UPDATE: What are the results from the August COVID-19 testing of students and employees?
August 27, 2020: Shepherd University released the results of its mandatory COVID-19 testing for all students and employees, which was conducted by the Jefferson County Health Department.
Of 2,644 students and employees tested and reported, 10 individuals tested positive, of which only 5 are currently active (August 27, 2020).
The Jefferson County Health Department and Shepherd’s Health Center have contacted those individuals who tested positive, implemented quarantine plans, and completed contact tracing to determine who has been in contact with the positive individuals.
Shepherd conducted seven testing sessions on campus beginning August 14. The test administered at Shepherd was the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that detects the presence of the coronavirus virus (SARS-CoV-2) causing COVID-19.
“We appreciate how cooperative our students, faculty, and staff were as Shepherd undertook this large testing project,” said Holly Morgan Frye, vice president for student affairs and chair of Shepherd University’s Campus Health Task Force. “An effort this large required many volunteers to help with registration and testing. We are thankful for employee volunteers who provided more than 1,000 volunteer hours and for our D.N.P. students from our School of Nursing who made the testing process run smoothly.”
Is the fall semester calendar changing?
The fall semester will begin Monday, August 24 as scheduled, but in-person classes will end on Tuesday, November 24, with Thanksgiving break beginning Wednesday, November 25. Students WILL NOT return to campus following Thanksgiving break. The week following Thanksgiving will be a flex week conducted remotely for students to complete final assignments, and for faculty to grade and hold review sessions remotely. Final exams will be conducted remotely during the established time frame of December 7-11. See the fall Academic Calendar for details.
Are campus holidays and fall break days being removed from the academic calendar?
One of the calendar changes implemented is that the Labor Day holiday, which was scheduled for Monday, September 7, will be a regular instructional day for faculty and a work day for staff. Since Shepherd will not be observing the Labor Day holiday, that holiday will be moved in order to maintain the full employee holiday schedule. The revised holiday schedule now includes Monday, November 30, 2020, as a University holiday.
Fall break originally scheduled for Thursday, October 15, and Friday, October 16, will become instructional days.
Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24 will be instructional days.
Details about the academic calendar can be found HERE.
Do I have to wear a face covering?
All employees are required to wear a face covering that covers both the mouth and nose (either customized by the employee or provided by the University) while in public areas on campus. Face coverings are not required in private vehicles with a single occupant, in private offices, or personal residence hall rooms.
All students, campus visitors, contractors, and volunteers are required to wear face covering while on campus.
Do I have to wear a face covering in campus buildings?
Yes. Face coverings are required in all academic and administrative buildings and in common areas of residence halls. Additionally, campus buildings will have signage indicating what doors are serving as entrances and exits, which stairwells are to be used as up or down passageways, and what the capacity and protocols are for using elevators in order to observe social distancing.
What if I can’t wear a face covering?
Employees should contact Human Resources.
What will Shepherd do if I don’t wear a face covering?
Failure of an employee to comply with the face covering policy will be addressed as a personnel matter in the ordinary course of personnel management practices. Full policy is available HERE.
Employees who witness other employees on campus not wearing face coverings should feel encouraged to address it with that person. Additionally, if the behavior appears to be consistent and deliberate, they should report it to the employee’s supervisor.
NEW: Will the COVID-19 test be given on campus?
August 11, 2020: COVID-19 testing will take place at Shepherd University Saturday, August 15-Wednesday, August 19 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. This testing will be coordinated by the Jefferson County Health Department in compliance with a directive from Governor Jim Justice.
PLEASE NOTE: The Health Department will be testing on Friday, August 14 FOR EMPLOYEES ONLY. Help us work through the “wrinkles” by getting your test done on this day. We only ask that you be patient. This is the largest testing event ever coordinated by the Jefferson County Health Department.
Action Items for Employees:
- Reserve a time to be tested at COVID-19 Testing Reservation. Please arrive at the time chosen to reduce waiting time.
- Bring identification that includes name, photo, and date of birth.
- Testing will take place on East Campus, starting at the flagpole in front of Erma Ora Byrd Hall; you can drive or walk down King Street following the signs.
- If you are driving, you will remain in your vehicle for the duration of the test. If you are walking, you will be reminded to remain socially distanced.
- You will receive a gift bag and verification that you have been tested. It may be helpful to keep this verification with you.
What type of test will it be: The Health Department will be providing an RNA by PCR test. The swabbing of the nose is minimal; the test is self-administered; the swab is inserted just inside the nostril—we are NOT doing the very invasive and oftentimes uncomfortable swabbing.
Can I be tested off-campus: For employees who have extenuating circumstances that necessitate the need to be COVID-19 tested off-campus, testing may be an option if the following procedures are followed:
- The test must be administered between Saturday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 19, 2020
- The test must be an RNA by PCR
- Complete the form Off-Campus COVID-19 Testing and upload verification that you have been tested. Once you receive your results, copy and forward to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NOTE: Per the Jefferson County Health Department, if you live in Jefferson, Berkeley, or Morgan County you must be tested at Shepherd University.
Will I need to be tested before classes begin: Yes. All employees should be tested before August 24, the first day of classes.
Why are we not testing all week: It is our goal to get as many test results back as possible before the start of classes. Because of the high demand on labs during the pandemic, the turnaround time for test results could be as much as five days. Therefore, our goal is to get as many people tested as possible by August 19 in order to get test results back.
What if I test positive: The Jefferson County Health Department and the Shepherd University Health Center will have your test results. You will be contacted if you are positive. If you are on campus, you will need to contact your supervisor and leave campus immediately. It is advisable that you contact your primary care physician.
What if I test negative: If you want full confirmation of a negative result, you will need to call the Shepherd University Health Center. Otherwise, you will not be contacted.
UPDATE: Do I have to fill out the Employee Health Form each day I come to campus?
August 11, 2020: Yes. All employees must fill out the Employee Daily Health Check Form each day they are on campus for any length of time, including weekends. Employees are to take their temperature at home or on campus at the Wellness Center or Health Center within the first 30 minutes of arriving on campus and fill out the form at home or upon arriving at their work space certifying that there is not a significant change in their normal temperature. Employees also need to answer questions about testing positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks, being exposed to someone who may have COVID-19, experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms, and observing social distancing and face covering guidelines while on the Shepherd campus. Employees’ completed forms are sent to their supervisor each day.
I am at high risk for COVID-19. What are my options for continuing to work from home?
To be considered for accommodations to work from home , please contact Human Resources. Accommodations made in the spring expired June 30, 2020. See Plans for Supporting Our Return to Campus for details.
NEW: Will Shepherd University provide cellular hotspots for those in need of a more reliable internet connection?
July 20, 2020: Any employee incurring any particular request for a technological need, should first submit an email to email@example.com. Depending on need, there are multiple ways the university can assist employees to allow them to remain productive from home or away. Internet connectivity for users away from campus is not a direct responsibility of the university or IT Services. Users need to be aware of all internet connectivity options, along with financial obligations of each.
Is the Wellness Center open?
Yes, the Wellness Center is open under specific guidelines.
Will the Shepherd Bookstore be open?
The Shepherd University Bookstore is open online. The physical store located in the Student Center is scheduled to open Monday, August 3. It will remain open during regular hours as long as the University is open.
UPDATE: Will Shepherd be fielding athletic teams for the fall?
July 15, 2020: The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voted on Tuesday, July 14, to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PSAC has already undertaken a full review of its ability to shift fall sports to the spring semester. All fall and winter sports scheduled to begin before January 1, 2021 are impacted by this decision.
PSAC and its member institutions will develop guidelines for all teams to continue individual skill instruction as well as strength and conditioning activities under social distancing protocols by the end of the summer. The determination as to when winter and spring sports may begin workouts and practices will be considered at a later date.
How will meetings on campus be handled?
Most major committee, academic unit, classified employee, and faculty senate meetings will meet remotely for the fall semester. Any in-person meetings must follow CDC and state guidelines for social distancing and participants must wear face coverings.