Keeping campus healthy will require the cooperation of everyone in residence, as well as faculty and staff. Our return-to-campus protocols were developed in close partnership with Knox Public Health and were informed by guidance provided through the State of Ohio’s “Responsible Restart Ohio” plan. We encourage all members of our community, no matter where they are located, to follow guidance and directives issued by the Centers for Disease Control as well as their local public health authorities.
Recognizing that there is no single approach to preventing the spread of COVID, we also are incorporating a number of strategies to minimize risk to our community. Face coverings are required everywhere indoors (except private residence hall rooms or offices) and in trafficked areas outdoors, such as Middle Path. Everyone on campus must practice physical distancing, maintaining at least six feet of space from other individuals. Gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer. And everyone is expected to practice good public health hygiene and monitor their health closely. Limiting virus transmission will rely on all members of the Kenyon community practicing safe and healthy behaviors.
Health and Safety Protocols
All students in residence and employees who are working on campus will have completed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 testing prior to their arrival this fall. Throughout the year, Kenyon will administer COVID-19 testing to approximately 25% of students weekly. Additionally, the College is participating in a program to monitor wastewater for the presence of the coronavirus in the Village of Gambier, providing an early warning sign of a possible rise in infections. Kenyon will assume the cost of all COVID-19 testing.
Within about 72 hours of receiving your sample, the laboratory Everlywell will notify you (via the email and/or text number you provided when registering your kit) that your test result is available on their website. If your test result is positive, an Everlywell physician will call you with guidance, as well as a staff member from Knox Public Health, who will oversee the care and manage the contact tracing process of any Knox County cases of COVID-19. It is important that you respond to their outreach, so please make every attempt to answer your phone while you are awaiting results, check your voicemail regularly and ensure that it does not become full.
The College has engaged the laboratory Everlywell to provide rt-PCR COVID-19 tests and processing for Kenyon College employees returning to campus to work. The test is one you administer yourself, and kits have been mailed to most employees’ homes for added convenience. Employees whose work is primarily campus-based, including maintenance, safety, dining and the Kenyon Inn, will receive a test kit from their supervisor and administer the test on campus during one of their shifts, also for convenience.
You will receive detailed instructions with your test kit and are encouraged to watch this video in advance to see exactly how the test is administered. It is critically important that you follow the instructions precisely, including shipping your test sample on the same day you collect it. The kit includes a prepaid overnight shipping label (UPS) and can be dropped at a drop-box prior to the carrier’s last pick-up on weekdays. Those in the Gambier area may drop off their package at the Kenyon College Bookstore by 1 p.m. or Mail Center by 3 p.m. on weekdays if you wish for the College to deliver it to the carrier on their behalf.
Employees who will be working on campus in some capacity should administer the test as quickly as possible after receiving it. Within about 72 hours of receiving your sample, Everlywell will notify you (via the email and/or text number you provided when registering your kit) that your test result is available on their website. If positive, an Everlywell physician will call you with guidance, as will a staff member from Knox Public Health, who will oversee the care and manage the contact tracing process of any Knox County cases of COVID-19.
The College receives copies of test results and will update by noon EDT each weekday a dashboard of aggregate data including confirmed cases, recovered cases, the number of students and employees who have been tested, and the number of students in quarantine or isolation. The dashboard also will include information regarding COVID-19 presence in Gambier and Knox County. All students and employees will be emailed weekly a summary report of the presence of COVID-19 on campus. To sign up for a daily dashboard reminder, please fill out this form. Regular updates also will be shared on Kenyon’s social media channels. Please note that personal data will be kept in confidence and shared with only those responsible for managing care.
Knox Public Health (KPH) serves as the lead agency when any resident of Knox County tests positive for the virus. Working in close partnership with KPH, the College has identified and secured isolation housing should students become ill with COVID-19. During the initial testing period after students arrive on campus, and potentially at other times of the semester, students may be required to self-quarantine in their rooms.
Medical care will be coordinated by KPH in concert with Cox Health and Counseling Center staff for students who are directed to isolation housing or who are asked to self-quarantine in their rooms due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Students in isolation housing will have food delivered to them. Students will need to meet KPH’s standard of wellness in order to return to normal campus access. The Dean of Students will work with students to notify faculty in order to minimize course disruption as much as possible. KPH will manage contact tracing for suspected cases at Kenyon.
What to Do If You Test Positive
If you are a student and you receive a positive test result, call Campus Safety (740-427-5000) and let the dispatcher know that you have received a positive COVID-19 test result. This call will set in motion the care process and isolation protocols that Student Affairs has developed for this academic year. In the meantime, the laboratory EverlyWell will have sent notification of the positive diagnosis to Knox Public Health and to the Cox Health & Counseling Center. Additionally, a physician from EverlyWell will attempt to contact you by phone to answer any medical questions you may have.
After you call Campus Safety, several steps will be quickly taken:
1. Campus Safety will assist you in moving to isolation housing. Plan to take what you will need for two weeks, including chargers and medications. Once you are packed, Campus Safety will transport you to isolation housing. Until you have been transported to isolation housing, please remain in your room and minimize contact with others.
2. The Student Affairs staff member on call will reach out to you by phone. (Please be sure your voicemail is set up, and that you answer your phone when they call.) The Dean of Students will subsequently notify your faculty that you will be attending class remotely and, if symptomatic, that you may be absent.
3. You will be sent a link to a form that you should fill out as soon as possible. Among other things, this form will enable Student Affairs to arrange for your meal delivery, facilitated through AVI and Residential Life. (Two hours’ advance notice will be required to coordinate meal delivery, so if you receive a diagnosis at 11:30 a.m., your first delivered meal would be dinner.)
Because Knox Public Health (KPH) is the agency responsible for monitoring positive cases in Knox County, they will contact those in isolation housing to perform daily symptom checks, provide medical supplies, etc. and assume management of overall care. They also will work with you to trace your contacts, and your cooperation is vital to contain the spread of coronavirus. (It also is required as part of the 2020–21 Student Conduct Addendum.) KPH determines when you may be released from isolation. They will provide you a letter via email that confirms release from isolation. Once the letter is shared with the College, you can be transported back to campus and return to your classes in-person.
KPH will give you a release of information form; you must sign it in order for KPH to be able to speak with your family. We encourage you to reach out to your family, too, to let them know about your condition.
Fear and anxiety about disease can be overwhelming, and especially so if you experience heightened anxiety in your everyday life. We also know students and employees may be experiencing added stress at this time due to shifting or uncertain financial circumstances.
Cox Health and Counseling Center
Kenyon’s counseling staff is available to provide counseling, including telemental health counseling, to students who are physically located in the State of Ohio. To schedule an appointment, email email@example.com or call 740-427-5643. Allowing our counselors to work with students who are physically located outside the state of Ohio is not possible at this time due to the complicated nature of state licensure requirements. The counseling staff is happy to assist students with identifying resources in their local area if needed.
In light of recent events and with a vision to more effectively serve the student body, the Cox Health & Counseling Center is preparing to provide more flexible services and increase access to resources that support our BIPOC student population.
All Kenyon students have free access to the online therapy service Talkspace. With a network of thousands of licensed clinicians with a diverse set of backgrounds and identities, Talkspace connects users to a dedicated therapist from a secure, HIPAA-compliant mobile app and web platform. Once you sign up and are matched with your chosen therapist, you will exchange text, voice or video messages. Students will be able to use the service at any time throughout the year, and from anywhere. Members of the Class of 2020 will have access to Talkspace until Aug. 15, 2020. Instructions on how to access the service are available here; for more information, contact Associate Director of Counseling Holly Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition to Talkspace, students have 24/7 access to ProtoCall, which provides a licensed clinical behavioral health professional to assist with immediate support, crisis intervention and stabilization. ProtoCall can be reached by calling Campus Safety at 740-427-5555 and requesting to be connected.
Students in residence and employees returning to campus for work are required to complete a daily health assessment. This assessment includes taking your temperature, reviewing yourself for symptoms, and reviewing your personal contacts for exposure. Symptoms include a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
To assist in this effort, the College is distributing smart thermometers to students in residence and employees, which can be paired with the Kinsa app. Data collected through the app will stay on your phone for your records, and it can be used to access the KAC, which requires proof of your daily health screening. If you choose, your anonymized data also will be compiled with other Kinsa app users to give an aggregate measure of illness trends in our area. It serves as another kind of “early warning system” to identify a potential outbreak. No one at Kenyon or other users of the app will ever see your personal data.