Chowan Implements Newest Safety Procedures at Spring Check- In
Beginning Saturday, January 16, 2021, Chowan University initiated its thorough procedure for students to return to campus safely for the spring semester. Upon arrival, students were instructed to use the main entrance to University Drive, which was temporarily converted to accommodate two lanes of travel in the same direction to ensure the flow of traffic remained steady. University personnel and Public Safety were stationed at checkpoints around the loop to help students complete the check-in process that included a temperature check, symptoms screening, and COVID-19 Rapid Test. Students who produced a negative test result were then allowed to proceed to the Jenkins Center to complete the move-in process. Returning senior Ryan Martin commented on the safe return process saying that it was, “incredibly organized and the entire experience went smoother than I expected. I especially appreciated the staff’s attention to safety and convenience as I was able to remain in my vehicle at each checkpoint. The entire process was efficient and effective; I think it was important for the students to return to campus with the peace of mind that COVID-19 didn’t follow us back from our winter holiday.”
Many of Chowan’s student-athletes returned to campus earlier in the month to begin winter training and to prepare for upcoming competitions. Adhering to the same protocol, all student-athletes were immediately tested upon arrival and were only allowed to participate in team activities once they produced a negative result.
In addition to the initial test and daily screenings, Chowan has announced the facilitation of a COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program for students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of this testing program is to allow the University to monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response. As part of the University’s strategy to mitigate and monitor the spread of COVID-19, random samples of students, faculty, and staff will be selected and tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. This allows the University to make inferences about the level of spread in the student population and identify asymptomatic cases for isolation.
The University will test a randomly assigned sample of 5% of students, faculty, and staff every week. Approximately 60 members of the Chowan community will be asked to take a COVID-19 diagnostic test weekly. Every Wednesday the list of students, faculty, and staff to be tested will be provided to the testing team to ensure that testing kits are available to meet the needs for the following week. Selection of students, faculty, and staff to be tested will be provided by the Student Affairs and Human Resources Offices. The selected participants will be notified via their university email to schedule a time for the test and can expect the testing to take 20-30 minutes. The COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program is required and failure to respond and schedule a test may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed and/or loss of access to the university. There will be no direct costs to students, faculty, and staff participating in this university-mandated testing. Even though athletes go through several daily screenings, those who participate in a sport that is categorized as “low risk” for COVID- 19 transmission will be included in the program and subject to testing.
The University has prided itself on maintaining a proactive mindset when combatting COVID-19. Thus, these exhaustive efforts to keep Chowan’s students, faculty, staff, and our extended Hawk family safe are all virtual to a successful semester.