Communications

Weekly Student Communications (SPS) | February 3, 2021

Hello!

And just like that, it’s February. For those of you who are enrolled in an on-campus class, we hope that you are getting ready to transition to regular class delivery beginning Monday, February 8th. All on-campus classes will resume to the originally planned schedule.

Returning Students to Submit Negative COVID Test Results

  • If you are a returning student, you must submit your negative COVID-19 test prior to your return to campus.

If you will be Attending On-Campus Classes

  • A negative, lab-confirmed COVID test, which does not include a rapid test, must be taken at a time that will provide results within 5 days of your scheduled return date.
  • You must email a copy of your test results to Kathy Lambert, Associate Vice President for Human Resources (kplambert@peace.edu) within five days of your return to campus.
    Timeline for submitting negative COVID-19 tests results for on-campus classes:
If On-campus Class Meets on This Date… Date Range for Negative COVID-19 TestSubmitted to WPU
Tuesday, February 9th February 4th through February 8th
Wednesday, February 10th February 5th through February 9th
Thursday, February 11th February 6th through February 10th

Optional COVID-19 Testing Available for Students Enrolled in On-Campus Classes starting week of February 15th

    • On alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays, optional COVID-19 testing will be available for SPS students between the hours of 4:45pm and 5:30pm. Testing will occur in the tent in the parking lot on the back side of the Joyner House.
    • Students must sign-up in advance for a testing slot here.
    • The on-campus testing option is only available for asymptomatic students with no known exposure to the virus. Students with known exposure or symptoms of COVID-19 must seek a PCR (lab-confirmed) test off-campus.   Off-campus testing sites can be found  here.
    • Any student who tests positive will not be able to attend class and will need to return home to quarantine  Students who test positive with the rapid test must also follow-up with a lab-confirmed PCR test.

COVID Corner with Dr. Scott, WPU University Physician

Q: Why random testing?

A: One of the challenges of COVID-19 is the large number of infected persons without symptoms—especially in the college age population. Having an asymptomatic (no symptoms) case of COVID-19 may be good for those infected, though we still worry about potential long term effects. The concern is for their immediate contacts and anyone in close proximity, as asymptomatic patients are just as contagious as persons with symptoms. This can lead to the clusters of infections and superspreader events that we know all too well.  Random testing can identify persons with asymptomatic infections, allow tracing of contacts to help contain infections before they explode in numbers and intensity.

 This random testing is not for students with symptoms or known COVID-19 exposure—those students should seek rapid assessment and care.  Students with documented COVID-19 infections in the last 90 days are also excluded from random testing.  Of course, none of these testing strategies eliminates or diminishes the need for masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing.  Stay safe everyone!!  That is your most important assignment!

Q: Is wearing two masks better than one?

A: Great question!  Good masking is key to reducing the spread of COVID-19.  Masks help block transmission of the virus, as well as protect the wearer from others who may be infected.  The quality of the mask makes a big difference.  High filtration masks, like the N95s, are the most effective, so wearing 2 masks to increase filtration makes sense, though no formal research has been done.  Whatever mask is used, it is critically important to wear it correctly, which means covering the nose as well as the mouth. A mask with a double layer of cloth and a pocket for a filter material (like the kind found in vacuum bags) is an excellent option, but using 2 masks (with a cloth mask tightly on top of a typical blue surgical mask) may offer a bigger advantage over a single mask.  Stay safe!

Ask the Expert: Submit your COVID related health questions to Dr. Scott and questions will be answered in future communications. SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS

We will continue to send out weekly emails to include updates and highlights of timely information to ensure a successful semester. These communications will continue to be added to covid.peace.edu/communications.

Take care,

Lori H. McClaren, Ph.D. | Executive Director of the School of Professional Studies