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Hendrix College Spring 2021 Reopening Plan

Guiding Principles

Hendrix College is a community of learners. In order to protect the health and wellbeing of the entire community of students, staff, faculty, and administrators, a high-level of safety policies and health protections are necessary. Because Hendrix community members interact in many ways on a residential campus, the College may require protections beyond those put in place by local and state authorities.

Hendrix is a close and caring community, and a healthy and successful spring semester with in-person classes will require the commitment of every community member. All students and employees will sign a Community Commitment that outlines expectations and policies. 

All community members will be expected to comply with all COVID-19 safety and health policies. Community members should feel comfortable in appropriately and gracefully pointing out violations. With the right approach, we can educate and protect one another this spring and beyond.



Health and Wellness

Use of Facemasks/Coverings

As face covering is an essential component to stopping the spread of the coronavirus and protecting the community, all community members—students and employees—are expected to face-cover when around others. Importantly, these coverings protect not only the wearer but also everyone in close proximity. Further, the city of Conway mandates the wearing of face coverings in public areas.

  • All face coverings must meet CDC recommendations (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html).
  • The College has provided employees with two masks each (with more available as needed).
  • The College has provided students with one cloth face mask each. Additionally, the College will provide three disposable facemasks for students and their guests on move-in day. Finally, the College will also ask students to bring at least seven additional face coverings with them (enough for a week between launderings).
  • Face covering is required inside all College buildings, except while working or studying alone in a confined space, such as an office or laboratory.
  • Face coverings should be put on before entering buildings and not removed until exiting buildings (and then only if social distancing is possible).
  • When outside, individuals may remove face coverings unless within six feet of others; however, students and employees should carry a face covering at all times in case of an encounter with others.
  • Those not complying with policy will be asked to leave and return with a face covering. Individuals may be subject to warnings or other sanctions (student sanctions may include the full range listed in the Student Handbook based upon severity and frequency of the violations; employee sanctions may eventually result in termination).
  • The College will provide face shields to all faculty members in case they would like to wear a shield in addition to a face covering. If a disability prevents a student or employee from wearing a face covering, they should contact Academic Success and Human Resources respectively to be granted approval to wear a face shield instead (students and employees approved for the face shield may be asked to undertake regular COVID-19 testing through the Hendrix testing protocol).Students and employees should regularly wash face coverings.

For more information on face covering, see Appendix MASK.

Social Distancing

Individuals must keep six feet from one another at all times (there will be rare exceptions to this policy, such as shared residence hall rooms). This includes in classrooms, meeting rooms, laboratories, and offices. The College will provide signage and floor decals, barriers, and access control to maximize social distancing adherence.

Group Size

No group larger than fifty (50) individuals will be permitted (dining facilities may accommodate more individuals at one time with adequate spacing). All groups must adhere to social-distancing and face-covering policies.

Training and Education

Hendrix is committed to providing training and education as we work to create a safe environment for our community. This education will be provided on several levels: 

  • All community members will receive information about basic individual responsibilities and expectations to comply with safety measures.
  • All students and employees will be required to sign a social Community Commitment that outlines campus safety expectations and policies. Students must complete the Commitment to receive a room key and attend classes.   
  • Individuals who are expected to interact with students, and assume increased risk as part of that work, will receive additional training on safety measures. This group includes, but is not limited to: Res Life staff, Public Safety, Dining, Facilities, Housekeeping, Athletic staff, and other employees with high student contact.
  • Faculty members will receive additional instructions on how to keep classroom environments safe and how to enforce expectations for safety within the classroom.
  • Athletic staff and student-athletes will receive additional training from our partnership with the Conway Regional Health System for safety in athletic practices, games, and other contact points.

Virus Testing

Leaders from Hendrix College, Central Baptist College, and the University of Central Arkansas have formed a partnership with the Conway Regional Health System to craft a unified approach to protecting the community.

All students living in campus housing will be tested through the Hendrix-Conway Regional testing protocol upon arrival. The College will stagger student arrivals across several weeks (student athletes, sophomores for Career Term, freshers for orientation, etc.); students will be notified of their move-in date and gateway testing day and time period. All students attending class in-person but not living on campus will be tested through the Hendrix-Conway Regional protocol prior to the first day of classes; these students will also be notified of their testing day and time.

During the semester, Hendrix and Conway Regional will surveillance test students throughout the semester. Student-athletes will be tested according to NCAA requirements. Other students will be systematically tested. Additionally, anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a confirmed case will be tested. The costs for gateway and ongoing surveillance testing will be paid by the state of Arkansas (with CARES Act funding).

The Hendrix testing strategy will continue to evolve based on the guidance of Conway Regional Health, the CDC, and other experts.

If a student or employee shows symptoms of COVID-19 or was in close contact with a confirmed case (see Contact Tracing below), they should immediately quarantine and follow these steps:

  1. Contact the Hendrix Testing and Tracing Coordinator by emailing aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu or calling/texting 501-476-5562. Set up a telehealth appointment with the Hendrix Medical Clinic. The clinic will provide COVID screening and testing services.
  2. The student or employee and the Hendrix Testing and Tracing Coordinator will be notified of test results once lab work is completed.

Anyone who is tested will self-quarantine pending the test result. Anyone who is a close contact of a confirmed case will self-quarantine for 14 days regardless of test result. COVID symptomatic and close-contact testing will be billed through the student’s or employee’s health insurance plan.

Conway Regional will provide testing results to Hendrix for use in contact tracing and quarantine oversight.

Screening

Students will be expected to complete a self-screening before arriving on campus for move-in day (students will receive instructions, including a self-screening checklist). Hendrix staff will also screen students for symptoms upon check-in.

The College will utilize #CampusClear and ask all students, faculty, and staff to complete a daily health screening via the app before coming to campus or entering campus buildings. Signs on the inside and outside of buildings will remind students and employees to do this. Student and employee education programs will also stress the importance of thorough self-screening. The College has purchased and will supply thermometers to every student.

If a screening identifies potential infection factors, community members should stay home or in their room, avoid others, and contact the Hendrix Testing and Tracing Coordinator by emailing aboutcovid19@hendrix.edu or calling/texting 501-476-5562.

Quarantining and Isolating

Quarantining is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the virus that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without experiencing symptoms. Students will be quarantined when they have been in close contact with a person with an active case of COVID-19, and while they await virus test results.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who have a confirmed case of COVID-19) from people who are not infected. Students will be isolated when they have a positive test result.

Students are asked to limit contact with individuals other than immediate family members for 14 days prior to coming to campus on move-in day. 

Once the semester begins, students living on campus who are required to quarantine or isolate will do so on campus. While students may elect to quarantine or isolate at home, they should consider the risk of spreading COVID-19 to family and community members. The exception is for students unable to care for themselves; such students must return home or move to hospital care.

The Corner House will be used as the primary Hendrix isolation facility (with additional space on campus identified to provide additional isolation beds if needed). Hendrix will contract with an external service for regular cleaning of the Corner House.

Students living in housing units where it is possible to safely quarantine or isolate in place will not be required to move to temporary quarantine or isolation facilities. For those who need to move to protect other students, the College will provide separate rooms, apartments, and wings within most residence halls, thereby limiting disruption caused by extensive moves.

Meals will be delivered to students in quarantine and isolation (in some cases, students may need to pick up meals from a centralized drop-off location). Resident Assistants and an Isolation and Quarantine Support Manager will support quarantine and isolation students.  

The Isolation and Quarantine Support Manager and the Testing and Tracing Coordinator will work with Residence Life to support students in quarantine and isolation and will let them know when they are able to return to interaction with the community. The Manager and Coordinator will communicate with relevant faculty and staff (classroom instructors, coaches, etc.).

Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing will occur when a member of the Hendrix community tests positive for COVID-19. The College Testing and Tracing Coordinator and trained Hendrix employees will interview the person testing positive to create a list of contacts potentially infected (those that meet the criteria for a close contact as defined by the Arkansas Department of Health):

  • contact within six feet
  • contact lasting more than 15 minutes

Trained staff will then interview those on the list of contacts. The College is developing tools and policies to aid in contact tracing such as assigned seating in classrooms and direct reporting through a health screening app. Staff actively monitor best practices and tools at other institutions and consider implementation when appropriate.

All contacts meeting the criteria listed above will quarantine for 14 days. All close contacts will be tested; if test results are positive, contacts will isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms (if symptomatic) or the testing date (if asymptomatic).

Hendrix will only trace internal—Hendrix community—contacts. External contact tracing will be performed by the Arkansas Department of Health and local authorities.

A New Partnership with Conway Regional Health System

The Conway Regional Health System has opened a community health clinic in the Hendrix Village. This clinic is now operating Hendrix Student Health Services. This partnership is indispensable as the College manages the COVID-19 challenge.

Ongoing Monitoring

Hendrix will continue to follow policies, requirements, and guidance from local and state governmental and public health authorities. However, as this plan indicates, the College will adopt a higher level of protective measures as necessary. Further, College leadership will monitor key indicators—such as state and local testing positivity rates, capacity of local hospitals, campus quarantine and isolation space available, number of active cases in the Hendrix community, etc.—as we continually evaluate and update all COVID-19 policies.



Student Life

Single Bedroom Housing Plan

One of the College’s pandemic response strategies is to reduce the density of the traditional halls for the spring semester. We should be able to provide additional single bedroom options to all students wanting to live on campus because a number of students will select remote learning for the spring semester, and through the addition of Veasey Hall as a living option. Students who are currently assigned single bedrooms in the Apartments and Houses will likely see no changes. Students living in doubles in the Houses will have the option to request a single room.

Once students declare their intentions to learn in-person or remotely, Residence Life staff will work to identify open spaces and offer single options to students. Students may elect to live with a roommate if both parties agree. However, if either student in a shared room is required to quarantine during the semester, the other student must quarantine as well.

Students who have acquired local off-campus apartments for the fall semester may apply for a housing exemption for the spring semester. This exemption application must be received by November 1.

Any changes to spring semester housing assignments will be finalized by November 20 and housing confirmation notices will be sent at that time.

First-Year Student Move-In and Orientation

First-year students (FYS) will tentatively move in on Friday, January 15 and will be tested for the coronavirus that same day. While FYS had virtual orientation leading up to fall semester, orientation will continue the weekend after move-in. Details on FYS move-in and orientation will be communicated at a later date.

Move-In for Returning Students

Students are asked to limit contact with individuals other than immediate family members for 14 days prior to coming to campus on move-in day. 

Other students will be provided information on move-in day and time by early December. Students will be given a timeslot for move-in as well as for virus testing. Students may be accompanied by no more than two guests on their respective move-in days (and everyone present will follow all COVID-19 safety precautions to protect the community).

For details concerning move-in, see Appendix MOVE-IN DAY.

Wellness and Athletics Center

The WAC reopened on July 7 in accordance with strict polices set by the state of Arkansas. For a complete list of WAC reopening guidelines and restrictions, see: https://www.hendrix.edu/wac/.

Intercollegiate Athletics

The Southern Athletic Association has postponed fall competitions. The Association is now developing competition schedules for spring semester. Further, Athletics will follow the more stringent training requirements put in place by the Southern Athletic Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Department of Athletics will make all requirements and policies available to student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and staff.



Campus Operations

Dining Services

Dining Services will encourage carryout meals, reduce capacity, and extend service hours to allow for social distancing in the main cafeteria. Because the Dining Hall will seat far fewer students, and will fill especially quickly during the busy lunch meal, students will have the option to use an app to pre-order meals that may be picked up in The Burrow (Dining Services will post information about the app on its website and social media). All procedures are designed to minimize contact, and strict sanitation and employee screening procedures will be followed.

Dining Services will provide information and instructions prior to spring opening.

For more details on spring dining services, including hours of operation, see Appendix DINING SERVICES.

Campus Visitors and Events

All campus visitors and events must adhere to all College and state guidelines regarding gatherings, social distancing, room capacities, sanitation protocols, and face coverings. Visitors are generally discouraged from coming to campus. At this time, however, the College will welcome prospective students and their families to campus (see Appendix ADMISSION for policies governing such visits). Such guests will be informed of pertinent health and safety guidelines to be observed while on campus and provided a face covering, if needed. The College department or office organizing the visit will communicate expectations in advance of such visits. Hosts and guides must always wear a face covering during the visit. Finally, the College will regularly evaluate the visitor policy and adjust in accordance with the level of virus threat, including canceling all visits if necessary.

Events and gatherings should be virtual whenever possible and appropriate. No public or external events will be scheduled at this time. A Hendrix office, department, or student group requesting an event or gathering of more than 50 people must petition the COVID Response Coordinator. 

For detailed Visitors and Events policies, see Appendix VISITORS AND EVENTS.

Buildings and Common Spaces

Each campus building has unique features and needs. In order to keep the community safe, the following principles will apply:

  • One-way flow of traffic where possible.
  • Reduced density in seating areas to allow for social distancing.
  • Microsoft Teams used for meetings when possible.
  • Scheduling of in-person meetings to allow for social distancing, time between meetings, and no queuing.
  • Informational signs (including traffic flow and self-screening) at all entrances.
  • Hand-washing signs in all bathrooms.
  • Hand-sanitizing and disinfecting products will be available.

Facilities personnel and external consultants are examining campus Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems to maximize air flow exchange rate and filtration. UV light disinfection will be installed in HVAC units where appropriate. Facilities will continue to monitor and upgrade equipment when possible.

Building supervisors will work with Facilities and the COVID Response Coordinator to maximize community safety.

The SLTC and Residence Hall building policies are listed in Appendix BUILDINGS.

College Travel

We cannot “build a Hendrix bubble” and expect students and employees to remain on campus throughout spring semester. However, students are encouraged to travel off-campus only for essential needs or purposes, including on weekends. Further, employees are asked to postpone personal travel whenever possible.  

College-related, employee travel will only be allowed if it is “essential.” Essential travel is defined as travel that would result in harm to the College if disallowed. Further:

  • all essential travel must be approved by the College’s COVID Response Coordinator; and
  • an employee must exhaust all possible virtual, remote, and online options before requesting essential travel permission. 

For detailed travel policies, see Appendix TRAVEL.



Academics

General Expectations

Hendrix is a residential campus and we are planning for in-person classes this spring starting on January 19. Faculty members will teach synchronous, hybrid classes on campus. This means that faculty will have students both in the classroom and students who will be attending remotely. Such courses should transition easily to fully remote courses should that become necessary due to dramatic changes in COVID infections.

Faculty members normally have great autonomy in terms of how and when they conduct their work, and it is prudent and reasonable for faculty to limit their possible exposure to COVID-19. Faculty members may choose to have remote meetings with students or colleagues.

Departments and College committees may decide to conduct their business virtually. Academic Affairs will also determine how best to conduct faculty meetings and other types of events that are essential to the functioning of the College given the restrictions in place to protect the health of the campus community.  

Faculty and students will be surveyed before the end of October to gather information on health issues and other concerns about teaching and attending in-person classes in the spring.

For details on the delivery of the Academic program in the fall, see Appendix ACADEMICS.