COVID-19 Safety Plan FAQs

For the safety of our students, staff, faculty and guests, Andrews University has developed a COVID-19 Safety Plan. This FAQ provides responses and details to questions related to our in-person operations.

 

COVID-19 Safety Plan & COVID-19 Response Team

The COVID-19 Safety Plan can be accessed on the Changing World web page, using this link: andrews.edu/worldchangers/changingworld/features/policy/.

The COVID-19 Response Team is coordinated by Ben Panigot, director of Campus Safety. Other members include Darcy de Leon, director of Human Resources; Alyssa Palmer, associate dean for Campus & Student Life; Steve Nash, director of Facilities Management; as well as the Case Management Unit (staff members Kelly Gabriel and Jonathan Picon and volunteer Ricardo Moss).

The COVID-19 Safety Plan has been reviewed by the Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) and public health professionals. The Response Team Coordinator  maintains close consultation with the BCHD. Several members of the Case Management Unit have completed the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s five-module Coursera COVID-19 Contact Training course and Calvin College’s COVID-19 Response Team training webinar.

The Unit knows how to respond to a probable or positive COVID-19 case, and how to determine who else might be at risk of contagion. See relative sections below.

The Response Team will continue to research, implement and monitor COVID-19 best practices (i.e. installing ionization systems where there is shared air in the residence halls, installing more water bottle filling stations, making adjustments as directed by the BCHD in quarantine protocols). The Team will continue to issue new guidance through timely email updates and periodic updates to the COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Reporting COVID-19 Concerns

Please address all questions and concerns to covid19@andrews.edu. This email is reviewed daily by members of the COVID-19 Response Team.

If you prefer, you may share an anonymous concern by filing an incident report. See directions on how to do so below. Please note that in filing an anonymous concern, it may limit some of the University’s ability to respond.

Go to the footer (bottom) of the Andrews University website and click on “Campus Feedback.” Choose “Incident Report” under “Report a Concern” and complete the fields requested.

Covenant of Care

Yes! You have a choice, but you can’t choose the consequence.

You do have a choice to not abide by the COVID-19 restrictions outlined in the Covenant. However, you won’t be able to make that choice and continue to be a student at Andrews University.

Students will be in violation of Code #31 of the Code of Student Conduct and will be required to come into immediate compliance before participating in any specified activity.

Depending on the pattern or severity, consequences may include warnings, suspension from all face-to-face classes and activities, or a suspension from the University.

Those who intentionally attend gatherings off-campus with more than 10 people indoors or 100 people outdoors or where attendees are less than six feet from others for 15 minutes or more (with or without face masks) will receive a major consequence.

Such gatherings, regardless of whether or not they include alcohol or other substances, are serious violations of the Covenant. They create the potential for superspreading that in turn may risk lives as well as lead to jeopardizing the University’s ability to continue to offer face-to-face learning opportunities.

  • Attendees will receive at minimum a 14-day suspension from all face-to-face activities.
  • Planners/hosts of such gatherings will be suspended from the University and withdraw from classes for at least a semester.

A violation of this Covenant would constitute a violation of the Employee Handbook and may lead to disciplinary processes.

Depending on the pattern or severity of the conduct, consequences may include warnings, 14-day suspension from all face-to-face work activities, and/or termination of employment.

Academics

Though a class may offer both an in-person option and a Zoom-based option, the Zoom-based option is reserved for students who made an official request to VP Michael Nixon for an accomodation to study remotely for the fall semester.

This offer was available to all students and the request needed to have been made prior to the start of the fall 2020 semester.

Students who are registered for a particular learning modality are expected to remain in that modality, except with express permission from the faculty and dean. For example, students who are cleared for remote learning should remain in that modality because they may not have the COVID-19 testing clearance to be face-to-face. Approval from the faculty and dean will help ensure that we follow our due diligence process before permission is granted.

Students should speak first with their professor to share their concerns. The professor will work with the relevant entities on campus (i.e. the COVID-19 Response Team) to see if there are options available to ensure proper physical distancing. If a conversation with the professor does not lead to a solution, speak with the following entities in this order: 1) your advisor; 2) department chair; 3) academic dean and 4) the provost.

Professors receive updates via iVue that note if you are:

  1. Cleared for face-to-face classes
  2. NOT cleared for face-to-face classes
  3. NOT cleared to attend face-to-face classes— temporary remote

If you are unable to be face-to-face we will encourage teachers to communicate directly with you as to how best to stay current with your coursework. Please contact your teacher directly via email with your questions and concerns. 

Yes, if you are sick and in quarantine or isolation, your attendance will be excused. Professors will receive an iVue alert (from a Student Life dean) that a student is NOT cleared to attend face-to-face classes and will be temporarily remote. In that notification, professors will be asked to excuse attendance if the student is not well enough to participate. 

No, not necessarily.

Only certain high risk symptoms (test positive, close contact, fever, loss of taste/smell) or reports of symptoms over the course of several days will lead to a notification alert to your professors in iVue, if deemed appropriate by the Case Management Unit post-screening. If a student reports symptoms in Campus Clear and receives a notification that they are “NOT cleared to attend class, work, or campus events,” it is the responsibility of the student to notify their professor and make remote learning arrangements.

In notifying a professor, the student should email the professor a screenshot of the Campus Clear notification to stay home. 

Campus Events/Co-curricular

It is the University's intention that the EZCheck.me will be leveraged across campus for not only campus-wide events (including clubs and organizations) but departmental events or gatherings for the purpose of remote or in-person attendance collection.

Yes, attendance will be taken at all campus events for contact tracing purposes. In the event someone tests positive, contact tracers may need to access data related to campus event attendance to efficiently identify and quarantine those who had close contact with the confirmed case.

Whether a student is studying remotely or in-person, there are multiple options and flexibility with smaller group venues, live streaming, multiple virtual venues, as well as service learning opportunities to fulfill co-curricular expectations.

Undergraduate students studying face to face on campus will be required to earn 26 credits (with a 9-credit Pulse Group minimum and, for residents, a 5-credit Residence Hall minimum). Undergraduate students who have received an accomodation for remote or hybrid study will be required to earn 13 credits. 

Club Registration

Clubs can be registered using the Club Registration Form (below). Once this form is submitted, a copy goes to the club sponsor for approval. After sponsor approval, a copy goes to Ashley Neu, director of Student Activities & Involvement, who makes the final decision on a group’s status as a registered student organization for the 2020–2021 school year. The decision is then communicated via email.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GXUSzipbUIAbIWPtwgCSy2huTSqKhVOq-BB855y9mA4/edit

Event Request Forms

Event Request Forms (below) can be submitted by registered student organizations. These go first to the club sponsor for approval and then to the director of Student Activities & Involvement for final sign-off. If co-curricular credit is requested, the form will go to the director of co-curricular education, as well, for approval to issue credit. Events may not be promoted without event approval. Please bring your event approval verification (sent to you via email at the end of the approval process) when you come to the Student Life office to stamp your promotional materials.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1E3CTCDm0r633Uj9Q8dVqSOteEg6tb-CH3oMU5eF9yac/edit.

Currently, in order to best reduce transmission risks and maximize the use of our custodial resources for safe campus operations, the University will not be able to host any community events on our campus at this time. 

Dining Services

Meal times in the Terrace Cafe are extended from previous years as follows:

  • Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–7 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12:30–2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–7 p.m.

A second serving line has also been added to the Café, and the Gazebo opened Sept. 1, 2020.

The Gazebo reopened with a reduced menu on Tuesday, Sept. 1.  When the new GetFood app is fully functional, the Gazebo’s full menu will be available for pick-up and takeout only. Please learn more details here.


Gazebo Hours:

  • Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Saturday, 6–9 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

There is no meal delivery for residential students who are sick and asked to not attend classes and campus activities but are not officially quarantined or isolated. Students should either:

a) ask a friend to take their I.D. to purchase a takeout meal on their behalf from Dining Services or
b) order from the Gazebo from the GetFood app and, since you are not quarantined, you can pick up the order yourself with little or no wait time, or
c) until the Gazebo app is functional, carefully navigate the Terrace Café (with face coverings and physically distancing) to get a takeout meal.

Screening

The COVID-19 Case Manager Unit is triaging, so not all those who report symptoms are called. Case Managers are contacting all potential cases. For example, if one person reports just fatigue/body aches for one day, the app says “NOT cleared to attend class, work or campus events,” and Case Managers don't call. However, Case Managers will call when someone reports the aches, or any symptom, two days in row; if they report more than one symptom in one day; or if they report one high-risk symptom (i.e. test positive, close contact, fever, loss of taste/smell).

A report is pulled from Campus Clear every day by 5:30 p.m. for those who report. A formula is applied to the data to filter for potential cases. Case Managers spend the evening contacting all potential cases to verify the report and to provide guidance.

If you are feeling sick, you are encouraged to stay home. Contact your healthcare provider or the University Medical Center 269-473-2222 by phone for tele-health guidance or call the Spectrum Health virtual screening phone line at 833-559-0659 or 616-391-2380 to see if testing is necessary.

This will help prevent additional spread of illness and save critical healthcare resources for those at highest risk and those who may need supportive care.

Please stay home when sick, as you may be at higher risk for escalation to illnesses such as COVID-19.

Since flu and COVID-19 symptoms can overlap, you are encouraged to get a flu shot this year. 

Testing

Our initial campus-wide testing for the University resulted in eight positive tests, all students. That was a 0.3 percent positivity rate. All individuals were asymptomatic and all have now been cleared from isolation by the Berrien County Health Department.

Around 20 individuals were quarantined in relation to those positive tests. Several have now been released and it will not be long for the rest. All of those individuals remained without symptoms and those who retested received a negative result.

The general purpose of the testing protocol and approach selected by Andrews University is to have a single snapshot of every member of our campus, taken within a focused, short period of time. This initial community data point was then used to respond quickly to confirmed cases of COVID-19 and to activate contact tracing and quarantine procedures as needed at the beginning of this school year.

The University does have additional tests and is determining how best to retest certain subsets of the campus population throughout the course of the semester.

For those with transportation, there are several testing sites available in Berrien County, some of which are at no cost. The list of sites can be accessed using this link: http://www.bchdmi.org/1692/Testing-for-COVID-19.

You can request a ride from the Andrews University Office of Transportation during their normal business hours to a medical appointment or testing site by completing this form. If it is an emergency and it is after hours or the weekend, call 269-471-6492.

Isolation/Quarantine

Individuals who test positive will be required to begin isolation. Isolation is a minimum of 10 days from the date of testing and a minimum of 24 hours without symptoms. The Berrien County Health Department will also be notified.

“Isolate” is used for someone who tested positive or is probable with symptoms (see above).

“Quarantine” is used for someone who was in close contact with a positive person at a distance of six feet or less for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask. The quarantine is for 14 days.

These factors are taken into consideration when determining if there was close contact:

  • Proximity—within six feet for 15 minutes or more, even if wearing a face mask. This includes riding with someone in a car.
  • Physical contact such as touching, hugging or kissing.
  • Sharing eating/drinking utensils.

Individuals identified as having close contact with a known case will be directed by the Case Management Unit to begin quarantine immediately. All quarantined individuals will be required to not access the campus until their quarantine has ended. Individuals living in University residences (apartments, houses or residence halls) will be required to stay in their residence.

The quarantine is a full 14 days from the last day of close contact and there is no way to shorten the time.

Students in quarantine with no symptoms are able to take a daily walk in non-populated areas. Residence hall students must coordinate their walks with their dean.

Residence hall students in quarantine will also be given the opportunity to directly contact the manager of the Andreasen Center for Wellness to arrange for personalized time in the outdoor courtyard.

If someone is in quarantine, they remain there for the full 14 days—they will not be able to use a negative test result as rationale to end earlier. This is according to the Berrien County Health Department (BCHD).

Individuals in isolation will have access to an outdoor area specifically designated for them and connected to their isolation residence. This area is not open to the public.

Follow CDC guidelines as noted below to protect yourself and others by remembering the three W’s:

1. Wash your hands
2. Wear your face coverings or masks
3. Watch your distance

NOTE: Being less than six feet away from others for 15 minutes or more:

  • Will violate the Covenant and may result in a suspension from all face-to-face campus activities for 14 days and/or
  • Will place you in a 14-day quarantine by the Berrien County Health Department, if exposed to a probable or positive case of COVID-19.

Facilities & Cleaning

An expanded list of Berrien Springs campus locations for water bottle refills, from A to U (the Administration Building to University Towers), is now available here.

Yes, students are expected to clean their personal space using the spray bottle received. The spray bottle can be refilled at several disinfectant refill stations on campus. Disinfectant refill stations are currently available in the following areas:

  • Lobbies of all three residence halls
  • Seminary Deans’ Office
  • Outside the Social & Behavioral Sciences office, second floor, Buller Hall
  • Chemistry office, Halenz Hall, Science Complex
  • Andrews University Bookstore
  • Airpark

Further information on the disinfectant is available online.

Your masks and health kit are available in the Student Life main office. Office hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m (12 on Friday) and Monday–Thursday, 1:30–5 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, daily hours of operation for all academic buildings will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Academic buildings, such as the architecture building, where students may need more access to use studios and other specialized spaces in order to complete projects, will be accessible to students after hours, using their ID cards.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, each academic building will have specified identifiers to indicate which access points are entrances, egress or exits. This change will be done to help ensure that there is little or no cross-traffic among the students.

After 10 p.m. most academic buildings will be closed. The James White Library will remain open until midnight Sunday–Thursday and noon on Fridays.

The Campus Center Lobby is available until 11 p.m.

Travel

Four days following your return you will be asked to take a COVID-19 test and impose additional careful restrictions on your face-to-face movements until you receive negative test results. A list of COVID-19 testing sites can be accessed using this link: http://www.bchdmi.org/1692/Testing-for-COVID-19.

Individuals who ride in a personal vehicle with a COVID-19 positive person will be quarantined. Remember that most individual’s vehicles are smaller than most indoor spaces. 

Thus, if you travel in a vehicle closer than six feet to someone who is probable or positive for COVID-19, for 15 minutes or more, you will end up in a 14-day quarantine.