COVID-19 Data Monitoring for Decision Making Update for spring 2022 semesterDue to the evolving nature of the pandemic, particularly with the current omicron variant, the percent positive testing rate will be considered less of an indicator of the need to change course than will capacity for isolation and quarantine in the university’s residence halls, and hospital capacity in the region. The university monitors numerous data factors in its scrutiny of COVID-19 on its campuses. There is no one specific number, percentage or measurement that would prompt Marshall University to make a change in a particular activity or assembly policy. Instead, a collective assessment drives the process. The virus’s effect on the university population and decisions defining additional safety precautions are predicated on a collection of indicators developed in collaboration with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department and other public health entities. The following is a representative sampling of the measurements used in the decision-making process. Percent-positive testing rate based on individuals on a weekly basis: Greater than 3% triggers consideration of increased testing Greater than 5% triggers increased testing and discussion of activity suspension Number of new COVID cases on campus reported over a 14-day period Quarantine/isolation capacity on campus Community spread of COVID in Cabell and surrounding counties COVID hospitalizations and COVID-like illness emergency room visits Testing turnaround time greater than 72 hours prompts improvement strategies for testing access Case investigation/contact tracing that takes longer than 96 hours for more than 40% of cases induces either increased contact tracing capacity or increases weight of restriction decisions. The university’s Director of Environmental Health and Safety has the responsibility of monitoring the COVID-19 parameters and reports them for consideration in the COVID University Response Briefing virtual meetings, which occur Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and at the weekly Health and Safety Task Force virtual meetings at 9 a.m. on Thursdays. The Director also consults on at least a weekly basis with officials at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, Marshall Health/Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the regional hospitals, and takes into consideration the community infection profile.