COVID-19

COVID-19 Q&A

October 2020

Q:    Under what conditions are Muskingum University students or employees placed in quarantine?

A:    Quarantine is used at Muskingum University to minimize any possible risk of exposure to COVID-19.  There are three conditions that warrant quarantine:

  • An individual has direct exposure to another person who has tested positive for the COVID –19 virus
  • An individual is awaiting results of PCR diagnostic testing for themselves
  • An individual is living in a household with someone undergoing testing for the COVID-19 virus 

Note that quarantine is a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of the virus. 

Q:    How does Muskingum University define quarantine?

A:   Muskingum University defines quarantine as:

University Quarantine
Out of an abundance of caution, an individual is placed in University Quarantine if they have been exposed to someone who is currently awaiting test results – or – if he/she is awaiting their own PCR test results. The length of time in University Quarantine can vary depending on circumstances. For example, if the test comes back negative, the quarantine will likely end. If the test is positive, the individual will move into Health Department Quarantine or isolation/treatment.

Health Department Quarantine
An individual is placed in Health Department Quarantine if, through contact tracing, it is determined he/she was exposed. The individual will remain in Health Department Quarantine for 14 days from the day of exposure and evaluated daily for symptoms. 

Isolation and Treatment
For most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions are generally discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.

 

Q:    Someone I have been in contact with has been quarantined. What should I expect?

A:    Each situation involving quarantine is carefully evaluated by our medical professionals. If contact tracing questions show possible risk, you will be notified by a member of the nursing staff or the county health department. If you have not been notified, this means contact tracing shows that you are not at risk.

Q:    Under what conditions are individuals released from precautionary quarantine?

A:    Individuals are released from quarantine when their PCR test is negative, when the person with whom they were in close contact tests negative, or when there is no longer a risk of an asymptomatic person transmitting the virus to others. 

Q:    What happens to our health screening information after it is submitted on the MuskieSafe app?

A:    All results are logged in as completed.  The Wellness Center nurses follow up with medical evaluation calls to every student who has checked symptoms.  Similarly, every employee who has checked symptoms is contacted by the Human Resources office for follow-up. The information is only available to HR and medical personnel.  

Q:    What should I do if my doctor orders a COVID-19 test for me and I have it done off campus?

A:    Students should contact the Wellness Center and employees should contact the Human Resources office to report that testing was conducted. All PCR tests need to be tracked so that we have an accurate count of cases, and so that we can conduct contact tracing to determine possible exposure of others to the virus.  

Q:    What other testing is being done at Muskingum University?

A:    Surveillance testing is a measure of population health conducted through administration of antigen tests. Muskingum conducted surveillance testing during student move-in days for students whose pre-arrival surveys indicated risk factors, and for employees with close interactions with students. Surveillance antigen testing is currently being administered by the Division of Athletics for those who participate in high-contact sports.   

Q:    How do antigen and PCR tests differ? 

A:    Antigen tests can be used as a screening test to help identify possible cases, particularly in asymptomatic individuals.  A PCR diagnostic test is used to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19 for symptomatic individuals, those who have a positive antigen test and those who have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19. Please find more info at this Mayo Clinic webpage.      

Q:    How are cases counted on the Muskingum University COVID-19 reporting page?

A:    The reporting page shows the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed by PCR diagnostic testing.  This includes PCR tests for students conducted by the University’s Wellness Center nursing staff and tests conducted by other medical professionals for students and employees.   

Q:    Muskingum County has been on red alert, while the Muskingum University COVID-19 reporting page on the website only shows a few cases. How can this be true?

A:    Multiple preventive measures are practiced by our entire campus community. This includes wearing facemasks, maintaining social distancing, hand-washing and sanitization of spaces, moving many activities outdoors, and daily health monitoring through the MuskieSafe app.  Our proactive, precautionary quarantine policy has also contributed to our population health.  Many other small colleges and universities also have low case counts (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-college-cases-tracker…

Q:     What can I do to keep myself safe?

A:     Wear your mask to protect others, and insist others wear their masks when interacting with you.  Avoid locations in which others are not wearing masks. Limit your off-campus exposure as much as possible, and wear masks when you are off campus.  Follow social distancing.  Continue to practice good hygiene including frequent hand washing and regularly laundering your masks.  

Q:     Any good news?

A:     YES!  Muskies have been doing a great job at avoiding high risk situations and keeping each other safe.   
 

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