Health and safety

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Q: How will I know if someone I attend classes with or work with becomes positive for COVID-19?

A: VCU has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to hire and train a team of contact tracers to contact anyone who is believed to be exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Q: What happens when a positive case is identified on campus?

A: Positive cases reported through 1-804-MYCOVID will trigger notification to the school/department for room/office closure, Facilities Management for cleaning and the Virginia Department of Health to begin contact tracing.

Q: Will there be temperature screening stations available on campus?

A: Yes, there are more than 40 temperature screening stations at various locations on both campuses.

Q: Why must all students and employees take a daily health survey if the results are not reported?

A: Everyone must be deliberate in the monitoring of their daily health and reporting symptoms to Student Health Services or Employee Health. The daily health survey is a tool to support this important part of VCU’s return to campus plan.

Q: If I do not attend classes/activities on campus, of if I telework exclusively, do I have to report a positive test result or symptoms to Student Health Services or Employee Health?

A: Yes. VCU is tracking all positive cases and potentially positive cases in the VCU community.

Q: Is there a safe space where I can work or wait between classes?

A: Common spaces such as libraries and student commons will be open and operational. Though seating and workspaces may be limited due to physical distancing needs, the physical density of students and employees on campus is also expected to be considerably lower, therefore common spaces that you might otherwise use to work and study can still be used safely as long as community members follow safety protocols. In addition, VCU has designated certain classroom spaces for eating and studying. Students and employees remain responsible for cleaning workspaces, even in common areas, before and after each use.

Q: What if other students and employees do not wear a mask or follow the safety guidelines? Should I say something?

A: We can’t see COVID-19 and it can be easy to forget that it still poses a threat. Yes, you are welcome to offer other students and/or colleagues a friendly reminder to follow safety protocols. If you are not comfortable with offering a reminder, you can report it to a faculty member, advisor or supervisor.

Q: If I forget my mask, where can I pick up an extra?

A: Locations throughout campus will have disposable masks available. Please check this spreadsheet for locations and times.

Q: Do I have to have all the symptoms of COVID-19 to click “yes” on the daily health survey? If I only have one symptom, should I also click “yes”?

A: If you experience any one or more symptoms associated with COVID-19, yes, you must report it on your daily health survey and contact Student Health Services or Employee Health Services by calling 1-804-MYCOVID or 1-804-692-6843.

Q: How will mask wearing by students be enforced by instructors?

A: To protect the VCU community, face masks will be required in all common areas, including classrooms. Faculty should remind students of this requirement in their syllabus, and if students are not wearing a face mask in the classroom, faculty will need to ask them to leave class (unless they have provided the instructor with an accommodation letter). There is a location in every building where a student can get a disposable mask in case they forgot their mask. If the student refuses to comply with the requirement to wear a mask in class, the faculty member should dismiss the whole class and refer the non-compliant student to the dean of student affairs. Refusal to comply with rules can include progressive disciplinary action up to and including suspension, based on the VCU Student Code of Conduct.

Q: If a student is displaying signs/symptoms of being sick in a classroom, what is the protocol for the instructor? Do they have the right to request the student leave?

A: Yes, you do have the right to ask a student to leave (unless the student has provided the instructor with an accommodation letter). We know the key is setting clear expectations up front. The syllabus will be important in setting clear expectations. Also, there is a location in every building where a student to get a disposable mask in case they forgot their mask.

Q: What is the protocol when faculty refuse to wear a mask?

A: VCU's strategy is to educate all members of our community as to why face coverings and masks are essential components of our return to campus. If a faculty member refuses to wear a mask and has not received an accomodation through the Public Health Response Team, then the faculty member will be referred to their deparment and school for a conversation about ways to move forward.

Q: Is the COVIDWISE App replacing the Kallaco App?

A: No. These two apps are separate. VCU students and employees should use Kallaco as part of their participation in surveillance testing (formerly referred to as "prevalence testing"). In addition, students living on campus should use the Kallaco app to complete their daily health survey. COVIDWISE is Virginia’s official COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app that launched Aug. 5, 2020. COVIDWISE is an additional health and safety resource and does not replace VCU's use of Kallaco.

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