Students at William Jewell College will soon move in, beginning with new students Aug. 22 and ending with returning students Aug. 25. Due to health precautions implemented to best maintain the Jewell community’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic, move-in will be noticeably different than in years past.
Before move-in, students must fill out a COVID-19 Campus Housing Screening Form no sooner than 24 hours before moving in to campus. Once on campus, instead of going straight to their residence halls, students will report to the Mabee Center – where they will be screened for temperatures and given a stamp that allows them to move into their designated residence halls. New students will also receive their iPad from the Mabee Center upon check-in.
This is the first year that Greek life and other students will not be present on new student move-in day to assist with first-year move-in. Instead, all students – both new and returning – will be able to have no more than two guests help them move in. Once screened and approved, students and their guests will make their ways to residence halls, where there will be separate staircases for entering and exiting to promote distancing.
Masks are required to be worn properly by all in attendance. Gloves, which are also required to be worn, will be passed out at check-in. Students will be given a 90 minute designated time slot to move in to ensure minimal congestion of the residence halls and adhere to capacity guidelines. Since guests are not permitted in dorms while the campus is at level B or C of the campus housing protocol, guests who are helping students move must leave campus immediately following the end of the designated 90 minute time slot.
Once students are moved in they must adhere to the housing, dining and campus policies associated with the threat level matrix – which are categorized in increasing threat from 0, A, B, C and D, with D meaning cluster cases have broken out on campus. The current threat level can be found by viewing the threat level flag placed on the quad or on the Jewell website. The color of the flag – bright green for level 0, light green for level A, yellow for level B, light red for level C and dark red for level D – will denote the current threat level and appropriate precautions to be taken.
The only new housing policy for the 2020-21 school year is the Quarantine and Isolation Policy, which was recently put out by the College. The document states that “students must be ready to act swiftly should they find themselves in one of the final two categories [exposed to, showing symptoms of or diagnosed with COVID-19]. Residential students should also have an immediate off campus housing contingency plan (return home, stay with friends or relatives, etc.) in the event of an unanticipated campus closure.”
Asymptomatic residential students who have been exposed to someone suspected to have or diagnosed with COVID-19 must temporarily relocate to a room designated for quarantine use by Jewell staff. Students under quarantine are prohibited from having visitors and can arrange for meals to be delivered to their room. If a student under quarantine does test positive for COVID-19, they must begin isolation.
Students diagnosed with COVID-19 or another highly contagious illness must begin isolation if they are unable to leave campus. Students under isolation may leave their room only to use the restroom or in case of emergency and will have isolation room calls from the College nurse practitioner. Visitors are prohibited in both instances. Students will be released from quarantine and/or isolation following 14 days free of COVID-19 symptoms and upon permission from the nurse practitioner.
In addition to the changed move-in and housing policies, the College is taking other steps to make campus safer as students return to campus. Plexiglass has been installed in high traffic consumer areas and in certain classrooms. All students and employees will be expected to track symptoms daily using this form.
Two cloth masks will be provided to students upon arrival – as they are required to wear on campus at all times unless otherwise instructed – and there will be stations for disposable masks throughout campus. Custodial services will be cleaning high-touch areas at least once a day. The College is also encouraging students and employees to clean high-touch areas after each use, following the “wingtip and wipe method,” wherein one wipes down every area within reach of one’s open arms.
Testing and contact tracing will be followed throughout the semester. Testing is always available through the Clay County Health Department and is free for Jewell students. Preventative testing of asymptomatic members of the Jewell community will be directed to the Clay County Health Department to be tested. Those who are symptomatic or asymptomatic with recent exposure will be tested at either the Student Health Center or Liberty Hospital, chosen on a case by case basis. Those directed to be tested at Liberty Hospital will not be responsible for the cost of the test, according to Jewell’s COVID-19 testing policy.
Students will be tested periodically if they are participating in activities in which facial coverings are not required and distancing cannot always be executed. According to the testing policy, students who fall under that category are those participating in “team physical exercise, athletic practices and weight training, and athletic performances in which distancing is difficult and facial coverings are not advised,” as well as those in “ensembles, rehearsals, and vocal or theatrical productions (performers only).”
To ensure these precautionary measures are effective, the College strongly suggests that all students get tested no less than 72 hours before returning to campus.
For more information on measures the College is taking, refer to Jewell’s Campus Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic.