September 28, 2020 COVID-19 Updates

As a critical infrastructure facility Webber International University has not closed, continuing to operate under CDC guidance, state regulations, and NAIA, TSC, and MSC rules.  We have also been in close contact with our county health and emergency management departments.

It is important to remember that while Florida has relaxed most restrictions, the CDC guidelines are still to isolate if infected and quarantine if exposed.  It is also important to remember that while Webber has done a very good job – 8 cases since the initial outbreak in January including 6 since faculty and students returned – every interaction with any other living creature carries the risk of infection from COVID-19 and other diseases.  So while we all voluntarily assume the risk that interacting with other people brings with it, we must all do our part to minimize that risk when possible.  

Following are our current policies and procedures, compliance with are conditions of continued employment and enrollment.

Campus Access

We are continuing to limit access to the campus to employees, students, and those with a legitimate reason to be on campus.  A person will NOT be allowed on campus if:

  • He or she does not have a legitimate reason to be on campus, evidenced by a current and valid Webber ID card or a verified appointment;
  • Within the last 14-days, he or she has experienced a new cough that he or she cannot attribute to a health condition other than an infectious disease including COVID-19;
  • Within the last 14-days, he or she has experienced new shortness of breath that he or she cannot attribute to a health condition other than an infectious disease including COVID-19;
  • Within the last 14-days, he or she has experienced a new sore throat that he or she cannot attribute to a health condition other than an infectious disease including COVID-19;
  • Within the last 14-days, he or she has experienced new muscle aches that he or she cannot attribute to a health condition other than an infectious disease including COVID-19 or a specific activity such as physical exercise;
  • Within the last 14-days, he or she has had a temperature at or above CDC’s established fever threshold of 100.4° or the sense of having a fever;
  • Within the last 14 days, he or she has had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 consecutive minutes) with someone who is currently sick with suspected or confirmed COVID-19; or
  • He or she, at the point of entry to the campus, registers a temperature at or above 100.4º.
    • Temperature screening is recommended by CDC for critical infrastructure workers.  An employee registering a temperature at or above 100.4º will be sent home and may not return to work until he or she has been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications or produces a physician’s note authorizing return to school or work activities.

Classrooms

The 9/28/2020 CDC Guidance recommends that you “stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people” and wear a mask “in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others.”

We are continuing to limit classroom capacity, stagger classes through blended delivery, and require the wearing of masks by all persons at all times while in classrooms.

Cafeteria and Student Union

The 9/28/2020 CDC Guidance recommends that you “stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people” and wear a mask “in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others.”

We are continuing to limit seating capacity to promote social distance and to require the wearing of masks by all person at all times while not actively eating.

Fitness Center and Weight Room

The 9/28/2020 CDC Guidance recommends that you “stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people” and wear a mask “in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others.”

We are continuing our limited capacity, by appointment scheduling, and to require masks be worn by all employees and by others when practical.

Competition

While the CDC “does not currently have guidance for adult sport leagues”, some of the things the 9/28/2020 CDC Guidance recommends include:

  • Stay home if sick;
  • Have smaller team sizes;
  • Keep space between players in practice areas;
  • Reduce physical closeness between players when possible;
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and your teammates, other competitors, and officials while actively participating in the sport;
  • Avoid high fives, handshakes, fist bumps or hugs;
  • Keep space between players in the practice areas, including on the sideline, dugout, and bench;
  • Avoid congregating in the parking lot or near the field before or after games;
    • If it is not possible to avoid congregating, practice social distancing by ensuring there is at least 6 feet between participants.
    • If social distancing is not possible, wear a mask whenever possible to reduce risk of virus transmission.
  • Space out spectators by 6 feet
  • Limit nonessential visitors, spectators, and volunteers. Ensure they wear masks and maintain social distancing.
  • Wear a mask if possible
  • Minimize sharing of equipment or gear
  • Limit the use of frequently touched surfaces on the field, court, or play surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect shared items between use.
  • Don’t share towels, clothing, or any items used to wipe your face or hands.
  • Avoid sharing food, drink containers (e.g., coolers), and utensils.
  • Minimize spitting. Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Used tissues should be thrown away and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
  • Wash hands
  • Limit travel outside of your area

We are continuing to require tickets to attend games, to limit capacity to provide space between spectators, to require all non-participants to wear masks, and to require participants to were masks when practical.

Library, Offices, and other Public Spaces

The 9/28/2020 CDC Guidance recommends that you “stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people” and wear a mask “in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others.”

We are continuing to require that all persons maintain social distance when possible (the guidance is to maintain 6 feet of separation even outside), to meet outdoors or in larger spaces when possible, and to wear masks at all times when in public spaces when interacting with others (for example, one need not wear his or her mask when alone in his or her office).

Staying Healthy

According to the CDC, everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • It’s especially important to wash:
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • Before touching your face
      • After using the restroom
      • After leaving a public place
      • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After handling your mask
      • After changing a diaper
      • After caring for someone sick
      • After touching animals or pets
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact
    • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
    • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
    • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
    • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
    • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
    • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Immediately 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.
  • Clean and disinfect
    • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household will work.
  • Monitor Your Health Daily
    • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
    • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
      • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Protect Your Health This Flu Season: getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever.

Contact Tracing

Webber has several employees who have been trained in the Johns Hopkins contact tracing protocol which we are using.  In the event of a positive test, after we have concluded contact tracing we contact those with whom that person has been in close contact (please note that the CDC has a precise definition of what constitutes close contact) to:

  • Let people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Help people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested if appropriate.
  • Ask people to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact.

Isolation (if you think or know you had COVID-19), you must isolate

(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/isolation.html)

“I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be with others after

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​)

— or —

  • If testing is available in your community, your healthcare provider may recommend that you undergo repeat testing for COVID-19 to end your isolation earlier than would be done according to the criteria above. If so, you can be around others after you receive two negative tests results in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test

— or —

  • If testing is available in your community, your healthcare provider may recommend that you undergo repeat testing for COVID-19 to end your isolation earlier than would be done according to the criteria above. If so, you can be around others after you receive two negative test results in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.”

Quarantine: If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you must quarantine (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html)

“What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has [note the heading… according to the CDC this means someone who has themselves tested positive] COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more;
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them);
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils; or
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Steps to take if you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
  • Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.”

Please help us preserve the fairly normal life we have – in person classes, delicious meals in a dining room, sports competitions, and so much more – by doing your bit to keep this disease from spreading. Keep up the good work, and stay healthy!

Posted date, time, by, and authority of: September 29th, 2020 8:45AM EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-12

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