COVID-19 Policy Updates Spring 2021

Updates to Residential Policies and the Housing Agreement

We are very excited to welcome our students back to campus for Spring 2021. The Residence Life & Housing Office has partnered with others on campus to develop several interim policies that are designed to mitigate the health and safety risks to our community from the potential spread of COVID-19.  To bolster efforts at compliance with federal and state recommendations, changes have been made to the Housing Agreement, and this includes several  new residential policies.  These policies apply to all Roanoke College residence halls and Greek houses.

These new policies supersede any conflicting provisions of the Residence Life & Housing Policies, the Terms and Conditions for On Campus, Off Campus, and Intensive Learning Term Living, as well as any other agreement between you and Roanoke College and any other Roanoke College policies.  Your agreement to comply with these polices, as reflected by your signature below, is required in order to allow you to participate in campus residential life, and becomes an important part of your Housing Agreement.  

Health & Safety. Roanoke College is a community of mutual respect and understanding.  All members of the College’s housing community are expected to comply with the Roanoke College’s Crush COVID-19 Pledge and to act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for the health and safety of all residents. The College reserves the right to require any resident to leave College premises if their actions in the housing community pose a health or safety risk to others, or otherwise violate the Student Code of Conduct.  

It has always been the student’s obligation to maintain their individual rooms in a safe and sanitary manner.  This obligation is more important than ever, and students are expected to educate themselves on COVID-19, how it spreads, what its symptoms are, cleaning and disinfecting guidance, and prevention approaches. Resources are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, and Virginia Dept. of Health at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/prevention-tips/

Students who live in College-provided, residential housing, including Greek housing, are required to comply with all health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations as well as health and safety guidance adopted by the College as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19. It is likely guidance will change as the public health crisis evolves and may include, but is not limited to, social distancing, limitations on gatherings, wearing a face covering, COVID-19 diagnostic testing (including before, after or upon arrival to campus), contact tracing, cleaning and disinfection protocols, limitations on guests into residence halls and individual rooms/suites, and quarantine/isolation requirements (including before, after or upon arrival to campus). Residential students are required to take advantage of all orientation and/or training sessions provided by the College on COVID-19 issues.

You agree to adhere to these policies, as well as additional changes or new policies implemented as a result of changing guidance.  Adherence to health and safety requirements applies to all residents and extends to all areas of residential life, including bedrooms, bathrooms, community kitchens, lounges, computer rooms, courtyards and other common spaces.

Housing Agreement. You understand that signing this agreement and by residing in a residence provided by Roanoke College, you are assuming risks associated with congregate living and, as in any shared living environment, those risks include the potential exposure to and contraction of contagious viruses, including, but not limited to the novel coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, and infectious diseases, including, but not limited to COVID-19, which may result in serious illness or death. 

Acknowledging these risks and the potential for serious harm (including death), you agree to assume any and all risks related to a potential or actual exposure to and/or contraction of any contagious virus, including SARS CoV-2, and the exposure to and/or contraction of any infectious disease, including COVID-19, that may result from or arise out of, in whole or in part, your presence in or use of any space, including without limitation, living, eating, sleeping, gathering, grooming, or showering,  within College-provided residential housing.  You assume these risks even if they could have been prevented or mitigated by enhanced safety or sanitation practices and procedures. You further agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the College, its agents, and employees from and against any and all claims, liabilities, damages, losses, expenses (including attorney’s fees, opinion witness fees and court costs) resulting from or arising out of, in whole or in part, your breach of the terms and conditions of your housing agreement, including any of the policies related to COVID-19.

Visitation.  For the health and safety of the campus community, students will only have cardkey access to their assigned residence hall to start the semester. However, residents may have one visitor in their room from the same building. The visitation policy will be reviewed and adjusted as conditions allow. 

Common Areas. Residence hall lounges and bathrooms will be clearly posted with occupancy limitations, and these limits must be respected. Bedrooms will also be arranged to encourage the largest separation of space between roommates.

Social Distancing – Hygiene.  You agree to make every reasonable effort to practice social distancing.  This includes staying at least six (6) feet away from others.  No more than one person may occupy any elevator.  Handshakes, hugs and fist bumps are to be avoided and replaced with no contact greeting gestures.  You agree to wash your hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds) or use hand sanitizer frequently, but at least after touching any public surface and before eating.  

Face coverings. To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Roanoke College has developed a campus-wide face covering policy.  In the residence halls, face coverings should be worn at all times while in the common area spaces unless bathing, eating, brushing teeth or shaving.  In your residence hall bedrooms, face coverings are not required; but, are highly encouraged if you have a roommate.  If two or more persons are required to travel together in a vehicle, face coverings must be worn, and windows should be open if the weather allows.

Kitchen usage. All students should keep their personal cooking utensils, pans, plates, cups, etc. in their personal bedroom.  Dishes should be washed, dried, and stored back in their room immediately after usage. 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 personal dishes, and discouraged from sharing plates, bowls, glasses, cups and eating utensils.

Move-in. Residence Life & Housing has established a carefully organized move-in process spread out over several days to follow public health safety guidelines. Students are limited to two additional people to assist during the move-in process and all will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the move-in process. Students will be assigned time slots based on room assignments and will have two hours to complete the move-in process. No early arrivals will be permitted except for those students who have been granted permission to return early for fall athletics or other approved activities.

Reporting.  Any of the following situations need to be reported promptly: (i) you develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 that are not otherwise explained (a symptom checklist is available on the Virginia Department of Health and Center for Disease Control’s website); (ii) you are awaiting test results for and/or have tested positive for COVID-19;  (iii) you are notified by a third party that you have been exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19; (iv) you have been ask to quarantine; (v) you have been in ‘close contact’ within the past 14 days with someone whom you learn was positive for COVID-19 at the time (‘close contact’ means being within six (6) feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes), or (vi) you have traveled to or from a location or an event that has within the past 14 days been identified as one experiencing a significant increase in positive test results.  This reporting obligation applies even in a situation where you or another person has tested positive but remain asymptomatic.   Should one of these situations develop you are to call or email the following person(s) as promptly as possible, but in all circumstances, the notice must occur within at least four (4) hours:  8AM to 430PM contact Student Health & Counseling at 540-375-2286 after hours or weekends please contact Campus Safety at 540-375-2310.

Self-Quarantine.  In the event of any of the foregoing occurrences, you agree, to the maximum extent possible, to self-quarantine yourself (avoiding all contact with other residents, including roommates) and then follow the directions provided by Residence Life and Housing, or Student Health as to where you should physically relocate. You also agree to comply with all isolation or quarantine directions you receive from the College and to remain quarantined until formally released by the College.

Questions.  In the event a question arises regarding the College’s policies involving COVID-19, you should contact Tom Rambo, Interim Dean of Student Affairs and ICS Incident Commander; or Sandy McGhee, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Health & Counseling Services (Health and Safety Lead on CMT and ICS).