By Cady Inabinett, Managing editor of content
As Montevallo’s fall 2022 semester begins and as COVID-19 cases trend downward, the university announced new policies and best practices related to COVID-19 for the semester.
Changes to campus COVID-19 policies were outlined in a campuswide email sent on Aug. 26. These changes include no longer reporting student COVID-19 cases to faculty, discontinuing contact tracing and limiting active case management—meaning Student Health Services is directly participating in the student’s medical care —to people more susceptible to severe illness.
The university also recommended several precautionary measures. These included COVID-19 vaccination, testing for those who suspect they have contract COVID-19, treatments such as Paxlovid for those who have tested positive and are symptomatic and masking for, “People concerned with the prevalence of low- and non-symptomatic cases.”
The campus-wide email also emphasized that policies could change, saying, “We will continue to monitor and assess data carefully and adjust protocols as needed to promote safety.”
These changes come as Shelby County’s community COVID-19 levels and community transmission levels remain high according to Alabama Public Health’s Alabama COVID-19 Dashboard Hub.
Student Health Services also provides information on what to do if a student tests positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Students who are experiencing symptoms such as congestion, cough, sore throat, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of taste or smell are encouraged to not attend class and get tested for COVID-19. If the student tests negative, then they may return to classes if symptoms have improved and they have been fever free for 24 hours. However, if symptoms have not improved, then they are encouraged to get tested again in one to two days.
Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are to return home or stay in their dorm room for 5 days after they first experience symptoms. Students are allowed to leave their room in order to get food or medical supplies, but are encouraged to, “limit interaction with others when leaving room.” After 5 days of quarantining, students may return to class if symptoms are improving and have been fever free for 24 hours. Health Services still encourages students to wear a mask in public at all times for 5 days following their isolation.
Students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 can still attended classes, but are encouraged to wear a mask for 10 days.
Cady Inabinett is the managing editor of content for The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies and generally just being pretentious in her free time.