COVID-19

August 19, 2020

Click here for a printable version of EBIC’s Reopening Plan

ELIM BIBLE INSTITUTE AND COLLEGE COVID-19 Reopening Plan

This plan was prepared by a team of staff members charged with the responsibility of formulating a plan for reopening the college in the Fall. This Task Force consisted of the following individuals:

• Executive Vice President and Provost
• Vice President of Business Affairs
• Campus Life Director
• Resident Life Director

This plan will be posted on a dashboard of EBIC’s in-cloud College Management Software, and therefore, available to all staff, faculty, and students regardless of their location.

Capacity

EBIC will safely reopen its campus and restart campus operations with students, faculty, and staff. Occupancy will not exceed 50% of the maximum capacity of the space available. Students will arrive on campus in four groups. International students and domestic students coming from restricted states will arrive on Friday, August 14 to quarantine for two weeks. The first group of returning students will arrive on Thursday, August 27. New students will arrive on Friday, August 28 from 1-5 pm. The second group of returning students will arrive on Friday, August 28 from 6-10 pm. Since we only have less than 100 resident students enrolled in Fall 2020, this plan will allow EBIC staff to ensure physical distancing among incoming students and the elimination of larger gatherings.

At present, 80% of EBIC employees have returned to campus per New York state guidelines. The remaining faculty will return to campus when their classes begin. Staff and faculty will wear protective face coverings when they enter campus buildings and are unable to maintain a six-foot distance from other staff and students.

EBIC will provide its employees with protective face coverings. Students will be asked to bring their own face coverings to campus; however, there will be a supply of masks for those who lose a mask or are unable to afford one.

A separate building on campus, with private bathrooms, is designated solely for the purpose of isolating or quarantining individuals living on-campus who develop COVID-19 symptoms or are tested positive for the virus. Meals will be delivered to them and high sanitation protocols will be implemented. Students who are exposed to a person who tests positive for the virus will need to be tested and quarantined in an isolated dorm room for 14 days.

If a student becomes ill with COVID-19, he/she will be provided with telemedicine services and given a list of local medical providers and COVID-19 testing centers. Under normal circumstances, students are responsible for their own transportation; however, when off-campus professional medical assistance is required and transportation is needed, the Campus Life Director will make safe travel arrangements.

PPE

All employees will be offered protective face coverings if they are in need of them. Students who work in the dining hall will be required to use acceptable protective face coverings on every shift. Students will be offered protective face coverings when they arrive on campus, however, they will be also asked to bring their own. There will be hand sanitizers at the main entrance of every building on campus. Employees and students must wear protective face coverings upon entering and exiting all buildings and when they are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from other employees and students.

Visitors will be limited to invited guests only. The facilities will be closed to the general public. Visitors, who are granted permission to come to campus, will be required to wear protective face coverings when they enter and exit buildings and when they are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from EBIC employees and students.

Testing

The Campus Life director will coordinate the COVID-19 testing with North Shore Medical labs. On-campus testing will be available to international students and students from restricted states on Friday, August 14, and Friday, August 21. Both, international students and students from restricted states will be required to get tested and to quarantine on campus two weeks prior to interacting with other students and entering campus buildings. North Shore Medical Lab will perform a medical consultation with each such student and will administer the nasal swab test (IGG) to the identified students or staff on campus. The North Shore Medical Lab will download test results on a dashboard that EBIC will manage and closely monitor.

If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, the North Shore Medical lab will test all the students in the residential building who have been exposed to that student. If more than 10% of students from various residential buildings test positive for COVID-19, full-campus testing will be scheduled. Students who feel that they may have COVID-19 symptoms will be able to make an appointment for a free test at Monroe Community College or make an appointment at a local urgent care.

Visitors who have been approved to come to campus by the President, Executive Vice President, or Campus Life Director will be required to check in at the front desk, fill out the EBIC health assessment jotform, and have their temperature taken. Their names will also be documented in the visitor log.

Residential Living

EBIC will provide a living environment that allows students to have appropriate social distancing. Dorm students will have no more than one roommate to reduce COVID-19 exposure and the number of students placed in each dorm building will be under 50% of the building’s capacity.

Cleaning and disinfection will be enhanced throughout the entire campus. All classrooms, residence halls, restrooms, dining areas, and buildings on campus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each day. In particular, areas that are frequently used such as restroom surfaces, fixtures, doorknobs, and switches will be cleaned every day. Public dorm bathrooms will be cleaned daily, as well as laundry facilities, and public kitchens.

The housekeeping department will keep detailed cleaning logs for disinfecting common areas and classrooms, including the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Bi-directional foot traffic will be reduced. Every building will have one-way traffic flow to reduce a close proximity of students moving through the entrances and exits of buildings. Signs will be posted around the campus that will direct students on where to enter and exit buildings. Distance markers will also be placed in common areas on campus where students congregate. Disinfectant wipes will be provided throughout the dorms for students to clean shared surface areas before and after use. Dorm lounges and bathrooms will have capacity limits to ensure safe physical distancing. Signs will be posted that remind students of these capacity limits.

When students enter or exit buildings or cannot maintain a six-foot distance, they will be asked to wear facial covering in all common areas. During all social gatherings, students will be required to wear protective face coverings when entering and exiting common areas, and when they cannot maintain safe physical distancing. No student will be permitted to access a residence in which they are not assigned as a resident unless given special permission by the Campus Life Director.

Nonessential visitors will not be able to enter campus buildings unless permission is granted and they fill out the EBIC health assessment jotform and check their temperature. They will need to answer the following three questions:

  • Have you experienced any of these symptoms in the last 24 hours? (that are new and unusual for you)
    • Fever or chills of 100⁰ F (37.8⁰ C), new cough or change in your cough, new or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling like coming down with an illness (e.g., fatigue or muscle ache), unusual headache or eye pain, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat not due to allergies, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • Had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last week.

Anyone who answers yes to these questions and/or indicates symptoms on the health assessment will be denied access to any facility on the EBIC campus.

Students who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions will be given the option to have their own rooms. They may also choose to continue their education by logging virtually into their classes.

Students who become infected with COVID-19 will quarantine in a dormitory solely designated for the purpose of isolation and quarantine. Students who are exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 will isolate and quarantine in an isolated dorm room for 14 days. Students in quarantine or isolation will not be allowed to interact with other students or enter any campus buildings until the quarantine period is over. They will be served meals and necessary medical items.

Operational Activity

Due to the small size of the student body and much greater building capacity limits, EBIC will be able to resume most operational activities. Having less than 100 residential students on a campus that has the capacity to accommodate more than 300 students allows the college administrators to put in place practices for adequate social distancing and reduced density of congregations.

Remote learning will also be available for students who do not feel comfortable in the classroom setting or are studying from home. The number of individuals participating in in-person activities will be limited in order to allow for appropriate social distancing. In classes where safe physical distancing is not possible, protective face coverings will be worn by students.

Restart Operations

In order to safely reopen the buildings, the facilities crew will check all major air and water systems to ensure the facilities are safe and updated as needed. The housekeeping department will do a thorough cleaning of each building before the students return. Ventilation with outdoor air was already increased on one of the dorms, as it was deemed insufficient.

Extracurricular indoor activities that do not enable students to maintain a six-foot distance will be canceled. Indoor events will be held in buildings where attendance can be below 50% of the capacity limit. More activities will be scheduled outdoors to limit exposure. If students cannot physically distance themselves, they will be required to wear protective facial coverings.

Vulnerable employees will be given an option to either return to campus or work remotely. Students who may not feel comfortable returning to campus will be given an option to participate in educational activities via connecting with the faculty in virtual space or via distance education.

All classrooms, residence halls, restrooms, dining areas, and other buildings on campus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each day. Disinfectant wipes will be provided in each classroom for students to clean their workspace before and after use. Signs will also be posted around campus to remind students to wear protective face coverings, practice respiratory hygiene, and promote frequent hand washing. Hand Sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol will be placed near every entrance and exit points in each building and throughout common areas.

Monitoring

The Campus Life director will coordinate the testing with North Shore Medical Lab. This free testing under the CARES act or billing to a student’s private insurance will provide the campus with testing as needed. The North Shore Medical lab will set up a dashboard for EBIC to track and display the medical status of each student on campus who was tested. Students will receive their results within 48 hours. The student’s insurance will be billed for the testing. If their insurance does not cover the testing, the CARES act will cover the expense.

Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be required to get tested. New York State residents will be able to obtain free testing from Monroe Community College or an immediate care facility. If a large group of students (15+) begins to show symptoms, the North Shore Medical Lab will visit the campus for a full campus testing of staff and students. If one student in a residence tests positive, all of the exposed students in their residence will be tested and quarantined in their building for 14 days.

If 10% or more of the student body begins to complain of COVID-19 symptoms, outside testing will be required and if an unacceptable number of students test positive for the virus, remote learning in the dorms will be implemented and meals will be delivered to dormitories.

If a student or staff member tests positive for the virus, the local health department will be contacted by either the testing facility or the Campus Life Director. The EBIC staff or student will comply with all of the directions given by the local contact tracing organization to stop the spread of the virus. NYS Contact Tracing.

There will be regular screenings for staff, students, and visitors. Staff will be screened daily, students will be screened weekly, and visitors will be screened before they enter any campus building. An EBIC health assessment jotform will be made available to all staff and students, which will allow the college to proactively monitor for symptoms. The following questions will be included in the form:

  • Have you experienced any of these symptoms in the last 24 hours? (that are new and unusual for you)
    • Fever or chills of 100⁰ F (37.8⁰ C), new cough or change in your cough, new or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling like coming down with an illness (e.g., fatigue or muscle ache), unusual headache or eye pain, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat not due to allergies, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • Had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last week

Containment

Students who live on campus and begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated in a dorm room and quarantined until they receive a negative test result. A designated area within the building will be identified for food and medicine pickups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible. Staff will provide emotional support via videoconferencing. Nonresidential students will be required to stay home and take online classes for the duration of their symptomatic condition. The academic department will provide academic support to residential and nonresidential students in isolation or quarantine. Residential students who have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 will get tested and live in an isolated dorm room for 14 days. Isolated students will be able to continue participating in classes via virtual connections.

EBIC students who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 will be quarantined away from others in a separate building on campus with several private bathrooms. Such students will receive regular telemedicine medical support through United Concierge Management and given a list of referrals to visit local medical facilities, as necessary. Such students will also receive psychosocial and academic support by connecting to a zoom room with the designated staff or faculty.

Any building or room that has been exposed to a student or staff member who has received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 will be thoroughly cleaned by a staff member or trained student employee. The Campus Life Director will contact the students who reside in the same residential quarters and inform them that the room has been contaminated when it is scheduled to be cleaned and send confirmation that the cleaning has been completed. All students and staff will be notified of the level of risk on campus and the number of positive cases of COVID-19. 

Shutdown

In the case of a moderate risk of contamination, classes will be conducted via videoconferencing and interpersonal contact will be reduced. Only essential groups of ten or less will be allowed. In-person workforce will be reduced and remote workforce will be increased. Mobility across campus will be restricted, especially in affected areas until all contacts are identified, notified, tested, and cleared. 

In the event of encountering a high risk of COVID-19 spread, a decision will be made to shut down all on-campus operations. Students will be asked to leave the campus. Classes will be conducted virtually and special accommodations will be made on campus for international students or those who are unable to travel home. Faculty will also teach from safe and isolated locations.

The Campus Life Director will give move-out instructions to each Resident Advisor who will direct each student on how to move out and ensure that the process is orderly. 

Due to the size of the campus, all students will be allowed to leave the facility as soon as they are able. The Resident Life directors will ensure a safe and calm departure. 

In the event of a shutdown, the Executive Vice President and Provost will send out an email communication to the students, staff, and parents of students. The IT director will post an announcement on the college’s website. 

Additional Links and Resources Regarding COVID-19:

Students and parents are welcome to reach out to the faculty and staff if they have any questions or would like someone to pray with them. We understand this is a difficult time, but let’s pray together and do the best we can to keep the virus from spreading.

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