Published Monday, August 31st, 2020
View the latest information on COVID-19 cases at WSC.
This is the college’s weekly update regarding COVID-19. The numbers below provide a snapshot of the total number of positive cases for employees and students, the number of people who have returned to campus, and the number of active positive cases. As a reminder, please follow all guidelines and requirements regarding the four pillars of hygiene, masks, social distancing, and self-screening. The numbers reported below include overall cases since 8/14/2020.
|Date||Positive Cases||Returned to Campus**||Active Positive Cases|
|As of 10/19/2020||161||149||12|
|As of 10/12/2020||149||137||12|
|As of 10/5/2020||132||108||24|
|As of 9/28/2020||105||76||29|
|As of 9/21/2020||62||34||28|
|As of 9/14/2020||31||14||17|
|As of 9/8/2020*||13||11||2|
|As of 8/31/2020||10||8||2|
For the positive cases reported as of 9/8/2020, three individuals went into quarantine/isolation at home prior to the start of classes on 8/17/2020.
*These numbers were amended Sept. 10 to reflect the correction of an error in our tracking system.
**As of Oct. 5, the college has discontinued the use of the term “Recovered” because it has a specific meaning in pandemic situations, generally denoting that an individual has reached a 30-day benchmark after the isolation period has ended. To avoid potential confusion, we are now using the phrase “Returned to campus” to reflect those individuals who have successfully completed their isolation protocol, are no longer ill, and have returned to the campus community.
Why doesn't WSC's data match public health's data?
While we partner very closely with the Northeast Nebraska Public Health District, they serve a geographic region of four counties: Cedar, Dixon, Thurston, and Wayne. NNPHD does post weekly positive counts by county on their website and daily positives on their Facebook page. It is important to note that some Wayne County NNPHD results are not WSC students or employees. A WSC employee is likely to be recorded in their county of residence (which may or may not be in the NNPHD). Additionally, if a student decides on their own to test with TestNebraska and provides their permanent address, then the test would be attributed to that public health district (which is likely not to be NNPHD). NNPHD is working with the other local health departments across the state to assign positive test results for college students to their campus of residence rather than their permanent address because this provides the best information about what is currently happening in Nebraska communities.
Is Wayne State College encouraging students to test out of town to keep local public health data low?
No. TestNebraska (which comprises a good portion of public health data) uses patient address rather than test location to determine which public health district to report cases to. Though students may test anywhere, we encourage them to test with us when the timing works best, in which case we record their local address, or, if they acquire a test on their own through TestNebraska, for them to report their local address rather than their permanent home address. Our close working relationship with public health works best to the extent that we’re mutually aware of all the cases pertaining to WSC, so we encourage people to keep that information local.
Does Wayne State really have testing available twice daily?
Yes, though due to test reagent shortages that recently arose at labs in Omaha, Wayne State’s clinic partner can only issue those tests for severe cases. In addition to the clinic, however, we are utilizing both the TestNebraska public testing events in Wayne on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well as conducting our own TestNebraska tests on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning to provide as many testing opportunities as possible.
Does the #CampusClear app track my location?
No. The #CampusClear app doesn’t track location or use any proximity detection to other devices running #CampusClear. WSC has uploaded enrollment and residence hall address data into #CampusClear so that the platform can help us identify patterns of symptoms emerging in classes or residence hall floors. Because this is pre-loaded, we download this in a format that does not reveal the identity of the individual, but does help us proactively respond to situations as they may emerge on campus.
Does WSC intend to shift our face-to-face classes to online instruction?
No. We are very committed to sustaining face-to-face classes by promoting the health and safety of our campus community. Many students and families have shared passionately with us about how important the face-to-face college experience is to them and to their educational plans. All of our work and planning has been with the intent of opening in-person, and doing everything in our power to stay open safely. While this is an unprecedented situation, by working together as a community committed to the goal of a safe in-person fall semester, we can remain open.
Do we have an outbreak on campus?
No. We are monitoring cases closely as they are reported to us through Student Health, from Public Health, and based on signs and symptoms data coming in from #CampusClear. While we have clusters of isolated cases off campus, none of the data suggests we have an outbreak on campus.
Is WSC encouraging students to Quarantine or Isolate at home?
Yes, in situations where the student has a safe and comfortable location to go through Quarantine or Isolation. Wayne State also has Quarantine and Isolation rooms available with private bathrooms and delivered food service. Regular check-ins from student health are provided for all students in Quarantine or Isolation, regardless of location.
I’m a student - if I get COVID-19, what will happen with my classes?
We have communication protocols in place with faculty to notify them when someone will need to be absent from classes. Our faculty are, as they would with any required absence from face to face instruction, doing a great job of working with students to ensure they can continue to keep pace in the class. When public health notifies us that the student can safely return from Quarantine or Isolation, we have processes and communication with the student and faculty to re-integrate the student into face-to-face instruction.
Am I able to get tested if my attending physician says the test isn’t necessary?
A small number of students encountered barriers getting a COVID test this week. Primarily, this occurred in situations where a doctor determined a COVID test to not be medically necessary. To be very clear, if you are a student and want to get tested, we will test you or arrange for you to be tested! We will be happy to test you with TestNebraska here in Wayne on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays – just call Student Health to make an appointment at 402-375-7470, even when your symptoms do not medically warrant a test as determined by a doctor. We are also working to expand testing opportunities for students going forward and, in the meantime, we will be happy to register you for a nearby TestNebraska location on Mondays or Fridays.
If I get a test, do I have to quarantine?
There has been some confusing information regarding the relationship between testing and quarantine. If you are tested, then you will need to quarantine only if you also meet the following criteria:
1) You have been in close contact (without a mask for 15 minutes) with someone who is positive; or,
2) You exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
a. Sudden loss of taste or smell
b. Sudden onset of shortness of breath
c. Sudden onset of cough
d. Fever of 100.4 or above