule now.

Students planning to celebrate Easter on April 4 who will not be able to complete arrival testing on alternate days should contact the Student Health Center at healthsv@kzoo.edu.

Where do I go for my covid-19 test?

All testing will occur in the Banquet Room on the lower level of the Hicks Student Center.

When does surveillance testing begin?

Ongoing, weekly surveillance testing will begin on the week of April 5.  Students will be randomly selected for surveillance testing and will be notified of their selection by College email during the week prior to the random test.  That notification will enable students to schedule their testing time.  Students who do not fulfill testing expectations risk losing access to the campus, including in-person or hybrid courses.

We appreciate your ongoing cooperation with our testing and other public health protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The College will continue to follow the public health guidance set forth by the state of Michigan. Please continue to mask up, social distance, wash your hands and track your symptoms—and please stay home if you are feeling ill. Thank you for Protecting the Hive!

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

Travel During COVID-19

With spring break approaching, the College has received many questions about travel guidance or restrictions due to COVID-19. While travel is not prohibited by K, we do ask that students consider CDC guidance on travelling, particularly where post-travel quarantine is concerned.

The CDC recommends getting tested 3-5 days after domestic or international travel and self-quarantining for a full 7 days after travel. Students are responsible for returning from travel with appropriate time to test and quarantine before attending any in-person classes or activities. If you are traveling and returning to Kalamazoo prior to the first week of classes, this should be sufficient time for arrival testing and quarantine before the start of in-person activities. The first week of classes is entirely virtual to accommodate arrival testing and quarantine (please do not think of this week as an extended spring break).

Below are highlights of the CDC guidance on travel, as well as new guidance regarding vaccinated individuals. Please visit the CDC website for full travel and vaccine guidance.

Thank you for Protecting the Hive.

Lisa Ailstock
Director Student Health Center

*****************

Before You Consider Traveling

Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.  If you must travel, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand.

  • Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  • Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state, territorial, and local department
  • Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
  • During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  • Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air, which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  • Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should delay your travel.

If You Must Travel

  • If you must travel, take these steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
  • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Do NOT travel if you test positive.
  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

Getting tested after travel is especially important if you did any of these activities that put you at higher risk for COVID-19:

  • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
  • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
  • Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters.
  • Taking public transportation like planes, trains or buses or being in transportation hubs like airports.
  • Traveling on a cruise ship or riverboat.

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

Updated Mar. 8, 2021

This is the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. This guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson).

The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing.
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

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

Color 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 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

(Updated January 19, 2021)

Protecting the Hive: K will be operating at Orange 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.

Hybrid Learning, Cautiously Open at Reduced Density

  • 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

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

MI COVID Alert App Offers Another Tool to Beat the Spread

As Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff plan to return to campus, a tool from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) can help all of us Protect the Hive and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

MI COVID Alert App advertisement

How it Works

MI COVID Alert is a secure and free contact-tracing app operable through Bluetooth on any Android- or iOS-based cell phone located in Michigan. No one at K will be required to use the app, yet it can efficiently alert users when they’ve been within six feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes. It also helps users track any symptoms and anonymously report when they’ve tested positive.

The app sends push notifications to users and maintains those notifications within the app platform itself. After it’s conveniently downloaded through Google Play or the App Store, MI COVID Alert seamlessly updates itself regarding new cases every two hours in the phone’s operational background without hindering any phone functionality.

“It’s very easy, it’s free and it’s a way to be automatically notified if you’ve been exposed to COVID,” Student Health Center Office Coordinator Jennifer Combes said. “Basically, you download it and you can forget it. As long as you turn on your push notifications, you don’t have to check it every day. It will automatically alert you if you’ve been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive. And if you personally test positive, it’s an anonymous way to notify others that they’ve been exposed as well.”

Designed with Privacy in Mind

The app will never publicly reveal a user’s name, who they’ve met or their specific location. That means it maintains privacy and security while reducing the time required to alert people when they’ve been exposed. Combes was among the Student Health Center staff who consulted the College’s technology experts in Information Services before seeking to use the MI COVID Alert app.

“Privacy advocates have been justifiably concerned about digital surveillance in response to COVID-19,” Education Technology Specialist Josh Moon said. “We’ve seen some overreach already. The Bluetooth technology behind the MI COVID Alert app is a step in the right direction with its use of random codes and anonymity. I was comfortable installing it on my phone.”

Contacts who receive push notifications of past potential exposure will be given the option to be put in contact with Public Health and may be subsequently enrolled in contact monitoring.

“Generally, a user who is exposed and voluntarily provides their phone number will get a phone call from a contact tracer,” Combes said. “The contact tracer will go through what needs to happen from there. It might mean quarantining, it will mean watching for symptoms, and it might mean testing if there are any symptoms.”

Participating helps support the efforts of local contact tracers. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to place a strain on state and local public health departments, and they are at capacity with contact tracing. The app can help speedup notifications and catch more potential exposures so people can take precautions sooner.

One More Tool in the Toolbox

MI COVID Alert can’t replace good habits such as wearing a mask, washing hands, practicing social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, and getting tested when symptoms appear. Regardless, Student Health Center representatives including Combes encourage its use to add another level of protection and prevention. The more people who download and use the app within a community, the more effective it becomes.

“The main goal is to control the spread of this virus,” she said. “There are a lot of tools, but this one helps you know as soon as possible if you’ve been exposed so you don’t expose others.”

Learn more about the MI COVID Alert app at the MDHHS website.

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.