Terra State continues COVID-19 protocols through 2021, includes testing employees and students before returning to campus
Terra State Community College is continuing its efforts to keep students and employees safe throughout the spring semester, including testing employees and students before returning and a new testing partnership with ProMedica.
The College will be expanding its COVID-19 testing partnerships to include a new one with ProMedica, to provide testing to employees and students during evening hours. The current partnership with The Bellevue Hospital to provide on-campus testing during the day will continue.
“We are excited to add another COVID-19 testing partnership with ProMedica,” said Dr. Ron Schumacher, president of Terra State, “This partnership provides us with an opportunity to be more accessible to those who are not available during the current testing hours. Our priority has always been the safety of our students and employees and we are glad to offer more opportunities for testing.”
Currently, COVID-19 testing is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 – 11 a.m. Starting Jan. 19, testing will also be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 5 p.m.
Symptomatic or exposed students and employees looking to be tested are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org first to make an appointment. Students, employees and visitors are also asked to email COVID@terra.edu if they are symptomatic or have tested positive.
Terra State has also provided return to campus COVID-19 testing for all employees and students. Testing was not mandatory, but highly encouraged to pinpoint asymptomatic individuals before they return to in-person learning. Employees and students had the option to either receive a test on campus, test somewhere off campus and provide the results or self-quarantine for 14 days before coming back to campus. Staff and faculty had a 100% participation rate on their decision to either test on campus or self-quarantine.
485 tests were performed from Jan. 4 through Jan. 14, with 5 positive tests. Of those five positives, two were staff members, one was a faculty member, one was a student and one was a visitor. 104 students/on-campus faculty and staff moved back into The Landings and all tested negative.
With the help of medical assisting program coordinator Terrie Hopkins, medical assisting students were preforming the testing and analysis. Alexis Wise, medical assisting student, is excited to have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.
“Performing COVID-19 testing will prepare me as a future medical assistant by allowing me to get the experience of hands-on patient care rather than role playing with a mannequin, taking proper steps to provide CLIA waived tests, and communicating directly with patients and adapting to the situation of the patient,” said Wise.
Testing employees and students helps to protect everyone from spreading the virus and allows the College to take action in the community to raise awareness of how this virus is affecting everyone.
“Testing allows staff and students to stay safe and healthy to allow for a safe and effective learning environment,” said Wise.
Lab-based courses will be able to return in-person learning on Jan. 19, with the rest of classes returning on Jan. 25. Course plans are contingent on local positive case numbers and guidance from state and local officials.
The College recently completed the installation of Plasma Air Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions, through GARDINER, in the Student Activities Center (SAC). Terra State is the first higher education institutions to utilize this system in northwest Ohio. Plasma Air units upgrade the current air handling systems to provide increased air quality and delivery. Research of Plasma Air units indicates a 99% air and 80% surface disinfection rate within 10 minutes.
Terra State will continue to implement the previous safety procedures that were in place in the fall including check-in and checkout stations, temperature checks, sanitization stations, limited capacity in classrooms and labs, utilizing ozone ionization machines and UV wands.