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COVID-19 Response Health & Safety Plan
The Fall 2020-Spring 2021 school year will look a little different, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lingers. To keep our community safe, a number of safety measures and operational adjustments will be in place. All Faculty/Staff and students will be asked to monitor their health for symptoms. Also, as the situation around COVID-19 tends to change rapidly, MDCC is committed to remaining flexible and will be ready to adjust safety measures and operations as deemed appropriate. Check the COVID-19 page frequently for updates..
Currently, MDCC anticipates implementing the following safety protocols:
MDCC recognizes the need to provide ongoing information and guidance pertaining to its COVID-19 response efforts. A public health communication campaign to educate the MDCC community and their responsibility for reducing the spread of the virus is critical to a safe reopening of the College facilities. The communication plan will provide clear and relevant information to students, faculty and staff on COVID 19-related information prior to and during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2020 semester:
- MDCC website: updates, FAQ and CDC videos will be prominently placed on the College’s website and on flat panel display screens already in place throughout all campuses
- Specifically-designed signage placed in high traffic areas outside and inside each MDCC location will remind students, faculty, staff and visitors of social distancing, PPE availability and requirements, health hygiene and other related messaging
Based on guidance from the CDC and public health authorities regarding the safety risk of community spread of COVID-19. All individuals on the Mississippi Delta Community College campus (including buildings, grounds, shared common areas etc.) must wear a face covering or mask except when alone in a private room, alone in a vehicle, or alone outdoors and at least 30 feet from another person.
- This policy applies to all members of the MDCC community including faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors
- Individuals unable to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) may seek an exemption or accommodation by contacting the Disability Support Services Coordinator, P.O Box 668; Moorhead, MS: Phone 662.246.6361 or Email ADAcompliance@msdelta.edu.
- Students who refuse to wear a face covering as outlined will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services for potential violation(s) of the Code of Conduct Addendum
Note: Cloth face coverings provide a guard against spreading potentially infected droplets to other individuals and discourage people from touching their faces and potentially infecting themselves with unclean hands. Face coverings used at the college must adhere to the following:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
- Completely cover the nose and mouth
- Secured properly with ties or ear loops
- Include at least two layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
Disposable face coverings intended for one-time use are also acceptable, as long as the wearer follows the manufacturer's directions.
If you are in need of an appropriate face covering, please visit the MDCC Bookstore to purchase an approved face covering.
MDCC supports the use of face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and healthy. Cough or sneeze into your elbow (even when wearing mask) to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
All Faculty, Staff and Students must monitor their own health on a daily basis. Ask
yourself the following questions as part of a daily self-assessment. Answer yes or
no to each question, every day.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS IN THE PAST 24 HOURS?
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Vomiting or diarrhea
HAVE YOU HAD ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS IN THE PAST 24 HOURS NOT RELATED TO ALLERGIES?
- Sinus congestion
- Runny nose
WHAT TO DO NEXT
- If you answered NO to all: Report to class, work or college activities and comply with all relevant guidelines on-campus
- If you answered YES to two or more symptoms: Do not attend classes and contact your healthcare provider, your instructors and complete the Self Report Form.
Conduct a Daily Self-Assessment. Sick persons must stay home. This includes anyone exhibiting symptoms who is not yet diagnosed with an illness. Employees must follow appropriate policies for providing notice when sick. The college provides several leave and benefit options for our employees. If an employee shows up to work and is symptomatic, their supervisor must direct them to leave the workplace immediately and report the incident to Human Resources. Employees who come on college property while they have been directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine will be subject to discipline.
When an individual who has been on campus receives a confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, if an employee, immediately notify the Director of Human Resources and if a student, immediately notify the VP of Student Services. Once a diagnosis is reported to the College, the following steps shall be taken:
- Human Resources will contact the employee and Student Services will contact the student to verify the diagnosis. HR or Student Services will advise the individual that his/her self-disclosure is appreciated, that he/she will not be discriminated or retaliated against because of the diagnosis and that, while information about the diagnosis may be shared with others, the individual will not be identified by name.
- The individual shall be instructed to stay home for at least 10 days (or longer if recommended by his/her health care provider or the health department).
- In order to identify the scope of the risk immediately, the College will interview the individual to determine who they may have come into close contact with during the 5-day period prior to the positive test. The individual shall also be asked to identify all areas on the campus where he/she was physically present during the Incubation Period.
- The College will assist the local health department with the contact tracing of each person identified by the infected individual and all persons who were in any identified areas of the campus. The College shall notify the individuals who have been in recent contact with the infected individual and/or with whom they recently shared a common area. “Contacts” shall be instructed that, out of an abundance of caution, the College is requesting that they not return to campus for at least 10 days since the last point of contact and or 7 days if an individual has a negative test result. The “contacts” should be encouraged to self-isolate and seek all medical care and testing that they feel may be appropriate. The “contacts” should also be reminded that discrimination or retaliation against individuals that are suspected to have tested positive for, or been exposed to, COVID-19 (or any other illness) is strictly prohibited. HR and Student Services will follow up with “contacts” during the isolation period to monitor status and provide guidance on returning to work or school.
- The College will issue a notice that an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 (without identifying the individual). Employees will be notified directly by the College and/or local Health Department if there is a possibility of close contact with or shared a common space with the infected individual.
- Those areas of the campus identified by the infected individual will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- The following administrators shall be notified by HR or Student Services once a confirmed
diagnosis has been communicated to HR or Student Services:
- Tyrone Jackson, College President
- Don Lee, Director of Facilities Maintenance (ensures prompt and timely cleaning)
- Melaney Emerson, Director of Public Relations (ensures timely notice and media preparedness)
- The employee’s direct supervisor or the student’s instructor.
Protocols for Individuals Who Have Been in Close Contact with a Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
This information is for individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has been positively diagnosed with COVID-19. Close contact means being closer than six feet apart for 15 minutes within a 24 hour period. Close contact does not mean walking by or briefly being in the same room. The following outlines the procedure for individuals who have been confirmed to be a “close contact” with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Faculty or supervisors/managers must:
- Request that the student or employee leave the campus immediately to self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms and seek public health or medical advice if symptoms appear.
- Faculty should notify the VP of Student Services and Supervisors/Managers should notify the Director of Human Resources. Faculty and supervisors should be prepared to provide information such as seating charts or office configurations, campus locations accessed, equipment used, etc.
- Supervisors, identify an alternative individual to perform the employee's duties if the employee’s duties cannot be completed in an alternate work schedule.
- Faculty should identify an option to allow the student to continue to participate remotely.
- The VP of Student Services and the Director of Human Resources will remain in contact with the student or employee to stay informed of their health status and help them feel connected and supported.
- Notify the VP of Student Services at email@example.com providing campus location(s) used as well as the names of any individual(s) with whom you had contact while on campus
- Contact your instructors by email
- Prepare to leave the campus immediately
- Self-isolate, self-monitor for symptoms, and seek medical and/or public health advice if symptoms appear in accordance with public health direction
- Notify your supervisor immediately providing campus location(s) used as well as the names of any individual(s) with whom you had contact while on campus.
- Prepare to leave the campus immediately
- Self-isolate, self-monitor for symptoms, and seek medical and/or public health advice if symptoms appear in accordance with public health direction.
If you had close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, self quarantine (stay home) and monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days after your last contact or 7 days if an individual has a negative screen. If you live in the same household as someone who has a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, self-quarantine for 10 days or for 7 days if an individual has a negative screen. Monitor for symptoms, even if mild, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. If at any point you develop symptoms, contact your health care provider by phone to find out if you should be evaluated. Let them know you are a close contact of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
MDCC will be offering classes in traditional (face-to-face), hybrid, HyFlex and online formats and in accordance with CDC guidelines. Because of the fluidity of the situation, MDCC instructors will be prepared to convert to an all-online format if needed. Due to curriculum requirements, this does not include health science and career-technical courses .
Use of Mississippi Delta Community College facilities by visitors is limited to approved contractors. While working at MDCC, contractors are expected to comply with MDCC-provided COVID-19 safety materials and follow all requirements, including but not limited to, COVID-19 CDC and OSHA guidance. Contractors are only permitted to enter assigned MDCC buildings or areas. If access to other buildings is needed for unforeseen circumstances, entry must be approved in advance and limited to the minimum number of employees required to accomplish the task. Contractors are not to loiter or socialize in MDCC work areas or offices. Contractors working at MDCC are expected to wear cloth face coverings in accordance with CDC guidelines whenever they are in common areas (e.g., hallways, classrooms, recreational facilities, work areas, shuttles, elevators, restrooms or retail spaces) or any other areas where it may be difficult to maintain a minimum six-foot distance from other persons.
MDCC will have limited dining services during the Fall 2020-Spring 2021 semesters with a combination of prepackaged food and cafeteria-style services available for purchase from MDCC’s Cafeteria. The food service provider will offer practical services such as boxed meals and grab-and-go options also. The use of seating areas in the cafeteria will be limited with modified furniture configurations, social distancing signage and other safety controls. Eating in groups will be discouraged with many seating areas marked for limited seating only. When not eating or drinking, individuals will be required to wear face coverings in dining areas on campus. Hours of operation will be extended to minimize exposure and reduce the number of individuals eating in the cafeteria at the same time.
MDCC will offer housing for a limited number of students in the Fall 2020-Spring 2021 semesters. Housing and Residence Life will require face coverings in all common spaces when physical distancing cannot be achieved. Signage will be displayed in the interior and exterior of buildings describing COVID-19 protocols and expected standards of behavior.
Residential students who have COVID-19 or are suspected to have COVID-19 will be isolated in a separate location until they can leave the residence hall for the remainder of their isolation. Housing and Residence Life will facilitate these arrangements.
MDCC will offer Trojan Rides for the Fall 2020 semester. The transportation seating arrangements offered by our providers have been modified to promote social distancing. The vehicles will operate at half capacity. Students will be required to maintain a 6ft social distance and will be required to wear a mask at all times.
Physical barriers, such as plexiglass screens, are installed in areas where extended face-to-face services are provided, to the extent possible. Face coverings are still required in locations where physical barriers are installed.
MDCC is implementing the following measures in an effort to encourage social distancing and to avoid COVID-19 transmission at work. In implementing these measures, MDCC remains committed to compliance with all applicable building codes, laws and necessary security measures.
- Classrooms will be reconfigured to accommodate as many students as possible while maintaining proper physical distancing. These changes will impact the number of students allowed to register for each class.
- All learning spaces will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
- Each classroom will be equipped with cleaning supplies so that students and instructors may clean their areas before and after class.
- Cleaning supplies for classrooms and personal office spaces should not be purchased with department funds. Please work with college purchasing to obtain all sanitizing supplies.
- The college will provide cleaning/sanitation supplies for use in departmental reception areas.
- All common areas of the college, restrooms and high-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned by MDCC custodial staff throughout the day. Deep cleaning and sanitation will take place each afternoon.
- Hand-sanitizing stations will be available at multiple locations in all campus buildings.
- All members of the MDCC community are encouraged to follow proper hygiene guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include:
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds, especially after using shared surfaces.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, hands and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. Throw the tissue away after use and properly wash your hands afterwards.
- DO NOT attend school or work if you are feeling ill. Check yourself daily for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches and excessive fatigue. DO NOT return to work or school until you have been symptom free for at least three days.
This fall, we anticipate that limited on-campus college sponsored events will be permitted, but attendees must follow physical distancing guidelines, and all participants will be required to wear face coverings. Additionally, at all events a log of attendees must be maintained regardless of event size. The number of attendees will be limited based on capacity of the event location and the current COVID-19 situation in the larger community.
NOTE: MDCC will not host any non-college sponsored events in the Fall 2020 semester. We will continue to monitor COVID cases and revaluate this position for the Spring 2021 semester.
School-sponsored travel will be limited in the Fall 2020-Spring 2021 semesters and must be approved by the President.
Please note: The Return to Work Plan can and will be modified as conditions change. We will notify the MDCC Family as soon as changes are made.
Employees and students who refuse to comply with this Return Plan are subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the applicable faculty, staff, or student handbook policy. If an employee or student indicates compliance is not possible due to medical reasons, the individual should be referred to the appropriate College office to request accommodations on the basis of disability.
Employees and students who would like to request accommodations should contact the Disability Support Services Coordinator or ADAcompliance@msdelta.edu for more information about the accommodation request process, necessary documentation, and to discuss the interactive process used to determine reasonable accommodations based upon each staff member’s unique needs.
Shutdown Considerations If Necessitated by Severe Conditions and/or Public Health Guidance
MDCC’s decisions regarding dismissals or temporary shutdowns will be made in consultation with local and state public health officials. MDCC places the health of students, faculty and staff above all other concerns. Should local conditions change requiring state authorities to renew public health restrictions related to COVID-19, MDCC is prepared to return to fully-remote operations. If a reduction of campus activity is needed, the College’s operating status will be communicated through the TROJAN Alert system, the College website, social media pages and public communication channels.