Posts tagged ‘contact tracing’

Partnership with Penn State Health

Dear Campus Community,

I am happy to report that Lebanon Valley College has established a partnership with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center as part of our fall return-to-campus preparations. Through its Department of Family and Community Medicine, the medical center will provide LVC with a medical director with direct experience treating college-aged students, additional clinical health center staffing, guidance on responding to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, referrals for testing, and contact tracing support.

On- and off-campus clinical care for students will be significantly expanded. The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has hired Dr. Levelle Drose-Bigatel, a family practice physician who will serve as medical director of LVC’s Shroyer Health Center. In addition to her general directorship duties, she will advise College staff regarding the care of students with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, refer students for COVID-19 testing, and provide guidance to the College on public health and infectious disease plans and protocols, drawing on expertise from Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine.

An advanced care practitioner (nurse practitioner or physician assistant) from Penn State Health will provide on-campus care alongside Shroyer Health Center staff and allow us to expand health center hours. Students will also have 24/7 access to Penn State Health’s on-demand virtual services, as well as in-person and on-call care at Penn State Health Medical Group—Palmyra.

Crucial to our reopening is the College’s ability to conduct thorough contact tracing, which requires substantial training and staff resources. Through this partnership, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will provide a licensed practical nurse to guide us in the process and to conduct tracing as needed. Eighteen LVC staff members have completed contact tracing training through an online course provided by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am extremely grateful that they have signed up for such an important role.

Please continue to practice physical distancing, limit your interactions with others, wash your hands often, complete the daily symptom tracker, and wear a mask.

President James MacLaren

What is contact tracing and how does it work?

Contact tracing is contacting an individual over the phone who has been infected or is possibly infected with a disease, in this case, COVID-19.

We have been working with Penn State Health to help guide us through trainings and implementation of our contact tracing process.

The process allows us to complete the following:

  • Provide support and ensure the individual has access to medical care and other needs.
  • Provide education and direction about isolation and quarantine as well as identifying other individuals they may have infected.
  • Limit or stop the spread: if we can limit contact between people who are infected and others, we can limit the opportunities for the virus to be transmitted.

How It Will Work

Once we have identified an individual who has become infected or is possibly infected we will contact that individual via phone. The contact team member will call the individual and introduce themselves.  After a short series of questions, the team member will then ask about individuals that they may have had contact with two days prior to their onset of symptoms. Please know that this information is extremely important to provide to our team members in order for the contact tracing process to work effectively and protect our campus.

This process is highly confidential and the privacy of those contacted will be protected. It is important to know that any medical history or information will not be shared with their contacts.

Positive Cases: Notification, Testing, and Tracing

The College will report presumed and confirmed cases to public health authorities.

The College’s healthcare partner will assist trained LVC staff with contact tracing. Anyone designated by contact tracing as having had potential COVID-19 exposure will be required to self-isolate at home or in their residence hall for an amount of time determined by their healthcare provider.

Students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be housed temporarily in one of the College’s dedicated isolation beds, and most will be asked to return home to self-isolate. Self-isolation means you should stay in your assigned isolation room or at home until otherwise notified. You must stay away from others and use a separate bathroom and continue to wear a mask and practice good hygiene.

Students in self-isolation should continue classes online if able. Those in self-isolation on-campus can order meals through Metz and have a friend or student affairs staff member deliver the meals to their door (see Protocol for Symptomatic Students). Appropriate cleaning procedures will be followed.

COVID-19 positive students can only return to their residence halls and in-person classes after receiving clearance from a physician and providing documentation of this clearance to the Shroyer Health Center. Faculty and staff should follow LVC Human Resources policies.

Employees seeking testing should work with their own healthcare provider. Shroyer Health Center is providing tests to students only.