Tropical Storm Elsa: Sunday, July 4, 2021 7:00am EDT

Webber International University is continuing to monitor the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa.

While there remains significant uncertainty in the path of this storm and at this time we do not appear to be directly in its path, strong winds and heavy rain are likely at our Babson Park campus. While significant impact from tropical weather is rare, over our 94 year history we have weathered many tropical events, including major hurricanes, and reasonable precautions are always a good idea. The Campus Emergency Committee has continued to meet and the campus has been prepared.

At this time operational changes have not been planned, but each individual is always the best judge of the safety of their individual location and conditions.

We will monitor this storm closely as it nears and the degree of uncertainty lessens and any updates will be posted here (www.WebberEmergency.com). 

Webber monitors: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ and https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2021/tropical-storm-elsa

Thank you for visiting http://www.WebberEmergency.com, the official emergency notification site of Webber International University.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of: Sunday, July 4, 2021 7:00am EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2021-2

Tropical Storm Elsa Thursday July 1, 2021 2:30pm EDT

Webber International University has begun to monitor the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa. While at this time this storm does not appear to be a threat to us, it is still far enough away that its path is very uncertain.

The Campus Emergency Committee has met and we have begun to take prudent precautions. We will monitor this storm closely as it nears and the degree of uncertainty lessens and any updates will be posted here (www.WebberEmergency.com).

Webber monitors: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ and https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2021/tropical-storm-elsa

Thank you for visiting http://www.WebberEmergency.com, the official emergency notification site of Webber International University.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of: Thursday, July 1st, 2021 2:30pm EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2021-1

Tropical Storm Eta: All Clear

Tropical Storm Eta November 12, 2020 7:30am EST

The Babson Park Campus Crisis Response Team has issued an “all clear” with respect to Tropical Storm Eta which made landfall well to our north last night.  Our campus was unaffected and everyone is safe. 

This is the last statement on Tropical Storm Eta.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of: Thursday, November 12, 2020 7:30am EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-15

Tropical Storm Eta: November 11, 2020 4:00pm EST

Tropical Storm Eta November 11, 2020 4:00pm EST

The Babson Park Campus Crisis Response Team and the senior leadership of Webber International University have been monitoring the unusual track of Tropical Storm Eta which is expected to make landfall well north of us early Thursday, November 12.

Based upon all the information available to us, we are expecting a wet and windy night Wednesday, with some occasional moderate wind gusts late night Wednesday and early morning Thursday.

While we are not expecting them, we have secured for tropical force winds (which pretty much means bringing in furniture and trash cans, taking down flags, etc.) We are operating on a normal schedule with no cancellations of classes or activities… dinner and breakfast are expected to be on time, practices are expected to run, and Thursday morning classes are expected to meet as normal. Webber’s security force is on campus 24/7/365 and resident assistants are always on campus anytime students are in residence.

We are, however, aware that some of our employees and students live some distance from us, and we simply cannot know all local weather or road conditions.  Therefore, we empathize what is always the case:  you need to be aware of your surroundings and are always the ultimate judge of whether local weather and road conditions are safe enough to traverse.  Any employee unable to make it in because of local weather conditions should, as soon as possible, contact his or her immediate supervisor; any student unable to make it in should, as soon as possible, contact the academic dean and his or her coach.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of: Wednesday, November 11, 2020 4:00pm EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-14

Tropical Storm Eta: November 7, 2020 10:00am

Tropical Storm Eta:

The Babson Park Campus Crisis Response Team and the senior leadership of Webber International University have been monitoring the unusual track of Tropical Storm Eta.  This storm does not currently appear to be a threat to us.

In general because Webber is well inland and engineered to withstand hurricane force winds, our basic preparation for tropical storms is to secure loose objects which could become a hazard.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of: Saturday, November 7th, 2020 10:00am EST by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-13

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

August 1, 2020 4:00pm: Hurricane Isaias

Webber International University is carefully monitoring the approach of Hurricane Isaias.  Based on the best information available to us we are expecting heavy rain, occasional tropical storm force wind gusts, and lightning throughout the weekend.

We do not currently have any students on campus.  There are currently no activities planned on campus.  The few employees living on campus have been briefed on hurricane safety procedures.  Security and other members of our Campus Response Team will be on campus throughout the storm.

While we are expecting a normal opening on Monday, employees should contact their immediate supervisor if their commute is not safe or they have other needs or concerns.

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2020/hurricane-isaias

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  August 1st, 2020 4:00pm EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-10

Updated COVID-19 Prevention Policies and Procedures June 17th, 2020

Updated COVID-19 Prevention Policies and Procedures
June 17th, 2020

While we have not yet had a COVID-19 case, and while Webber International University has followed and will continue to follow CDC guidance, there exists an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other diseases, including those which could be life threatening especially for those with underlying medical conditions, in any public place where people are present.  Simply put, being in public, anywhere, anytime, and doing anything, brings with it the risk of exposure to diseases.

Webber was designated an essential critical infrastructure facility by the Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the US Department of Homeland Security in his March 28, 2020 guidance and has continued to operate within social distancing guidelines.

On June 3rd, 2020 in executive order 20-139 the Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida “encouraged” people to “avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 persons” This same order “encouraged” people “to follow appropriate social distancing and safety protocols issued by the CDC and OSHA”.

Continuing to follow CDC guidelines and make decisions based on science rather than fear, Webber expects to welcome youth summer camps soon and unless prohibited from doing so will deliver face-to-face classes and offer sports in the fall.  The following policies and procedures are currently in place but are subject to change as guidance evolves and students’ return to campus nears.

Ongoing Procedures

  • We are continuing to limit access to the campus.  In addition to strictly restricting access after-hours, 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 10 consecutive minutes), without the use of appropriate PPE, 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.
      • 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.
  • As a critical infrastructure facility, we are continuing to follow CDC guidance with respect to our essential workforce:
    • Employees who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and stay home.
    • Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers.
    • Employees with increased risk factors should continue to coordinate with their supervisors regarding telecommuting and other options.
    • If applicable, informing employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) .
    • Practicing social distancing by avoiding large gatherings, maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible, and wearing face coverings when the possibility of breaking social distancing exists.
    • Conducting meetings electronically when possible.
    • Limiting business travel.
  • As a critical infrastructure facility, we are continuing to follow CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations
    • Practicing routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs including the use of products that meet EPA’s criteria and are appropriate for the surface.
    • Avoiding use of other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Cleaning and disinfect them before and after use.
    • Canceling, adjusting, or postponing large work-related meetings or gatherings that can only occur in-person in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance.

Summer Camps

On May 22nd, 2020 the Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, in Executive Order 20-131 removed ALL restrictions on youth activities including youth summer camps.  This blanket removal of restrictions regarding limiting of group size, social distancing, and face covering does not yet apply to adults (i.e., college students and employees).

Webber International University does not conduct youth summer camps but rather rents its facilities to independent operators of youth summer camps who run camps with their own personnel and –  consistent with rules, regulations, laws and statutes (some of which, it bears repeating, create an affirmative duty for us to report suspected child abuse) – under their own guidelines.

Nevertheless, with respect to youth summer camps, Webber will continue to practice the procedures listed above with respect to its employees and its visitors and will deny access to the campus to anyone, including employees, facilitators, volunteers, parents, and campers who exhibit any of the signs or symptoms, including an active fever as defined by the CDC, listed above.  Adherence to state and CDC guidelines is a condition of rental of facilities, entrance to, and remaining on the campus.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  June 17th,  2020 10:00am EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-9

 

COVID-19 Update May 1, 2020

Webber has neither closed (the CDC guidance never recommended closing universities) nor had a COVID-19 case.

The spring semester has ended, summer classes are on-line, and graduation has been postponed until December 12 at 10:00am (the graduates were loud and clear:  they want a REAL graduation with cheering families and friends, not a “virtual” graduation, whatever that is).

And, we are not about to get sloppy now.

The Governor’s Executive Order Number 20-112 (Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery) which opens some of Florida next week really has very little impact on our operations (basically we could restore indoor dining at 25% capacity if we wanted to).  We have continuously operated by virtue of being designated an Essential Critical Infrastructure Facility in the United States Director of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency’s March 28th Guidance.  Our fitness center and gym remains closed by the Governor’s Executive Order Number 20-91.

Effective until further notice,

  • The campus remains closed except to those who have a legitimate need to be on campus.
    • There will continue to be a 100% ID check at the front gate 24/7/365.
    • Those without Webber ID cards validated for the Spring 2020 semester must be on the list to get through the gate.
    • There will be a 100% temperature check at the gate. Anyone with a temperature will be denied access to the campus.
    • There will be no unescorted visitors anywhere on campus at any time.
    • The campus remains closed from 8pm to 7am every day. Unless you are scheduled to work during that time, you will not be admitted to campus during those hours.
    • Students living on campus may continue to use the campus facilities (e.g., swimming pool, lakefront):
      • Social distancing must be maintained.
      • Groups must be fewer than 5 people.
      • Facilities remain closed to non-residential students, faculty/staff, visitors/guests, and the community.
    • Restrictions for students living on campus remain in place. Students currently living on campus who do any of the following will be required to leave campus immediately and not allowed to return until fall:
      • Leaving campus for non-essential reasons;
      • Leaving Polk county;
      • Not practicing social distancing, whether on or off campus;
      • Circumventing or attempting to circumvent campus security and safety measures; or
      • Moving off campus (once you’re gone, you’re gone until next semester)
  • Employees should coordinate with their supervisors about where (i.e., at home, in their usual workplace, or in some temporary location allow more distance) and when to work.
    • If you are working on campus you MUST maintain social distancing.
    • Face coverings are required if there is a risk of breaking social distancing.
    • Gloves may be required depending upon task.
    • Everyone must be spread out. No desks or other workspaces close together (we have empty classrooms, an empty conference center, etc.)
    • If you are sick you should not come to work. Communicate with your supervisor.
    • If there are issues which make being on campus problematic, coordinate with your supervisor.
  • While we continue to utilize alternative meeting methods when possible, when face to face meetings are necessary
    • Visitor’s names must be on the list at the gate (employees should coordinate through the Captain of the Guard).
    • Visitors must go directly to the outdoors location where they have been told to meet.
    • Visitors must be escorted at all times.
    • A minimum of 6’ distance in every direction around every person must be maintained.
    • Our staff must wear face coverings.
    • There will be no meeting in offices… outdoors or in big open spaces (classroom, gym, etc.) only.

Posted date, time, by, and authority of:  May 1st,  2020 11:00am EDT by the President of the University of his own authority.

Message ID: 2020-8