Screening, Testing, and Contact Tracing Protocols

Please describe the planned testing and tracing protocol for the institution, including details regarding how you plan to collaborate with your state/local health department for contact tracing and notification of positive tests or viral outbreaks either on campus or among the campus community.  

Caldwell University has a relationship with its designated local health department in Bloomfield, NJ.  The University has worked collaboratively with Bloomfield in the past for other health situations, and as recently as this past spring in a COVID-19 related case. Caldwell is well-positioned to partner with the Bloomfield Health Department in conducting contact tracing through an ongoing team of trained employees and students enrolled in the public health major who will be trained in the Johns Hopkins contact tracing course. 

Stage 3

  • What screening measures will be in place? 

Employees and students will be required to sign an attestation that they will monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. The CDC website has a free self-check tool that employees and students are encouraged to use. The free tool can be accessed at this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. In addition, as employees or students authenticate through the University network, there will be a pop-up message requiring them to click a box affirming that they will abide by University COVID-19 policies and have conducted their self-screening assessment that day. Anyone who answers yes to any question must remain home and off campus and should consider contacting a healthcare provider.  Resident students should remain in their rooms and contact Health Services. 

  • How will you communicate these screening protocols to stakeholders?

Employees will receive the Caldwell University Employee Return to Campus Policies and Guidance document that contains the University’s screening protocols. The student handbook and training will deliver the message to students. Residence Life staff will provide ongoing training to students.

  • What will be the testing protocol? 

Students and employees who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been identified as a contact will be referred to their healthcare provider to determine testing needs and will not be permitted to return to campus until cleared with a note by their healthcare provider. A local doctors office is allowing free testing for individuals without insurance and no balance billing for those with insurance.  The University has formalized a relationship with this provider who will also provide on-campus testing. The University also is working with a second local resource who is willing to provide free testing.

Students may contact the Health Services Office on campus if exhibiting symptoms.  The screening protocol includes the following questions:

  • What is the reason that you are seeking an appointment in Health Services?
  • Do you have fever/chills, cough, trouble breathing, fatigue, headache or body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea? 
  • Have you traveled to any foreign country in the past two weeks? 
  • Have you traveled from any of the states with restrictions in the last two week
  • Have you been tested for COVID-19?  If so, when and what were the results? 
  • Have you been in contact with any positive or suspect COVID-19 case in the last two weeks? 

If, during the telephone screening, students present with any possible or positive COVID-19 symptoms, they will be offered a telehealth appointment or referred to an outside provider for evaluation and COVID-19 testing. Resident students who are tested will be immediately instructed to self-monitor in a quarantine/isolation room according to residence life protocol while awaiting test results. Students who are placed in an isolation room will be offered outreach from the counseling department. If a student consents, a referral will be made to the counseling department. If COVID-19 testing is negative, the student will be allowed to resume normal activities and return to their housing assignment. If COVID-19 testing is positive, the student will either remain in an isolation room until they are cleared to return to normal activities or return home. Residence Life will ensure that the student has been set up with needed items and food delivery service. Contact tracing will begin in conjunction with the Bloomfield Department of Health. Students will be monitored by the staff in Health Services via telephone at intervals determined on an individual basis. Students will be educated by Health Services staff as to when to call 911 for emergency assistance if needed.

  • How will the institution house or transport exposed or ill residential students and plan for timely reporting, while maintaining confidentiality? 

A wing of rooms on campus has been reserved for isolation and the University reserves the right to take another wing off-line if needed.  Roommates of ill students will be required to remain in their room to quarantine or return home. More than 80% of Caldwell students hail from New Jersey so going home is a strong option for them.  Caldwell does not have a University-sponsored transportation system. Students who require transportation off campus may use a car service option if they do not have their own transportation. Residence Life and Health Services staff will assist students as needed.  If urgent, 911 will be called.  The identities of individuals will be revealed only on a need-to-know basis to support contact tracing coordinated through Health Services and Human Resources.

  • How will the institution log students, faculty, staff, and visitors to help facilitate contact tracing?

During Stages 1 and 2, the University has had a spreadsheet system for logging known cases through Human Resources and Health Services and is prepared to continue doing so as the campus population increases in Stage 3.  The University’s ERP system identifies students in each classroom.  On the first day of class, faculty will note where students are sitting and create a seating chart for taking attendance throughout the semester.  Faculty will be provided with a template for the seating chart.  Students will be asked to sit in the same seat each time enabling the university to identify anyone who may have come in contact with an individual with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.  

Employees will be asked to fill out an electronic form every day that they are on campus indicating where they have been and when.  Visitors will be instructed by their campus host that they are required to conduct a self health assessment and to complete the form.  Hosts must have cabinet level approval to bring a visitor to campus and once approved, will be responsible for communicating campus requirements for wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and practicing known hygiene protocols.  

The Office of Human Resources will work with the Bloomfield Health Department to determine appropriate next steps in the event it is suspected or confirmed that an employee has contracted COVID-19.  Actions will include notifying contacts of their possible exposure to COVID-19 on the campus while maintaining the confidentiality of the infected or potentially infected employee. In an effort to facilitate contact tracing, employees will be asked to complete a daily electronic survey before leaving campus each day indicating with whom they were in close contact (fewer than six feet apart) for extended periods of time (longer than 15 minutes) and which buildings they visited.  

Health Services will work with the Bloomfield Health Department to determine appropriate next steps in the event it is suspected or confirmed that a student has contracted COVID-19.  Actions will include notifying contacts of their possible exposure to COVID-19 on the campus while maintaining the confidentiality of the potentially infected student. 

The University has a contact tracing response team with members from multiple departments including, Human Resources, Student Life, Residence Life, Athletics, and the Wellness Center who have been trained in contact tracing through the Johns Hopkins online course. This team will assist the University community in identifying those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in cooperation with the health department, and will expedite contact tracing in the event there is a delay from the health department in providing contact tracers to the University.

Stage 2:

During Stage 2  a reduced number of people are allowed on campus. Anyone coming to campus  is expected to monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. The CDC website has a free self-check tool employees are encouraged to use. The free tool can be accessed by visiting this website: ttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.  Employees coming to campus are required to complete an electronic form indicating where they were while on campus and with whom.

  • What will be the testing protocol? 

Students and employees who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have been identified as  contacts will be referred to aforementioned testing sites or  their healthcare provider to determine testing needs.

  • How will the institution house or transport exposed or ill residential students and plan for timely reporting, while maintaining confidentiality? 

Protocols are the same as for Stage 3.

  • How will the institution log students, faculty, staff, and visitors to help facilitate contact tracing? 

Protocols are the same as for Stage 3.

Stage 1:

Please describe the planned testing and tracing protocol for the institution including details regarding how you plan to collaborate with your state/local health department for contact tracing and notification of positive tests or viral outbreaks either on campus or among the campus community.

All protocols will remain in place as implemented in Stage 2 and described in Stage 3.

What screening measures will be in place?

The processes described in Stages 2 and 3 will be followed.

What will be the testing protocol?

Testing protocol will be the same as in Stages 2 and 3.

How will the institution house or transport exposed or ill residential students and plan for timely reporting, while maintaining confidentiality?

The protocol outlined in Stages 2 and 3 will be followed.

How will the institution log students, faculty, staff and visitors to help facilitate contact tracing?

The electronic process currently in place will be followed regardless of which stage the state is in.