Please see https://www.juniata.edu/coronavirus/ for additional resources, responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ), and important updates.
Our planning reflects the urgency of our educational mission and the social and economic necessity of the College to be in full operation for the benefit of our students, employees, and the broader region. Our planning and implementation will continue to evolve as we receive more information about COVID-19 and governmental guidance.
Juniata College’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic help mitigate exposure risks to our community and provide for safe, healthy, and inclusive learning environments. This plan is based on guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), the Pennsylvania Department of Education (DOE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with input from Juniata’s COVID-19 Trustee Task Force, Contingency Planning Group, Campus Safety Committee, Emergency Operations Team, Senior Leadership Team, the Association of Independent College & Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), and local and state officials.
On June 3, 2020, the DOE issued Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Education Institutions and Adult Education Programs (https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/HigherEd/Pages/default.aspx). DOE has developed checklists to assist institutions in assessing their preparedness, risks, and capacity to resume some level of in-person instruction and other related operations and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Juniata College has thoroughly reviewed the DOE guidance and has outlined plans in this document to allow the College to meet all requirements and answer affirmatively to all questions contained in the checklists. Additionally, Juniata’s testing plan exceeds the DOE guidelines and is the cornerstone of our comprehensive COVID-19 health and safety effort. The College continues to revise and adjust as new information emerges.
The College will appoint a COVID-19 operations team prior to the students’ return to campus. The team is intended to manage and respond rapidly and flexibly to COVID-19. Working with the president, provost, and dean of students, the operations team will:
- Make decisions to modify, restrict, postpone or cancel events and activities related to COVID-19 outbreak including adjusting the campus alert level.
- Coordinate regular COVID-19 communications to campus constituents.
- Address exceptions to the return to campus plan on a case-by-case basis.
- Update the return to campus plan when necessary.
- Monitor up-to-date campus, local, state, and national data, best practices, risk mitigation strategies, and questions and concerns from the community.
The operations team will be representative of the campus community and include those with direct responsibility for the health and wellbeing of students and employees, the operation of facilities, the management of institutional risk, and the administration of the academic program.
Juniata will communicate accurate and timely information about the return to campus process, health and safety measures, COVID-19 activity, health and wellness resources, and changes in the campus alert level to students, faculty, and staff, and other campus constituents on a routine basis. The College has created and regularly updates the Coronavirus Updates and Information (https://www.juniata.edu/coronavirus/) webpage with important announcements and frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) aimed at students and their families, faculty, and staff. In addition to the website, Juniata will use multiple communication channels (email, emergency text messages, town hall meetings, social media, mobile applications, and other platforms) to provide for the receipt of information.
Additionally, the College will post signage throughout the campus to inform the campus community about the required health and safety measures. Signage indicating hallway traffic flow, entrances and exits, proper classroom procedures, and other important information will be clearly posted in various facilities.
The College will develop a communication strategy to help counter the stigma associated with testing positive for COVID-19 to encourage self-reporting. Student leaders are also coordinating a peer-to-peer effort to encourage students to take seriously the community’s responsibility for health and safety.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Juniata will continue to uphold standards of equity, diversity and inclusion in the fall 2020 planned return to campus as aligned with the College’s Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy for employees (https://www.juniata.edu/offices/human-resources/current-employees/employee-handbook/non-discrimination-harassment.php) and The Pathfinder student handbook code of conduct (https://www.juniata.edu/offices/dean-of-students/pathfinder/conduct-standards.php).
The return to campus plan is committed to:
- Establish policies and plans that are equitably applied and do not negatively affect specific populations.
- Sustain and implement structures and polices to reject racism, xenophobia and all hateful or intolerant speech and actions, on campus, online, and in the local community.
- Coordinate messaging around COVID-19-related stigma towards individuals or groups and taking proactive measures to promote messages of inclusive values.
- Provide access to personal support and judicial action for members of the Juniata community who believe they are a target of harassment, speech, or actions that may be based on bias.
Juniata is committed to making the significant financial investment needed to safely and effectively return to campus. Some of the major costs to return to campus include:
- Initial and ongoing testing
- Technology and training
- Contact tracing
- Supplemental quarantine housing
- Additional facilities staff for enhanced cleaning protocols
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Supplies (hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant, paper towels, gloves etc.)
- Equipment (sprayers for disinfection, plexiglass shields, etc.)
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Campus Alert Levels
The College will continually monitor the successful implementation of the Return to Campus Plan, including health and safety data, compliance with safety protocols, and information related to local or regional resurgence. This planning includes the flexibility to change course when there are changes in COVID-19 activity.
In addition to the reopening plan guidance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (i.e. red, yellow, green) which supersedes any on-campus system, the College will use an on-campus alert system informed by the CDC, DOE, DOH, local health care providers, and the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Planning Guide.
Several complex factors will guide the College’s response and adjustments to the alert level. Those factors include:
- The number of new and existing cases at the state, county, and campus levels.
- Testing capacity and percentage of positive tests.
- Contact tracing capacity.
- Isolation and quarantine capacity.
- Hospital capacity at Penn Highlands-Huntingdon and other regional health care providers.
- Effectiveness of prevention methods and adherence to said methods.
- Reported Illness and absence for employees in areas critical for health and safety
- Actions and mandates by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Activity and trends at similar colleges and universities
The College will be flexible and prepared to adjust quickly to different alert levels.
- Very High Alert – Positive COVID-19 cases are occurring at rate at which containment and control is not feasible. Possible responses: College closed, teaching and learning online, and remote work as possible. Limited housing available for vulnerable populations.
- High Alert – Positive cases are increasing over a seven-day period with a positive test rate greater than 5 percent. Responses are likely to be temporary (7-14 days) dependent on the timing. Possible responses: Enact either a shelter in place approach or de-densify the campus, instruction mostly remote with few exceptions, limited access to most buildings, dining options modified to take out only, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, increased testing frequency, increased telework options where possible, no off-campus travel permitted. Suspension of athletic activities, community engaged learning, and internships etc. Campus events limited, campus visitors restricted to essential vendors and contractors. Strict mask wearing, social distancing, and hygiene, and elevated precautions for high-risk individuals.
- Moderate Alert – A manageable number of COVID-19 cases with a limited number of exposures. Possible responses: campus open, HyFlex instruction for academic continuity, protective measures (distancing, mask wearing, hygiene), and testing and contact tracing.
- Low Alert – Vaccine or treatment is widely available. Possible responses: high-density repopulation of campus, classrooms at full capacity, protection practices lifted.
Examples of triggers to adjust alert level:
- Increases/decreases in COVID-19 cases on campus.
- Increases/decreases in COVID-19 cases in Huntingdon and in Huntingdon County.
- Campus community’s general disregard for or adherence to mask wearing, social distancing, and hygiene.
- Decreasing/increasing capacity for isolation and quarantine options.
- Changes in the availability of testing, contract tracing, and PPE.
- Insufficient/sufficient health care provider capacity.
- Federal or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania mandates.
Protection and Symptom Monitoring
Public health experts continue to emphasize the importance of face coverings, social distancing, and personal hygiene as ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and health and safety risks.
- Face coverings should be worn by all students and employees while in the presence of others and in public spaces on campus.
- Students and employees should maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet when feasible, particularly around people who are not part of the Juniata community and not part of our testing program.
- All community members are encouraged to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public spaces. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
All students and employees must conduct symptom monitoring every day before attending class or reporting to work. Symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
People who feel sick, or care for friends or family members who are sick and exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, must stay away from classes and work. Students who feel sick should contact Health Services (x3410) or Public Safety (x3636). Employees who feel sick should contact their health care provider by phone and notify their supervisor.
Students who suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19 should notify Health Services or the Dean of Students Office and employees who suspect they have been exposed should notify the Office of Human Resources immediately.
Some individuals may have high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults, immunocompromised individuals, and those with chronic health conditions. Such individuals may require special considerations and accommodations for protection. Students who wish to arrange for accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services (x5840); employees who wish to arrange for accommodations should contact the Office of Human Resources.
All students and employees are required to complete COVID-19 safety training prior to returning to campus. Such training will include:
- COVID-19 characteristics
- Daily self-screening
- Masks and PPE
- Physical Distancing
- Hygiene and handwashing
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Compliance and enforcement
- Reporting and response
Testing, Contact Tracing, and Monitoring
Interruption of COVID-19 transmission is premised on early detection and prompt isolation of new cases. Juniata will provide COVID-19 testing for all students and employees, and will continually monitor healthcare and testing infrastructure to support this important initiative. Additional testing will continue throughout the academic year for on-going monitoring and surveillance, particularly for individuals who have traveled and may have visited COVID-19 hotspots.
Juniata will partner with Contamination Source Identification, LLC (CSI), a CLIA-certified COVID-19 testing lab founded by Dr. Regina Lamendella, Valko Professor of Biological Sciences, Justin Wright ’14, and Gary Shope ’73 and located adjacent to campus. As students, faculty, and staff return to campus, an oral swab sample will be collected and tested so that we have a baseline affirmation that our community is protected as we commence the semester. Additional random and targeted testing will take place throughout the semester to identify and address the potential emergence of the infection early and avoid further spread.
CSI employs the FDA-recommended, TaqPath RT-QPCR COVID-19 test system. This test system has been validated on site by CSI for both Oropharyngeal (OP) and Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabbing techniques. It is important to note that CSI® has been certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA Lab ID Number: 37318) to perform COVID-19 testing as of March 24, 2020. CSI is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 (CLIA Number: 39D-2180522).
The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is considered the gold standard of tests currently available, as it provides an indication of the presence of COVID-19 by looking directly for its genetic material. Such tests can determine if someone is carrying the virus and whether or not symptoms are present.
As per guidance of Pennsylvania Department of Health, CSI will report all COVID-19 test results, positive and negative, to the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System. As per CLIA regulations, all specimen-associated data will be retained in CSI’s secured, L7-Informatics Enterprise Science Platform Laboratory Information Management System, which is deployed in a HIPAA-compliant secured environment.
Testing individuals as they arrive on campus will require careful coordination of arrival times and dates. Each student is asked to complete a campus arrival travel pre-screening so that an arrival window can be assigned that allows for testing, move-in, and timely engagement with orientation, inbound, athletics, or other activities that may require an early arrival.
The campus arrival travel pre-screening considers the conditions of travel and potential for exposure in transit. CSI’s test sensitivity is such that infection can be detected just 24 hours after exposure. We will coordinate arrivals of students such that those arriving by means which create the potential for exposure/infection are afforded a 24-hour period of personal isolation following arrival and before testing so as to obtain accurate results. Guidance will be provided through the travel pre-screening process.
Contact tracing is an integral component of the overall strategy for controlling COVID-19. Juniata will work with the DOH to coordinate contact tracing. The training for contact tracers will include the following critical components: how to trace and monitor contacts of infected people, support the quarantine of contacts, and use digital tools. This training will address selected applied epidemiology, core public health, and public health preparedness and response competencies.
All potential contacts of suspected, probable, and confirmed cases will be systematically identified and tested and/or quarantined for 14 days (the incubation period for the virus) from the last day of contact. Immediate evacuation of potentially infectious contacts to treatment centers or the nearest healthcare facility prevents high-risk exposure to the college population.
An efficient contact tracing system depends on a relationship of trust within the college community, which in turn fosters optimum cooperation. Building confidence among students, faculty, and staff to provide for cooperation with contact tracing teams is critical to refer symptomatic contacts to designated isolation facilities. Involving appropriate external community members and stakeholders (in particular, local leaders) in contact tracing will also prove helpful. The local surveillance and community volunteers will be involved as early as possible in the response.
The College is currently exploring technology solutions to assist with contact tracing, symptom monitoring, communication of health resources, and monitoring facilities’ traffic. More information is forthcoming.
Temperature Checks and Symptom Monitoring
A common symptom that has been specifically linked to COVID-19 is a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature. Therefore, temperature checking will take place at designated locations on the campus to maximize reach and frequent assessment of students and the community. At each station, personnel will use infrared thermometers to measure individuals’ temperatures. A rubric and flowchart (“Flowchart to Identify Fever / Acute Lower Respiratory Illness,” included as Appendix A) will provide guidance as to individuals continued presence on campus as part of the general community. Temperatures will be checked routinely.
Those who present with a higher than normal temperature will be separated from the general community and referred to Health Services for phone screening and follow-up. Those who are able to do so will be sent home and referred to their medical providers in accordance with the student’s Safety Plan. Those for whom temporary isolation or quarantine in campus housing is necessary will be transitioned to their alternate location until assessment, testing, and quarantine provide support for return to campus. Maintenance of appropriate spaces for isolation and quarantine will be essential.
The duration of isolation or cohort precautions for individuals presenting fever or self-reported COVID-19 symptoms will be extended as there is potential for prolonged viral shedding and environmental contamination. Current evidence supports extending contact precautions for 10 days or more after the resolution of symptoms.
Classrooms or spaces that have been occupied by a compromised individual (one who had a temperature or self-reported other symptoms related to COVID-19) will be closed as needed to minimize exposure to COVID-19. Infection prevention personnel and Juniata leadership will conduct risk assessments to determine closure.
In general, any member of the community presenting with a temperature will be referred to Health Services for a phone screening.
Those who have recovered from recent symptoms associated with COVID-19 (no temperature or other symptoms) may re-join the general population after a negative result for COVID-19 via testing or otherwise being cleared by their medical provider.
Personal Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In accordance with guidelines from the CDC and DOH, the College will continually reinforce proper personal care and good hygiene practices by encouraging all individuals to:
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
- Follow proper sneeze or cough etiquette by using a tissue or the inside of their elbow.
- Avoid touching their face.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick.
- Don’t refill cups, share utensils, or other items.
- Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch areas.
Good hygiene practices will be communicated via email to employees and students and posted via different media outlets throughout our facilities.
Recommendations for use of PPE will change as the intensity of the situation changes (red, yellow, and green). With guidance from federal, state, and local agencies, the College will update and provide instruction/information to the campus community. PPE requirements will be determined by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
- Students and employees are required to wear a mask while in the presence of others and in public settings at Juniata
- Masks can be a disposable mask or reusable cloth mask, and should include at least two layers of fabric
- Two cloth masks will be distributed to each employee upon request
- Disposable masks will also be available at sites across campus for those who forget or misplace their own
- Facilities and Residence Life employees should wear gloves while working in high touch areas and when entering student rooms and residence halls
3. Higher risk measures
- Enhanced PPE is required for employees interacting with a person who is suspected of or confirmed to have COVID-19
4. Visitors and Contractors
- Visitors and contractors must wear a mask in the presence of others and in public settings while on college property; masks will be supplied by the visitor
- At designated points of campus check-in, masks will be available to guests who forget or misplace their own
See https://www.juniata.edu/coronavirus/for-employees/ for the Workplace Return Guide and frequently asked employee questions.
ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE
The College will maintain a communication plan with all students, faculty, staff, and visitors informing them of temperature check and physical distancing requirements and other prevention best practices through email, text messages, daily announcements, all electronic and physical signage, and other platforms.
Staff observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or college policy will report observations to their supervisor. Faculty observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or college policy will report observations to their department chair or the provost. Students observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or college policy will report observations to class instructors, the Dean of Students Office, or Public Safety. Instructors will reemphasize guidelines and policy requirements and/or report observations to administration. Student, staff, and faculty observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or college policy and wanting to remain anonymous will report observations using an application which will be made available and which will provide for confidentiality of the reporter. In case of emergency, instructors and students will call Public Safety using personal phones or classroom phones.
ON-CAMPUS HEALTH CENTER SERVICES
Juniata College provides nursing and physician contact and consultation to students through Health Services Center. Students will be seen by appointment after the completion of pre-screening/triage completed by telephone. Modifications to the Center’s physical space and adjustments to the work flow in the Center will be introduced so as to comply with best practices for physical distancing, use of PPE, and touchless transactions.
Visits from individuals who are not current students, faculty, and staff to campus were a normal part of campus life and interaction with our communities. During this time, Juniata will restrict campus visits.
- All visitors must be screened at campus host, such as the Enrollment Center, Human Resources, and Facilities Services as described above. Visitors will be given a credential that must be displayed during the visit and presented upon request.
- Visitors will be screened for other COVID-19 symptoms via a short questionnaire and denied access to campus if symptomatic or if a temperature is detected. Visiting privileges will be suspended or curtailed until the compromised person presents without fever or symptoms.
- Approved visitors will be expected to wear a mask (and will be provided one if they do not have one).
- Students will not be permitted to have guests in the residential community.
Generally, business travel continues to be suspended. Employee business travel must be evaluated and approved in advance by area Vice Presidents.
Academic travel should generally be avoided and faculty are strongly encouraged to find acceptable alternatives. Travel for field research, field trips, community engaged learning, internships, student teaching, and other academically-related purposes will be considered and approved on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety. Geographic location, mode of travel, interactions with others, COVID-19 case data, academic necessity, and cost are among the variables to be considered.
Student recreational travel is prohibited along with travel or presence at other college campuses. Students who must engage in essential travel will consult on the conditions of their travel and a plan to return safely to campus.
Students must restrict recreational travel activities, and report/consult on necessary off-campus travel activities to assess risk of exposure and plan for return to the Juniata campus
- As possible, professional and academic interactions should be conducted remotely using interactive technologies, such as Zoom, MS Teams, Facetime, etc.
- Beyond campus, but within Huntingdon, students are expected to use social distancing protocols and personal safety practices to mitigate risk or exposure (stay home if you’re sick; wear a mask; wash hands thoroughly before departure, as frequently as possible in route, and upon return; maintain a six-foot distance from others when feasible; avoid interactions with others who appear ill; avoid unnecessary trips; select delivery, curbside, or take-out).
- Students who travel beyond Huntingdon must inform Public Safety before departure and upon return. Risk of exposure will be assessed by destination zip code, duration of visit, mode of travel, purpose of visit and planned interactions.
- Students are restricted from attending gatherings of more than 25 people. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: festivals, concerts, performances, athletic events (as an observer), lectures, and movies.
- Students are prohibited from presence at facilities or functions (formal or informal) of other college or university campuses beyond purposes explicitly organized by Juniata.
Personal travel to areas impacted by COVID-19 is strongly discouraged. Community members are asked to consider self-quarantine if they have traveled to an area that is or has become impacted by an infectious disease.
The fall 2020 semester will start 10 days earlier than originally planned. To reduce possible health risks posed by travel, the semester will not include a fall break and residential instruction will conclude prior to Thanksgiving. The length of the semester remains at 15 weeks.
- Monday, August 17th - Classes begin 10 days earlier than originally scheduled
- Tuesday, November 24th - Classes conclude prior to Thanksgiving break
- Wednesday, November 25th – Sunday, November 29th - Thanksgiving break
- Monday, November 30th – Friday, December 4th - Final exams take place remotely
Instruction and Teaching
The mission of the College is to educate to students. Maintaining continuity and quality of instruction within effective instructional settings while assuring safety for students, faculty, and staff in a return to campus is our greatest challenge in the face of COVID-19. To alleviate possible disruptions of our students’ academic progress, we have chosen to move all fall semester courses to a hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) mode of instruction. HyFlex courses combine face-to-face and online instruction to deliver course content to students who may be either in-person or online. If students are unable to live on campus or should they need temporary isolation or quarantine, HyFlex allows students to continue their coursework outside of the classroom without loss of either academic quality or interaction with their faculty or classmates. By not separating online and in-person instruction, we maintain the community of learners that is a big part of what makes Juniata special.
Student HyFlex FAQ can be found here: https://www.juniata.edu/coronavirus/for-students/hyflex-faq-for-students.php.
Faculty HyFlex FAQ can be found here: http://arch.juniata.edu/employees/faculty-academics
Since April, all of our faculty have been engaged in extensive professional development to support the HyFlex approach. While the sudden shift to online instruction this March caught the College by surprise, faculty will be fully prepared to support a quality educational experience this fall regardless of conditions.
Guidelines for Monitoring Student Health and Class Absenteeism
The College and its instructors play an important role in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Their observations and reporting of student attendance and symptoms, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will be key. Instructors will:
- Observe student behavior and refer a student who appears symptomatic to Health Services.
- Monitor student absenteeism both online and in-person.
Class absenteeism due to medical reasons will trigger additional time for students to complete assignments and reschedule tests and quizzes. Students absent due to illness may be required to obtain return to school documentation from their medical provider before returning to class.
Guidelines for Physical Distance and Cleanliness in Classrooms, Labs, Libraries, and other Academic Facilities
The DOE asks colleges to “consider limiting class size to accommodate appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals when feasible or implement other social distancing strategies that reduce risk of transmission between students in the classroom.”
Students and instructors will not enter a classroom until the room is completely vacant. In classrooms, tables, chairs, and desks will be set up to comply with the recommended physical distancing guidelines. Signs will be placed to remind students and faculty not to move chairs, tables, and desks.
Many of our laboratories and studios are relatively spacious and can accommodate social distancing. For laboratories and studios that cannot accommodate social distancing, faculty should consult with the Director of Environmental Health and Safety regarding options for enhanced PPE, or should consider options such as rotating student schedules.
Hand sanitizer will be available on each floor of every building. Trash cans will be available nearby. Students and instructors will wipe desks, keyboards, and computer mouse devices before using them. Used wipes will be immediately thrown in the trash can. The following new practices will be enforced:
- Students and instructors will use hand sanitizer as appropriate
- Eating in classrooms/labs will not be permitted; water will be permitted
- Trash cans will be cleared at least once daily and as needed
- Door handles and knobs will be disinfected twice daily
- Desks and chairs will be disinfected daily
- Traffic flow and directional signage to facilitate the movement of individuals through academic buildings, hallways, and stairwells should be adhered to
Further guidance for Beeghly Library, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, and other specialized academic facilities is forthcoming.
CAMPUS AND RESIDENCE LIFE
For additional student resources about COVID-19 and the return to campus, please see https://www.juniata.edu/coronavirus/for-students/
Returning students to on-campus housing is among the most important goals, and it also presents one of the biggest challenges to a healthy and safe residential college experience.
Assessing Residential Capacity
Juniata expects residential occupancy in fall 2020 to be above 90% of full capacity, with Hess Apartments and Baker Guest House set aside to provide locations for quarantine and isolation housing. Additional quarantine and isolation alternatives in the community have been arranged with area hotels.
Supplemental Student Codes of Conduct and Housing Contracts
Students returning to campus must take the necessary steps as determined by Juniata, state and local government, and health officials to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This guidance will be provided to students and families prior to their arrival on campus. Students will be required to sign a Housing Contract Addendum and will be subject to a supplemental Student Code of Conduct outlining safety standards required to combat COVID-19. Supplemental awareness materials will be provided to students who identify or are identified as high risk either due to personal health issues or by virtue of instructional requirements and campus engagement.
Only residential students who have successfully completed a pre-screening will be permitted to move into residential halls. Pre-screening will include: a review of current health history, verification that all required immunizations are on file, documentation of COVID-19 testing if mandated, confirmation of emergency contact information, and the submission of a Safety Plan as outlined below. Regular housing application cancellation policies may be modified to provide for increased flexibility.
Student Safety Plans
All students will be asked to provide a “Safety Plan” to Campus and Residential Life prior to arrival on campus, to be activated in the event that quarantine, isolation, or closures of campus residence halls become necessary. Elements of the student’s Safety Plan must include answers to the following questions for each student:
- Where will the student shelter if isolation or quarantine is required because of exposure to COVID-19?
- Where will the student go in the event that they must leave campus?
- What transportation options exist for the student? Does the student have access to a vehicle? Do they have a registered vehicle on campus? Are they dependent on public or college-provided transportation?
- How quickly can a student get to their designated location given their transportation options?
- Is emergency contact information provided?
Operational Guidelines to Enforce Physical Distance
Enforcement of physical distancing in the residential community will require the following:
- Compliance with institutional, state, and federal health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19.
- Masks in common area spaces, including restrooms, laundry rooms, and hallways. Students will be expected to provide their own masks and personal sanitary supplies.
- Self-isolation and an immediate call to Health Services or Public Safety for assessment for students who experience COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
- Restrictions on use and occupancy of building lounges and common area kitchens.
- Reduced capacity in elevators.
- Increased room checks for cleanliness by Residence Life staff members and on-call responsibilities for Student Life professionals and paraprofessional student staff members.
- A No Guest Policy at all times, and students will be required to stay in their own residence halls.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols of shared areas and bathroom spaces.
- Adjustments to Campus and Residential Life programming to comply with physical distancing guidelines and policies.
Move-in / Move-Out Process
Return to campus will need to include changes in the normal move-in and move-out practices. To adhere to best practice, move-in and move-out will include:
- Two weeks prior to move-in, reduced contact with others outside of students’ family, and following CDC guidelines, such as: wearing a mask in public buildings, reducing non-essential travel, and increasing handwashing
- Expanded arrival days and times to allow physical distance
- Enhanced cleaning during move-in and move-out
- Only one support person allowed
- Temperature checks completed upon arrival for student and support person
- Designated move-in times
- Designated stairwells, directional guidance, and elevators occupancy/use limits
- Air conditioner installation by pre-arrangement/pre-scheduling only
Students planning to arrive by public transportation will be given additional guidance about arrival to campus to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. International students who are able to return to Juniata from abroad will be required to self-isolate for 14 days or receive a negative COVID-19 test result before attending classes or visiting college offices/facilities. Students will be informed of this requirement in advance so that they can plan on arriving early and arranging for testing.
COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Housing
Juniata will incorporate a process to identify and separate individuals who appear to have symptoms (such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath) upon arrival to the campus or who become sick. This strategy is critical and effective to mitigate further spread of the virus. As part of basic education and safety principles, all individuals who feel sick (appear to have symptoms) are advised to stay at home. For the vast majority of the population (employees, visitors, and commuter or local students), going home is a viable option. However, consideration and a plan for a smaller population of students who cannot or should not go home must be provided.
Juniata’s COVID-19 Supplement to our Infectious Disease/Pandemic Plan will be used when a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 that impacts our campus is identified. Situations are approached on a case-by-case basis. A core team of responsible individuals are identified to assess each case and, subsequently, implement established response protocols. The plan addresses several aspects associated with a probable or confirmed case, including but not limited to:
- Initial investigation and coordination with health services and our local health care provider, Penn Highlands - Huntingdon
- Contact tracing
- Cleaning of affected area(s)
- Quarantine/isolation, as appropriate
Addressing the need to separate and protect the campus community, Juniata will identify facilities for the temporary housing and care of individuals who cannot go home and must be either quarantined or isolated. Areas and rooms in Hess Apartments and Baker Guest House have been identified for quarantine of individuals who may have been exposed and may be infected with but are not yet ill (asymptomatic), and for the isolation of those individuals who are ill (symptomatic). Juniata’s plan accounts for capacity potential, an individual’s basic needs, medical support, and facility maintenance. To the extent necessary, the College may use local hotel providers in close proximity to campus for supplemental housing needs of students under this plan.
Juniata’s Campus Food Service partner, Parkhurst Dining, will provide, promote, and sustain a safe food service environment within a holistic student-friendly framework using a cost-effective approach. Meeting student needs in this new environment will take creating a new normal through various levels of service provision and enhanced communications.
Food Service will remain fully focused on safety and sanitation:
- Each site will be provided with a daily health screening questionnaire and checklist to ensure the health of team members
- All team members will be masked and gloved until otherwise instructed from our local health department
- A COVID-19 Health Awareness Policy will be followed by all team members
- Operations will transition to a disinfectant cleaner program that will supplement the current sanitation program
The program will meet regulatory guidelines and make site-specific adjustment COVID-19 to provide for the safety of our guests:
- Baker will reduce overall occupancy. Students will be assigned report times and tables such that physical distancing can be sustained and service stations are not overwhelmed with demand. Table assignments will be coordinated such that students are able to mitigate overall risk of heightened exposure.
- Dining services staff will generally serve food to students instead of self-service.
- Signage and floor decals will direct students to use stations and guide physical distancing standards.
- Hand sanitizer will be available and expected to be used upon arrival and departure from dining facilities; students may be subject to temperature testing to access dining services in accordance with symptoms monitoring and testing practices.
- Initial operations will include more disposable and single-use service items with a planned return to sustainable service items.
- Remaining self-service areas (soda fountains, coffee stations, milk dispensers) will be evaluated to determine safety.
- Students will be masked when they are not seated and dining.
- Dispensing areas (condiments, silverware, napkins) will be assessed and alternative solutions will be developed.
- Cashier, service, and seating areas will be evaluated and adjusted accordingly to support physical distancing guidelines.
- Retail, order-ahead, and take-out options at Jitters and BAC will be enhanced to reduce overall load on Baker Dining Hall, and afford students’ flexibility and variety.
- Catering Services will be evaluated to ensure physical distancing guidelines are met.
- Appropriate signage strategically placed throughout the dining venues will communicate appropriate physical distancing and effective traffic flow.
Dining facilities accommodations will include “to go” options, incremental detailed cleaning during service, scheduled deeper cleanings between service periods, points of control to monitor and enforce physical distancing, different seating configurations on multiple levels, and directional signage and crowd barriers.
RECREATION AND CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMMING
Guidance from the American College Health Association (ACHA) to coordinate and plan campus interactions for safety and health is reflected in the implementation activities that will follow.
Student Recreation and The Fitness Center
Facilities will operate in alignment with the guidance from NATA (National Athletic Trainers Association), NCAA/SSI- Sports Science Institute, American College Health Association, industry experts, governing organizations for its club sports teams, local and state authorities, and public health officials to establish protocols for reopening recreation facilities.
Professional staff will work closely with the Facilities team to develop cleaning protocols, ensure that our mechanicals and safety systems are prepared, and inspect all spaces and equipment for potential repairs. New fitness center floor plans will maintain distance for patrons. Signage and floor markings will be added as needed to control traffic and inform patrons. Accessible cleaning products will be placed in high trafficked areas, and individuals will be expected to wipe down any equipment before and after use. We will also be developing and administering pre-activity screenings in alignment with larger institutional protocols.
Programming will be assessed within facilities on a case-by-case basis to determine safety. Locker rooms and shared shower facilities may need to be closed for some duration of time to prevent close gatherings. Additionally, policies will be established to minimize the personal belongings patrons can bring into the facility while establishing an adequate space between those belongings.
Shared mats and accessories will be eliminated from circulation and enhanced cleaning will be required for all shared items such as bars and dumbbells. Patrons will not be permitted to work on a particular bench or piece of equipment with one another.
Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center (KSRC) will establish a plan for identifying a maximum capacity for its facilities as better guidelines are established by experts and industry organizations. A formula of patrons per programmable square footage is a potential marker for maximum capacity. They currently do not offer any fitness classes. They are looking at developing virtual fitness options for the campus community. They will be restricting hours, adding screening protocols, and most likely requiring fitness reservations. Right now, they are recommending no noon time hoops and the suspension of community memberships.
Outdoor courts will also continue to be reviewed for usability and monitored open hours will be considered to provide for compliance with physical distancing guidelines. One player per hoop, goal, or net will be permitted to use the courts for recreational practice or skill work.
Club sport teams may be required to provide guidance from leagues and national associations and evidence of compliance along with a safety plan before returning to play. While guidance will emerge on a sport-by-sport basis, measures to consider for club sports participants include testing, re-examining the language used in waivers, establishing stricter travel guidelines for away contests, establishing protocols for visiting teams, and enhancing the cleaning of equipment and playing facilities.
Gradual phasing in of club sports with an emphasis on first launching individual outdoor sports such as golf and modified distance running activities will be instituted. Esports leagues and tournaments will continue to be offered as played from residence halls, off campus housing, and remote locations.
In recognizing the importance of physical activity in improving immunity, mental health, and overall well-being, an assessment of possible intramural offerings will be conducted. Each sport offering and/or activity will be evaluated based on risk and in accordance with the general considerations for athletics. Intramural contests may be modified to initially focus on individual skill-based games.
Limitations will be placed on the size of events and gatherings in accordance with current guidance and recommendations from government and health officials. Physical distancing and temperature taking strategies will be implemented as appropriate. Priority for available space will be given to first meet the academic needs of the College. Departments will consider alternative ways to host programs and events with limitations placed on spectators. Records of attendance may be required for contact tracing. Staffed tables will be suspended temporarily as these activities cannot be held in compliance with appropriate physical distancing requirements at this time.
Student Club and Organization Activities
Student Life will provide approval for in-person student organization events in compliance with proper use of on-campus spaces and physical distancing guidelines. The maximum size for events will be determined in compliance with government and health official recommendations. Events will only be approved for members of the Juniata community. Enhanced cleaning protocols will be utilized in designated meeting/event spaces. Campus buildings and spaces, when not in use for academic classes or approved events, will be secured to prevent unauthorized use of space.
Student Life staff will provide tools and training to assist student clubs and organizations with their organization and event planning for the coming year. Student Life will promote the use of virtual meetings and programming.
Public Safety and College staff responsible for facilities management and event oversight will have shared access to reservation systems to provide for compliance and monitoring of approved student organization events.
More information about athletics is forthcoming. Updated policies, procedures, and, protocols are being developed based on campus policies, local, state, and national governmental guidelines, emerging NCAA, Landmark, Centennial, and CDC guidance.
ADDITIONAL CLEANING GUIDELINES
In addition to our pre-existing cleaning protocols, Juniata will continue to add additional protocols to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines. Hydrogen peroxide disinfectant (Ecolab Peroxide Multi Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant) with a 45-second kill claim against COVID-19 that is also safe to use with no PPE will be used to strengthen current protocols. Below are the COVID-19 cleaning protocols for the College’s buildings:
- Maintain the same cleaning/disinfecting practices/protocols that are currently in place – cleaning occurs 5 days per week in most buildings – Kennedy is cleaned/disinfected 7 days per week; residence halls and Ellis are cleaned/disinfected 5 days per week.
- In addition to our traditional cleaning/disinfecting practices/protocols detailed
above, the following enhancements will be provided:
- Academic buildings, residence halls, and Ellis that are cleaned/disinfected 5 days per week will receive additional services on the other two days including the following: trash removal, stocking paper products in bathrooms, refilling soap in bathrooms, disinfecting bathrooms, refilling hand sanitizer, disinfecting unlocked/available classrooms, disinfecting touch surfaces, and spot cleaning as needed.
- Faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to wash hands frequently and use masks when in public.
- The best locations for hand sanitizer dispensers in all buildings other than residential houses will be determined.
- In residence halls, products available for all students for self-serve disinfecting.
- In academic buildings, products available for self-serve disinfecting.
- In administrative buildings, products available for self-serve disinfecting.
- In locker rooms, products available for self-serve disinfecting.
- Offices will be cleaned once each week
- Conference/Event space will be cleaned/disinfected once daily and disinfected in between events