What Residential Students Need to Know Before Coming To Campus
July 20, 2020
Coronavirus cases have recently been surging in areas of the United States, as well as internationally. Lewis & Clark staff are dedicated to protecting the health of our students, faculty, and staff. There are steps that LC community members can take prior to arriving on campus that will aid in the slowing of transmission of the virus. Committing to the various prevention and mitigation measures outlined below, may be the most effective way to keep the disease from arriving on campus.
How can you help reduce the transmission of the virus prior to your arrival on campus?
Voluntary self isolation–before you come to campus
Self-isolation in this context is defined as staying in your place of residence for 14 days prior to arrival, limiting contacts with those outside your immediate household, and minimizing any travel from home, except for essential trips (e.g., doctor’s appointments, limited trips to the grocery store).
Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you from potentially contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible.
Limit your social exposure!
Two weeks before your arrival on campus, all LC students are asked to limit social contacts and exposure to others–especially those outside of your immediate social unit (e.g., your household, family). If you are in a home where others who live with you aren’t self-isolating, you should minimize close contact with them by avoiding situations where you have face-to-face contact closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. Students are especially asked to avoid attending large gatherings or social hotspots (bars, parties, gyms, etc.). Overnight trips or nonessential travel should be curtailed.
No visitors will be allowed on campus or within the campus grounds through the Fall term (this includes campus events, conferences, camps, etc.). This is to keep the LC community safe and reduce the risk of transmission from outside groups. Visitors to residence hall students, other than those living in a specific hall, will also be prohibited.
Practice healthy habits to limit the spread of the virus
Basic healthy habits and behaviors can significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. Prior to your arrival to campus and even after, practice the following:
- Wash your hands often–preferably with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or you can use hand sanitizer
- Frequently disinfect high-touch areas in your home with wipes and disinfectant
- Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Monitor your temperature daily–seek medical advice if your temperature rises above 100.4 degrees F [38 °C].
- Monitor for primary symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever or chills, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing)
- Use your own toothbrushes, eating and drinking utensils (including cups and glasses in the bathroom and bedroom), toilet paper, dishes, towels, washcloths or bed linen. Do not share food and drinks or prepare food for others. Wash your clothing and dishes separate from others in your home.
- If you use a shared toilet and bathroom, it’s important that you clean them every time you use them (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with)
- Maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from others
- Wear a face covering in public areas
Attest that you have completed your 2-week self isolation prior to arrival–do it for your community
All students will be asked to attest that they have completed 2 weeks of self isolation and that they are free of COVID-related symptoms. Students will also be asked to view an educational module specifically geared toward health mitigation practices they can employ while on campus. **If you do not fill out your health screen and attestation of a 2 week self-isolation OR show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, you may jeopardize your ability to live in campus housing.
What if I can’t self-isolate at home for 2 weeks prior to arrival on campus?
If it is not possible for you to self-isolate at home for 2 weeks prior to arrival to campus, you may opt to pursue a COVID-19 test no more than 3 days prior to your arrival on campus and submit your test results to the Lewis & Clark Health Service via the health portal in order for staff to clear you. If it is not possible to receive a COVID-19 test in your home state, you can make arrangements to be tested when you arrive on campus. Please note you will likely be required to quarantine in your room until you have your test results and you produce a negative COVID-19 result. Since we cannot guarantee the ready availability or timely turn-around for tests on campus at the end of August, we strongly encourage everyone to practice the social isolation measures suggested above, or get tested before coming to campus. This will also avoid the risk of having to quarantine yourself while awaiting test results.
What if I must come into contact with others in order to travel to campus?
The college understands that students who are traveling to campus WILL have social exposure en route to the college. For this reason, while the college absolutely wants residential students to limit social contacts and exposure to others in the 14 days prior to travel to campus, once students start traveling to campus, we simply want them to observe CDC best practices for safe travel. So traveling to campus does not “break” or “undo” the student’s fulfillment of the 14-day isolation period. If a student has limited their social contacts as prescribed by the college in their 14 days before departing their home, they would NOT need to be tested when they arrive on campus. This is consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority that we do NOT test all incoming students for COVID.
Pack Your COVID Kit
Because the situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus changes so rapidly, we urge students to become as educated as possible regarding the transmission of the virus and to be aware of the best prevention and mitigation approaches to reduce your chances of infection. In preparation of your return to campus, along with the recommendation that you self-isolate and limit your social interactions 2 weeks prior to arrival, you should also bring the following supplies:
- 3-5 reusable/washable face coverings. It is a State of Oregon and Lewis & Clark policy that face coverings be worn by all individuals (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) in any and all public spaces at all times. Please visit the policy and FAQs at https://www.lclark.edu/news/2020-plans/ for more information. When you arrive on campus, we will also provide you with two cloth face coverings.
- Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Reusable thermometer, with extra batteries (if applicable)
- Disinfecting wipes
- Laundry detergent
- Facial tissues
- Copies of health insurance cards (if applicable)
- Prescription medications and over the counter medication (i.e., fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Mobile device or laptop (including headphones with a microphone) to continue your classes should you have to quarantine or self-isolate.
- Update your emergency contact information via WebAdvisor.
Lewis & Clark College is committed to supporting those students who are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19. Persons with underlying health conditions and individuals who are immunocompromised are among the groups at increased risk of more serious illness. If you are considered to be a person at increased risk and need to take extra precautions due to COVID-19, please consider contacting our Health Service staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding your health needs, and our Student Support Services staff (email@example.com) to discuss your academic needs.