Adrian College’s Responds to the Omicron Variant

Tis’ the season of another COVID-19 variant taking over the United States, but with that brings an eager Adrian College population that wants so badly for their college experience to go back to the way they dreamed it would be. With many institutions claiming virtual learning was the route to go, we are able to see the different steps that Adrian College has taken to give the student body the most beneficial experience while still keeping the population safe and healthy.  

Regarding the last COVID campus update from Jan. 31, it shows that there are 5 total cases on campus; three students and two staff members. This is not the largest number of cases we have had on campus this semester (showing at 58 on Jan. 20). However, the Adrian College community is eager to know how the medical and administration team plans to keep the COVID cases down. Kelly Truchan she, a registered nurse and the Director of Health Services here at Adrian College, gave a plethora of information about their plan of attack against the Omicron variant. 

With the new Center for Disease Control isolation guidelines, Truchan stated that Adrian College plans to follow these health and safety requirements. As students are no longer isolated for 10 days after testing positive, there is confusion following their isolation period as to whether or not they can go back to all of their “normal activities.” It is expected that after isolating for five days, COVID positive students and staff return to class while still wearing a mask. Truchan stated, “ Many studies have found that a person infected with COVID is contagious within the first five days of symptom onset. Following evidence-based research I feel it is safe for students to resume activities after 5 full days of isolation if their symptoms have resolved, and they are afebrile for 24 hours without the use of an antipyretic.” Meaning that as long as members of the community are without a fever or fever-reducing medication along with the resolution of symptoms, they may return to daily activities after following the new isolation period. 

Students are experiencing that with these new guidelines and the learned comfortability level that comes with COVID issues, Adrian College has allowed professors to determine whether or not they would like a virtual option for their class. They also live a very different lifestyle while in isolation in order to keep the rest of the community safe. Truchan stated, “When a student tests positive for COVID, they are asked to contact achealthcenter@adrian.edu and kgoodson@adrian.edu immediately. The student is then moved into a designated isolation room or instructed to isolate in place if necessary or if their housing accommodates a private bedroom and restroom.”

Looking at other educational institutions in the state, including Michigan State University and Oakland University, the vaccine has become mandated for students who live on campus to receive an education. Truchan said that Adrian College students will be at their individual liberty to choose their vaccination status. With 70% of students being vaccinated by the end of the Fall 2021 semester.  As it is a very unknown territory for students, Truchan stated, “The students are encouraged to call or email the student medical clinic if they have any questions or concerns during their isolation. Campus Safety is also available 24/7 to offer support.”

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