Dear Kenyon College community,
The COVID steering committee is actively assessing conditions on campus and in the county. Currently, there are a total of 46 confirmed student cases; of these, 43 are active cases that require isolation housing, and none have required hospitalization. The number of positive test results has slowed over the past 48 hours, and more than 90% of the PCR tests administered to symptomatic students by the Cox Health & Counseling Center have come back negative. This is good news, but we know that many students remain keenly and understandably concerned. For that reason, we are making the following changes to our COVID protocols to enhance the availability of testing and protect our capacity to care for the community.
Expanded Student Testing
While the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Knox Public Health (KPH) advise against testing vaccinated individuals who do not have symptoms and who have not been officially identified as a close contact, we recognize that the rapid rise in cases is unsettling and are therefore expanding our on-campus testing program for students.
Diagnostic Testing Clinic (for symptomatic students only)
Saturday, Sept. 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Farr Hall, Lower Level
Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may take a self-administered PCR test. Results will be returned within 72 hours.
Mandatory Baseline Testing (for all students who have not yet been tested this academic year)
Wednesday, Sept. 8, through Monday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Toan Track
All students not previously tested this semester will receive a baseline PCR test. Students will be divided alphabetically; those who fail to comply will be subject to disciplinary action.
- A-E, Wednesday, 9/8
- F-K, Thursday, 9/9
- L-Q, Friday, 9/10
- R-Z, Monday, 9/13
Testing by Appointment (for symptomatic students only)
Weekdays, 8:30 a.m.- noon. and 1 - 4:30 p.m. | Cox Health & Counseling Center
Students who are experiencing symptoms may schedule an appointment at the Cox Health and Counseling Center for medical assessment and testing (740-427-5525). Note: Health services will be closed Sept. 8-13 to administer the testing clinic; counseling services will remain open for student appointments.
In consideration of the problems tracking cases, the risk of unreliable test results, and guidance from public health authorities, we ask students to not take rapid antigen tests. Our partners at Knox Public Health strongly recommend that Kenyon students use the PCR testing offered on campus from this point forward, which yields more accurate results and preserves testing resources for other community members.
Quarantine and Isolation
While awaiting test results, symptomatic students and students identified as close contacts will quarantine in their room. During this time, asymptomatic students who are fully vaccinated may attend class and participate in athletics or other extracurricular activities on a case-by-case basis.
Students who receive a positive test result must complete a 10-day isolation period. Students who are able to travel by private/personal car are encouraged to complete isolation at home to preserve housing capacity. Unvaccinated or symptomatic students will be moved to isolation housing as long as it is available; vaccinated students who have no symptoms will isolate in their room as the risk of infection or serious illness is low. Students in isolation are not permitted to go to class or participate in athletics or other extracurricular activities; meals will be arranged.
Clarification on Gatherings
In their room or apartment, students may have one guest per resident; students in quarantine or isolation may not have any guests.
Extracurricular activities, organizational meetings, and social gatherings are limited to 10 people, indoors or outdoors. Masking should be maintained indoors at all gatherings.
Class sessions and other official College business such as athletic events and admissions visits occur in controlled environments and may continue normally.
Assessment of COVID Restrictions
The COVID steering committee will assess the current restrictions by Sept. 15. Our decisions will be informed by the results from diagnostic and baseline testing, conditions in the region, and the capacity of our public health infrastructure.