Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson and members of the Academic Restart Committee held a presidential town hall on Thursday discussing campus updates before the semester begins on Sept. 1.
WSU is in the final stages of developing campus-wide metrics that will allow them to make decisions on a rapid basis based on COVID-19 data on campus and in the surrounding region, said Laurie Lauzon Clabo, interim provost and public health subcommittee chair.
“We anticipate that Monday we will publish tipping point metrics on the coronavirus website so that you know the metrics we're looking at and how decisions will be made about activities on campus,” Clabo said.
In addition to the metrics, the Campus Health Center will post a “health dashboard” that will include the number of cases and the positivity rate on campus, she said.
Students are currently in the process of being tested as they move into campus housing.
“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we have tested a total of 670 potential campus residents,” she said. “Six of those 670 tested positive. That's a positivity rate of 0.9%. That is wonderful news.”
Students who test positive for COVID-19 while staying on campus will be connected with the Campus Health Center to begin the contact-tracing process and identify significant contacts from the last 48 hours, Clabo said.
“Once they identify significant contacts, each of those people are contacted individually by our nurse practitioner staff at the Campus Health Center and they are asked to quarantine for 14 days to monitor their symptoms,” she said.
Those who have not had significant contact with infected students will receive an email notifying them that they may have been exposed, Clabo said. Students will be asked to monitor themselves over the course of the next ten days.
“If a positive case is identified in someone living on campus, our preferred solution is that that student go home and that they not stay on the campus for the period under which they're in quarantine,” said Tim Michael, associate vice president for student auxiliary services and chief housing officer.
If students are not able to go back home, there are isolation areas set up within residential buildings to house infected residents.
Only 23 out of 30 campus buildings will be utilized this fall semester, said Robert Davenport, Facilities Planning and Management associate vice president.
“That equates to 99 classrooms that will be ready for face-to-face classes. Paper towel and sanitization stations are located throughout these 23 facilities, strategically near classrooms,” Davenport said.
Signs are also being placed around campus, reminding students to maintain social distance, he said. NanoSeptic wipes have also been placed on doorways, door handles, panic bars and elevator buttons.
Indoor social gatherings on campus remain limited to 10 people or less, Wilson said. A recent update from WSU limited outdoor gatherings to 20 people or less on campus.
“I really don't think there's a need for gatherings greater than 20 at any time,” he said.
Warrior student ambassadors will be on-campus throughout the semester, providing students with face masks and lanyards for OneCards, Dean of Students David Strauss said. They will also be enforcing COVID-19 safety regulations.
“We think we've got a good plan moving forward,” Wilson said. “We have thought about what are going to be the triggers that will make us change our mind and move to a different phase, whether it's closing down parts of the campus or closing down the entire campus.”
Nour Rahal is news editor at The South End. She can be reached at email@example.com.