Aerial Drone Photo of Bridgewater College Campus

COVID-19 and CARES Act Information

Guide for Students, Faculty, Staff & Community

If your question is not answered on this page,
please email covid-19@bridgewater.edu

Introduction

President David Bushman established a COVID-19 Task Force, co-chaired by Dr. Leona Sevick, Provost, and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Leslie Frere, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, charged with developing plans for offering in-person instruction and reopening Bridgewater College. The Task Force includes representatives from Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities, Custodial Services and Food Services. This Return to Campus Guide is the collective work of virtually every department at the College, and is in line with guidance from both federal and Virginia authorities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that colleges and universities designate an administrator to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns, and ensure that the campus community knows who this person is and how to contact them. Roy Ferguson, Executive Vice President, will serve as the administrator responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Here is his contact information:

Responsible Administrator: Roy Ferguson, Executive Vice President
Office: Flory Hall, room 102
Phone: (540) 828-5307
Email: rferguson@bridgewater.edu

Section 1: Guiding Principles

The safety of our faculty, staff, and students, and the public with whom the College interacts, is a priority for Bridgewater College in the development of policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary goal for Bridgewater College in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue the College’s vital educational mission.

Bridgewater College’s plans are aligned and consistent with the Commonwealth of Virginia Phased Reopening model as well as recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The College is planning for a return to on-campus instruction this fall. As our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus and the broader public health landscape continue to evolve, our guidelines, policies and plans will be updated. Regardless of specific conditions:

  1. Bridgewater makes a priority the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community.
  2. None of us can guarantee what shape COVID-19 will take, and none of us – including the College – can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. This is simply not feasible. It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
  3. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections at Bridgewater is a shared responsibility. Every member of our community must do their part. This means adhering to national, state, and local health guidelines and requirements, and adhering to those measures Bridgewater deems safe and appropriate for its campus.
  4. As a matter of transparency, each member of our College community must understand that if you come or return to the physical campus of Bridgewater College, there is a risk you may contract COVID-19. The College is taking all recommended steps to mitigate this risk, but it cannot categorically guarantee this will not happen. By coming onto campus, you understand that this is possible.

This Guide is equivalent in all respects to a College policy. All faculty, staff and students are expected to comply fully with the policies, protocols and guidelines outlined in this document, as amended from time to time. Failure to do so may result in corrective action.

Section 2: Health and Safety

2.1 What is COVID-19 and How Does it Spread?

COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

  • COVID-19 is primarily spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, shouts or sings.
  • You may also become infected by touching your mouth, nose or eyes after sharing or handling any object or touching a public surface contaminated by the virus.
  • Because COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close proximity to one another, it is important to avoid contact and physically distance (at least six feet) from others when possible, and all employees are required to wear a face covering while on campus (see below).
  • Because COVID-19 can be spread through contact with surfaces and objects, frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfection of public surfaces also are critical to preventing the spread of the disease.

2.2 Symptom Monitoring and Self-Assessment

Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should use the self-monitoring questionnaire to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students (e.g., email, Canvas, Paycom).

At this time, the symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here.

2.3 What if an Employee develops symptoms of COVID-19?

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to work, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. If you experience symptoms while you are at work, inform your supervisor immediately. You may be asked to return home. In either case, you should consult your health care provider. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to report for or return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should contact 911 immediately.

An employee who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 must remain away from campus until either of the following occurs:

  • The employee tests negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test; or
  • At least 10 days after symptoms first appeared have passed, the employee is without fever (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours before returning to campus, and the employee’s symptoms are improving.

2.4 What if a Student develops symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are a residential student and you experience symptoms, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room. If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to self-isolation and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 must remain in quarantine until either of the following occurs:

  • The student tests negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test; or
  • At least 10 days after symptoms first appeared have passed, the student is without fever (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours before release from quarantine, and the student’s symptoms are improving.

2.5 Vulnerable Populations

According to the CDC, individuals age 65 and older, and individuals of any age with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those conditions include:

  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
  • serious heart conditions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Other conditions may result in an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • moderate to severe asthma
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypertension
  • immunocompromised state
  • liver disease
  • pregnancy
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

To review the CDC’s current list of conditions, look here.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to advise the College if they have a condition that may place them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. All health-related information is kept confidential.

For Employees: If you believe your condition may require a special work arrangement, please review the Temporary Telework Policy, found here, and complete the Telework Request Form, found here, to submit a request for a special work arrangement. Please contact the Human Resources office at HumanResources@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5386 if you have any questions.

For Students: If you believe your condition may require a special housing or academic arrangement, please contact Denise Miller, Assistant Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at dmiller2@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5611, to make the request.

2.6 What if I test positive for COVID-19?

If an employee or student receives notification of a positive test for COVID-19, they must immediately notify either Human Resources, in the case of an employee, or Student Health Services, in the case of a student, and await instructions on next steps, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee or student who tests positive or receives a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate and not return to campus, or participate in campus activities, until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If the student or employee is symptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

If the student or employee is asymptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive test; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

2.7 What if I do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but have been identified as a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19?

For employees, if you have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a twenty-four (24) hour period) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate, consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus and remain in away from campus for 14 days since the last contact with the person with COVID-19, and be released to return to campus if no symptoms (fever and/or cough) develop. If during the 14-day period any symptoms develop, the employee should consult the employee’s health care provider, and inform the director of human resources, and the period of quarantine will be adjusted accordingly

For students who have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a twenty-four (24) hour period) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms: (i) if you are a residential student, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room; (ii) If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to quarantine and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus or participate in campus activities and will remain in quarantine for 14 days since the last contact with the person with COVID-19 and be released from quarantine if no symptoms (fever and/or cough) develop. If during quarantine any symptoms develop, the student will need to be tested for COVID-19 and remain in quarantine until the results of the test are available and they have been quarantined for at least 14 days. Due to test turn-around time, some students will remain in quarantine longer than the expected 14 days if they require testing due to symptom development.

2.8 Relationship with Local Health Department and Local Health Care

The College has well-established partnerships with VDH and Carilion Clinic. Our contact at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is Dr. Laura Kornegay. Her contact information is below:

Dr. Laura Kornegay
Virginia Department of Health
100 North Mason Street
P.O. Box 26
Harrisonburg, VA 22803
(540) 574-5101

VDH will provide the College with the system that Student Health Services will use to notify VDH of any positive cases among students. Students are to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Student Health Services to avoid anonymous reports made directly to VDH.​  As faculty and staff become aware of potential exposure and seek care from their own healthcare providers, the College highly recommends that they report that to Human Resources so that contact tracing can be conducted and return to work protocols can be followed.

The College is 10 miles from Sentara RMH Hospital in Harrisonburg, 25 miles from Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville, and 56 miles from the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Students and employees who may need hospitalization will choose the health care facility based on personal preference.

2.9 Testing for COVID-19

If an employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, the employee should consult their health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19.

Students should consult Student Health Services or their personal health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19. The College has contracted with Carilion Clinic (“Carilion”) to perform COVID-19 testing for students. Carilion will bill the student’s health insurance for the cost of the test (which is approximately $100). VDH will perform COVID-19 testing at no cost for students without health insurance.

2.10 Contact Tracing and Surveillance

Contact tracing is the identification, monitoring, and support of individuals who have been in contact with patients with confirmed or probable diagnoses of COVID-19 and who, therefore, have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus. Prompt identification, voluntary quarantine, and monitoring of COVID-19 contacts can effectively break the chain of disease transmission and prevent further spread of the virus in a community. VDH has committed to take the lead in conducting contact tracing related to cases that involve the College’s employees and students. All cases and contacts are notified by the local health department and given specific instructions on how to monitor their health, how to isolate/quarantine, and when isolation/quarantine is released. The College will assist the local health department, as requested, with identification of contacts, providing information and instructions to contacts, and such other support as requested by VDH.

Campus level disease surveillance will be performed by the College, as feasible. The College will use sources of data for surveillance which may create an updated picture of COVID-19’s spread and its effects on the campus community and thus inform the College’s response to support the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. Those sources may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • the daily visit numbers for COVID-like illness to the Student Health Center
  • the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of students and employees who are in quarantine/isolation
  • capacity of local and regional hospitals
  • COVID-19 prevalence data in Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the Commonwealth of Virginia

Based on rising COVID-19 case numbers both locally and nationally, the College is implementing two mitigation strategies for the spring 2021 semester.

First, each residential student is required to have evidence of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The test must be administered within five days of the student’s arrival to campus. If a student tests positive, the student may not come to campus until the student meets the guidelines described in Section 2.6 of this Guide.

Second, the College will employ randomized surveillance testing (PCR) of asymptomatic residential students throughout the semester. Initially, as groups of students move onto campus, and during the first week of classes, 25% of residential students will be randomly select 25% to be tested. Following the first week of classes, the College will randomly select and test 10% of the student population not undergoing the three-times-per-week rapid antigen testing required by the NCAA and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Through the randomized testing and the NCAA testing protocol, a sizeable portion of our residential student population being tested every week. Students will be contacted by email if selected for surveillance testing and given instructions about where and when the test will be administered. Students will not be charged any fees for surveillance testing. Non-compliance with testing protocols will result in disciplinary action through Student Conduct, up to and including removal from campus housing for the spring 2021 semester. All College employees who conduct the testing will be appropriately trained to do so.

The greatest risk of coronavirus transmission on campus is associated with the congregate setting experienced by our residential students. For that reason, surveillance testing will be limited to residential students; commuter students and employees will not be included in the surveillance testing program.

Separately, as mentioned above, the College will be testing its student-athletes as required by the NCAA and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

The College will review COVID-19 health and safety related data to direct its mitigation efforts and recommend changes in delivery of academic and support services on campus, as well as a change to remote operations, if necessary.

2.11 Quarantine and Isolation

“Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

“Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus should follow the recommendations of their health care provider, as well as the CDC and VDH, regarding quarantine or isolation. Employees must contact Human Resources and inform the College if their health care provider has recommended quarantine or isolation. Employees may not return to work until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above.

Student Health Services will, consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines, require students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus to quarantine or isolate as described above. To most effectively utilize quarantine space on campus, students who are able may return to their permanent home address for the period of quarantine or isolation, and complete and submit to Student Health Services a COVID-19 Action Plan, on a form to be provided by the College. Students should consider the health status of those where the student will be in quarantine or isolation. The CDC has identified certain conditions that may place individuals at higher risk for severe illness upon contracting COVID-19. Students must remain in quarantine or isolation until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above and are cleared to return by Student Health Services. Students for whom returning to their permanent home is not reasonably practicable will be required to quarantine or isolate on campus in spaces in Daleville Hall or Crimson Inn designated by the College for quarantine or isolation.

Residence Life staff will ensure the following needs of students in quarantine or isolation on campus are met: food, laundry services, cleaning supplies, and trash removal. Access to health services (including mental health services) will continue in virtual and in-person formats as appropriate and available. Distance learning opportunities will be facilitated through Academic Affairs. Students will be asked to report any symptoms to Student Health Services immediately.

2.12 Hand Hygiene

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face.
  • Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

2.13 Respiratory Etiquette

  • If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nosewith a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or use the inside of your elbow) and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissuesin the trash.
  • Immediately wash your handswith soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

2.14 Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty and staff on campus in indoor spaces, including but not limited to, classrooms, laboratories, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any outdoor setting on campus when an employee or student engages with another person (e.g., walking with someone or passing someone on the sidewalk).

Guidance from every source confirms that wearing a face covering is one of the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. Students and employees should always have a face covering with them. As you probably have heard by now, “my mask protects you and your mask protects me.” For that to be the case, a face covering must capture the air we exhale so that it protects those who encounter the wearer. Not all face coverings fit the bill. The CDC provides guidance on face coverings “do’s and don’ts. Based on this information, neither face coverings with an exhalation vent or value, nor face shields, are unacceptable forms of face coverings at BC and may not be used to comply with the requirements of this section.

Students and employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following limited circumstances: (i) when an employee is the sole occupant of a room with a closed door, such as one’s office; (ii) when one is alone in a private vehicle; (iii) when a student is alone in the student’s residence hall room or with only the student’s roommate(s); (iv) in an outdoor setting in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can consistently be maintained; (v) when an employee or student is eating at any location other than the Main Dining Hall in the Kline Campus Center or Smitty’s Café in the Forrer Learning Commons, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained, or in the Main Dining Hall or at Smitty’s Café provided at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained;; (vii) when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; and (viii) if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees and students will be required to provide their own face coverings; provided, however, that the College will provide face coverings for (i) employees who, because of job tasks, cannot feasibly practice physical distancing from other employees or persons, and (ii) employees who serve in jobs in which they routinely interact with the general public. Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee or student forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Invited visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. The College will provide disposable face coverings for each office suite. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

Employees and visitors with a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering may request an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering by contacting Human Resources at humanresources@bridgewater.edu to make the request. A student seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Denise Miller, assistant director of academic support and disability services, at dmiller2@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5611, to make the request. Individuals who are hearing impaired —or those who interact with a person who is hearing impaired—may be unable to wear a face covering if they rely on lip reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear face covering. If a clear face covering is not available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a face covering that blocks your lips. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained.

After initial communication from the College, an informational campaign highlighting prosocial behavioral expectations will be launched, including the need for face coverings and physical distancing.  This will include but is not limited to posters in campus buildings including academic buildings, residence halls, social media posts, and digital screen advertisements.

Student Life will provide an online reporting form for Community members to use who have concerns about non-compliance by students with the face covering requirement. Student Life will review submissions and determine the need for educational reinforcement. Intentional disregard for behavioral expectations may result in a referral to student conduct.

2.15 Cleaning and Disinfecting

Custodial Services (Aramark) will follow CDC recommendations on frequencies, disinfectants, and suggested distancing measures for workplace cleaning. Generally, private offices will be cleaned on the same schedule as prior to the pandemic. In addition to normal dusting, vacuuming and emptying of trash cans, cleaning staff will use disinfectant to clean frequently touched areas in offices. Common spaces in office areas will be cleaned daily, using disinfectant to clean surfaces and frequently touched objects. Custodial staff will wear face coverings and gloves and will practice social distancing while cleaning occupied areas.

As re-opening proceeds and buildings become fully used by employees and students, high-traffic areas in academic buildings, the Kline Campus Center, Funkhouser Center, Nininger Hall, Yount Hall and the Forrer Learning Commons will be cleaned more frequently, depending on usage. During academic sessions, surfaces and frequently touched items in those areas will be cleaned with disinfectant at least twice per day during weekdays and as needed during the weekend, depending on space usage. Additional disinfection of classroom surfaces, such as tabletops, chair armrests, and computer workstations, can be performed by faculty and students between classes as desired using provided materials.

In following the VDH, State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), and local health department guidance, the College will be prepared to maintain and revise the hygiene practices and cleaning/disinfecting protocols as follows:

  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols to include frequently touched surfaces; transport vehicles; schedules for increased cleaning, routine cleaning, and disinfection; ensuring adequate cleaning supplies and correct use/storage.
  • Provisions for hand sanitizer/handwashing stations.
  • Minimize shared objects and ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing to the extent possible (e.g. dedicated student supplies, lab equipment, computers, etc.).

Facilities and/or custodial staff will provide a continuing supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to all office areas and classrooms for use by students, faculty and staff in those areas. Before starting work and before leaving any room in which they have been working, faculty and staff should wipe down all work areas with the disinfectant wipes provided. This includes any shared-space location and equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, phones, audio visual, and other electrical equipment; coffee makers; desks and tables; light switches, doorknobs; lab equipment). Each department is responsible for maintaining and ordering supplies of disinfecting wipes through the Facilities department work order system. Always read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Be sure to discard wipes in a waste container following use.

2.16 Employee Mental and Emotional Well-Being

The College provides an employee assistance program to employees and family members with free, comprehensive support through the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These resources include:

  • Counseling and Well-being
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Management and HR Consultation

Training and Education Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-346-5484.

More information is available at www.anthemeap.com

2.17 Employee Training

Upon returning to work on campus, all employees are required to complete COVID-19 training. The training will include information on the following topics:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma

Signage will be posted across campus with reminders of how to stay safe and keep others safe.

2.18 Leave Policies

In addition to its usual Paid Time Off policy, the College adopted an Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy to address the impact of COVID-19. The Policy provides employees with up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Section 3: Student Health

3.1 Medical-Grade PPE for Health Services Staff

  • Carilion Clinic will provide PPE for the staff members to wear during clinic operation.
  • This includes face coverings, gloves, gowns and face shields

3.2 Maintenance of Typical (non-COVID-19) Health Services

  • Student Health Services will continue to provide care for all students.
  • Visits to Student Health Services will be by appointment only (healthservices@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5384).
  • Spaces will be designated to separate sick and well students.
  • To the extent practicable, services will be provided through telemedicine.

3.3 Mental Health Services

  • Counseling Services will continue to provide therapy for all students.
  • The necessary six-foot distance cannot be achieved in all treatment rooms, and wearing a face covering significantly impairs the therapeutic modality and may, in some instances (anxiety) exacerbate symptoms.
  • Therefore, counseling services will be provided exclusively through teletherapy, where the client will sit in front of a computer with a webcam and engage in teletherapy with a clinician who is in a separate physical space.

3.4 Student Health Services Facility

  • Signage will be posted on both doors to the Student Health Services physical space instructing students to call the clinic before entering as a way to screen symptomatic and asymptomatic students.  These instructions will also be posted online.
  • The number of chairs in the waiting area will be decreased, the material changed to a less porous one to promote easier disinfection and distanced by six feet.
  • Signage will indicate that friends are not allowed to accompany the student seeking treatment.
  • Carilion Clinic will communicate directly with the College’s housekeeping contractor to determine time, method, and frequency of space disinfection, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines.

3.5 Student Health Services Staff Considerations

  • Carilion Clinic will fit all staff (3) for appropriate PPE and supply as needed.
  • Non-students will be encouraged to seek treatment from their primary care provider and to report Covid-19 positive cases to HR for further instructions with regard to return-to-work protocols.
  • The clinic will be staffed by three providers from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

3.6 Student Health Services Patient Care Considerations

  • Students seeking care will be screened by phone before being granted entrance to the physical space.
  • Triage and screening procedures will limit possible contamination of shared objects (pens, clipboards, etc.) as clinical staff will be conducting those procedures.
  • Specific triage procedures (temperature checks, questionnaire content) will be determined by Carilion Clinic in collaboration with the VDH and CDC guidelines.

Section 4: Physical Distancing

4.1 Generally

Physical distancing is a simple and very effective way to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Because people can spread the virus before having symptoms, it is important to keep physical distance from others when possible. In practice, this means:

  • Stay approximately six feet away from others as a normal practice, including while waiting in line to enter a building or office.
  • Eliminate physical contact with others, such as handshakes and embracing coworkers, fellow students, visitors or friends.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible (e.g., phones, desks and other office equipment)
  • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the buildings or spaces.
  • Supervisors should consider placing tape on floors to mark off approximately six feet for individuals to stand apart, using a material that does not damage the floor or other surfaces.
  • Reminding staff and faculty to avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water several times during their shift to reduce the risk of potential person-to-person infections.

Virginia Executive Order 72, issued December 10, 2020, and effective through January 31, 2021, revised restrictions on the manner in which individuals may gather on campus. Indoor meetings, events, programs and social gatherings, other than educational instructional meetings led or conducted by a faculty or staff member, are limited to ten (10) or fewer attendees. Any educational instructional meeting involving students, other than in connection with an academic course, at which more than ten (10) attendees are anticipated must be approved in advance by the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students. Regardless of the setting or the number of attendees, physical distancing of at least six (6) feet and use of face coverings are required. This limitation does not apply to the presence of more than ten (10) individuals performing functions of their employment. The use of dining facilities will continue to be governed by other provisions of this guide and the provisions of Executive Order 72 applicable to restaurants.

4.2 Building Entry and Exit

Campus building entry and exit directions are under consideration. Division heads and department directors should evaluate their functional area office spaces and determine if colored tape, signs or other visual cues will be needed to assist the traffic patterns in those locations.

4.3 Classrooms and Learning Spaces

The College will implement the following strategies to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be marked clearly non-distanced.
  • For courses that cannot be accommodated in distanced classrooms effectively, faculty may employ the modified “hy-flex” model of instruction in which students will rotate between in-person and remote instruction. Faculty will assign students to rotating groups, and classroom technology will be enhanced to provide robust remote instruction.
  • Large course enrollments that cannot be accommodated reasonably in distanced classrooms, including use of the modified “hy-flex” model described above, may be divided into smaller-sized sections.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and staff can practice appropriate physical distancing.
  • Remote tutoring services will be provided to comply with physical distancing protocols.

4.4 Student Activity Spaces

All meeting spaces will have visible signage stating the maximum occupancy under guidance and Executive Orders then in effect.

To the extent applicable, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, for student activities on campus.

In preparation for physical distancing and extra-curricular activities, the following guidelines are being implemented:

  • In-person, hybrid, and virtual programming is being established to best fit the needs of students and the event.
  • Students will need to register for events in advance and there will be a capacity limit for in-person events.
  • In-person events will be limited to currently enrolled College students only.
  • Outdoor spaces will be utilized for as many events as possible.
  • Most, if not all, in-person programming will be adaptable to allow for a virtual experience.
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn for all indoor events and there will be signage to ensure that students are aware of the face-covering requirement. Students will not be permitted entrance to the event without a face covering.
  • When students come to in-person events, they will need to check in to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • Any lines that are established will have physical distance markers on the floor.
  • There will be handwashing or hand sanitizing stations at every check-in point.
  • There will be only one entrance and one exit at events.
  • Food at events will be limited to single-use options or pre-packaged options.
  • Plexiglas barriers may be placed at check-in tables to limit contact between students.
  • Student clubs and organizations will be encouraged to meet virtually. Any clubs or organizations that meet in person will need to maintain a check-in process to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • All events are being re-envisioned to ensure social distancing or transitioned to an online model.

4.5 Funkhouser Center for Health and Wellness

The College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Fitness and Exercise Facilities, as well as applicable CDC and VDH guidance for cleaning and disinfecting and prevention and disease control (e.g., signage, occupancy, screening, physical distancing, face coverings), with respect to the operation and use of the Funkhouser Center for Health and Wellness.

4.6 Working Environments

Whenever possible, work areas will be arranged to allow separation of approximately six feet between stations. Where six feet of distancing is not feasible, division heads and directors can consider alternative measures to mitigate potential exposure, such as the following:

  • Staggered work shifts.
  • Shields or physical barriers that may be installed where practical and permitted, subject to state building code.
  • Conversion of large meeting rooms into workstations to increase opportunities for physical distancing.
  • Visual cues such as colored tape or signs to indicate to visitors where they should stand while waiting in line. (Take care to avoid damaging floors). Supplies should be ordered through Facilities.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space.
  • Designated stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.

4.7 Meetings

  • Evaluate all meetings, conferences and special events to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone).
  • If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:
  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.

4.8 Common Spaces for Employees

  • You should avoid direct contact with hard surfaces in communal areas, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, water coolers/fountains, chairs, tables.
  • You are encouraged to use paper towels to touch any surface and use wipes to disinfect before and after every use.
  • You should clean communal spaces throughout the day.
  • You must determine if shared utensils, condiments and other like items need to be temporarily removed from shared spaces.

4.9 Breaks and Meal Periods

To maintain distancing, staff and faculty are encouraged to use alternate sites for breaks, which may include their workstations, unoccupied meeting rooms, cars or outside space, if available and weather permitting.

Staff and faculty eating in their work environment (e.g., break room, office) should maintain six feet of distance between themselves. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Face coverings should only be removed in order to eat, and then put back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break rooms to support physical distancing practices between staff and faculty. Faculty and staff should wipe all surfaces in common areas (e.g., tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines) before and after use.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to use paper products and disposable utensils to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

4.10 Using Stairs and Elevators

Staff and faculty who are physically able are encouraged to use the stairwells, instead of elevators, when transitioning between floors. If elevators are used within a building, no more than one individual may be in an elevator at a time.

When faculty and staff are using the elevator, they must wear a face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Faculty and staff must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator. Guidelines will be posted outside of all elevators.

4.11 Using Restrooms/Bathrooms

To ensure appropriate physical distancing between individuals, the availability of restroom facilities in campus buildings may be limited. When facilities have not been removed from service it is requested that employees and students occupy alternate urinals, restroom stalls, and sinks to maintain physical distance. Avoid congregating in the restroom and emphasize courteous behaviors and an awareness of the needs of others to use the restroom. Use proper precautions and hand washing techniques and avoid touching doorknobs, faucets, and paper towel dispensers.

Students should minimize the time spent in shared bathrooms, and should not store personal items in shared bathrooms. If toilets and showers are separated by physical barriers, all can be used. For sinks and open showers, every other sink/shower should be used.

Restrooms in use will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily.

4.12 Telework Requests

We understand that some employees may request to continue to work remotely for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19 risk status or childcare, for example. The College’s new telework policy is found here. The online request form for continuation of teleworking is found here and is submitted to Human Resources for review.

4.13 Traveling by Vehicle

If travel is required for work or in connection with a class, students, staff and faculty should ride alone in vehicles where operationally feasible. Staff and faculty who must have more than one employee in the vehicle due to safety or work standards must wear face coverings. College vehicles may not be used to transport more than one student at a time.

If the driver is alone throughout the trip, a face covering is not necessary. If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants must wear face coverings. Staff and faculty do not need to wear a face covering if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Staff and faculty who travel to multiple work locations and/or enter retail establishments as part of their job responsibilities should be reminded that they must follow the safety guidelines established for the specific worksite and retail establishment. Physical distancing guidelines must be followed and face coverings must be worn as described in relevant guidelines while performing work for the College.

4.14 Limiting Visitors to Campus

In an effort to limit the transmission of the virus, Bridgewater College is restricting access to all College facilities until further notice. Only faculty, staff, authorized vendors and contractors, currently enrolled students, prospective students and their families, and authorized guests invited by the College are permitted in campus facilities. Additionally, permitted campus visitors must wear a face covering while on campus and observe other health and safety guidelines as described in this Guide (e.g., symptom self-assessment, wash hands frequently, maintain physical distancing). Appropriate signage announcing limited access to College facilities will be posted.

Section 5: Student Housing, Dining and Campus Life

5.1 Move-In

Students and their move-in helpers are expected to stay home if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in advance of students’ scheduled move-in time. Face coverings are required during the move-in process. Those arriving without a face covering will be provided with one upon check-in.

Students are permitted to bring no more than two additional people to assist them in the move in process. Based on physical distancing restrictions, the College encourages students to bring only those individuals whom they need to assist with move in. Family and other guests may wait in the designated areas (tents) near each building.

All students will be assigned a two-hour timeslot during which they are able to move into their residential area. Once the timeslot ends, move-in helpers will be asked to vacate the residence hall to allow other students to move in safely. There will be approximately 100 students per timeslot per day. There will be time between each timeslot for custodial staff to clean and disinfect high-touch areas in preparation for the next timeslot.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available throughout all residential spaces, with a priority for high-traffic locations such as entrances, elevator lobbies, and outside of stairwells.

5.2 International Travel

International travel is an evolving situation. Currently, both the U.S. State Department and the CDC have issued alerts to avoid all nonessential travel globally. And travel to the U.S. from some countries is prohibited.

Students arriving in the U.S. from any international destination will be required to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days, consistent with CDC guidance. Students arriving in the U.S. will be given the option to self-quarantine on campus or with a U.S.-based family or friend. The College’s international student advisor will communicate with currently enrolled international students who are outside the U.S. about the self-quarantine guidelines.

Admissions materials sent to newly admitted international students have been modified to reflect current COVID-19 plans and the importance of pre-arrival travel communication.

5.3 Hall Director and Resident Assistant Training and Responsibilities

Student Life staff will provide training for hall directors and resident assistants, to include:

  • Hybrid training model which includes virtual sessions and small group training settings.
  • Training sessions include sessions about COVID-19, health and wellness, and promotion of a prosocial behavioral campaign.
  • Resident Assistants will be asked to document policy infractions regarding the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, and visitation and gathering policies.
  • Resident Assistants will be trained to focus on developing their communities, virtually, including checking in on residents’ health and well-being.
  • Resident Assistants will assist in the education of residents regarding COVID-19, health and safety practices, and the Bridgewater College public health plan.

5.4 Training and Education

Prior to arriving for orientation, incoming students will be provided with information regarding behavioral expectations while on campus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once on campus, training for students will include the following:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom and residence hall behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance (restorative referrals)
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma
  • Dining hall changes

Signage with maximum occupancy for common spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage regarding social distancing, proper hand hygiene and COVID-19 information following Bridgewater’s prosocial campaign and resources from VDH and the CDC.

  • Student leaders (RA’s SOAR Mentors, Peer Health Educators, Eagle Success mentors, etc.) will model behavioral expectations throughout Student Orientation.
  • Orientation Leaders will talk to first year student groups about behavioral expectations during Welcome Week.
  • Resident Assistants will have conversations with their residents about behavioral expectations.

5.5 Entrance and Egress for Residential Buildings

  • Residence Halls (Blue Ridge, Dillon, Daleville, Geisert, Heritage, Wakeman, and Wright) will each have doors designated as entrance-only and exit-only. This encourages one-way traffic patterns in and outside of the buildings. The exception to this would be in the event of a fire alarm or emergency.
  • Entrance and egress for Stone Village, Wampler Towers, Cottages, and Crimson Inn will operate as normal.
  • The elevator in the Wright-Heritage Link will be limited to one person in the elevator at a time.
  • Residential students may only enter, and will only have ID card access to, the residence facility to which they are assigned. Commuter students will not have access to, and may not enter, any residence facilities.
  • No visitors from off-campus may enter any residence facility, unless accompanied by a College employee authorized by Student Life.

5.6 Residential Common Spaces

Residential common spaces include hallways, bathrooms, lounges, kitchens, laundry rooms, breezeways, yards, porches, and decks.

  • Occupancy will be reduced in all residential common areas to 50% of maximum occupancy. All spaces will be clearly marked for COVID-19 maximum occupancy.
  • Social distancing must be practiced in all residential common spaces.
  • The exercise facility in the Wright-Heritage Link will be closed until further notice.

Section 6: Dining Services

6.1 Physical Distancing

  • To ensure physical distancing consistent with Virginia guidelines, occupancy of the main dining hall in the Kline Campus Center will be limited.
  • Tables and chairs will be modified or removed to allow for physical distancing to be maintained.
  • The floor of the entrance and exit will be marked, and rope and stanchion will be used to encourage appropriate flow of traffic and to maintain physical distance.
  • The floor of the serving area will be marked with directional arrows to direct traffic flow.
  • The number or students in the serving area will be limited. As one student exits, another student will enter.
  • Visual cues will indicate where students should stand while waiting to enter the main dining hall or be served at Smitty’s Café.
  • Plexiglas barriers will be installed in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café to separate students from dining services employees.
  • Only students will be permitted to eat in the main dining hall; employees will not be permitted to eat in the main dining hall.

6.2 Face Coverings

  • Dining services staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café, and in the kitchen and food storage and preparation areas.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings while in any dining facility. Face coverings must be worn during movement in the facility and may only be removed when seated and eating.

6.3 Infection Prevention

  • Signage will be installed to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Dining facilities employees will follow all infection prevention guidelines, including:
  • Self-monitoring symptoms prior to reporting for work each day, including checking their temperature each day
  • Practicing proper hand hygiene
  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth
  • Staying home when ill
  • Wearing gloves while working and interacting with students and others

6.4 Cleaning/Disinfection

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all registers and high-traffic service points
  • High contact surfaces will be routinely disinfected at least every 60 minutes during operation
  • Table tops will be disinfected between patrons with the use of a Multi Peroxide Disinfectant/Sanitizer recommended by the Local Health Authorities

6.5 Service Delivery

  • Self-service stations in the main dining hall will be eliminated and replaced with staff-served meal stations.
  • All items will be served on disposable ware to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
    • All dining ware will be kept behind the service line and handled by a gloved dining facility employee when preparing a student’s meal.
  • The use of take out with compostable three-compartment boxes will be strongly encouraged to reduce the number of students eating in the main dining hall and increase the speed of service.
  • Smitty’s Café will offer pre-packaged items and beverage service for purchase.

Section 7: Events and Gatherings

For all events on campus, including athletics events, ceremonies and performances, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Recommendations for spectator attendance at athletic events continue to evolve. The College will adhere to the latest guidance from VDH and CDC, and, to the extent applicable, the NCAA and Old Dominion Athletic Conference, regarding spectator attendance at athletic events.

Section 8: Shutdown Considerations If Necessitated by Severe Conditions and/or Public Health

8.1 Management of Campus Outbreak

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. VDH will be the agency to declare an outbreak if one occurs. Once VDH declares an outbreak, the College will continue to follow the directions of VDH and CDC regarding any response and mitigation efforts and cooperate with VDH for investigations and contact tracing.

8.2 Campus Dismissals or Shutdowns

Any decision regarding campus dismissal or shutdown will be made in consultation and coordination with VDH. The College will comply with the direction provided by VDH regarding whether conditions mandate a temporary dismissal or a shutdown. For example, an initial shorter term dismissal may allow time for VDH to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the College and for custodial staff to clean and disinfect any affected facilities. The need for an extended dismissal may be based on what VDH discovers from contact tracing. If there is substantial transmission in the local community, VDH may suggest an extended dismissal or shutdown. Regardless, the College will comply with VDH guidance.

In the event of a dismissal or shutdown, the College will continue teaching and research activities, using alternative teaching methods and remote learning options as feasible and appropriate. The College will use existing infrastructure and services (e.g., Zoom) to support an efficient transition of classes from in-person to remote-based formats. This may include using strategies such as faculty check-ins, and synchronous and asynchronous class meetings and lectures.

In the event of a temporary dismissal, students will be strongly encouraged to pack lightly to expedite departure from campus. In the event of a shutdown in which students will have to return home for an indeterminate time period, the College will have students complete an express check-out process and remove all belongings form the residence hall.

8.3 Reduced Campus Activity

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. The College will seek and comply with VDH guidance regarding the need to reduce campus activities. Depending on the level of infection among students and employees, it may be necessary for the College to cancel some or all in-person campus activities.

8.4 Student health and safety on campus versus returning home

Student health and safety on campus versus returning home is highly dependent on a multitude of variables (e.g., permanent residence location, transportation, number of family living at home). The College is working with VDH to determine a more specific tool to use to make these decisions, which likely will be made on a case-by-case basis

8.5 Communications plan for dismissals/shutdowns.

This Guide, and subsequent updates regarding changes in campus activities or dismissals or shutdowns, will be posted on Bridgewater’s website and linked from the homepage. In addition, the College will link to the Guide and subsequent announcements from the College’s social media accounts and will email students, parents, faculty and staff with any information regarding changes in campus activities or dismissals or shutdowns.

Approved By:  Dr. David W. Bushman, President

Approval Date: 07/01/2020

Effective Date: 07/01/2020

Last Revision Date: 1/19/2021

Policy Owner: Executive Vice President


Section 1: Guiding Principles

The health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, and the public that interacts with Bridgewater College, is a priority in the development of policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan (the “Plan”) describes the implementation of health and safety requirements established by (i) the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Emergency Temporary Standard – Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus that causes COVID-19, 16VAC25-220 (the “Standard”), (ii) mandatory provisions of applicable Executive Orders, and (iii) guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

As our knowledge and understanding of the virus and the broader public health landscape continue to evolve, this Plan will be updated as appropriate. Regardless of specific conditions:

  1. The College makes a priority the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community.
  2. None of us can guarantee what shape the COVID-19 pandemic will take, and none of us – including the College – can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. This is simply not feasible. It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
  3. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections at Bridgewater College is a shared responsibility. Every member of our community must do their part. This means adhering to national, state, and local health guidelines and requirements, and adhering to those measures Bridgewater College deems safe and appropriate for its campus.
  4. As a matter of transparency, each member of our College community must understand that in coming or returning to Bridgewater College, there is a risk you may contract COVID-19. The College is taking all recommended steps to mitigate this risk, but it cannot categorically guarantee this will not happen.

This Plan is equivalent in all respects to a College policy. All employees are expected to comply fully with the policies, protocols and guidelines outlined in this Plan, as amended from time to time. Failure to do so may result in corrective action.

Section 2: Responsibilities

Bridgewater College has assigned Director of Human Resources Kimberly Harper and Associate Athletic Director Heather Grant, M.Ed., LAT, ATC, to serve in the role of implementing and administering the Plan (“Plan Administrators”). The Plan Administrators are responsible for administering the Plan, monitoring agencies for new requirements, updating the Plan, communicating any changes to employees, and monitoring the overall effectiveness of the Plan. The Plan Administrators are also responsible for providing employees with a copy of the Plan upon request. The Plan Administrators have the authority to stop or alter activities to ensure that all work practices conform to the mandatory safety and health requirements applicable to COVID-19 as set forth in this Plan.

To monitor the overall effectiveness of the plan, the College will use available sources of data to understand COVID-19’s spread and its effects on the campus community. The review of these data will help inform the College’s response in support of the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. Those sources may include, but are limited to, the following:

  • the daily visit numbers for COVID-like illness to the Student Health Center
  • the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of students and employees who are in quarantine/isolation
  • the number of on campus quarantine rooms available
  • capacity of local and regional hospitals
  • COVID-19 prevalence data in Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the Commonwealth of Virginia

The College will review COVID-19 health and safety related data to direct its mitigation efforts and recommend changes in delivery of academic and support services on campus, as well as a change to remote operations, if necessary.

Section 3: Determination of Exposure Risk by Job Duty

To ensure appropriate controls are applied – including training, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) – to protect employees’ safety and health, the Standard requires employers to classify each job as falling in one of four risk exposure levels: “Very High”, “High”, “Medium”, and “Lower.” “Exposure risk level” means an assessment of the possibility that an employee could be exposed to the hazards associated with SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.

  • “Very High” exposure risk hazards or job tasks are those in places of employment with high potential for employee exposure to known or suspected sources of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g., laboratory samples) or persons known or suspected to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g., medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures).
  • “High” exposure risk hazards or job tasks are those in places of employment with high potential for employee exposure inside six feet with known or suspected sources of SARS-CoV-2, or with persons known or suspected to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g., healthcare delivery and support, first responders, mortuary employees).
  • “Medium” exposure risk hazards or job tasks are those in places of employment that require more than minimal occupational contact inside six feet with other employees, other persons, or the general public who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but who are not known or suspected to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g., on campus educational settings in colleges and universities).
  • “Lower” exposure risk hazards or job tasks are those that do not require contact inside six feet with persons known to be, or suspected of being, or who may be infected with SARS-CoV-2. Employees in this category have minimal occupational contact with other employees, other persons, or the general public (e.g., an office building setting).

In making the assessment, an employer is to evaluate: (i) the tasks the job performs; (ii) the work environment; (iii) the number of employees and size of the work area; (iv) the duration and frequency of exposure to co-workers or other people; (v) the likelihood of the presence of the virus in the workplace; and (vi) where, how, and to what sources of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease employees might be exposed at work.

Although some jobs on campus could be categorized as “lower risk,” for purposes of this Plan, all jobs on campus performed by College employees are categorized as medium risk.

The College will assess the workplace to determine if SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 hazards or job tasks are present or are likely to be present that necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards or job tasks are present or likely to be present, the College shall select and have each affected employee use the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the SARS- CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease hazards identified in the hazard assessment, and certify in writing that the assessment has been performed, the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed, and the date of the assessment.

Section 4: Contingency Plan in the Event of an Infectious Disease Outbreak

The College has developed contingency plans for addressing workplace needs as well as employee safety and health during the outbreak. The plans consider increased absenteeism, the need for physical distancing, telework options, engineering, administrative, and PPE controls, and the needs of essential operations through the use of reduced workforce as a result of lowering numbers of employees on site.

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. In the event that an outbreak or pandemic due to an infectious disease, VDH will be the agency to declare an outbreak if one occurs. If VDH declares an outbreak, the College will continue to follow the directions of VDH and CDC officials regarding any response and mitigation efforts and cooperate with VDH for investigations and contact tracing.

Any decision regarding campus dismissal or shutdown will be made in consultation and coordination with VDH. The College will comply with the direction provided by VDH regarding whether conditions mandate a temporary dismissal or a shutdown. For example, an initial shorter term dismissal may allow time for VDH to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the College and for custodial staff to clean and disinfect any affected facilities. The need for an extended dismissal may be based on what VDH discovers from contact tracing. If there is substantial transmission in the local community, VDH may suggest an extended dismissal or shutdown. Regardless, the College will comply with VDH guidance.

In the event of a dismissal or shutdown, the College will continue teaching and research activities, using alternative teaching methods and remote learning options as feasible and appropriate. The College will use existing infrastructure and services (e.g., Zoom) to support an efficient transition of classes from in-person to remote-based formats. This may include using strategies such as faculty check-ins, and synchronous and asynchronous class meetings and lectures. Similarly, the College will rely on existing infrastructure and services to support a transition to telework as required for employees.

The College will seek and comply with VDH guidance regarding the need to reduce campus activities. Depending on the level of infection among students and employees, it may be necessary for the College to cancel some or all in-person campus activities.

Section 5: Basic Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Measures

COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, shouts or sings. One also may become infected by touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes after sharing or handling any object or touching a public surface contaminated by the virus. Because COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close proximity to one another, it is important to avoid contact and physically distance (at least six feet) from others when possible, and all employees are required to wear a face covering while on campus (see below). Because COVID-19 can be spread through contact with surfaces and objects, frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfection of public surfaces also are critical to preventing the spread of the disease.

To control the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID 19, basic prevention and control measures will be implemented to protect employees against the hazards of infectious disease.

To control the spread of infectious disease it is important to keep up general housekeeping in the workplace. Additional housekeeping actions may also be implemented to decrease the chances of spread of an infectious disease such as: disinfecting restrooms, common areas that remain in use, door knobs/handles, tools, equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces at least twice per day. All contact surfaces of vehicles used by more than one person should be disinfected at the end of each person’s use. All disinfectants shall be on the EPA “N” list or otherwise comply with CDC disinfection guidance (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM26911). The College will provide adequate disinfection products, obtain and retain safety data sheets (SDSs), and instruct employees using the products about any personal protective equipment that is required for use.

Additional precautions and actions to take include:

  • Minimize the size, duration and number of participants of gatherings whenever possible, and postpone, cancel or hold meetings remotely.
  • Encourage employees to maintain physical distance even when on break, as well as before and after working hours.
  • Move employee work stations to at least six feet apart.
  • Utilize flexible work hours, wherever possible, to limit the number of employees simultaneously working on-site.
  • Allow for additional physical space between employees and the general public.
  • Discuss with companies that provide services on campus the importance of employees or other persons who are known or suspected to be infected of staying home and not returning to the work site until cleared for return to work.
  • When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, provide PPE to employees and ensure the PPE’s proper use in accordance with applicable laws, standards, and regulations.

Vulnerable Populations. According to the CDC, individuals age 65 and older, and individuals of any age with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those conditions include:

  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
  • serious heart conditions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Other conditions may result in an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • moderate to severe asthma
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypertension
  • immunocompromised state
  • liver disease
  • pregnancy
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

To review the CDC’s current list of conditions, look here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fneed-extra-precautions%2Fpeople-at-increased-risk.html).

Employees are encouraged to advise the College if they have a condition that may place them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. All health-related information is kept confidential. An employee seeking a special work arrangement should review the Temporary Telework Policy, found here (https://bridgewater.box.com/s/x2fjzhffoxnasyaams4lra3vwy0l1qep); complete the Telework Request Form, found here (https://bridgewater.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aX0ENqrmNOoRf3n) , to submit a request for a special work arrangement; and contact the Human Resources office at HumanResources@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5386 for any questions.

Quarantine and Isolation. “Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. “Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (both those who with symptoms and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus should follow the recommendations of their health care provider, as well as the CDC and VDH, regarding quarantine or isolation and must contact Human Resources as soon as possible. Employees may not return to work until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described in Section 6.

Physical Distancing. Physical distancing is a simple and very effective way to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Because people can spread the virus before having symptoms, it is important to keep physical distance from others when possible. In practice, this means:

  • Staying approximately six feet away from others as a normal practice, including while waiting in line to enter a building or office.
  • Eliminating physical contact with others, such as handshakes and embracing coworkers, visitors or friends.
  • Avoiding surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible (e.g., phones, desks and other office equipment)
  • Avoiding others who appear to be sick or coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding crowds when entering and exiting buildings or spaces.
  • Observing distancing marked on floors.

Hand Hygiene. Employees should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place or after blowing one’s nose, coughing, sneezing or touching one’s face. If soap and water are not readily available, the employee should use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Respiratory Etiquette. Employees should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw the used tissue in the trash, and immediately wash hands or clean hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Face Coverings. Face coverings must be worn by all employees on campus in indoor spaces, including, but not limited to, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any setting on campus, indoors or outside, when an employee engages with another person (e.g., walking with someone or passing someone on the sidewalk).

Guidance from every source confirms that wearing a face covering is one of the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. Employees should always have a face covering with them and, unless it can be ensured that the employee will not encounter another person, the employee should wear a face covering.

Employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following limited circumstances: (i) when an employee is the sole occupant of a room with a closed door, such as one’s office; (ii) when an employee is alone in a private vehicle; (iii) for faculty members, while teaching, provided at least six (6) feet separates the faculty member from any student in the class; (iv) in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can consistently be maintained (e.g., seated in a meeting); (v) when an employee is eating at any location other than Smitty’s Café in the Forrer Learning Commons, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained, and at Smitty’s Café provided at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained; (vi) when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; and (vii) if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees will be required to provide their own face coverings; however, the College will provide face coverings for (i) employees who, because of job tasks, cannot feasibly practice physical distancing from other employees or persons, and (ii) employees who serve in jobs in which they routinely interact with the general public.

Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

Because the CDC recommends against (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html) the use of face coverings with an exhalation vent or value, such face coverings are an unacceptable form of face covering and may not be used to comply with the requirements of this Plan.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Employees with a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering may seek an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering by contacting Human Resources at humanresources@bridgewater.edu to make the request.

Individuals who are hearing impaired—or those who interact with a person who is hearing impaired—may be unable to wear a mask if they rely on lip reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear mask. If a clear mask is not available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a mask that blocks your lips. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained.

Classrooms and Learning Spaces. The following strategies are designed to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be removed.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and employees can practice appropriate physical distancing.

Working Environments. Whenever possible, work areas will be arranged to allow separation of approximately six feet between stations. Where six feet of distancing is not feasible, division heads and directors can consider alternative measures to mitigate potential exposure, such as the following:

  • Staggered work shifts.
  • Shields or physical barriers that may be installed where practical and permitted, subject to state building code.
  • Conversion of large meeting rooms into workstations to increase opportunities for physical distancing.
  • Visual cues such as colored tape or signs to indicate to visitors where they should stand while waiting in line.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space.
  • Designated stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.

Meeting Spaces. All meeting spaces will have visible signage stating the maximum occupancy under guidance and Executive Orders then in effect. To the extent applicable, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Forward-Virginia-Phase-Three-Guidelines—8-21-2020.pdf), for activities on campus. All meetings, conferences and special events should be evaluated to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone). If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, the following protocols should be implemented:

  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.

Events and Gatherings. For all events on campus, including athletics events, ceremonies and performances, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Forward-Virginia-Phase-Three-Guidelines—8-21-2020.pdf), the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • For indoor events, the maximum number of attendees, including employees, will be 50% of the permitted occupancy of the event space, or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is less, so long as physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distance between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together.
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and maintaining physical distance.
  • Recommendations for spectator attendance at athletic events continue to evolve. The College will adhere to the latest guidance from VDH and CDC, and, to the extent applicable and not inconsistent with CDC and VDH guidance, relevant NCAA and Old Dominion Athletic Conference recommendations, regarding spectator attendance at athletic events.

Using Stairs and Elevators. Physically able employees are encouraged to use the stairwells, instead of elevators, when transitioning between floors. If elevators are used within a building, no more than one individual may be in an elevator at a time.

When employees are using the elevator, they must wear a face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Employees must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator. Guidelines will be posted outside of all elevators.

Using Restrooms/Bathrooms. To ensure appropriate physical distancing between individuals, the availability of restroom facilities in campus buildings may be limited. When facilities have not been removed from service it is requested that employees and students occupy alternate urinals, restroom stalls, and sinks to maintain physical distance. Avoid congregating in the restroom and emphasize courteous behaviors and an awareness of the needs of others to use the restroom. Use proper precautions and hand washing techniques and avoid touching doorknobs, faucets, and paper towel dispensers. Restrooms in use will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily.

Breaks and Meal Periods. To maintain distancing, employees are encouraged to use alternate sites for breaks, which may include their workstations, unoccupied meeting rooms, cars or outside space, if available and weather permitting.

Employees eating in their work environment (e.g., break room, office) should maintain ten (10) feet of distance between themselves. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Face coverings should only be removed in order to eat, and then put back on. The maximum occupancy for common areas and break room shall be posted and enforced by the College. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break rooms to support physical distancing practices between employees. Employees should wipe all surfaces in common areas (e.g., tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines) before and after use.

Employees are encouraged to use paper products and disposable utensils to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

Dining Services.

  • Visual cues will indicate where students and employees should stand while waiting to be served at Smitty’s Café.
  • Plexiglas barriers will be installed in Smitty’s Café to separate customers from dining services employees.
  • Dining services staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times in Smitty’s Café, and in the kitchen and food storage and preparation areas.
  • Students and employees will be required to wear face coverings. Face coverings must be worn during movement in the facility and may only be removed when seated and eating.
  • Dining facilities employees will follow all infection prevention guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities/considerations.html), including:
  • Self-monitoring symptoms prior to reporting for work each day, including checking their temperature each day
  • Practicing proper hand hygiene
  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth
  • Staying home when ill
  • Wearing gloves while working and interacting with students and others consistent with CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all registers and high-traffic service points.
  • High contact surfaces will be routinely disinfected at least every 60 minutes during operation.
  • Table tops will be disinfected between patrons.
  • All items will be served on disposable ware to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
    • All dining ware will be kept behind the service line and handled by a gloved dining facility employee when preparing a student’s meal.
  • Smitty’s Café will offer pre-packaged items and beverage service for purchase.

Traveling by Vehicle. If travel is required for work, employees should ride alone in vehicles where operationally feasible. Employees who must have more than one employee in the vehicle due to safety or work standards must wear face coverings. College vehicles may not be used to transport more than one student at a time.

If the driver is alone throughout the trip, a face covering is not necessary. If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants must wear face coverings. Employees do not need to wear a face covering if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Employees who travel to multiple work locations and/or enter retail establishments as part of their job responsibilities should be reminded that they must follow the safety guidelines established for the specific worksite and retail establishment. Physical distancing guidelines must be followed and face coverings must be worn as described in relevant guidelines while performing work for the College.

Cleaning and Disinfecting. Custodial Services (Aramark) will follow CDC recommendations (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html) on frequencies, disinfectants, and suggested distancing measures for workplace cleaning. Cleaning staff will use disinfectant to clean frequently touched areas in offices. Common spaces in office areas will be cleaned daily, using disinfectant to clean surfaces and frequently touched objects. Custodial staff will wear face coverings and gloves (consistent with CDC guidance – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html) and will practice social distancing while cleaning occupied areas.

High-traffic areas in academic buildings, the Kline Campus Center, Funkhouser Center, Nininger Hall, Yount

Hall and the Forrer Learning Commons will be cleaned more frequently, depending on usage. During academic sessions, surfaces and frequently touched items in those areas will be cleaned with disinfectant at least twice per day during weekdays and as needed during the weekend, depending on space usage. Additional disinfection of classroom surfaces, such as tabletops, chair armrests, and computer workstations, can be performed by faculty and students between classes as desired, using provided materials.

Facilities and/or custodial staff will provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to all office areas and classrooms for use by students, faculty and staff. Before starting work and before leaving any room in which they have been working, faculty and staff should wipe down all work areas with the disinfectant wipes provided. This includes any shared-space location and equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, phones, audio visual, and other electrical equipment; coffee makers; desks and tables; light switches, doorknobs; lab equipment). Each department is responsible for maintaining and ordering supplies of disinfecting wipes through the Facilities department work order system. Employees should always read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product, and the College shall ensure employees are provided with and comply with those instructions.

Areas in the place of employment where known or suspected to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus employees or other persons accessed or worked shall be cleaned and disinfected prior to allowing other employees access to the areas.

Section 6: Identification and Isolation of Sick and/or Exposed Employees

The identification and isolation of infected and exposed employees, as well as employees of subcontractors and others whose employees are on campus, is essential to limiting the spread of the virus. The following requirements and criteria apply to College employees as well as employees of any third party providing services on campus.

Symptom Monitoring and Self-Assessment. Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should complete the health verification on the LiveSafe app daily before coming onto campus or exiting one’s on-campus residential room for the first time. Employees and students may also use the self-monitoring questionnaire (https://bridgewater.app.box.com/s/t7s6dj15wrbh3vkpb71gw0z7pbas7tra) to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html).

Testing for COVID-19. Consistent with VDH recommendations (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/07/VDH-COVID-19-Testing-for-Colleges-and-Universities.pdf), employees are not required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus or at certain intervals.

If an employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, the employee should consult their health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19.

Contact Tracing and Surveillance. Contact tracing is the identification, monitoring, and support of individuals who have been in contact with individuals with confirmed or probable diagnoses of COVID-19 and who, therefore, have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus. Prompt identification, voluntary quarantine, and monitoring of COVID-19 contacts can effectively break the chain of disease transmission and prevent further spread of the virus in a community. VDH has committed (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/182/2020/06/VDH-IHE-and-Contact-Tracing_062320_final.pdf) to take the lead in conducting contact tracing related to cases that involve the College’s employees residing in Virginia. Testing and contract tracing of employees residing in other states will be performed by the public health authorities in those other states. All cases and contacts are notified by the local health department and given specific instructions on how to monitor their health, how to isolate/quarantine, and when isolation/quarantine is released. The College will assist the local health department, as requested, with identification of contacts, providing information and instructions to contacts, and such other support as requested by VDH.

All employees and students are encouraged to download the free app, COVIDWISE, on their phones. COVIDWISE is the VDH COVID-19 exposure notification app to facilitate contact tracing in response to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Campus-level disease surveillance will be performed by the College, as feasible. The College will use sources of data for surveillance which may create an updated picture of COVID-19’s spread and its effects on the campus community, and thus inform the College’s response to support the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. Those sources may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • the daily visit numbers for COVID-like illness to the Student Health Center
  • the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of students and employees who are in quarantine/isolation
  • the number of on campus quarantine rooms available
  • capacity of local and regional hospitals
  • COVID-19 prevalence data in Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the Commonwealth of Virginia

The College will review COVID-19 health and safety related data to direct its mitigation efforts and recommend changes in delivery of academic and support services on campus, as well as a change to remote operations, if necessary.

What if an employee develops symptoms of COVID-19? If an employee experiences symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to work, they should not report to work and should inform the employee’s supervisor as soon as possible. If symptoms are experienced while at work, the employee should inform the supervisor immediately and will be directed to return home. In either case, the employee should consult their health care provider. Human Resources will contact the employee for more information and to discuss eligibility to report for or return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate. An employee experiencing a medical emergency should contact 911 immediately.

An employee who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-19, must self-isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

What if an employee tests positive for COVID-19? If an employee receives notification of a positive test for COVID-19, they must immediately notify Human Resources and await instructions on next steps, which will be consistent with CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html) and VDH (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus/what-to-do-if-you-have-confirmed-or-suspected-coronavirus-disease-covid-19/) guidance. An employee who tests positive or receives a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If the employee is symptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

If the employee is asymptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive test; and
  • The employee is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

What if an employee does not have symptoms of COVID-19 but is identified as a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19? An employee who is not experiencing symptoms but is identified as a “close contact” (e.g., within six feet for at least 15 minutes within a twenty-four (24) hour period) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must not report to work and must inform their supervisor as soon as possible. Human Resources will contact the employee for more information and to discuss eligibility to return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate, consistent with CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html) and VDH (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/local-exposure/) guidance. The employee will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing quarantine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19; and
  • The employee is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Notification. Following receipt of a report of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test by a College employee or student, or the employee of a third party providing services on campus who was present on campus within the previous 14 days from the date of the positive test, the College will, as permitted by federal and state law, notify:

  • College employees deemed to be a “close contact” of the individual who tested positive, within 24 hours of discovery that the employee is a “close contact,” while keeping confidential the identity of the person who tested positive in accordance with the requirements of applicable federal and Virginia laws and regulations; and
  • In the same manner, third parties providing services on campus whose employees were present on campus during the same time period and are deemed to be a “close contact” of the person who tested positive; and
  • The Virginia Department of Health within 24 hours of the discovery of a positive case; and
  • The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry within 24 hours of the discovery of three or more employees present at the place of employment within a 14-day period testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus during that 14-day time period.

Leave Policies. In addition to its usual Paid Time Off policy, the College adopted an Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy to address the impact of COVID-19. The Policy provides employees with up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Telework Requests. Employees may request to work remotely for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19 risk status or childcare, for example. The College’s new telework policy is found here (https://bridgewater.box.com/s/x2fjzhffoxnasyaams4lra3vwy0l1qep). The online request form for continuation of teleworking is found here (https://bridgewater.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aX0ENqrmNOoRf3n) and is submitted to Human Resources for review.

Section 7: Procedures for Minimizing Exposure from Outside of Workplace

Limiting Visitors to Campus. In an effort to limit the transmission of the virus, Bridgewater College is restricting access to all College facilities until further notice. Only employees, authorized vendors and contractors, currently enrolled students, prospective students and their families, and authorized guests invited by the College are permitted on campus. Additionally, permitted campus visitors will be informed that they must wear a face covering while on campus and observe other health and safety guidelines as described in this Plan (e.g., symptom self-assessment, wash hands frequently, maintain physical distancing). Appropriate signage announcing limited access to College facilities and advising of health and safety guidelines are posted.

Visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

All meetings, conferences and special events involving visitors to campus must be evaluated to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone). If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, the following protocols should be implemented:

  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.

Any visitor to campus may be required to complete a questionnaire prior to entry regarding symptoms of COVID-19, and is subject to having their temperature checked. Visitors with any symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted on campus.

Third-Party Employers. The College will address infectious disease preparedness and response with outside businesses, including, but not limited to, subcontractors providing services on campus, provide a copy of this Plan to employers, and require employers to comply with the requirements of the Standard and this Plan.

Section 8: Training

The College will provide training on the hazards and characteristics of the SARS- CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease to all employees. The training program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and signs and symptoms of COVID-19 disease and know the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards. The training shall include:

  • The requirements of the Standard;
  • The characteristics and methods of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus;
  • The signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 disease;
  • Risk factors of severe COVID-19 illness with underlying health conditions;
  • Awareness of the ability of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 persons to transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus;
  • Safe and healthy work practices (e.g., physical distancing, disinfection procedures, disinfecting frequency, noncontact methods of greeting, face coverings);
  • The non-discrimination provisions in 16VAC25-220-90; and
  • The College’s Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan.

Training records will be retained in employee files and maintained by Human Resources. The training record will include:

  • Employee’s name
  • Employee’s signature (physical or electronic)
  • Date
  • Signature of trainer

When the College has reason to believe that any employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill expected from the training, the College shall retrain each such employee. Circumstances where retraining and employee notification may be required include, but are not limited to, situations where:

  • Changes in the workplace, SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease hazards exposed to, or job tasks performed render previous training obsolete;
  • Changes are made to this Plan; or
  • Inadequacies in an affected employee’s knowledge or use of workplace control measures indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.

Section 9: Non-Discrimination

  • A. No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee because the employee has exercised rights under the safety and health provisions of the Standard, Title 40.1 of the Code of Virginia, and implementing regulations under 16VAC25-60-110 for themselves or others.
  • B. No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who voluntarily provides and wears the employee’s own PPE, including but not limited to a respirator, face shield, or gloves, or face covering if such equipment is not provided by the employer, provided that the PPE does not create a greater hazard to the employee or create a serious hazard for other employees.
  • C. No person shall discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who raises a reasonable concern about infection control related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease to the College, the College’s agent, other employees, a government agency, or to the public such as through print, online, social, or any other media.
  • D. Nothing in the Standard shall limit an employee from refusing to do work or enter a location that the employee feels is unsafe. 16VAC25-60-110 contains the requirements concerning discharge or discipline of an employee who has refused to complete an assigned task because of a reasonable fear of injury or death.

 

Approved By:  Dr. David W. Bushman, President

Approval Date: 11/02/2020

Effective Date: 11/02/2020

Last Revision Date:

 

Policy Owner: Executive Vice President

FAQs for Students


Health & Safety

Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should use the self-monitoring questionnaire to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students (e.g., email, Canvas, Paycom).

At this time, the symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here.

If you are a residential student and you experience symptoms, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room. If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to self-isolation and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-19 must self-isolate until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@bridgewater.edu.

Students should consult Student Health Services or their personal health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19. The College has contracted with Carilion Clinic (“Carilion”) to perform COVID-19 testing for students. Carilion will bill the student’s health insurance for the cost of the test (which is approximately $100). VDH will perform COVID-19 testing at no cost for students without health insurance.

If you are a residential student and you experience symptoms, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room. If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to self-isolation and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 must remain in quarantine until either of the following occurs:

  • The student tests negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test; or
  • At least 10 days after symptoms first appeared, the student is without fever (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours before release from quarantine, and the student’s symptoms are improving.

For students who have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a twenty-four (24) hour period) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms: (i) if you are a residential student, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room; (ii) If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to quarantine and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus or participate in campus activities and will remain in quarantine for 14 days since the last contact with the person with COVID-19 and be released from quarantine if no symptoms (fever and/or cough) develop. If during quarantine any symptoms develop, the student will need to be tested for COVID-19 and remain in quarantine until the results of the test are available and they have been quarantined for at least 14 days. Due to test turn-around time, some students will remain in quarantine longer than the expected 14 days if they require testing due to symptom development.

“Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

“Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others.

Student Health Services will, consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines, require students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus to quarantine or isolate as described above. To most effectively utilize quarantine space on campus, students who are able to may return to their permanent home address for the period of quarantine or isolation, and complete and submit to Student Health Services a COVID-19 Action Plan, on a form to be provided by the College. Students should consider the health status of those where the student will be in quarantine or isolation. The CDC has identified certain condition that may place individuals at higher risk for severe illness upon contracting COVID-19. Students must remain in quarantine or isolation until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above and are cleared to return by Student Health Services. Students for whom returning to their permanent home is not reasonably practicable will be required to quarantine or isolate on campus in spaces in Daleville Hall or Crimson Inn designated by the College for quarantine or isolation.

Residence Life staff will ensure the following needs of students in quarantine or isolation on campus are met: food, laundry services, cleaning supplies, and trash removal. Access to health services (including mental health services) will continue in virtual and in-person formats as appropriate and available. Distance learning opportunities will be facilitated through Academic Affairs. Students will be asked to report any symptoms to Student Health Services immediately.

  • Carilion Clinic will provide PPE for the staff members to wear during clinic operation.
  • This includes face coverings, gloves, gowns and face shields
  • Students seeking care will be screened by phone before being granted entrance to the physical space.
  • Triage and screening procedures will limit possible contamination of shared objects (pens, clipboards, etc.) as clinical staff will be conducting those procedures.
  • Specific triage procedures (temperature checks, questionnaire content) will be determined by Carilion Clinic in collaboration with the VDH and CDC guidelines.
  • Student Health Services will continue to provide care for all students.
  • Visits to Student Health Services will be by appointment only (healthservices@bridgewater.eduor (540) 828-5384).
  • Spaces will be designated to separate sick and well students.
  • To the extent practicable, services will be provided through telemedicine.
  • Signage will be posted on both doors to the Student Health Services physical space instructing students to call the clinic before entering as a way to screen symptomatic and asymptomatic students.  These instructions will also be posted online.
  • The number of chairs in the waiting area will be decreased, the material changed to a less porous one to promote easier disinfection and distanced by six feet.
  • Signage will indicate that friends are not allowed to accompany the student seeking treatment.
  • Carilion Clinic will communicate directly with the College’s housekeeping contractor to determine time, method, and frequency of space disinfection, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines.

Campus Experience

Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty and staff on campus in indoor spaces, including but not limited to, classrooms, laboratories, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any outdoor setting on campus when an employee or student engages with another person (e.g., walking with someone or passing someone on the sidewalk)..

Guidance from every source confirms that wearing a face covering is one of the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. Students and employees should always have a face covering with them. As you probably have heard by now, “my mask protects you and your mask protects me.” For that to be the case, a face covering must capture the air we exhale so that it protects those who encounter the wearer. Not all face coverings fit the bill. The CDC provide guidance on face coverings “do’s and don’ts. Based on this information, neither face coverings with an exhalation vent or value, nor face shields, are unacceptable forms of face coverings at BC and may not be used to comply with the requirements of this section.

Students and employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following limited circumstances: (i) when an employee is the sole occupant of a room with a closed door, such as one’s office; (ii) when one is alone in a private vehicle; (iii) when a student is alone in the student’s residence hall room or with only the student’s roommate(s); (iv) in an outdoor setting in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can consistently be maintained; (v) when an employee or student is eating at any location other than the Main Dining Hall in the Kline Campus Center or Smitty’s Café in the Forrer Learning Commons, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained, or in the Main Dining Hall or at Smitty’s Café provided at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained;; (vi) when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; and (vii) if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees and students will be required to provide their own face coverings; provided, however, that the College will provide face coverings for (i) employees who, because of job tasks, cannot feasibly practice physical distancing from other employees or persons, and (ii) employees who serve in jobs in which they routinely interact with the general public. Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee or student forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Invited visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. The College will provide disposable face coverings for each office suite. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

Employees and visitors with a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering may request an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering by contacting Human Resources at humanresources@bridgewater.edu to make the request. A student seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Denise Miller, assistant director of academic support and disability services, at dmiller2@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5611, to make the request. Individuals who are hearing impaired —or those who interact with a person who is hearing impaired—may be unable to wear a face covering if they rely on lip reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear face covering. If a clear face covering is not available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a face covering that blocks your lips. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained.

After initial communication from the College, an informational campaign highlighting prosocial behavioral expectations will be launched, including the need for face coverings and physical distancing.  This will include but is not limited to posters in campus buildings including academic buildings, residence halls, social media posts, and digital screen advertisements.

Student Life will provide an online reporting form for Community members to use who have concerns about non-compliance by students with the face covering requirement. Student Life will review submissions and determine the need for educational reinforcement. Intentional disregard for behavioral expectations may result in a referral to student conduct.

Prior to arriving on campus, all students will be provided with information regarding behavioral expectations while on campus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once on campus, training for students will include the following:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom and residence hall behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance (restorative referrals)
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma
  • Dining hall changes

Signage with maximum occupancy for common spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage regarding social distancing, proper hand hygiene and COVID-19 information following Bridgewater’s pro-social campaign and resources from VDH and the CDC.

  • Student leaders (RA’s SOAR Mentors, Peer Health Educators, Eagle Success mentors, etc.) will model behavioral expectations throughout Student Orientation.
  • Orientation Leaders will talk to first year student groups about behavioral expectations during Welcome Week.
  • Resident Assistants will have conversations with their residents about behavioral expectations.

Residence Halls will have designated entrances and exits to each building:

  • Residence Halls (Blue Ridge, Dillon, Daleville, Geisert, Heritage, Wakeman, and Wright) will each have doors designated as entrance-only and exit-only. This encourages one-way traffic patterns in and outside of the buildings. The exception to this would be in the event of a fire alarm or emergency.
  • Entrance and egress for Stone Village, Wampler Towers, Cottages, and Crimson Inn will operate as normal.
  • The elevator in the Wright-Heritage Link will be limited to one person in the elevator at a time.

Residential common spaces, including hallways, bathrooms, lounges, kitchens, laundry rooms, breezeways, yards, porches, and decks, will observe the following safety measures:

  • Occupancy will be reduced in all residential common areas to 50% of maximum occupancy. All spaces will be clearly marked for COVID-19 maximum occupancy.
  • Social distancing must be practiced in all residential common spaces.
  • The exercise facility in the Wright-Heritage Link will be closed until further notice.
  • Students should minimize the time spent in shared bathrooms, and should not store personal items in shared bathrooms. If toilets and showers are separated by physical barriers, all can be used. For sinks and open showers, every other sink/shower should be used.
  • For the safety of the residential community and to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the guest policy as outlined in the Eagle has been suspended until further notice. Residents will not be permitted to host guests in the residence halls, and residents will only receive access to their assigned residence hall on their BC ID. Please refer to the Return to Campus Guide for the latest information and policy updates.
  • A guest is defined as an individual who does not live in the BC on-campus residence hall that they are attempting to visit. This includes residents visiting other residence halls, BC students who live off campus, and visitors who are not affiliated with BC.
  • Residential students may only enter, and will only have ID card access to, the residence facility to which they are assigned. Commuter students will not have access to, and may not enter, any residence facilities. No visitors from off-campus may enter any residence facility, unless accompanied by a College employee authorized by Student Life.

The ODAC plans for all teams to compete in condensed seasons during the spring semester. The Athletic Department is releasing spring schedules.

For all events on campus the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • Virginia Executive Order 72, issued December 10, 2020, and effective through January 31, 2021, revised restrictions on the manner in which individuals may gather on campus. Indoor meetings, events, programs and social gatherings, other than educational instructional meetings led or conducted by a faculty or staff member, are limited to ten (10) or fewer attendees. Any educational instructional meeting involving students, other than in connection with an academic course, at which more than ten (10) attendees are anticipated must be approved in advance by the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students. Regardless of the setting or the number of attendees, physical distancing of at least six (6) feet and use of face coverings are required. This limitation does not apply to the presence of more than ten (10) individuals performing functions of their employment. The use of dining facilities will continue to be governed by other provisions of this guide and the provisions of Executive Order 72 applicable to restaurants.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.

Maximum density for in-person events will be the lesser of 250 or 50% of normal maximum occupancy. All meeting spaces will have visible signage stating the maximum occupancy under guidance and Executive Orders then in effect.

To the extent applicable, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, for student activities on campus.

In preparation for physical distancing and extra-curricular activities, the following guidelines are being implemented:

  • In-person, hybrid, and virtual programming is being established to best fit the needs of students and the event.
  • Students will need to register for events in advance and there will be a capacity limit for in-person events.
  • In-person events will be limited to currently enrolled College students only.
  • Outdoor spaces will be utilized for as many events as possible.
  • Most, if not all, in-person programming will be adaptable to allow for a virtual experience.
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn for all indoor, in-person events and there will be signage to ensure that students are aware of the face-covering requirement. Students will not be permitted entrance to the event without a face covering.
  • When students come to in-person events, they will need to check in to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • Any lines that are established will have physical distance markers on the floor.
  • There will be handwashing or hand sanitizing stations at every check-in point.
  • There will be only one entrance and one exit at events.
  • Food at events will be limited to single-use options or pre-packaged options.
  • Plexiglass barriers may be placed at check-in tables to limit contact between students.
  • Student clubs and organizations will be encouraged to meet virtually. Any clubs or organizations that meet in person will need to maintain a check-in process to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • All events are being re-envisioned to ensure social distancing or transitioned to an online model.

The College will implement the following strategies to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be marked clearly non-distanced.
  • For courses that cannot be accommodated in distanced classrooms effectively, faculty may employ the modified “hy-flex” model of instruction in which students will rotate between in-person and remote instruction. Faculty will assign students to rotating groups, and classroom technology will be enhanced to provide robust remote instruction.
  • Large course enrollments that cannot be accommodated reasonably in distanced classrooms, including use of the modified “hy-flex” model described above, may be divided into smaller-sized sections.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and staff can practice appropriate physical distancing.
  • Remote tutoring services will be provided to comply with physical distancing protocols.
  • All meetings, conferences and special events will be evaluated to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone).
  • If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:
  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.
  • To ensure physical distancing consistent with Virginia guidelines, occupancy of the main dining hall in the Kline Campus Center will be limited.
  • Tables and chairs will be modified or removed to allow for physical distancing to be maintained.
  • The floor of the entrance and exit will be marked, and rope and stanchion will be used to encourage appropriate flow of traffic and to maintain physical distance.
  • The floor of the serving area will be marked with directional arrows to direct traffic flow.
  • The number or students in the serving area will be limited. As one student exits, another student will enter.
  • Visual cues will indicate where students should stand while waiting to enter the main dining hall or be served at Smitty’s Café.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café to separate students from dining services employees.
  • Only students will be permitted to eat in the main dining hall; employees will not be permitted to eat in the main dining hall.
  • Dining services staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café, and in the kitchen and food storage and preparation areas.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings while in any dining facility. Face coverings must be worn during movement in the facility and may only be removed when seated and eating.
  • Self-service stations in the main dining hall will be eliminated and replaced with staff-served meal stations.
  • All items will be served on disposable ware to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
  • All dining ware will be kept behind the service line and handled by a gloved dining facility employee when preparing a student’s meal.
  • The use of take out with compostable three-compartment boxes will be strongly encouraged to reduce the number of students eating in the main dining hall and increase the speed of service.
  • Smitty’s Café will offer pre-packaged items and beverage service for purchase.
  • Signage will be installed to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Dining facilities employees will follow all infection prevention guidelines, including:
    • Self-monitoring symptoms prior to reporting for work each day, including checking their temperature each day
    • Practicing proper hand hygiene
    • Practicing physical distancing
    • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth
    • Staying home when ill
    • Wearing gloves while working and interacting with students and others
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all registers and high-traffic service points
  • High contact surfaces will be routinely disinfected at least every 60 minutes during operation
  • Table tops will be disinfected between patrons with the use of a Multi Peroxide Disinfectant/Sanitizer recommended by the Local Health Authorities
  • Because the required six-foot distance cannot be achieved in all treatment rooms, and wearing a face covering significantly impairs the therapeutic modality and may, in some instances (anxiety) exacerbate symptoms, all mental health services will be offered virtually during the upcoming academic year.
  • A group-therapy modality will be emphasized this year in order to address the needs of as many students as possible
  • Students will be encouraged to utilize their residence hall space or other spaces on campus that feel safe and private where they can engage with a mental health provider via a videoconferencing platform.

Students should schedule appointments only via phone (540) 828-5379 or by email at counseling@bridgewater.edu.


Residential Waiver, Online Learning and Special Accommodations FAQs

RESIDENTIAL WAIVER

  • Go to this Spring 2021 Remote Options Form and complete the form to waive your residency requirement. Once a student elects to live off-campus, they WILL NOT be able to return to residential status for the spring semester.

Students who elect to leave campus housing after the semester begins will be eligible for a partial discount of the residential fee.

Residential Fee Credit

Week of Status Change % of Residential Fee Discounted
Jan 12- Jan 19 100%
Jan 20 – Jan 27 75%
Jan 28- Feb 10 50%
Feb 11-Feb 24 40%
Feb 25 -Mar 10 25%
Mar 11 -Mar 24 15%

*** No credit after March 24

Yes. Once you choose to waive your residency on the form, you will be prompted to answer whether you want to attend classes in person or remotely
  • Your financial aid might change. Student Accounts will provide a revised statement of account after your housing status has been updated and your financial aid eligibility has been recalculated. McKinney ACE Scholarship, Eagle Award, Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant and BC Out-of-State Incentive Scholarship amounts will not change provided full-time enrollment is maintained. Reductions to loan amounts and other grants and scholarships will be done as needed to assure that cost of attendance and calculated financial need from the FAFSA are not exceeded.
  • Technology and student service fees will not be refunded to students after the 100% waiver fee period has ended.
  • Yes
  • Non-residential students will not automatically have a meal plan applied to their statement.  Students who wish to purchase a meal plan can enroll in the BC Bucks program via the GET App.  Please visit https://www.bridgewater.edu/life-at-bridgewater/housing-dining/dining/meal-plans/ for information on loading your BC Bucks.
  • Students may also purchase a To Go box for a one-time fee of $5 and then purchase a To-Go meal at $7.50 for lunch, $5.50 Breakfast, $10.00 for Dinner using BC Bucks or a credit card at the dining hall door.
  •  Per the Return to Campus Guide, only students assigned to a residence hall will have ID card access to that residential facility. However, students have plenty of public areas outside of residence halls where they can visit with friends or meet with classmates for projects.
  • Every student will have an RA assigned to them to assist them in engaging with the Bridgewater Community. Your RA will be able to connect with you virtually, as well as in person.
  • There may be some opportunity for remote work study assignments. If remote work is possible, your supervisor will contact you about your work assignment closer to the start of the semester. Not all student employment jobs are suitable for remote work.
  • RAs are required to live on-campus for Spring 2021.

ONLINE LEARNING

  • At this time, only non-residential students are permitted to engage in remote learning by completing the spring 2021 Remote Options Form. Residential students who do NOT want to complete the spring 2021 Remote Options form but do want to participate in remote learning due to health conditions identified by the CDC as putting them at an increased risk for illness from COVID-19 should contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse, Associate Dean of Students, at jrittenhouse@bridgewater.edu or 540-828-5379 to discuss what options may be available to address their concerns.
  • Students must have adequate internet access. Faculty will continue to deliver synchronous classes with active participation. Video communication will be important for the full experience.
  • The minimal home internet connection that would support remote learning effectively would be 25Mbps of download and 5Mbps of upload speed.
  • Students must have a suitable laptop based on IT recommendations via their BYOD policy. A cell phone or tablet alone is not enough to be successful.

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

  • If you believe your health condition may require a special housing or academic arrangement, please contact Dr. Chip Studwell, Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at cstudwell@bridgewater.eduor (540) 828-5370, to discuss what options may be available to address your concerns.
  • If you believe your health condition may prevent you from wearing a face covering, please contact Dr. Chip Studwell, Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at cstudwell@bridgewater.eduor (540) 828-5370, to discuss what options may be available to address your concerns.
  • Students who want to pursue the option to waive their residency requirement and participate in remote learning should complete the Fall 2020 Remote Options Form.
  • Students who want to pursue the option to waive their residency requirement and participate in remote learning should complete the Fall 2020 Remote Options Form.

Surveillance Testing FAQs

  • Surveillance testing is testing a percentage of the population to monitor the intensity and severity of COVID-19 among a particular population.
  • Random testing—in conjunction with daily health checks, face coverings, physical distancing, and the other mitigation strategies practiced at BC—is one of multiple steps BC is taking to promote a healthy environment for students, faculty and staff during this phase of the pandemic and to provide students with appropriate support services.
  • BC will test 25% of undergraduate residential students for the first two weeks of the semester. After that, BC will test 10% of undergraduate residential students weekly for the remainder of the spring 2021 semester.
  • Students are required to participate in any COVID-19 diagnostic or surveillance testing if requested by the College. If you are selected for testing, you will receive an email with instructions on when and where the test will be administered.
  • No, you cannot opt out of testing. Failure to comply with the testing requirement is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and may result in disciplinary action or sanctions.
  • BC is using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to detect the presence of COVID-19 DNA in the sample.
  • BC will perform a nasal live-virus, anterior swab test, which is less invasive and results in less discomfort than sampling from deep within the nasal cavity.
  • If you were selected for surveillance testing, your name was selected randomly by a computer program as part of an overall strategy to sample the residential student population.
  • The testing location will be included in the email sent to the student. Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your testing time.
  • From the time the sample is sent to the laboratory, the results should be available within 48-72 hours. You will receive an email with your results.
  • Students may access their test results through the Tempus Labs’ app. Instructions for accessing the app will be provided in an email following administration of the test.
  • You will be contacted by a College official with information on the next steps and isolation instructions.
  • The College is required by law to report positive test results to the Virginia Department of Health. Your testing information will be kept confidential in compliance with applicable law. A summary of non-identifiable test results and data will be provided to the College community.
  • Not necessarily. Based on the random selection process, some individuals might be tested multiple times over the semester, while others might not be tested at all.
  • BC’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program is free of charge to those selected.
  • Follow BC’s Return to Campus Guide Code, and CDC and VDH health guidance. Your compliance with the Guide and public health guidelines are essential to your personal health and safety as well as the health and safety of the entire BC community.
  • Probably not. If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, providing documentation of that positive test to the College will remove you from the testing pool for 90 days following the date of the positive test. Please email this documentation to covidtesting@bridgewater.edu to have your name removed from the testing pool.
  • Surveillance testing strategies are intended for those in congregate living spaces, such as student housing. At this time, the recommendation is for nonresidential students, faculty and staff to seek diagnostic testing when they are symptomatic or have been advised to do so by a health care provider.
  • Please do not leave your isolation or quarantine location until you are cleared to do so. Please email covidtesting@bridgewater.edu so that we know why you are not scheduling a test.
  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after testing negative, you should be evaluated by a physician. Students are required to self-quarantine in their current residence until they can schedule an appointment at the health center. Students should contact Student Health Services at (540) 828-5384 to schedule an appointment. Faculty and staff should call their personal physician for an evaluation.

General Campus Operations


Campus Safety Measures

Custodial Services (Aramark) will follow CDC recommendations on frequencies, disinfectants, and suggested distancing measures for workplace cleaning. Generally, private offices will be cleaned on the same schedule as prior to the pandemic. In addition to normal dusting, vacuuming and emptying of trash cans, cleaning staff will use disinfectant to clean frequently touched areas in offices. Common spaces in office areas will be cleaned daily, using disinfectant to clean surfaces and frequently touched objects. Custodial staff will wear face coverings and gloves and will practice social distancing while cleaning occupied areas.

As re-opening proceeds and buildings become fully used by employees and students, high-traffic areas in academic buildings, the Kline Campus Center, Funkhouser Center, Nininger Hall, Yount Hall and the Forrer Learning Commons will be cleaned more frequently, depending on usage. During academic sessions, surfaces and frequently touched items in those areas will be cleaned with disinfectant at least twice per day during weekdays and as needed during the weekend, depending on space usage. Additional disinfection of classroom surfaces, such as tabletops, chair armrests, and computer workstations, can be performed by faculty and students between classes as desired using provided materials.

In following the VDH, State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), and local health department guidance, the College will be prepared to maintain and revise the hygiene practices and cleaning/disinfecting protocols as follows:

  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols to include frequently touched surfaces; transport vehicles; schedules for increased cleaning, routine cleaning, and disinfection; ensuring adequate cleaning supplies and correct use/storage.
  • Provisions for hand sanitizer/handwashing stations.
  • Minimize shared objects and ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing to the extent possible (e.g. dedicated student supplies, lab equipment, computers, etc.).

Facilities and/or custodial staff will provide a continuing supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to all office areas and classrooms for use by students, faculty and staff in those areas. Before starting work and before leaving any room in which they have been working, faculty and staff should wipe down all work areas with the disinfectant wipes provided. This includes any shared-space location and equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, phones, audio visual, and other electrical equipment; coffee makers; desks and tables; light switches, doorknobs; lab equipment). Each department is responsible for maintaining and ordering supplies of disinfecting wipes through the Facilities department work order system. Always read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Be sure to discard wipes in a waste container following use.

Campus building entry and exit directions are under consideration. Division heads and department directors should evaluate their functional area office spaces and determine if colored tape, signs or other visual cues will be needed to assist the traffic patterns in those locations.

Individuals who are physically able are encouraged to use the stairwells, instead of elevators, when transitioning between floors. If elevators are used within a building, no more than one individual may be in an elevator at a time.

When individuals are using the elevator, they must wear a face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Individuals must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator. Guidelines will be posted outside of all elevators.

To ensure appropriate physical distancing between individuals, the availability of restroom facilities in campus buildings may be limited. When facilities have not been removed from service it is requested that employees and students occupy alternate urinals, restroom stalls, and sinks to maintain physical distance. Avoid congregating in the restroom and emphasize courteous behaviors and an awareness of the needs of others to use the restroom. Use proper precautions and hand washing techniques and avoid touching doorknobs, faucets, and paper towel dispensers. Restrooms in use will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily.

The College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Fitness and Exercise Facilities, as well as applicable CDC and VDH guidance for cleaning and disinfecting and prevention and disease control (e.g., signage, occupancy, screening, physical distancing, face coverings), with respect to the operation and use of the Funkhouser Center for Health and Wellness.

Facility Access:

Do not enter the facility if you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

Access is by appointment only! Please go to “MyBC” click “CAMPUS INFORMATION” and then “CAMPUS RECREATION” to sign up for a workout time slot.

The Forward Virginia Plan mandates that the number of patrons permitted in the facility at one time is limited to 75% of the facility’s rated occupancy. Consequently, patrons are required to sign up for a workout time via Schedulicity. We ask that if you will not be using the Center during the scheduled time, you cancel in Schedulicity at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Schedulicity will open at 12:00 noon the day before to sign up for the following day.

Patrons must stay within their allotted workout time and exit the facility promptly so that the facility can be cleaned for the next group.

COVID-19 Risk Reduction:

Traffic patterns have changed in the facility. People will access the Funkhouser Center via the main entrance and exit via the door facing Dinkel Avenue.

Patrons should wash their hands frequently while in the facility, including when entering and exiting the facility.

Masks are required throughout the facility at all times including the studio, weight room and basketball courts. Masks may be removed if they impair your breathing on the Cardio equipment.
Social distance spacing between patrons is required. A minimum of 10 feet must be maintained in exercise areas and a minimum of six feet in other areas.

Patrons are required to clean all equipment before and after use. Wipes are available throughout the facility.

To adhere to social distancing policies, safety rails on the Smith Press and half-rack should be used instead of spotting. Do not lift maximum loads or perform exercises that may require a spotter. Safety is key.

Other:

The gymnasium is open for a limited number of people. One person per hoop and no sharing of
equipment. A basketball goal may be reserved on Schedulicity.

The following areas are closed: men’s and women’s locker rooms, the racquetball court and the
track. This is due to the inability to maintain safe social distancing in these areas.

Equipment and towel checkout are not available. Forward Virginia mandates that exercise equipment that cannot be thoroughly disinfected after each use may not be used.


Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Partnership

The College has well-established partnerships with VDH and Carilion Clinic. Our contact at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is Dr. Laura Kornegay. Her contact information is below:

Laura Kornegay
Virginia Department of Health
100 North Mason Street
P.O. Box 26
Harrisonburg, VA 22803
(540) 574-5101

VDH will provide the College with the system that Student Health Services will use to notify VDH of any positive cases among students. Students are to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Student Health Services to avoid anonymous reports made directly to VDH.​  As faculty and staff become aware of potential exposure and seek care from their own healthcare providers, the College highly recommends that they report that to Human Resources so that contact tracing can be conducted and return to work protocols can be followed.

The College is 10 miles from Sentara RMH Hospital in Harrisonburg, 25 miles from Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville, and 56 miles from the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Students and employees who may need hospitalization will choose the health care facility based on personal preference.

Contact tracing is the identification, monitoring, and support of individuals who have been in contact with patients with confirmed or probable diagnoses of COVID-19 and who, therefore, have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus. Prompt identification, voluntary quarantine, and monitoring of COVID-19 contacts can effectively break the chain of disease transmission and prevent further spread of the virus in a community.

VDH has committed to take the lead in conducting contact tracing related to cases that involve the College’s employees and students. The College will provide support for VDH’s efforts as requested by VDH.

Surveillance or proactive prevalence testing by the College is not planned at this time. Rather, VDH plans to respond to case reports with full contact tracing and testing for confirmed or suspected cases.


Events

In an effort to limit the transmission of the virus, Bridgewater College is restricting access to all College facilities until further notice. Only faculty, staff, authorized vendors and contractors, currently enrolled students, prospective students and their families, and authorized guests invited by the College are permitted in campus facilities. Additionally, permitted campus visitors should wear a face covering while on campus and observe other health and safety guidelines as described in this Guide (e.g., symptom self-assessment, wash hands frequently, maintain physical distancing). Appropriate signage announcing limited access to College facilities will be posted.

For all events on campus the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • Virginia Executive Order 72, issued December 10, 2020, and effective through January 31, 2021, revised restrictions on the manner in which individuals may gather on campus. Indoor meetings, events, programs and social gatherings, other than educational instructional meetings led or conducted by a faculty or staff member, are limited to ten (10) or fewer attendees. Any educational instructional meeting involving students, other than in connection with an academic course, at which more than ten (10) attendees are anticipated must be approved in advance by the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students. Regardless of the setting or the number of attendees, physical distancing of at least six (6) feet and use of face coverings are required. This limitation does not apply to the presence of more than ten (10) individuals performing functions of their employment. The use of dining facilities will continue to be governed by other provisions of this guide and the provisions of Executive Order 72 applicable to restaurants.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.

The ODAC plans for all teams to compete in condensed seasons during the spring semester. The Athletic Department is releasing spring schedules.


Shutdown Considerations

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. VDH will be the agency to declare an outbreak if one occurs. Once VDH declares an outbreak, the College will continue to follow the directions of VDH and CDC regarding any response and mitigation efforts and cooperate with VDH for investigations and contact tracing.

Any decision regarding campus dismissal or shutdown will be made in consultation and coordination with VDH. The College will comply with the direction provided by VDH regarding whether conditions mandate a temporary dismissal or a shutdown. For example, an initial shorter-term dismissal may allow time for VDH to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the College and for custodial staff to clean and disinfect any affected facilities. The need for an extended dismissal may be based on what VDH discovers from contact tracing. If there is substantial transmission in the local community, VDH may suggest an extended dismissal or shutdown. Regardless, the College will comply with VDH guidance.


COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

  • COVID-19 is primarily spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, shouts or sings.
  • You may also become infected by touching your mouth, nose or eyes after sharing or handling any object or touching a public surface contaminated by the virus.
  • Because COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close proximity to one another, it is important to avoid contact and physically distance (at least six feet) from others when possible, and all employees are required to wear a face covering while on campus (see below).
  • Because COVID-19 can be spread through contact with surfaces and objects, frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfection of public surfaces also are critical to preventing the spread of the disease.

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those conditions include:

  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • immunocompromised from solid organ transplant
  • obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
  • serious heart conditions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • people 65 years and older

Other conditions may result in an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • moderate to severe asthma
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypertension
  • immunocompromised state
  • liver disease
  • pregnancy
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

To review the CDC’s current list of conditions, look here.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to advise the College if they have a condition that may place them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. All health-related information is kept confidential.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face.
  • Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or use the inside of your elbow) and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Physical distancing is a simple and very effective way to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Because people can spread the virus before having symptoms, it is important to keep physical distance from others when possible. In practice, this means:

  • Stay approximately six feet away from others as a normal practice, including while waiting in line to enter a building or office.
  • Eliminate physical contact with others, such as handshakes and embracing coworkers, fellow students, visitors or friends.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible (e.g., phones, desks and other office equipment)
  • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the buildings or spaces.
  • Supervisors should consider placing tape on floors to mark off approximately six feet for individuals to stand apart, using a material that does not damage the floor or other surfaces.
  • Remind individuals to avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water frequently to reduce the risk of potential person-to-person infections.

CARES Act – last updated 11/23/20

Update 5-18-20

The direct deposit payments for the CARES Act Emergency Grants have been authorized today. If you are eligible for the grant AND completed registration for direct deposit, you should have received a system-generated email informing you of the pending payment. It may take a couple days for the banks (yours and the College’s) to complete the transaction. Please contact Student Accounts if you believe you should receive a grant by direct deposit and do not see it in your bank account by Friday of this week.

We will begin printing checks for grant payments tomorrow. As noted previously, processing and mailing paper checks will take a bit longer than usual due to remote work conditions for our staff. If you are eligible for the CARES grant and did not choose direct deposit, please allow two weeks for receipt of your check, at the mailing address on file with the College.

Update 5-14-20: Cares Act Emergency Grants for Students

The CARES Act Emergency Grants have been credited to eligible student accounts. The grant, in the amount of $575, is identified on your account with the designation “CARES Act Emergency Grant”. In accordance with federal guidelines, we initiated a request last week with the College’s bank to establish a separate checking account from which to distribute the funds. This will enable the most accurate tracking of student payments and allow for required federal reporting. The bank has advised us that the set up for this account may take several more days. We have requested expedited handling of our request, and will update this page when payments have been issued. Please continue to be patient with this process. We are getting very close!

Update 5-13-20: Cares Act Emergency Grants for Students

The CARES Act Emergency Grants have been credited to eligible student accounts. The grant, in the amount of $575, is identified on your account with the designation “CARES Act Emergency Grant”. In accordance with federal guidelines, we initiated a request last week with the College’s bank to establish a separate checking account from which to distribute the funds. This will enable the most accurate tracking of student payments and allow for required federal reporting. The bank has advised us that the set up for this account may take several more days. We have requested expedited handling of our request, and will update this page when payments have been issued. Please continue to be patient with this process. We are getting very close!

What if I don’t see the CARES grant on my account?

The US Department of Education (DeptEd) provided guidance subsequent to the initial funding announcement, restricting eligibility for the grants to students who are eligible for federal Title IV student aid. The College has communicated directly, via email, with those students who we believe are not eligible under the guidelines, and provided additional information. Generally, if you have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the College, you are eligible for this grant. If you believe you are eligible for federal student aid under Title IV and do not see the CARES grant credited to your student account, please contact the Financial Aid office at finaid@bridgewater.edu.

What do I need to do now?

Nothing! A refund request form will not be required to receive the CARES Act Emergency Grant ($575). We will process those account credits as an automatic payment, separate from fee refunds. As noted above, federal reporting requirements for the grants necessitated a new account setup with the College’s bank. We are waiting on that final account setup now, which has been slower than usual due to COVID-19 impacts within the banking industry. We are reminding our bank partners daily that our students are waiting on these grants, and they have promised to expedite our request as much as possible. We would like to provide a definite date for disbursement of the grants, but we simply do not have one as of today. We will update this page when direct deposit payments have been issued and the schedule for paper checks is known. 

As noted several times, direct deposit will be the fastest and most secure way to receive these payments. Thanks to many of you who have responded to this recommendation and completed the direct deposit registration! 

There is still time to sign up for direct deposit if you have not already done so. This is a separate direct deposit sign-up from the one you may have completed for student wages in the Paycom system. If you are a student employee, that direct deposit registration will not transfer to Student Accounts. As a reminder, follow these instructions if you need to sign up for direct deposit of student account funds:  

For Direct Deposit: Login to MYBC, select Self Service Menu, select Banking Information, and select Add Account.  Complete the form. This will be the most secure and fastest way to receive any refunds or credits from your account. If you do not have a bank account, paper checks will be mailed to the address on file. Due to the current remote working requirements for College staff, the paper checks will take longer to process.

How can I use the money I receive from the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

The US Department of Education (DeptEd) requires that the student funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). When the pandemic caused the College’s transition to online-only instruction and the effective closure of our campus, every enrolled student experienced some degree of financial challenge. We’ve heard from many of you and understand you incurred unexpected costs related to internet service at home, additional devices needed to remotely access campus resources or additional living expenses at home. For this reason, the College elected to distribute the CARES student funds equally to all eligible students. In accordance with DeptEd guidance above, you may not leave the CARES Act Emergency Grant on your student account to pay an outstanding balance or a deposit. 

What if I don’t want/need this grant?

If you do not believe you have incurred expenses such as those indicated by DeptEd and described above, or for some other reason do not wish to receive the grant, please contact Student Accounts at student_accounts@bridgewater.edu as soon as possible. Any unclaimed grants will be placed into a special fund for supplemental COVID-related emergency student grants, in accordance with DeptEd guidelines. In other words, any declined grants will help other students in need, and will not be used for any other College purpose.

Are the CARES emergency grants taxable?

The College is not advising students on the potential tax consequences of these payments. We suggest you monitor information provided by the Internal Revenue Service and/or consult with a tax professional if you have questions.

download the Cares Act Public Report (5/26/20)
REQUIRED REPORTING ON CARES ACT EMERGENCY STUDENT GRANTSUpdated: May 26, 2020Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received itsallocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

 

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 26, 2020 is $876,875.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1551.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid

Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 26, 2020 is 1525.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this COVID-19 & CARES Act Information page. See specifically messages dated April 16, April 22 and May 18 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.

July 10, 2020

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 10, 2020 is $895,275.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1,559.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 10, 2020 is 1557.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this COVID-19 & CARES Act Information page. See specifically messages dated April 16, April 22 and May 18 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.

August 24, 2020

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 24, 2020 is $895,275.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1,559.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 24, 2020 is 1557.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this page. See specifically messages dated May 18, May 26, July 10, and August 24 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.

October 12, 2020

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of October 12, 2020 is $895,275.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1,559.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of October 12, 2020 is 1557.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this page. See specifically messages dated May 18, May 26, July 10, August 24, and October 12, 2020 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.

November 23, 2020 – final

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of November 23, 2020 is $899,990.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1,559.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of October 12, 2020 is 1557.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this page. See specifically messages dated May 18, May 26, July 10, August 24, and October 12, 2020 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.


FAQs for Employees

Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should use the self-monitoring questionnaire to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students (e.g., email, Canvas, Paycom).

At this time, the symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to work, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. If you experience symptoms while you are at work, inform your supervisor immediately. You may be asked to return home. In either case, you should consult your health care provider. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to report for or return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should contact 911 immediately.

An employee who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-10, must self-isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

Consistent with VDH recommendations, employees and students are not required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus or at certain intervals.

If an employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, the employee should consult their health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19.

If an employee receives notification of a positive test for COVID-19, they must immediately notify Human Resources and await instructions on next steps, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee who tests positive or receives a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If the employee is symptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

If the employee is asymptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive test; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

For employees, if you have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate, consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing quarantine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19; and
  • The employee is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

“Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

“Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus should follow the recommendations of their health care provider, as well as the CDC and VDH, regarding quarantine or isolation. Employees must contact Human Resources and inform the College if their health care provider has recommended quarantine or isolation. Employees may not return to work until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above.


Campus Experience

You should always have a mask with you when on campus, as masks are required for students in classrooms as well as when you cannot guarantee six feet of social distance can be maintained, whether inside or outside. For example, masks are required when walking around campus during class changes, when moving through a campus building, or when in a meeting where six feet social distance cannot be maintained. Please read on for more specific information about the College’s face covering requirements.

Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty and staff on campus in indoor spaces, including but not limited to, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any setting on campus when an employee or student engages with another person. Unless otherwise permitted by special exception, students must wear face coverings at all times in classrooms and laboratories. The College continues to evaluate best practices for wearing face coverings in the classroom and laboratory settings, while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.

Students and employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following circumstances: when an employee is the sole occupant of a room, such as one’s office, or in a private vehicle; when a student is alone in the student’s residence hall room or with only the student’s roommate(s); in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least six feet is maintained; when an employee or student is eating; when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least 10 feet can be maintained; and if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees and students will be required to provide their own face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee or student forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Invited visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. The College will provide disposable face coverings for each office suite. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors may have a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering. An employee seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Human Resources at humanresources@bridgewater.edu to make the request. A student seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Dr. Chip Studwell, director of academic support and disability services, at cstudwell@bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5370, to make the request. Individuals who are hearing impaired may also have difficulty communicating and lip reading if face coverings are used. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained using alternative solutions.

After initial communication from the College, an informational campaign highlighting prosocial behavioral expectations will be launched, including the need for face coverings and physical distancing.  This will include but is not limited to posters in campus buildings including academic buildings, residence halls, social media posts, and digital screen advertisements.

Student Life will provide an online reporting form for Community members to use who have concerns about non-compliance by students with the face covering requirement. Student Life will review submissions and determine the need for educational reinforcement. Intentional disregard for behavioral expectations may result in a referral to student conduct.

The College will implement the following strategies to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be marked clearly non-distanced.
  • For courses that cannot be accommodated in distanced classrooms effectively, faculty may employ the modified “hy-flex” model of instruction in which students will rotate between in-person and remote instruction. Faculty will assign students to rotating groups, and classroom technology will be enhanced to provide robust remote instruction.
  • Large course enrollments that cannot be accommodated reasonably in distanced classrooms, including use of the modified “hy-flex” model described above, may be divided into smaller-sized sections.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and staff can practice appropriate physical distancing.

Remote tutoring services will be provided to comply with physical distancing protocols.

Whenever possible, work areas will be arranged to allow separation of approximately six feet between stations. Where six feet of distancing is not feasible, division heads and directors can consider alternative measures to mitigate potential exposure, such as the following:

  • Staggered work shifts.
  • Shields or physical barriers that may be installed where practical and permitted, subject to state building code.
  • Conversion of large meeting rooms into workstations to increase opportunities for physical distancing.
  • Visual cues such as colored tape or signs to indicate to visitors where they should stand while waiting in line. (Take care to avoid damaging floors). Supplies should be ordered through Facilities.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space.
  • Designated stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.
  • Evaluate all meetings, conferences and special events to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone).
  • If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:
  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.
  • You should avoid direct contact with hard surfaces in communal areas, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, water coolers/fountains, chairs, tables.
  • You are encouraged to use paper towels to touch any surface and use wipes to disinfect before and after every use.
  • You should clean communal spaces throughout the day.
  • You must determine if shared utensils, condiments and other like items need to be temporarily removed from shared spaces.

To maintain distancing, staff and faculty are encouraged to use alternate sites for breaks, which may include their workstations, unoccupied meeting rooms, cars or outside space, if available and weather permitting. Employees will not be permitted to eat in the main dining hall.

Staff and faculty eating in their work environment (e.g., break room, office) should maintain six feet of distance between themselves. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Face coverings should only be removed in order to eat, and then put back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break rooms to support physical distancing practices between staff and faculty. Faculty and staff should wipe all surfaces in common areas (e.g., tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines) before and after use.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to use paper products and disposable utensils to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

If travel is required for work, staff and faculty should ride alone in vehicles where operationally feasible. Staff and faculty who normally have multiple employees in the vehicle due to safety or work standards must wear face coverings.

If the driver is alone throughout the trip, a face covering is not necessary. If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants must wear face coverings. Staff and faculty do not need to wear a face covering if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Staff and faculty who travel to multiple work locations and/or enter retail establishments as part of their job responsibilities should be reminded that they must follow the safety guidelines established for the specific worksite and retail establishment. Physical distancing guidelines must be followed and face coverings must be worn as described in relevant guidelines while performing work for the College.


Human Resources

We understand that some employees may request to continue to work remotely for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19 risk status or childcare, for example. The College’s new telework policy is found here. The online request form for continuation of teleworking is found here and should be submitted to Human Resources for review at HumanResources@bridgewater.edu.

The College provides an employee assistance program to employees and family members with free, comprehensive support through the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These resources include:

  • Counseling and Well-being
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Management and HR Consultation

Training and Education Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-346-5484.

More information is available at www.anthemeap.com

Upon returning to work on campus, all employees are required to complete COVID-19 training. The training will include information on the following topics:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma

Signage will be posted across campus with reminders of how to stay safe and keep others safe.

In addition to its usual Paid Time Off policy, the College adopted an Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy to address the impact of COVID-19. The Policy provides employees with up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.