Important COVID-19 Update

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Dear Albion Community,

Every day we hear news of schools who have been forced to switch to remote instruction. If we want to protect in-person instruction, we need each member of our community to step up - and stay vigilant.

Through our testing protocol, we have learned that two members of our community have tested positive for the virus. They are in isolation and remain in our thoughts as they focus on recovery.

Albion College has now completed and received more than 2500 test results, and identified a total of five positive cases. To date, our overall positive testing rate is 0.2%. This is significantly lower than the national rate (7.0%) and the rate for the state of Michigan (3.31%).

As required by law, we continue to maintain confidentiality and have shared their identities with the Calhoun County Department of Public Health who, along with our own campus health officials, are reaching out to inform close contacts of the need to quarantine. If you receive a call, we encourage you to respond truthfully.

To protect in-person learning, which 90% of students said was a priority, we must follow established protocols more rigorously. We need to work as a community to remain healthy and safe. There will likely be more positives over the next two weeks as the incubation period for COVID-19 runs its course and we continue to identify asymptomatic infections that may have begun before students arrived or been passed from student to student in the first few days on campus. Vigilance over the next 28 days is exceptionally important.

Student Testing Moving Forward: We plan to take additional steps to ensure the health and safety of students living on campus in the weeks ahead through intensive testing by residence hall or fraternity house.

  1. Students in Seaton and Whitehouse will be tested on Monday, August 24. Pre-scheduled time blocks assigned for each student will follow in a separate email.
  2. Students living in all other college housing will be tested on Tuesday, August 25 or Thursday, August 27. Instructions for how to schedule your testing time will follow in a separate email.

Protocols for Students Beginning Monday:

  1. All students must report through the symptom check reporting in the Aura App twice per day.
  2. All students must have location services enabled for the Aura App on their phones.
  3. All students must remain on campus unless granted approval to leave through the request process.
  4. Students who do not meet these requirements will be contacted via email by Student Development staff beginning Monday and could be referred to the student judicial process.
  5. Additional information about groceries and businesses joining our program will be shared as well.

If we all do not follow our protocols, we will be forced to move to remote learning. As a reminder:

  • Wear your masks whenever outside your room.
  • Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and others. Note, every time you are within six feet of another person for more than 15 minutes, you are considered a close contact, and, should a person test positive for the virus, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Monitor your health and practice good personal hygiene, including regularly washing your hands.
  • If you are feeling sick, stay in your room.

We look forward to coming together safely as a learning community in the weeks ahead. All of us must make a commitment to this goal in order to be successful. I am confident Brits can do this — and I look forward to a productive, fun, healthy and safe fall semester.

President Johnson