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Campus COVID19 Planning for Fall 2020 {expander}

Brevard College is currently working with city and county officials, local and state health departments, and MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center), to develop and implement guidelines for Fall operations. Guidelines will be tied to recommendations and requirements from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and NCHHS (North Carolina Health and Human Services). We are also working closely with other college and university leaders in Western North Carolina and across the state.
 
Some of the measures our area (Campus Life) has been discussing and exploring include:
  • Health screenings (taking temperature and surveying symptoms),
  • Contact/exposure tracking,
  • COVID19 testing to establish an initial campus baseline (subject to availability and coordination with health officials),
  • Initial, online-only access for exposed students until expiration of mandatory quarantine period,
  • Residential isolation/quarantine policies for those potentially exposed during the year, 
  • Staggered move-in dates and times and reduced visitor/guest helpers during move-in,
  • Moving of more administrative processes to an online environment, 
  • Plastic shielding/barriers where needed/appropriate,
  • Various modifications to food service on campus,
  • Restricting residential visitation and limiting scope of social gatherings on campus,
  • Requiring physical/social distancing,
  • Requiring masks/face coverings where physical/social distancing is not possible,
  • Reducing gathering capacity of common areas,
  • Increasing various cleaning/sanitation measures (increasing staff, frequency, areas serviced, means of cleaning -- e.g., ionizing sprayers, etc.),
  • Increasing hand-washing/sanitizing resources across campus,
  • Adopting various campus policies to support health/safety measures and address compliance, and
  • Revising semester dates and eliminating Fall Break in order to limit travel and likelihood of exposure.

Other divisions within the College are working on guidelines in their areas, as well. For example:

  • The Division of Academic Affairs is working on class sizes and meeting spaces as they relate to social distancing measures.
  • The Division of Athletics is working on season modifications to adapt to NCAA guidance and requirements.

These are just a couple of examples from these areas. Many efforts and plans are underway from all areas in preparation for the Fall. Once the College has comprehensively outlined guidelines, policies, and procedures for Fall 2020, Divisions will upload information from their areas to My.Brevard.Edu. This information will be accessible through a centralized COVID-19 resource page. We appreciate your interest in and concern for campus COVID19 planning and ask that you please check back again in the future for updates.

Housing Update - 7.15.2020 {expander}

Housing Changes

Planning housing changes related to COVID-19.
Brevard College is committed to the safety, health, and well-being of its students and other members of its community. As Brevard College works to confront the unprecedented challenges and risks presented by COVID-19, including those within its campus's residential living environments, the College is following recommendations and guidance issued by county, state, and federal authorities and agencies, including the North Carolina Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What have colleges/universities been considering with regard to housing?
A portion of the COVID-19 guidance colleges and universities have been receiving concerns modifying student housing for the upcoming academic year. Institutions across the country have therefore been considering and implementing a range of housing policies and changes on their campuses. Some of the more significant changes being implemented on campuses include:

  • Not offering any student housing this coming academic year
  • Outsourcing housing and requiring students to work with property management companies to procure any housing that may be available
  • Offering limited housing by restricting hall capacity (such as by 50%)
  • Housing students by cohorts based on their involvements and affiliations
  • Offering limited housing to certain populations (only to first year students, for example)

Cohort Housing Information:

Brevard College will implement cohort housing, among other policies.
Brevard College has been and will be implementing a number of COVID-19-related policies and measures campus-wide. Among the most significant changes related to residence life, Brevard College has decided to implement cohort housing. The College will do so in a manner that is consistent with public health guidance and tailored to our campus's size. As noted above, cohort housing involves placing students together based on shared involvements and affiliations. Examples include placing students together from the same athletic team or area of academic focus. 

What is the purpose of cohort housing?
The purpose of cohort housing is to place students together with others with whom they will have a great deal of potential exposure during the academic year. Along with various other policies and measures, cohort housing supports campus safety and well-being by reducing the risk of COVID19 spreading among students and allowing the College to anticipate, isolate, and address instances of possible spreading within smaller groups.

How will cohorts be created?
The largest cohort groups on Brevard College's campus are student athletic teams. Students on athletic teams will be regularly meeting, practicing, working out, traveling, and competing together. Due to the high level of interaction within athletic teams, the cohort placement process will first involve housing student athletic teams and teammates together. 

Based on housing availability and layouts, other cohort groups will then be created where possible and appropriate. In some cases, students with mixed affiliations may be placed together if available housing space cannot serve the size of a meaningful cohort or if building a specific cohort would not significantly serve the underlying purposes of cohort housing.

What will happen with my requested roommate/suitemate/room?
Through the cohort housing process, the Housing Department will preserve as many roommate pairings as possible, provided the roommate pairings fall within specific, easily characterized cohorts. Additionally, students placed in Green Hall private rooms and in single rooms for qualifying accommodation needs will retain their placements. 

Students will otherwise be placed into cohorts based on the Housing Department's access to student involvement and affiliation information. Cohort groups will then be placed into residence halls based on building configurations and cohort sizes. Many building/room assignments will be subject to change as a result, and some students may not receive their preferred roommate, suitemates, or hallmates. 

For example, dual sport student athletes would be placed together (two students participating in both football and track) before a single sport student athlete (football) would be placed with a dual sport student athlete (football and track). 

As another example, if a non-student-athlete Criminal Justice major originally selected a student athlete (lacrosse) roommate, the student athlete would be reassigned to the appropriate athletic cohort (lacrosse), and the Criminal Justice major would be reassigned with another Criminal Justice major, if possible, or else with another separated candidate.

Challenges of Cohort Housing:
The decision to house students by cohorts was a difficult but necessary choice to make. It was difficult, because Brevard College recognizes that cohort housing will be a significant change for campus that will significantly impact its students. Significant housing changes will undoubtedly create feelings of stress and uncertainty for many students -- particularly for some of the College's returning students.

However, Brevard College also recognizes that the need to support the health and safety of our students is paramount. To that end, Brevard College must follow the recommendations and guidance of public health authorities. Cohort housing will enable Brevard College to continue providing a residential experience for the majority of its students as opposed to adopting options that would displace much of the College's residential student population.

Responding to the challenges of cohort housing.
Due to anticipated stress surrounding the cohort housing change, Brevard College's Housing and Residence Life Department will be making every effort to preserve as many roommate pairings as reasonably possible during the reassignment process, provided the pairings fit within its cohort planning. 

Additionally, Housing and Residence Life will work to get new residential assignments posted online within the next seven to ten days, so that students have the information they need about their new housing to plan accordingly. Once posted, their housing information will be viewable within My.Brevard.Edu (Students > My Housing Information > My Residence Information).

Placements will remain subject to change, as the College works through various needs and continues to adapt to public and campus strategies related to COVID-19. However, because of the interdependent nature of placements, housing changes will be extraordinarily difficult to make, and requests will not be possible to accommodate in nearly every case, unfortunately. 

Housing and Residence Life (Housing@brevard.edu) will certainly attempt to work through any change requests that raise very specific concerns relating to objectively severe or crisis situations. However, Brevard College does not anticipate being able to modify placements related strictly to preference, inconvenience, or incompatibility, or because they are anticipated to create or are actually creating some amount of concern or stress. 

Instead, the College anticipates dedicating additional support services for students within residence life, including mediation support to help facilitate communication among students and help them work through conflicts. Where Faculty and/or Staff members are closely affiliated with a given cohort, Housing and Residence Life will also collaborate with these individuals to provide leadership and support to our residential students.

Placements subject to change:
As mentioned above -- though Brevard College may post housing placements to My.Brevard.Edu in the near future, the placements will remain subject to change. Changes are possible, for example, because Housing and Residence Life may have to swap two individuals between rooms to resolve a cohort discrepancy or a placement that raised a crisis situation. These sorts of swaps may result in students receiving new roommate assignments up until the semester commences.

Placements are also subject to change, because information about the pandemic is evolving. Brevard College's strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting its students from exposure must similarly evolve as new information becomes available. Brevard College may therefore be required to adopt additional guidelines and modify individual or group living arrangements as necessary for reasons beyond its control. 

Private room availability.
Brevard College has assigned all available private rooms at this time. A select number of single rooms remain reserved for qualifying disability accommodation needs and housing emergencies during the academic year.

Other housing policies and measures under review:

Though cohort housing is among the most significant changes being implemented on campus, many other policies and measures will be adopted or are under consideration within Housing and Residence Life. Some examples specific to campus housing include:

  • Mask/face covering policies 
  • Limiting area capacity to facilitate social distancing
  • Limiting scope of personal belongings brought to campus
  • Modifying traffic flow
  • Enhancing cleaning measures
  • Moving non-essential facilities to offline status
  • Supplementing hand sanitizer stations
  • Adding physical barriers in select locations
  • Revising visitation policy
  • Revising room change policy
  • Reserving separate quarantine housing for exposed students
  • These are just a few examples within a single area of campus operations. Many campus-wide policies and measures will be adopted and announced or posted within the next few weeks.

Summer Residents {expander}

Safety Requirements:

We understand this is a very difficult and stressful time. While we must take strict measures on campus right now, we do so for everyone’s health and safety. Please know we are here to support you. If you need any help, please contact Campus Life.

  • Students may not currently access residence halls without pre-approval. Summer residents living on campus required pre-approval.
  • Students living on campus over the summer are not permitted to travel “back and forth” between the residence hall and off-campus housing.
  • All Visitors/Guests are strictly prohibited in residence halls at this time. This includes others residents/students who were not pre-approved to access campus. 
  • Gatherings of over 6 people in the residence hall are prohibited at this time.
  • Social distancing (6 feet) is required.
  • Masks/face coverings are required anywhere social distancing is not possible.
  • Propping doors is strictly prohibited.

Violation of Health/Safety measures may be grounds for removal.

Possible Exposure 
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or to someone experiencing possible symptoms, or if you are experiencing symptoms or have traveled within the past 14 days internationally or to an area of high exposure, you must self-quarantine. Please notify a medical provider, remain in your room, and notify campuslife@brevard.edu. In the event of worsening medical symptoms or an emergency, please call 911 and notify campus as soon as reasonably possible.
 
 

Students Wishing to Access Residence Halls {expander}

Permission Required: Students who still need to return to campus to remove belongings from a residence hall must email campuslife@brevard.edu to receive permission and guidance before returning.

General residential visitation is not permitted at this time.

COVID-19 Symptoms {expander}

Mild Symptoms - The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on previous incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses):

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Emergency Symptoms - For the following symptoms, immediate medical attention is recommended:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

 

This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

>> MORE DETAILS: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

If you have COVID-19 Symptoms {expander}

Those Experiencing Symptoms: If you believe you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Please notify Campus Life (campuslife@brevard.edu) and Campus Security (828.577.9590).
  • If you live in a residence hall and are currently on campus, please stay in your room if you begin experiencing symptoms.
  • In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

If mildly ill:

  • Stay home to prevent spreading the illness
  • Call your doctor
  • Prior to medical appointments, provide notice that you have or may have COVID-19
  • Ask healthcare provider to alert health department
  • Separate yourself from people and animals
  • Wear a face mask / facial covering
  • Wash hands often (soap and water for at least 20 seconds)
  • If soap is unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% or greater alcohol content)
  • Cover coughs/sneezes with tissues, discard tissues, and wash hands afterwards
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces everyday
  • Monitor your symptoms

 

For emergency symptoms:

  • Call 911 for immediate medical attention. Notify dispatch personnel of your emergency symptoms and that you have, are being evaluated for, or need evaluation for COVID-19, as applicable.

 

>> MORE DETAILS: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html