Campus Guidelines

Students returning to campus for a designated hands-on class will need to follow safety guidelines provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the CDC.

Campus Health & Safety Plan

The campus strategy to safely resume limited on-campus instruction is based on the following assumptions and is designed to reduce population density while implementing recommended health and safety measures to provide maximum protection against the spread of the COVID-19 virus on campus:

  • Majority of staff continue to work remotely
  • Majority of instruction continues remotely
  • Provision of student services continues remotely

Unless given special permission, only students registered for Fall Hands-on Classes will be required or permitted to be on campus.

Bucks County Community College is committed to the health and safety of its entire community. The well-being of our staff, faculty, students, and the county at large is at the forefront of any and all planning and preparation for the resumption of in-person instruction and on-campus operations. We do not take this responsibility lightly and, in carefully developing our plans to return to campus in a limited capacity, we were guided by insights derived from collaboration with numerous campus constituencies. It is in that same spirit of cooperation that we wish to share our strategy for the upcoming late summer and fall return to limited on-campus activity with you.

We will bring back students who received incomplete (I) grades in spring 2020 semester courses requiring hands-on activities in July and August. The fall semester will begin as originally scheduled on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 and end on December 18, 2020. All sections except these designated Fall Hands-on Classes, will be taught either remotely or online as previously reported. A limited number of courses with required hands-on activities will have class meetings on campus. Students not registered in these classes will not be required to come to campus even if conditions change.

We have developed a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan which incorporates prevention and public health procedures including mask-wearing and social distancing to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, which is the priority in resuming any on-campus activities. We are following the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines for reopening.

The college has designated Dennis McCauley, Executive Director Security & Safety, as responsible for coordination and execution of the Health & Safety Plan. We expect the college community to cooperate fully in creating the safest possible environment. Additionally, Dr. Connie Corrigan, Dean Health Sciences and Dennis McCauley will act as co-liaisons to the Bucks County Health Department.

Plan Communication

The college has established a robust communication strategy that will keep campus constituents informed of any campus or community changes affecting this plan. Inherent in this plan is regular and timely communication with the Bucks County Health Department through the co-liaisons.

  • All plan elements will be communicated to students and employees using the college website, social media, email, text messaging, and other appropriate means of communication.
    • Internal audiences, such as students and staff, will be notified via their Bucks email.
    • External audiences can expect to receive news via the website or official college social media channels. In some cases, a public press release will be issued.
  • Campus signage related to social distancing, hygiene-sanitation, and requirement for face-covering will be prominently displayed.
  • Maps, videos and directional signage will help students and staff navigate the appropriate pathways to and from their classes along with proper protocols while on campus.
  • Plan modifications required to respond to the changing public health environment will be promptly released.
  • Marketing will monitor feedback from students and/or staff on social media and direct the comments to the appropriate Security & Safety officials.

In the case of an urgent emergency, the college will send emails, text messages and generate a website banner on bucks.edu utilizing the e2campus alert system to notify the campus community.

On Campus Requirements

  • Daily Health Self-Assessment: Daily health self-assessment will be required prior to entering any building on campus.
  • Face Coverings: required for all classrooms and public spaces on campus.
  • Social Distancing: Classrooms, labs and studios to be used in the fall semester were reviewed and set up to accommodate social distancing requirements.

Other measures, for example, assigned seating and attendance, will be deployed as necessary considerations. Faculty are asked to be as flexible as possible to ensure sick students are empowered to stay home. These efforts will allow for lower classroom population density. Other modifications are being made to minimize the opportunity for the virus to spread. Of utmost importance is the individual's responsibility to mitigate risk by complying with all requirements to be on campus.

In addition to wearing a face covering at all times and maintaining 6 feet distancing, washing hands often with soap and water and utilizing the hand sanitizer provided in each classroom are essential. The college has adopted a new policy which outlines the requirements for being on campus during the pandemic. Students, staff and visitors will be asked to sign a statement indicating their agreement to follow the policy requirements set out for the safety of all. This statement acknowledges that everyone must do their part to keep the campus community safe.

While this is our current plan, should the public health situation worsen, on-campus activities may need to be further limited. We will be sending out regular communications to our community to keep you informed.

Facility Modifications

The college campus is a place that naturally brings people together in both large and small spaces. Such gatherings and close proximity create an environment conducive to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To mitigate this risk the college has modified campus access and facilities.

Control and Limitation of Campus Access

  • Campus access points will be monitored and limited to:
    • Newtown Campus‌: Science Center patio entrance
    • Lower Bucks Campus:  entrance in the middle of the building (not main)
    • Upper Bucks Campus:  South Entrance (older building)
  • Parking will be limited to E4 lot at Newtown.
  • Face covering and health screening area required for entry.
  • Limited building access with signage for closed buildings.
  • Spaces not being used for active instruction will be locked.
  • Campus access is limited to students with on-campus class component and approved faculty and staff.
  • Visitor access must be cleared through the Security & Safety Office and noted in a log.
  • Vendor access must be cleared through the Physical Plant Office and noted in a log.

Limit Large Gatherings & Congregation in Communal Spaces

  • Campus events will be limited to those sponsored by governmental agencies with attendance of 25 or less.
  • Student club activities will be hosted remotely.
  • Access to common indoor seating areas on campus will be restricted.
  • Campus food service suspended for the fall semester.
  • Athletic programs are suspended for the fall semester.

Classroom Guidelines

  • In order to enter the classroom students must have a current daily wristband obtained at the campus entry check point. 
  • Faculty or college staff will take attendance at each class and implement assigned seating.
  • Faculty or college staff will carefully monitor learning situations that do not readily support social distancing. Ex. taking patient blood pressure
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, and must thoroughly cover the nose, mouth and chin.
  • Students without a personal face covering may obtain one from Security staff at the point of entry to campus.
  • Students who become ill during class should leave immediately, return home and follow public health guidelines to assess their condition.
  • Students will sit at least six feet apart from other students and the teaching area.
  • All extra chairs have been removed.  Remaining chairs should not be moved.
  • Face to face seating is not permitted in the classroom
  • At the end of class, student will wipe down any shared equipment and dispose of wipes in trash receptacles.
  • When class ends, students must leave the classroom immediately while maintaining social distancing.

Laboratory Class Guidelines

  • Students must wear face shields provided by the instructor in addition to their personal face covering.
  • Students must wash their hands for 20 seconds before starting the lab.
  • The type of face shield provided to students will adequately and properly fit while wearing head covering.
  • Students must not share face shields and must bring their face shield to each class period.
  • Disposable gloves will be provided as needed.
  • Students must maintain six-foot distancing when queuing up to use equipment.
  • At the end of class, student will wipe down any shared equipment and dispose of wipes in trash receptacles.
  • When class ends, students must leave the lab immediately while maintaining social distancing.

Indoor & Outdoor Activity Class Guidelines

  • Students participating in physical activity classes must adhere to all college requirements for face coverings and social distancing at all times regardless of activity and distance from others.
  • Disposable gloves must be worn when using equipment including baseballs and basketballs.
  • Frequent use of hand sanitizer is required as no sinks are available.
  • Students are not permitted to sit in baseball dugouts.
  • Students must provide their own cap/hat to use under batting helmets. 
    Students will wipe down and sanitize equipment immediately after class
  • When class ends, students must leave the class area immediately (field, gymnasium, fitness center) while maintaining social distancing.

Off-Campus Environment Guidelines 

  • Students participating in college-required off-campus activities must adhere to all college requirements for face coverings, social distancing and hand washing.
  • Students assigned to a clinical facility must adhere to the standards of that institution.

Daily Health Self-Assessment

Daily health self-assessment questionnaires using a college form will be required prior to entering any building on campus.

  • Screening clearance is required to gain access to campus daily. 
  • Color-coded wristband provided and worn to designate daily clearance.
  • Wristband to designate clearance may be obtained at the appropriate campus entry check point.

 

bucks.edu/healthcheck

Social Distancing

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing”, means keeping safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.  Social distancing is fundamental to lowering the risk of COVID-19, as the primary mode of transmission is through respiratory droplets shed by persons in close proximity.  The college has taken the follow steps to ensure social distancing on campus.

  • Required maintenance of a safe social distance of at least 6 feet apart (approximately 2 arm lengths) in offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, stairs, restrooms, common areas and outdoor spaces.
  • Students are not permitted to gather before or after class.
  • Plastic partitions or barriers were installed in places where social distancing cannot be observed.
  • Traffic patterns were modified:
    • Elevator usage limited to those for whom it is medically necessary and 1 occupant.
    • Classroom doors will be propped open.
    • Staircases and hallways will be marked to indicate one-way traffic patterns.
    • Floor markers will be used to indicate proper social distancing.
    • Directional arrows will be used to enforce traffic patterns.
    • Exterior doors will be designated as entrance or exit only.

Face Coverings & PPE

Face covering means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps or loops over the ears and is wrapped around the lower face.  The CDC has affirmed that “cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities.”

  • Face coverings are required for all classrooms and public spaces on campus.
  • College will provide face coverings for those who need it.
  • College will provide PPE as required for specific programs.
  • Increased on-hand inventory of masks, gloves and other PPE.

Individuals may contact Academic Dean or Human Resources to request an academic or workplace accommodation.

Hygiene & Sanitization

  • All custodial and building maintenance staff were trained on new protocols and requirements.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols were adopted including:  
    • Increased frequency of cleaning and attention to high touch surfaces
    • Use of touchless spray misting machines
    • Classrooms cleaned between uses
    • Use of disinfectants meeting EPA criteria for COVID-19
    • Disinfecting surface wipes available in classrooms and labs
    • Increased on-hand inventory of required cleaning supplies
  • Hand sanitizer stations were installed in classrooms and across campus.
  • Signage was increased to encourage handwashing in restrooms and key areas.
  • Water fountains were disabled.  
  • Ventilation systems were reviewed and air circulation increased as possible

Voluntary Reporting & Protocol for Confirmed Case on Campus

As the campus resumes limited operations by bringing faculty, staff, and students back to campus for in-person instruction, the college must remain diligent regarding the presence of COVID-19 in the community and the potential for a resurgence of the virus.  To accomplish this the college has developed the protocol outlined below for monitoring, voluntary reporting, and reacting to a confirmed case on campus.  Additionally, the college will maintain close contact with the Bucks County Health Department (BCHD) and work with their staff to mitigate the effect of any confirmed cases on campus and respond quickly and appropriately to any change in the county public health environment.

Monitoring, Surveillance & Voluntary Reporting

  • Screening clearance is required to gain access to campus daily. 
  • Color-coded wristband provided and worn to designate daily clearance.
  • Students and staff use reporting form if exposed to virus or ill with virus.
  • Reinforce with students and staff that they should not report to campus if ill.
  • Communicate regularly with the BCHD regarding the current public health environment.

Protocol for a Confirmed Case on Campus

  • BCHD will notify the college immediately upon learning that a person with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 was present at the school while infectious. BCHD will assist the college with risk assessment and recommendations for isolation, quarantine, and infection control.
  • If the person is present on school property when notified by the BCHD of a positive case, the person should be directed to immediately return to their place of residence, or isolate in a designated isolation area, until they can safely return to their residence.  Direct the person to seek medical care and follow instructions from their local public health authority regarding isolation.
  • General protocol, subject to modification based on the situation, follows:
    • The entire building does not have to be evacuated.
    • Close off areas used by the sick person and do not use again before cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting.  If not feasible wait as long as possible. 
    • Clean and disinfect all areas thoroughly per CDC guidance.
    • Determine if a suspension of instruction is warranted.
    • If suspension is warranted, ensure continuity of education for those impacted.
    • Communicate case or exposure information to students and employees maintaining confidentiality of the affected individual.

Assumption of Risk

This plan contains specific details on what Bucks County Community College is doing to address COVID-19 concerns and mitigate the spread of the virus on campus.  These details may change as the public health environment evolves. As you know, none of us can guarantee how COVID-19 will impact us here at the college and none of us, including Bucks County Community College, can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. 

Given this knowledge, students and employees should understand that if you visit, attend or work on any Bucks campus, there is a risk that you may contract COVID-19. We are certainly taking all recommended steps to mitigate this risk, but we can in no way guarantee this will not happen. By coming onto campus, you understand that this is possible.

If you have any questions regarding this plan or require further information, please email us at bc3security@bucks.edu.