Weekly COVID-19 Testing Clinic Update: April 19, 2021

Published:
April 20, 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. Positive case counts of the B.1.1.7 variant (see below) are rising in many areas of the United States and the world; please continue to practice pandemic precautions.

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. To better understand how many members of our community are vaccinated and to inform campus safety practices we now have a voluntary, confidential vaccination reporting form. Those who have begun the vaccination process may access the reporting form here. You do not have to have completed your vaccine series to report. Those who wish to do so may remain anonymous when reporting their vaccine status. The information collected in this form will be used, on aggregate, to help inform any changes in safety practices on campus and to better understand potential risk of viral spread in our population.

Testing Clinic Results

Results for the week of April 12, 2021 (only April 12 data listed, April 15 data currently unavailable)

Number of Unique
Students Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

201

201

0

0%

0

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

189

188

1

0.53%

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
*

914

898

16

1.75%

1

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
With Conclusive Results

Negative

Positive

Percent Positive

Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test Sites
*

489

471

18

3.68%

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 April 12, 2021, 201 unique students were tested with 201 being negative and 0 positive resulting in a 0% positivity rate. A total of 189 faculty and staff were tested with 188 being negative and 1 being positive resulting in a 0.53% positivity rate. Testing occurred on Monday and Thursday, but the data for Thursday, April 15, is not yet available.

For 2021, 914 unique students have been tested; 898 were negative and 16 were positive, yielding a 1.75% positivity rate. A total of 489 unique faculty and staff were tested; 471 were negative and 18 were positive, resulting in a 3.68% positivity rate.

Testing Clinic Information

  • Testing is held on Mondays and Thursdays
  • Enter through the south door of the natatorium.
  • The type of test used is anterior nasal swabs. This is the shallow nasal swab and is not the painful posterior nasal swab. It is a RT-PCR test.
  • Results received within 24-48 hours post collection.
  • Results can be accessed through your portal. Anyone with a positive or inconclusive test result will be contacted by a member of SHAW to discuss next steps.
  • If you are symptomatic or have been exposed, you will continue to be tested in the outside location.

Grinnell has made tests available to students, staff, and faculty who are not already in the testing pool. To make an appointment, call SHAW at 641-269-3230 and watch for an e-mail confirming your testing time. If you have been identified as being exposed to COVID-19 or if you have symptoms of COVID-19, call SHAW at 641-269-3230 prior to your testing appointment to receive further directions for testing. The turnaround time for results is typically 24–48 hours for tests administered Monday through Thursday.

The Test Iowa Higher Education site is located at the Grinnell Public Health building and is available to Grinnell College faculty, staff, students, and members of their direct households for COVID-19 testing appointments.

To schedule an appointment

Complete the online higher-education TestIowa assessment. At the end of the assessment, select Grinnell College from the list of schools, select the Public Health/Unity Point clinic option, then click the red arrow button to receive your QR code. Call 641-236-2385 to schedule your appointment.

Note: Do not use the general TestIowa assessment, as Grinnell College will not appear in the list of sites.

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 April 15, Iowa has 223 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and 1 confirmed case of the P.1 As of yet, there have not been any confirmed cases of B.1.351. It is imperative that we all continue to follow the Grinnell College guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its variants:

  • wear a mask
  • wear a face shield or goggles during high-risk activities, as outlined in the new guidance recently announced
  • maintain physical distancing
  • avoid meeting indoors
  • practice frequent hand washing
  • 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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