Keeping campus healthy requires 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, and gatherings should be kept small. 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 routinely work on campus will complete polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 testing prior to or upon their arrival this spring, and students will be tested at least two additional times during their first 14 days on campus. Throughout the year, Kenyon is administering COVID-19 testing to approximately 25% of students weekly, and to a higher volume of students when conditions warrant extra precautions. 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.

Student Results

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, you may receive a call from an Everlywell physician. You will receive a telephone call and/or an email from Knox Public Health, which will oversee your care and manage the contact tracing process with assistance from Kenyon staff. 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.

Employee Testing

The College has engaged the laboratory EverlyWell to provide rt-PCR COVID-19 tests and processing for Kenyon College employees who routinely work on campus. Employees who work remotely should not receive a test, nor should employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of the start of the testing period. The test is one you administer yourself. Kits were available for pickup in mid-January at the Office of Human Resources. Campus-based employees who work in Maintenance, Campus Safety, at the Kenyon Inn or for AVI will receive instructions from their supervisor(s) regarding their testing, and tests are available in their departments. Should conditions warrant, employees may be required to undergo testing at other points of the semester as well. 

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 local UPS drop-box prior to the carrier’s last pick-up on weekdays. Those in the Gambier area may drop off their completed kit at the Kenyon Mail Room, located behind the Bookstore on the lower level, by 2 p.m. They also may drop off completed kits at PakMail in Mount Vernon, preferably by 3 p.m.

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 may 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.

Students who will be in residence this spring should, upon their arrival to campus in January, first check in at the Lowry Center’s Toan Track (enter through the south doors facing the main parking lot). You will receive a self-administered, rt-PCR COVID-19 test produced by Everlywell as well as a flu shot, unless proof of prior vaccination or a medical exemption is provided. Please watch a video in advance to know exactly how the test will be administered. 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. 

For students who have already tested positive for COVID-19: Make sure to bring documentation of your PCR test results and a discontinuation of isolation letter from your local public health authority. If you cannot produce this documentation, you will be tested upon your arrival. If this test is positive, you will be placed in isolation housing until you can provide a release from Knox Public Health or your local public health authority. 

Once your initial COVID-19 test and flu vaccination are complete, you will proceed to the Multi-Activity Court (MAC), also in the Lowry Center, to finalize documents, pick up your room key, and receive other relevant information. You also will receive a wellness kit that will include a Kinsa smart thermometer to assist with your required daily health assessment. You may then proceed to your residence hall for move-in. 

You and your helper must wear a face covering when outside of your residential space. Helpers do not need to undergo COVID-19 testing upon their arrival, but we ask that they conduct a daily health assessment, which includes a temperature check, a symptom review and an assessment of one’s personal contacts for possible exposure. 

Knox Public Health (KPH) serves as the lead agency when any resident of Knox County tests positive for COVID-19. 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 is 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, with assistance from Kenyon staff.

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 and Counseling Center. You will receive a telephone call and/or an email from Knox Public Health, which will oversee your care and manage the contact tracing process, with assistance from Kenyon staff.

After you call Campus Safety, several steps will be quickly taken:

1. Student Affairs 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, with assistance from Kenyon staff, 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.  

Knox Public Health is the agency responsible for monitoring positive cases in Knox County and manages care and contact tracing. Close contacts are defined by the CDC as those who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive person for a cumulative 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. If you have been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person, you will receive an email from KPH with instructions for next steps for quarantine and care. 

Please note: If a resident of a campus apartment tests positive, their roommates/suitemates would be considered close contacts and may be required to quarantine in the apartment. 

Secondary contacts, or people who are not identified as a close contact but may be a contact of a close contact, are advised to self-monitor symptoms but will not be placed in quarantine. Testing is not recommended for these individuals.

Symptoms of COVID-19 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. 

If you are a student and you develop upper respiratory illness symptoms and/or other symptoms of COVID-19, contact Health Services during business hours to schedule an appointment: 740-427-5525 or health@kenyon.edu. Please note that for the safety of both Cox Center staff and students, the Cox Center is operating using scheduled appointments only (no walk-ins). Options for after-hours care are listed on the Cox Center’s webpage.

Health Services staff will complete a thorough medical assessment of common upper respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, mononucleosis and streptococcal infections, using rapid tests. They may also order a GnomeDX COVID-19 test, which uses an oropharyngeal sample administered by a health care professional. Samples for GnomeDX COVID-19 tests are picked up by a courier during business days and analyzed at an Ohio-based laboratory, and results are typically received within 24-48 hours after the laboratory receives the sample. 

Please self-quarantine in your room until your medical assessment. You may pick up food from Peirce but may not eat in the dining hall. After your medical assessment, you may be placed in quarantine until your COVID-19 test results are received from the laboratory. The Dean of Students will notify your faculty that you will be attending class remotely and/or may be absent until your negative test results are received.

If you are an employee and you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please seek local testing facilities and follow the Return to Campus Protocols. CVS, Family Urgent Care, Knox Community Hospital Lab and Knox Community Hospital Urgent Care all offer COVID-19 testing. The services available and requirements at each site differ — whether an appointment is required, whether individuals must be experiencing symptoms, whether payment is required at the time of service or whether insurance can be billed directly — so please contact these providers directly prior to seeking a test. You may also contact your primary care provider to see if they offer testing. These tests are covered at 100% for those enrolled on Kenyon’s health insurance plan, though some providers may require payment at the time of service, which can be reimbursed when a claim is submitted.

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 counseling@kenyon.edu 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.

With a vision to more effectively serve the student body, the Cox Health and Counseling Center is working to provide more flexible services and increase access to resources that support our BIPOC student population.

Talkspace

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. Instructions on how to access the service are available here; for more information, contact Associate Director of Counseling Holly Baker (baker2@kenyon.edu).  

ProtoCall

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.

Additional Resources

Employees may seek help through Kenyon’s Employee Assistance Programs. Additional local health care options for students and employees are listed here

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 has distributed 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 Lowry Center, 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.