Safe Return to Campus: Fall 2021
Hello, Mariners! The University System of Georgia recognizes COVID-19 vaccines offer safe, effective protection, and urges all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to get vaccinated either on campus or with a local provider. Additionally, everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering while inside campus facilities.
The University System continues to work closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health to prioritize the health and safety of the campus community. We will also continue to post reported case updates weekly, and Coastal Place Apartments will continue to be designated as quarantine space for students.
As we did in 2020-21, we will be flexible, we will be ready to adjust our protocols and procedures as needed, and we will emphasize important health measures to keep our community healthy.
We hope you have a great semester!
- Students: Have you tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19? Click here for next steps.
- Employees: Have you tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19? Click here for next steps.
- Coronavirus Updates
- Social Distancing
- Alternate Work Arrangements (Employees)
- Alternate Educational Arrangements (Students)
- Face Coverings
- Contact Tracing, Quarantine, and Isolation
- Events and Gatherings
- International Travel/Arrivals
- Student Life and Enrollment Management
- Employees who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and are exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are NOT required to quarantine and will not need to report to Human Resources.
- Employees who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and are exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 must immediately report to Human Resources. Human Resources will provide current CDC and DPH guidelines regarding the exposure.
- Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must immediately contact Human Resources for guidance.
Employees who must isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 illness or exposure may telework during this time with the approval of their supervisor. The nature of their position influence whether an employee is able to telework, since some positions are not able to be performed remotely.
When telework is not possible, employees who must isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 must use their accumulated leave to be away from work.
All faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The College of Coastal Georgia will continue to ensure vaccine availability to faculty, staff, and students either through vaccination opportunities on campus or in partnership with a local provider. The College is not responsible for assessing current COVID-19 vaccination rates. The USG issued the following statement relative to vaccines:
Note: Students, faculty, and staff who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.
- Vaccinations of employees will not be monitored nor maintained in any office unless needed for the department prior to COVID-19 (i.e., Nursing in the hospital).
- No student, faculty or staff member should be treated differently based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Students cannot be asked about their vaccine status and segregated in a classroom or from other instructor-student interactions (e.g., office hours, group work, field trips, labs, etc.) based on their vaccination status.
- College employees will continue to follow the guideline of the Governor’s Executive Order No. 03.33.21.02 and USG Policy on Other Leave (Board Policy 220.127.116.11 and Human Resource Administrative Policy Inclement Weather and Other Emergencies).
All employees of the USG, not including temporary employees, may use Non-Closure Emergency Leave for the purpose of COVID-19 vaccines. For additional information, please contact Human Resources.
The College will actively promote vaccination and will seek to offer vaccination clinics for students and employees with local healthcare partners.
Students may be required by off-campus partnering organizations to wear masks and/or be vaccinated as a condition of participation in experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad programs, externships and delivery of medical services.
In the context of contact notification/contact tracing, personnel conducting the notification may ask a person’s vaccination status and may ask for proof of vaccination; however, proof is not required. Vaccination status can be used to determine whether or not a person should quarantine after a close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19.
The expectations for quarantine and isolation remain the same and are in alignment with DPH Guidelines. Faculty should be prepared to accommodate students who are required to go into quarantine or isolation.
Outlined below are special considerations/protocols that have been developed or will remain in place until further review/notice.
Student Reporting, Quarantining, and Isolation
- The College will continue to require students to report if they have tested positive for COVID-19, been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated using the Online Reporting Form.
- The College will continue to use the quarantine and isolation protocol found in the Steps for Reporting Close Contact or Positive Test Results for Students document. This includes:
- Isolation/quarantine of residential students in designated vacant apartments in Coastal Place Apartments
- Academic adjustments made in cooperation with students’ faculty members
- Providing meals and snacks in cooperation with Aladdin Food Service
- Follow up and communication with the COVID-19 Response Team (CRT)
- Medical providers may use a patient's COVID-19 vaccination status as they would normally under the typical standard of care. Consistent with the normal standard of care, medical providers may ask for proof of COVID-19 vaccination in treating patients.
Residence Life and Housing
- On a case-by-case basis, housing staff will reasonably accommodate students' residence hall, room, and suitemate requests based on COVID-19 concerns.
- COVID-19 prevention and cleaning supplies, such as hand sanitizer stations, will be provided in the main lobby areas. Cleaning of common areas by cleaning staff will continue based on CDC and GADPH guidance.
- Residence Life and Housing staff has implemented programming encouraging vaccination, along with reminders of proper cleaning and sanitation practices.
Student Health Center
- The Student Health Center (SHC) will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be staffed by the Health Services Coordinator. Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday. Face coverings are required for entry into the SHC and must be worn while in the Center.
- Patient Care
- Students will be advised to make online appointments through the Portal or to call before coming to the SHC. Students will undergo a screening process for COVID-19 to determine if a referral is needed to the Glynn County Health Department for COVID-19 testing. If they do not meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing, an appointment will be scheduled at the Health Center. The Health Center staff member will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management or the Dean of Students if any student is being tested for COVID-19 or is found positive for COVID-19. Protocols outlined in the College’s infectious disease response plan will be followed.
Students will be provided the option to make telemedicine appointments. In particular, students with conditions placing them at higher risk for complications from COVID-19 should be encouraged to seek care via telemedicine.
The waiting room will be configured to promote physical distancing.
Staff will implement signage throughout the SHC communicating reasons for physical distancing and required use of face coverings.
Staff will ensure adequate alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand sanitizer, face coverings, tissues, and closed bins for disposal are available.
Staff will work with Plant Operations to develop protocols for environmental management including SHC cleaning and decontamination. All the exam rooms will be wiped down after every patient with hospital-grade wipes and bleach wipes will be used to clean everything in the evening, including patient waiting areas, exam rooms, door knobs, etc. Bleach wipes are not recommended to be used during the day since they are so strong and they may irritate patient and staff airways.
SHC staff will ensure that adequate PPE is available and that those using the PPE are trained in its use.
SHC staff will establish “par levels” (minimal acceptable PPE stores, also known as “safety stock”) to support patient care and will monitor and secure inventories of hand sanitizer, wipes, cleaning products, and hand soap.
All SHC staff will be knowledgeable about COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, relevant protocols, and updated CDC guidance.
To promote best practices in prevention, the SHC will implement an awareness campaign and vaccine information by using a collaborative approach between the Offices of Residence Life and Housing, Student Life, and Counseling Services. Additional flyers and materials will be provided on campus and on social media platforms each week to promote preventative measures.
Regular meetings will be held with the Southeast Georgia Health System representatives.
Office of Student Life and Student Organizations
- All operations in the Office of Student Life have gone back to pre-pandemic processes. The offerings of both in-person and virtual programming options will continue to occur in the Fall 2021 semester.
Counseling & Disability Services
- For Fall 2021, the Office of Counseling Services continues to offer distance counseling sessions to students via Microsoft Teams, in addition to in-person counseling services. For in-person sessions, at the request of the student, spaces in the counseling office will be set up to provide six feet of space between the counselor and student during sessions. The two testing rooms will be used for counseling session spaces as well as Disability Services intake appointments.
Admissions & Recruitment
- Admissions will continue to offer virtual appointments and accommodations for campus visitors who request social distanced tours, visits and meetings.
- Many external recruitment functions will be determined by our external constituents- as high schools, school districts, community-based organizations, and professional associations/services will dictate events offered.
- The Office of Admissions will execute its recruitment strategy in regards to high school visits and college fairs. For schools or college fairs that are not offered in person, the Office of Admissions will participate in any alternatives including virtual visits and fairs.
The College of Coastal Georgia Department of Athletics will follow all University System of Georgia (USG), NAIA, The Sun Conference (TSC) and campus policies with respect to conducting practice and competition in Fall 2021. The practice and competition start date for all sports was August 1, 2021.
The following is a summary of the guidance received from the USG specifically related to athletic operations. All guidance listed below is subject to change based on recommendations from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). In addition to the sources listed above, these guidelines will be adjusted as needed based on recommendations of the NAIA and/or TSC.
Operating Procedures Determined for all Sun Conference Member Institutions:
1. All athletic operations within the conference have returned to normal conditions and playing rules.
2. Institutions will report any student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 to the conference commissioner.
3. The Sun Conference COVID-19 Task Force committee will remain in place in a stand-by status and will resolve situations in which COVID-19 could affect conference competition.
Operating Procedures Determined by the College of Coastal Georgia:
1. Financial implications
a. The athletic training department will need to have on hand a reasonable supply of cleaning and sanitation materials. These purchases are accounted for within the athletic budget. While the health and safety expenses are not yet known, at least a portion of those expenses would be directly related to the number of student-athletes practicing and competing on campus. The expenses should be revised and updated as the actual requirements for cleaning and sanitization equipment and supplies become clear.
b. Increased requirements for sanitation and health protocols may place additional strain on the department’s only athletic trainer. The athletic trainer may require additional assistance to comply with all guidelines, policies and procedures. This could require another part time staff assistant. This assistant would likely spend as much as 12 hours per week at $30 to $40 per hour resulting in an estimated additional expense of up to $12,000. As above, the impact on staff needs to be revised and updated as the actual effect of sanitization requirements in 2021-22 become clear.
2. Initial return of athletes to campus
a. The volleyball team is the only fall-season sport sponsored by Coastal Georgia. Since the NAIA will allow practice to begin on Sunday, August 1, the volleyball student-athletes living on campus will begin their move-in on Saturday, July 31. This will permit these student-athletes to complete pre-participation physical evaluations and other required activities before beginning practice. All other student-athletes will return to campus in accordance with the move-in plans established by Office of Residence Life and Housing.
b. The College will follow CDC and/or GDPH guidelines relative to individuals arriving from international locations. The return of international student-athletes will be coordinated with Student Life and Residence Life. Residence Life will reserve rooms in Coastal Place Apartments for international student-athletes if quarantined is required. The student-athletes in quarantine will be required to pay for their room and board during the quarantine period. If needed, a transition plan for international students will be defined in cooperation with the Office of Residence Life and Housing and will align with the plans included in the Student Life and Enrollment Management section of this document.
3. Practice & competition:
All student-athletes who are not fully-vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while in campus buildings. Student-athletes, coaches and staff will be required to wear a face covering upon entering the Athletic Training room.
4. Other Considerations for Athletic Operations
a. COVID-19 Education:
1.) All student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff are strongly encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to become fully vaccinated before returning to campus or to seek vaccinations that are available on campus or in the community.
2.) Any student-athlete, coach or staff member who is not fully vaccinated and who is determined to have been in close-contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, will be quarantined and not permitted to participate in conditioning, practice, competition or other campus activities until the required quarantine protocol is completed.
3.) All student-athletes will be provided information about the updated COVID-19 policies and procedures during the student-athlete welcome meeting.
4.) Other updates will be provided as needed through follow-up meetings and electronic messages. Additionally, student-athletes, coaches and staff will participate in other educational and informational activities in conjunction with Student Life, Residence Life and Human Resources.
b. Athletic Facility Utilization:
1.) Spectators who are not fully vaccinated will be strongly encouraged to wear masks in Howard Coffin Gym and practice social distancing. Signage at the ticket table and public address announcements at the beginning of each contest will remind spectators. Hand sanitizing stations will be available for student-athletes, coaches, game operations staff and spectators at each entrance to the Howard Coffin Gym.
2.) The Coastal Georgia Athletic Training Room (Coffin Building, Room 103) is a Health Care facility, therefore everyone entering the training room will be required to wear a face covering irrespective of their vaccination status. Student-athletes, coaches and staff will need to provide their own masks/face coverings before entering the Athletic Training Room. If needed, students may obtain face covering in the Office of Student Life.
3.) Plant Operations staff will provide cleaning and sanitation of offices, classrooms, common areas and restrooms in accordance with institution standards as/if needed. The Head Athletic Trainer will be responsible for notifying the Plant Operations staff should cleaning/sanitation be needed in any athletic facility. The Head Athletic
Trainer will be responsible to coordinate with Plant Operations for the cleaning and sanitation of the Athletic Training room, home team locker rooms and the team areas of the gym during practices and competition.
4.) Additional cleaning and sanitization may be required for the spectator stands in Coffin Gym. If additional cleaning or sanitization is required, the Head Athletic trainer or other athletics staff will notify Plant Operations.
c. In the Event of a COVID-19 Positive Test:
If a student-athlete or coach or staff member presents with symptoms of COVID-19, he or she will be referred to campus health services for screening to determine if a COVID-19 test is recommended. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, he or she will follow the isolation protocol outlined for students and employees. The student-athlete or employee will only be returned to full status after fully complying with College protocols in effect at the time.