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Survey Raw Responses: Biggest Challenge and Adjustments for Spring Semester

The privacy act in Ontario will not allow public health authorities to disclose the name of an individual that has contacted COVID 19 if they want to remain anonymous.  This creates difficulties and challenges with contact tracing. The availability of quick turnaround and the volume of testing is the biggest challenge.
Burnout/overload of the campus contact tracers.
Reliance upon an overloaded county health department staff for contact tracing.  They have performed heroically so far, and yet that is not sustainable due to the 80 to 100 hour work weeks required of those public employees.
Difficulties with obtaining COVID tests.
Late reporting of possible contamination areas.
Buying the tests and the process for rapid testing.
CSU is doing well; we have the saliva, the nasal swab, and the sewer water testing. This seems to be working well at detecting COVID early on so we can isolate/quarantine the affected person.
Cost of testing.
Testing capacity.  We are increasing capacity, and therefore frequency with which individuals are tested, for Spring semester.
Getting folks who are exposed or test positive outside of university health system to report to the university system.
Not aware of any adjustments being made to current methodology.
Probably funding. Tests aren’t free and the CARES act and other programs have run out.
Cost and timeliness of tests. We are pursuing in-house testing capability, trial runs in December, full scale testing in January.
Time-consuming process.
We do not conduct COVID testing on-campus at the moment. We are responsible for contact tracing (as per provincial directives.) The main challenge is ensuring enough staff capacity to deal with case management for our community members.
High cost limits number of tests and turn-around time presents problem of quarantine space while awaiting results for symptomatic students.
Having enough staff to quickly and accurately perform contact tracing. We will look to reassign staff for the semester to have a dedicated team with contact tracing as their primary duty. In the fall, we used a team of volunteers to perform contact tracing while still trying to perform their normal campus responsibilities.
Honest reporting by students who are positive to allow for contact tracing. Getting students and teachers to come to campus to have in-person classes.  Still trying to work solutions and incentives.
The overall staffing need, burn out, and compliance.
How often to test.  Wait time for results is about 3-5 days.
We will continue as we have been doing with the fall semester protocols.
We have a good program in place. Personal behaviors are the biggest risk to our campus “bubble.”
No changes.
Same as fall.
How many students will be allowed to live on campus.
Ensuring that everyone is tested. Testing will be mandatory for students, faculty and staff. We are building our own student test processing center. We are increasing the number of testing sites on campus. Student Health is working closely with the University Hospital and county health departments for contact training. Public Safety is working closely with the town police force to enforce the wearing of mask, 6 ft distancing and outdoor and indoor event capacity.
People who will not return calls to contact tracers, or are otherwise uncooperative.
Our local health department is no longer contact tracing the community.  While our university remains determined to attempt to provide information and continue to trace and contact, the resources for them to do so have not been put in place to support.  The lack of collaboration between vice presidential areas on campus continues to be a barrier to complete the circle.
Compliance with mask and physical distancing expectations due to campus unknowns about the spread impact.
Getting students to show up for testing. Also, students keep having normal parties and large gatherings.
Social distancing guidelines and mask wearing protocols are in place, but they are not being followed by most students which makes tracing and safety issues hard to carry out.
Implementing GuideSafe this semester.  Screening visitors is still a challenge.
Keeping up with tracing as health department falls behind; losing the resources from some of the CARES funding unless the December deadline is extended.
I think we’ve got the resources and communication running smoothly.
Pre-arrival testing may be a challenge for students before the spring semester begins. We will quarantine everyone for 2 weeks at the beginning of spring as we did this fall.
Managing outbreaks.
We plan on doing more pool testing.  This worked well in the Fall semester, but we didn’t start doing it until halfway through.  All of the other testing procedures and sewage sampling methods will remain in place since they worked well during the fall semester.
We do very little of it.
in Ontario we have very little access to testing of asymptomatic individuals. This is not likely to change. All testing and tracing is done by public health.
The College of William and Mary will only allow students in after the new year who have tested negative for COVID-19. We test all of our 6,000 students approximately every two weeks to one month. We have one dormitory with 180 beds that is our COVID-19 ward.
Anticipating a similar semester as the fall with less students in residence.
Not being able to lock buildings and control who has access to the buildings.  Administrators refuse to let us lock doors, we encourage most staff to work from home, whenever possible.
The largest challenge has been the unpredictability of how the rise and fall of COVID rates will impact the ability of students to attend in person instruction on campus.
Availability of testing.
Convincing faculty the buildings are safe.
Contact tracing is a waste of time and money. COVID is here spreading within the community. We should take the resources from tracing and put that toward other problems.
Cost, cadence required for athletic competition particularly during travel.
HR now doing tracing as Health Department is understaffed. Keeping staff safe when not at work is our biggest challenge.
We’ve shifted to rapid, non-invasive tests and now require more frequent testing for students in housing and staff working on campus.
We’ve really hit a pretty good rhythm. Not much to report other than potential of students who do not test or choose not to participate in contact tracing.
Getting folks to take testing and tracing seriously.
Test results and social distancing. Our campus is participating in free screening (asymptomatic testing) for faculty and staff currently working on campus.
Too much reliance on paper-based tracking and procedures. Education on mask protocols is still a challenge.
Cost.  We tested students weekly throughout the semester and were able to finish as planned with in-person classes ending Nov 20th, and online finals after Thanksgiving. We plan to return to in-person classes Feb 1st. We will continue weekly student testing and screening testing before move-in the end of January.
Contractors on-site communicating in a timely manner when a COVID-related issue surfaces.
Challenges include quarantine issues; cleaning of quarantine spaces; reduced income from auxiliary services (Housing & Dorms.) We anticipate the Spring semester to be similar to the Fall semester, but possibly with more COVID cases on campus.
Students are reluctant to cooperate with contact tracers. This limits our ability to identify other potential infections.
Testing is easy and quick.  Contact tracing has worked well. No challenges other than the potential of increase in cases, but that should not be an issue.
Getting the students to actually take the test. We have a great testing capacity in our state, but students are not getting tested at the rates they did when we first reopened.
Costs associated with the PCR testing.  We hope to use a combination of antigen and PCR testing for the spring semester.
Cost, health staffing to administer tests, track testing, and care for those in quarantine and isolation. Servicing students in quarantine and isolation on campus with meals etc. Our campus has scheduled a normal Spring Break although that could change. Athletics is a huge challenge in all aspects—from the affordability and ability to administer the required testing, to the challenges of positive cases seen within the athletic group even when they were not actually playing the sport. Athletes will be tested 3 times per week (3rd party testing administration) when conference games are scheduled.  Entrance testing before returning to campus for all students is being considered, but the administration has not made a final decision as of today.  Other than that, I am not aware of any adjustments being made to handle this during the Spring semester.
Testing has increased but tracing is difficult when relying on student accounts.  On-campus activity is easier to trace.
Deciding which tests to administer (considering reliability, cost, etc.), obtaining those tests, paying for those tests.
Funding. Same as fall.
The cost of testing is the biggest obstacle.
Communication with all needed campus partners.
We will be increasing testing and adding multiple testing sites on the main campus and both regional sites.
Procuring the tests and enough contact tracers.
There’s a lot of pressure from external organizations to increase testing among the student/staff population.  Contact tracing is causing a bit of angst among those working on campus, it’s not as smooth a process as we hoped.
Timely test results.
Timeline to get test results back, and contact tracing.  The state has broadened testing centers, but it is unclear if that will continue into the new year.
The high number of cases, difficulty in contacting people, people willing to follow isolation/quarantine requirements.  For our staff, we will continue to encourage proper mitigation strategies, staying home when sick, etc.
Reinforcing local guidelines and protocols and reminding our school community to continue to be flexible with the ever-changing rules.
Location of test site.
We have implemented a successful strategy by utilizing a public health course and students to conduct contact tracing as their assignments and experiential learning experience.
New policy will be that students on campus will have mandatory testing every 2 weeks and will not be allowed to attend class if they are not compliant.
Students are not taking it seriously.  They are invincible!  More of the same Hybrid, very few on campus, most online delivery.
Timeline from testing to results. And getting those tested to truly quarantine until their result is available.
Constant changes with state mandates. Things keep moving back and forth and we continue to make adjustments accordingly.
Resources and staffing.
Non-disclosure by private, off-campus testing.  No opportunities to adjust.
Weekly testing has been required for any student attending one or more face-to-face classes. Logistics and processes have been tough. We hired a crew of contact tracers that have been essential to any successes that we’re having at this point. So far we’ve been a very minor contributor in our community. We have no housing.
Encouraging more in-person classes, but with masks and distancing protocols.  Food service remains a challenge for seating/loading.
Reopening depends on seeing concrete evidence of effective containment efforts and positive results. It’s premature to plan reopening before the evidence is in.  Will remain in primarily remote mode until then.
Cost.  Availability of reagents.  Qualified staff on campus to handle issues.  Need to contract vs cost to do so.
Testing locations will be adjusted to better serve the need associated with the procedure.
Contact tracing takes too long.
Time – the time needed to test a large population and return results quickly. Time – the swiftness needed to isolate those testing positive. Adjustments will be according to what the data says — more frequent testing, for example.
Provincial resources are being taxed to the limit, the University is requesting student medical response volunteers to assist. Waiting times for test results from local labs is growing longer (approx. 10 days). We are not buying our own tests at this time.
As of right now we do not test on campus.  Contact tracing is being done in our HR department.  Our numbers have been low and we have been able to manage our infections.  I see more of the same during Spring semester.
Testing and compliance.
Random testing.  University took over this program from a 3rd party administrator for the Spring semester.
Testing TBD.
OK State has done a good job making testing easy, contact tracing and enforcing quarantines is where the breakdown takes place.
Using the same protocol. Partnering with our Allegheny County Health Department.
Communicating to faculty and advisors a student’s absence and ensuring fair treatment for the student.  Increasing dialogue at college level to ensure consistent practices. Students responding to contact tracing (and cutting off their IT access until they respond.) That seems to be working. With recent surge, ramping up contact tracing volunteers. Learning as we go.
Student reluctance to test. The state is not efficient with contract tracing in my opinion.
Student gatherings outside of campus without masks.  Students not wanting to take the free COVID test available.
Most popular answer to contact tracers is now “I don’t know.”
Social distancing.
The cost of testing is the biggest challenge. However, fear of testing positive and being quarantined is. For some students, quarantine is the only motivation they have not act recklessly, so we will be testing all students every 2 weeks.
Plan to take the lessons learned from the fall into the spring.  Our biggest challenge is meeting the needs of those students who chose to isolate or quarantine on campus. The logistics of providing essentials such as food, linen, toiletries and clothes is always a challenge.
Setting parameters around staff, faculty and students.  Also, the scale of testing requires so much contact tracing that the tracers are often delayed. Invariably, those tested have been back in the workforce before they are contacted.
Costs for testing, we will continue status quo. Self-reporting, contact tracing followed by quarantine or isolation.
Other than refreshing our signage we do not have any plans to adjust.  Our Fall semester went well and our COVID cases for isolation and quarantine were manageable. We have already set our Spring schedule with no Spring Break.
Continued compliance of students and staff to social distancing and reporting protocols.  Implementing policy requiring reporting even if off-campus.  Another challenge is the strain on the system to support isolation protocol (outreach, support, facilities, assignments, access, etc.)
The uncontrollable community behaviors and how it will impact our opening.   We are prepared and ready for the spring provided we are permitted to open.
Adequate resources while attempting to obtain correct test results as quickly as possible AND compete contact tracing effectively and efficiently. Spring semester is currently on the same plan as Fall was.
These are not challenges.
Unknown as we were remote this semester.
Community spread and contact tracing are issues.  On campus we are doing very well so far.  It helps to have an on-campus lab for quick turn-around.
Building maintenance where positive cases are housed.
Getting people to realize it’s safe for young adults, faculty and staff to attend in person. There’s little risk of death as demonstrated by CDC and Johns Hopkins data.
Difficulty in getting students to actually test, report if they are positive, and agree to give information that can be used for tracing.
We did not test in Fall.  For spring, we are concerned about test result turnaround, having sufficient contact tracers, and sufficient communication plan.
Student buy-in for the need of constant testing and responding to contact tracing protocols.  The President has made it very clear what the expectations are and has set up several procedures to make the process as convenient as possible.
Getting students, faculty, and staff to test and self-report results. Continuing to try various incentives short of mandatory compliance.
Persons identified on contact tracing are not answering their phones since they don’t recognize the caller ID.  Therefore, contact tracing is incomplete. An education and promotion campaign is repeated weekly, but not much improvement of contact persons response/participation.
As we are entering the second wave (while also getting some COVID fatigue amongst student in the city who are studying remotely), there has been carelessness with protocols.  Anticipating increased need for contact tracing and stricter adherence to tracing protocols.
The delay in the test results.
Making students aware of the threat of COVID. People are getting infected.
Getting the students to take the virus seriously. They don’t want to mask up or social distance. Better enforcement of the “mask-up or pack-up” policy.
Continue to be diligent with our twice a week testing for the entire college community.
Constant changing government regulations.  Government makes changes with little or no time to properly react.
Student returning from break adhering to the required testing protocols.  We are implementing additional testing facilities throughout campus to meet the demand.
Vaccines will be available.  Let’s get back to normal.
Student participation. It has been improving as it has become more the norm, so we’re considering incentives for participation.
A combination of turn-around time for testing, and some students (not living on campus) not being fully cooperative.  
Knowing which students, faculty and staff are actually on campus. Working on options to use Wi-Fi sign-on and security swipes to help with this data.
As of today, we have been lucky to have small amount of “no shows” of faculty, staff, and students showing up for their Covid-19 test to be able to enter campus.  If there’s a challenge, it would be people not practicing the basic CDC guidelines to slow the spread of the virus when they are home.  Especially the student body we have living on campus.
Availability and Labor associated with process.
We will have mandatory testing for everyone on campus and possible rotations of people being in the office.
Providing education and services to students who are quarantined
The magnitude is daunting.  30,000 plus tests to start.  The cost and logistics are huge hurdles.
getting test results quickly
Rising numbers make scheduling testing appointments challenging.
Students will not return until January 20th.  Spring Break has been moved back to March 29 through April 3.  Classes after that will be all online through the end of the semester
I believe time has been one of our biggest challenges. The amount of time it takes for word to get to us to be able services spaces due to a positive test result.
We have put in place a department to manage protocols and procedures around contract tracing.  Testing is available to faculty, staff, and students who are on-Campus.  The challenge, as infections in the area increase, will be maintaining the capacity to test and trace.  Limiting the number of students physically on-Campus is probably the best solution.  As a 2-year institution there is no control over the “at home” behavior of the students or faculty and staff for that matter.
(1) Funding tests means not funding other things. (2) People not checking their emails to see when they’ve been randomly chosen for testing (1% of all personnel/students each day). I do not think either of those will change for Spring term.
Our institution relies on the local government for contact tracing
Administration and logistics of coordinating with outside testing contractor and scheduling.  Overall fall went pretty well.  We plan to adjust our protocol based more on the conditions in the community, potentially expanding the program, but are not making changes based on any particular challenge in the fall.  We are planning for pre- arrival testing based on the current options for more timely results than we were experiencing in the fall. We are still in the process of developing our Spring program.
People are reluctant to download tracing apps on their personal phones.
We will be utilizing the FA20 reduce capacity/physical distance layouts for in-person classes which are projected to be about 40%
Testing result turnaround time has been a big challenge for our contact tracing team.  When results come in 5 days after a test (including over a weekend), people need to think back a week prior to people who may be considered contacts
Tracking pre-arrival testing and addressing non-compliant students (arrive without test result)
Sheer number of students to be tested; before arrival, upon return to campus, and regularly as semester progresses.  Safe indoor locations for testing, multiple testing locations, storage of testing materials. Finally getting our CLIA certification for the on-campus lab.
Because we are a commuter campus and are 99% remote for classes, we have not had any challenges around either testing or contact tracing.
The biggest challenge is the inability to test everyone entering campus and so the campus is emphasizing social distancing protocols and encourage people to wear face masks.
Don’t come to work or school with Symptoms. If you have symptoms please get tested. Adjustment will be continuing with procedures that we have in place.
I would say adequate staffing to do the testing and especially the contact tracing. Our Covid cases have been low, so we are doing OK.
Availability of testing and getting most people tested
The cost of the testing.  trying to start doing waste stream sampling for the residence halls instead of testing every resident
We are moving to more onsite testing to allow quicker turn around. We will continue using waste water as a first level screen tool, then adding two different testing systems on campus to further screen and then confirm covid infections in our student body.
Students submitting data. Quarantine and isolation data typically comes from state health department rather than reported from students.
I think the testing and contact tracing are working surprisingly well.  We have no changes planned.  The challenge at this point is pandemic fatigue.  People are getting tired of following the ‘rules’ and that leads to spread of the illness.
Lack of resources mean delays in results and symptomatic testing only.  This has been an ongoing issue and we do our own contact tracing as necessary.  Masks, distancing, wash your hands, sanitize have done us well thus far.
Amount of resources required, both financial and human.
The local health department is doing contact tracing – they are struggling with the amount of cases recently.  This is anticipated to continue for quite some time due to the holiday season and small gatherings.
Not knowing off campus contact. Testing at levels to keep outbreaks smaller. Cost of testing.
Availability of tests. We will continue to use the “honor” system of self-reporting positive cases and exposure cases utilizing a self-reporting online form.
Cost of accurate testing No change in plans unless additional funding becomes available.
1. Length of time for test results to return…we now have the ability to perform rapid test 2. Contact tracing…students being honest…not enough contact tracers so we will be adding more tracers
The gap time in notification of when a person reports a “positive” result and then the notification to begin contact tracing.
Contact tracing is a huge paint point. We just need more people doing it. We plan to double our staff for the Spring and also build a surge capacity of cross-trained people as well.
Communication about positive cases and potentially trying to address multiple clusters of cases. We are narrowing contact persons and identifying resources to assist as needed.
If students receive a positive result and the contact tracing procedures begin, each student may give us 30 names of close contacts. This makes this procedure very involved and complicated. It is a domino effect.
Initial testing upon students return to campus.
Online symptom tracking for students, faculty and staff. State mandated protocols for social distancing, etc.