CSU-Pueblo (Courtesy Photo)

CSU-Pueblo readies massive COVID-19 screening and testing operation to reopen for fall

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In order to prevent coronavirus from spreading on the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus this upcoming fall semester, Wolf Pack Wellness Center director Carol Daugherty said it is better to be “proactive” than “reactive.”

“Try to think about it ahead of time and think about what your options are… how to keep yourself safe as well as others that you may come in contact with instead of waiting until ‘Oh my goodness, I know somebody who may have had COVID or may have been exposed to COVID.”

Keeping with this proactive approach, the wellness center and university leadership have implemented a mandatory screening protocol for students, employees, guests and visitors entering campus. Screening checkpoints include the Administration Building, the “Pack House” at the Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl, and the Buell Communication Center.

“There is signage for everyone to alert them of where they can go to get screened,” Daugherty said. “At that screening… if there is any one who has been symptomatic or has a temperature, they are immediately given information about what they need to do in that case.”

Those who come to campus without a mask will be given one at their respective screening checkpoint.

Diagnostic COVID-19 testing will also be provided at the Wolfpack Wellness Center for students and employees exhibiting symptoms or with a possible exposure to the virus. Protocol following an employee or student’s positive diagnostic test depends on a variety of factors, Daugherty said.

“It does make a difference whether they are students or employees; and if they are students, if they are off-campus or if they are residential students,” Daugherty said. “Usually the process if they test positive is of course, they would go into self-isolation. We have appropriate health care if needed.”

Employees and commuter students testing positive may be asked to “self-isolate” at home. Students living on-campus are directed to an area on campus set aside for self-isolation away from students who are not suspected to be positive for COVID-19, Daugherty said. 

As with many other health clinics, the Wolf Pack Wellness Center is utilizing telehealth, health care over the phone or video chat, in order to limit face to face contact with patients and limit the spread of the virus.

“If someone needs a prescription refill of something… , a phone call or a computer session is what we do for telehealth,” Daugherty said. “If we have someone who says they are experiencing certain symptoms, we may then again try to see them to do a visual assessment.”

Students who need in-person care are asked to schedule with the Wolf Pack Wellness Center ahead of time.

“We usually take walk-ins, but right now we are trying to avoid that if possible,” Daugherty said. “When (patients) come in, wear masks, if necessary gloves and other protective equipment in the room. After they are seen, if they need to be seen and evaluated by a health care provider, then we do leave that room open for a while and do disinfecting.”

All students, employees and visitors on campus are encouraged to wear masks, avoid large gatherings in enclosed areas, wash their hands.

Colorado State University – Pueblo Coronavirus informational site.