As of September 24, 2020, Scioto county moved to a Risk Level Three (red) on the Ohio Department of Health’s Public Advisory system. This means that the county meets 4 out of the 5 public health indicators and are at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, according to an email from the Office of the President. During these uncertain times, one of the best ways to be safe is by following the CDC guidelines and to schedule to be tested for COVID-19. Luckily for students and staff at Shawnee State University, they do not need to travel far. The SSU Health Clinic, located in Hatcher Hall, has been offering testing for COVID-19.
The Director of Counseling, Health & Accessibility Services Linda Koenig said in an interview that, “At SSU, individuals are asked to test even if they are asymptomatic. Identifying those who are positive, but not sick, will help us prevent spread and ultimately will increase our likelihood of finishing our semester without a significant outbreak.” Even if you are not showing any symptoms, it is a good idea to get tested. If you are in contact with other individuals there is a risk of exposure and transmission. Anyone can be infected by the virus which is why SSU students and staff need to obey the protective measures and practice social distancing.
The SSU Health Clinic is providing COVID-19 testing every Monday-Friday for students, staff, and faculty who have self-referral appointments. Dates have also been set aside for group testing for departments, housing units, and other groups. Those who will be participating in group testing should be receiving an email soon. However, anyone can make an appointment to be tested by calling the Clinic staff at (740) 351- 4362.
Despite the fear of COVID-19, there is nothing to fear from the test. This is a quick and simple process that is similar to being tested for strep throat. The Health Clinic uses a swab to collect a sample from your throat which is then used to determine if the patient has the virus. The entire process from paperwork to exiting the building should take approximately 5 minutes. Results are usually available within 24 hours. If you test negative, you can view your results through KDMC’s MyChart. Anyone testing positive will receive a phone call informing them of their results. If you test positive, the SSU Health Team, SSU Clinic, and the Health Department will begin contact tracing to minimize exposure. This may involve quarantine or isolation for those who are positive or have been in contact with the virus. SSU has chosen certain dorms to be used when quarantining, but most will be quarantined in their current area.
In the interview with Director Linda Koenig, she had some advice to those who are concerned about being quarantined due to exposure. She said, “Please know that your chances of being asked to quarantine depend upon your own choices. If you choose to always wear a mask properly and always social distance you are much less likely to be in a situation where you are required quarantine. I certainly want folks to take all precautions that are advised by public health. However, I believe what we may not have been told is that the best way to take control of our lives life during COVID-19 is by choosing to always mask-up and social distance.” If you would like to know more about how to decrease your risk of exposure, you can visit http://www.shawnee.edu/health for more information.