To ensure that the general health and safety and social distancing procedures governing PTC’s Repopulation phase can be effective long-term, PTC will employ a number of monitoring and surveillance practices to quickly identify any evidence of disease clusters in order to take immediate action.
PTC’s COVID Administrator and her team will conduct analysis to identify specific trends emerging from data related to the number of people who are deferred from entering campus (and the associated reasons), absenteeism rates, student behavioral incident reports, and faculty feedback. This information will be coupled with the latest external data on viral transmission and hospital capacities in our local and regional areas to allow PTC management to make sound decisions about the college’s onsite status.
Key monitoring mechanisms are outlined below.
Daily Health Screenings
To prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus on campus, PTC has implemented a daily health screening process that involves two phases – a health screening questionnaire and a temperature check. Specifically, the screening process follows these steps:
- Before entering either the Main Academic Building or Energy Tech Center, all employees, students, and guests will be asked specific questions about their potential contact with anyone who has contracted the virus, as well as any symptoms they might have experienced within the past 24 hours.
- Once individuals pass the initial health screening, their temperature will be checked using an infrared, touchless thermometer.
- Those with a temperature below 100°F (99.9°F or less) will be given a wristband in the designated color for the day and be permitted to scan their ID card and proceed into the Main Academic Building or Energy Tech Center.
- Anyone who does not pass the initial health screening or the subsequent temperature check will not be permitted to enter the building. Instead, a lead screener will fill out a form detailing the reasons that access was denied and counsel the individual on the next steps, depending on whether they are a housing student, commuting student, employee, or guest. A housing student’s Student Safety Plan will be immediately activated in preparation for campus departure.
- Housing students who need to be quarantined will report to (or be transported to) an isolation apartment located off-campus that is designed as a 24-hour temporary residence while plans for returning home are finalized. (This process is detailed further in the upcoming Containment section.)
Housing students must undergo these screenings once a day, on both weekdays and weekends. On weekdays, they must be screened at either the Main Academic Building or the Energy Tech Center; on the weekends, they must be screened by a designated employee in one of the residence halls. As with the weekday screenings, any housing student who fails a screening or voluntarily reports symptoms over the weekend will be quarantined and their Student Safety Plan will be activated. If a housing student plans to be away from their apartment for more than one day, they must notify the Resident Life staff so that they are not flagged as negligent in completing their daily screening.
The screening process decision tree on the following page maps out the actions involved for individuals who pass the two-phase health screening versus those who are denied access.
Monitoring and Contact Tracing
PTC will maintain a daily record of all individuals admitted to campus to allow for prompt notification to all individuals in the event of potential exposure to COVID-19. If PTC does identify a positive COVID-19 case on campus, college authorities will immediately partner with the Allegheny County Department of Health to begin the contact tracing procedure. PTC will continue to monitor this protocol and update it accordingly as new contact tracing technology emerges.
Several monitoring practices will provide the data needed to analyze trends and conduct valid contact tracing:
Tracking Community Member Access
The swiping of college identification cards through a magnetic stripe reader will provide a record of those who successfully passed the health screening and temperature check and were present in a specific campus building each day.
Faculty must also maintain strict attendance-taking procedures and will be asked to double-check that all students are wearing the appropriate wristband at the beginning of each class session. If anyone on campus contracts the virus, PTC will use the building access and classroom attendance information to assist the county’s health department in contacting anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
Monitoring for Sudden Symptoms
It is also important that anyone on campus report if they witness someone presenting signs of COVID-19. Symptoms of the virus can come on quickly, so infected employees and students may pass through the health screening and temperature checks before the symptoms present themselves. Anyone who becomes ill while at the college should immediately notify their instructor or supervisor, who will then initiate the appropriate procedures.
Required Documentation for Re-Entry
Individuals who have been denied access to a campus building because they failed the daily health screening must provide medical documentation verifying that they do not have the COVID-19 virus before they will be permitted back on campus.