COVID-19 CURRENT STATUS
As we are heading into the Fall 2022 semester, Reinhardt’s health protocols have evolved to reflect the changing nature of the virus, the benefits of improve prevention efforts and treatments, and the collective community immunity status to COVID-19. Although, we are now able to manage coronavirus similarly to other endemic respiratory viruses, we will continue to adhere to health protocols to ensure the safety of the University community.
Reinhardt will continue to rely on the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the recommendations from our state and local health departments as we set university policy and protocols.
Reinhardt is committed to the safety of our community and mitigating the spread and harmful effects of Covid-19. Reinhardt will continue to educate and remind students, faculty, and staff of their responsibility to practice all the behaviors known to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as to report COVID-19 symptoms, positive test results and exposures.
Reinhardt will follow these COVID-19 protocols.
COVID-19 Exposure and Isolation Protocols
Reinhardt University will follow CDC guidelines pertaining to exposure, quarantine, isolation procedures and conduct contact tracing. Based on guidance from local, state and federal public health officials, the following are protocols Reinhardt University will follow in the event an exposure or infection of COVID-19 takes place on campus. This plan is subject to change without notice as health guidelines evolve and change.
Reporting COVID-19 Symptoms
Any employee or student who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive, or has had significant exposure to someone who has tested positive, regardless of vaccination status or tests positive for COVID-19 must contact the Student Health Center immediately at email@example.com. DO NOT come to campus or attend classes or participate other university related activities until you have clearance from a SHC staff member to do so. If a student feels sick but does not appear to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, that person should call the Student Health Center. The SHC staff will screen the individual reporting symptoms to determine whether the situation necessitates putting the individual in quarantine or isolation.
An employee or student who is required to isolate must remain away from campus for 5 days. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolved after 5 days, you can return to campus. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
Any individual required to isolate away from campus is prohibited from returning to campus until explicitly permitted to do so by a SHC staff member. A residential student required to quarantine/isolate must leave campus unless provided an exception by a SHC member due to extenuating circumstances.
- Exposure to COVID-19 – A person who is found to be in direct contact with a laboratory tested positive person.
- COVID-19 Positive – A laboratory tested positive person for COVID-19.
Close Contact Exposure
Close Contact through proximity and duration of exposure: Someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three separate 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 starting 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for people without symptoms, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date).
University Community members (students, faculty and staff) are not required to quarantine if they have been in close contact with someone who is presumed or confirmed to have COVID-19 if they show no symptoms. However, if an individual is exposed to COVID-19, he/she should wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
Contact tracing identifies and supports people (contacts) who may have been infected through exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating those who have (or may have) an infectious disease from those who don’t. If a member of the Reinhardt University community tests positive for COVID-19, their close contacts will be notified and given information on next steps. The university won’t share the infected person’s name or identity, as per HIPAA guidelines.
- If a student/employee has symptoms and/or test positive for Covid-19 they are to contact the Student Health Center immediately.
- The Student Health Center will assess the student/employee to determine if they should isolate.
- The Student Health Center will develop a list of close contacts who will be notified and provided instructions for getting tested, monitoring for symptoms, and if needed isolating. “Close contact” is defined as being within six feet for at least 15 minutes cumulatively during a 24-hour period.
- Close contact lists will focus on residential rooms, classrooms and athletic environments.
- Those employees and students not determined to be close contacts will receive a COVID19 Possible Exposure Notification which focuses on case notification and provision of information and resources to exposed persons about access to testing, etc.
Self-monitoring is required when an individual has been exposed to someone through close contact who is presumed or confirmed to have COVID-19 to account for any COVID-19 symptoms due to that exposure. Those asked to self-monitor should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. The student will report their temperature to the campus nurse if > 98.6. Anyone on self-monitoring will be provided a plan for whom to contact if they develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period to determine whether a medical evaluation is needed.
Reinhardt does not require students, faculty and staff to quarantining if they are exposed to COVID-19. However, they are to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
Isolation is required when an individual has been infected with the virus, even if they do not have symptoms.
Employees in Isolation
An employee in isolation may telecommute provided the employee’s health allows and as the employee’s work duties permit. A faculty member may temporarily convert classes to a distance learning format while in isolation and this must be reported to their dean. A staff member who cannot telecommute must take leave for any time spent in isolation. Telecommuting and leave must be coordinated with the employee’s supervisor.
Students in Isolation
If a student is required to isolate, the Office of Student Affairs will communicate with the student’s instructors to confirm that all class absences are administratively excused during the period of isolation. The student must contact all instructors, health permitting, to determine whether reasonable temporary accommodations may be arranged so that the student does not fall behind in coursework. Such accommodations may include, but are not limited to, lecture capture videos, alternative assignments, a designated peer note-taker, videoconference meetings and revised due dates. The student’s academic advisor and the Academic Support Office (ASO) staff may also provide support and guidance on how best to keep up with studies during isolation.
Clearance from Isolation
The staff of the Student Health Center will make the determination of when to clear students, faculty and staff from Isolation. To be clear, individuals under isolation must receive clearance from the Student Health Center before returning to campus and resuming regular activities and duties.
- CDC guidelines for each infectious disease will be used to determine when the individual is no longer considered contagious.
- Students may be cleared from isolation once they complete their isolation period and have no more signs and symptoms of infection without the use of medication.
Isolation for those who have Tested Positive for COVID-19
Reinhardt University is required to temporarily remove from the campus any person who tests positive for COVID-19. Students who test positive for COVID-19 while on campus will still be required to isolate off campus at their primary residence, unless approved to stay in the University’s isolation facility.
If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay home/off-campus for at least 5 days and isolate from others. Those that test positive are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. They should wear a high-quality mask when they must be around others at home and in public.
- If after 5 days the individual is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and their symptoms are improving, or they never had symptoms, they may end isolation after day 5.
- Regardless of when they end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11.
- They should wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
Smith-Johnston Hall has been set aside as the University’s Isolation facility. Residential students who have extenuating circumstances (i.e.: from out of state, international or have a family member that is immunocompromised) may be permitted to isolate in the isolation facility at the discretion of the SHC Staff.
Meals will be provided by Metz for those residential students who are permitted to quarantine/isolate on campus within Smith-Johnston Hall due to COVID-19. Consent authorizing a Reinhardt University Residence Life employee to use the student’s meal plan to purchase meals while in quarantine/isolation will be obtained from the student.
- Meals will be purchased through Campus Dining by designated Residence Life employees using the student’s meal plan.
- To-go-meals will be delivered to the assigned isolation room within Smith-Johnston Hall.
- Residence Life employees will leave the packaged food on the student’s doormat.
- Residence Life employees will leave the building and call or text the student their meal is on their doorstep. Employees must be > 6 feet from the student’s door before calling.
- Prior to the arrival of student’s assigned isolation room in Smith-Johnston Hall, the campus nurse will stock the unit with a biohazard bag.
- Students will be instructed to dispose all waste products in the designated receptacle in their unit.
- The campus nurse will place used PPE in the biohazard bag. Once the bag is full, it will be removed and disposed properly.
- The campus nurse will be notified if additional biohazard bags are needed for the student’s isolation unit.
- Additional biohazard bags will be left on the student’s doormat. The student will be called or texted after the nurse has left the designated hallway with additional biohazard bags.
Personal Protection Equipment
When in direct contact with possible COVID cases the sue of appropriate PPE equipment will be determined by the healthcare provider. PPE will be stocked as needed by the SHC.
Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and all amendments thereto, including a guide or signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
- Reinhardt University Residence Life and Housing Operations-Service and Assistance Animal Guidelines are signed by the student resident, Assistant Director, Coordinator of Housing Operations before a service/therapy animal is brought on campus.
- The guidelines state, the cost of care, arrangements, and responsibilities for the well-being of a service/therapy animal are always the sole responsibility of the resident.
- The animal may not be left in the care of another resident while the resident is away.
- The resident is responsible for securing off-campus care and housing for their animal.
The Center for Disease Control recommends individuals requiring self-isolation should be advised to limit interaction with pets and other animals. Individuals who are symptomatic should maintain separation from pets as they would with other household members and avoid direct contact with pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. The CDC states service animals should not be permitted to remain with their handlers.
If the student is unable to find a caregiver for their emotional support animal, the animal will be housed at a pet sitting facility at the owner’s expense.
Student Health Center
Reinhardt University Health Services will notify Cherokee County Health Department of all persons under investigation for a high-risk illness or who have tested positive for a reportable illness.
All students on self-monitoring, self-isolation or quarantine precautions will be asked to check their temperature daily.
- The student will report their temperature to the campus nurse daily.
- Communication about how the student feels, signs and symptoms of illness, and medication taken within the past 24 hours will be discussed daily with the campus nurse.
- Student will be provided with available resources for support including Reinhardt University Counseling Services and Reinhardt University Campus Ministries.
- Student will be informed that Reinhardt University Counseling Services and Reinhardt University Campus Ministries may reach out or conduct a follow up wellness check.
- The student will be provided with the information contained in this document and will be given parameters about contact with others.
- Track the infected student’s activity and inform appropriate offices/services as necessary.
- Contact those individuals who have had recent close contact with the infected student.
Dean of Students
The Dean of Students/designee will take the following steps on behalf of COVID-19 infected students:
- Communicate with instructors regarding student absence and need for accommodations.
- Coordinate academic support to isolated students by referring them to Academic Support Office
The Office of Residence Life will take the following steps on behalf of COVID-19 infected students:
- Facilitate preparation of “to go” meals with Metz (dining hall)
- Arrange for special custodial services as needed
Parent/Emergency Contact Notification
The Dean of Students will determine, in coordination with Student Health Center, if the parent or emergency contact should be notified and if so, he/she will contact the parent or emergency contact as noted in the student’s file.
- If a student in self-isolation or quarantine is unable to be reached at their designated check-in time with the campus nurse, the campus nurse will don PPE and knock on the student’s door and identify themselves. If the student does not answer the door, Residence Life will be notified. The campus nurse will unlock the student’s door and again announce themselves. A safety check will occur.
- If the student is experiencing a medical emergency, 911 will be called and Reinhardt University Emergency Procedures will be followed.
- Reinhardt University will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the
- The Director of Communications and Marketing will be notified as soon as possible of the emergency notification issued to the campus community to coordinate release of consistent information through all university communication mediums. Notices to be posted on the University website (reinhardt.edu) and Reinhardt University’s official social media networks will be provided to the Director of Communications and Marketing.
Student Cleared from Self-Monitoring, Self-isolation or Quarantine
Staff from the Student Health Center will make the determination when to clear students from Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation.
- CDC guidelines for each infectious disease will be used to determine when the student is no longer considered contagious.
- Students may be cleared from self-monitoring quarantine or isolation once they complete their 10-day observation period and have no more, signs and symptoms of infection without the use of medication.
- All departments should be notified that the student is leaving their assigned Residence Hall unit.
- Residence Life Staff
- Campus Nurse
- Campus Counselor
- Dean of Students
Procedures for Cleaning Infectious Disease Patient Care Areas
Cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces are important components of infection prevention and control in healthcare/living facilities. Cleaning and disinfecting procedures, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical waste disposal procedures are dependent on the scope and nature of the infectious disease or disease outbreak. Proper procedures and guidance will be advised by SHS, CDC.
Because COVID-19 continues to be a dynamic situation, we may have to amend our current policies based on recommendations from the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health. Thank you again for your continued support and for doing your part to keep our University community safe.
Current University Mitigation Practices
- Increase communication with campus community to encourage healthy prevention practices.
- Comply local, state or national executive orders, which may include cancellation or postponement of athletic and cultural events.
- Implement rigorous methods of cleaning of high-touch surfaces in buildings with appropriate cleaning agents.
- Maintain communication with local and state DPH officials.
- Consult best practices and guidance published by DPH, CDC, and WHO.
- Practice contact tracing efforts to extent feasible.
- Enhance signage in classrooms, hallways, and entrances to raise awareness about how to stop the spread of COVID-19, including preventative measures such as staying home when sick, practicing good hygiene, self-monitoring for symptoms.
- All faculty, staff and students are required to wear a mask or face covering in all indoor classes, labs, studios, meetings and events when physical distancing cannot be achievable.
- Any Reinhardt faculty, coach or office director may require face coverings at official University events, gatherings or in offices. Signs will be posted.
- All members of campus should be prepared to wear a mask at any time.
- All faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering inside campus buildings where instruction, meetings or large gatherings are not taking place such as residence halls, Hasty Student Life Center and Gordy Center.
- Require all doors to offices and classrooms to be open. Open windows if possible.
- Establish protocol for campus community members who feel ill or exhibit symptoms when on campus.
- Designate 2% of residence halls to become isolation units.
- Support ways to accommodate needs of community members who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.