Campus Updates

Emory & Henry College is constantly monitoring this evolving situation and the latest COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) updates will be posted here.

  • November 13, 2020-Information for Students and Staff from Colleges and Universities who are Returning Home for Holidays or Extended Breaks

    November 13, 2020

    Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education and Local Health Districts Considerations for Students and Staff who are Returning Home for Holidays or Extended Breaks

    Background
    Students and staff attending institutions of higher education (IHEs) (e.g., colleges, universities) may be planning to return home to spend time with their families during holidays or extended breaks. This guidance provides local health districts and IHE administrators with considerations for how IHE students and staff can return home safely and protect family members who may be at increased risk for severe COVID-19.

    • Considerations about the Risk of COVID-19
      COVID-19 spreads from person to person and transmission can occur even if the infected person does not have symptoms or before symptoms develop.
    • Students and staff of IHEs may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a number of ways and therefore may pose greater risk of spreading it to family members and others at home.
      • Some IHEs might be experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak or have higher levels of spread of COVID-19 than areas where students’ families live.
      • To get home, students and staff might be exposed during short- or long-distance travel.
      • While home, students and staff may want to socialize with friends from other areas or IHEs and other family members during holiday gatherings.
    • The student/staff member or family members may be at increased risk of severe COVID-19. These include older adults, people of any age with an underlying medical condition, such as chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
    • Although IHE students are typically younger adults who are generally considered to have lower risk of developing severe COVID-19, severe disease can occur in people of any age.

    Minimize Exposure Risk Before Leaving the IHE
    Students and staff should minimize their interactions with others as much as possible in the 14 days before leaving the IHE. Students and staff should also minimize the risk of exposure during travel home. Traveling alone in a private vehicle is the safest option. Students and staff who are unable to limit interactions with others at the IHE may consider quarantining themselves for 14 days after they arrive home.

    COVID-19 Testing

    VDH continues to recommend COVID-19 testing for any individual with signs/symptoms of COVID-19 or individuals with known close contact to a person with COVID-19.

    IHE students and staff returning home may consider getting tested before leaving the IHE. This is particularly important for students and staff who attend IHEs with ongoing outbreaks, or if the IHE is located in a community with increased community transmission. An alternate strategy for students staying home for a longer period is to be tested about one week after travel.

    There are certain caveats to consider regarding testing:

    • RT-PCR is the preferred test to diagnose COVID-19 infections, but antigen tests may also be considered. For more information on antigen testing see here.
    • False positive or false negative test results are possible with any test, particularly if the person being tested has a low likelihood of having COVID-19 (e.g., does not have symptoms or has not had close contact to a person with COVID-19).
    • Individuals should limit interactions and avoid travel while awaiting COVID-19 test results.
    • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate for 10 days. This might mean staying on campus longer than planned.
    • Individuals who test negative for COVID-19 and have not had known contact with someone with COVID-19 should continue to follow the core COVID-19 prevention steps (listed below). Exposure and infection could still occur after the negative result and before arriving at home.
    • Individuals who had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and test negative must still quarantine for 14 days after last exposure. If travel would involve public transportation, this might mean staying on campus longer than planned.

    Travel

    • Students/staff travel home by multiple means, including personal vehicle or commercial/public transportation by airplane, bus, or rideshare.
    • Students/staff should not use commercial/public transportation if they are in isolation or quarantine.
    • Exposures can happen during travel and would negate a pre-travel negative test for COVID-19.
    • To minimize the risk of exposure, students/staff should always (during travel, while at home, before getting tested, while waiting for test results, after getting test results) follow the core prevention steps (e.g., physical distancing, mask, handwashing) and the VDH recommendations for travelers here.

    Activities While at Home

    These activities are especially important if the student/staff member does not limit interactions with others or get tested before travel or if the student/staff member is engaging in risky behaviors (large gatherings, not distancing, not wearing a mask) while home:

    • If possible, use a separate bedroom and bathroom for the first two weeks.
    • Limit the size, frequency, and duration of social interactions. In general, crowds should be avoided and smaller groups are safer than larger groups; fewer interactions are safer than many interactions; and shorter gatherings are safer than longer interactions. Other factors should also be considered, such as the location of the gathering (outdoor gatherings are generally safer than indoor gatherings) and the behavior of people at the gathering. For more information, see here.
    • Be particularly conscientious about following the core COVID-19 prevention steps when around persons who are older, have underlying health conditions, or are otherwise vulnerable to severe illness with COVID-19.
    • Everyone (students/staff and family members) should get tested and monitor their health for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after being potentially exposed to COVID-19.
    • Anyone who develops any COVID-19 symptoms, even if symptoms are very mild, should isolate from others and get tested as soon as possible.

    Core COVID-19 Prevention Steps for Everyone to ALWAYS Take, Regardless of Setting

    • Everyone should maintain a safe distance between themselves and others. This means staying out of crowded places and keeping at least six feet away from others when possible. Even when staying six feet apart, everyone should limit the amount of time spent with people other than those in their household
    • Everyone should wear a mask (also known as a cloth face covering) in public settings whenever possible, even when distancing.
    • Everyone should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
    • Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected often.
    • Everyone should stay home when any of the following are met: o They are sick (even if symptoms are very mild)
      • They have tested positive for COVID-19 on a viral test
      • They are waiting for COVID-19 test results
      • They have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
      • Prevention of influenza (flu) is also important this time of year. The best way to prevent flu is with a flu vaccine. A flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months old and older, every year, if possible by the end of October. Because it takes the body about two weeks after getting a flu vaccine to develop protection, students are recommended to get the flu vaccine now or at least two weeks before returning home.

    Table. Summary of considerations for students/staff returning home from institutions of higher education by risk of spreading or getting COVID-19.

      Lowest Risk Highest Risk
    Limit Interactions Limit interactions for 14 days either before or after arriving home Do not limit interactions with others for 14 days before or after arriving home
    COVID-19 Testing Tested for COVID-19 before returning home or shortly after arriving (about 1 week after travel) Not tested for COVID-19 before returning home or shortly after arriving (about 1 week after travel)
    Travel Travel alone by private vehicle Travel by public transportation
    Activities while Home Always minimize social interactions - e.g., limit the number of people interacting with and the frequency and duration of interactions Attend large gatherings, especially if not distancing and not wearing masks
    Following “Core” Prevention Steps Always follow Never follow

     

    Additional Resources

    If you are planning to return home to spend time with your family or friends during the holidays or for an extended break, please consider taking these steps to help keep you and those around you who may be at risk for severe COVID-19 safe.

    Step 1: Minimize your risk before you leave and while traveling home

    • Limit interaction with others for 14 days before departure.
    • Wear a mask (also known as a cloth face covering) whenever you interact with
    • another person, especially if you are less than six feet apart, even if you are outside.
    • Consider getting tested for COVID-19 before you leave and wait until you have the results before traveling home. Ideally, this testing would be done as close to your date of departure as possible and no longer than 10-14 days before leaving your school.
    • Get a flu vaccine at least 2 weeks before returning home.
    • Always follow the COVID-19 core prevention steps (e.g., distancing, mask,
    • handwashing) and the VDH recommendations for travelers here to minimize the risk of exposure during travel (whether by personal vehicle or public transportation).

    Step 2: Minimize your risk to your family and friends at home

    • Consider getting tested about 1 week after returning home to help identify any exposures or illness you may have picked up while traveling.
    • Wear a mask as noted above.
    • Minimize interactions with others by spending short periods of time with smaller groups of people, outside if possible, and avoiding long, indoor gatherings.
    • These recommendations are important all of the time, but ESPECIALLY if you will be seeing older relatives or family members with underlying medical conditions.
    • Anyone (you, your family, or friends) who develops any COVID-19 symptoms, even if symptoms are very mild, should isolate from others and get tested as soon as possible.
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

    Step 3: Check with your college or university before returning

    • Many schools will have return protocols (such as quarantining and getting tested) that you should follow at the end of the holiday or break.

    • Continue to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Isolate from others and get tested if you develop any symptoms.

    If you have more questions about COVID-19, contaact 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343). If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

  • November 5, 2020-Regional effort to combat COVID-19

    November 5, 2020

    Emory & Henry College supports the regional effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. President Wells, along with several other community leaders, signed a statement urging the community to take action and help our frontline healthcare workers in the fight against coronavirus.

    Read more at WCYB

  • October 27, 2020-Resumption of on Emory Campus Activities

    October 27, 2020

    In-person classes (or resumption of hybrid classes) and normal operations such as rehearsals and athletic practices on the Emory campus, will resume tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 28. During the time away, we have deep cleaned larger common space areas around campus. Please know that cases of COVID-19 in the region continue to rise. As we hear in the news daily - the most important thing everyone can do is to wear their masks, wash their hands, social distance, and avoid large crowds or gatherings. Students who are not following these procedures will meet with Student Affairs to determine the next steps that could include leaving campus for the safety of others.

    Emory & Henry is following its COVID-19 policy and testing guidelines on campus and as well as NCAA and ODAC guidelines. We understand, like most colleges, we will be seeing starts and stops to our daily operations to ensure utmost safety is taking place on campus. We have solid plans and operations in place to ensure the safest environment for our campus community. There are no cases specifically attributed to any particular group at this time. It appears individuals are being exposed to COVID-19 from various sources or locations within the general population. It’s imperative that all faculty, staff and students stay vigilant with their personal safe practices at all times - especially as cases are rising in the region and the nation.

    Emory & Henry’s COVID-19 Task Force, comprised of professionals from across campus will continue to work diligently to monitor and respond to the rapidly changing global and national situation as it pertains to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. For continued updates and the E&H dashboard, please visit www.ehc.edu/covid19/.

    Please report any questions or concerns to:

    LEAD CONTACT:

    Greg Steiner
    Associate VP for Process and Effectiveness; Policy Owner
    gsteiner@ehc.edu
    276.944.6763

    BACK-UP CONTACT:

    Ryan Bowyer, Associate Provost & Dean of Students
    rbowyer@ehc.edu
    276.944.6528

  • October 23, 2020-Results of campus-wide testing this week on Emory Campus

    October 23, 2020

    To: Members of the Emory & Henry Community
    From: COVID-19 Task Force

    This letter is to inform the campus community of the next steps following the testing that took place this week. There were 616 tests conducted and currently 34 persons testing positive. Those persons testing positive have been notified of their results. If you have not been called at this point you can assume your test is negative. Most of those tested were asymptomatic and not showing signs of symptoms. We are taking the results seriously however and hitting a pause button to take proper measures per our policy. In reality, this could be our new normal of operations as we continue to test more on campus.

    As a temporary result we are enacting the following steps for the Emory Campus:

    • All Emory Campus classes will move to remote learning immediately beginning today, Friday, Oct. 23 through Tuesday, October 27. Classes will resume their previous delivery on Wednesday, October 28.

    • Students are asked to remain on campus (if not positive or discussed with Student Affairs) and are permitted to move about campus but not go home during this period or leave campus unless an emergency. Now through Tuesday, Oct. 27.

    • Contact tracing will take place starting today through the Virginia Department of Health. Please pay attention to your phone and answer if you don’t recognize the number. If you have been in contact with a positive person you will be asked to move into quarantine living on campus or stay home to work remotely.

    • All staff, where possible, should telecommute and work remotely. Now through Tuesday, Oct. 27.

    • Deep cleaning will take place in significant common spaces and may be closed during this time such as the Library, Van Dyke, etc.

    • Dining will be carry-out effective immediately.

    • Athletic activities remain temporarily suspended.

    We will assess the situation and hope to resume operations as soon as possible. Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wash your hands, and wear masks. By following the policies and procedures outlined, we will continue to remain vigilant.

    The student affairs staff team remains diligent with students in quarantine and isolation to safely deliver meals and see to their needs. Please know the safety of faculty, staff and students are of utmost importance.

    Please follow www.ehc.edu/covid19 for updated information and adherence to the policies set forth.

  • October 16, 2020-Quarantine Policy

    October 16, 2020

    Please read this message as it contains important information regarding our quarantining policies.

    General Rule
    Please do not leave your room without specific permission from the Dean of Students, Ryan Bowyer.

    This is an incredibly important point. If you leave your room during the quarantine period, without permission from Dean of Students Ryan Bowyer, we will be required to terminate your housing contract. During the quarantine period, it is imperative that you stay in your room to prevent further viral spread.

    Classes - Remote Delivery
    Dean Jolie Lewis will be contacting each of your professors to let them know that you will be remote classes for the next 14 days. Dean Lewis will not give a specific reason but will use vague language to let professors know that you will not be in class for the next 14 calendar days.

    Meal Delivery
    You will have meals delivered to you at the following times.

    Monday - Friday
    Breakfast: Approximately 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
    Lunch: Approximately 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
    Dinner: Approximately 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    Saturday, Sunday
    Lunch: Approximately 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
    Dinner: Approximately 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    Trash
    If you have trash that needs to be removed, please contact Dean of Students Ryan Bowyer at rbowyer@ehc.edu for instructions.

    Laundry
    If you find yourself completely out of clothing, please contact Dean of Students Ryan Bowyer at rbowyer@ehc.edu for instructions so that I may facilitate a specific time for you to do your laundry.

    Exercise
    As students transition into quarantine, we know that you may want to exercise. We have a very strict process to gain approval to exercise. This exercise has to be socially distanced and not utilize any shared objects. If you would like to begin the process of gaining exercise approval, please contact Dean of Students Ryan Bowyer at rbowyer@ehc.edu for instructions.

    Please know that we are here to support you with any questions that you may have.

    LEAD CONTACT:

    Greg Steiner
    Associate VP for Process and Effectiveness; Policy Owner
    gsteiner@ehc.edu
    276.944.6763

    BACK-UP CONTACT:

    Ryan Bowyer, Associate Provost & Dean of Students
    rbowyer@ehc.edu
    276.944.6528

  • October 16, 2020-Non-Essential Athletic Activities Temporarily Suspended

    October 16, 2020

    Please know that all non-essential athletic activities including practices have been temporarily suspended as of today. The Washington County Health Department will be onsite next week to offer rapid tests for athletes, students as well as faculty and staff.

    We currently have 13 confirmed cases and 16 students in quarantine. You can continue to track on the COVID dashboard, www.ehc.edu/covid19/dashboard

    None of the active cases have been tied to any specific team. Athletics is making every effort to adhere to campus policies and the recommendations of the NCAA. In an abundance of caution, we feel it is in the best interest of our athletes and staff to temporarily suspend our activities so that our students can return to good health and return to activities as soon as possible.

    The academic programming of the campus is still operating normally. Athletes who are commuters are encouraged to come to classes and access academics services as needed.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    LEAD CONTACT:

    Greg Steiner
    Associate VP for Process and Effectiveness; Policy Owner
    gsteiner@ehc.edu
    276.944.6763

    BACK-UP CONTACT:

    Ryan Bowyer, Associate Provost & Dean of Students
    rbowyer@ehc.edu
    276.944.6528

  • September 29, 2020-COVIDWISE APP Exposure Notification

    September 29, 2020

    Emory & Henry Community
    Use Your Phone to Fight COVID-19
    Our phones are in the fight!

    Virginia continues to work diligently to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 within the Commonwealth. To help lead the way in the fight against COVID-19, Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is pleased to announce that COVIDWISE, Virginia’s official COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app, launched on August 5, 2020. Virginia was the first state in the United States to deploy an exposure notification app using the Apple/Google Bluetooth Low Energy framework.

    Emory & Henry has joined this effort and you are invited to become part of the network. You may download and use this free app available via the App Store and Google Play Store. As you know, the more the Commonwealth’s workforce and citizens are aware of potential exposures to COVID-19, the more likely we are to minimize transmission risk and maintain normal business operations. The VDH acknowledges that no personally identifiable information or location data will be collected, stored, or tracked through COVIDWISE. Use of the app is voluntary, and it can be deleted from any device at any time.

    What is COVIDWISE?
    COVIDWISE is the official Virginia Exposure Notification System (ENS) app created by the Virginia Department of Health in partnership with Google and Apple. This free smartphone app will be available to all Virginians on Google Play and in the App Store on Aug. 5. After downloading the app, you will be able to use your phone in the fight against COVID-19, without compromising your privacy or personal information.

    COVIDWISE uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed so you can reduce the risk for your friends and family and help Virginia stop the spread.

    Who should use COVIDWISE?
    Everyone with an Android or Apple phone is strongly encouraged to download and use COVIDWISE. By working together and using every tool at our disposal, we can protect ourselves and our communities. Minors should request permission to download and use COVIDWISE from a parent or guardian.

    Why is COVIDWISE important?
    COVIDWISE will notify you if you’ve likely been exposed to another app user that shared a positive COVID-19 test result. Knowing your exposure history allows you to self-quarantine effectively, seek timely medical attention, and reduce potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The more Virginians who use COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that you will receive timely exposure notifications that lead to effective disease prevention.

    Is my privacy protected?
    YES! VDH takes privacy very seriously. Every user decides whether or not to opt-in to receive Exposure Notifications, and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not they share their result through COVIDWISE. No location data or personal information is ever collected, stored, or transmitted to VDH. You can delete the app or turn off Exposure Notifications at any time.

    How does COVIDWISE work?
    COVIDWISE works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10-20 minutes. Phones with the app installed will anonymously share these random keys if they are within close proximity. Positive COVID-19 results submitted by other app users are checked against the list of random keys it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there is a match, COVIDWISE may notify the individual, taking into account the date and duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength which is used to estimate proximity.

    How do I download COVIDWISE?
    The FREE app is available for download via the App Store and Google Play Store.

    Where do I find more information about COVIDWISE?

    LEAD CONTACT:

    Greg Steiner
    Associate VP for Process and Effectiveness; Policy Owner
    gsteiner@ehc.edu
    276.944.6763

    BACK-UP CONTACT:

    Ryan Bowyer, Associate Provost & Dean of Students
    rbowyer@ehc.edu
    276.944.6528

    Additional information is available at COVIDWISE.org

  • September 22, 2020-Second Seven Weeks Announcement

    September 22, 2020

    The COVID-19 Task Force has continued to meet regularly during the first seven weeks of the semester. During this time, we have continued to monitor national, regional, and campus trends and how the virus is impacting our operations.

    Overall, we have been incredibly impressed with our students’ response to the pandemic. Students who are here in person recognize that by following safety measures, we can keep them here—and also have the chance to bring back more students. It is encouraging to see students consistently wearing their masks inside and outside, maintaining social distance in classrooms, and following the guidelines established in the residence halls.

    On July 31, we communicated that we were hoping to expand the number of students on campus by the second seven-week session. We are happy to report that we are continuing to move forward with this cautious, phased approach, and are preparing to bring back more students during the first week of October.

    We will be inviting back students that are a member of an NCAA athletics team to reside on campus for the second seven weeks. As the ODAC will resume competition in January, it is imperative that athletic teams be allowed to participate with one another in preparation for the season.

    Students will receive their specific housing information, move-in information, and other important details directly from Josh von Castle, Associate Dean of Students, later today.

    We continue to hope that we will be able to return to a full residential experience in the spring. As such, it is imperative that students continue to follow the Covid-19 policies that have been set forth.

    If you have any questions regarding this information, please do not hesitate to reach out.

    LEAD CONTACT:

    Greg Steiner
    Associate VP for Process and Effectiveness; Policy Owner
    gsteiner@ehc.edu
    276.944.6763

    BACK-UP CONTACT:

    Ryan Bowyer, Associate Provost & Dean of Students
    rbowyer@ehc.edu
    276.944.6528