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Building Openings, Face Coverings, and Testing Announcement

DATE: August 7, 2020

As we approach the opening of the fall semester, the Campus Health Task Force (CHTF) will be sending frequent updates to the campus community.  We realize everyone has many questions – we all do during this stressful and unique time.  Each of us are feeling the pressure to be ready for our students and to stay healthy. In this email, you will find information on the following:

Building Openings  ●  Face Coverings  ●  Testing  ●  Recent Email to Students

BUILDING OPENINGS:

The buildings below will be fully open to the public beginning on the date shown.  For most buildings, only one door will be unlocked to manage the flow of pedestrian traffic, and where feasible an alternative door will be used for exiting.  Signage should be used as a reminder to remain 6’ apart and to keep your face covering on at all times.

FACE COVERINGS:

In addition to the current statewide order of wearing a mask, our campus community has made the commitment to require and enforce the use of face coverings.  This includes all students, staff and faculty.  If you see someone without a face covering, offer a gentle reminder that the campus has adopted this rule and offer to help them find one.  It can be uncomfortable to approach someone, but this is our campus, and it is up to us to keep everyone healthy. A reminder: per our Temporary Polices Relating to COVID -19, compliant wearing of a Face Covering includes the following standards: i) Either cloth or medical Face Coverings may be used; ii) the Face Covering must provide continuous coverage of both the nose and mouth; iii) the Face Covering must be maintained in a reasonably hygienic condition. The University intends to issue a limited number of washable, cloth Face Coverings for all employees. Employees are thereafter responsible for maintaining and/or replacing if necessary. Employees may use commercially made or home-made Face Coverings, which must be appropriate to a professional environment.  For the full policy document, visit Temporary Policies Relating to COVID-19

TESTING:

WHAT: Staff from the Jefferson County Health Department will coordinate COVID-19 testing on our campus.

WHEN: Friday, August 14 – Wednesday, August 19

HOURS: 8:30am – 5:00pm (subject to change)

FAQs:

FYI: THE EMAIL BELOW WAS SENT TO ALL STUDENTS AUGUST 4:

Dear Students,

The countdown has begun for the kick-off of Shepherd University’s fall semester! We are just 20 days away from the first day of classes! The challenges have been noteworthy, but we are confident, that with your help, we are on the road to a successful fall opening. As has been stated, our intention is to provide a combination of face-to-face instruction, hybrid courses, and fully online.  Please know that we will continue to have a back-up plan for every scenario while we wait for a vaccine.

We know you have many questions. We are committed to providing answers!

FOR GENERAL INFORMATION:

Two websites have been created to answer your general questions.

CLASS SCHEDULES:

If you have questions about your schedule, we are ready to help! Shepherd University wants each of you to be Ram Ready and successful for the fall. Some courses for the Fall 2020 semester have changed to an online or hybrid format after they were posted in the Fall Schedule. You need to review your schedule to confirm these changes. Additionally, staff and faculty will be reaching out to many students who may have unique challenges to their schedule to clarify any particular needs.

CLASSROOMS:

The number of students per each classroom has been reduced and classrooms have been, and will continue to be, cleaned on an ongoing basis. Additionally, locations are being identified across campus to provide students with a place to go between classes for studying or taking an online class. A list of these specific spaces will be provided to you in a future email.

TESTING:

Will I need to have a COVID-19 test before the semester begins? Yes! All students, staff, and faculty will need to be tested per an order from WV Governor Justice. At this time, we are planning to test everyone on campus between Saturday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 19. Residential students will be tested prior to moving into the residence halls; commuter students will drive to campus during that period to be tested.

MASKS:

Do I have to wear a mask? Yes. Absolutely. All the time. Everywhere. Yes.

WHAT WILL BE REQUIRED OF ME EACH DAY?

You will play a large part in the continued safety and health of our campus. The following are a few, but perhaps not all, actions that will be required of you on a daily basis:

  1. Completion of a required, daily Health Monitoring Form. It is critical that everyone be fully self-aware about their possible symptoms, temperature, traveling, exposure to those potential carrying the virus, etc.  This form must be completed every day that a student plans to be on campus. Students who will be 100% online will not have to complete the form unless you plan to visit campus for any reason.
  2. Wear a Mask
  3. Stay 6’ away from others both on campus and off campus. The health and safety of everyone is based on the decisions that we each make every day.
  4. Submit a self-report if you are feeling symptomatic OR if you know you have been exposed. The self-report form will be easily accessible and will provide an effective and quick method to report if 1-you have been exposed, 2-if you have a fever, 3-if you are symptomatic, or 4-if you need to report that someone you know is. All this will be sent directly to the Shepherd University Health Center.
  5. You are required to take your own temperature each day before coming to campus or before leaving your residence hall. You will report this daily on the Health Monitoring Form. Thermometers typically can be purchased at most grocery, health or large stores. Although Shepherd will have infrared thermometers located across campus, it would be faster for you to have your own.

Additional emails will be sent as information becomes available. It is critical that you continue to check the websites and your emails for updates.

Thank you and STAY WELL and stay in touch!

Please be patient and be kind to yourself and each other. We are living through a pandemic and it’s hard, but it’s our job to do everything we can to be ready for the fall semester to help our students succeed.

Holly Morgan Frye
Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Community Relations