Return to Campus Testing Program Overview - Fall 1 Term

August 24, 2020

On the threshold of the start of our first fall term next week, I write with an update on the college’s Covid19 testing plan. As you may recall, the College will be screening students and those faculty and staff who work closely with students on a regular basis. Further details are provided below.

  • Faculty and staff — those whose work involves frequent and regular (at least three times a week) in-person interactions with students or with student living and/or dining spaces will be included in the testing program. Initially, only a limited number of faculty and staff will be tested regularly. We are working on a testing option for faculty and staff who are not included in this group but would like to be tested.
  • Students — All students who live on campus or have been approved to live off campus will receive testing.

Faculty, staff, and students will be contacted directly by SHAW with appointment times and instructions when their screening is scheduled. The testing site for Fall 1 term is the natatorium lobby at the Bear Center. Our testing clinic had a good first day with student testing and we are thankful to the SHAW team, Angela Voos, and Heather Cox for their work in establishing this service.

Testing will be facilitated by trained College staff and will include a temperature scan followed by a COVID-19 PCR saliva test or COVID-19 antigen test. Follow-up testing will be conducted on a routine basis as well as in response to positive cases. Initially, the testing schedule will occur weekly, but the frequency may change depending on the guidance of Grinnell’s medical consultants.

Maintaining the frequency and regularity of testing is an important part of the College’s testing program so it is imperative that appointments be kept and that participants attend on time. Individuals will be given a set time each week for their testing. The schedule must be maintained to accommodate the number of people being tested. We will be working out this process together; thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

The College respects the privacy of its faculty, students, and staff, and will follow federal and state privacy requirements and guidelines with regard to the collection, sharing, and storage of information that identifies an individual or relates to confidential health information. 

At this time, faculty, staff, and students who are not included in the screening program but need to be tested can use Test Iowa to complete a screening and, if qualified, schedule a test. The College is working on becoming a Higher Education Test Iowa site so that faculty, students, and staff who are not in the testing program can be tested conveniently.

If you have questions about the College’s testing program please contact Associate Director of Emergency Management Heather Cox at coxheath@grinnell.edu.

My many thanks to the teams of individuals who have worked throughout the summer to establish the testing program and clinic. Both are a crucial component of our sustained pandemic response and community health planning.

In anticipation of our meaningful work together this fall,

Anne

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