Parent and Family Newsletter - Spring 2021 Testing Protocols

Friday, January 15, 2021

Dear Albion Parents and Families,

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus on January 23-24. Our faculty and staff have been working hard over the break to develop protocols that will keep our whole community safe and healthy as we live and learn together. We have made several adjustments to our COVID-19 response based on student feedback, and continue to work with the COVID-19 Student Accountability Committee to ensure our protocols and policies are developed and implemented thoughtfully, thoroughly and with input from student leaders.

Today, we shared a communication with students that detailed Albion’s testing plans for the coming weeks along with some reminders about the move-in process, and I am summarizing the contents of this email below. Next week, we will share a second communication with students and parents with policies regarding off-campus travel and on-campus visitors and a third communication before move in with detailed information on what students should expect when they arrive on campus. As always, copies of the parent and family newsletter will be added to our website.

Testing Before Move In

As we shared in our last newsletter, students must submit documentation of a negative COVID-19 test that was completed on or after January 16, 2021, to before returning to campus to proceed with their scheduled move in. After receiving a negative test, students must continue to check for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. If students develop symptoms after taking their test, they must contact for consultation regarding their return to campus.

If students receive a positive test on or after January 16, 2021, and before returning to campus, they will need to isolate at home but may begin the semester online. If you are having challenges locating a test, email .

In line with CDC guidelines on retesting, students who have tested positive are exempt from testing for the 90 days following this result. If students tested positive on October 23, 2020, or later, they are exempt from testing during move in. If the test was provided by Albion, they will automatically be added to our exemption list. If the test was administered off campus, students should email to be added to the exemption list.

Flu Shots

Students who did not receive the flu shot on campus in the fall must submit documentation of their immunization to , or have a waiver approved, to return to campus for the spring semester. If students received the flu shot during the fall at one of the clinics provided on campus, they do not need to submit documentation.

Entry Testing

Students will receive a rapid COVID-19 test on entry as part of their check-in process during move in. By both performing entry testing and requiring documentation of a negative test from students before they return to campus, we are able to forgo the three-day quarantine period that was required in the fall.

Once students receive a negative result from their rapid test (or verify that they are exempt from testing), they will receive their new ID and may proceed with move in. If students test positive on site, they will be strongly encouraged to return home for the duration of their isolation if it is feasible and take their classes online during this period. If returning home is not an option, students may begin the semester isolating on campus in one of the isolation houses with support from the College COVID-19 team.

January and February Testing Schedule

Albion will continue to provide extensive testing for our entire community, including students, staff and faculty, in spring 2021.

We have student testing scheduled on the following dates:

  • First round: January 23-24 during move in
  • Second round: January 28-29
  • Third round: February 11-12

Students will receive instructions via email on how to sign up for testing slots. Following these three rounds of testing, we will communicate with students in February about future testing schedules.

Wastewater Testing

Throughout the spring semester, Albion College will continue to 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.

Health Monitoring

Students, faculty and staff will continue to be required to participate in daily health monitoring this spring. We will be introducing a new system to support this and will share details in our communication next week.

As in the fall, a successful semester relies on every member of our community living the Albion Community Commitment that we made. Students will continue to be required to wear a mask inside, and outside when a distance of six feet cannot be maintained, maintain at least six feet of physical distance between themselves and others, monitor their health and practice good personal hygiene, including regularly washing their hands and staying home when sick.

Over the coming days, we will continue to share updates regarding our COVID-19 policies and protocols for spring 2021. This information will also be available on Together Safely.

Thank you for all you are doing to prepare our community for a safe and healthy spring semester. We look forward to welcoming students back to campus next week.

Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College