COVID-19: Health and Safety Plan

Mitigation, Testing, and Contact Tracing

Revised January 6, 2021

Ongoing challenges with COVID-19 testing, the uncertain delivery date for an effective vaccine or treatment, and the likelihood of future surges of infection mean we must work to adapt to the current reality rather than waiting for the pandemic to pass. The University developed an academic continuity plan to be All-Modes Ready throughout the fall term, and even the entire academic year, to give Arcadia flexibility to offer a high-quality, unique educational experience regardless of disruptions brought on by COVID-19. 

Although situations may be different during the upcoming year due to necessary health and safety protocols, Arcadia’s mission to deliver a high-quality, meaningful—though not identical—experience remains the same. 

Below are the basic protective health requirements for our campus:

1. Wear a mask

While masks are not mandated during meals, distancing measures should be upheld, as described further below in the section on Dining. 

  • Mask guidelines:
    • Wear masks with two or more layers
    • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
    • Masks should be worn by people two years and older
    • Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance
    • Be thoughtful about interrupting the supply of masks intended for  healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators
    • CDC does not recommend the use of face shields alone. Evaluation of face shields is ongoing but effectiveness is unknown at this time
    • It is also not recommended to use gaiters.  Through recent research, gaiters are not effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

2. Maintain social distance.

  • Individuals must limit close personal contact and maintain a minimum of six feet of distance apart.
  • Faculty and staff with individual offices should consider working with doors shut.
  • Individuals should socially distance in small spaces including elevators, hallways, stairwells, entryways, and restrooms.

3. Monitor your health daily.

  • Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for conducting a COVID-19 daily health self-screening by monitoring for fever over 100.4 F and assessing any symptoms. A daily symptom checker is in Appendix A.

4. Practice respiratory hygiene.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Dispose of used tissues in the nearest trash receptacle.
  • Perform proper hand hygiene.
  • If a tissue is unavailable, cough and sneeze into a sleeve or elbow.

5. Use proper hand sanitation.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible.
  • Use hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol after interactions with people or objects if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Avoid touching your face and eyes.
  • Refrain from shaking hands.

6. Minimize gatherings and meetings.

  • Employee meetings should be held virtually, whenever possible.
  • In-person gatherings and meetings involving students should be limited in number to allow for appropriate social distancing within the meeting space. 
  • If gatherings cannot be orchestrated with proper social distancing practices, such meetings will be conducted using videoconferencing and/or conference calls.
  • If two or more gatherings or meetings are occurring within the same space, the groups shall not collectively exceed a number able to practice social distancing principles within the gathering or meeting space.
  • In most cases, furniture may have already been rearranged to support proper social distancing. In situations where furniture is retained to promote flexibility of use, the convener of the gathering or meeting is expected to support and reinforce the practice of proper social distancing principles within the space at all times. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It is important to always put on, wear, and remove face coverings correctly and wash hands after handling a used face covering.

  • Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use.
    • If using a washing machine, face coverings can be included with regular laundry. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.
    • If hand washing, prepare a bleach solution of five tablespoons (1/3 cup) of household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or four teaspoons of household bleach per quart of room temperature water.
      • Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection.
      • Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date.
      • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
      • Soak the face-covering in the bleach solution for five minutes.
      • Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.
  • Make sure to completely dry the cloth face-covering after washing either in the dryer (on highest heat setting; leave it in dryer until completely dry) or air dry by laying flat and allowing it to completely dry. If possible, place cloth face-covering in direct sunlight.