On Nov. 27, the Washington College Contingency Planning Group released a campus-wide email update in preparation for students, staff, and faculty members returning to campus from the holiday break and for the remaining weeks of the fall semester.
According to the email, both the CPG and WC Health Services stress that if any student, staff, or faculty member on campus is experiencing any flu-like symptoms — including, but not limited to, chills, fever, dry or phlegm-filled coughing, fatigue, and/or congestion — they should get tested for both COVID-19 and the flu immediately.
Additionally, if those who are vaccinated came into contact with someone who tested positive for either COVID-19 or the flu during the break, “please self-monitor carefully for symptoms and wear [a] mask”; for those who are unvaccinated and had close contact, “please follow standard quarantine guidelines,” including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, according to the email.
The email also said that, though the campus “prevented COVID-19 from spreading on campus so far this semester,” the College is now seeing “a cluster of cases of Influenza A” increasing, with three cases confirmed and other cases within the surrounding Chestertown community.
To prevent further cases from spreading, Health Services is expanding COVID-19 testing hours from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. According to the email, those who either traveled during the holiday break or have any concerns regarding exposure should schedule an appointment to get tested or vaccinated as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment, please either call Health Services at (410) 778-7261 or email Tina McCreary at email@example.com.
Lastly, according to the email, for students who have not received a flu shot, it is strongly recommended that they get vaccinated immediately, as “the medical community is anticipating a much more severe flu season after the flu was basically non-existent this past flu season,” as well as to “ensure that [the College] campus community remains safe and healthy” for the remainder of the fall semester.