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COVID Response

COVID-19 RESPONSE »

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COVID-19 Response Plan & Resources


  ‍Protect Myself. Protect Others. Protect Buff Nation.

Milligan had a successful on-campus experience in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, with relatively low virus numbers. Our campus responded and adapted well to the COVID-19 challenges and were diligent in following safety precautions. Our goal was to deliver Milligan’s distinctive educational experience while ensuring everyone’s health and safety.

The Fall 2021 semester will be offered on-campus with the majority of academic instruction and student activities occurring in-person. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and will practice whatever safety protocols are still necessary and important at that time.

SUMMER 2021 Safety Protocols:

  • If you are fully-vaccinated, masks and social distancing are no longer required. (Per CDC guidance, 5.13.21)
  • Please continue to be respectful of those people who need to or prefer to continue masking.
  • Quarantine is no longer required for fully-vaccinated people who have had a close-contact with someone who has COVID-19 unless you have symptoms.
  • The Ascend app will not be used this summer, but continue to self-screen daily using the CDC screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms, get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • Health Services will be closed during the summer due to limited on-campus student activity. If you need assistance or COVID testing, please see your health provider or contact the local Health Department.
  • Open on-campus COVID testing ended April 30 unless previously scheduled or as deemed necessary by the University.

The information listed on the rest of this page applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols.

What to do if sick or exposed

♦ This information applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols. ♦

All students and employees are expected to monitor for and report all symptoms of COVID-19 to Milligan Health Services.

First Steps

  • If you are sick, experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, stay home and do not attend work or class. If you are at work or in class when symptoms begin, you should go home immediately.
  • Inform your supervisor (faculty or staff) or instructor (students) of your absence and contact the Milligan Health Services Office (423.461.8667). You will be connected with a registered nurse, who will help determine the appropriate course of care, which could include self-quarantine and a COVID-19 test.

Next Steps

  • Students and employees are expected to follow the directions provided by Milligan Health Services, including any testing, contact tracing, and quarantine or isolation instructions.
  • Report positive COVID test to Milligan Health Services
  • Do not return to work or class until you receive clearance to do so from Milligan Health Services

Residential Student Info

Quarantine and Isolation

♦ This information applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols. ♦
  • 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.
  • Isolation separates people who are infected with the virus away from people who are not infected.‍

People in quarantine or isolation should stay home or in their campus residence, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

DECISION TREE »

Quarantine Guidelines

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of an individual(s) known to have been exposed to a contagious illness but who may not yet have symptoms in an effort to prevent the spread of the illness among the campus community.

  • How long: duration determined by Milligan Health Services, following CDC and Tennessee Department of Health guidance (see Decision Tree).
  • Quarantine location: You must remain in your assigned campus housing or off campus home during the duration of quarantine. Employees quarantine at home.
  • Quarantine restrictions: You will be withheld from in-person classes, sports participation, and all campus activities.
  • Notify: Students in quarantine should contact the following:

Employees should notify Health Services of your exposure and work with your area vice president to determine your work schedule during quarantine time at home.

  • Quarantine accommodations provided by Milligan will include:
    • Ongoing review by Health Services of online Quarantine/Isolation Assessment to be completed by student
    • Food delivery of meals, beverages, and snacks meeting student dietary restrictions/needs related to allergies and health status
    • Internet service quality to ensure consistent and reliable participation in 1) internal and external tele-health, 2) counseling services, 3) pastoral/spiritual support, and 4) in all online learning activities for the courses in which the student is enrolled
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and coordination of transportation for non-emergent medical care as needed
    • Custodial and maintenance staff support as needed
  • Release from quarantine: Contact Health Services for a release to return to classes and work.

More information is available from the Tennessee Department of Health website about Close Contact Guidance and Tested Guidance.

Isolation Guidelines

Isolation separates an individual(s) who tests positive for a contagious illness from the campus community in an effort to prevent the spread of an illness.

ALL COVID-19 CONFIRMED CASES must be reported to the Milligan Health Services immediately.

Students or employees having a positive COVID-19 test (with or without symptoms) will be required to isolate as follows:

  • Isolation location:
    • Employees will isolate themselves at home.
    • Students residing off campus will isolate themselves at home.
    • Students residing on campus will isolate in designated Milligan isolation areas when possible. Health Services will work with the student to determine the best plan of action.
  • Isolation accommodations provided by Milligan will include:
    • Daily review by Health Services of online Quarantine/Isolation Assessment to be completed by student
    • Food delivery of meals, beverages, and snacks meeting student dietary restrictions/needs related to allergies and health status
    • Internet service quality to ensure consistent and reliable participation in 1) internal and external tele-health, 2) counseling services, 3) pastoral/spiritual support, and 4) in all online learning activities for the courses in which the student is enrolled
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and coordination of transportation for non-emergent medical care as needed
    • Custodial and maintenance staff support as needed
  • Isolation duration:
    • Symptomatic students or employees may discontinue isolation under the following conditions or most current CDC guidelines: At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in symptoms. Do not return to class or work until you receive clearance from Milligan Health Services.
    • Asymptomatic students or employees may discontinue isolation under the following conditions or most current CDC guidelines: At least 10 days have passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming the student has not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test. Do not return to class or work until you receive clearance from Milligan Health Services.
  • Notify: Students should contact the following:

Employees notify Health Services of your symptoms and work with your area vice president to determine your work schedule during isolation time at home.

  • Release from isolation: Contact Health Services for a release to return to classes and work.
  • ER: Go to the local hospital emergency department if you develop any of these symptoms:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face

Contact your primary healthcare provider or the Carter County Health Department for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

More information is available from the Tennessee Department of Health website about Case Guidance.

Residential Student Info

Daily screening

♦ This information applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols. ♦

Faculty, staff, and students are required to complete daily self-screening and temperature evidence through the Ascend website (can be used from a PC or mobile device) before entering classrooms, buildings, or offices. Depending on the answers, the Ascend tool will clear them to attend class or work, or advise them to stay at home or in their room.

  • Begin screening using the Ascend software when you return to campus, no later than the first day of classes on Jan. 25
  • Daily screening is required before off-campus people come to campus. If you live on-campus, complete the screening before you leave your room/apartment.
  • Daily use is required for all individuals when on campus. If you are experiencing symptoms, on quarantine, or on isolation, daily use is required every day, including weekends, regardless of whether you are on or off campus.
  • You will be asked to show your clearance screen on your mobile device when entering classrooms, cafeteria and grill, libraries, Wellness Center and fieldhouse, and offices. If you do not have a mobile device, complete the screening on your computer, print the last screen, and carry it with you when on campus.
  • Those failing (red screen) to meet the screening standard are not permitted to enter any campus facilities. Employees should contact their supervisor. Students should contact Health Services, their instructors, and coaches and athletic trainers if applicable. Visitors should reschedule visits after 14 days.

It is easy to use. Each morning, faculty, staff, and students will take a 15-second survey, answering questions about their symptoms and any known exposure to COVID-19. The software will combine that information with contextual data and other risk factors to tell each student or employee whether to report to campus/class/work that day or not.

Those failing to meet any screening standard are not permitted to enter any campus facilities. Employees should contact their supervisor. Students should contact Health Services, their instructors, and coaches and athletic trainers if applicable. Visitors should reschedule visits after 14 days.

In addition to Ascend, screening and temperature checks will take place frequently in high-risk and/or close contact environments such as classrooms, labs, studios, rehearsals, lessons, performances, group meetings, athletic practices and events, and student activities.

What is it? Ascend is a web-based platform that provides a technological solution to the challenge of self-screening as a foundational strategy of return-to-campus initiatives. It helps us protect our students and employees from the spread of COVID-19. The Ascend platform gives our Response Team the real-time information they need to assess the risk of virus spread through our campus community and take proactive steps to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Data protection and privacy. While Ascend makes invisible COVID risk visible and manageable, it keeps data protected, in accordance with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPAA and FERPA require that healthcare data be protected with stringent privacy procedures, and our partnership with Base Camp Health will be 100% compliant with appropriate privacy regulations.

Ascend makes use of healthcare data of students and employees in its assessment of their risk of COVID-19 infection. But that data is visible only to the user and authorized medical personnel. When users are asked to remain at their residence or given instruction to locate testing, the details of that information is not made available to supervisors or instructors. They know only whether a user will be allowed to attend class or come to work, but they are not told why.

Additionally, the platform itself makes use of the most current data protection measures available, from data encryption to secure site protocols for the physical locations of our servers to protect data from bad actors. Data security is a primary focus of Base Camp Health, and their Ascend application deploys industry-leading protection measures for our employee and student information. Our students and employees can be assured both that users are protected from data risk and that HIPAA and FERPA provisions are fully met.

How to Access Ascend

All students and employees will receive an email from BaseCamp Health with access information. (Please add the email address support@basecamp-health.com to your safe senders list.)

Be sure to check your junk folder just in case the email gets routed there. If you still have not received it, send an email to helpdesk@milligan.edu for assistance.

Log into the application, reset your password, and ensure everything is working properly.

Each day, visit https://basecamp-health.com/ascend and select “Login” in the upper righthand corner each day to log in and complete the assessment. We recommend bookmarking the Base Camp Health website to your mobile browser for ease of every day use.

Face Mask

♦ This information applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols. ♦

Wearing a face covering is required on campus for faculty, staff, students, and visitors. This includes all indoor public areas and work spaces, as well as outdoors if unable to maintain 6′ distance, except in the following areas:

  • In an office alone with the door closed
  • In your residential room (when no guests are present)
  • While eating or drinking, but community members should seek to physically distance and should return to use of face covering when no longer eating or drinking
  • While exercising, studying, or socializing outdoors IF participants are able to physically distance (at least six feet)

Other guidance:

  • Everyone should bring at least 5-10 washable masks to campus.
  • Students, faculty, and staff may use face coverings provided by the university (everyone will get one MU mask) or supply their own.
  • Face coverings may be cloth or disposable and must cover nose and mouth.
  • Face coverings may not have vents or exhalation valves (other than approved NIOSH rated N95 masks).
  • Face shields are not a substitute for masks, per the CDC.
  • Individuals are responsible for washing and maintaining their masks. CDC guidance on regularly cleaning face coverings can be found here.
  • Students, faculty, and staff should have a face covering with them whenever they are on campus.
  • Students, faculty, and staff who enter facilities without a face covering will be asked to leave.
  • Guests, visitors, vendors, and contractors will be expected to honor these guidelines and provide their own face covering to keep the Milligan community safe.

According to the CDC, cloth face coverings prevent the individual wearing the face covering from spreading respiratory droplets into the environment. Face coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing and increased hygiene measures.

As more is learned about the COVID-19 virus and how to protect from its transmission, and as local and state ordinances change, this policy may evolve along with other health and safety guidelines. Milligan assumes students, faculty, and staff will exercise common sense to keep the community safe in all circumstances.

Exceptions: Individuals who are unable to wear cloth face coverings due to a medical or behavioral condition or disability must submit a request for an exemption, including documentation from a medical professional. Faculty should contact Dr. Garland Young and students and guests should contact Health Services.

Social Distancing

♦ This information applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols. ♦

  • A physical distance of six feet must be maintained from others whenever possible when there is no physical barrier between individuals.
  • Desks, chairs, and tables in classrooms and conference rooms are marked unavailable or removed to allow for six feet of separation between individuals when possible. Auditorium spaces will have every other row empty as well as two empty seats between individuals in any row.
  • Close quarter spaces such as elevators and offices must be limited to a maximum of two people, wearing masks, and social distancing.
  • Open, common, and gathering spaces such as building entrances and hallways will be marked with unidirectional flow for entering and exiting where possible. Dedicated separate entries and exits for each facility will be marked where possible.
  • Student support services and high-traffic, walk-up or walk-in services will offer online or phone options for assistance where feasible.
  • Most administration offices that provide walk-up or walk-in services to students and visitors will use plexiglass shields, signage, and floor markers to ensure social distancing.
  • Group gatherings must maintain six-foot physical distancing at all times, whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Milligan has identified the student occupancy capacity to meet social distancing requirements of six feet whenever possible between desks for every classroom on campus. Classes have been assigned to specific classrooms to adhere to Milligan’s social distancing policy.
  • Instructors should have assigned seats for students and take attendance. If there is a student who contracts COVID-19, this will help with contact tracing and disinfecting.
  • Students and faculty should exit buildings and not congregate in the hallways or lobby areas.
  • All signage and markings must be adhered to.
  • COVID-19 protocols carry the weight of Milligan University policy. Failure to adhere to these protocols potentially puts our campus community at risk and will be considered a breach of conduct resulting in possible referral for disciplinary action.

Buffalo Pledge

♦ This information applied to Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Please see above guidance for Summer 2021 protocols. ♦

Being a part of the Milligan community means that each of us must take extraordinary steps to stay well and persistently protect each other on campus and in the community. Demonstrate your commitment to keep Buff Nation in good health by taking the pledge below and honoring it during the upcoming semester. I PLEDGE TO:

Protect Myself

• Monitor for the symptoms of COVID-19 and report to a medical professional

• Wash my hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer

• Get vaccinated for the flu in the fall (or sign a declination form)

Protect Others

• Maintain appropriate social distancing

• Stay home if I feel ill or after exposure to someone who is ill or has tested positive for COVID-19

• Wear an appropriate face mask and other protective gear as directed by the University

• Be positive, attentive, and helpful to anyone around who needs support

Protect
Buff Nation

• Keep my clothing, belongings, personal spaces, and shared common spaces clean

• Monitor for and report all symptoms of COVID-19 to Milligan Health Services

• Cooperate with testing and contact tracing

• Carefully follow University requirements to self-isolate or quarantine

Milligan’s highest priority is the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. I know that by engaging in campus activities, including attending classes, pursuing my education, living on campus, eating in the dining halls, attending activities, participating in sports and recreation, I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections. I also understand that despite all reasonable efforts by the University, I can still contract COVID-19 and other infections. In order to reduce my risk, I agree to be an active participant in maintaining my own health, well-being and safety, as well as the safety of others, by following all the guidelines and expectations outlined by the University.

READ THE PLEDGE »

Contact Us

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact one of these offices:

Student Health Services

 healthservices@milligan.edu
 423.461.8667


Academics

 RGYoung@milligan.edu
 423.461.8720


REsidence Life

 MilliganHousing@milligan.edu
423.461.8760


Student DEvelopment

 APJones@milligan.edu
423.461.8760


ATHLETICS

 MPFox@milligan.edu
423.461.8784


International Students

 CLWymer@milligan.edu
423.461.8415


Campus Safety/Security

 WBNipper@milligan.edu
423.461.8740


Communications & Marketing

 LHarrison@milligan.edu
 423.461.8719