Health on Campus
Face Covering Policy & PPE
In June, the College released its policy on face coverings which is now updated based on new data about the importance of masks. The policy now states that approved face coverings 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 or face shield with you to campus. We will also have SJC-branded masks waiting for you when you arrive. Additionally, the College will have adequate PPE to manage any COVID-related events that occur on campus.
Compliance with Maine Quarantine/Testing Regulations
While students from the states of ME, NH, VT, CT, NY, and NJ can come to campus without this advance paperwork, students arriving from all other states, US territories, and other countries are responsible for complying with Maine law.
When you arrive to campus for move-in, all persons (you, and those accompanying you, like parents, siblings, friends) who are not residents of Maine or states exempted from quarantine requirements will be asked to sign the State of Maine’s Certificate of Compliance indicating either that you have recently received a negative COVID-19 test result (within 72-hours before arriving in Maine), or that you have already completed a 14-day quarantine somewhere in Maine. We’ll keep this on file at the College for 30 days as recommended by the state.
This compliance form must be signed when you move-in, by all parties attempting to help you with move-in. We will have copies on hand for you to sign in person, but we recommend that you read it in advance. If you or other individuals with you attempt to move-in without this documentation, your move-in experience is likely to result in a significant delay. You will be redirected to one of the local clinics and Maine Swab and Send sites and must obtain a negative test result before returning to campus, which might take a day or more. It’s an unfortunate, but necessary, part of complying with our State’s requirements.
Please make arrangements now to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test in your local community, or with your local physician, and obtain those results 72-hours prior to your arrival to Maine. We anticipate testing sites will experience high-traffic with many college students returning from these states to Maine, so the earlier you can schedule a test, the better.
Additionally, you may also schedule an appointment with one of Maine’s Swab and Send testing sites, which provides free testing for visitors to Maine. More information on these requirements, and site locations for testing, is online.
It goes without saying, if state requirements change, we’ll be in touch with you directly. We know this is a challenging component of your move-in or return to Saint Joe’s. We are aware of some recent regional difficulty in obtaining tests, as well as receiving results from those tests in the timeframe that the State of Maine is requiring. Please know that while the College understands these difficulties, we’re also obligated to obey State law.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
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 Cepheid molecular test will allow testing for four individuals at a time, and produce results in 30-45 min. Molecular testing has been shown to be confirmatory and accurate to a higher degree than other testing protocols. 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.
SJC is also investigating the potential benefits of community-wide wastewater analysis on campus, which would offer an “early warning system.” Anonymized and able to catch viral shed during the asymptomatic phase of the virus, this analysis would alert the College to the presence of SARS-CoV-2 up to six days before symptomatic cases are caught through individual testing.
Covid on Campus
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, factulty 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.