Schreiner University has announced a detailed and strategic plan, which includes universal COVID-19 testing for staff and students in addition to mandatory face masks, in an effort to allow students to resume on-campus learning for the fall semester.
Earlier this summer Schreiner University officials, led by President Charlie McCormick, devised a plan of action to allow for the safe return of students to residential halls and classes.
“Schreiner University is monitoring guidance from local, state, and federal sources that provide up-to-date recommendations regarding how to re-open in the fall semester,” McCormick said. “As this guidance changes, we will continue to modify our own re-opening guidelines. The principle of keeping student and employee safety as our first priority will not change. To that end, Schreiner has arranged for all of its employees to be tested for COVID-19 so that staff and faculty know their own health condition and are prepared to welcome back students--many of whom will themselves be tested--to campus in a few weeks.”
Testing for students
The plan encourages all students to self-isolate 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival on campus.
McCormick said the plan will allow for student testing to take place Aug. 5-12 and test results will be available prior to students moving in to their respective dorm rooms. The tests will be conducted at no cost to the students.
Ongoing daily screenings will be conducted throughout the school year, with off-campus students reporting for temperature checks before entering campus.
Residents will be screened daily with infrared thermometers before leaving residence halls.
“After being screened, students will be provided a wristband to indicate that they have been screened for that day,” according to the written “A Return to Campus Guide for Students.”
While on campus, protocols have been put in place to provide protection for both students and faculty, which are:
• All students must adhere to the Student Face Covering Protocols;
• While in public spaces on campus, such as classrooms, the library, and other common-use buildings, students should maintain a minimum of 6 feet of separation from other individuals, even if wearing facial coverage;
• Avoid gathering when entering or exiting buildings;
• Wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol immediately when entering any building and when exiting any building. Good hand hygiene is crucial;
• Wearing gloves is not a substitute for proper hand hygiene. Improperly used, removed, or disposed of, gloves represent a higher risk of transmitting infections than bare hands;
• Continue to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth prior to washing hands;
• Continue to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw tissue away and wash your hands;
• Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils with others;
• Monitor for new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms.
Wearing a face covering is mandatory for Schreiner University students while on campus except under the following circumstances:
• While alone in one’s assigned residence room;
• While seated and eating and maintaining required social distance;
• While engaging in an approved university co-curricular program that by its nature precludes the use of a cloth face covering or mask (for example, athletics competition and practice, concert band, choir, theatre);
• While driving alone.
The Fall 2020 term will be run as two separate seven-week sub-terms, Fall I and Fall II, in an effort to be proactive in returning to a distance learning in the case of a COVID-19 resurgence during the Fall. Students should register for 2-3 classes (6-9 hours) per sub-term.
Online “Mini-Mesters” have been established, which allows Schreiner University to offer two 3-week online course schedules before and after Christmas, in which several core classes will be offered. One class can be taken per student in each of these semesters free of charge.
Residents should minimize close contact with others. Schreiner University advises all community members to maintain good hygiene habits and to practice social distancing.
No daytime or overnight visitors from off campus or other on-campus residences are permitted in one’s assigned room/apartment at any time.
Non-essential travel of any kind is strongly discouraged for all community members.
Each student will be assigned to an unshared bedroom. Where possible, housing assignments will be assigned based on group affiliation in order to accommodate social distancing.
In the case of suspected contraction of or exposure to COVID-19, students will be required to selfisolate for 14 days.
Any individual who is required to self-isolate off campus will not be permitted to return to campus until the following parameters are met:
• At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications), and;
• The individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), and;
• At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or;
• The student has been confirmed not to have COVID-19 by two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart.
Recreation on campus
Schreiner University provides the Mountaineer Fitness Center for students, faculty, and staff, as well as outdoor and indoor facilities (disc gold, swimming pool, Edington gym, sport court, and sand volleyball courts).
A good majority of the Schreiner community participate in different recreational facilities or programs (intramural sports, fitness classes and activities, aquatics, or open recreational activities).
Research has shown positive effects of exercise on the immune system and many chronic diseases (including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease) that place individuals into higher risk groups for COVID-19.
Exercise also has positive impacts on psychological well-being. However, recreation programs carry many of the same enhanced COVID-19 transmission risks that are potentially present in varsity sports and local health clubs.
Therefore, the Campus Recreation program will implement safety protocols which include:
• Social distancing requirements;
• Locker rooms closed until further notice;
• 25 percent occupancy in fitness center;
• Disinfection efforts on all equipment;
• Hand sanitizer use;
• Face coverings required;
• Limited intramural sports programs;
• Outdoor recreational trips canceled until further notice.
The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), headquartered in Lawrenceville, Ga., announced the decision to postpone all NCAA Division III sports for the Fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dining on campus
Schreiner University and Chartwells, a division of Compass Group USA, will partner together to ensure the safety of the campus community in all locations under the management of Chartwells. This will include residential, retail, food truck and catering services.
Chartwells is a national company with a wealth of knowledge and practical experiences during this pandemic which form the basis for our protocols. Chartwells will look to CDC guidance, state/local regulations, Texas re-opening timelines and a commitment to customization. Schreiner University and Chartwells have co-authored the Dining Protocol to ensure to students have a complete and flexible meal plan options while also maintaining the requirements of social distancing, face coverings, disinfecting, and hygiene.
At the beginning of the academic year, Schreiner University’s dining program will adopt the most restrictive model to maximize social distancing and provide take-away meals only. Schreiner University students and employees are required to wear a face covering at or inside any dining facility.
All in-door dining seating areas will be closed and meals will be available for pickup only.
Food items and utensils will be individually wrapped and available at the Gus Schreiner Dining Hall, Lion’s Den, the Paws-n-Go and the addition of a new food truck has been announced.
The entire “Return to Campus Guide for Students” can be found at Schreiner.edu.