Weekly COVID-19 Testing Clinic Update: Oct. 19

October 20, 2020

Dear Grinnellians,

Welcome to the Weekly Testing Clinic Update. SHAW cares deeply about your health and the health of our community. To this end, I write each week to provide the latest update of our COVID-19 testing clinic and health information that we hope will help all of us mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Thank you for doing your part in keeping our community safe!

Results for the Week of Oct. 12 - 16, 2020

Number of Unique
Students Tested
With Conclusive Results
Negative Positive Percent Positive Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test
Sites*
321 321 0 0% 0

 

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
with Conclusive Results
Negative Positive Percent Positive Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test
Sites*
232 232 0 0% 0

Total Since Testing Began (Aug. 24, 2020)

Number of Unique
Students Tested
with Conclusive Results
Negative Positive Percent Positive Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test
Sites*
348 347 1 0.29% 1

 

Number of Unique
Faculty/Staff Tested
with Conclusive Results
Negative Positive Percent Positive Self-Reported
Positive Results
From Other Test
Sites*
262 257 5 1.91% 3

*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 Oct. 12, 2020, 321 unique students were tested with 321 being negative and 0 positive resulting in a 0% positivity rate. A total of 232 faculty and staff were tested with 232 being negative and 0 positive also resulting in a 0% positivity rate.

Since the inception of the testing clinic on Aug. 24, 348 unique students have been tested; 347 were negative and 1 was positive, yielding a 0.29% positivity rate. A total of 262 unique faculty and staff were tested; 257 were negative and 5 were positive, resulting in a 1.91% positivity rate.

Tips for Fall Festivities

The leaves are changing colors and the air is turning chillier, which means fall holidays and festivities are just around the corner. With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across Iowa, including here in Poweshiek County, now is a good time to start planning how you might adapt events and traditions to be at lower risk while still having seasonal fun.

As always, remember that staying physically distanced (six feet or more), wearing masks, and avoiding sharing breathing space and crowded indoor spaces remain the primary ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19. Additionally, frequently washing hands and minimizing how many people touch common surfaces are also key.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers an excellent resource that identifies lower risk activities (and other useful links embedded within).  

  • Virtual events continue to be the safest option. Online dance parties, movie viewings, and costume contests are fun options that let you get together with friends near and far.
  • When possible, opt for outdoor activities instead of indoor activities. Now is the time to stock up on some firewood (and maybe some wool socks, too!) for a backyard fire for carving pumpkins and telling spooky stories. Limit alcohol use, as people tend to get closer and talk louder (and generally take fewer safety precautions) under the influence.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or low-density corn maze.
  • If considering trick-or-treating, limit the size of the group, preferably to a household or other group that is already in a pod (closed circle of close contacts). Potentially pre-arrange with friends and neighbors of just a few houses to go to and offer contactless treat pickup.
  • Remember that masks that accompany costumes may not have been constructed with preventing viral transmission in mind, so wear your daily face covering instead (perhaps you can make/get one that is on theme.)

While COVID-19 has changed a lot about our lives, with a little planning, there are still options to celebrate October.

Grinnell Health Heroes

Each week, we will recognize those students, faculty, and staff who exemplify outstanding health-related behaviors that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community. The following person is honored as this week’s Grinnell Health Hero:

Howard McKee

Howard is a hero for generously volunteering his time to assist at the on-campus testing clinic in addition to his regular residence life coordinator duties. Throughout the creation and running of the testing process, Howard raised issues and questions that resulted in changes to make the process more inclusive. Howard is a hero for being aware that especially during difficult times, our campus values and inclusion are important.

Sarah Moschenross commented, “You are, indeed, a health hero. Our identities are part of our health and wellbeing. I am grateful that you brought forward a concern for inclusion in our testing clinic that helped us to create a better sense of belonging for our trans-identifying students. Your volunteerism and advocacy help to keep us all well!”

Congratulations on being a true Grinnell Health Hero!

How to Nominate Grinnell Health Heroes

To nominate someone to be a Grinnell Health Hero, complete the Health Hero survey.

For more updates from SHAW, follow us on Instagram @grinnellcollegeshaw.

To Your Health,

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

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