Weekly COVID-19 Testing Clinic Update: March 15, 2021

Published:
March 15, 2021

Dear Grinnellians,

SHAW cares deeply about your health and the health of our community. We are proud of the commitment our students, faculty, and staff are making every day to prevent transmission. Please continue to practice pandemic precautions.

Testing Clinic Results

Results for the week of March 8, 2021

Number of Unique
Students Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites*

594

594

0

0%

0

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites*

336

336

0

0%

0

Total for 2021 (since January 4, 2021)

Number of Unique
Students Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites*

683

668

15

2.20%

1

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites*

467

452

15

3.21%

2

*The State’s testing program does not report results to the College. The number in this column reflects reports by students, faculty, or staff to SHAW and is not included in the positivity rate of the on-campus testing clinic.

For the week of March 8, 2021, 594 unique students were tested with 594 being negative and 0 positive resulting in a 0% positivity rate. A total of 336 faculty and staff were tested with 336 being negative and 0 being positive resulting in a 0% positivity rate. Testing occurred on Monday through Wednesday.

For 2021, 683 unique students have been tested; 668 were negative and 15 were positive, yielding a 2.20% positivity rate. A total of 467 unique faculty and staff were tested; 452 were negative and 15 were positive, resulting in a 3.21% positivity rate.

Testing Clinic Changes (began Monday, March 8, 2021)

What is Changed:

We will ask that you enter through the south door of the natatorium. This is the door that you previously exited through after testing.

We will be switching from the saliva tests to the anterior nasal swabs. This is the shallow nasal swab and is not the painful posterior nasal swab.

What Stayed the Same:

This is an RT-PCR test

Results are received within 24-48 hours post collection.

You can access these results through your portal. Anyone with a positive or inconclusive test result will be contacted by a member from SHAW to discuss next steps.

If you are symptomatic or have been exposed, you will continue to be tested in outside locations. There are two locations. One is outside the south entrance to the Natatorium (walk up) and the second is at the west parking lot of the Natatorium and is a drive up.

Latest Information on Vaccine Eligibility

The Iowa Department of Health outlines information on vaccine distribution by phases and priority populations. As of March 8, the state is in Phase 1B, Tier 2, and has now opened eligibility to include Iowans age 16-64 with pre-existing health conditions. Although the state has expanded eligibility, not all counties may be ready to begin serving those populations immediately. Contact the public health agency in your county of residence to learn more.

Signing Up to Get Vaccinated in Iowa

You can find information about vaccine distribution from The Iowa Department of Health. Several online tools will help make provider information easily accessible to residents of Iowa, including the Iowa Department of Public Health Vaccine Information website, and Vaccinate Iowa. VaccineFinder is a national site for vaccination information. Please keep in mind, there continues to be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Iowa and not all providers may have vaccines at the time you visit their website or call to schedule an appointment. Check back frequently as appointments may open up throughout the week. Vaccines will continue to arrive in the weeks and months ahead.

Taking Time Off From Work to Get Vaccinated or as a Result of Side Effects

Campus leaders support your choice to be vaccinated and empower supervisors to provide flexibility in scheduling to accommodate appointments. Employees may also utilize their COVID time-off allocation for vaccine appointments or for missed days due to side effects.

COVID-19 Variant Update

The Center for Disease Control has confirmed that three different variants of COVID-19 have been found in the United States. These strains include B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 which can spread more easily than the original strain of COVID-19. As of March 11, Iowa has 25 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant. As of yet, there have not been any confirmed cases of B.1.351 and P.1. It is imperative that we all continue to follow the Grinnell College guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its variants:

  • practice frequent hand washing
  • maintain physical distancing
  • wear a mask, and goggles or a shield while on campus
  • avoid meeting indoors
  • stay home if you are sick (If you are a staff member, we have put in place several safety nets should you need to miss work, including additional sick leave. Please contact HR if you are ill to explore options to keep you and your household safe.)

A Message From SHAW

The SHAW Testing Clinic team would like to ask all those using the Testing Clinic to please be conscious of the safety of the Testing Team. Before going to your appointment, please answer the following:

  • Do you have any flu-like symptoms or are you feeling ill?
  • Have you been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19? If you have any questions regarding possible exposure, please call SHAW at 641-269-3230.

If you answer yes to either of these questions:

  • Please do not enter the testing clinic and increase exposure risk to all inside.
  • Call SHAW at 641-269-3230 to set up an outside appointment.

Concerned About Those Who Increase Risk Due to Non-Compliance?

Most members of our community do a terrific job of following public health guidelines, but occasionally, some may put the community at risk due to non-compliance. As a reminder, Grinnell College urges you to utilize EthicsPoint to anonymously report observed PPE or other public health policy non-compliance issues. This information will help us understand how to better support our campus community with ongoing education and outreach opportunities.

To Your Health,

Terry
Terry W. Mason, Ph.D.
Dean for Health and Wellness

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