On Oct. 11, students and faculty within Morgan State’s nursing program were notified that one student tested positive for the coronavirus.
Students received an email from Maija Anderson, the director of the nursing program informing students that clinicals scheduled for Oct. 12 and Oct.14 were canceled for junior and senior cohorts. Students were also advised to get tested for the coronavirus and were asked to quarantine for 14 days, according to Anderson.
“What we’re doing right now, we’re performing risk assessments,” Anderson said. “We realize that we’re taking care of patients first and foremost but we have to protect everybody—students, faculty and staff.”
Students returned to their clinicals on Oct. 21. Anderson said the program continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the university’s recommendations to keep students, faculty and the patients within the program safe.
Members within the program are supplied with personal protection equipment to ensure safe in-person interactions. Similar to the cohorts, staff members within the Harriet A. Woolford University Health Center, Morgan’s on-campus health center, received infectious disease control training.
Junior nursing major Autumn Johnson, one of the students asked to quarantine after one student tested positive within the program, said the time away from campus was difficult because she didn’t have access to on-campus resources including the skills lab.
Johnson said the Harriet A. Woolford University Center asks students to pick up their test results in-person whether it’s positive or negative.
“They claim that if you’re positive we’ll call you but if you’re negative, you need to come in person to get your result,” she said. “So I don’t know, I don’t really agree with that.”
Ruth Agwuna, the director of Harriet A. Woolford University Center, said the university is moving towards Electronic Health Record, a system that allows its users to access their test results through an online portal. She said the new system will also allow students and employees to receive their results.
“We don’t know when it will be complete,” Aqwuna said. “But we gave them all the licenses and hopefully in a few weeks, we’ll be able to proudly present it to you.”
Agwuna said the constant communication between the university and the Morgan community will instill confidence in the university’s spring plan. She said if the campus reopens, the testing schedule will remain the same as the fall semester with students being tested twice a week and faculty being tested once a week.
“We will be very cautiously optimistic in our approach,” she said. “We will try to make sure that in the opening, we give confidence to everybody we are doing the right thing.”