Safe Return to Campus

The top priority of the University is the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and campus community.

The University will continue to develop and revise guidelines that address the expectations of all members of the community, personal safety practices, staffing options, workplace environments, emotional wellbeing, on-campus visitors, modification of facilities, and workplace education as we continue on-campus life. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the Chowan University community live and abide by the core values of the University. 

This webpage is the source of information for on-campus living and learning. These published plans are continuously evolving. Please check back frequently as details and announcements are made. The University has also created reopening@chowan.edu as a method to ask questions related to the reopening of the University that cannot be found on the reopening webpages.


Update as of 7/21/21: 

Chowan University's administration communicated our intent to return to a more vibrant traditional campus experience. Vaccinations are an essential tool in accomplishing this goal. We strongly encourage our students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated. 

The research and data have demonstrated that vaccines were very effective in earlier trials and appear to be as effective in real-world use limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the severity of symptoms among those who may become infected. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges individuals 12 years and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Students who choose to become vaccinated may submit documentation providing proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to the Wellness Center. The fax number is 252-398- 6446 or you may scan and send it to hullc@chowan.edu

For Spring 2022, our COVID -19 mitigation efforts, including masking (preferably N95 or KN95 masks), will remain unchanged from the fall semester. As we begin this semester, face coverings are required in all indoor spaces on campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. We will continue to monitor the data from our state and region. 

All unvaccinated students, staff, and faculty will begin COVID testing next week. If you are fully vaccinated (2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson and Johnson) and we do not have a copy of your vaccination card, you may submit it as follows students bring a copy to Penny Hall 201 or via email hullc@chowan.edu, faculty and staff may submit to the Human Resources Office or hr@chowan.edu.

The following face-covering requirement becomes effective August 1, 2021.

CU requires face coverings in the following indoor situations to protect against a possible COVID-19 surge upon return to full density on campus: 

  • Classrooms, teaching laboratories, studios, and other spaces where instruction occurs, unless a safety plan has been submitted and an approved exception has been issued
  • Any indoor setting where social distancing of at least 3 feet cannot be maintained
  • Other spaces identified per the current Governor’s Executive Order. 

On CU’s campus, no face covering is required outdoors. However, all unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a face-covering when social distancing of at least 3 feet cannot be maintained. This face-covering restriction will be re-evaluated on or before September 15, 2021.

While the governor’s latest update reflects the great strides that North Carolina has made against COVID-19, the CU community must continue to do our part to protect ourselves and others. Vaccinations are strongly encouraged and available at most pharmacies and local health departments. (More detailed information on this is forthcoming.)

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep the Hawks community safe. The senior staff monitors what is happening in North Carolina and in our immediate area. We will make adjustments for the campus as deemed appropriate.

Safety Practices

Chowan University procedure follows recommendations from the CDC, the state of North Carolina and local health providers as general guidance.

We are committed to implementing a range of measures to help promote health and well-being among students, employees, and campus visitors and to help reduce risk from potential exposure and spread of COVID-19. Procedures set forth in this document are meant to meet minimum threshold requirements for general campus, day-to-day experiences. Where applicable, more stringent requirements will be communicated via signage or university personnel in areas in which potential risk of exposure or infection of COVID-19 are greater.

Responsibility to follow these university policies fall to individual faculty, staff, students, and campus guests in order to promote a good social order with mutual care and respect for others. The language primarily employed in these policies reference the main campus in Murfreesboro, NC, these policies also apply to off-site locations in which Chowan students learn and employees work.

All members of Chowan community (faculty, staff, students, and approved campus visitors) returning to campus are expected to adhere to these primary responsibilities:

1.           Daily health monitoring
2.           Practice physical distancing and wearing cloth coverings when appropriate
3.           Practicing good personal hygiene
4.           Reporting symptoms or possible exposure

Social Distancing

Currently, the CDC reports that the COVID-19 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with each other even when symptoms are not present.  CDC Social Distancing Guidelines

Masks

Because infection of COVID-19 may not produce symptoms, the cloth covering of the nose and mouth is meant as an added precaution against potentially infecting others. Continue to maintain separation from others of at least 6 feet.  CDC Mask Guidelines

Community Spaces

As individuals may be without symptoms of COVID-19 yet test positive for the disease, all persons on campus must maintain at least 6’ of space (physical distance) of separation from others. CDC Social Distancing Guidelines

Health Monitoring Responsibility

Any individual on campus must monitor potential symptoms daily before coming to or interacting with others on campus.  According to the CDC, anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

· Fever
· 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
· Diarrhea

Faculty and staff who have symptoms including a fever of 100 F / 38 C degrees or greater must stay home and contact their primary medical provider and notify Human Resources (hr@chowan.edu). Human Resources guidelines can be found at chowan.edu/hr.

Students with any symptoms including a fever of 100 F / 38 C degrees or greater must call Health Services at (252) 398-6248. Commuting students must not come to campus and residential students must not leave their campus residence. CDC Symptom Monitoring Guidelines

Physical Distancing and Cloth Covering Responsibility

Currently, the CDC reports that the COVID-19 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with each other even when symptoms are not present. Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, also called social distancing, means keeping space between yourself and other people outside your home. As individuals may be without symptoms of COVID-19 yet test positive for the disease, all persons on campus must:

·       maintain at least 6’ of space (physical distance) of separation from others
·       limit gathering into groups
·       minimize time in crowded places

In some scenarios that involve natural vocal projection (singing, lecturing, etc.) a minimum of 15’ is strongly encouraged. In general, this responsibility applies to all environments on campus (classrooms, offices, library, residence halls, etc.) There are naturally occurring congestion areas in day-to-day life on campus (dining, restrooms, elevators, etc.) that need extra consideration. When physical distancing is not possible (small spaces, entering/exiting classrooms and building, congested areas, etc.) cloth coverings are expected to be worn. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for physical distancing. Because infection of COVID-19 may not produce symptoms, the cloth covering of the nose and mouth is meant as an added precaution against potentially infecting others. Continue to maintain separation from others of at least 6 feet.  CDC Face Covering Guidelines

Good Personal Hygiene Responsibility

According to the CDC, handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. When soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  CDC Handwashing Guidelines

All faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors are expected to follow posted signage regarding use of shared campus spaces and resources. Living in community commits us to consider the needs of others before ourselves.

The University is employing additional cleaning and disinfecting measures in response to COVID-19. However, all who live and work at Chowan are expected to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily in their areas daily. CDC Cleaning/Disinfecting Guidelines.

Daily Self Monitoring 

Students, faculty, and staff are expected to complete their own daily self-checkup to help monitor their own health.  Click here for more information.

Self Monitoring and Quarantine Protocol ​

All students, faculty, and staff who report COVID-19 symptoms or who are exposed to the virus must follow the testing, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols established by Chowan University. 

Students:

If you feel ill or experience symptoms of COVID-19:

  • AVOID all contact with others. Stay at home or in your room. Do not go to class, work, dining halls, etc.
  • CALL to self identify. 
  • Call the Wellness Center at 252-398- 6248 between 9 am and 4 pm and our health provider will assess you. 
  • If after hours or the weekend, please call Public Safety at 252-398-1234. Please share your mobile number with them and Public safety will contact our health provider with your phone number and location. Our health provider will call the student and assess.
  • TRANSITION to a temporary self-Isolation space if you are directed to by our health provider. If so, Residence Life will coordinate the isolation space with you and the CARES Team will review service available to you while in self-isolation

Remember to protect yourself and others, you must ACT if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. 

If a student tests positive while on campus, and if they are able to travel home by personal vehicle, they will be encouraged to do so. The CDC warns against mass transportation for anyone testing positive. If they are unable to leave campus, they will be relocated to our quarantine residence hall. Our University nurse will provide the necessary care and monitor them daily. Students in quarantine will be provided their meals and access to any services necessary to include, counseling, pastoral care, etc. If a student tests positive we will begin contact tracing to test all persons they may have encountered in conjunction with the local health departments.  

Faculty & Staff:

If you feel ill or experience symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Employee reports Covid-19 exposure to supervisor 
  • Employee is sent home immediately if on-campus or remains at home if not on campus
  • Human Resources alerted to the situation by the supervisor and responds by contacting our health provider to being the exposure evaluation process. 
  • Human Resources completes a documented confidential log on the medical event, specifying date/time frame, event details, resolution.

Full Employee details are available at chowan.edu/hr. 

Care Commitment
Responsibility to follow the university policies fall to individual faculty, staff, students, and campus guest in order to promote a good social order with mutual care and respect for others. Students will be required to sign the attached community compact, Chowan Strong-Safer Together. The compact is our agreement to care for self, others and this place.

Safe Return Move-in Information

The University will test all students, faculty, and staff regardless of vaccination status at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester, as announced on January 4th.

 

After testing students, faculty, and staff currently on campus as of January 5th, to make an informed decision with a sampling of the population and with the consultation of our medical professionals and local health department, the University will proceed with the start of classes as scheduled on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

 

The University has re-evaluated its move-in process for January 9th to as follows:

 

All new students will check-in on Sunday, January 9th from 9 am -11 am

Returning students with last names A-L will check-in on Sunday, January 9th from 9 am - 12 pm

Returning students with last names M-Z will check-in on Sunday, January 9th from 12 pm - 3 pm

Commuting students may be tested either Sunday during check-in between 9 am and 3 pm or Monday in Penny Hall between 9 am and 3 pm. 

 

ARRIVAL: Upon arrival to campus, students should use the main entrance via High Street to University Drive, and turn into the Dunn/Simons parking lot at Brave Hawks Drive. From there, students will be directed to a Nurses’ tent for assessment and COVID-19 testing.  A negative test will gain you entry into the Jenkins Center or Residence Hall.  

 

You must come during the scheduled hours. If you are unable to arrive when you are scheduled, please contact Residence Life (reslife@chowan.edu) as soon as possible, as you will NOT be able to be tested or given access to campus after hours. It is imperative that students do NOT enter residence halls without following entry testing protocol.  

 

WEEKLY TESTING will continue in the spring 2022 semester for students and employees who are not vaccinated or for those who have not submitted proof of vaccination (to HR for employees and Student Affairs for students).

 

FACE COVERINGS will continue to be required in all indoor spaces for students, faculty, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status.  It is recommended that all students, faculty, staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status continue to follow CDC guidance in regards to outdoor groups. 

 

VACCINATIONS: We must continue to be vigilant in our efforts as we return to our living and learning spaces. The CDC strongly recommends all eligible people become fully up to date on their vaccination. The Wellness Center at Chowan does have Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to faculty, staff and students. 

 

The University will continue to follow the guidance of our local and state health officials and adjust plans as necessary. 

 

Thank you for your continued diligence, understanding, and cooperation. 

Check-in Assessment 

When you arrive on campus, you will be required to participate in a health screening before you check-in. The screening will include having your temperature checked and answer pertinent questions. All students will be required to take a BinaxNOW Antigen COVID-19 Test which is a nasal swab test but does not require a lab for analysis and results are available in 15 minutes. The Chowan community will be expected to complete a daily self-health screening prior to attending classes or beginning your day on campus.

Food Service*

Chowan University dining services lead by Pioneer Catering completed a fall 2020 start-up reconfiguration of the Turner Cafeteria, Chowan Room, and Hawk’s Nest designed to ensure social distancing during meals.   The maximum dining occupancy at each location is as follows: (Note: Traditional maximum occupancy provided for reader convenience)

Thomas Dining Hall – 242 patrons (Traditional Max Occupancy – 495)
Chowan Room – 40 patrons  (Traditional Max Occupancy – 88)
Hawk’s Nest – 222 patrons  (Traditional Max Occupancy 855)

Each table will have a sticker reflecting where students are to sit for dining.  This strategy allows for rapid cleaning recovery as students complete their meals and assists with making certain the social distancing requirements are maintained.  Meals may be consumed in one of the three locations subject to the new maximum limits or may be selected in a “To Go” model.  Students selecting a “To Go” option will have the option to receive a second carry-out box to facilitate “seconds.”

In the event a student is quarantined on campus, the university will deliver meals to each residence hall location subject to medical guidelines for each meal period.  Quarantined students will be provided a menu ahead of the meal delivery to note their preferred meal choices  

 

Dining Calendar:
Thomas Dining Hall will open on Saturday, January 16 beginning at dinner. The Hawk’s Nest opening will be communicated via email to students. The cafeteria will be offering athletic and early arrival support beginning January 4th - hours will be communicated by Chowan email. 

Faculty and staff who wish to take advantage of Pioneer services will be asked to take their meals in a “Take Out” fashion.  This will ensure that the dine-in resources are adequate to meet student demand.

Dining: 
In January, Chowan University will have a professionally installed disinfectant barrier installed throughout the campus to include all dining areas (this was also completed in the fall). The disinfectant barrier is designed to enable our surface and seating areas to act as a retardant of bacteria exchange thereby providing a level of protection against contagions to assist with flattening the pandemic curve.

Our custodial service provider – Aramark – has realigned their cleaning schedule to introduce an early morning and early evening deep cleaning strategy for all our dining and academic facilities.  Teamed with Pioneer resources, the university feels that the dining facilities will be continuously monitored and cleaned as patrons complete their meals.  Each evening, Aramark will perform an exhaustive cleaning after each cafeteria location is closed in alignment with the specifications and expectations of the disinfectant barrier to achieve maximum protection throughout the fall semester. 

*As of Spring 2021. We are continually updating this information to reflect our plans for Fall 2021.

Student Life

To provide meaningful, safe, and healthy experiences for all members of the community, the University will be reimagined. 

The University will modify facilities to include limiting capacity in spaces; closing, where possible, informal gathering places; creating visual cues to direct community members where to enter, exit, stand, etc.; installing, where possible, barriers to ensure physical distancing; and removing furniture in public spaces.

Please see the Fall 2020 Safe Reopening Student Affairs Guidelines for more details. 

Continued Safety Measures

The University will prepare a public health plan that includes COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols, quarantine guidelines for students diagnosed as positive and for students who had contact with a diagnosed individual, and self-isolation guidelines for an employee who is diagnosed as positive or who has been exposed to or come in contact with an individual who has tested positive.

To provide safe spaces where learning, teaching, serving, engaging, living, playing, and working together can thrive, the University will modify facilities to include limiting capacity in spaces; closing, where possible, informal gathering places; creating visual cues to direct community members where to enter, exit, stand, etc.; installing, where possible, barriers to ensure physical distancing; and removing furniture in public spaces.

To facilitate social distancing, University faculty will employ a mix of instructional delivery methods to include in-person, hybrid, and remote, while maintaining instructional excellence in all courses.

To provide meaningful, safe and healthy experiences for all members of the community, the University will reimagine every dimension of the Chowan experience, including student organizations, residential life, dining services, athletic events, special programs, performances, exhibitions, admissions events, commencements, alumni and philanthropic activities, etc.

The University will implement standards, processes, and responsibilities for routine cleaning and disinfecting high-touch points and public spaces, such as classrooms, lobbies, and restrooms, etc.; for identifying areas to be deep cleaned following a presumptive for confirmed COVID-19 case; for distributing cleaning and disinfecting supplies to employees who have the responsibility of disinfecting their workspace on a regular basis several times per day; and for installing hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic points throughout campus.