Members of the Campus Community,

As a follow-up to recent communication regarding COVID-19 random surveillance testing on campus, we wanted to reach out with some additional details.

As a reminder, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has issued a recommendation that all residential colleges and universities in the state regularly test a sample population of asymptomatic members of their campus communities for COVID-19. In response to this recommendation, the University of Mount Union has formalized plans to meet this expectation.

Beginning the week of October 26, weekly surveillance testing protocols will begin in partnership with the Alliance Family Health Center through the use of its mobile testing unit. Each week, the institution will randomly test 3% of its campus community members in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Responsible RestartOhio recommendations.

Testing will be held on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Peterson Field House of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.
RANDOM SURVEILLANCE TESTING
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When and where will testing take place?
Testing will be held on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Peterson Field House in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex (MAAC). Participants should enter directly into the field house via the northeast entrance opposite of Mount Union Stadium. Look for signage.

Is this test mandatory?
Currently, the test is voluntary. We ask that members of the campus community take the test if they are selected. Doing so serves others and yourself.

Why was I selected?
All members of the student body (both on-campus and off-campus residents), faculty, and staff who have not previously tested positive for COVID-19 are eligible for selection. Weekly selections will be made at random.

Can I volunteer to be tested?
Yes. The institution will open weekly testing to those interested in volunteering, and volunteers will count toward the 3% random pool for the week. If you would like to volunteer, please complete the COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Faculty and Staff Volunteer or COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Student Volunteer form. Forms submitted by Friday of any given week will be considered for surveillance testing in the following weeks. Please note that you will only need to complete the volunteer form once as volunteers will roll over from week to week. The link to the volunteer form will also be shared regularly in UMU Today.

Volunteers will receive an exclusive t-shirt.

How will I be notified if I am selected, either randomly or as a volunteer?
Those members of the student body, faculty, and staff selected for weekly surveillance testing, as well as those who have volunteered, will be notified by email on Monday of their time slot for testing on the following Thursday. Look for an email with the subject line COVID-19: You’ve Been Selected for Testing. Surveillance testing will be conducted weekly through the end of the fall semester and continue in the spring semester, so please watch your inbox for a participation email. Follow-up outreach may be made via phone.

Do I need to complete any forms prior to testing?
Yes, you will need to complete the Consent for COVID-19 Surveillance Testing form. Please download, print, complete, and sign the form prior to arriving at the MAAC for testing.
 
What type of test will be administered?
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which involves a relatively non-invasive, mid-nasal swab, will be used to carry out the surveillance testing. The type of PCR testing that the institution is using is NOT the type of test that is typically referred to as the “brain tickler.”

How long does it take?
The process will take just a few minutes once inside the testing area. To avoid wait times and reduce testing lines, those selected randomly or volunteering for surveillance testing will be assigned a 15-minute window for testing. Please arrive at the MAAC during the time frame that you have been assigned.

Is there a fee?
No. Tests are provided at no cost.

What if I have already been tested for COVID-19?
Unless you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, you are eligible for volunteering and random selection.

What if I’m experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?
This testing is only for asymptomatic individuals. If you are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or begin to exhibit symptoms prior to a scheduled surveillance testing date, please make an appointment with the Student Health Center by calling (330) 823-2692 or reach out to your primary healthcare provider.

How will I be notified of my test results?
Test results will be available approximately two to five business days following testing.
If you test positive, you will receive a call from the Alliance City Health Department with further instructions with regard to isolation protocols, which will need to be followed. For more information regarding isolation procedures, see the Testing, Isolation, and Quarantine page of the Fall 2020 Responsible Reopening website.

In the days following your test, please be prepared to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers and ensure that your voicemail is able to receive messages (and that you are checking them).

If your test result is negative, you will receive correspondence via email indicating so.

Why is this program necessary?
Community transmission of COVID-19 continues globally, particularly in the U.S. Numbers have been on the rise in Ohio as well. Mount Union wishes to contain the spread as much as possible in order to continue to offer in-person classes and a residential experience. Unlike testing programs that originate at clinical testing sites, such as doctors’ offices and urgent care centers where people seek care, the random surveillance testing allows students who may not demonstrate symptoms to know their infection status and therefore be able to take part in containing disease spread on campus.

Random surveillance testing actually helps to detect when individuals might have the virus but don’t know it yet because they haven’t developed symptoms and might have such mild illness that they don’t realize they need to seek healthcare. People are most infectious three to six days after infection, before symptoms typically start, and can continue to be infectious for up to 10 days or more after they start to show signs of illness.
For additional information or questions, students should reach out to the Office of Student Affairs at student_affairs@mountunion.edu or (330) 823-2243 and faculty and staff members should reach out to the Office of Human Resources at humanresources@mountunion.edu or (330) 829-6560.

As a reminder, please check the Fall 2020 Responsible Reopening Guide and the Confirmed Cases Reporting web page on the Mount Union website regularly to access updated information regarding COVID-19 protocols and confirmed positive cases on campus.
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