Prevention Measures and Risk Mitigation
Alcorn State University plans to return to full campus operations and in-person instruction on August 17, 2020. To do so, we have developed a set of guidelines that promotes safe and healthy operations as well as mitigates risks of COVID-19 infection and spread among our students and employees. At this stage of the pandemic, we are all aware of the importance of taking personal responsibility for our own health AND understanding how our actions affect the health of our community. The Prevention Measures and Minimizing Risks components of the plan are outlined in this section.
- Personal and Public Hygiene
- Social Distancing
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Prevention Measures
- Signage and Education
- Returning From International Travel
- Temperature Monitoring
- Testing and Isolation
- Contact Tracing
- Mental Health and Well-Being
- Personal hygiene habits are critical to the safety of all on campus, and the immediate University community, specifically (no shaking hands, hugging, all individuals will wash hands often, etc.).
- Face coverings are REQUIRED for all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors unless exempted with documentation by a medical professional. Documentation must be logged with Human Resources (faculty and staff) OR Health Services (students).
a. This guidance is subject to change in accordance with guidance from medical professionals and the CDC
b. Face coverings must be worn in classrooms, labs, all interior spaces and shared office spaces regardless of physical distance.
c. Alcorn will provide, as needed, reusable and disposable masks but encourage the personal purchase of face coverings.
d. Face coverings are not required in individual residence hall rooms, public outdoor settings, enclosed office spaces, and dining facilities when eating.
- All students and employees are REQUIRED to remain home if sick or exhibiting symptoms of or have COVID-19.
- Facilities and Maintenance staff will be continuously trained on enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures. Additionally, third party custodial service vendors will be hired to assist the University in deep cleaning and sanitizing of facilities. Facilities will be cleaned in the overnight hours.
- All public spaces will be regularly cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- High-touch surface areas (doorknobs, handrails, light switches) will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be positioned at major entrances to campus buildings and high-traffic locations.
- High-touch shared items such as paper, pens, etc. will be removed when possible and additional high-touch areas will be identified to determine a reduced touch usage plan (for example, minimizing the passing to others of student identification cards).
- Employees should clean and sanitize their personal workspace. Sanitizing spray and/or wipes will be made available to each department. Classrooms will be outfitted with additional cleaning supplies that can be used by students and/or faculty members who desire to clean their individual spaces before class periods.
- Deep cleaning and sanitizing of offices and rooms will take place when persons test positive.
- Social distancing policies will follow the CDC guidelines to the extent practicable.
- Students, faculty, staff, and visitors should follow all social distancing guidelines in both academic and campus life, to the greatest extent practicable.
- Training and educational reminders on correct social distancing guidelines will be ongoing.
- Facilities Management (FM) will work with all units on campus to add floor markings, Plexiglas coverings, and signage on doorways, entrances, elevators, lobbies, one-way traffic in halls, and other items to facilitate social distancing guidelines.
- All units will be asked to determine and report their ongoing needs for and supply of PPE and hand sanitizer to the Procurement Services Office.
- Instructions will be provided to the campus regarding the procedure to request PPE.
- ASU is working with vendors on developing online training for students, faculty, and staff on proper social distancing, use of PPE and other safety and health measures.
- PPE will be provided to employees in public-facing work areas/stations, such as the Clinton Bristow Jr. dining areas, residence halls, ASU Campus Bookstore, J.D. Boyd Library, James L. Bolden Union, Post Office, among others.
- Posters, informational cards, and other items will be posted throughout campus, including residence hall room and classroom, and in prominent locations in buildings, as well as pop up signs near walking and cycling zone, as well campus e-signage.
- Custodial staff at on the Natchez and Vicksburg campuses will work with Facilities Management to implement appropriate services for their respective sites.
- Signage providing instructions on enhanced safety and health measures will be deployed across campus. Floor markings will be used where needed to indicate proper physical distancing and flow of traffic in dining facilities, residence halls, and other points of ingress and egress.
- A comprehensive health campaign aimed at students is under development and will be deployed this summer and into the fall semester. All students, faculty, and staff will complete an online module related to COVID-19 spread reduction techniques.
- Thermometers will be provided to students, faculty, and staff as part of a PPE kit distributed by the University. Temperature self-check will be required daily prior to reporting to work or attending classes. We are exploring the purchase of software platform that supports tracking and monitoring of symptom checks as well as purchase of Temperature Testing Kiosks.
- Temperatures will be checked at the main entrance and back entrance for students, employees, and visitors every time campus is entered.
- If any individuals register a high temperature, as defined by CDC, they will be advised to stay home or in their residence hall room, and contact ASU Health Services and immediate supervisor, Human Resources.
- All applicable leave policies for faculty and staff and class attendance policies for students will continue to apply.
- Individuals are advised to visit Alcorn State Health Services for potential testing if they have any of the CDC-listed COVID-19 symptoms.
- We will NOT test all students, faculty, or staff upon re-entry to the campus.
- Symptomatic students awaiting test results for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine and self-isolate in their personal home and/or residence hall or in another designated area until test results are determined. The dorm space of the infected student will be cleaned and sanitized immediately.
- Symptomatic faculty and staff awaiting test results for COVID-19 will be sent home immediately until test results are determined. The supervisor will be notified by the Director of Health and Disability Services or the Director for Human Resources. Human Resources will inform the employee of their leave options and benefits. The office space of the infected employee will be cleaned and sanitized immediately.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days at home or in a designated location, in compliance with all state and national guidelines and report results to the Health Services Center.
- Alcorn will purchase a limited number of test kits for campus use.
- The Director for Health and Disability Services will coordinate with local and regional medical facilities to support the campus community.
Symptoms may range from mild to severe illness
If case of emergency, call Campus Dispatch at 601-877-3000 or dial 911
Will follow most recent CDC and MSDH guidelines
*Note that it is possible that a person known to be infected could leave isolation earlier than a person who is quarantined because of the possibility they are infected.
**It is mandatory to complete the Alcorn State University Self-Report Portal Form. This will activate active monitoring by university personnel.
Last Updated: August 4, 2020
- The University will abide by contact tracing measures identified by the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- COVID-19 positive results will be immediately reported to the Mississippi Department of Health.
- Alcorn is exploring deploying a contact tracking and notification platform. This will be vital to our ability to reliably and quickly provide information to our health professionals.
- The University will communicate frequently with all students, faculty, and staff regarding the importance of receiving a flu vaccine annually.
- Flu vaccinations will be available on campus on a first come first serve basis with priority given to students.
- The flu-shot initiative will take place in early fall 2020.
- The mental health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff will be emphasized even more on campus for fall 2020.
- The University will provide mental health counseling and tele-counseling mental health options through the University’s Counseling Services.
- The University, through our Human Resource department, is researching acquiring services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for faculty and staff.
- Screenings are non-intrusive health checks that will include temperature checks and self-reported health questionnaires based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Mississippi State Department of Health Suggestions.
It is extremely important that you disclose any pertinent information regarding symptoms related to COVID-19 or any possible exposure to COVID-19
• Do you have a fever greater than 100.4°? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing difficulty breathing or shortness of breath? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing body aches, muscle aches, or headaches? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing fatigue? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing chills? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing a cough? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing nasal congestion or runny nose? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing sore throat? Yes or No
• Have you lost your sense of taste or smell? Yes or No
• Are you experiencing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea? Yes or No
• Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19? Yes or No
• Have you tested for COVID-19? Yes or No, If so, were your results positive? Yes or No
• Have you traveled outside of the United States by air or cruise ship within the past 14 days? Yes or No
• Have you traveled within the United States by air, bus, or train within the past 14 days? Yes or No
- With the purchase of the contact tracing platform, we will be able to track each person’s daily recordings.
- All residential and non-residential students will be required to complete a temperature screening every 24 hours along with the self-reported health questionnaire. Once installed, all students will be required to use the contact tracing platform.
- All employees will be required to conduct a self-screening daily; this should be done prior to coming to work. This should include an “at home” temperature check and a review of potential symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.
- If an employee has any of these symptoms or a fever of greater than 100.4 degrees, the employee should stay at home and may take leave medical or personal leave unless the employee is able to telework and has an agreement on file. Guidance regarding this leave is available on the HRM website.