01-26-24: Community Health Update

Community Health Message; January 26, 2024

Dear Wooster Campus Community,

The College of Wooster is committed to operating our campus safely and to providing excellent campus and educational experiences. This includes managing College policies related to COVID-19 and tracking our campus positivity rates. Our Community Health Taskforce guides College policies based on the latest research from Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and consults with experts from Cleveland Clinic and the Wayne County Health Department to prepare determinations as the health of our community changes.

Our campus COVID-19 positivity rate fluctuates and is currently 1.59%, about half of our campus threshold of 3%. The currently circulating strain is JN.1. Illness begins with cold-like symptoms, progressing to gastrointestinal involvement, then fever and respiratory symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate for at least five (5) full days or until fever or symptoms have subsided for at least 24 hours per CDC guidelines.

  • Students who feel ill should stay in their room. Additionally, they should call the Longbrake Student Wellness Center (330-263-2319) and/or fill out a COVID self-reporting form on the Wellness Center Portal https://lwc-portal.wooster.edu . Self-administered, rapid COVID-19 tests for students are available at the Longbrake Student Wellness Center Doors A and D.
  • Employees who feel ill should stay home and contact their health care provider, as well as their supervisor or human resources. Employees covered by the College’s health insurance program may order free tests through Anthem/Express Scripts and others may order tests through covidtests.gov.  Employees testing positive should send an email to communityhealth@wooster.edu and review the CDC website.

The College continues to maintain a mask optional policy for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate, avoiding close contact with others for a period of five (5) full days. Students may resume normal activities as long as they have been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication and symptoms are improving, and they have been cleared by a nurse in Wellness. Students who resume normal activities on day 6 or later, must wear a KN95 or N95 mask for the balance of 11 full days around others, regardless of current mask requirement.
  • Faculty and staff have the option to require masks in their own classrooms and personal offices.

The College provides masks at the following locations:

  • Longbrake Student Wellness Center Doors A and D
  • Service Center
  • Lowry Center Information Desk
  • Andrews Library Circulation Desk
  • Ruth Williams Hall Stockroom

The CDC website provides extensive, current information about COVID-19 including tips for prevention, typical symptoms, what to do if you’ve been exposed, and vaccination. The College of Wooster references CDC vaccination recommendations that everyone aged 5 years and older should get 1 dose of updated (2023–2024 Formula) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after Sept. 12, 2023. College requirements call for all incoming students (including transfer students) to receive COVID-19 vaccination. We also strongly encourage all continuing students, faculty, and staff, to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination as recommended by the CDC. Vaccines are available at most local pharmacies. Visit www.vaccines.gov to find a location and schedule your vaccine.

Thank you for your commitment and continued partnership in keeping our campus safe and healthy.

–The College of Wooster Community Health Taskforce

Posted in Community Message on January 30, 2024.