Health and Wellness

Last updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Albion College’s top priority is the health and wellness of our students, staff, faculty and community members. We have made, and continue to make, significant changes to campus in order to ensure that all members of our community can maintain appropriate social distancing as we teach and learn together this spring semester.

Along with the rigorous health and safety protocols put in place by the College, each of us must take responsibility for the wellbeing of our campus community. As in fall 2020, all students returning to campus for spring 2021 will be required to make the Albion Community Commitment in recognition of the important role we each play in keeping one another safe. 

We have made the following adjustments on campus to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19:

  • Installing auto-opening capabilities on doors.
  • Creating plexiglass barriers, where appropriate, in open spaces.
  • Distributing COVID-19 starter kits for each student and employee to aid in reducing the spread of the virus (including a disposable mask, digital thermometer, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Installing handwashing and sanitation stations throughout campus.
  • Developing a sanitation plan for increased cleaning of common spaces.
  • Resetting many classrooms for smaller group sizes and spacing desks six feet apart for physical distancing.
  • Installing more than 100 cameras and microphones in classrooms to aid in virtual engagement.
  • Collaborating with local health and medical officials to prepare the campus and community.
  • Installing appropriate barriers between the driver and passenger in Campus Safety vehicles to aid in safety during vital transportation.

In addition, Albion will have an extensive testing and monitoring program in place for the spring 2021 semester, including new, rapid testing for our students, faculty and staff.

Will Albion be providing COVID-19 testing?

Yes, Albion College will continue to provide extensive testing and health monitoring of our entire community, including students, staff and faculty for spring 2021. This semester, we will be using Abbott BinaxNOW tests to administer regular rapid testing of students, faculty and staff. Abbott’s COVID-19 app, NAVICA, pairs with the rapid antigen test to deliver results quickly and safely to individuals. All students, faculty and staff should download NAVICA before their scheduled test this week. NAVICA can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play at no charge.

NAVICA will not be used for contact tracing and does not require that location services be turned on. For more information on downloading and using NAVICA, visit Abbott’s NAVICA FAQ.

Student Testing

Students will be tested on entry as part of their move-in process on January 23 and 24. Following this, they will participate in testing on January 28-29 and February 11-12. Students will receive instructions via email on how to sign up for testing slots.

Employee Testing

Testing for employees who are conducting work on campus is scheduled for January 19-21 and February 2-4. Employees should refer to their email for sign-up links. 

Testing will take place in Washington Gardner (401 E. Michigan Ave; use the entrance on North Berrien). Due to the nature of rapid testing, students, faculty and staff must attend their scheduled appointment; walk-ins cannot be accommodated. If you receive a positive test result, a member of our COVID-19 team will reach out to you within 12 hours of your scheduled test. If you are not contacted, you can assume your test was negative.

Following these three rounds of testing, we will communicate with students, faculty and staff in February about future testing schedules.

Will Albion be performing wastewater testing?

Yes. As in the fall, Albion will perform wastewater testing for COVID-19 in many of our larger residence halls including Seaton, Wesley, Mitchell Towers and the fraternities. If positive cases are identified via wastewater testing, we may quarantine students in these residence halls and perform individual testing to isolate potential cases.

How will Albion report testing data?

As in the fall, Albion will continue to report testing data on our website. COVID-19 updates will be added to our COVID-19 Testing Updates page daily, Monday through Friday, with current numbers of active cases. Our COVID-19 dashboard will be updated at the same time. We will send out a brief email reminder to our campus community on a daily basis.

Will students, faculty and staff be required to participate in daily health monitoring?

Yes. Students, faculty and staff are required to fill out our Daily Health Assessment every day by noon. Our COVID-19 team will receive alerts and reach out to symptomatic individuals if testing is required. This information will only be shared with our COVID-19 team and used for the management of COVID-19 on campus.

How will the College support the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine?

The College is working closely with the Calhoun County Public Health Department (CCPHD) to prepare for the phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination. CCPHD is following the state vaccination plan and is sharing information about timing and eligibility for the vaccine on their website. CCPHD is currently in Phase 1B, which means they are working to administer vaccines to people aged 65 or older. Any staff member who falls into this group can call (269) 441-0912 to be placed on a waiting list for a vaccination.

The College strongly encourages students and employees to be vaccinated as they become eligible.

Will the College be requiring flu shots?

Yes. To support the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff and our broader community, in consultation with public health leadership and the CDC, Albion is requiring that all members of our campus community receive an influenza immunization unless a medical or religious waiver is approved.

This temporary policy is an important proactive measure to help protect members of the Albion College community — and the public at large — and to ameliorate the severe burden on health care systems anticipated during the winter from influenza and COVID-19. Flu shots were offered on campus during the fall at no cost to students, faculty and staff. 

Students, faculty and staff who did not recieve the flu shot in the fall must have documentation of their immunization, or an approved waiver, in order to return to campus in spring 2021. If you received the flu vaccine during the fall at one of the clinics provided on campus, you will not need to submit documentation. For more information on Albion's flu shot policy, email .

What should I do if I feel ill this spring?

To support students in maintaining the greatest degree of wellness possible, Albion College has partnered with Oaklawn Hospital to provide health care to students. Oaklawn Medical Group-Albion and the Express Care clinic are available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week during term time and can be contacted at (517) 654-1020. Students needing care during the COVID-19 pandemic should use the following guidelines.

If you have symptoms that could be related to COVID-19

The following symptoms are associated with COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you experience any of these symptoms between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, call Albion’s COVID-19 team at (517) 629-0220.

If you experience any of these symptoms after hours or on weekends, call Campus Safety at (517) 629-1234.

If you have a health issue not related to COVID-19

Call Express Care-Albion for guidance during their open hours, 11 a.m to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Express Care Albion is a walk-in clinic that sees clients on a first-come, first-served basis and can be contacted at (517) 654-1020.

For after-hours care, contact FONEMED at 1-855-851-2208. FONEMED is a triage line answered by registered nurses. The nurses will ask questions, assess the situation, and make one of the following recommendations:

  • Stay home and follow the home care instructions given by the nurse.
  • Seek care during the next health provider office hours.
  • Seek care in the next four hours.
  • Seek care immediately.

If you need assistance with any of the above, or with transportation, contact Campus Safety at (517) 629-1234.

Who is guiding Albion's public health and safety policies?

We have a talented and dedicated COVID-19 team made up of medical and student affairs professionals. For the spring 2021 semester, Albion College Athletic Director Matt Arend will oversee the coordination and administration of our COVID-19 efforts. He will work in partnership with Cheryl Krause, BSN, RN-BC, director of health services, who was chair of COVID-19 planning for fall 2020. Matt will transition into Cheryl's role of assisting President Johnson and campus planning teams with managing COVID-19 policy in preparation for Cheryl's retirement at the end of the spring 2021 semester.

In addition, President Johnson has engaged the counsel of Dr. James Wilson, ’77, a renowned medical scientist and Albion alumnus, as special advisor to the president for medical affairs. Dr. Wilson’s laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania has been identified by national public health experts to assist in the research effort to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Further, an external panel of medical advisors has been engaged to review policy recommendations for a safe return to campus in the spring.

To connect with Albion's COVID-19 team, email .