Weekly Update, September 24: New dashboard, testing for students in face-to-face/hybrid courses, change to COVID-19 testing location, flu shots, peer academic coaches, laptop loaner program
This week’s update includes information about a redesigned COVID-19 Case Tracker for campus, testing for students in face-to face and hybrid courses, a change in the location for COVID-19 student testing, information about flu shots, Peer Academic Coaches, and reminders of the University’s laptop loaner program and technology resources for students. Visit the University’s Coronavirus website for the most up-to-date information and guidance. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The updated design of the dashboard is intended to provide more information in a user-friendly format. New information includes, but is not limited to, the number of cases recovered and the percent of on-campus quarantine and isolation beds being used. “We’ve been listening to the questions people have and want to give them the most up-to-date information,” said Professor of Chemistry and University Testing Coordinator John Baur.
Baur noted the data represent those students who were tested at an on-campus site, including results from Housing, Athletics, and Student Health Services. “Data are now reported as cases, not tests,” added Baur. “A student with multiple positive tests counts as a single case.” Faculty and staff cases are self-reported.
At present, the University has the capability to test students. Faculty and staff have testing available at the Interstate Center. The University is working on an agreement with the University of Illinois Shield Illinois program for a saliva-based test. Find more information about testing in the September 17 update.
Testing for Students in Face-to-Face and Hybrid Courses
Beginning next week, students enrolled in a face-to-face or hybrid course will be strongly encouraged to test at one of the two on-campus COVID-19 testing sites. Students from this population will be randomly selected for this screening and more information will be provided via email to selected students. The goal of COVID-19 screening is to provide information necessary to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on the campus and inform public health action. Student Health Services has begun screening at Illinois State University to track and limit the spread of COVID-19 on the campus.
Expanding the University’s ability to test is part of the overall COVID-19 testing program. Once the University begins the saliva-based testing through the University of Illinois Shield Illinois program, students residing on-campus, enrolled in face-to-face courses, working on-campus, or using University facilities will be tested on a regular basis.
Change to COVID-19 Testing Location
Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students will move from the Bone Student Center to the temporary building in the parking lot between Watterson Towers and Stevenson Hall on Monday, September 28. Testing will continue at the former fire station at 602 N. Adelaide St., Normal. Both locations are open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students experiencing symptoms should call Student Health Services at (309) 438-7676 for an initial screening and to make an appointment to be tested.
Testing is also available for students, faculty, and staff at the Interstate Center testing site. Students testing at this site should share positive test results with Student Health Services by uploading them to the Secure Patient Health Portal. Sharing test results will ensure students have proper documentation for classes, housing, and/or employment.
Flu Shot Clinic
Illinois State students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate in next week’s flu shot clinic. The CDC recommends that anyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every season with rare exception. This year, more than ever, the CDC encourages individuals to be vaccinated for the seasonal flu to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The free flu shot clinic for students will be at the Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, September 28-Friday, October 2. Students must have their Redbird ID. Students can also schedule their flu shot at Student Health Services by making an appointment online or by calling (309) 438-2778.
Faculty can participate in the flu shot clinic from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, September 28, 30, and October 2, in the Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom. These are the only dates that flu shots will be offered to ISU faculty and staff on-campus this year. Faculty and staff should schedule an appointment online. Flu shots are at no cost for faculty and staff covered by a State of Illinois health insurance plan. Faculty and staff must bring their Redbird ID and health insurance card.
Peer Academic Coaches
Peer Academic Coaches are fellow Illinois State students who receive training on supporting their peers through the academic and personal challenges that college students face. They can help students manage time, tasks and academic expectations in our virtual environment. Individualized attention and support help students stay on track academically. Interested students can sign-up online for an appointment. Academic coaching is available to all students at any time in their academic career.
In addition, faculty and staff can refer a student who might benefit from support in the areas of time management, organization, study strategies, etc.
Laptop Loaner Program and other Technology Assistance
The University continues to work to meet the varied technology needs of Illinois State students taking classes remotely. At this time, the Office of the Provost in coordination with Technology Solutions has issued almost 250 loaner laptops and MiFi to students to aid in remote learning. “The University has resources available for students who need technology to succeed academically,” said Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for Technology Solutions Charley Edamala.
Laptops are still available for Illinois State students who have demonstrated financial need. Students can contact the Technology Support Center to begin the process of requesting a loaner laptop.
Students needing any assistance with technology are reminded to contact Technology Solutions. Software such as the Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative suites are available for download at no extra charge to students and the University has provided 24/7 virtual access to hundreds of PCs in computer labs, some with specialized software such as SPSS.
For those who need printing and scanning facilities, the University has provided stations in several locations on campus. Additionally, tips on navigating Zoom, and other resources can be found in Technology Tools and on the Redbirds Keep Learning pages on the Coronavirus Response webpage.