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Despite the numerous precautions taken in attempts to allow for students to remain on campus for the 2020-2021 academic year, at least 4 cases of COVID-19 have been reported as of Sept. 24. Initial procedures for the exposure to COVID-19 begin with the usage of the CampusClear screening app.

“The CampusClear app is a beneficial screening tool for [the] Valpo campus. [It] is a preventative tool to remind our Valpo students daily that it is important to monitor his/herself for Coronavirus symptoms daily and to stay in if he/she is experiencing any of the symptoms,” said Kelley Eshenaur, Director of the Health Center. 

Not only has the app allowed for alerting the proper professionals and overseeing the overall health of campus, it also provides other benefits for students and faculty alike.

The predominant advantage of the app, “is allowing people to think about their symptoms everyday. That’s the key thing, we want people to be aware of their health before they go out and interact with the community,” said Ryan Blevins, Associate Dean of students.

The importance of the CampusClear app to the Health Center is not limited to simply flagging students who have reported experiencing symptoms, it also helps students to become proactive.

“We receive multiple calls daily from Valpo students for telephone screening when he/she does not receive a ‘Good to Go’ from the CampusClear app. [It] allows the Health Center to track hot spots on campus if they arise. The app is also being used by faculty, staff, visitors on Valpo’s campus,” Eshenaur said.

While the CampusClear app has been vital to obtaining a healthy community, students have a larger role in terms of preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing masks, socially distancing and reaching out if help is needed.

“When in doubt, minimize your contact and exposure to other people and reach out to the Health Center,” Blevins said.

Contacting the Health Center is the next step for students with symptoms after completing the daily CampusClear check-in, however, apprehensions over the Health Center’s response rate have been expressed. Some agree their replies have been rather immediate, whereas others have indicated a delay in communication. 

“Our main concern is our Valpo students and the health of our campus. We give each student the time and attention he/she needs during each phone call or visit. We do triage and address the most critical calls first. If multiple students call in the morning for a telephone screening, assessment or question, each student will get personalized attention,” Eshenaur said.

If quarantine is deemed necessary, students should expect to remain there for at least ten days after their first symptom and if they are asymptomatic then ten days after their last test. 

In an email sent to students on Sept. 24, Valpo leadership recommended that students, faculty and staff who come into contact with a positive COVID-19 case to be tested seven days after the contact. However, regardless of test results, individuals are still required to complete the quarantine period. 

During the period in which they are quarantined, students’ main responsibility is to keep in contact with Student Life and the Health Center.

“Student Life takes care of all the arrangements and faculty notification. We do say to the student that they need to do an outreach to their faculty and make arrangements for them to take class remotely or do makeup work, that’s their responsibility to do that. All we say to the faculty is that they’re under that care of the Health Center director and that they’ll be able to return to class on this such and such day,” Blevins said.

Students have the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 at any point in time while they reside on campus. 

“All full-time students can be tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. Testing is conducted by appointment,” Eshenaur said.

The Health Center can be reached at (219)-464-5060 or via email at health.center@valpo.edu.

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