Alert! Please find our Fall 2021 COVID-19 Policies, Procedures, and Protocols here.
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Fall 2021 COVID-19 Policies, Procedures, and Protocols

Written by Lee Anne Hanke

COVID-19 Policies, Procedures, and Protocols at St. Andrews University,

A branch of Webber International University.

Effective August 8, 2021

 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, St. Andrews University, a branch of Webber International University, has followed well researched, scientifically grounded guidance to help mitigate this risk.

 

Based on current and authoritative government-issued health standards or guidance issued by the State of North Carolina and/or the United States Centers for Disease Control, the following policies and procedures are effective August 8, 2021, at the residential Laurinburg campus of St. Andrews.

 

Fall 2021 Return to Campus

The Health and Wellness Center will keep all health records in a locked and secure place. The director, Robin Lea, will keep a list of faculty, staff, coaches, and students who are fully vaccinated. Faculty, staff, coaches, and students who are not on file as fully vaccinated, will be asked to present the record of their COVID 19 vaccination, or to get a rapid Covid 19 test administered by the SAU Athletic Department during check-in or at the beginning of the fall semester.  Faculty, staff, coaches, and students who are fully vaccinated will be issued a bracelet indicating full vaccination that says “St. Andrews VAX. The bracelet should be worn daily.

 

Vaccination

St. Andrews most strongly encourages all who are medically able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to do so. Getting vaccinated is a simple act which doesn’t just protect your own health; it helps protect others from the quarantines, isolation, and the cancelled sports events, equestrian competitions, and activities which have made a full college experience the last year and a half more difficult.  Vaccination also helps protect that segment of our population for whom exposure to COVID-19 is dangerous, indeed even life threatening. If you are contemplating not getting vaccinated, please consider that contracting a highly contagious, sometimes deadly, and yet very highly preventable disease doesn’t just impact you, but can sideline an entire team long enough to cost them a season (the North Carolina State baseball team lost an opportunity to win a national championship), move a class online for weeks,      force dozens of people into quarantine, or even lead to your infecting someone for whom COVID-19 is a death sentence.

 

According to John Hopkins medicine, all three vaccines available in the United States “have  been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19.”1 The United States Centers for Disease Control have categorically stated that “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.”2

1 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/is-the-covid19-vaccine-safe,

retrieved 21 July 2021 2:44pm EDT.

2https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html retrieved 21 July 2021 2:46pm EDT.

 

If you need assistance in obtaining a vaccination, contact the Office of Health and Wellness, the Office of Student Life, or the Athletic Training Department. The Office of Health and Wellness will issue to any member of the St. Andrews community, upon presentation of a vaccine card indicating fully vaccinated status, a “St. Andrews VAX” wristband.

 

Faculty, staff, coaches, students, and guests who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take a daily temperature check and wear the corresponding day COVID 19 bracelet which indicates that they have done so. Temperature checks and bracelets are available at the receptionist desk in the Liberal Arts building on the Academic side and in the PE Center on the student side. After two successive temperature checks, anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be isolated for further testing.

 

 

Face Masks or Coverings

Face masks or coverings are required indoors for all faculty, staff, coaches, students, and guests unless there is a medical exception on file. They are not required outdoors.

Face masks will be required in all academic classes for everyone as there will not be social distancing of classroom seating and both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can be transmitters of the virus. Those with documented medical exceptions are not required to wear a mask or face covering.

Those who have not been fully vaccinated, and those who have preexisting conditions which make them especially vulnerable to diseases such as COVID-19, should, for their own protection and the protection of others, evaluate their own circumstances and strongly consider wearing face masks or coverings anytime they are around other people, especially indoors. According to the CDC:

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
  • To reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission (such as academic classrooms).
  • You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

 

Personal Responsibility

As responsible members of a community, students, faculty, coaches, and staff are expected to self-assess their health before coming into contact with others.

If you have any of these symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea4

You should:

  • Stay home except to get medical care (employees contact your immediate supervisor; students contact the Dean of Student Life to get medical care, rapid test, and/or isolation/quarantine instructions)
  • Stay in touch with your doctor
  • Separate yourself from other people
  • Tell your close contacts [see definition in footnote 5] that they may have been exposed to COVID-195
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Get Tested
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze [actually, you should always do this even if you’re not sick].
  • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can [this too]
  • Clean your hands often [and this]
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day6

4 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html retrieved 22 July 2021 8:14am EDT

5“Close contact” is currently defined as “Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory- confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/appendix.html#contact retrieved 22 July 2021 8:39am

6 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html retrieved 22 July 202

 

Social Distancing

As of this date, St. Andrews has returned to normal capacity in all areas including classrooms, dining facilities, and        sporting events.

Because COVID-19, influenza, and any number of other diseases          are spread through close contact, we encourage social distancing when practical and the wearing of face masks or coverings when this is not possible.

 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

We will continue our enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

As has been known for decades and demonstrated once again during the COVID-19 outbreak, personal hygiene, especially consistent and proper handwashing which is “one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick”7, is an important part of avoiding getting sick.

 

Testing

Faculty, staff, coaches, and students who are not fully vaccinated will participate in random COVID 19 testing at the campus. This follows Executive Order 224 signed on 7/29/2021 by Governor Roy Cooper which requires unvaccinated state employees to be tested weekly. Those who may have come in contact with  the virus may be required or advised to test.  The Dean of Students, Director of Health and Wellness, or Director of Athletic Training will facilitate tests for those who are required to  or need to test.

Isolation and Quarantine

IF YOU’VE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED [emphasis added] and if you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you  have symptoms.”8 However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. Below is the other exception of people not required to isolate or quarantine:

  • Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and
  • Has recovered and
  • Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

7https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html retrieved 22 July 2021 8:11am EDT

8https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html retrieved 22 July 2021 8:22am EDT

However, for those who have not been fully vaccinated…

Students, faculty, or staff with [COVID-19] infection should isolate, and their close contacts should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified. Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated.

 

“For most people with COVID-19, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever- reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms. For people who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of specimen collection for their first positive RT-PCR test for [COVID-19] RNA.”9

 

“Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring. Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the time of planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g., in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.”10

 

Students with COVID 19 infections must be isolated. Faculty, staff, and coaches should remain at home. St. Andrews has limited isolation rooms for students in the Granville residence hall. Students must remain in isolation during the infection period. They are not permitted anywhere on campus except in their isolation suite.  Meals will be delivered. Classes will be online during that time only. Students who choose to isolate at home are not permitted on campus during the time of infection. Classes will be online during that time only.

 

Because “if you have been fully vaccinated and … you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms”11, St. Andrews maintains limited isolation or quarantine facilities on campus. While the Office of Student Life can assist in locating appropriate isolation or quarantine facilities if necessary, it is recommended that unvaccinated people make an isolation or quarantine plan prior to arrival.

 

9 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities/ihe-testing.html retrieved 21 July 2021 4:24pm EDT

10 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce- quarantine.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019- ncov%2Fmore%2Fscientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html retrieved 22 July 2021 8:30am EDT

11https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities/ihe-testing.html retrieved 21 July

2021 4:24pm EDT

 

Contingencies

COVID-19 has not been eradicated and as noted earlier we cannot mandate vaccinations, meaning that quarantine and/or isolation can impact course delivery methods, services provided,   and the modes by which they are provided. Students need to be prepared for this possibility. We will neither charge surcharges nor issue refunds in the event that our operations are impacted by COVID-19 or other forces of nature.

 

Incident Management

The Office of Student Life is the designated contact for all issues related to COVID-19.

Evolution of COVID 19 Guidance

As new information and guidance occurs at CDC or the state of North Carolina, this COVID 19 policy will evolve. As stated at the beginning of this document, St. Andrew follows well researched scientifically grounded guidance to help mitigate this risk. This guidance resulted in ZERO faculty, staff, coaches, or students being hospitalized last year.