The Student Health Center is known for their many resources.
They are a sick and primary care clinic, a women’s health clinic; they handle sports medicine and physical therapy as well as counseling. Now, they also provide COVID-19 related services, such as telemedicine. With telemedicine, which just started April 1, 2020, students only need to make a phone call to a triage nurse to schedule an appointment.
When it comes to COVID testing, the Student Health Center will administer tests for anyone who is looking to be tested on campus. Maddie Stephens, the PR specialist for the Student Health Center, said this is just one of the services that they are offering alongside telemedicine.
“Some COVID-specific services offered for students include testing for all symptomatic students, asymptomatic students who are close contacts of a COVID-19 case and students identified in a positive pool through the campus health surveillance testing program,” Stephens said.
One way that they are testing for COVID is through campus wastewater, which is the surveillance testing program Stephens mentioned. If they find something that looks like COVID, they will do a saliva surveillance for that area. From there, they will contact the individuals in question and put them in a group to be tested for the virus.
As of now, the Student Health Center is busy with getting students who need to be tested in, and this is due to the new clustering that has been found through Greek life as well as the increase in cases since move in and the start of the fall semester.
They ask that students and faculty do their Daily Health Screenings and respond as soon as possible when contacted by a contact tracer or by the center themselves.
On Sept. 4, Chancellor Plowman held another COVID-19 update live stream. The focus was on the new clustering and also the large increase in cases since Aug. 31. During this live stream, Dr. Spencer Gregg joined Chancellor Plowman and discussed some of the recent case findings.
“Most of our recent positive cases still tie back to the events that occurred over the proceeding weeks, and it’s been primarily due to group gatherings,” Dr. Gregg said.
Because of this new finding, the Student Health Center is doing what they can to have contact tracers reach out to students as well as to get students in to be tested.
As of Sept. 3, there are 369 active cases on campus. Six are employees, while 363 are students. Since Aug. 31, there has been a steady increase of over 200 cases.
If a student or faculty member needs to self-isolate, they must fill out a self-isolation form. They are asking that students self-isolate if they are having symptoms, waiting for test results, coming back to the U.S. from traveling abroad, returning from a river or ocean cruise or if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or is awaiting results.
Students can self-isolate at home or in their residence hall if able and are advised to only leave their room or house when absolutely necessary.
If a student wishes to be tested, they must call to make an appointment. The appointment itself doesn’t cost anything, but the test does, and it will be billed to the insurance provider that student uses. So, students must have their health insurance information card with them at the appointment.
To make an appointment, students can call the Student Health Center at (865) 974-3135. Their hours are Sundays from 2-5 p.m.; Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.