Lafene’s system survey to help prevent, control COVID-19 spread during flu season

Lafene Student Health Center on Sept. 27, 2018. (File photo by Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

The Lafene Health Center’s symptom survey is a way for students to check in with their health while also alerting Lafene and university officials if they are in quarantine.

Jennifer Miller, assistant director for health promotion at Lafene, said the survey is designed to give a daily check-in on how patients are feeling and to decide if they need to quarantine.

Lafene has a contact tracing program with the Riley County Health Department as well.

“We’re doing the contact tracing for all on-campus students — those like in the dorms, Jardine, the scholarship houses,” Miller said. “And then also, for student athletes both on and off campus.”

When the contact tracing team is alerted of a positive case, they will call the person with symptoms, retrace their steps from the last two days and see who they interacted with and the places they visited.

The team will then contact anyone the positive person interacted with to let them know they will need to quarantine.

“We also give everyone who’s a close contact the option if they want to come in and get tested,” Miller said. “They still are subject to that quarantine of 14 days if their test is negative, and then we do check-in calls with everyone who’s in isolation and quarantine.”

Miller said they try to contact them at least every other day, just to see how they’re doing and if they’ve developed any symptoms.

Lafene’s staff has been able to balance between smaller care needs and COVID-like illnesses.

Abby King, associate nursing director said the setup is very fluid and changes with the demand that is seen in the clinic.

“We kind of just go where the need is, and try to help students as much as we can,” King said. “All those pieces come together and help us make the decision on what we need in what areas, basically.”

Lafene’s main entrance became designated for sick patients when a spike in positive COVID-19 cases occurred towards the beginning of classes in mid-August.

“In the clinic we want to keep those potentially ill with COVID or other respiratory symptoms separated from those that do not have respiratory symptoms,” King said. “But now we’re seeing a decrease in cases and so, we’re opening that back up to having sick and well enter through the main entrance, but still keeping them separated while they are in the building.”

King said this year will be especially important for people to get their flu shots with the flu season approaching.

“We have a clinic dedicated, or I should say, schedule dedicated to individuals receiving their vaccine, so they can call or they can go online and schedule that appointment for their vaccine,” King said.

I’m a senior in journalism & mass communications. In addition to writing on staff for the Collegian, I’m the online editor for Manhappenin magazine and I've worked for the Royal Purple Yearbook. I'm also the founder of the Wildcats Against Sexual Violence student organization and I'm licensed to fly drones! When I graduate, I hope to get a job as a criminal investigative reporter.