WCSU Covid-19 Information Fall 2021

Reopening WCSU

WCSU Fall 2021 Reopening Plan

COVID-19 Coordinator

COVID-19 Coordinator (Name and Title): Pano Koukopoulos, Director of Emergency Management

Email and cell phone: koukopoulosp@wcsu.edu, 203-837-9352

Vaccinations

Per BOR Policy, all students are required to submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccination prior to their return to campus.

IMPORTANT: No student may return to campus without either proof of vaccination or an approved exemption. Failure to comply may result in holds on your record and removal from your classes.

  1. Proof of vaccination should be submitted as a pdf to https://wcsu.medicatconnect.com/. The easiest way to get a pdf of your vaccination record is to log into the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) and download a copy from there. (https://vams.cdc.gov/vaccineportal/s/login/?language=en_US&startURL=%2Fvaccineportal%2Fs%2F&ec=302)
  2. Exemption requests are processed as follows:
    1. Medical Exemptions: https://www.wcsu.edu/healthservices/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2021/07/Medical-Immunization-Exemption-7-12-21.pdf
    2. Non-Medical Exemptions: https://cscu-gme-advocate.symplicity.com/surveys/index.php/pid642327?sid=exemption
  3. Because some students are at the halfway mark of their vaccinations, we are asking that you let us know where you are in the process by answering this brief survey. This will help us plan for any delays in your vaccination process. https://forms.office.com/r/irrQ5ZX0Nn.

COVID-19 Testing

  1. Fully vaccinated students do not need to participate in routine COVID-19 testing. However, if you have a known exposure, we do ask that you follow this guidance from the CDC.If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative [Even if the campus has dropped the mask mandate].You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.
  2. Unvaccinated students must submit a negative PCR test prior to return to campus (completed within 7 days of your return), and weekly after that. Records of these tests should be uploaded to https://wcsu.medicatconnect.com/.
    1. Unvaccinated students in the residence halls will also be tested upon arrival and are required to quarantine until the test results are available.

Please report positive COVID-19 tests here:  https://westconn.tfaforms.net/201

COVID-19 Monitoring and Reporting

All students, faculty, and staff are asked to monitor their health daily for symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and might include:

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

If you are exhibiting these symptoms, please get tested.

If you have a known exposure, please follow these CDC Guidelines:

If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative [even if the campus has dropped the mask mandate]. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html)

If you test positive, please report your status here https://westconn.tfaforms.net/201

Masks

WCSU will open with a requirement for masks indoors per prevailing COVID-19 conditions. We hope to remove as soon as conditions allow.

  1. Masks are required in all indoor spaces at this time. We will consider removing masks under the following conditions:
    1. We have a vaccination rate of 80% or higher within the WCSU community, and
    2. The local infection rate remains at a low or moderate rate per CDC tracking measures (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view).
  2. Mask exceptions are as follows:
    1. Student Athletes will follow guidelines in compliance with their respective leagues and sports. Consult your coach for more details.
    2. Fully vaccinated students in the performing arts programs may remove their masks in classes and performances if we reach a vaccination rate of 80% or higher. Unvaccinated students in the performing arts may need a modified program in the fall. Consult your program chair for details.
    3. Fully vaccinated faculty and staff may remove their masks in office areas by mutual agreement.
  3. Masks are not required when walking around outdoors. Masks are recommended for anyone who is not vaccinated and those who may be immunocompromised.
  4. Masks are required for all university sponsored outdoor events. This includes athletic events (excluding the players), social events sponsored by SGA, and academic events that are outdoors. While outdoor spaces are generally safe for vaccinated people to go without their masks, most events involve interactions that can bring people in close contact with each other by design or by accident. With the spread of the Delta variant, it is prudent to wear masks whenever such clustering of people is likely to occur, whether indoors or outdoors.

Physical Distancing

  1. Per agreement at the CSU System Office and in line with the K-12 community, we will follow three-foot distancing in all campus spaces.
  2. Exceptions to physical distancing are as follows:
    1. Fully vaccinated athletes may interact during practices and competitions as normal.
    2. Fully vaccinated students in the performing arts may interact in rehearsals and performance as normal.
    3. Unvaccinated student athletes and those in the performing arts may be subject to program modifications in the fall. Consult your coach or program director/department chair.
    4. Some labs may be outfitted with plastic dividers between stations to permit full occupancy. See description in the section on classrooms.

Classrooms

  1. Classrooms are currently organized around three-foot spacing, with masks required. As per masking rules, we will consider removing them when we reach an 80% vaccination rate, and the local infection rate is low to moderate per CDC tracking measures (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view).
  2. Exceptions to three-foot spacing will include labs (science, nursing, computer, editing). In these settings the following protocols will be followed:
    1. Masks will be required all semester, regardless of vaccination and local infection rates.
    2. Hand sanitizer must be used on the way into the room.
    3. Disinfecting of all equipment is required between each session. (In some instances, this will be completed by those finishing their lab session, in other situations, students will wipe down their areas at the start of class).
    4. Plastic barriers will be placed between stations where appropriate.
    5. Students and faculty/staff are required to monitor themselves for potential COVID-19 symptoms prior to attending class each time.

    Important: These guidelines were followed in several labs throughout 2020-2021 with no reported spread of infection all year.

  3. Supplies for disinfecting workstations will be available in each classroom.
  4. Fully vaccinated faculty teaching in rooms that allow for 6 feet of space between them and the first row of students, may wear face shields while teaching. Please contact Ed Gleason (gleasone@wcsu.edu) if you would need a face shield.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer will continue to be available in hallways throughout the WCSU campus. Washing hands is best, but when in doubt, use some sanitizer to stop the spread of COVID-19 or other seasonal illnesses.

Shuttles

  1. Masks are required while riding the shuttle bus or on any university transportation (e.g., coach buses for field trips, or transportation to university sponsored events). This is in keeping with the CDC guidelines on public transportation  (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html)

Travel

  1. Fully vaccinated people are free to travel as normal. The CDC does recommend masks on public transportation. COVID-19 testing is not required unless you have had a known exposure.
  2. Unvaccinated people will be required to follow CDC guidelines including but not limited to a PCR testing prior to return to campus.
  3. For international travel, the CDC recommends testing within 3-5 days of your return.
    NOTE: Travel bans still exist for various international locations. This may delay your return to the United States. You should fully investigate this prior to departure.

For more information go to: https://www.wcsu.edu/hr/wp-content/uploads/sites/57/2021/05/Employee_Travel_COVID_Revised.pdf

Dining Services

  1. In general, WCSU will follow the CT state guidelines that apply to restaurants. This means the following:
    1. Masks should be worn while purchasing your food and moving to your table.
    2. Fully vaccinated people are free to sit together and eat their meals normally.
    3. Unvaccinated people must maintain six feet of distance from other diners and/or sit at a table with plastic dividers.
  2. All tables in public dining spaces will be wiped down after each use.

Residence Halls

To move into the residence halls, students must be vaccinated OR have an approved exemption. If you have neither, you will not be permitted to move in.

  1. Vaccinated students are not required to submit a negative PCR test on arrival. We will follow CDC guidelines if you are exposed to COVID-19. These are as follows:
    If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative [Even if the campus has dropped the mask mandate]. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
    Vaccinated students who are exposed to COVID-19 will only be quarantined if symptomatic.
  2. Unvaccinated students with an approved vaccination exemption will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) prior to moving into the residence halls. Tests must be completed no earlier than seven (7) days prior to the assigned move-in day.
    1. Unvaccinated students will be tested again on arrival and must quarantine until the results are available.
    2. Unvaccinated students with an approved exemption will be tested weekly.
    3. Unvaccinated students will be quarantined for 10 days if exposed to COVID-19.

Events

For all WCSU Events (those scheduled by Academic Affairs, Student Affairs) we will follow our standard masking and physical distancing protocols. This means:

  1. Masks will be required because most events include visitors whose vaccination status will be unknown to us.
  2. Physical distancing of 3 feet will be followed. For large capacity theatres and auditoriums. This means every other seat can be occupied, and that the seating should be staggered each row.

For external organizations interested in renting WCSU spaces for events, state masking and capacity guidelines will be followed.

Ventilation

WCSU will return to its normal ventilation practices for 2020-2021. These are as follows:

  1. Air filters will be installed, replaced, and/or serviced in accordance with equipment manufacturers’ recommendations.
  2. Fresh air intakes will be set at ASHRE recommendations.
  3. Restroom exhaust systems will be set to their maximum exhaust rates.

Monitoring the Health of the WCSU Community

With the advent of the vaccination, the monitoring of COVID-19 infection rates will be handled as follows:

  1. For commuter students, faculty, and staff: Anyone who has a known exposure to COVID-19 or suspects they might have contracted COVID-19 should get tested and report their status to us via this link https://westconn.tfaforms.net/201. Per CDC guidelines,
    1. Unvaccinated people who have been exposed should self-quarantine for 14-days or until they have a negative COVID-19 test.
    2. Vaccinated people who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not have to quarantine but should wear a mask until they have a negative COVID-19 test.
    3. For either vaccinated or unvaccinated, a positive COVID-19 test means you must refrain from coming to campus until you are cleared by your physician to return.
  2. For residential students and staff, the following testing protocols will be in place:
    1. Vaccinated students and staff who may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not have to quarantine but should wear a mask until they have a negative COVID-19 test.
    2. Unvaccinated students and staff who have been exposed should self-quarantine for 14-days in Fairfield Hall or until they have a negative COVID-19 test
    3. If the PCR COVID-19 test is positive, the resident must isolate in Fairfield Hall while they recover from COVID-19.

Plan for Shutdown

WCSU will continue to monitor state and CDC guidelines for the safe operation of campus. Should there be a spike in infections or the emergence of a new variant that does not respond to the existing vaccinations, we may be required to switch to remote education. If that occurs, we will follow the same processes established in 2020-2021. These processes are:

  1. All students will be asked to continue learning from a remote environment and all resident students will be asked to vacate their on-campus apartment/room.
  2. Students who may already be isolating on campus will be advised to stay in their designated apartment/room until they are cleared by a licensed healthcare provider.
  3. Students who are being quarantined will also be advised to remain on campus until their quarantine period expires or their health status changes.