Florida College COVID-19 Playbook

Spring 2021

Summary

  1. Classes on campus will resume in person on January 12, 2021.
  2. Indoor venues, including classes, will require face coverings until the end of January with review of protocols at that time.
  3. Outdoor activities will require face coverings until end of January with review of protocols at that time.
  4. Chapel will resume in Hutchinson Auditorium, with face coverings and without singing. An option will be available for a socially distanced venue in Puckett Auditorium.
  5. Quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days (7 days with negative COVID-19 test) following CDC recommendations.
  6. Guests are welcome on campus following face covering requests.

Letter from the President

Florida College was founded on the belief that faith and education could exist in an academic environment. While dedication to Christian principles has wavered in our culture, Florida College remains devoted to our spiritual mission. The college has been greatly challenged through this pandemic, but we remain constant in our mission to help educate the whole person to imitate Christ in service to God and the world. Our plan, as with all plans, is subject to change. Its success depends largely on the graciousness and patience of our students, parents, faculty and staff. Consensus is elusive amidst unprecedented uncertainty, but we are confident that through deference and sacrifice we will emerge a stronger community.

A Safe Place to Grow

Security is necessary for academic and relational growth. The goal of this plan is to protect our family, provide a safe environment and give our students a Florida College experience that will build them up in all aspects of their lives. Our aim is to continue facilitating an environment where God is honored, students are served and our community is protected. Utilizing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, local health guidance and a values-based approach we seek solutions at the intersection of science, reason and values.

Florida College has approached this situation with the goal of treating its students, faculty and staff as a family. Therefore, we engaged a COVID response task force comprised of doctors, parents, students and members of the Florida College faculty and staff. This task force was given the responsibility of providing feedback to the Florida College Leadership Team regarding this plan.

The phased plan represents our best efforts amidst extraordinary uncertainty. We seek to cautiously, but optimistically, open the college with the intention of pivoting into a more open and less restrictive environment.
There were several key principles considered when developing the plans for Florida College this year.

  • It is the personal responsibility for each individual to monitor his or her own health and not attend class, chapel or work if they are ill.
  • The frequent washing of hands and personal cleanliness is encouraged in every setting.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and high touch areas.
  • Practice social distancing and require facial coverings during certain times and for certain events with the goal to evaluate this on a regular basis.

Move-In Day on January 9 through the first day of classes Tuesday, January 12 will be considered the “launch” phase. This phase will reflect more restrictive practices while providing multiple opportunities for our students to engage in the Florida College experience. We will be closely monitoring not only the virus infection rate in Florida, but the health of our student body who will be returning from other states.

The launch phase will include the following:

  • Face coverings will be required for all indoor activities. Facial Coverings are highly recommended for areas, inside or outside, where 6-foot social distancing is not possible.
  • Student activities will be planned for outdoor venues when possible. Outdoor seating, games and events will be provided for our students to participate in. The Dean of Students Office is arranging these events and will oversee communication about them to the student body.
  • If students are exhibiting two or more of the symptoms listed in the Health, Safety and Wellness Section of this document, they are asked to delay their arrival on campus. Please coordinate with the Dean of Students Office on your arrival.
Communication will be forthcoming regarding next steps as we trend toward a less restrictive environment. We intend to keep a restricted status in the classroom and chapel through the month of January as we watch for a spike in cases. If cases stay low, we will begin lifting restriction in early February. Each phase will incrementally address various aspects of campus life safely and reasonably as the pandemic fades. We will assess the state, county and city COVID numbers and restrictions during each phase and adjust accordingly.
  • Move in Day- January 9
  • Classes begin- January 12
  • Spring Break- March 15-19
  • Finals- May 1-5
  • Graduation- May 7

Goal: To support the mental and physical health of our students presented by the pandemic.

  • All members of the Florida College community will be expected to exercise personal responsibility for their own health so as not to put others at risk unnecessarily.
  • Students are encouraged to practice good personal hygiene that includes frequent handwashing. Florida College has installed numerous hand sanitation stations throughout campus.
  • All students are expected to monitor their own health and complete health self-screenings on a daily basis. These screenings involve identifying the most common symptoms of COVID-19 including: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting. Any student who is exhibiting such symptoms is asked to contact the Dean of Students Office immediately.
  • Florida College’s nurse will make rounds and visit students who are exhibiting signs of illness.
  • In accordance with health guidelines, face coverings are recommended in any public setting and will be required in some settings. Any exceptions to a mandatory face covering rule must be approved by the Dean of Students Office.
  • Caring for our students’ emotional health and well-being is vitally important. Florida College understands that this pandemic may place a tremendous strain on our students. Our faculty, working with the assistance of our Advising Office and the Dean of Students Office, is committed to providing caring, conscientious support consistent with our Christian mission.
  • Florida College will work with our COVID task force and with the health department to provide:
    • Contact tracing as necessary
    • Determination regarding isolation or quarantine
    • Establishing the time when a student may safely return to classes
  • Cleaning
    • Classrooms: All classrooms will have an in-depth cleaning each morning before classes. Sanitation wipes will be provided as students enter the classroom and by the professor’s workspace to allow each person an opportunity to sanitize his or her work area.
    • Offices: All office areas will have an in-depth cleaning on either a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday rotation based on volume of traffic. Employees will be asked to use the provided cleaning supplies to help manage their areas.
    • Student Housing: Student lobbies, common areas, common area restrooms, kitchens, exercise rooms and laundry areas will be cleaned twice per day. Sanitizing wipes will be provided in the exercise areas, kitchen and laundry areas.
    • Riverview Center and Library: Both areas will have an in-depth cleaning each day and an additional light cleaning using fogging/misting machines. Both cleanings will be scheduled based on availability.
    • Hutchinson Auditorium: Cleaned once per day using the fogging/misting machine with special attention to frequently touched areas.
Goal: To implement the best possible preventive measures to ensure the health and safety of the entire Florida College family, both students and employees; especially those employees who typically face a higher risk than the students from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida College Return to Work Procedures

In addition to enhanced hygiene, social distancing and wearing face coverings (as noted elsewhere in this document), Florida College has implemented the following specific procedures regarding employees who are working on campus. Note: these procedures are subject to change.
  • First, it is the responsibility of every employee to monitor his or her own health every day and to conduct a self-screening before coming to campus. Specific symptoms of COVID-19 include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
  • Second, if an employee feels sick, he or she should use the CDC self-checker (https://covid19healthbot.cdc.gov/) to determine next steps.
  • Third, if an employee is sick, he or she must stay home. Do not come to campus if you are sick. Please notify your immediate supervisor.
  • Fourth, if an employee believes he or she may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, he or she should watch for symptoms while at home. If any COVID symptoms present themselves, he or she should schedule a COVID-19 test and stay isolated until results are given from the test.
  • Finally, if an employee has been notified of a possible COVID-19 exposure by the County Health Department or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, he or she must notify the Office of Student Services immediately. The Dean of Students is serving as our COVID-19 point of contact.

Goal: To be lights in our community by our actions and attitudes.

  • We are asking our Florida College students to be wise as they interact within the community just as we are planning to ask our visitors to act with wisdom and caution. Florida College encourages its students to abide by the regulations set forth by Hillsborough County.
  • Visitors arriving at Florida College for a campus visit will be asked to take a health screening test and take their temperature. Guests will be asked to wear a face covering in certain areas and for certain events when 6-foot social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Guests attending events such as recitals, Life Enrichment Series, musicals, plays, etc. may be asked to reserve a seat in advance of the event and asked to wear a face covering and social distance within the venue.

Goals:

  • To provide in-person instruction on campus using best practices for student learning.
  • To protect the health of students, staff and faculty in classrooms and other academic settings.
  • To support students unable to attend class due to health-related issues.

All classes will be delivered in the physical classroom and prepared for online delivery to support students who cannot attend class due to COVID-19. One exception is a single daily Bible class that is being moved online in support of students who are most often off-campus due to internships.

All classes will have 6-foot social distancing between students. Inside the classroom, students will be required to wear face coverings at the beginning of the semester. These requirements will be reviewed and potentially modified based on Hillsborough County regulations and campus conditions as the semester proceeds.

Students with health concerns over wearing a face covering during class may contact the Dean of Students for accommodations.

Classrooms will be professionally cleaned every day, with provisions supplied for faculty and students to clean their learning spaces at the beginning of each class period.

The library, academic labs and advising center will take special measures to clean their spaces and distance their seating and service points.

Faculty who need to teach from off campus due to health concerns will be fully supported with technology and other instructional support to facilitate an optimal learning experience for students.
International students unable to travel to the United States, may apply to take courses online in the spring. For information about this application process, please contact the Admissions Office at 813-988-5131 ext. 152.

Goal: To provide a safe environment for our on-campus students to pursue their mental, physical, spiritual and social development.

  • All students will be encouraged to practice good personal hygiene that includes frequent hand-washing. Students will also be expected to clean and disinfect their work, study and living areas regularly.
  • Residence hall lobbies, common areas, common area restrooms, kitchens, exercise rooms and laundry areas will be cleaned twice per day. Sanitizing wipes will be provided in the exercise areas, kitchen and laundry areas.
  • To reduce risk, we will not be permitting any overnight guests in the residence halls.
  • Florida College has prepared isolation rooms in both men’s and women’s dormitories for students who test positive for COVID-19. We will be coordinating with the local health department to determine which students should be placed in isolation and when they may return to their regular rooms. All students who are in isolation or quarantine will have meals delivered to their rooms.

Goal: To create a safe environment that provides full dining services to all students while complying with state and local requirements.
Guidelines:

  • Our food service provider will be following restaurant health guidelines.
  • Our dining facilities will operate at reduced capacity (current health recommendations).
  • To ensure proper health and safety protocols, there will be limited self-serve options.
  • All meal options in our dining hall will be provided in a to-go format and additional outdoor seating will be provided.

Goal: To provide an environment in which students can engage in meaningful activities while limiting their risk.

  • At the heart of this approach is a mindful, safe and Christian culture on our campus: one in which the entire campus community will be expected to know their own risk and how their behavior puts others at risk. Each member of the community will be encouraged to take personal responsibility for his or her own actions and seek to help others.
  • Daily chapel is a vital part of the Florida College experience. To reduce the risks, we will shorten the length of chapel and require face coverings initially. We will also provide an alternative venue for those who are not comfortable being together in Hutchinson Auditorium. Please contact the Dean of Students Office for more information regarding our alternate chapel arrangements.
  • In order to protect our on-campus environment, students are strongly encouraged to limit the number of trips and the amount of time they spend off campus. To help with this, Florida College is planning a robust schedule of on-campus events. When students do leave campus, they are strongly encouraged to follow proper safety protocols.
  • We will encourage students to have many of their social activities outside, weather permitting.
  • Students will also be encouraged to wear face coverings in situations where social distancing is not possible.
  • Students should carefully consider their participation in activities that may put them at risk such as intramural athletics. These activities will be conducted in as safe a manner as possible, including the implementation of health screenings before each activity.
  • Students will receive a weekly Health Update by email and video in chapel to ensure clear communication about COVID-19 cases, number of students in quarantine and health protocol for the following week.

Goal: To support our intercollegiate athletic programs and provide exciting activities for our student body while still promoting health and safety.

  • Protocols for intercollegiate athletics have been developed by the NAIA. Our policies will follow those protocols. We will email a copy of these rules to each team we play. Rules will be posted in gyms and locker rooms as reminders.
  • In accordance with current NAIA Athletic Trainers Association guidelines for health and safety, the gym and annex will be cleaned once a day with additional cleanings provided as needed and based on usage.
  • Fans of our games in the Conn Gym are asked to wear a face covering while in the gym. Social distancing is encouraged through signs in the bleachers. Fans may sit in groups of 10 or less, with a distance of 6 feet before another grouping of 10 fans. In addition, the bottom 4 rows of bleachers will stay open to allow distancing between players, referees and fans.

Goal: To support students who are limited in their ability to come to campus due to travel restrictions in the United States and elsewhere.

To avoid spread of the virus on campus by limiting travel off campus.

  • Students unable to arrive to campus from other countries due to travel restrictions or quarantine requirements should contact the Admissions Department as soon as possible to initiate an application for distance learning.
  • According to the CDC, travel increases the likelihood of spreading or getting the coronavirus. Students should limit travel off campus during the semester.
  • The traditional Spring Break will not be altered. Students will be asked to self-monitor their health and abide by state COVID-19 protocols of any place they visit.
  • Students traveling off campus for supplies, worship and other necessary purposes should exemplify, as is their habit, excellence in civic and spiritual settings. This includes following CDC guidelines in the community and graciousness within churches.
  • Students should not plan to travel internationally this spring and must contact the Dean of Students to notify the college if such plans exist.
  • The campus will cease on-campus activities on May 8.
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