RETURN TO CAMPUS: GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s (BRCTC) protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in safety for our campus community. BRCTC’s plans are aligned and consistent with local orders and ordinances of the Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, as well as the State of West Virginia’s Phased Reopening Model. BRCTC’s plans follow recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education, OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
UPDATES MAY 28, 2021
Students who fail to comply with requirements are subject to sanctions as outlined in the Student Handbook. All employees are expected to fully comply with the protocols and guidelines. Failure to do so may result in corrective action.
Per CDC guidelines and the removal of the WV Mask mandate:
- Vaccinated persons may choose whether or not to wear masks.
- Unvaccinated persons are to continue wearing masks.
- If unsure if the person you are meeting with or socializing is unvaccinated, mask is highly advised.
Ultimately, personal safety mitigating COVID19 risks should be followed as the individual determines.
*At this time, Blue Ridge CTC does not mandate vaccinations. All community members are highly encouraged to get the COVID19 vaccination. Vaccine clinics are available throughout the region.
Many offices are returning to a more typical schedule. See Appointment Scheduling below for more information regarding visiting campus. Employees should work directly with their supervisor through the Teleworking policy for scheduling. This will vary between positions and departments.
- People may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms. Consider all close interactions (within 6 feet) with employees, clients, and others as a potential source of exposure.
- Discourage handshaking, hugs, and fist bumps.
- Hand sanitizer should be used when entering and exiting an office or classroom.
- Encourage the use of outdoor seating areas and social distancing for any small-group activities such as lunches, breaks, and meetings.
- Faculty are highly encouraged to offer courses using virtual and live options synchronously.
Blue Ridge CTC is excited to welcome guests back on campus. Guests can schedule virtual and in-person appointments with Student Services. When visiting campus, all members of the campus community are encouraged to wear a face covering, practice social distancing and not bring additional guests, if at all possible.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Campus Hours of Operation are as follows:
- Headquarters/Main Campus: M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday hours 7:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.
- Technology Center: M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Pines Opportunity Center/Morgan County: M-F, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
SYMPTOM MONITORING REQUIREMENT
Visitors on campus are asked to monitor symptoms of COVID-19. Please do not report to campus should you be experiencing symptoms. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider and/or the Berkeley County Health Department for COVID-19 Testing procedures.
Symptoms include one or more of the following:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New GI symptoms
- New loss of taste or smell
COMPUTER LAB PROTOCOLS
Due to limited space, a student must make a reservation to use the computer lab. You may reserve more than one time slot. Please only use your designated computer. Each lab has 9 seats available. Students may reserve more than one time slot.
While using the computer lab, personal headphone use is highly recommended to allow for a quiet environment for all students. Please bring your own headphones.
It is the student’s responsibility to properly clean the computer station before and after the reserved time has ended. The college has cleaner/disinfectant to sanitize the desk area, keyboard, mouse, and any other surfaces you touch.
Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth while you are on campus is encouraged. You are encouraged to wear a mask at all times while using the computer lab. Please bring your own or pick up a mask at one of the designated cleaning stations.
The computer lab is available to students from 8:00am to 9:30pm. The lab will be closed for deep cleaning at the following times: 11:00am-11:30am, 2:30pm-3:00pm, and 6:00pm-6:30pm.
OFFICE CLEANING PROCEDURES
- Remove the trash: Remove trash and recycling to central collection area as needed.
- Dust: Working from the top toward the bottom, dust your workspace as needed using microfiber or other dusting tool. It is important that the tool capture dust as opposed to spreading it around.
- Keyboard, Mouse, and Phone: Clean and disinfect the keyboard, mouse, and phone. First clean the areas, then use the disinfectant.
- Computer Monitor (Touch Screen): You don’t need to rub hard to remove fingerprints or oily spots. Use a soft, lint-free cloth (ex: microfiber cloth) or a screen cleaning wipe to gently wipe the screen. Either dry or dampened with water or eyeglass cleaner. NEVER use a glass cleaner or other chemical.
HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
CAMPUS DEEP CLEANING
Visitors will notice an increase in our housekeeping staff and increased cleaning of high touch surfaces, such as handles, table tops, restrooms, classrooms, etc. Our staff uses an EPA registered disinfectant, certified to kill the Human Coronavirus.
Employees are monitoring individual health and are not reporting to work when sick. Our staff practices frequent hand washing and uses an alcohol based hand sanitizing solution of at least 60%. Faculty and staff are disinfecting classrooms and meeting spaces. The College has partnered with Weiss Brothers to provide training to our faculty and staff on best practices and increased hygiene and sanitation routines.
Remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately dispose of used tissues in the trash and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
PERSONAL SAFETY PRACTICES
Face masks/cloth Face Coverings: Face masks or face coverings are encouraged to be worn by all students on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.). Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. Spread of COVID-19 to others is possible without experiencing symptoms. A mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
Blue Ridge CTC has a variety of masks available for the campus community. Disposable masks may only be worn for one day. Reusable masks or face coverings should be laundered after each use. Students and visitors on campus who do not have a face covering should visit the Security Office or cleaning station at that campus location to obtain one.
WHO TO CONTACT?
WEST VIRGINIA HOTLINE
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has launched an informational hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding COVID-19. The toll-free hotline – 1-800-887-4304 – is available 24/7 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.
WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus designated SARS-CoV-2.The outbreak of COVID-19 originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Since then, tens of thousands of confirmed cases have been reported, predominantly in China but in a rapidly growing number of countries worldwide.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, so information and recommendations may change. We will continue to learn more in the coming days and share new information as it is available.
For additional information, please visit CDC’s Situation Summary, view States Reporting Cases of COVID-19 to CDC, or call DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304.
PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF GERMS
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Lather for at least 20 seconds every time. If no soap is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or the bend of your elbow, not your hands.
- Use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use.
- Avoid contact with sick or affected individuals.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as your mobile phone.
- Stay home when you are sick.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC):
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
Our College supports students’, faculty and staffs’ mental health and wellness. We contract with EastRidge Health Systems, a local community mental health facility. This partnership helps students, faculty and staffs’ with mental illness and adjustment issues to live productive lives and to succeed academically. Students, faculty and staff have three visits that are covered by the college. Individuals become self-pay after the first three sessions if they do not meet WV charity care requirements or are not covered by insurance.
Services offered by EastRidge include general therapy, medication management, and intensive outpatient substance abuse groups.
To schedule an appointment, call 304-263-8954 extension 7052 and speak to Sandy Kovach. Identify yourself as a Blue Ridge student and be prepared to offer your name, birthdate, health insurance information, and a good phone number for you. You will receive a return call to schedule an appointment.
In the event of a mental health crisis, the 24-hour hotline is available to everyone at 304-263-8954 extension 4. During daytime hours, please stay on the line until someone answers your call! Although it may take some time, your call WILL be answered. After hours, leave a message, and your call will be returned within 20 minutes.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN CRISIS, CALL 9-1-1 OR
PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
ULifeline is an anonymous, confidential, online resource center, where college students can be comfortable searching for the information they need and want regarding mental health and suicide prevention. ULifeline includes facts on mental health and wellness topics, suicide prevention, and how to help a friend. You can access self-screening tools and gather information concerning anxiety, depression, eating disorders, drugs and alcohol, and other topics of interest to college students.
Why is ULifeline needed? College students are particularly vulnerable for developing mental health disorders. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. Yet, most college students are misinformed or unaware of the signs and symptoms of depression and other emotional disorders. ULifeline provides a safe, private, user-friendly place for students to learn more about mental health.
Who produces ULifeline? ULifeline is a program of The Jed Foundation, the nation’s leading nonprofit public organization working to prevent suicide among college students and improve the mental health support available on campuses nationwide. Since its inception, ULifeline and The Jed Foundation have reached millions of parents, students, administrators, and most importantly, those who have suffered in silence. The Foundation will continue to be vigilant in improving the ULifeline organization and its ability to educate, raise awareness, and most importantly, reduce the stigma associated with mental health seeking on a college campus, which ultimately, we believe, will help those truly in need.
Who can use ULifeline? College students are the primary audience for ULifeline. They access ULifeline to get mental health information for themselves or if they are concerned about a friend. The site, however, is available to anyone in the college community, including faculty, staff, administrators, and family members.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are all classes online for the Summer semester?
Most, but not all, courses are being offered online for the Summer 2021 term. Courses with live, hands-on components are limited to a maximum of 10 individuals, including the instructor. This number may be modified based on the size of the meeting location.
Are classes ending early during the Summer 2021 term?
No, classes are following our regular academic calendar.
What if my course has a clinical or face-to-face internship component?
Clinical coursework, Career Advancement Courses, Contracted Training, externships and internships will continue based on site restrictions and availability. Students should work directly with their instructors to coordinate.
Are masks required at all times on campus?
The Center of Disease Control (2021) has updated guidelines for fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people and others with compromised immune systems are still encouraged to wear masks. Face coverings or masks are encouraged for all visitors on campus; social distancing is required. This includes in restrooms, classrooms, common meeting spaces, and traveling between buildings. Students are encouraged to wear a personal mask as long as it does not include offensive messaging or language.
How can I meet with my advisor?
Students should reach out to their advisor via email to schedule a meeting.
My class was converted to an online course, and I am struggling. Who can I contact?
Any member of the Student Success Office is able to assist you in obtaining access to Blackboard, access to tutoring and more.
I have medical documentation and cannot wear a mask. Who do I contact?
Students who need to request a reasonable accommodation can contact Mary Francisco Newlin in the Office of Accessibility Services.
What if I am sick with a fever, cough or other concerning symptom?
Seek medical assistance as appropriate and do not visit campus until symptoms resolve. Students diagnosed with COVID-19 should immediately inform the local health department in their county for contact tracing purposes.
What if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?
If you are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and/or develop symptoms of the virus, contact your healthcare provider and tell them about the symptoms. The healthcare provider will decide whether or not testing is required. Stay home if COVID-19 symptoms develop and go home immediately if symptoms occur on campus.
Will BRCTC be testing all employees and students for COVID-19 before returning to campus?
No. Current public health guidelines do not call for testing unless symptoms are present.
Will there be daily health checks/temperature screenings for the campus community?
Blue Ridge CTC is not performing on site health or temperature checks. All members of the campus community should self-monitor symptoms each day prior to reporting to campus.
Does the college have the capability to do antibody testing to find out if individuals have already been exposed to COVID-19?
The college does not have plans to provide antibody testing.
How can I get tested for COVID-19?
Contact your healthcare provider to schedule a COVID-19 test or contact the Berkeley County Health Department for updated locations.
What if I am told by a healthcare provider that I need to be isolated or quarantined due to exposure?
If you are required to self-quarantine and are participating in live classes, contact your instructor immediately to notify them of your absence. You can submit documentation to the Office of Accessibility Services. The Office of Accessibility Services will notify instructors of the need for appropriate accommodations to complete coursework.
Will there be a “deep clean” of campus facilities before campus reopens and will cleaning measures remain rigorous after we return?
The College’s housekeeping staff continuously disinfects high-touch surfaces. These high-touch surfaces include, but are not limited to entryway touchpoints, doorknobs, water fountains, elevator panels/call buttons, stairwell handrails and restroom fixtures (sinks, faucets, toilets, towel dispensers, etc.)
Can I wear a mask or a face shield?
Employees, students and visitors are required to wear either a face shield or a mask. It is not necessary to wear both.
If I test positive for COVID-19, do I have to notify the College?
No. Students who test positive for COVID-19 do not have an obligation to notify the College. Students should notify their local Health Department for contact tracing purposes. Do not visit campus and follow guidance provided by your healthcare provider.