Health Center is the only place on campus to get tested for COVID.
Indiana State’s Health Clinic has had an important role in the COVID pandemic for students on campus. They’ve given out at least 100 COVID-19 tests this semester in total. With that in mind, there are precautions the Center has taken to ensure safety of all who use their facilities during this time. These include: “PPE availability for staff during any aerosol-generating procedures, scheduled rather than walk-in appointment times, staggered appointments and ‘no-waiting room’ processes to eliminate patient crowding, separation of ‘sick’ and ‘well’ appointments during day, telemedicine virtual care options, masking of all employees and student patients in Health Center, and deep cleaning of exam rooms between patients per CDC guidance,” said Manager of the UAP Clinic, Nicki McCarty.
The Health Center is where students should go when they need to be tested for COVID. It is located at 567 N 5th Street and is open from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. “Students who are acutely experiencing symptoms of COVID are scheduled through the ISU Student Health Center for a virtual or in-person visit with a provider and testing arranged at the Health Center location,” said McCarty.
The Student Health Center is currently the only place students can be tested for COVID-19. “Currently, testing is performed at the Health Center only. Plans are in place to open a second “walk-up” testing location for testing on ISU campus by early October,” said McCarty.
Other schools have taken different measures with students returning back to campus, such as being tested before arrival, being tested at various times throughout the semester, etc. “Testing prior to student arrival is one method of surveillance that has been utilized at some universities this fall. This type of testing has its inherent limitations wherein the student can be exposed after the test is completed and thus falsely reassured negative and ‘safe’ for return to campus,” said McCarty.
ISU began planning for student arrival early during the summer and was done taking all angles into account. “Plans need to be dynamic and consider all current knowledge of local, state and national medical trends and information. The ISU Student Health Center will continue to adapt and respond as new information and strategies of COVID management are learned specifically as it relates to the college campus space,” said McCarty. However, it was also mentioned that the need to take the same precautions that other schools are taking was not needed at this point in time.
“ISU is unique and in its provision of health care on campus, it needs to be just that. Monitoring closely the data on campus, the community and in Indiana is key. ISU communication of information regarding safe interactions of students and faculty has also been a vital part of ISU’s plan and will continue to be this winter,” said McCarty
With all that is happening on campus right now, there are a few key things for students to remember to keep themselves and the community safe. “Control of COVID cases at ISU is largely dependent upon the students at ISU. Taking social distancing, mask wearing and personal hygiene seriously from the student perspective is what will continue to maintain a tolerable number of on campus COVID infections,” said McCarty.