Protective Practices Policy
In order to protect the health and safety of its campus community and visitors by reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Beloit College requires students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors to adhere to specific standards of protective practice behaviors. If local, state or federal mandates include protective practices that exceed these standards or include other prescribed behavior, anyone addressed in this policy will be required to adhere to those practices as well.
All employees and students should begin practicing the following for at least 14 days before returning to campus:
- stay home as much as possible,
- wear a cloth mask/face covering when out in public
- maintain a physical distance of six feet or more from others whenever possible
- perform a daily wellness check
- wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly
- avoid physical contact and touching your face
The college can operate in-person only if all members of the on-campus community diligently and consistently follow these protective practices.
These practices must be followed whenever an employee or student is on the college campus, in any college-operated facility or vehicle, and participating in any college-sponsored activities or business that may occur in other locations. Additionally, all employees and students are strongly encouraged to adhere to these Beloit College protective practices in any non-college activities that take place off-campus. Doing so will help avoid bringing COVID-19 to the college when resuming your activities on campus.
Cloth face coverings
Cloth face coverings are likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because they help prevent people with the virus from spreading it to others. The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect you and people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
A cloth face covering must be worn:
- Indoors in all public or common spaces; in classrooms or any space used as a classroom; when other people are present; anytime when six feet of physical distance may be difficult to maintain including in kitchens, break rooms, common rooms, shared workspaces, hallways, stairways, restrooms, and elevators.
- When entering a building or a location where other people may be present
- Outdoors when keeping six feet of physical distance may not be possible or may be difficult to maintain
- When requested to do so by anyone on campus or connected with a college activity, such as being in a vehicle with another individual.
The exceptions to wearing a cloth face covering are as follows:
- Wearing a cloth face covering poses a health risk to the person wearing the face covering as verified with an official note from a medical professional
- The person is deaf or hard of hearing and uses facial and mouth movements as part of conversation
- Performing duties where wearing a face covering would create a safety risk to the person as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines.
- Facial or mouth movements are an essential aspect of an activity.
Faculty or staff with questions, concerns, or the need to request an accommodation should contact the Human Resources staff. Students with questions, concerns, or would like to request an accommodation should contact the Dean of Students Office staff. It is not appropriate for members of the community to ask any individuals to explain accommodation.
The college will provide all employees and students with a cloth face covering (mask) and disposable face coverings (masks). Disposable face coverings (masks) will be available in all campus buildings in case someone has forgotten to bring a mask.
The CDC has not determined whether face shields protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. Some people may choose to use a face shield when sustained close contact with other people is expected. If face shields are used without masks, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin. Adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a cloth face covering or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one.
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about six feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is critical to stay at least six feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
To practice physical distancing, everyone must stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people in both indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes all campus buildings, offices, public spaces, hallways, kitchens, walkways, and grounds regardless of your reason for being in that space. Physical distancing does NOT eliminate the need for face-covering. Protective practices require a face covering and physical distancing.
- Practice social distancing options to travel safely when going to class or events on campus, running errands or commuting to and from work, whether walking, bicycling, or using other forms of transportation.
- Limit contact when eating, studying, or engaging with others. Stay at least six feet away from others during activities on campus, walking between buildings and standing in lines. Limit face-to-face contact with others.
- Engage in physical distancing in social activities. Stay socially connected with friends and family who are not on campus by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person on campus, maintain at least six feet of distance among you. Avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least six feet away from others. Cloth face coverings should be worn regularly and are required whenever physical distancing may be difficult to maintain.
- Supervisors of campus spaces should work with Facilities staff to arrange furniture and traffic patterns that allow for physical distancing.
Daily wellness checks
All employees and students working or attending classes on campus will be expected to self-screen daily for any new or worsening symptoms of possible COVID-19. This monitoring is expected to begin 14 days before returning to campus.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle aches or pain
- Loss of Smell or Taste
- Sore Throat
- Feeling feverish or measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 ℉
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
- Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19,
Individuals with ANY of these symptoms that cannot be explained in other ways may not work on campus or attend in-person classes until they have contacted their healthcare provider or the Health and Wellness Center for further guidance. If anyone is showing symptoms related to COVID-19 while at work or in class they should go home or return to their residence immediately.
When employees and students are ill for any reason they should remain home for the duration of the illness and may not work on campus or physically attend classes until symptoms have subsided. Employees and students who experience any of the COVID-19 symptoms should obtain a COVID-19 test. Anyone who has been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should remain in isolation for 10 days after exposure, as symptoms may take 2-14 days to develop.
Employees and students who have tested positive should follow the guidelines below for resuming on-campus activities.
If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result or believe you had COVID-19 and have or had symptoms, you may return to campus when:
- at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
- at least 24 hours with no fever, without using fever-reducing medications (advil, ibuprofen, paracetamol, acetaminophen, tylenol), AND
- symptoms have improved
All three conditions must be met for your return to campus.
If you receive a positive test result and had no symptoms, you may return to campus when:
- 10 days have passed since the test was performed.
If you develop symptoms during this 10 day period then follow the directions above for a positive test with symptoms.
*The above recommendations are taken from CDC guidelines “When you can be around others after you had or likely had COVID-19”.
Clean spaces and surfaces
The responsibility for maintaining cleanliness is a shared responsibility. Faculty, staff, and students must assist in maintaining the cleanliness of offices, classrooms, kitchens, and other shared spaces. Cleaning materials, including wipes, will be available in all classrooms and buildings. Unnecessary items should be removed to maintain clean counter spaces and ease cleaning efforts on common surfaces. The CDC guidelines recommend the following practices:
- Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.
- Cleaning using disinfectants can also help reduce the risk. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important. Disinfectant supplies are available from Housekeeping.
- Discourage people from sharing items in offices, kitchens, or other locations that are difficult to clean, sanitize, or disinfect.
Limits on physical contact and gatherings
Handshakes, hugs and other physical contacts should be avoided when possible. When planning meetings or events, if the goal can be accomplished virtually, that should be the expected format. Most meetings, advising and tutoring sessions, library research appointments, and some classes will take place online. Meetings and activities which are planned as in-person events should be held outside if possible keeping CDC, state, county, and city guidelines in mind. If a gathering must happen inside, participants must abide by new space occupancy numbers.
- Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
- More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals remain spaced at least six feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and with attendees who are from the college community.
- Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the college community.
- Not permitted: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the stateline area.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs and the COVID-19 virus is frequent handwashing. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Students and employees should strive to wash their hands frequently and always:
After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people
Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
To operate as an in-person campus community during the pandemic, everyone must comply with practices designed to reduce the spread of the virus. Students and employees are expected to comply with Beloit College’s protective practices as described in this policy as a condition of residence, enrollment, or employment while being on the physical campus or participating in college-sponsored activities and events.
If an employee is observed not adhering to protective practices on campus, this should be reported to Human Resources. HR will notify the employee’s supervisor and the employee will be issued a warning for a first offense. After a second notice of non-compliance, the supervisor will notify Human Resources to meet with the employee for a second warning.
If a student is observed not adhering to protective practices on campus, this should be reported to the Dean of Students. The student will be notified and issued a warning as a first offense. If a student has a second violation of the protective policies on campus they will be issued a second warning and a fine of $100. If a student has a third violation of the protective policies on the campus they will be subject to suspension from the college. Students who refuse to comply with the protective policies will not be permitted to live in the residence halls or to take coursework that requires in-person, on-campus attendance.
Faculty can require a student to leave the classroom or any learning space if the student is not adhering to protective practices. If a student continues to come to the classroom and is not adhering to protective practices, the faculty member can exclude the student from the in-person class and report the student to the Dean of Students.
This policy may be amended as necessary.