COVID-19 Campus Update 5/26/20
EACC's campus is open. The following building access protocols will be observed. The health of our state, community, and employees and students will be monitored daily.
OPEN AND CLOSED BUILDINGS
Currently the following buildings are open to students and the public with legitimate business related to academic study or enrichment:
- Betty Jo Hodges Student Services Complex;
- The Learning Resource Center (Library);
- Adult Education Building;
- The Wynne Center.
These buildings are open to students, but closed to the general public:
- Computer Education Center;
- Technical Instruction Center including Cosmetology (may be closed in July except for special programs);
- Transportation Technology Center (will be closed in July);
- The Business Office.
These buildings are open to employees only or persons with appointments or scheduled meetings:
- All office buildings not listed above including Administration;
- The Fine Arts Center.
These buildings are closed to everyone:
- All classrooms, other than those being used for class (for Summer I, only the TIC and TTC; for summer II, only CB 1 and 3);
- The Gym;
- The Student Center;
- The Lecture Hall;
- All other locations not specifically identified here.
All safety protocols recommended by the State of Arkansas and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be utilized and enforced. These include:
Limiting access, movement, and the number of persons:
- Groups will be restricted to either 50% of capacity of a particular facility or groups of 10 or fewer in any one area unless prior permission is granted by the President to exceed that allowance.
- Employees must remain in their own work areas and not walk around or congregate on campus unless their job duties require moving from one area to another, such as maintenance, security, or computer services staff.
- Students must remain in their learning area and not walk around or congregate on campus. "Hanging out" in pairs or in groups is not allowed. This helps with disinfecting, limits exposure, and assists in contact tracing.
- Face-to-face meetings must be avoided. Zoom videoconferencing, College email, and the phone system should be used.
Strict social distancing:
- The minimum social distance of 6 feet will be strictly observed. Back up! Distances of greater than 6 feet are preferred. If you observe someone violating this distance, please ask them to move. Adherence to this requires vigilance on the part of everyone. DO NOT be offended if someone asks you to move.
- The College has the right to ask anyone not engaging in at least 6 feet of social distancing to leave campus.
- All seating areas will be marked so that students and others remain 6 feet away from each other or barriers will be used to separate seats.
- Computers will be marked so that patrons remain 6 feet away from each other or barriers will be used.
- Places where students may need to form a line will use cones, tape, or other method to mark off the 6 foot required distance.
- No one will be allowed to gather or interact anywhere on campus for any purpose other than legitimate educational business (i.e., classes, testing). . We must prioritize our face-to-face engagement with others and limit ourselves only to that which is absolutely necessary. Social gathering is not a priority.
- Vending machines, eating areas, and other common areas will be closed. All breakrooms, conference rooms, or other areas people might gather will be closed.
- Entry and exit points to work areas and buildings will be separated and designated in order to prevent people from passing by each other or to restrict the number of people who utilize any one entrance.
Face coverings and gloves:
- EVERYONE must wear a cloth face covering that covers the nose and mouth when on campus. Pulling your face covering down below your nose and/or mouth is the same as not wearing one. Remind others to cover themselves if they are without a face covering or have pulled it below their nose and/or mouth.
Special note: EACC has purchased cloth face coverings. Each employee, student, and visitor will be issued one and should wash it regularly. The CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health websites provide guidelines for cloth face coverings.
- The College has the right to ask anyone not wearing a face covering to leave campus, including you.
- Certain personnel will be required to wear gloves and will be provided those. Gloves are NOT a replacement for hand-washing. In fact, the CDC prefers hand washing in many normal work situations.
- Likewise, face coverings are NOT a replacement for keeping socially distant.
Daily health screenings:
- Daily strict screening will occur until further notice for employees, students, and visitors. Anyone coming to campus must undergo a screening process that includes a temperature check and filling out a screening form. Any person answering "yes" to any one of the questions may not remain on campus.
- A special screening location will be set up for students coming to campus that spaces students a minimum of 6 feet apart as they wait to be screened. It will take place in a building or area with one entry and one exit so that anyone screened out does not turn around and pass healthy people waiting to be screened.
- For student forms, instructors should note who the student interacts with while under the instructor's supervision.
- Employees should keep a daily log of who they interact with and when.
- Thermometers will be located in every building for a daily temperature check. This is part of the screening process and must be reported on the form. Anyone with a fever must leave campus.
- If an employee or student passes screening but begins to feel ill or feverish during the day, they should retake their temperature. Instructors observing someone they suspect of having a fever may ask that person to undergo an additional temperature check.
- Forms should be kept for future reference.
Disinfecting and cleaning:
- Instructors will disinfect tools or other hands-on materials between students or at least twice a day.
- Employees should wipe down their immediate work areas including keyboards, mice, desks, door handles, and other high touch areas at least twice a day. Employees are urged to take responsibility for their own health.
- Regularly touched surfaces and high traffic areas will be cleaned and disinfected twice a day.
- All classrooms to be used will have disinfecting wipes/sprays and hand sanitizer.
- Restrooms will be disinfected frequently, but if a person is only on campus for a short amount of time, avoiding restrooms that multiple people share is the best practice.
- Hand sanitizer stations are available in every open building. Use them, but note that the CDC advises that thorough handwashing is the best method of killing germs.
- Training on cleaning and disinfecting procedures is ongoing with cleaning staff.
- New cleaning and disinfecting equipment has been purchased and will be utilized.
- Everyone is required to wash hands frequently for at least 40 seconds. EACC has an excellent video on handwashing on its You Tube channel.
- Reminder signs regarding safety protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and other restrictions will be posted in all open buildings
Those who should avoid campus:
- Per the CDC, persons who should not come campus include those:
- who are 65 years of age or older;
- who have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma, or weakened immunity.
- Persons who may not come to, or remain on, campus include those:
- who have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
- who have had exposure of less than 6 feet to someone diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 14 days.
- who have traveled to known hot spots.
- who have been diagnosed positive with COVID-19.
COVID 19 Testing:
- Forrest City has offered several opportunities for free COVID-19 testing through a mobile lab from UAMS. I urge you to take advantage of these free and easy opportunities to test if you think you may have been exposed or if you have symptoms. You may also contact your healthcare provider or utilize testing available in other communities in the state.
- I am investigating the possibility of on campus testing. At present, no college in Arkansas is testing on campus.
- Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should let their supervisor know as soon as possible. Any student who has been on campus and who tests positive for COVID-19 should let their instructor know as soon as possible. If an employee or student is confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection, EACC will inform those whom we can determine are at risk of possible exposure, but will maintain confidentiality as required by federal law.
If someone tests positive:
- Employees have been asked to keep notes of whom they come into contact with on campus and when, so that we can aid in contact tracing if a person is diagnosed with coronavirus. This is why it is so important that when on campus, you stay in your area.
- Whenever we learn of a confirmed case, we will deep clean and disinfect any area that person may have accessed. Anyone confirmed positive, exposed to a confirmed positive, or exhibiting symptoms will not be allowed to return to campus unless certain conditions are met (details follow).
- If an employee or student is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, EACC will inform those whom we can determine are at risk of possible exposure, but will maintain confidentiality as required by federal law.
Returning to campus, per guidelines issued by the CDC, after illness, diagnosis, or exposure.
- Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 AND who experience symptoms may return to campus under ALL the following conditions:
- Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
- Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
- Negative results of a COVID-19 test from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens).
- Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have NOT had any symptoms may return to campus under the following condition:
- At least 14 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
III. Persons who have not had any symptoms but were exposed to someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 may return to campus under the following conditions:
- Negative results of a FDA authorized COVID-19 test, OR
- At least 14 days have passed since the date of exposure, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms or tested positive.
- Persons demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19 but not diagnosed with COVID-19 may return to campus under ALL the following conditions:
- Negative results of an FDA authorized COVID-19 test or letter of clearance from licensed healthcare provider, and
- No fever for 48 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
- Absence of respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) for at least 48 hours without medications.
- Persons demonstrating symptoms of any other illness may return to campus under the following conditions:
- Absence of symptoms for at least 48 hours without medication, and/or
- Letter of clearance from licensed healthcare provider, (depends on the symptoms).
- Persons traveling internationally or to known U.S. hotspots for COVID-19 may return to campus under the following conditions:
- At least 14 days have passed since the last date of exposure, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms or tested positive.
Note: As of May 6, 2020, per state directive known hot spots include California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Washington, and the city of New Orleans.
For summer session ONE, EACC will not offer on campus general education classes. On campus classes will be allowed in the technical/allied health areas, but the number of students will be strictly limited.
No face-to-face classes will be held at the Wynne Center, although it will remain open for students to use the computers. For any person coming to campus or the Wynne center, daily screenings, social distancing, face coverings, sanitizing, and other protective measures recommended by the State of Arkansas and health agencies will be utilized and strictly enforced (more details follow).
For summer session TWO, some on campus classes in general education are planned, but enrollment will be limited. However, this is subject to change based on the evolving situation. An online version of all on campus general education classes will be scheduled and will be taught by the same instructor to ease transition in case cancellation becomes necessary. Most technical/allied health courses do not meet in July, and those areas will be shut down. All protective will be strictly enforced.
At this time, EACC is cautiously planning for on campus classes for the fall, but will limit those classes based on critical need and maintaining safe social distancing. All students will have options for required general education classes that do not require them to come to campus. Face coverings will continue to be required of everyone.
All classes - including technical, vocational, and occupational - will have plans in place to be able to deliver some content remotely. It is expected that the virus will resurface when flu season begins, and we will prepare accordingly. For technical or occupational programs that require specialized equipment that cannot be sent home with students, micro labs of fewer than 10 students will be utilized and social distancing will be utilized, as well as frequent cleaning by instructors.
All plans are subject to change as the situation develops.