Healthy Campus Plan

Plan to Reopen Campus – VA Guidelines

A. Repopulation of the Campus

  1. Establishment of a COVID-19 coordinator/campus team
    1. President Reed Wilcox designated Cameron Crowther as the primary coordinator over Southern Virginia University’s Healthy Campus Plan.
    2. As the plan for the school became more clear, University leadership asked Suzanne Garcia, PA-C to shift from part-time employment to full-time coordination of the school’s response to and planning for the pandemic. Suzanne graduated from Brigham Young University Summa Cum Laude and was recognized with the prestigious Outstanding Graduating Senior award. She received her PA-C from Pacific University.
    3. The school also hired Dr. Dane McBride to work as an official medical partner and consultant to the school throughout the pandemic. Dr. McBride graduated from Wayne State University school of medicine, and performed his postgraduate training at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, where he specialized in allergy and immunology. Dr. McBride recently retired from his practice, and his long experience with immunology and respiratory conditions makes him an invaluable asset to Southern Virginia’s Healthy Campus Plan.
    4. Group leadership consists of Suzanne Garcia as lead coordinator and campus contact, Dr. Dane McBride as primary medical consultant, and Cameron Crowther as project coordinator.
  2. Contact information and procedures for reaching the local health department.
    1. Southern Virginia University is working closely with the local health department, Central Shenandoah Health Department (CSHD), to open campus according to the state guidelines and help keep students, employees and community safe, especially in the areas of prevention, contact tracing and case investigation.
    2. The Central Shenandoah Health Department can be reached by emailing or calling (540) 332-7830.
    3. Amanda McComas is the Central Shenandoah Health Department liaison working specifically with Southern Virginia University.
    4. Currently, Southern Virginia’s Healthy Campus Group are in regular communication with local health officials, meeting weekly with Amanda and other local IHE and community stakeholders.
      1. Southern Virginia University Wellness Center will reach out to Amanda directly, on her cell phone, for any urgent needs and to report known COVID-19 cases.
  3. Students’ initial return to campus (such as initial screening, move-in)
    1. Students must complete a survey to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before initial entrance to campus. A self-monitoring tool has been made available by the University.
    2. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 may only return to campus after consultation with appropriate healthcare professions and satisfying generally accepted timelines of being free from signs and symptoms. These individuals should receive a medical release from their doctor.
    3. Students who suspect exposure to COVID-19, or present with any signs and symptoms typical of COVID-19 must not report to campus, and should contact the Wellness Center immediately for further instructions and are directed to do so on the self-monitoring tool mentioned in 3a.
  4. Education/training of students: consider COVID-19 prevention education as part of student orientation. (hand washing, staying home if ill, etc.)
    1. Students will be educated/trained on prevention
      1. Education to take place in a variety of platforms including in-person (but socially distant) instruction, during orientation, via social media, and displayed on posters/information in residence halls and throughout campus.
        1. Hand washing, good hygiene, cover your cough, stay home if ill, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
        2. Importance of social distancing.
        3. Importance of wearing face coverings in common spaces.
        4. Importance of clean shared living spaces, especially kitchen and bathrooms.
    2. Students will be educated on COVID-19 and on everyone’s responsibility to help keep the community safe by following CDC guidelines.
      1. Education to take place in a variety of platforms including in-person (but socially distant) instruction, during orientation (see Section A.17), via social media, and displayed on posters/informative flow charts in residence halls and throughout campus.
      2. Signs, symptoms to watch for.
      3. What to do if a student experiences symptoms that could be COVID-19.
      4. Whom to notify if a student experiences symptoms.
      5. Where students can receive testing for COVID-19 and other like-appearing illnesses.
      6. Where students can receive medical care if needed.
  5. Physical Distancing, according to CDC guidance:
    1. Strategies to allow physical distancing in classrooms/learning environments. (e.g. occupancy, staggered schedules, classroom layouts, workspace distancing, etc.)
      1. Physical Layout: In teaching environments, desks and furniture have been reconfigured to allow proper distancing of 6 feet between each student, and 6 feet between students and course instructors.
      2. Occupancy: Each course section is limited to a number of students appropriate for the classroom capacity of the room where the course is being taught. Classroom capacity ranges from seven students up to 35 for the largest rooms.
      3. Staggered Schedules: Where appropriate, start times for students attending in-person instruction will be staggered throughout the class period and / or instructional week.
    2. Social distancing considerations outside the classroom (e.g. limiting visitors, changes to dining services, extracurricular activities, sorority/fraternity life, etc.)
      1. Visitors
        1. Visits to campus  will be limited, and only authorized visitors will be allowed to spend extended time on campus.
          1. Main Hall Lobby will serve as the check-in point for authorized visitors.
          2. Visitors will be required to submit symptom screening and self-verify they are healthy and have not had close contact with infected individuals.
        2. Visitors will be required to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between themselves and others on campus.
      2. Dining Services
        1. Seating in all campus dining spaces have been reduced by 50% and spaced appropriately to promote proper social distancing
        2. Serving lines will have signage indicating proper social distancing gaps
        3. All campus food service options will be served in disposable to-go containers for maximum flexibility for locations in which to eat
        4. Mobile ordering through Bepoz point-of-sale will be made available to students. Currently in development, but it is expected to be ready for full rollout prior to the start of classes
      3. Extracurricular activities and events
        1. Before an event may be hosted on campus must be approved by the director of the Wellness Center.
        2. An event will only be approved if it complies with local and state guidelines for safe social distancing.
    3. Restrict occupancy/stagger use of communal, shared spaces such as lounges, exercise rooms, dining halls, etc. to ensure physical distancing. Occupancy must be consistent with any active Executive Orders.
      1. Lounges
        1. See Section A.7.a.
      2. ICON Fitness Center COVID-19 Precautions
        1. Student-athletes and instructors must be 10 feet apart at all times.
        2. Capacity shall not exceed 30% of normal maximum capacity.
        3. Employees must ensure cleaning and disinfection of shared equipment after each use.
        4. Prohibit equipment that cannot be properly sanitized.
        5. Dozens of hand sanitizer stations have been installed around campus and will continue to be properly stocked and maintained.
      3. Dining halls
        1. See Sections A.5.b.i. and A.5.e.
    4. Limitations on size of gatherings and/or strict physical distancing to be in place during gatherings.
      1. Knight Arena
        1. Gatherings in the Knight Arena shall be limited to allow for appropriate distancing (6 feet) between occupants.
        2. Forums and other large meetings traditionally held in the Knight Arena will be held electronically and not in-person.
          1. Exceptions must be approved by the director of the Wellness Center.
        3. Sporting Events will be held without spectators
      2. Stadium, Softball Field, and Tennis Courts
        1. Those attending events held at the Stadium will be required to sit at least 6 feet from others attending.
      3. Chandler Hall
        1. For any live, indoor performing arts events, audiences in Chandler shall be limited in capacity to allow for chairs spaced 6 feet away from each other and a minimum of 10 feet away from the edge of the stage or other spaces featuring performers.
    5. Strategies for food/dining services should be consistent with plans to optimize physical distancing. Plans regarding dining services should consider strategies such as requirements for face coverings, policies to encourage staff to stay home if ill, ensuring adequate hand hygiene, routine cleaning/disinfection, and health screenings for staff. Implement engineering controls including: limiting the number of diners or other methods of crowd control, appropriate spacing between tables, eliminating buffet-style or self-serve food, and take out/delivery options.
      1. All dining staff members will be encouraged to stay home if ill.
      2. Temperature checks for staff members will be performed at the beginning of each shift.
      3. All dining staff employees follow VDH guidelines regarding hand sanitation.
      4. All dining staff employees will be gloved and change gloves frequently.
      5. Hand sanitizing locations are available in all dining locations for customer use and will be maintained and fully stocked by dining staff.
      6. Tables, chairs, and all touch points will be disinfected with disinfectant spray and cloth towels by an attendant assigned to continuously make laps throughout the dining room.
      7. Seating in all campus dining spaces have been reduced by 50% and spaced appropriately to promote proper social distancing.
      8. Serving lines will have signage indicating proper social distancing gaps.
      9. All campus food service options will have take-out options (served in disposable to-go containers) to prevent congregating in dining spaces.
      10. No food will be buffet-style or self-serve.
  6. Hygiene practices and cleaning/disinfecting protocols.
    1. Cleaning and disinfection protocols to include frequently touched surfaces; transport vehicles; schedules for increased cleaning, routine cleaning, and disinfection; ensuring adequate cleaning supplies and correct use/storage
      1. Hygiene practices across campus will be established by early and ongoing training to build a common culture of inclusive responsibility. The goal of the program will be to help each student, each member of the faculty, and each member of the professional staff take personal responsibility for the health of themselves and every other person on campus.
        1. A culture of responsibility will be built on the idea that remaining healthy and safe is key to the school’s continued ability to operate during the pandemic.
        2. Students at Southern Virginia are already participants in a shared sense of common responsibility for the care and safety of campus. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, students would congregate for University Forum held each week on Friday morning. Over time, it became an unspoken tradition that students would take down chairs from the Knight Arena as an act of thanks and gratitude for their opportunity to live and learn on campus. This activity was never taught per se, but nonetheless all students who attend forum (on average more than 60% of the campus population) helped with the taking down of chairs.
        3. It is upon this already-present culture of common responsibility that the school will implement purposeful training geared towards teaching students that campus can only be kept clean and safe through universal participation in healthy habits: regular completion of the University health screening, proper wearing of masks, proper daily hygiene, and common responsibility to ensure common surfaces are sanitized before and after use.
      2. Cleaning and disinfection will take place across campus throughout the day. Housekeeping staff will sanitize common surfaces at regular intervals throughout the day, at an increased rate from standard cleaning protocols.
      3. Air in all indoor spaces will be actively purified through HEPA filtration and particle ionization.
        1. Each indoor space on campus will be equipped with HEPA air filtration systems appropriate for the size of the space. The systems we have obtained are RabbitAir MinusA2 HEPA Air Purifiers. Each purifier can trap particles 0.3 microns in size at 99.97% efficiency and particles less than 0.1 microns in size at higher than 99% efficiency.
        2. Indoor HVAC components have been outfitted with iWave ionization air filtration that prevents travel of airborne contagions by attracting and killing them through active ionization.
        3. Indoor spaces not equipped with centralized HVAC systems will be outfitted with Winix ionizing air purifiers to prevent the travel of airborne contagions by attracting and killing them through active ionization.
      4. Common surfaces will be cleaned hourly by staff, and sanitizing wipes will be available adjacent to all common surfaces. Students, faculty, and professional staff will all be expected to clean common surfaces as well.
      5. Common responsibility for sanitizing surfaces will be taught to each contingency in conjunction with mask practices and proper social distancing–both at the start of and throughout the duration of the semester.
      6. Southern Virginia has adopted the ionizing disinfectant products manufactured by Clorox, which will be deployed at regular intervals throughout the day.
    2. Provisions for hand sanitizer/handwashing stations
      1. Southern Virginia University has supplier relationships with Cintas and Winzer, both of whom have confirmed their dedication to delivering sanitizing supplies like hand sanitizer for dispensers, disinfecting wipes, and fogging solution for the ionizers.
        1. Suppliers have confirmed that the volume required to make sanitation supplies more available across campus will be readily available throughout the semester.
    3. Minimize shared objects and ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing to the extent possible (e.g. dedicated student supplies, lab equipment, computers, etc.).
      1. Through Southern Virginia’s partnership with Apple, each student is issued a personal iPad, reducing the need for shared computer lab computers.
      2. Professors are encouraged to, where practical, adapt student course supplies lists to include ordinarily shared items such paints and personal lab equipment.
        1. Where this is not possible shared items will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
      3. Computer lab use will be limited. Authorized use will be followed by cleaning and disinfecting of stations
      4. Science labs will follow social distancing protocols. Stations will be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Ionizing disinfectant foggers will be used at regular intervals.
  7. Housing: it is difficult to maintain physical distancing in on-campus housing, even with modifications. Plans should consider strategies to decrease the risk such as requirements for face coverings in shared spaces, reminders of proper hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning, training for residential advisors/live-in staff, restrictions on events/social activities in housing facilities, establishment of occupancy limits, restrictions on building access, etc. IHEs may want to require training and document training of certain staff.
    1. To increase safety, common spaces such as lobbies and living rooms will be restricted to residents of a given housing unit. When appropriate, residents may request permission for guests. Guests will be limited and must comply with all resident requirements while visiting.
    2. While in common spaces, students will be required to wear face coverings.
    3. Dorm rooms and bedrooms will be restricted to the residents assigned to a specific room.
    4. Bi-weekly cleaning of all units will be led by resident advisors and the University Housing Department.
    5. Regular educational, cleaning, and procedural training meetings will be held for residents, and attendance will be required.
  8. Consideration of vulnerable individuals (e.g. 65 years or older, underlying health conditions):
    1. Policy options to support those at higher risk for severe illness to mitigate their exposure risk (e.g. telework, modified job duties, virtual learning opportunities).
      1. Faculty and staff at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, due to a medical condition, age, or other reason outlined by the CDC, are encouraged to self-report to their immediate supervisor and Human Resources their need to request a reasonable adjustment or accommodation. Remote work, when possible, will be highly encouraged. Employees and supervisors will work together to continue remote work practices initiated in March, and to appropriately modify those practices for the reopening of campus.
      2. Students at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, due to a medical condition, age, or other reason outlined by the CDC, are encouraged to self-report to the Wellness Center. Faculty will accommodate students who are unable to attend in-person classes by providing remote learning resources.
  9. Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices that enable faculty, staff, and students to stay home or self-isolate when they are sick or have been exposed.
    1. Sick leave is paid leave provided to employees for absence from work resulting from personal injury or illness, personal or family health care related appointments, and family sick leave. Full-time and part-time staff accrue sick leave per pay period, and may find the current balance of accrued leave by referring to the most recent pay stub, or by contacting Human Resources.
      1. Temporarily, there is no limit to the number of accrued sick leave hours which may be utilized in a calendar year. The University complies with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act, as applicable. Employees should contact Human Resources for more details.
    2. Employee sick leave should be reported by the employee to his/her immediate supervisor as soon as possible based on the extent of illness or emergency, so that the supervisor may plan accordingly. Failure to report sick leave may be considered absence without authorization and result in leave without pay. For medical leave resulting in a period of three days or more of absence from work while under a doctor’s care, a release form from the physician that determined the injury/illness is required before the employee can return to work.
    3. Students who present (either in person or as indicated in the self-monitoring survey described in A.3.a above) with signs or symptoms typical of COVID-19 are not authorized to enter classrooms and other gathering areas of campus and should contact the Wellness Center for further instructions, which may include quarantine and/or testing.
      1. If a student arrives to class with signs or symptoms typical of COVID-19, he/she will be asked to leave, and the name of the student, date, and time will be noted for potential contact tracing. Students should contact their professor(s) to develop a flexible plan for a short-term and/or long-term absence from the classroom.
    4. Faculty do not accrue sick leave. In the event of illness, faculty should work together with their program coordinator, division chair, and/or the Office of the Provost to arrange for substitutes for in-class teaching, provide online instruction, and/or provide an assignment to cover the affected class sessions.
      1. The University will continue to implement flexibility and technology for live online class meetings, recorded lectures, and other creative ideas to offer continuity in the course while a faculty member is on sick leave.
    5. If a faculty member is sick for an extended period of time, their course(s) may need to be adjusted or another faculty member may be required to help manage the course. These decisions will be made by the division chair and handled on a case-by-case basis.
  10. Develop policies for return to class/work after COVID-19 illness.
    1. Employees, students, and visitors must complete a survey to self-monitor (see A.3.a.) for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before each entrance to campus.
    2. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, suspect exposure to COVID-19, or present with any signs and symptoms typical of COVID-19 must not report to campus, and should contact Human Resources immediately for further instructions. Together with the employee’s supervisor, options for remote work may be identified.
    3. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 may only return to campus after consultation with appropriate healthcare professions and satisfying generally accepted timelines of being free from signs and symptoms. These employees should receive a medical release from their doctor.
    4. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19, suspect exposure to COVID-19, or present with any signs and symptoms typical of COVID-19 must not report to campus, and should contact the Wellness Center immediately for further instructions. Employees, students, and visitors are to continue practicing social distancing guidelines by avoiding close contact with other persons inside 6 feet, and washing hands often. Masks or other face coverings will continue to be strongly encouraged for those who are able to do so safely.
  11. International student considerations (e.g. COVID-19 travel health risks, CDC returning travelers guidelines, travel registry, etc.)
    1. Southern Virginia will follow the CDC recommendation that international students and students who have traveled internationally within two weeks of reporting to campus adhere to the following protocols:
      1. Stay home for 14 days from the time you arrive in the U.S. If a student has no permanent U.S. off-campus address, quarantine options will be made available on campus.
      2. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also, watch for a cough or trouble breathing. Use a temperature log 3. to monitor your temperature.
      3. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.
      4. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
      5. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
  12. Partnership and communication/information sharing with the local community, health systems and other stakeholders.
    1. Southern Virginia University representatives meet regularly with leaders from local IHE, municipalities, and other stakeholders (including representatives from Virginia Military Institute, Washington and Lee University, Carilion Clinic, Rockbridge Area Health Center, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Public Safety, and Central Shenandoah Health Department) to collaborate plans and coordinate community resources to re-open local IHEs as safely as possible and help protect the community at large.
    2. Information and re-opening plans for Southern Virginia University are shared with the group as they become available.
    3. Community leaders work to help increase resources to fill needs of the local IHE.
    4. Protocols have been established to communicate efficiently between VDH and Southern Virginia University.
  13. Face coverings. 
    1. Plans submitted by each institution should include information on how it intends to teach/reinforce use of face coverings among students, faculty, and staff.
      1. Students
        1. Proper mask wearing–cloth covering from the bridge of the nose to under the chin–will be taught at a semester-start student orientation for all new and returning students (see also Section A.17).
        2. SVU 101 Becoming a Knight (first-year seminar) will cover the essentials of mask wearing at the beginning of the semester.
        3. An encouraging and consistent Student Government-led education campaign will take place through the Knight App, SVUSA social media accounts, and physical materials posted throughout campus.
        4. Resident Advisors will remind students of masking policy when in hallways and common areas.
        5. Proper signage will be posted at the entrance of every building, advising on proper indoor mask usage.
      2. Faculty
        1. Faculty will be taught proper masking practices at the Faculty Conference held the week prior to the start of the semester.
        2. Faculty will be reminded of proper masking practices in the classroom at each faculty meeting, division meeting, and program meeting.
      3. Staff
        1. Staff will be taught proper masking practices at the all-campus orientation (University Conference), held each year during the week before classes start.
        2. Staff will be reminded of proper masking practices at each all-staff meeting and during individual team meetings.
    2. For Faculty, cloth face coverings will be worn when interacting with students, staff, or other members of the faculty. Other considerations such as speaking loudly, singing, etc. should be considered and may require additional distance.
      1. When within campus buildings, mask wearing will be required of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors exempting the following circumstances:
        1. Eating at University-designated locations
        2. Within individual living space
          1. Students will be advised and encouraged to wear face coverings within individual living space.
      2. Because classrooms necessitate elevated volume of speech for instruction, faculty will be required to wear a mask while teaching.
      3. All singing activities will take place at a minimum of 10 feet of distance, with no more than 12 persons singing together at a time.
      4. When/if possible, singing activities will take place outside.
    3. Students should be encouraged to wear cloth face coverings in times when at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
      1. Students will be encouraged to wear cloth face coverings when social distancing is not possible.
    4. Institutions should consider adopting relevant business-sector guidance for staff regarding the use of face coverings (e.g. fitness center, dining, student services, etc.). Face coverings should be worn in public facing areas and in office spaces where 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
      1. All individuals who come to campus will be required to wear a face mask or facial covering, as described and recommended by the CDC, when inside any shared indoor space on the University campus. Exceptions include: while eating or drinking; any person who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the face covering without assistance; any person seeking to communicate with the hearing impaired; any person whose health condition prohibits wearing a face covering; residents while occupying their assigned housing units; individuals occupying a private office.
      2. Cloth face coverings should never be used on children under the age of two. Adults should use their best judgment in using cloth face covers for children between the ages of two and nine while in public places. See also
  14. Student Health Services (SHS):
    1. Assurance of provision of medical-grade PPE for health services staff 
      1. Southern Virginia University will secure needed PPE for the health services staff through the Central Shenandoah Health Department.
      2. Southern Virginia University is also exploring options for group purchases of PPE, sanitation supplies, and related equipment from Southern Virginia’s traditional suppliers (Winzer and Cintas), and in combination with other institutions of higher education.
    2. Maintenance of typical (non-COVID-19) health services 
      1. Southern Virginia University’s health services will continue as offered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    3. Mental health services
      1. Student mental health services will continue in person and with online/remote options as needed.
    4. SHS facility considerations such as waiting areas, signage, environmental management/cleaning, IT considerations, etc. 
      1. Waiting areas
        1. The Wellness Center’s waiting area will follow social distancing guidelines and seating will be 6 feet apart. Signage will encourage students to continue social distancing and wear face coverings while in public areas.
      2. Signage
        1. Signage will notify anyone wishing to enter the Wellness Center that they need to call before entering if they have any COVID-19 related symptom or if they have been a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
        2. As Southern Virginia University is not equipped to test generally for COVID-19, any student displaying COVID-19 symptoms or a close contact of someone with COVID-19 will be referred to local healthcare facilities that have testing capabilities. Transportation services are available if needed. 
      3. Environmental management/cleaning
        1. Standard cleaning measures will be used with an emphasis on wiping down frequently touched items like doorknobs.
      4. IT considerations
        1. SHS at Southern Virginia University will continue to utilize IT services as provided during the pandemic. 
    5. SHS administrative/staff considerations such as PPE, employee health program protocols, education/training of staff, billing/charges, staff scheduling, etc. 
      1. PPE
        1. SHS admin/staff will be provided PPE as needed and as described in Sections A.13 and A.14.a.
      2. Health program protocols
        1. SHS admin/staff will follow protocols outlined in Sections A.9 and A.10.
      3. Education/training of staff
        1. SHS admin/staff will receive training as described in 13.a.iii.1.
      4. Billing/charges
        1. SHS does not bill or charge patients.
      5. Staff scheduling
        1. SHS schedules will be determined as normal, with modifications as needed as described in Section A.9.
    6. SHS patient care considerations such as online appointments, strategies to limit shared objects (e.g. pens, keypads), triage protocols, screening forms, patient screening procedures (e.g. for symptoms/temperature checks before entering the clinic).
      1. As much as possible, the Wellness Center is moving toward electronic forms, online appointments, and check-in thereby limiting the number of shared items.
        1. When not possible, shared items will be cleaned regularly.
      2. Students and employees will need to complete a screening questionnaire (see 3.a.i) before entering campus (and thus the Wellness Center) that day.
        1. Screening questions will then be asked again at entering the Wellness Center. If they have any symptoms or fail the screening, they are encouraged to call the Wellness Center for information and direction on what to do next.
  15. Large events, including athletic events, and others such as ceremonies or performance
    1. Athletic Events
      1. Place physical distance markers for entrance and concession lines
      2. Wipe down door knobs before games, halftime, after games
        1. Sanitizing supplies will be made available to all who attend, and attendees will be encouraged to use them through signage and PA announcements.
      3. Fans and workers will wear masks at all times.
      4. Ball boys/ball girls wipe down balls with alcohol wipes as they return to play
      5. The number of fans will be limited to maintain appropriate social distancing in their respective venues.
  16. Communications strategy
    1. All communications to students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University will be managed by the COVID-19 Communications Response team. Official notifications will be shared via University-sponsored social media accounts, as push notifications sent directly to common devices through our shared Apple iPad infrastructure, via email, and published at
    2. Students who do not respond to push notifications will receive follow-up push notifications, emails, and text messages.
  17. Orientation and education/training, including anti-stigma training
    1. New students will be assigned days and times to check-in and receive their iPad rather than the traditional open check-in.
    2. Rather than meeting as one body, the orientation program (including anti-stigma training) will be presented to smaller groups. Groups will be organized by housing building with additional groups formed for off-campus students.
    3. Social events traditional to NSO will be replaced with activities that can be conducted while socially distant (e.g. outdoor movie night).
    4. A phased return to campus will occur to insure to provide a safe and orderly environment.
      1. Phase 1
        1. July 27-31: Campus reopens to faculty and professional staff on as-needed basis, with employees  encouraged to work remotely when possible.
        2. July 30: University Conference and All-staff Training
        3. July 31-August 1: Senior RAs arrive on campus for training
        4. August 3: Early Start Program commences
          1. Initial orientation occurs for all student involved in early start (~200 students)
        5. August 3-7: Check-in and training opens for student-athletes with in-season sports
          1. Health Check open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
      2. Phase 2
        1. August 10: Food service begins (limited offerings)
        2. August 10-15: Arrival deadline for Football, Women’s Volleyball, Cross Country, Rugby, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, Dance, Cheer, and Field Hockey (288 students)
          1. Health Check open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
        3. August 14: Arrival orientation for student-athletes
        4. August 17: Junior RAs arrive on campus for training
      1. Phase 3
        1. August 19: Check-in opens for new and returning students
          1. Training and Orientation held daily for arrivals
          2. Health Check open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
        2. August 20: Faculty Conference with COVID-19 training held
        3. August 24: Classes Begin
        4. September 7: Recreation facilities made available to general school population
        5. Ongoing training for masks, social distancing, good hygiene, and culture of inclusive responsibility (user-oriented sanitizing of common surfaces) commences

B. Monitoring Health Conditions to Detect Infection 

  1. Daily health screening questions and/or other health monitoring approaches that can be used to monitor health of the campus population.
    1. Southern Virginia University will ask each student, employee, and visitor to fill out a digital health screening questionnaire (hosted here and described in A.3.a) daily before arriving on campus.
    2. Anyone with symptoms related to COVID-19 will be asked to stay home and encouraged to seek medical advice.
    3. Anyone who has been a close contact of someone known to have COVID-19 (during the course of illness or 2 days prior to the start of the symptoms) will not be permitted to be on campus (residential students will be quarantined in their residences) until cleared through criteria from CDC guidelines.
  2. Campus level syndromic (disease) surveillance using electronic health record data or other disease surveillance methods as feasible.
    1. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be required to complete regular health screening to ensure the health and safety of the campus community. The self-monitoring screener made available by the University is available for viewing here:
  3. Establishment of a testing strategy. Testing strategies should consider testing for all students, faculty, or staff with symptoms and access to testing for close contacts of cases as recommended by public health. Institutions may consult with their local health department, local health systems, and other relevant partners.
    1. Any person in the Southern Virginia campus community with COVID-19 related symptoms or anyone who has been a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 during their course of illness, will be encouraged to leave campus and obtain a COVID-19 PCR (molecular) test.
    2. Working with local health care facilities, COVID-19 PCR testing for the campus community is available a short drive from campus. Employees and students also have the option of obtaining testing through their primary care providers.
    3. Once a student or employee believe they have symptoms of COVID-19 or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 as a close contact, they are asked to notify the Wellness Center (employees to notify Human Resources) leave campus, obtain testing, stay home, take their temperature daily and monitor their symptoms, and, if needed, obtain medical care.
    4. If needed, Southern Virginia University will help the student obtain transportation for medical care or testing.
    5. Students and employees are asked to notify the University through the Wellness Center (or through Human Resources for employees) if they have a positive COVID-19 PCR test. On-campus students will move to isolation housing. The Central Shenandoah Health department will be notified, close contacts will be identified, contacted, and encouraged to quarantine and obtain testing.

C. Containment to Prevent Spread of the Disease when Detected 

  1. Partnership with VDH for contact tracing
    1. Southern Virginia has partnered with the Central Shenandoah Health Department (CSHD) during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    2. When Southern Virginia University has knowledge of a positive COVID-19 case, CSHD will be notified in two ways.
      1. First, through verbal notification of the positive case to Amanda McComas of CSHD via her cell phone (540) 290-3005. This number is available for reporting positive cases evenings and weekends as well as during business hours. A list of secondary contacts has been noted for when the primary contact is unavailable.
      2. Secondly, through an online form that will contain the positive COVID-19 case’s current address, phone number, email address, close contacts, special considerations, etc, if known. This will provide the health department with information critical to enhancing the speed of contact tracing and mitigation of disease.
  2. Quarantining and isolating (provision of housing, basic needs, medical case management)
    1. Southern Virginia University has identified residential student housing for both isolation (positive cases) and quarantine. The University will assist the student transferring from general housing to isolation or quarantine housing (using appropriate PPE and social distancing measures), if needed.
      1. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be relocated to the Ridge House, Red House, Carriage Mods, or, if necessary, other locations in the community.
      2. Students who are symptomatic but who do not have confirmed cases of COVID-19 may be quarantined in their residence or relocated to a designated room in the Carriage Mod.
    2. Southern Virginia University representatives will reach out to students in both isolation or quarantine regularly to find if the student has questions or needs and encourage the student to follow CDC guidelines.
    3. Meals, transportation, and management of quarantine/isolation process will be coordinated with the Wellness Center and Food Services
      1. A mobile ordering platform through the school’s Bepoz point-of-sale software has been adopted and is currently being deployed so that a student in isolation or quarantine can order meals to be delivered to their door.
  3. Campus outbreak management
    1. Southern Virginia has established a partnership with the Central Shenandoah Health Department and local area hospitals and medical centers as well as City officials to mitigate the spread of disease and control any outbreaks.
    2. Southern Virginia University has established a protocol with CSHD once a positive case is known to quickly gather and provide important information to CSHD, speeding the work of CSHD contact tracing, as well as testing, isolation and quarantine.
    3. Southern Virginia has partnered with Carilion Clinic’s local hospital and medical facilities to secure needed testing and medical care when needed.
  1. Partnership with local health systems to assure care for symptomatic individuals as needed. (e.g. a local health system representative could serve on the COVID-19 team)
    1. Southern Virginia University Wellness Center representatives meet regularly with local health system representatives to secure needed care and testing for Southern Virginia students. The local hospital is part of a larger health system that will help care for students as needed.
    2. The Carilion Clinic representative working with Southern Virginia University and other local IHE is Greg Madsen.

D. Shutdown Considerations if Necessitated by Severe Conditions and/or Public Health Guidance

  1. Plans regarding the criteria and process for campus dismissals or shutdowns. Decisions regarding dismissals and shutdowns should be made in consultation with local and state public health officials.
    1. Campus will be shut down if local hospitals surpass their capacity to care for the sick in need of hospitalization.
    2. In order to protect the health of students, in-person courses will be temporarily suspended if needed. Courses will continue online and will resume when conditions have improved.
    3. Suspension of in-person classes for a limited amount of time while students remain on campus–this place is as safe or safer than if they were home.
    4. If a student contracts COVID-19, the Wellness Center will make individual determinations regarding the student’s fitness to remain on campus. Should a concern for safety arise related to COVID-19 but which is not related to a confirmed or suspected contraction of the illness, the campus Coronavirus Threat Assessment Team will address the issue.
  1. Nature of reduced campus activity in the event of severe conditions/public health direction or guidance.
    1. Southern Virginia University will perform an initial assessment after two weeks and reassess on a regular basis the need to limit gatherings or reduce campus offerings that are high risks for transmission of COVID-19.
    2. CSHD has agreed to work with the Healthy Campus Group in making decisions about gatherings on campus.
    3. While activities throughout the semester will be carefully socially-distanced and protected by strict mask-wearing recommendations, campus activity will be further reduced in the event of severe conditions. These limitations include but are not restricted to the following
      1. On-campus performances and sporting events will be canceled.
      2. Classes will be moved online. Accommodations will be made for courses with labs or other aspects that require meeting in person.
      3. All non-essential faculty and staff will be instructed to stay away from campus.
      4. Students will be instructed to stay in their residence halls as much as possible.
    4. Reducing interaction students have with others (not sending people home on planes)
  2. Considerations regarding student health and safety on campus versus returning home.
    1. Being on campus provides students with many benefits that can be difficult to ensure outside of this controlled environment.
      1. Uniformity of Response: The hierarchy of Southern Virginia University’s campus leads to a more uniform and directed response to the continuously evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Because school happens in a controlled environment, and because the school’s response is guided by the latest work from epidemiologists and other experts in the field, it is safe to assume that the school environment will respond in ways that lead to a safer community than what takes place in the country at large.
      2. Opportunity to Shape Campus Culture: Agreeing to participate in healthy habits (masks, hygiene, social distancing, regular health screening) is a prerequisite for students who will return to campus in August. Because students will have committed individually and as a group to participate in this healthy campus community, the likelihood that they make these choices increases, which makes campus a safer alternative to the country at large.
      3. Average age of the campus community: One fact that seems to have been consistent over time is that COVID-19 presents itself with more serious symptoms for older populations. As such, it can be derived that the overall danger presented by the disease is less here than it is in the country at large.
      4. Relative Isolation: The location of Southern Virginia University is rural, with just over 20,000 inhabitants in Rockbridge County. This rural locale provides much isolation and decreases the risk of transmission when compared to risks presented in urban centers.
  3. Communications plan for dismissals/shutdowns.
    1. All communications related to COVID-19 will come from the University’s COVID-19 Response Team on the designated website and via campus-wide SMS texting, email, and social media accounts.
    2. With the digital infrastructure that the school has built out over the past 3-5 years, messages are more likely to reach students through means familiar to them. Since launching a partnership with Apple in 2017, the school has the ability to push notifications to a common device, and students are responsive to this exclusive, limited medium of communication. The investment in a uniform technology platform enhances Southern Virginia’s ability to contact students in familiar ways that they appreciate.