Returning to campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic looks different than it has in years past. In addition to investing in new infrastructure and equipment to help prevent the spread of the virus, the college has implemented new rules and protocols for students to follow in the hopes of keeping everyone safe.
Given the fact that these regulations are unprecedented and are subject to change as circumstances change, rumors about the nature of these rules have spread quickly among the Albion College community.
Stopping the spread of misinformation on campus will hopefully help the campus community come together to stop the spread of the virus as well.
Myth: The college was waiting until the last minute to tell students about procedures this fall.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances are changing day to day. As a result, campus protocols have had to mold to fit these circumstances. While communication may have seemed delayed or last minute, policies were shared with students, faculty and staff as they were put in order. Albion is under the guidance of the governor and is sharing answers and changes to campus policies as soon as they are able.
Myth: Students cannot leave campus under any circumstances
Students can fill out a request to leave campus form. Students can communicate with the college and receive permission to leave for medical appointments, religious obligations, family emergencies and other essential reasons that call for off-campus travel.
Myth: Students will be expelled for leaving campus without permission
If a student leaves campus without following the proper procedures, filling out a request to leave campus form and receiving approval from the college, he or she will not be expelled. The student will, however, be interviewed upon returning to campus. Depending on the risk of the student’s travels, he or she might be asked to self-isolate, quarantine or receive further testing.
Myth: Students’ locations are being checked at all times through the Aura app.
The Aura app is being used for effective and efficient contact tracing in the incident of a positive COVID-19 test result. Contact tracing is a requirement of the Calhoun County Health Department circumstance that someone tests positive for COVID-19. Although students are being tracked through the app, a student’s location data is not accessed unless he/she tests positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing allows the college to see who the student has been with in order to notify them accordingly of their potential exposure to the virus.
The only other instance when a student’s location data is accessed is if a student leaves campus without prior permission. The only time the college will receive alerts regarding a student’s location is if the student leaves campus without notifying the college first.
Myth: Students who test positive cannot go home.
If students test positive, they have the option to either return home or utilize the on-campus quarantine space.
Myth: No visitors are allowed on campus.
Students can fill out a visitor request form and go through a registration process to have people visit them on campus. Visitors are not allowed within campus buildings, but after gaining approval from the college, visitors are allowed on campus as long as they stay outside, follow social distancing protocols and wear a mask.
Albion is addressing urgent questions regularly in this frequently asked questions spreadsheet. More specific information regarding student life, health and wellness, and more can be found on Albion’s Together Safely page.