Health & Safety
All students, employees, and visitors to campus, are required to wear a mask any time they are on campus or any Washington College property (indoors and outdoors.) Washington College will be providing all students and employees who will be on campus with two washable and re-usable cloth masks before the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester. Masks should adhere to CDC guidelines and be worn covering the mouth and nose completely.
In addition to our usual vaccine requirements, all students must provide proof of annual influenza vaccine given at least two weeks prior to their scheduled move in date or the first day of classes. We know that there are many people who get sick with the flu who can have significant consequences, particularly those with underlying medical issues. This new vaccine requirement is another important safety measure to reduce flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students who have been at home and are returning to campus or Chestertown and will be on campus in the spring must have proof of a flu vaccine presented to Health Services no later than Feb. 1st. If you received your annual flu shot any time between September, 2020 and Feb. 2021 you do not need to have an additional flu shot before returning. For any student seeking a medical waiver to exempt them from the flu vaccine, please email HS at Health_Services@washcoll.edu.
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms.
Maintaining social distance - at least 6' - is a critical to mitigating the spread of the virus, and all Washington College students, staff and faculty are expected to adhere to this practice whenever possible.
COVID Testing Protocols
Washington College COVID-19 testing protocols must be followed by students who are living on campus or in the Chestertown area. Failure to participate in the testing program may be grounds for immediate conduct action (including removal from residence hall, parental notification, or suspension.) Additionally, any student who doesn't live on campus or locally but may wish to access campus on a regular basis will also need to be included in the surveillance testing. Testing will be administered as follows:
Upon arrival, every student living on campus or in off-campus housing in Chestertown will be given a COVID test. For students living on campus, this will happen before you receive your key. (Reminder that a 2-week quarantine at home is also required.) Off-campus students will be contacted by ResLife to schedule gateway tests. All students will then be tested again around Day 12.
50% of the student population (to include those in off-campus housing) will be tested weekly throughout the remainder of the semester. Participating in this testing is required. We will be conducting testing out of the Kirby Stadium in the area under the stands adjacent to the parking lot. Under the supervision of a medical professional and with the assistance of testing workers, students will be scheduled to come for a Covid-19 test once every two weeks. The testing process will only take a few minutes but students should arrive at least 5 minutes ahead of the time for their scheduled test.
Additional information about the logistics of the testing process, as well as notification of results, will be emailed from Health Services prior to the start of the semester.
Any student who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID will be tested by the Health Services Team, using one of two options (see below). Symptomatic students should assume they are positive and follow all guidance for quarantine or isolation while they await test results. Symptomatic testing is available Mon-Fri only, but if a student does become ill over a weekend, all other support and resources will be available.
With the recent addition of a PCR machine that can be used to adminster rapid tests, there are now two options for symptomatic tests:
- LabCorp Test - We can adminster a LabCorp test, which gets sent out to their facility and returns results in about 2 days (not guaranteed). When this type of test is sent, we include the student's health insurance information and then the associated billing (if any) will be determined based on the family's plan type. Nothing will be billed to the student or family by Washington College.
- Rapid Test - We can administer a Rapid Test using the PCR machine, which returns results in about 15 minutes. This test costs $75 and will be billed to the student's account. We will not require a rapid test, it is a choice for students if they wish to know the results immediately. The expense can possibly be submitted to the family's insurance plan after the fact.
Medical tests for ill students will result in additional expenses. The billing for symptomatic tests is the same as it is for things like a flu test or rapid strep test.
NOTE: If a student who is ill is able to safely travel home to recover, they are encouraged to do so. For students with symptoms, clearance to return will only be granted once it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, it has been at least 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and all symptoms have improved. Return to campus is only permitted once you have been sent an email confirmation from either health services or the Q&I coordinator confirming the date that you may return to campus.
Washington College will work closely with the Kent County Health Department to conduct contact notification and training in the event of a positive or presumed case of COVID-19 or if someone is symptomatic. The process of contact notification will include outreach to anybody that the person identifies as a potential contact both on campus and off- campus.
Contact notification will begin when an individual either becomes symptomatic and/or is found to be COVID positive. Washington College has several employees who are trained as contact tracers and will begin the process of notifying those who may have had close contact with the individual. Contact tracers will contact individuals by phone using the primary student contact number supplied to the College. They may also use other methods to contact individuals. All students, faculty, and staff who are contacted are expected to comply with the contact notification or tracing requests. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the case triggers a contact tracing investigation which will be taken over by the Kent County Health Department.
All students are expected to comply when contacted by a contact tracer. Failure to do so may be considered a violation of College policy. If you are unsure about whether someone contacting you is a legitimate contact tracer, please call Health Services at 410-778-7261.
it is important to understand the difference between "close contact" and "community contact" as it relates to contact tracing.
Close contact is when someone was closer than 6' to a person who tested positive or is suspected to be positive. This contact had to last more than 15 minutes, masked or unmasked.
Community contact is similar to what you experience in going to a grocery store or other retail outlet. Passing someone in the hall or speaking for a few minutes while maintaining proper social distance represent community contact.
Contact tracers will make direct notification ONLY to those who are identified as having had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID or is suspected to be positive.
Symptom Checking & Attestation Via Emocha App
All students - living on campus or in Chestertown - will be required to demonstrate proof that they have completed the symptom checklist by completing the symptom attestation on the emocha smart phone app.
The expectation is that this self-monitoring tool will be used daily and that anyone accessing campus facilities will have at least 3 days of "green" via the emocha app, which will indicate that they are free of any symptoms of COVID-19. It is also a helpful tool for tracking the onset of symptoms and identifying the virus exposure window.
For more detailed information about the emocha app, click here.
Know What to Do If You Show Symptoms of COVID-19
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Fatigue
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Students who believe they have contracted COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate
in their room and call Health Services (410-778-7261) during normal office hours (or
the Q&I Coordinator on duty after hours)
for further instructions. Students will be advised about how and where to get tested and next steps.
Seek medical care immediately if you are experiencing any Emergency Warning Signs, which include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake and bluish lips or face.