Fall 2021 Trimester Plan/Schedule
1. All programs will continue in-person learning on September 1, 2021.
2. Skills/Labs will continue to be offered in small groups following CDC social distance guidelines.
Institutions will continue to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust safety measures as needed.
Required Safety Precautions for Students
- All students are required to properly wear a mask while on campus
- All students are required to practice proper social distancing guidelines (with universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least 3 feet in classroom settings).
- All students are required to adhere to proper hand washing/sanitizing guidelines.
- All students are required to use personal protective equipment in lab areas, as needed.
- All students must adhere to CDC and TN Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines.
Institutional Safety Precautions
- Deep cleaning will be performed at all locations.
- Routine cleaning will occur daily and after all student interactions in skill/lab areas.
- All faculty and staff members must adhere to proper social distancing guidelines.
- All faculty and staff members must adhere to proper hand washing/sanitizing guidelines.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be worn by all faculty and staff members.
- Faculty, staff, and students must wear their own mask. Each institution will maintain a supply of disposable masks and gloves for use.
What does this look like?
- Instructors may rearrange classroom and lab areas in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
- Assigned seating will be developed, maintained, and regularly monitored by each instructor.
- Masks, social distancing (if not fully vaccinated), and handwashing/sanitizing will be required.
Each institution will ensure the following:
- Masks will be properly worn by all faculty, staff, and students.
- No gathering in groups will occur.
- Proper social distancing will be maintained.
- As masks cannot be properly worn while eating or drinking, breaks will be given so students can comfortably eat and/or drink. Breaks will be held either outside or in personal zones (such as vehicles, etc.).
COVID-19 Notifications and Responses
If a faculty/staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19:
- The individual must be isolated at home for a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset.
- The individual can return to school only after the 10-day isolation period has been completed and they are without symptoms.
- If symptomatic, the individual must show improvement in symptoms upon returning.
- Asymptomatic cases must be isolated for 10 days after the date of a positive test.
- Non-household contacts must be quarantined for 10 days after the date of last exposure to a positive case. A close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a positive case for a total of 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.
When to Quarantine
- Stay home if you might have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
Quarantine or isolation: What's the difference?
Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.
Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.
Who Needs to Quarantine?
- People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
- People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.
What counts as close contact?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
Steps to take
- Stay home and monitor your health
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
- If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
Options to reduce quarantine
Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. A shorter quarantine period also can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.
Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine:
- After day 10 without testing
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
After stopping quarantine, you should:
- Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
- If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
- Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed. See Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine.
Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic.
- To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.
- You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance.
Reference: CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
TCAT Covington/Ripley/Newbern Safe Community Pledge
The College(s) believe strongly in the concept of education as a method for encouraging and maintaining a supportive and safe community. Each student, faculty, and staff member plays an integral part in supporting core principles that mitigate the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. While the institution can do its part in minimizing risks, everyone must do their part to support efforts to minimize exposure and spread of infection to peers and colleagues. By engaging in the on-campus environment, there is a recognition that a risk exists related to exposure to COVID-19. Students, faculty, and staff can help keep the campus community healthy by being mindful of their actions and following institutional, public health, and safety protocols. As such, each person is asked to take a responsibility pledge to help slow/stop the spread of the COVID-19 by agreeing to the following pledge:
I understand I have a part to play in the fight against COVID-19 and I commit to being a responsible member of the campus community. I pledge to uphold the TCAT Covington/Ripley/Newbern Safe Community Pledge every day by demonstrating personal integrity, respecting others, and supporting my college and community by:
- Following institutional/public health guidelines designed to protect myself and others
- Limiting the size of gatherings in social situations in accordance with public health guidelines
- Maintaining social distancing guidelines
- Protecting myself and others in areas of campus where distancing is not possible
- Washing my hands frequently and thoroughly
- Staying home if sick or have symptoms of COVID-19
- Reporting to school officials if I have tested positive for COVID-19
- Properly wearing an appropriate face mask and other protective equipment as directed by the college
- Looking out for the wellbeing of others and providing encouragement for their faithful commitment to this pledge
Dr. Youlanda Jones
Tennessee College of Applied Technology