Campus Health & Safety Plan
Revised August 5, 2021
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, 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 on-campus activity with you.
We have developed a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan which incorporates prevention and public health procedures to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, which is the priority in resuming any on-campus activities. We are following 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.
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 and 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 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
- Face Coverings: Effective Friday, August 6th, masks will be required indoors regardless of vaccination status.
- Social Distancing: Classrooms, labs and studios to be used in the fall semester were reviewed and set up to accommodate recommended social distancing requirements.
Other measures, for example, assigned seating and attendance, will be deployed as necessary. 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 following masking requirements, washing hands often with soap and water and utilizing the hand sanitizer provided in each classroom are essential.
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.
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.
Gatherings & Congregation in Communal Spaces
- Campus events with seating will be scheduled with three feet social distancing
- Access to common indoor spaces will be available with three feet social distancing for seating.
- Students participating in campus athletic programs and club activities shall adhere to college requirements for social distancing.
- Masks are required indoors regardless of vaccination status.
- 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 three 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
Laboratory Class Guidelines
- Disposable gloves will be provided in labs.
- Students must maintain three feet distancing when queuing up to use equipment.
Indoor & Outdoor Physical Activity Class Guidelines
- Students participating in physical activity classes must adhere to all college requirements for social distancing at all times regardless of activity.
- Students participating in college-required off-campus activities must adhere to all college requirements for social distancing and hand washing.
- Students assigned to a clinical facility must adhere to the standards of that institution.
Off-Campus Environment Guidelines
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 following steps to ensure social distancing on campus.
- Required maintenance of a safe social distance of at least 3 feet apart (approximately 1 arm’s length) in offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, stairs, restrooms, common areas and outdoor spaces.
- Plastic partitions or barriers were installed in places where social distancing cannot be observed.
- Elevator usage limited to those for whom it is medically necessary and 1 occupant at a time.
Face Coverings & PPE
Updated August 5, 2021
Masks required indoors starting Friday, August 6, 2021
Due to the rise in new cases in Bucks County and throughout the region over the past week, the Green Team, with the support of the President, has made the decision to mandate masking indoors for all visitors, employees and students beginning Friday, August 6.
According to CDC guidelines, Bucks County has been deemed an area of substantial spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant. A substantial designation (where we are now) means the county has reached 50-99.99 new cases per 100,000 or positivity between 8-9.99%.
- Limited take-out food service will be available through the Culinart Cafe. Outdoor dining spaces will be available. We encourage staff to bring lunch and maintain social distancing when eating (mask off).
- When in a private office alone - with the door closed, masks may be removed.
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."
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
- 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.
- Ventilation systems were reviewed and air circulation increased as possible
Reporting & Protocol for a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 or Exposure to an Individual who has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Updated November 9, 2020
As the campus resumes limited operations by bringing some 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, 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. Any questions regarding virus exposure or active cases should be directed to Dr. Connie Corrigan, Dean Health Sciences, and Dennis McCauley, Executive Director, Security & Safety, who serve as co-liaisons to the Bucks County Health Department.
Monitoring, Surveillance & Reporting
Students and staff will use the reporting form if exposed to the virus or ill with the virus.
- Students and staff should not report to campus if ill.
- If a student begins to feel unwell during class the student should be sent home until recovered. Should symptoms of COVID-19 develop, the individual should follow CDC guidelines.
- College co-liaisons will communicate regularly with the BCHD regarding any concerns on campus and the current public health environment.
Protocol for a Confirmed Case/Exposure on Campus
- If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19 they should follow CDC-recommended steps. Individuals will not be permitted to return to campus until they have met the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider. Antibody test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace or classroom.
- If a student or employee is exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, they should report their exposure. Persons may have been exposed if they are a “close contact” of someone who is infected, which is defined as being within about 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Potentially exposed employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended steps. Potentially exposed employees who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.
- If a positive case is reported on campus the college will determine which employees and students may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions. The college will notify such individuals of their possible exposure to COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality as required by HIPAA.
- BCHD will assist the college with risk assessment and recommendations for isolation, quarantine and infection control.
- General protocol, subject to modification based on the situation, follows:
- The entire building does not have to be evacuated.
- Close off all 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 this is feasible wait as long as possible.
- Clean and disinfect all areas thoroughly per CDC guidance.
- Determine if a suspension of instruction is warranted beyond the sections in which the individual participates.
- Ensure continuity of education for those impacted.
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 email@example.com.