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COVID-19 Response and Preparedness
Questions regarding the phased-in plan
- Which health organizations have been involved in creating the phases for returning to campus and to what extent?
- GRCC has been in regular contact with the Kent County Health Department in preparing the phased-in plan in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC guidance.
Questions regarding face coverings
- Will employees be required to wear masks on campus and in our departments? Please provide detail on when masks will be required and when not, and if disposable masks will be provided.
- GRCC has approved a Face Covering Policy which specifies when individuals must wear Face coverings on campus, including any exceptions. Disposable masks are currently available at the GRCC Police Department. Individuals must wear a Face covering:
- in outdoor spaces accessible to others if six (6) feet of separation from non-household members cannot be consistently maintained;
- in indoor work spaces designated for the individual, when six (6) feet of separation from non-household members cannot be consistently maintained, or in indoor work spaces designated for the individual when 6 feet of separation from non-household members can be consistently maintained but no additional safeguards are present; and
- in any shared spaces, including at service desks, during in-person meetings, classrooms, in restrooms and hallways, regardless of whether those spaces are currently occupied by others.
- If we are required to wear face coverings, how do we handle students who refuse?
- GRCC’s Face Covering policy provides that employees who encounter individuals who refuse to wear a mask should first remind the individual of GRCC’s policy, direct the person towards a location where they may get a face covering, and advise them that you cannot assist them unless they are wearing a Face covering. If they refuse, employees may ask the individual to leave; if there are safety concerns, GRCC Police may be called. As follow-up, an employee may contact HR or Student Life to address any appropriate discipline with the individual.
- Are face shields an allowable covering?
- Updated guidance from the CDC, MIOSHA and the Kent County Health Department no longer support a face shield in lieu of a face covering to protect from COVID-19. GRCC’s Face covering policy defines “Face covering” as “A cloth material that covers a person’s nose and mouth” and specifies that face shields do not meet the definition of Face covering for campus purposes.
Questions regarding campus preparedness
- What are you doing to protect the administrative staff who sit out in the open in the doorway while everyone else is in their office with the door closed? How will we manage social distancing in office spaces (such as College Park Plaza) with limited space-narrow hallways and shared work spaces.
- Appropriate social distancing practices will need to be developed in each building, office and service area. Approaches may differ, but could involve installing sneeze guards or other physical barriers, limiting the number of people in an area, implementing one-way pedestrian traffic flow plans, altering work schedules to reduce density, and other measures.
- What is the protocol for cleaning a classroom between each group of students and class shifts?
- Facilities will continue to clean and disinfect on a daily basis and might be able increase frequency depending on course schedules and requirements. Faculty and students will be expected to exercise best-practice hygiene behaviors which will include wiping down shared surfaces and equipment before and after use.
- What building modifications and scheduling modifications have been made to minimize the spread of coronavirus within confined spaces, such as classrooms and labs, advising spaces, and office spaces?
- Increased air ventilation rates and install high efficiency air filters (HEPA)
- Departments are preparing specific plans to identify the best way to continue to serve students and employees in their areas. Furniture has been removed in public areas to promote social distancing, the number of people in classrooms and meeting spaces will be limited to support social distancing, sneeze guards and/or other modifications will be made as needed.
- Have UV Light Room Cleaning Robots such as produced by Xenex.com that are used widely in cleaning hospital rooms been investigated for cleaning lab rooms and other widely used public spaces throughout the college?
- This is not something we’re considering at this time. Facilities has developed cleaning protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Why isn’t GRCC turning off or covering the drinking fountains?
- The city is insisting we leave them turned on as a code issue. The governor’s early order for them to be turned off has been rescinded. Signs will be installed encouraging people to use the bottle filler.
- Is GRCC using the appropriate cleaning supplies recommended by the CDC?
- All of the products used for cleaning and disinfecting are on the approved CDC list of appropriate products against SARS-CoV-2.
- Custodians have received additional training in appropriate cleaning protocols.
Questions Regarding COVID symptoms, Exposure and Positive Test Results
- If someone is asymptomatic with Covid-19, what precautions will be taken to protect others working in close proximity?
- GRCC is requiring face coverings on campus, which is the best way to protect against the spread of the virus from an asymptomatic individual.
- What type of accommodations will be available for students and employees in populations that are most at risk ?
- Procedures are in place for employees and students to request work modifications and/or accommodations. Information is posted on the COVID Response website or employees may contact Jessica Berens in Human Resources or Kimberly DeVries in the Office of General Counsel.
- Has GRCC received any test kits for the fall, similar to the plan Calvin University has proposed? Calvin recently announced their partnership with Helix Diagnostics to ensure that they have COVID tests for all faculty and students when they reopen campus, do we have any partnerships like this lined up? And are we ensuring we have the proper PPE to keep front liners safe?
- GRCC does not plan to do any on-site testing. The number of testing sites and locations have increased and testing is now available for anyone who wants at test. You can find a local testing site at https://www.accesskent.com/Health/covid-19-testing.htm
- How will the college determine who is allowed and not allowed to return in person if the staff or faculty member has their own health issues that make them high risk or if they care for someone who is high risk? Will they need a doctor's note? will we just take their word for it?
- GRCC is committed to protecting employees who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 through supportive policies and practices. GRCC has an accommodations process for employees with medical conditions defined as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and for employees who may personally be at a higher risk for COVID-19 or have people they live with who are at greater risk The GRCC Employee Accommodation Request Process is posted on the Covid Response website.
- Students with accommodation requests should contact Disability Support Services.
- If someone has compromised immunity, can they continue to work from home?
- GRCC is committed to protecting employees who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 through supportive policies and practices. GRCC has an accommodations process for employees with medical conditions defined as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and for employees who may personally be at a higher risk for COVID-19 or have people they live with who are at greater risk. The GRCC Employee Accommodation Request Process is posted on the Covid Response website.
- Will we still have counseling available for students and staff that have been impacted by COVID19?
- Counseling services will continue to be available for students. Employees can take advantage of services through the Employee Assistance Program.
- What do I do if I test positive for COVID and have been on campus? What do I do if a student reports they have tested positive for COVID and are in my face-to-face class?
- Protocols have been developed for both employees and students to respond to the report of COVID symptoms, high-risk exposure and positive test results. Each protocol identifies the communication needs, quarantine/isolation period and the conditions required prior to return to campus. The protocols can be found on the COVID Response website.
Questions Regarding Campus Communications in the event of known COVID cases
- When/how will GRCC communicate with employees and students in the event of a confirmed COVID case?
- GRCC has an established communication protocol and is required to notify the “impacted campus community” within 24 hours of a notification of a confirmed COVID case. The privacy of the individual will always be protected.
- The “impacted campus community” will differ for each case. The decision on who needs to be contacted considers many factors, including
- When/where the individual was last on campus
- Who might have had direct contact with the individual
- Who else was scheduled to be in the building at that time
- Who could have been in the area at that time
- Each report of a confirmed case is validated with the Kent County Health Department or health department of record, which completes the contact tracing and determines any additional risk for employees and the GRCC community.