In June, the College released its policy on face masks which is now updated based on new data about the importance of masks. The policy now states that approved face masks shall be worn in all indoor common spaces in any College building, and in all outdoor spaces where 6 feet of social distancing isn’t possible.
You may bring your own CDC-approved mask with you to campus. The College has adequate PPE to manage any COVID-related events that occur on campus.
Student surveillance testing has determined that members of our community have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. All of our protocols – behavioral infection management, social distancing, surveillance testing, and wastewater analysis – were designed to prevent and prepare for the arrival of COVID-19 on our campus. We will manage this moment to keep our community healthy and safe.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be isolated for 10 days in O’Connor Hall, or at home if students and their families choose. To allow us to focus our space and care on these students, individuals going through the contact tracing process who must quarantine for 14 days must do so off-campus, with certain exceptions.
With any confirmed, positive COVID-19 case, and in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, Saint Joseph’s College has notified local health officials and are following CDC guidelines specifically for Institutes of Higher Education.
We will remain vigilant and continue to identify cases early through our wastewater testing, expand our individual surveillance testing, and use the CDC’s support for contact tracing to minimize, and ultimately stop, the spread of the virus.
Our approach to keeping Saint Joseph’s College clean and safe this year will be comprehensive and flexible. Different areas of campus will require different methods, frequency of cleaning, and levels of participation from the community. Together, our Facilities team and every member of our College community can prevent community spread of COVID-19.
Commonly used across campus in both mobile sanitizing stations and touchless distribution, hand sanitizer is an effective product that is easy for members of our community to use. Although individual offices frequently bring their own personal hand sanitizer with them to work, the College widely deploys Purell as our primary sanitizer. Purell is composed of 70% alcohol, and is one of several products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Electrostatic Disinfection Sprayers
Electrostatic spraying enables our Facilities team a quick, safe, and effective sanitation application. Electrostatic sprayers also allow disinfection solutions to cover hidden and shadowed areas, and also enable the user to cover a large area in a small amount of time.
These sprayers have been designed to meet dwell times – the amount of time that a sanitizer or disinfectant must be in contact with a surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product’s advertised kill rate – in order to effectively rid campus surfaces of the virus. Victory Sprayers provide an effective system for broad and safe use.
Saint Joseph’s College uses an EPA registered product (Victory Sprayers) that has a related Covid-19 claim (EPA# 70627-24). Victory Sprayers give an eco-friendly approach to disinfection by spraying up to 65% less disinfection solutions per square foot.
All areas of campus will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day. Below are descriptions of our protocols for each type of environment:
Classrooms: scheduled routine daily cleaning + self-sanitizing before each class + nightly disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer
Faculty & Staff Offices: scheduled routine daily cleaning + self-sanitizing + disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer
Alfond Center (Gym, Dance Studio, Locker Rooms, Fitness Center): scheduled routine daily cleaning + self-sanitizing before each class + scheduled daily disinfecting with electrostatic sprayers + scheduled nightly disinfecting with electrostatic sprayers
The Fitness Center is operating on a limited, reservation-only basis for set times throughout the day. Alfond Center student staff will be cleaning and sanitizing all equipment after every fitness appointment, in addition to the protocols described above.
Food Service (kitchen and dining areas in Baggot/Pearson’s): scheduled routine daily cleaning + self-sanitizing before, and during, meal preparation and service. Facilities Management will also be sanitizing dining spaces overnight consistent with the rest of campus. All staff will be following relevant department of health and Maine CDC guidance for food service consistent with COVID-19 protocols and the local health inspector. All staff will be wearing clean, appropriately-worn PPE issued by the College. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available at all dining locations on campus, and patrons will be encouraged to use it frequently.
Academic Common Areas and Wellehan Library (hallways/meeting rooms/lounges/stacks): scheduled daily disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer + scheduled nightly disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer
Administrative Common Areas/Hallways/Meeting Rooms): scheduled routine daily cleaning + scheduled daily disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer + scheduled nightly disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer
Residence Hall Common Areas/Lounges/Kitchens: scheduled routine daily cleaning + scheduled daily disinfecting with electrostatic sprayer + scheduled nightly disinfecting with electrostatic spraye
Student Rooms/Suites: As this is their personal residence at the College, students will have responsibility for cleaning and disinfecting their own personal residence hall rooms and personal belongings. If students need cleaning and sanitizing products to assist them, they should contact their RA, who will be working with the College’s Facilities Management department to acquire the necessary supplies.
If there is a developing situation that requires a specific deep-cleaning of any one student’s personal room, (for example, if we believe a resident has come into contact with COVID-19) that student will be notified by Facilities Management that they will be entering their space to conduct a thorough assessment and cleaning of the room.
During break periods and holidays, as has been the routine, Facilities Management will enter student rooms to conduct compliance fire safety checks, and will also use this opportunity to sanitize and disinfect.
Along with masks, the CDC has consistently reinforced two other simple activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Social Distancing – whenever possible, you should remain at least six feet from another person at all times. The virus is carried in droplets, the biggest of which tend to fall to the floor before they can travel six feet.
Handwashing – this should be done often throughout your day. Use hot water and scrub with soap like a surgeon for at least 20 seconds.
The SJC Health Center has relocated from its former home in Carmel Hall to a new, larger, updated space on the first floor of O’Connor Hall. The new Health Center will still be available to handle all of the services previously provided including diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries, filling of prescriptions, over-the-counter medication, physical exams and lab testing (including COVID-19 tests).
In order to maintain the health and wellness of those working in and visiting the Health Center we ask that all students schedule an appointment in advance at 207-893-6634 or by using our online scheduling portal. For medical emergencies, Campus Safety should be called immediately at 207-893-7911. These numbers are very important and should be saved in all student’s phones.
The College will provide individual testing for COVID-19 to those showing symptoms of the virus. Our on-campus PCR analyzers from Abbott Labs will allow testing for five individuals at a time, and produce results in 8-13 minutes. Students awaiting results will be able to isolate in O’Connor. The machine will be available in September, and will offer the ability to test for Influenza, Strep, and RSV in addition to COVID-19.
The College is using wastewater analysis in 10 campus buildings to provide an “early warning system” designed to detect the presence of COVID-19. Anonymized and able to catch viral shed during the asymptomatic phase of the virus, this analysis will alert the College to the presence of SARS-CoV-2 up to six days before symptomatic cases are caught through individual testing. Wastewater testing is part of our overall infection management system, and will provide the community with trendline information over time about whether the virus is increasing or decreasing in the community.
Read the SJC Wastewater Plan and Protocol for Testing of Employees
UPDATE September 25, Regarding the phased ending of Study in Place
To ensure that the end of Study in Place doesn’t put us back where we started, we have introduced some targeted testing requirements that will be enforced over the next week.
All resident students that left SJC and are currently off-campus will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result before they arrive back on campus, and fill out our online “Returning From Away” form. We understand that this requirement may feel inconvenient, but it is a common sense measure that dramatically reduces the risk to SJC students, faculty and staff. Our Hyflex learning system was designed to accommodate learning from on or off campus. So if you need to spend a few more days learning remotely until you can get a test done, that’s okay – just let your faculty know.
All resident students that remained on campus – honoring SJC and CDC guidelines – but have not been tested at the Health and Wellness Center, will be tested immediately.
All commuter students that missed their testing appointment in the Health and Wellness Center this week will be required to get a negative test on campus before they enter any campus building.
The College’s protocols for individual students who develop COVID-19 while on campus are represented in our SJC Health and Wellness Center COVID-19 Plan of Care. This document, provided by our Health Center staff, offers step-by-step instructions for managing a positive diagnosis. Whether you can leave campus and go home, or must quarantine in the residences we’ve set aside for that purpose, the Plan of Care will guide you. It also includes important agreements and instructions to help you keep the SJC community safe.
The College will not prohibit students from traveling, either within or outside Maine. We will encourage healthy, safe, and informed decision-making on the part of our students, faculty and staff about where and how they travel. We will also ensure that all students traveling outside Maine comply with state regulations that apply to their return from a specific travel destination.
Currently, Maine is a very safe place to be, and the campus is even safer. We encourage students to stay on campus, even during break periods, to keep themselves and our community as safe as possible.
Effective Sept. 28, Campus Safety will create a “comfort zone” at the entrance to campus to make sure anyone coming and going is staying safe.
- Admissions tours have resumed.
- Off-campus visitors will not be allowed to come into campus residence halls.
- Families will be allowed to come and deliver food, supplies, care packages (quick outdoor visit) after checking in with Campus Safety Comfort Zone personnel.