Campus Bulletin: Current Students, ObieSafe

What to expect: paperwork for your COVID-19 tests

August 18, 2020 4:00 PM

Meredith Raimondo, Dean of Students

By now, you are likely familiar with some aspects of the COVID-19 test process. One aspect about which we would like to share further information is COVID-19 consent for testing and authorization/release form. This type of form is a common requirement for medical appointments.

The form is brief and will not take long to complete. You can download the PDF file to read the entire form. There are several types of questions you’ll be asked to answer:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your emergency contact information
  • Your consent to testing and information about privacy and who has access to information about your test results

On the back of the form, you’ll be asked a short list of health and demographic questions. These questions include:

  • Whether you have had a COVID-19 test before
  • Whether you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (click link for more information)
  • Whether you are pregnant
  • Whether you live in a congregate setting. Students please note that a college residence hall is not a congregate care setting. “Congregate care settings” are group housing situations that provide healthcare (e.g. a nursing home or a residential treatment program) and/or social services (such as a shelter for people who are homeless and/or leaving family violence or a “group home” for children in foster care who are not currently living with a foster parent). If you have lived in a congregate care setting at some point in 2020, please answer “yes” to this question.
  • Demographic information, including ethnicity/race, gender, and age.

You might wonder why you would be asked questions about your identity or about pregnancy when you are getting a nasal swab test to detect a virus. The demographic and pregnancy information helps public health officials and researchers learn more about the virus, its transmission, and its impact, which may vary for different age groups and identities.

Some of these questions ask you to describe yourself using a limited number of terms - for example, for gender you may indicate “male,” “female,” or “other.” While you may have experienced more options in college forms, the Ohio Department of Health determined what questions to ask and how they may be answered as part of their reporting process. You may find that your choice of answers may not map well onto how you understand yourself and your identities. We apologize for any frustration this may cause and ask that you consider providing as much information as possible, as this data helps health public health and medical professionals address health disparities.