EXPECTATIONS AND GUIDELINES
All students are expected to fully comply with the protocols and guidelines outlined in this document as part of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s Campus Expectations and Guidelines. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Handbook.
Spring 2021 classes are primarily offered in a remote delivery format and follow our standard academic calendar. Courses with required face-to-face components are limited. Any course with in person meeting requirements are limited to a maximum of 10 persons. This number may be adjusted based on the size of the meeting space and the ability to maintain social distancing requirements.
Clinical courses, field experience courses, Career Advancement courses and Contracted Training courses are continuing based on the ability and restrictions in place at the respective location. Students should work with their instructor regarding details surrounding clinical and field experience courses.
Students participating in hands-on labs that do not permit 6 ft. social distancing should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. Learning activities should be concluded as soon as possible without compromising educational benefit to students. Upon conclusion, 6ft social distancing should be resumed.
Students should stagger arrival times to classes on campus and refrain from congregating both inside and outside of the classroom. Social distancing should be observed at all times. Additionally, tutoring and meetings should occur within an environment large enough to support social distancing measures.
The College continues to monitor the progress of the virus and impact upon operations. Classes with hands-on, in-person meetings may be required to convert to remote delivery options at any time throughout the course of the semester. Should circumstances arise in which a transition is warranted, Faculty will inform students via Blackboard, BRCTC email, and/or any other communication medium used within the course.
IN THE CLASSROOM
As part of our effort to protect the campus community, all students, staff, and instructors are required to observe social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines as outlined by Blue Ridge CTC at all times. While in class, students must be seated appropriately to support social distancing and must wear the appropriate PPE. Should a student forget to bring PPE, they should visit the Security Office at the campus location or cleaning station to obtain a face covering.
Students who fail to comply will be dismissed from the classroom and may be referred for sanctions as outlined by the Student Handbook. Students who require PPE accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services to submit the appropriate documentation.
ABSENCE DUE TO ILLNESS OR QUARANTINE
Should you become sick or be required to quarantine during the semester, notify the instructor immediately using the contact method described in the syllabus. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services in order to implement the appropriate accommodations required to submit course work during an extended absence.
SYMPTOM MONITORING REQUIREMENT
Students are asked to monitor symptoms of COVID-19. Please do not report to campus should you be experiencing symptoms. Students 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
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020), individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised. Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
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 can vary depending on activity. Please call ahead.
- 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.
Blue Ridge CTC is limiting traffic on campus by working remotely, scheduling virtual appointments for all services, and limited in-person visits by appointment only. Access to campus is limited by class or appointment only. Schedule a virtual appointment rather than an in-person appointment, when possible. If you must visit campus, follow the appropriate scheduling protocols to make an appointment. All visitors on campus must be attending a course or have a scheduled appointment.
When visiting campus, all members of the campus community are required to wear a face covering, practice social distancing and do not bring additional guests, if at all possible. Practice regular hand washing and use an alcohol based hand sanitizing solution of at least 60% when handwashing is unavailable. Use hand sanitizing solution upon entering campus. Sanitizing stations can be found at each of the campus entry points.
Plexiglass barriers have been installed in areas of frequent public contact.
The Bruin Café will operate in a modified fashion. Availability will be announced weekly, by location.
Water fountains have been deactivated for the safety of the public. Students and visitors should bring beverages when visiting campus.
Enter and Exit Control
Entry to buildings is regulated and monitored. Do not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person. Entry and exit points have been designated at each campus location. Please use the designated path when visiting campus.
Computer Lab Usage Protocol
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. Access to campus is limited to students for class or by appointment only. Each lab has 9 seats available. Students may reserve more than one time slot. At the end of your reservation, you must promptly leave campus unless you have another appointment or class immediately following your reservation. Students are not permitted to bring guests or children to the computer lab during their reserved 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 mandatory. You are expected 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.
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 before and after each interaction. The College has partnered with Weiss Brothers to provide training to our faculty and staff on best practices and increased hygiene and sanitation routines.
PERSONAL SAFETY PRACTICES
Face masks/cloth Face Coverings: Face masks or face coverings must 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.
Students who fail to comply with this requirement are subject to sanctions as outlined in the Student Handbook.
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. Having a week supply of cloth face coverings may help reduce the need for daily laundering. 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.
USE AND CARE OF FACE COVERINGS
Putting on the face covering/disposable mask:
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering/disposable mask.
- Ensure the face-covering/disposable mask fits over the nose and under the chin.
- Situate the face-covering/disposable mask properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
- Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
- Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering/disposable mask.
Taking off the face covering/disposable mask:
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering/disposable mask.
- When taking off the face covering/disposable mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
- Wash hands immediately after removing.
Care, storage and laundering:
- Keep face coverings/disposable mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
- Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent before first use, and after each use. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
- Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after use or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.
Maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet is one of the best defenses to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The virus is able to be spread, even if no symptoms are present. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to protect people who are at higher risk. Students on-site should follow these social distancing practices:
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people at all times
- Do not gather in groups
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
Students should wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after visiting a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.
Healthcare workers and others in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) According to the Center for Disease Control (2020):
“For the general public, CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. In most other situations, like running errands, wearing gloves is not necessary. Instead, practice everyday preventive actions like keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), and wearing a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.”
Students do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus, unless required during classroom training that requires hands-on interactions. Proper hand hygiene and avoiding touching the face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments.
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.
GUIDANCE FOR SPECIFIC SCENARIOS
Public Transportation: When using public transportation, wear a mask before entering the bus and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible and before removing your mask.
Using Restrooms: Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure at least 6 feet distance between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.
Using Elevators: No more than two persons may enter an elevator at a time. Please use the stairs whenever possible. If you are using the elevator, maintain 6 foot social distancing, wear your mask or face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.
Meetings: Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, telephone, etc.).
In person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements. All tutoring or meetings occurring on campus must observe all 6 foot social distancing requirements.
Students are encouraged to communicate with peers and instructors as needed by email, telephone or other available technology, rather than face-to-face.
Meals: Before and after eating, wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. If dining on campus, students must wear a mask or face covering until ready to eat and replace it afterward. Students must maintain 6 feet of distance between others at all time and should not sit facing another individual.
Travel: Individuals who are traveling or planning to travel should review the CDC Considerations for Travelers guide. Travel increases your chances of contracting COVID-19. Individuals traveling to known hotspot locations should consider self-quarantining for 14 days upon returning home.
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 Spring semester?
Most, but not all, courses are being offered online for the Spring 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 Spring 2021 term?
Yes, all face to face classes will attempt to conclude remotely after Thanksgiving Break. The last day for in person meetings will be November 20, 2020, and classes will continue remotely through the end of term.
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?
Yes, face coverings or masks are required by all visitors on campus. 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.
What if I do not wear a face covering?
Students who do not have face coverings will be asked to leave campus. Additionally, students are subject to sanctions as outlined in the Student Handbook.
How can I meet with my advisor?
Students should reach out to their advisor via email to schedule a remote 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. Email email@example.com for more information regarding assistance.
I have medical documentation and cannot wear a mask. Who do I contact?
Students who need to request a reasonable accommodation can contact MK Francisco in the Office of Disability 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 Disability Services. The Office of Disability 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.