This document is a work in progress and the College’s plan will be updated and revised as necessary. The full plan as submitted to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia on July 6, 2020 can be found here:
Plan for Reopening Fall 2020
Table of Contents
A. REPOPULATION OF THE CAMPUS
- Establishment of a COVID-19 Coordinator/Campus Team
- Contact Information and Procedures for Reaching the Local Health Department
- Return of Students to Campus
- Education/Training of Students in Prevention of COVID-19
- Physical Distancing
- Classroom/Learning Environment
- Residence Halls
- Dining Services
- Campus Recreation Facilities
- General Occupancy
- Hygiene Practices and Cleaning/Disinfecting Protocols
- General Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
- Provisions for Hand Sanitizer/Handwashing Stations
- Shared Objects
- Face Coverings
- Kitchen Usage
- Staff Meetings
- Consideration of Vulnerable Individuals
- Policy Options for Support
- Leave Policies
- Policies for Returning to Class/Work After COVID-19 Illness
- International Student Considerations
- Partnership and Communication/Information Sharing with the Local Community, Health Systems, and other Stakeholders
- Face Coverings
- Education and Reinforcement
- General Information Regarding Locations
- Student Health & Counseling Services
- Provision of PPE for Student Health & Counseling Services Medical Staff
- Maintenance of Typical (non-COVID-19) Student Health & Counseling Services
- Mental Health Services
- Student Health & Counseling Services Facility Considerations
- Student Health & Counseling Services Administrative/Staff Considerations
- Student Health & Counseling Services Patient Care Considerations
- Large Events on Campus
- Communications Strategy
- Setting Expectations
- Roanoke College’s Plan for Reopening in Fall 2020
- Further Guidance for Fall 2020
- Orientation and Education/Training (including anti-stigma training)
- Strategies for Monitoring Health of Campus Population
- Campus Level Syndromic Surveillance
- Establishment of a Testing Strategy
- Partnership with the VDH for Contact Tracing
- Quarantining and Isolating
- Campus Outbreak Management
- Partnership with Local Health Systems to Care for Symptomatic Individuals
- Plan for Campus Dismissal and/or Shutdown
- Nature of Reduced Campus Activity if Needed
- Considerations Regarding Student Health and Safety on Campus Versus Returning Home
- Communications Plan for Dismissals/Shutdowns
APPENDIX: LINKS TO INTERNET RESOURCES AND INTERNAL DOCUMENTS
Roanoke College values the opportunity to provide a personal educational experience for its students. To return to this model of education, the College has developed a plan for reopening this fall. As articulated by Governor Ralph Northam on June 11, 2020, in anticipation that conditions at the state, regional, and local levels are conducive to an institution of higher education conducting in-person instruction and on-campus education operations in academic year 2020-2021, that institution must, by July 6, 2020, submit a campus reopening plan for state compliance review. This plan is designed to provide the optimal on-campus environment and to minimize the risks of COVID-19 exposure to students, faculty, and staff.
The College is following the advice and best practices offered by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the American College Health Association (ACHA). Roanoke College’s leaders of the Crisis Management Team (CMT) and the Incident Command System (ICS) group have guided the College through the pandemic response as well as formulating plans for the safest environment possible on campus this fall. Roanoke College’s plan is designed to comply with local safety and health guidelines at the time of the campus’s reopening.
This document is a work in progress and the College’s plan will be updated and revised as necessary. An appendix consisting of links to resources and internal documents referenced in the plan is provided.
- REPOPULATION OF THE CAMPUS
Roanoke College activated its Crisis/Emergency Management Plan for pandemic flu on March 2, 2020. The Dean of Students assembled the Crisis Management Team (CMT) and monitored the developing situation. The College administration was made aware of relevant information and was prepared to act upon events that would result in a departure from normal College operations. During this time, the CMT relied upon several sources for information, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).
The Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Health & Counseling Services remained in contact with the local VDH representative for the Roanoke Valley. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Campus Safety remained in contact with the VDEM and the City of Salem Emergency Services staff.
After consulting with the President’s Cabinet, the Roanoke College CMT declared the COVID-19 crisis a Level-2 campus crisis that is described in the Crisis/Emergency Management Plan as an emergency event impacting multiple units or functions within the College and significantly disrupting College operations. In major situations involving significant outside resources, the Incident Command System (ICS) is activated to manage a more expansive operation involving multiple institutions and agencies. The Roanoke College ICS was activated to manage the Level-2 COVID-19 crisis.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes the Incident Command System (ICS) as a management system designed to enable effective and efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. ICS is normally structured to facilitate activities in six major functional areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, intelligence and investigations, and finance and administration. It is a fundamental form of management with the purpose of enabling incident managers to identify the key concerns associated with the incident—often under urgent conditions—without sacrificing attention to any component of the command system.
Currently, the Roanoke College CMT and ICS report to the President’s Cabinet and concentrate on seven functional areas: command, campus support, human resources and finance, logistics and maintenance, health and safety, academic and administration planning, and public relations. The following offices are represented on the Roanoke College CMT and/or ICS:
- Dean of Students (CMT Point Person for Pandemic Flu Policy)
- Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Campus Safety (ICS Incident Commander)
- Associate Director of Campus Safety (ICS Deputy Incident Commander)
- Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Health & Counseling
- Campus Safety Sergeant for Administration & Training
- Chief Information Officer
- Assistant Director of Development
- Director of Residence Life & Housing
- Associate Director of Student Health & Counseling
- General Manager of Dining Services
- Assistant Dean of Students
- Associate Dean for Strategy & Admissions
- Director of Athletics
- Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & General Education
- Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Student Engagement
- Director of Human Resources
- Director of Finance and Budget
- Manager of Plant Operations
- Manager of Housekeeping
- Director of Public Relations
Members discuss preparedness plans and respond to the COVID-19 crisis connected to the seven functional areas of the CMT and ICS. The CMT and the ICS make recommendations on issues affecting the entire campus community for approval by the President’s Cabinet.
These teams meet frequently and receive daily COVID-19 updates from the local VDH and the City of Salem Emergency Services. This information is transmitted to the President’s Cabinet and other College administrators.
Dr. Brian Chisom (CMT Point Person for Pandemic Flu Policy)
Dean of Students
Thomas A. Rambo (ICS Incident Commander)
Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Campus Safety
Campus Safety Administration Building
Sandy McGhee (Health and Safety Lead on CMT and ICS)
Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Health & Counseling Services
Health Services Building
The operation of the Roanoke College CMT and ICS follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College Health Association, and the Commonwealth of Virginia guidance related to COVID-19 response.
Roanoke College is located within the Alleghany Health District. Dr. Laura P. Kornegay, MD, MPH is the acting District Health Director and Dr. Molly O’Dell, MD is the Communicable Disease Director. Health Services staff have been in direct contact with the District Epidemiologist, Hope White, to review ongoing preparedness plans and respond to questions regarding testing and disease surveillance. The College’s immediate point of contact with the health district is Lex Gibson. He has been in contact with the Director of Student Health Services to discuss classroom and social engineering procedures in preparation for assisting with contact tracing and other infection control measures.
J. Hope White, MPH
Virginia Department of Health, Alleghany Health District
Virginia Department of Health, Alleghany Health District
The College has developed a staggered move-in process for students attending classes during the fall. The process is designed to bring groups back incrementally with at least one full day between each assigned group to provide for extensive cleaning and sanitation within the residence halls while also allowing time to address any health-related concerns that may arise.
- August 3-5 Returning International students
- August 11 Student workers who need extensive training; new International students
- August 13 Student workers who need less training
- August 15 New freshmen; new transfer students; remaining International students
- August 29 Seniors and lottery-selected sophomores and juniors
- September 5 All remaining students
All students arriving early must be approved by both their divisional Vice President and the Dean of Students to ensure the need to come back ahead of general move-in dates is warranted.
Two-hour time blocks for new student move-in and returning student move-in are assigned in advance by hall, floor, and room to help ensure that the assigned times do not compromise established physical distancing standards on a given floor or within one of the College’s 26 residence halls that will be open during the Fall 2020 semester.
Students may have up to two additional guests to help them move into the residence halls.
On move-in day, all residential students and move-in helpers will be screened by College officials at one of five outdoor check-in stations before entering any of the residential buildings. Per the College’s face-covering policy, all individuals will be required to wear face coverings on campus. The established COVID-19 screening protocol, which includes a body temperature check, is informed by the CDC and the VDH recommendations and was developed by the Student Health & Counseling Services medical staff. Upon arrival to campus, students will be screened and given a time to report to a campus testing site. Students with a positive screening will be administered a rapid test by Student Health & Counseling Services medical staff. All other students will be administered a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Guests will be required to return to their car and await further instructions if they have a positive screening. Testing strategies are addressed in section B.3 of this plan.
Operations at each of the five check-in stations are designed to minimize any physical contact between students, guests, and employees. After being screened, students will also pick up a “Welcome Back” kit, their room key, ID card, complimentary face covering, wristbands indicating approval to enter the hall, and other items.
Hand carts and sanitizing stations will be available in several areas on campus. These items will be cleaned multiple times each day.
College employees will serve as residence hall monitors to ensure that only individuals who have been screened and are wearing wristbands are permitted to enter the halls.
During new student orientation, students (residential and commuter) will participate in a COVID-19 education program which includes hygiene, physical distancing, and measures aimed at reducing disease transmission. All new commuter and transfer students will also receive their “Welcome Back” kit that includes a complimentary face covering.
Ultimately, the health and safety of the student-athletes and staff is paramount in any decision made to resume athletics activity. The Athletic Department of Roanoke College complies with guidance provided by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Part of the College’s orientation for student-athletes and athletics staff includes education/awareness regarding personal hygiene, disinfection practices of athletic areas, physical distancing, and the use of face coverings. Compliance will be a priority regarding campus plans/policies for preserving the health of the community, including daily self-assessment and face coverings. It is important to remember that student-athletes are participating voluntarily.
Before participation on any of the Roanoke College athletic teams, student-athletes must provide the Athletic Training Department with a variety of information. To expedite this process, Roanoke College uses an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that is accessible online. The process of entering information into SportsWareOnLine (SWOL) will be available starting May 1, 2020 and must be completed by September 1, 2020.
The education and training of students in regard to the prevention of transmission of COVID-19 will be an integral part of the College’s campus-wide messaging. During new student orientation, all students (residential and commuter) will participate in a COVID-19 education program which includes practicing good hygiene, such as handwashing, physical distancing, proper cough/sneeze etiquette, frequent disinfection of common work areas, symptom assessment, temperature checks, face coverings in public, and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission. For returning residential students, resident assistants, and peer health educators, training and workshops will take place addressing disease transmission as part of the College’s ongoing residential programming. Returning commuter students will be directed to online resources. All students will be required to perform daily temperature checks and respond to a short online survey as they begin each day. Educational programming that reinforces strategies for disease prevention will occur throughout the school year.
All students will be asked to sign a pledge committing to protecting the health and safety of the campus community. The pledge addresses physical distancing standards, the face-covering policy of the College, the practicing of good hygiene, reporting to Student Health & Counseling Services medical staff the moment one feels unwell, testing if one displays symptoms of COVID-19, and isolation/quarantine if asked by the College, a medical provider, or governmental agency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines safe physical distancing practices as six feet of physical separation between individuals. Accordingly, all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors are encouraged to maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another at all times when possible whether indoors or outdoors. The College will require ten feet of physical distancing in certain environments out of an abundance of caution. Per the College’s face-covering policy, cloth face coverings are required to be worn in all public areas and locations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
a) Classroom/Learning Environment
The occupancy of every classroom is being reduced so that physical distancing can be maintained. In standard classrooms, student seating will be six feet apart. All classrooms have been evaluated and assigned a new occupancy limit. For most classrooms, the new occupancy will be 50% of normal capacity; however, in rooms with theater-style seating, new occupancies will be 25% or less. Excess seating will be removed or marked and blocked so that students can easily see which seats allow them to maintain physical distance.
Very few classes at Roanoke College enroll more than 30 students. Whenever possible, the College has assigned courses into rooms large enough to allow all students to attend in-person every day with physical distancing measures in place. Courses that cannot be assigned to larger rooms will be taught via a hybrid or exclusively online mode of delivery, such that they never exceed the new room occupancy levels that maintain physical distancing. In most cases, faculty are using a mix of staggered attendance and synchronous online classes via Zoom. Each instructor will submit their plan to their department chair and the academic dean’s office two weeks before classes begin in August.
Studio, laboratory, and other experiential courses will employ a variety of strategies for maintaining physical distancing. Section caps have been reduced in some courses so that maximum occupancy is not exceeded. New studio and laboratory sections have been added to accommodate displaced students. Other courses are adopting A/B weekly schedules so that, for example, half of the students are in lab one week while the other half of the students complete a virtual lab experiment. Each instructor will submit their plan to their department chair and the academic dean’s office two weeks before classes begin in August.
In laboratories and studios where equipment is normally shared, new practices have been instituted so that sharing is minimized. Many materials will be dispensed so that students do not need to share common supplies. Shared equipment and keypads will be sanitized between users. Sanitizing wipes will be placed appropriately. In some cases, disposable gloves will be used. Sanitation supplies will be placed in every classroom.
Some courses, such as choir, will maintain ten feet of physical distance and will require face coverings. Performances will be postponed until at least the spring semester.
b) Residence Halls
The seating in all lounges will be reconfigured to provide for physical distancing and capacity control. For example, residence hall lounges and bathrooms are clearly posted with their maximum capacity. Bedrooms have a maximum capacity of the residents assigned to live there. Additionally, bedrooms are set up to maximize space between residents. Visitation policies within the residence halls have been modified as follows:
- Residential students only have cardkey access to their assigned residence hall
- No outside visitors are allowed in the residence halls
- Residents may not entertain other residents of the same residence hall in their room; however, they can meet in the hall lounges
c) Dining Services
Floor markers and directional signage will be installed in all locations to promote physical distancing. Tables and seating are being modified to allow single seating with six feet of space between guests and tables to meet the VDH guidelines. As Virginia progresses/regresses into different phases under the Forward Virginia Blueprint, modifications will be made to tables and seating to allow for greater/lesser capacity while still maintaining the six feet of physical distancing.
Designated entrances and exits will be created with barriers to separate and reduce the risk of potential exposure. Common areas leading into the various dining locations will have designated physical distancing markers. The use of stanchions will be used to help designate the lines for service while promoting physical distancing.
Take-out meals will be an option that is encouraged as physical distancing guidelines continue to be enforced. Depending on staffing and the availability of student labor, the College will implement a campus delivery program. Staff will deliver various menu options around campus in clean and sanitized containers. Payment will be made online before delivery to avoid contact.
Occupancy levels in all locations are modified and have significantly fewer seats. The cashier in each location will be monitoring seating and will hold guests at the cashier stations until appropriate seating is available, having been cleaned and disinfected. The College is looking to install crowd counters with a display screen outside dining areas that displays the capacity, seats available, and potential wait times. Additionally, this information will be available on an app that students can access before going to a location to help minimize wait times while promoting physical distancing.
All self-serve stations and menu options have been eliminated until approved by the VDH that it is safe to resume normal operations and the College can be in full compliance with their guidelines.
Dining Services staff are subject to a daily health screening at each location based upon a series of questions that have been approved by the VDH and Roanoke College.
d) Campus Recreation Facilities
i) Belk Fitness Center
The number of people allowed in the fitness center will comply with occupancy guidelines. Currently, guests will not be permitted. Equipment is spaced to permit ten feet of separation. Spotting at weight stations will not be permitted unless the participants are from the same household. Personal training sessions will not be permitted inside the Belk Fitness Center. Staff will monitor the spacing of participants.
ii) Game Room
The number of people allowed in the game room will comply with occupancy guidelines. The College may require advanced sign-up for specific timeslots. Televisions, video gaming systems, and pool tables will be adequately spaced so that physical distancing can be maintained. Staff will monitor the spacing of participants.
iii) Group Fitness Room
The number of people allowed in the group fitness room will comply with occupancy guidelines. The College may require advanced sign-up for classes. The floor will be marked with tape to define each participant’s workout area. The College has received guidance recommending 100-200 square feet per person. Equipment will be set up in defined areas before the start of each class. Staff will monitor the spacing of participants throughout the class.
The College will be adding virtual intramural offerings, such as fantasy football, that can be played online. Additionally, the College will consider offering golf, tennis, pickleball, and other sports where the participants would infrequently come within six feet of each other. Team sports that involve close play, such as flag football, basketball, and soccer will be on hiatus until further notice.
v) Outdoor Adventures Program (Center and Activities)
The number of people allowed in the center at a time will comply with occupancy guidelines. Stanchions will be used to queue those waiting for assistance and will ensure that individuals remain six feet apart. The arrangement of furniture will be such that participants maintain physical distancing. There will be no overnight trips where students would be sleeping close to each other in tents. Departure for off-campus trips will take place on foot or bicycle since van transportation will not allow for six feet of separation in most cases. This will necessitate more trips to the Greenway. The College is exploring the option of offering more programs such as slacklining that can enable adequate spacing. Staff will help monitor the spacing of participants during activities.
e) General Occupancy
Occupancy levels in all locations will be modified to comply with the Forward Virginia Blueprint.
Roanoke College is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe operation to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. All Roanoke College gatherings will comply with guidance related to physical distancing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health, and any laws or executive orders from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
All Roanoke College classrooms and laboratories, office spaces, dining facilities, residence hall common areas, social spaces, exercise facilities, outdoor event venues, meeting/conference rooms, athletic event locations, and other spaces will have an occupancy of no more than what is the recommended guidance in determining safe physical distancing to help prevent and/or stop the spread of COVID-19.
This occupancy may vary due to the type of activity to be performed in a particular setting. Any gathering involving exercise, singing, or cheering will be configured to maintain at least ten feet of distance between participants. All other gatherings are required to maintain at least six feet of distance in an appropriate setting. Face coverings are required for all indoor events.
Offices and meeting rooms are configured to support physical distancing guidance and to limit the number of occupants in an office. Desks have been set up to reduce the risk of occupants facing one another. Virtual meetings are encouraged to reduce the number of in-person meetings scheduled on campus. When in-person meetings must take place, attendance will be limited to the occupancy capacity in an assigned room. All meeting room occupancy capacities will comply with the guidance of six feet of physical distance between participants.
Social spaces and common areas in residence halls and the Colket Center have occupancy capacities posted to limit the number of people in a particular area. The posted capacities will be enforced by student staff at these locations.
Indoor and outdoor spaces hosting concerts and sporting events will comply with the Forward Virginia Blueprint and will maintain a strict physical distance of ten feet between spectators due to crowds singing or cheering throughout the event.
All Roanoke College residence halls, academic, and administrative buildings will have designated entrances and exits to reduce the size of gatherings in doorways and hallways. Face coverings are required in all buildings and other areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions to this policy are related to areas where individuals are exercising, eating, and in private areas such as residence hall rooms and single occupancy offices.
All fraternity and sorority chapter business must be conducted virtually or with physical distancing maintained in locations with the appropriate capacity for the number of members in attendance. Official fraternity and sorority social events will not be approved during the Fall 2020 semester due to the significant challenges in maintaining physical distancing in campus facilities.
a) General Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
Roanoke College uses Aramark Corporation for daily cleaning (five days per week) and disinfecting. As operations related to COVID-19 change with any local/state regulations, Aramark can offer enhanced protocols to meet changing regulations.
Existing protocol of cleaning and sanitizing at Roanoke College includes a five-day cleaning and sanitizing schedule in all existing buildings and restrooms on campus. The level of service with existing CDC approved sanitizers and classroom and bathroom procedures will offer protection as the campus reopens. Enhanced procedures now include that cleaning personnel will receive daily temperature checks and the correct PPE (masks, gloves, or gowns) before starting daily activities.
The protocol assumes daily cleaning and disinfecting of spaces and high touch areas per CDC guidance in the morning before student arrival and residence hall cleaning by mid-morning. Virex is the CDC approved disinfectant Aramark normally uses and it generally has a contact kill time of between two and four minutes. Other disinfectants will be used to augment existing disinfectants. The College has obtained a contract for electrostatic disinfecting machines that quickly disinfect large areas more quickly than manual hand cleaning. Additional sanitizers, both wipes and spray bottles, will be made available in classrooms for self-service use and shared self-sanitizing responsibility.
Supply vendors for sanitizers and cleaning chemical supplies are both local and national. Much of these supplies are currently stockpiled or have been ordered and are stored in locked locations on campus.
Dining areas will close down operations at various times between meals to clean and disinfect all the larger serving and seating areas. Guidelines issued by the CDC and the VDH will be followed. Tables and chairs will be disinfected after each use per the current guideline. Each table will have a single-use card that is green on one side and red on the other. As the table and chairs are cleaned and disinfected, green cards will be put down so guests know it is safe to use. Guests will be asked to turn over to the red when they finish so that staff will know the table needs to be cleaned. This also lets guests know that the table is not yet available for use. Additional sanitizing stations will be installed and all guests will be asked to wash their hands before entering. Signs will be posted on all doors and throughout dining locations making guests aware of the requirements and policies.
b) Provisions for Hand Sanitizer/Handwashing Stations
Hand sanitizers with high alcohol content, both wall-mount, and some free-standing units, have been ordered and will be installed in the lobbies of all the buildings nearest the entrance elevators so that hand disinfection can take place before entering the main parts of the buildings, classrooms, or elevators. There are plenty of bathrooms in and around campus buildings where frequent handwashing will be encouraged and expected.
c) Shared Objects
In laboratories and studios where equipment is normally shared, new practices have been instituted so that sharing is minimized. Many materials will be dispensed so that students do not need to share common supplies. Shared equipment and keypads will be sanitized between users. Sanitizing wipes will be placed appropriately. In some cases, disposable gloves will be used. Sanitizing supplies will be placed in every classroom. In a few cases where students must interact closely, disposable gloves, face shields, and gowns will be used.
In laboratories and computer centers where equipment is shared, there will be sanitation stations with disinfectant wipes, spray or pour spout bottles, and disposable paper towels for one-time use on a self-service or self-help basis. Additionally, these spaces will be cleaned and disinfected daily by housekeeping staff members before student arrival in the morning.
In dining areas, napkin dispensers and salt and pepper shakers will be removed from the tables. All condiments will be served at the stations. Silverware will be distributed to the students in bags. Touchless napkin dispensers will be available for use. For locations that are using disposables, touchless disposable silverware dispersers will be used. Items that can be reused will only be used for a single guest and then must be cleaned and disinfected before use again.
a) Face Coverings
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Roanoke College has developed a campus-wide face-covering policy. In the residence halls, face coverings are required at all times while in the common area spaces. Face coverings in residence hall bedrooms are not required. However, they are highly recommended unless the room is single occupancy.
b) Kitchen Usage
All students should keep their cooking utensils, pans, plates, cups, etc. in their bedroom. Dishes should be washed, dried, and stored back in their room immediately after use. Sharing a kitchen is natural for the residents living in one of the College’s apartments. Residents living in an apartment are highly encouraged to have their own dishes.
Residence hall lounges and bathrooms are posted with their maximum capacity. Bedrooms have a maximum capacity of the residents assigned to live there.
Reminders are posted for proper hand hygiene as well as the College’s face-covering policy.
Residents are asked to utilize digital platforms for events (Houseparty, Facebook Live, etc.) When small group events are planned, the use of open-air, well-ventilated rooms or outdoor venues will be utilized. If food is served, it should be pre-packaged in single-serving sizes or served by one person with adequate PPE.
f) Staff Meetings
When staff meetings take place, students are asked to utilize Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other methods for meetings. Materials for meetings can be picked up in professional staff offices at announced times.
Resident Advisors, Head Resident Advisors, Greek Residence Managers, and Residence Life & Housing professional staff are all trained on proper usage of PPE, changes to housing policy regarding COVID-19, and proper response in a COVID-19 active situation. Training will be conducted both online and in-person using the ACUHO-I training modules to supplement in-person training sessions. Resident Advisors (RAs) will have limited access to the RA Resource Room with no more than five persons allowed access at the same time.
a) Policy Options for Support
The Employee Guide for Returning to Campus addresses the process for employee accommodations, which covers vulnerable populations. This process was also discussed in a Zoom town hall meeting with employees. Those at risk may file for Americans with Disabilities Act accommodation through an electronic form created specifically for COVID-19 accommodations. Accommodations include remote work, flexible schedules (working outside traditional business hours when fewer people are present), or some combination of the two.
Students who need accommodations related to COVID-19 should contact the Office of Accessible Education Services. Accessible Education Services (formerly known as Disability Support Services) strives to meet the needs of students with documented disabilities in alignment with Roanoke College’s commitment to providing equal access to educational opportunities for all students, per Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
b) Leave Policies
Staff who earn leave were provided with five additional days of personal leave through December 2020 in addition to the 12 days earned each year. All leave banks may be used for any COVID-19 hardship reason. Faculty do not earn leave, and for both faculty and staff, the College is allowing remote work.
c) Policies for Returning to Class/Work After COVID-19 Illness
Students who have tested positive to COVID-19 will need to be cleared by a physician or Student Health Services to return to the classroom. Employees must be cleared by their physician or Student Health & Counseling Services medical staff to return to work. In the absence of a doctor’s return to work note due to an overloaded healthcare system, the College will follow CDC recovery timelines before allowing an employee to return. This is addressed in the Employee Guide for Returning to Campus, as well as the Supervisor’s Guide for Returning to the Workplace.
Roanoke College has suspended all business-related international travel. Employees traveling for personal reasons are required to report any suspected exposures upon return and will be required to quarantine if that is deemed appropriate by Student Health & Counseling Services staff.
All students and employees arriving from abroad are required to quarantine for two weeks. The College will facilitate this quarantine for students needing assistance. The International Education Office and Residence Life and Housing Office are communicating with International students about these requirements. International Education staff will track their return to campus, ensure compliance, and support their needs during quarantine.
Student Health & Counseling Services medical staff have collaborated with the local office of the VDH on reviewing plans for students’ return to campus to ensure they meet health and safety guidance and best practice protocols. The College is in direct communication with the VDH on matters of testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine scenarios, and care for symptomatic individuals on campus.
Lewis-Gale Medical Center is located in Salem and is the closest medical facility to campus. Lewis-Gale Medical Center and Roanoke College communicate and share information related to emergency response and follow-up. Additionally, Carilion Clinic’s chief of medicine and executive administrators met with Roanoke College ICS representatives to review portions of reopening strategies and plans.
Delmas Bolin, MD, PhD, FACSM, FAAFP, is the Roanoke College Head Team Physician and Medical Director. Dr. Bolin meets regularly with the Roanoke College Athletic Department’s planning team to inform strategies for safe resumption of fall sports programs. Dr. Bolin is also the Professor of Sports and Family Medicine at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Health & Counseling meets regularly with members of the Virginia College and University Medical Directors.
Roanoke College has a longstanding sense of community and collaboration with the City of Salem. This supportive relationship has aided both Roanoke College and the City of Salem in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Roanoke College Office of Campus Safety shares information daily with the City of Salem Emergency Management Team involving trends, emergency response, and training related to COVID-19. Roanoke College faculty collaborated with local emergency first responders with the procurement and process for disinfecting of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the event supplies of such PPE were limited.
The City of Salem, local businesses, and Roanoke College collaborate on issues of acquisition and sharing of PPE. Purchasing and sharing of PPE has reduced cost and has made supplies more readily available.
Roanoke College is tracking legislation at the federal and state levels and is in communication with representatives of other organizations, such as the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia, to ensure that the College is taking advantage of available resources. The College’s Public Relations and Communications offices collaborate with the City of Salem to distribute timely information to the broader community.
a) Education and Reinforcement
On June 17, 2020, Roanoke College announced a Face-covering Policy that applies to all students, faculty, and staff. An FAQ section was included as part of the policy. As faculty and staff begin returning to campus, this policy will be reinforced.
During new student orientation, all students (residential and commuter) will participate in a COVID-19 education program which includes the wearing of face coverings on campus when in public and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission.
The importance of wearing face coverings will be reinforced with educational programming on disease prevention strategies that will occur throughout the school year.
All faculty and staff are required to wear face coverings when in any shared space within a campus building, including hallways and classrooms. Classrooms are configured so that faculty can always be six feet away from students. Face coverings will be worn when teaching indoors. The College will provide each employee with one cloth face covering. Employees are allowed and encouraged to provide their own face coverings and it is recommended they have at least one spare to use to allow for routine cleanings.
Students are required to wear face coverings in any shared space within campus buildings, including hallways and classrooms. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will provide each student with a face covering. Students are allowed and encouraged to provide their own face coverings and it is recommended they have at least one spare to use to allow for routine cleanings.
d) General Information Regarding Locations
Cloth face coverings are required to be worn by all employees and students in the following locations:
- Common areas inside all campus buildings and in all other buildings owned or used by the College including, but not limited to, hallways, elevators, stairways, meeting rooms, classrooms, training rooms, locker rooms, dining facilities, restrooms, and lounges/break rooms
- Common areas in all College residence halls, including, but not limited to, hallways, elevators, stairways, lounges, another student’s room (in apartments and suites), study rooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms
- Any other indoor or outdoor areas of campus where physical distancing cannot be maintained
- When traveling by vehicle on College business if there is more than one person in the vehicle and everyone in the vehicle does not live together
a) Provision of PPE for SHCS Medical Staff
Roanoke College SHCS has a long-standing relationship with McKesson for the purchasing of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. McKesson experienced the same supply chain shortages as others across the country during the pandemic and prioritized hospitals’ critical supply needs. As a result, they were unable to fill supply requests for surgical and N95 masks, procedure gowns, and face shields. The College was able to obtain an adequate supply of gloves. This was communicated to the Incident Commander and subsequently a PPE subcommittee was created for review and acquisition of college-wide PPE needs. The committee has identified several additional vendors and has made significant purchases of masks, gowns, face shields, hand sanitizer, and other additional products as needed.
b) Maintenance of Typical (non-COVID-19) Student Health & Counseling Services
SHCS will continue to offer a range of services related to sexual health, injury, and non-respiratory acute illness evaluation. SHCS will offer a blended model of telehealth and traditional in-person services. The Zoom Health platform will be utilized to offer telehealth services. Student requests for either type of visit will be honored if possible, keeping safety of students and staff at the forefront. Best practices from an assessment, diagnostic, and treatment perspective may indicate an office-based evaluation.
c) Mental Health Services
Roanoke College Student Health & Counseling Services is an integrated center housed within the same building. The pandemic has exposed facility limitations that prohibit physical engineering strategies to limit exposure to respiratory illness. For example, Student Health & Counseling Services has a small common waiting room.
While sick students have been provided masks and were encouraged to sit away from others in the past, this is inadequate in the setting of COVID-19 mitigation. As a result, counseling staff will be temporarily relocated for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students referred to health care providers for medication consultation will be offered the option of a virtual or in-person office visit if conditions allow.
Current American College Health Association (ACHA) recommendations encourage an appropriate balance of in-person and telehealth service delivery of counseling services on college campuses. Until further guidance is received, counseling services will be delivered virtually unless the following criteria are met:
- A crisis situation that warrants in-person evaluation and intervention
- A client is unable to access telehealth. This could be related to technology or space-related challenges (lack of privacy)
- Based on the mental health provider’s discretion
Services provided in-person must happen under the following conditions:
- The client has received a COVID-19 symptom screening during scheduling and at the time of their appointment. No walk-ins will be permitted. All clients, including during a crisis, must be cleared by a mental health provider before entering the building
- Provider appointment schedules will be staggered to minimize social interaction in the waiting area
- Clients and staff will be required to wear face coverings when in the building and around others. This includes during counseling sessions unless an exception is deemed clinically necessary by a mental health provider
- Mental health providers will allow for at least six feet of physical distance between themselves and clients when able, including during counseling sessions
- Medically ill clients posing a potential communicable risk to others, including non-COVID-19 related, will not receive in-person services while ill. A best practice alternative will be determined and utilized on a case-by-case basis
- Medically ill staff posing a potential communicable risk to others, including non-COVID-19 related, will not be permitted to provide in-person services while ill. A best practice alternative will be determined and utilized on a case-by-case basis
In anticipation of the increased mental health needs related to living, learning, and working in the COVID-19 environment, Roanoke College has executed a contract to begin using Therapy Assistance Online (TAO Connect). TAO is a highly interactive, mobile-friendly educational tool that can be used as an adjunct to traditional therapy or stand alone as a self-help tool. This program will be available to students, faculty, and staff.
d) Student Health & Counseling Services Facility Considerations
Waiting rooms will be reconfigured to allow for physical distancing by removal and spacing of chairs. Students will enter through the High Street entrance and exit through the side door. Directional signage will be placed on the front entrance and throughout the building. Wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers are located in the waiting room, nurses station, and all patient care areas. Examination rooms, laboratories, and patient bathrooms will be disinfected following each usage. The facility will be cleaned daily by housekeeping.
e) Student Health & Counseling Services Administrative/Staff Considerations
Staff consist of two part-time, mid-level providers (one who serves as Director/Assistant Dean), and three part-time Registered Nurses. Additionally, there is an Office Coordinator that supports both student health and counseling operations. One provider and two nurses are scheduled each day. Staff will receive a temperature screen before entering the building. Currently, students pay on the day of service with cash, credit card, or Maroon Money. The College’s Business Office is considering a proposal to move to a touchless system which would allow billing directly to student accounts.
Obtaining personal protective equipment has been a priority since January 2020. Guided by the PPE subcommittee, the College began working with multiple vendors and was able to secure isolation gowns, surgical masks, gloves, and face shields. The College is currently on a waiting list for medical grade N95 masks. This vendor is confident with an August 1, 2020 delivery.
SHCS staff will receive additional training on the following topics before students return to campus:
- COVID-19 symptom evaluation and treatment
- Contact Tracing certification
- Isolation and quarantine protocols
- Assessment and care of patients in isolation
- Donning and doffing of PPE
- Strategies for patient triage via telehealth
- Infection control measures and enhanced cleaning protocols
f) Student Health & Counseling Services Patient Care Considerations
PyraMED Health is an electronic health record software utilized by SHCS. The web portal allows students to securely communicate with providers, electronically submit pre-entrance health forms, view and print immunization history, receive lab results, and schedule appointments. Students will be seen by appointment only and will have their temperature checked on arrival. Self-check-in will be suspended for the fall semester. Nurses will check students in manually.
Students will be instructed to call SHCS staff directly if they develop a fever or other signs of COVID-19 infection. They will be given instructions based on the triage assessment. Students requiring testing will enter through the rear door directly into an exam room where they will be greeted by a staff member. Based on test results and/or clinical suspicion, students will be provided a packet with instructions regarding isolation/quarantine and assisted with collecting belongings if moving to an isolation bed. With permission, the Registrar will be contacted to provide notification to professors. The Virginia Department of Health will be notified of positive test results.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has distributed guidance regarding gatherings during the various phases of reopening. Roanoke College will comply with this guidance.
Under current guidance, large events and ceremonies will be limited or postponed out of an abundance of caution. The Fall Student Activities Concert, President’s Ball, and Family Weekend have been postponed. Other large events and conferences have also been postponed. Roanoke College will comply with current guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia and will need Cabinet approval to happen.
Large events, athletic events, and ceremonies will be required to have, at least, the following in place before being approved:
- All organizers, participants, and spectators will undergo a health screening, including temperature check, before entering the venue. No one with a fever, symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to COVID-19 in the previous 14 days will be permitted inside of the venue. This policy will be posted at the entrances of the venue
- Signage providing awareness of physical distancing, gatherings, handwashing practices, and the importance of not entering if sick will be posted at all entrances and throughout the venue
- Occupancy plans will allow for physical distancing of six feet between all organizers, staff, volunteers, and attendees who are not members of the same household. Athletic events, concerts, and other events where singing and/or cheering may occur will maintain physical distancing of ten feet of space between attendees
- Seating areas must be configured to allow six feet of physical distancing between individuals. Tables will be placed to support appropriate physical distancing as well
- All venues will have dedicated entrances and exits to reduce bottlenecking
- A plan must be in place for cleaning and disinfecting high contact areas and hard surfaces per CDC guidance every two hours starting before, during, and after the event
- Events will not be open to the public and will be limited to Roanoke College students, faculty, and staff only
- Events will mark queue lines that separate people by six feet of physical distance. Seating areas will also be marked to show where people may sit to maintain physical distance
- Each event will have a designated COVID-19 coordinator who will provide a detailed plan on health preparedness and emergency response. Plans will include the process for notifying the local health department
- All participants will register for event tickets or use a valid Maroon Card so that officials will know who to contact in the event of COVID-19 exposure
- Sneeze guards and other barriers will be installed at each point of sale
- Portable hand sanitizing stations will be placed in convenient locations, but away from congregate areas. The event set up must provide for six feet of physical distancing
- A plan to ensure each bathroom has an adequate supply of soap and water. All bathrooms will have posted signs indicating best practices for washing hands
- A plan to close off areas used by sick people to include cleaning and disinfecting after a 24-hour waiting period
- All attendees are to leave the venue through designated exits to reduce contact or exposure to themselves or others
- All event plans need to be reviewed by the Office of Campus Safety and Student Health & Counseling Services before submission to Cabinet for approval
a) Setting Expectations
Roanoke College will contact students, faculty, and staff on July 2, 2020 to set expectations for the fall semester. Communication will state that details will be released by mid-July, but students should expect changes to many aspects of campus life to accommodate the return to campus. This message will be communicated to students, faculty, staff, and parents by the following methods:
- Direct email
- Posted to Roanoke College website for news and COVID-19 news page
- Shared on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Repeated as top story on daily email to students, faculty, and staff
- Highlighted on the Inside Roanoke intranet page
b) Roanoke College’s Plan for Reopening in Fall 2020
Roanoke College will submit the Plan for Reopening to the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) by July 6, 2020. At the same time, the plan will be posted on the College’s COVID-19 website. After the report is submitted to and approved by SCHEV, the content will be reformatted into user friendly sections and posted to a new section of the website dedicated to returning to campus in the fall. It is expected to take several days to reformat the content and create the web pages.
As soon as web content is ready, the plan will be communicated to students, faculty, staff, and parents by the following methods:
- Direct email
- Posted to Roanoke College website for news and COVID-19 news page
- Shared on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Repeated as top story on daily email to students, faculty, and staff
- Highlighted on the Inside Roanoke intranet page
This communication would be followed a few days later with a ZOOM videoconference meeting for students to allow them the opportunity to ask questions before their arrival.
c) Further Guidance for Fall 2020
Additional details about operations of student organizations, travel policies, athletic events, and other events will be communicated to students, faculty, staff, and parents by the following methods:
- Direct email
- Posted to Roanoke College website for news and COVID-19 news page
- Shared on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Repeated as top story on daily email to students, faculty, and staff
- Highlighted on the Inside Roanoke intranet page
As faculty, staff, and students begin to return to campus, they will be briefed through various means on safety and protocol. Students will be educated during their orientation. Faculty and staff have had a video and print materials supplied by Human Resources addressing a multitude of topics for returning to work such as personnel situations arising from COVID-19, responding to employees calling in sick, positive cases on campus, flexible leave policies, and of course, safety and health protocols. Communication from supervisors to their employees will be ongoing as practices evolve in response to new information.
Supervisors received information about addressing COVID-19 stigma and discrimination. The College will assign a required course to all faculty and staff through the Learning Management System (LMS) to watch an anti-stigma training video. Additionally, the College has implemented an anonymous reporting process so that it can quickly address the issue should problems arise.
1) Strategies for Monitoring Health of Campus Population
Roanoke College is developing a self-assessment tool that will be available as a web form and compatible on any device. The tool, COVID Tracker, is slated to be operational July 1, 2020. All faculty, staff, and students will complete the assessment each day. Positive responses will be sent to SHCS for follow-up. Once the self-assessment is completed, individuals will receive a confirmation email. This confirmation serves as proof the assessment was completed and potentially used as an “admission ticket” to gain entrance to classrooms and work spaces.
2) Campus Level Syndromic Surveillance
PyraMED Health electronic software will be used to monitor COVID-19 cases and recovery status for students. An internal document will be used to track those in quarantine including testing needs and release dates. SHCS will partner with and take direction from the VDH regarding additional record keeping.
3) Establishment of a Testing Strategy
All students will receive an RT-PCR test upon arrival to campus. SHCS staff will employ both Quidel SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care antigen testing (based on availability) and RT-PCR testing for evaluation of symptomatic students. Faculty and staff will be encouraged to utilize personal health care providers or local urgent care centers to obtain testing unless they were identified as a direct contact of a person under investigation (PUI) or an individual who has tested positive. In this event, faculty or staff members would receive appropriate testing and support.
Staff in high risk settings including dining services, housekeeping, campus safety, and student health, as well as certain faculty, will be screened at least once and as indicated utilizing both Quidel SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care antigen testing and RT-PCR testing based on availability and current laboratory processing time.
Students in special risk categories such as athletes and choir members will be scheduled for testing based on the nature of their ongoing participation.
1) Partnership with the VDH for Contact Tracing
Staff in SHCS and Campus Safety have completed the Johns Hopkins Contact Tracing Course. On identification of a PUI, the local epidemiology consultant with the VDH Alleghany Health District will be contacted. If deemed appropriate in the individual circumstance, students may return home for isolation and treatment by primary care provider.
2) Quarantining and Isolating
An on-campus residence hall and off-campus college-owned houses will be used for isolation space. Before student arrival, these houses will be stocked with an infrared thermometer, over the counter medications for symptom relief, beverages, and non-perishable foods. When a student is identified as a PUI or tests positive, the CMT will be notified. Students will be provided a packet of information and transported to their assigned unit. Dining services will be notified to begin meal delivery. SHCS medical staff will complete a telehealth visit daily to check on student health status. In-person visits will be scheduled as needed. Students will contact Campus Safety for afterhours emergent concerns. Counseling staff and/or the Chaplain will provide daily check-in for emotional support while in isolation and convey additional needs to clinical staff as indicated.
Students required to quarantine will do so in place if their housing assignment permits. If needed, students may be moved to an isolation bed for quarantine purposes. Quarantined students will require food delivery and will not be permitted to enter common spaces or occupied bathrooms.
3) Campus Outbreak Management
SHCS medical staff will be in close contact and collaboration with the VDH to manage an outbreak. Determining if an outbreak is isolated to a certain group or a specific residential area will dictate next steps. All students and other individuals effected by the outbreak will be reminded to wear face coverings at all times and strict handwashing will be reinforced. The CMT will be alerted to the outbreak. The CMT may convene to assess if conditions warrant consideration of a shift to remote learning and campus closure. A tabletop exercise will be completed this summer to walk through the steps if a student, staff, or faculty member tests positive.
4) Partnership with Local Health Systems to Care for Symptomatic Individuals
Roanoke College has been in consultation with Carilion Clinic for ongoing evaluation of reopening plans. Furthermore, being the closest emergency department and psychiatric facility to campus, Lewis-Gale Medical Center has a long-standing history of treating students with acute medical and mental health issues. In the event a student developed worsening symptoms related to COVID-19 infection and needed emergent medical transport, the EMS system would be activated and the student would receive evaluation and treatment at the Lewis-Gale Emergency Department.
1) Plan for Campus Dismissal and/or Shutdown
In consultation with the VDH, the College will determine the number of cases indicating an outbreak and whether or not the conditions exceed the ability to safely manage the outbreak. Consideration should be given to isolation and quarantining, remaining bed availability, and clinical caregiver capacity to manage a surge. Employee absenteeism will be an additional indicator of the ability to provide appropriate care and support to the campus community. These indicators taken together will signal a shift to remote learning and campus recess.
2) Nature of Reduced Campus Activity if Needed
Actions will include, but aren’t limited to, restricting all visitors to campus, cancellation of any in-person events including athletic competitions, and a shift to critical services only.
3) Considerations Regarding Student Health and Safety on Campus Versus Returning Home
In consultation with the VDH, the College will discuss conditions of students returning home. Students returning to an environment deemed a greater public health threat as defined by the CDC or local health authorities would be allowed to remain on campus. Students who live with at risk family members would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
4) Communications Plan for Dismissals/Shutdowns
If an outbreak makes it necessary to send students back home for completion of the semester online, the College will handle communications promptly.
In the event of an outbreak on campus, the decision to send students home will be made by the President and the Cabinet. Once the decision is made, the Marketing and Communications Team will update draft communications (prepared before the semester begins) with specific dates and deadlines to leave the campus.
If the decision is made to send students home, a seven-day suspension of classes will occur to allow for travel, as well as preparation by students and faculty for remote learning. Accordingly, the academic calendar will be extended one week. Once the communications are approved by Cabinet with the new dates and deadlines, faculty and staff will be notified the same day, if possible. This will be by email directly to faculty and staff.
Following faculty and staff notification, students and parents will be notified using the approved communications with the date the cancellation of on-campus courses is effective (likely immediately), as well as deadlines for leaving campus and information about when courses would resume online. This will be communicated by email directly to students and their parents. It will also be posted to news pages on the College’s website and shared on social media channels.
This action will be followed the same day by a Zoom videoconference meeting with the President and his Cabinet who will likely make themselves available for questions.
Students will depart from campus in the following day(s). The College will follow up with links to information assisting students in the transition such as remote learning resources that have already been created.
This concludes Roanoke College’s plan for reopening in the Fall of 2020. The plan has been approved by Michael C. Maxey, President, Roanoke College. It is in accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s Higher Education Reopening Guidance, published on June 11, 2020 and distributed to Virginia’s institutions of higher education.
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