Partnership with VDH for contact tracing

JMU collaborates closely with the Central Shenandoah Health District of VDH to discuss how we will interact related to contact tracing. In addition, the UHC is developing a methodology to perform contact tracing related to students seen at and/or reported to the UHC for COVID-19.

Quarantining and Isolating

JMU has developed the following procedures for patients suspected of having COVID-19 who were seen at the UHC and who do not require hospital evaluation.

Students Living Off Campus

Students living off campus will be expected to quarantine or isolate at their off-campus housing. Students living with others off campus will be treated as “family units” and quarantine or isolate together.

Student Living On Campus – Tested at JMU UHC

If a UHC medical provider determines that someone living on-campus is a person under
investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, the following steps will be followed after the test samples
have been collected.

  1. UHC will contact the Office of Residence Life (ORL).
  2. UHC will determine quarantine and isolation needs based on the PUI’s current living arrangements.
  • Students who can safely travel home will be encouraged to do so. This is the best option for students as they can be with family and receive that support for their overall health and well-being. We will work to continue providing academic content while they are out of classes and provide additional support as needed.
  • Students who have private baths or who share bathrooms with five or fewer other students may be considered a “family unit.”
  1. Persons with a positive test will be removed from their current living space and moved to
    on-campus isolation (see # 6).
  2. Contacts of these persons will remain in quarantine in their current living space.
  • The residence halls where students will most likely quarantine in their current living space are Chandler, Chesapeake, Converse, Gifford, Grace Street Apartments, Hoffman, Logan, Spotswood, Valley and Wampler.
  1. ORL will inform the student and Public Safety which quarantine rooms the student will be assigned. Students will be assigned separate rooms while rooms are available. Depending on demand, students in isolation may be required to share rooms, with a maximum of two per room. Students in quarantine will not be doubled. The university currently has at least 143 quarantine and/or isolation spaces.
  1. ORL will provide the PUI with a list of items that should be taken to quarantine for a 24-
    hour time period.
  • An access card and a room key are on the desks of all quarantine rooms for the student. There are laundry facilities in each location. Students will be responsible for their own laundry and can pay with JAC Cards. Students will be responsible for routine cleaning and trash removal while in quarantine and/or isolation. Students will bag all trash in large plastic trash bags and tie the bags shut, then leave them outside the door for disposal by Facilities Management.
  1. ORL will contact Public Safety when the PUI is ready for transport.
  • Public Safety will perform transportation of the student as their vehicles have a barrier between the front and rear seat. The Public Safety Officer providing transportation will wear an N95 mask and disposable gloves.
  • The affected student will be given a mask to wear before leaving the isolation room at the UHC. The officer will pick up the student of concern at the Urgent Care (UC) entrance to the UHC.
  • The student will be transported to their current dorm room (escorted by the officer) to pick up personal belongings. All of these items should be placed in plastic bags before transport. The plastic bags can be reused for trash in the quarantine location.
  • The officer will then transport the student to the preassigned building and give
    student access to their assigned room using a master key.
  • The transportation vehicle should be disinfected as soon as transport is complete. The officer should dispose of the mask and gloves by placing them in a plastic bag and sealing the bag before disposing into the trash.
  • Public Safety will provide routine security for quarantine/isolation buildings. In addition, Public Safety may need to enforce quarantine and isolation and prevent visitors from entering these locations. Enforcement guidelines will be provided by VDH.
  1. Once the PUI and roommate(s) have been moved to quarantine, ORL will contact Facilities Management (FM) to notify them of the PUI’s current room location and assigned quarantine rooms of PUI and roommate(s) so appropriate cleaning of these rooms can be completed.
  • FM will assist Public Safety with disinfection of cruisers as needed.
  • FM will assure that cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. are stocked in quarantine and isolation buildings.
  • FM will place posters on the interior doors of the isolation and quarantine locations identifying them as such and listing items (mask, gloves, gown, etc.) needed for entry.
  • If a student is moved out of a quarantine or isolation room, or relocated within the space, FM will clean the room that was vacated.
  1. ORL will contact Aramark regarding food options for the PUI.
  • Aramark will be provided with the student’s name, location and any allergies that the student may have. Between 8 a.m.-7 p.m., a grocery pack will be delivered to the student within two hours and will be followed with regularly scheduled meals, which will be delivered to the outside door for the student to pick up. After the initial contact, the student will be responsible for communicating with Aramark
  1. ORL will notify University Communications that a student has been put into quarantine
    and/or isolation.
  2. ORL will notify the University Health Center.
  • The UHC will follow all clinical protocols and communicate closely with the local health department. The Patient Care Coordinator will contact patients under quarantine and isolation daily for a basic check on the students’ well-being. The Patient Care Coordinator will also communicate changes in the student’s condition,
    the results of testing, etc. to the appropriate persons and departments

This process is also detailed in Appendix B.

Student Living On Campus – Tested at SRMH

The above protocol will be followed for any student living on-campus and evaluated at Sentara-RMH. The hospital will be responsible for making the initial call to the ORL; after hours, SRMH will call Public Safety. During business hours, the hospital will also call JMU Public Safety requesting transport of the student back to campus. The other transportation steps will occur as detailed above, and all other procedures remain the same.

Quarantine and Isolation Considerations

Two subsets of students will be quarantined. The first are those who have symptoms and are undergoing testing for infection, which was probably initiated in the UHC or at SentaraRMH. These students will clear quarantine if the test returns negative. If the test is positive, they will relocate to the isolation location. In the case of a patient in quarantine who tests positive, the room in which they were staying, the community bathroom and the common
living space will be cleaned by FM following their standard disinfection protocol

The second set are students who are quarantined due to a close contact with a known positive case. These students will remain in quarantine for 14 days and be released if no symptoms (fever and/or cough) develop. If any symptoms develop during quarantine, students must be tested for COVID-19 and remain in isolation until the results of the test are available and they have been quarantined for at least 14 days. Due to test turnaround time, some students will remain in quarantine longer than 14 days if they require testing due to symptom development.

Students requiring quarantine/isolation who live off campus will be considered a family unit and will follow directions of the local health department. Students will be asked not to ride any public transportation. If a student is at UHC and does not have a personal vehicle for transport, Public Safety will transport students from UHC to off-campus housing.

Students who test positive will be moved to isolation. The UHC will notify ORL of positive test results. ORL will then assign students a room number and a combination for the room door; combination locks have been added to isolation rooms. ORL will work with students to determine which items from the original dorm room will be needed for their isolation stay. Students will be responsible for moving their personal items from the quarantine to isolation rooms. ORL will notify FM when the quarantine room is empty and ready for cleaning.

Quarantine and Isolation Instructions for Students

  • Students should remain in their room as much as possible.
  • Students will record temperature and symptoms daily and will report these results to the Patient Advocate.
  • If students need to seek medical care outside of quarantine/isolation, they must wear masks.
  • Students must spray down and wipe bathroom surfaces they touch when using the restroom. Morning mist and paper towels are appropriate supplies.
  • Students will be responsible for their own laundry, trash removal and housekeeping (to include the bathroom).

Campus Outbreak Management

If an outbreak occurs on campus, the University Health Center (UHC) will consult with and depend upon the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for input and direction.

Based on the input and or direction received from VDH, the Infectious Disease Response Team will identify the specific degree of response required. The degree of response will be based on the level of community transmission: 1. when there is no community transmission (preparedness phase), 2. when there is minimal to moderate community transmission, and 3. when there is substantial community transmission.

Level 1: No Community Transmission

This is our current level of operation, which has included updating of emergency operations plans, deep information sharing with key partners including local officials, reinforcement of hygiene practices, intensification of cleaning and disinfecting efforts, monitoring and planning for absenteeism, assessment of the need for group gatherings, self-directed health screenings with instructions, clinic prep for COVID-19, creation of communications
plans and reviews of Centers for Disease Control guidance to inform planning documents.

Level 2: Minimal to Moderate Community Transmission

In this stage, we will continue to coordinate with local public health officials. JMU will implement multiple advanced physical distancing strategies including cancellation of larger group gatherings and adapting class meetings as needed. We will increase distancing between furnishings, further de-densify highly populated areas and consider scaling back dining options. In addition, we will identify additional ways to accommodate the needs of higher risk students, ensure continuity of safe housing and remind community members of their anti-stigma training and personal responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Level 3: Substantial Community Transmission

While continuing to coordinate with local public health officials, during this phase JMU will suspend in-person classes and consider sending residential students home to attend class remotely.

Employees will be encouraged not to report to campus and work remotely where possible. For those who must report to the campus, heightened safety precautions designed to prevent employee-to-employee contact will be enacted, including alternative work shifts and locations, hybrid remote and on-campus work, enhanced frequency of disinfection and the mandatory use of additional layers of protection from the virus.

University Communications, in collaboration with relevant university divisions and the JMU COVID-19 Campus Team, will create and disseminate correspondence to all community member types including students, staff, faculty, affiliates and the surrounding community with updates on JMU plans and responses. At this level, JMU will rely heavily on the decisions made during spring 2020 when courses were moved online and most work was
handled remotely.

Partnerships to Assure Care

A member of the local Sentara RMH Medical Center staff is a member of the JMU COVID-19
Campus Team, which also includes three representatives from the Virginia Department of
Health. As part of the JMU university-wide team, these individuals help us to assure care for
symptomatic individuals as needed.

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