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Students who are experiencing symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should stay in their room, report symptoms in CoVerified, and contact Norton Medical Center to discuss next steps. Employees who are experiencing symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should consult with their Primary Care Physician (PCP) and get tested if their PCP deems appropriate, and should not return to campus until they are 24 hours symptom-free.
Currently, symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19 include one or more of the following:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms
- New loss of taste or smell
Testing our community for COVID-19 is a critical component of our safety plan as health experts consistently state that testing is a key part of any strategy to control the spread of the virus. It is important to detect infections before there has been an opportunity for transmission since a large percentage of transmission occurs from people who do not know they are infected. Our testing plan is in partnership with the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT, one of the leading biomedical labs in the country.
Summer 2021 COVID-19 Testing Plan
All residential students and employees working in student-facing positions on campus, including student employees, will be required to test weekly regardless of vaccination status. Testing appointments can be scheduled using the CoVerified App and are available Mondays 1-4 p.m. (Tuesdays when Monday is a holiday) and Thursdays 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from their required testing cadence between July 1 and August 8. Fully vaccinated individuals have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine more than 14 days ago.
Our testing procedure will require students and employees to have their lower anterior nasal cavities swabbed at our on-campus testing site. This test is relatively non-invasive and can even be self-administered. The testing site will be staffed by medical professionals who will also provide other medical support as needed. A contracted courier service will deliver the tests to the Broad lab and we expect to have the results in 36-48 hours. Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a medical professional with instructions on next steps.
Please make sure to wear a mask at all times during your arrival and departure from the testing site.
The college is working with the Norton Board of Health to participate in the Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC). Any close contacts of individuals who test positive will be contacted for contact tracing and monitoring by the Contact Tracing Collaborative.
Please keep in mind that all notifications and contact tracing outreach and follow-up will be conducted via telephone. Calls from the Massachusetts (MA) Contact Tracing Collaborative Team will use the prefix 833 and 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Your local health department may use their local phone number to contact you, as well. Therefore, it is critical that all members of the community check their phone and voicemail regularly and answer any calls they may receive from an unknown number.
The college is partnering with Norton Board of Health and Sturdy Hospital to create a COVID-19 public health advisory group, composed of representatives from the medical and public health professions, for the purpose of advising college leadership regarding any COVID-related issues impacting the Fall 2020 semester and beyond.
Norton Medical Center, managed by Sturdy Medical Associates, is the provider for student health needs. Wheaton has a registered nurse on staff who resides at the health center. Telehealth appointments will be available for our students who are symptomatic and diagnostic testing is available. Students who feel sick should contact Norton Medical Center at 508-285-9500. Doctors are also on call after-hours, on weekends and during holidays.
The college’s testing site will be staffed by medical professionals who will also provide other medical support as needed. Wheaton will also have an on-site nurse seven days a week to help with the support of students who receive positive test results, are symptomatic or had close contact with a confirmed positive case and need to be moved into quarantine or isolation housing.