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    Student Health Services Prepares for Arrival of Students

    Caption: Student Health Services Staff Clockwise from top left: Marguerite Mannion, CRNP, FNP-BC, director; Bria Tinsley, M.D., physician; JoAnn Nicoteri, Ph.D., CRNP, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner; Judith Stanton, CRNP, FNP-BC; Erica Lavelle, RN, registered nurse; and Mary (Bernie) Reinbold, medical assistant.
    August 5, 2020
    "“We want students to know that we’re here for them."- Marguerite Mannion, CRNP, FNP-BC, director of SHS

    Electronic health records. Telehealth. Mobile check-in. These are just a few of the changes that Student Health Services (SHS) has made to their usual health processes for fall 2020.

    “We want students to know that we’re here for them. Our phone is always answered. Students can request telehealth appointments, more than once a day, if they need to. We’re following all the CDC regulations, we have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and we have mobile check-in so registration is contactless. By implementing telehealth, we hope that there will be little to no wait time for in-person appointments and COVID-19 testing,” said Marguerite Mannion, CRNP, FNP-BC, director of SHS.

    SHS reminds students that in addition to wearing masks and social distancing, this year it is vitally important for them to bring a reusable thermometer, their medications, disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies to campus. SHS and the CDC is also advising people to make getting a flu shot this fall a priority to “reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.” The University will offer flu clinics on campus during the fall semester.

    Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or with known or suspected exposure to the virus should contact Student Health Services by phone at (570) 941-7667 for advice and care. For immediate medical assistance after hours or on weekends University Police will be available at 570-941-7777. The University has established protocols to address isolated positive cases of COVID-19 on campus, which you can read here.

    “The first thing a student should do when they feel sick is to stop what they’re doing and stay where they are,” said Mannion. “Then they should call us at the front desk. That person will use their best judgement as to whether the student needs to come in for a regular appointment or schedule a telehealth appointment.”

    Students who are determined by SHS to need COVID-19-testing will be treated on a separate side of the SHS building so as not to come in contact with other patients. The testing will take place when regular clinic activities are complete in order to limit traffic near the SHS building. Providers at the testing site will be in full PPE.

    Students will be required to isolate/quarantine depending on individual circumstances and in accordance with the guidelines established by the CDC and the PA Department of Health. The University will provide a testing option for students experiencing symptoms.

    If a student has pending or positive test results SHS and Residence Life will provide the person with quarantine and isolation instructions.

    Isolation is used to separate infected people from people who are not sick. People in isolation should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” and using a separate bathroom.

    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health and follow directions from their local Department of Health.

    SHS Offers Advice: Focus on the 3 W’s

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Wear a mask
    • Watch your distance!

    Isolation rooms are available on campus for short-term use. Students are encouraged to return to home for quarantine or isolation.

    The University will also implement contact tracing, which you can read about on the University’s Royals Safe Together website, under “Testing and Contact Tracing” and in this Royal News article. According to the CDC, a close contact is someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

     “Someone in ‘close contact’ might mean a roommate or someone else you were in less than 6 feet away from for more than 15 minutes, not someone who may have passed you in the dining hall or was sitting 6 feet away from you in class,” said Mannion.

    SHS outlines the rules for discontinuing quarantine or isolation:

    Quarantined students (people who have been around a person with COVID-19) should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with the sick person. Monitor your health during this time and report symptoms of COVID-19 illness to your health care provider. Avoid people who are at high risk for getting very sick from the virus.

    Sick students can be with others (discontinue isolation) after

    At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and

    At least 24 hours with no fever without fever reducing medicine and

    Symptoms have improved

    The Student Health Services staff promises to guide and counsel students through illness or exposure, and the University will continue to monitor the spread of the virus, especially within the broader region, and will respond accordingly.

    Any additional institutional actions, including decisions related to campus closure, will be informed by this ongoing assessment and by guidance or directives from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    Read the entire Royals Safe Together plan on the website, here, and visit the SHS website, here.

    Information for Faculty & Staff

    Employee guidance for addressing student questions:

    • Employees should refer students who test positive for COVID-19, who are concerned about having been exposed to someone testing positive and/or who are experiencing symptoms to Student Health Services to ensure necessary monitoring, support, and/or contact tracing.

    • The employee should then alert the Dean of Students Office (570-941-7680) to ensure appropriate follow-up.

    Information for an employee who has been exposed to COVID-19:

    • An employee who has been exposed, is experiencing symptoms, or has tested positive to COVID-19 should report this information to the employee’s supervisor (staff), dean (faculty) or HR directly and go home.

    • The supervisor or dean should notify HR immediately so that appropriate information can be shared with the employee and, if needed, contact tracing can take place.

    Read more about Responding to a Resurgence, here.

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    Catherine Johnson ’20, Scranton, is an English and philosophy double major and member of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program at The University of Scranton.

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