COVID-19 GUIDELINES FOR RESIDENTIAL LIVING
Keeping our community healthy will take a community effort!
In compliance with NCU initiatives to maintain the health and well-being of our campus community, and to comply with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 parameters for institutions of higher education, the following parameters have been established for all residential students.
Residence Hall Floors: Extended Family
Each traditional residence hall floor is now considered an “extended family” of sorts with whom residents will share much of their out-of-class campus time in proximity with one another. The ideal is that this “extended family” will be an insulated unit with reduced risk for exposure to the COVID-19 virus. For the start of the fall semester, protective masks must be worn while in the common areas of a floor (e.g., hallways, lounges, bathrooms as appropriate) or in the building (e.g., hallways, stairwells, laundry rooms). If the campus remains COVID-19 free, restrictions may be loosened. Except for when in their own room with roommates, students must continue to practice social distancing on their floor communities and wear a protective cloth mask if this distancing cannot be maintained.
Cleaning and Hygiene Expectations
NCU has aligned expectations based on CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting. Students are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of their living spaces, including common floor living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
For bathrooms, students are expected to use disinfectant spray or wipes to thoroughly clean their sinks, showers, and toilets (especially toilet handles) after each use in Phillipps Hall and the Apartment Community. Sinks could be an infection source and residents should avoid placing toothbrushes directly on counter surfaces. Totes can be used for personal items so they do not touch the bathroom countertop. Students are required to take their personal toiletries to and from bathroom in residence hall bathrooms.
For common floor living areas, NCU will continue to clean surfaces multiple times a day.
In addition to student self-cleaning, regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects frequently touched will be provided by dedicated housekeeping staff assigned to specific floor communities. Where self-cleaning is expected, the university will provide cleaning caddies and supplies.
Protective cloth masks are expected to be worn in the public lounges of residence halls and other common spaces (e.g. study rooms, floor lounges, laundry rooms, stairwells). As stated above, restrictions may be reevaluated if NCU’s campus remains COVID-free. Once visitation is safe to resume (see below), the wearing of protective masks will be required of guests throughout the duration of visitation.
Information on COVID-19 expectations will be clearly posted in floor hallways, lounges, laundry rooms, bathrooms of residence halls and in apartment sections. This signage will include, but not be limited to, reminders on symptom monitoring and reporting, and hygiene and respiratory etiquette (i.e., frequent handwashing; avoidance of face touching; appropriate use of hand sanitizer, hand wipes, or hand soap for students, staff and visitors; coughing/sneezing into tissue or crook of arm).
Building Entrances and Exits
Hand sanitizer will be provided at residential entrances, as available. To minimize close contact with others, foot traffic in some buildings may be one-way only. Directional signs should be followed.
Given their small interiors, building stairwells and elevators should be used by individuals one at a time whenever possible. Continued mask wearing and social distancing should be practiced. Where possible, tape and floor decals will mark common hallway spaces to assist in flow of traffic and maintaining the six-foot social distancing.
Residence Hall Floor Lounges
Only residents of the building are permitted to use their respective floor lounges. Residents are free to use these spaces when six-foot social distancing is able to be maintained while there. Students should also be mindful of other residents who also wish to use these spaces. Maximum safe occupancy may be limited and posted where applicable. While using these spaces, students are to practice safe social distancing and wear protective cloth masks. Students are expected to use disinfectant spray and wipes to clean surfaces of any common furniture (study desks, chairs, game equipment, etc.) immediately after use.
Only residents of the building are permitted to use their respective laundry room. Students are free to use the laundry room when a six-foot social distance is able to be maintained in the space. The wearing of protective cloth masks is necessary when using the laundry room. Separate laundry practices will be in place for students in quarantine due to COVID-19.
Federal and state guidance on reopening safely instruct institutions to limit visitors and non-essential personnel in residential spaces. Ideally, the nuclear and extended family units should remain closed to others, but this is challenging in a community such as ours. For this reason, a phased approach to visitation will occur to better ensure the health and safety of all.
For the first two weeks of classes, there will be no visitation hours. Students must not enter a floor or apartment or house if they do not reside there. If the campus remains free of COVID-19 cases after two weeks, visitation will resume with modified parameters outlined below.
- Until further notice, no off-campus visitors are permitted in university residences, including commuters and student family members. Friends, family, and social visitors are not allowed on campus at this time without prior authorization for an approved purpose. Students requesting special visitor authorization may send their request to email@example.com no less than 24 hours in advance.
- Residential student visitors must not have had COVID-19 symptoms nor been exposed to someone with the virus within two weeks prior to the visit.
- Residential student visitors must remain a six-foot social distance and should not share furniture together with another person at the same time (futons, couches, chairs, room beds, etc.). Furniture should be cleaned and disinfected immediately after use.
- No floor bathroom use by residential student visitors. Residential student visitors may use the public restrooms located in the main building spaces.
- Resident Assistants are considered essential personnel and will perform walking rounds throughout floors and buildings, per usual, but wearing protective cloth masks as they do. Adjustments may be made as necessary for health and safety reasons. Other authorized campus employees will also be permitted access to residential spaces on an as-needed basis with health and safety requirements in place.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the campus community, visitation may be restricted or eliminated to mitigate the spread of the virus. If this occurs, applicable guidance will be communicated to residents in a timely fashion.
Traveling Off Campus
Residential students should leave campus only when necessary. (Note: students are able to leave campus for off-campus jobs, internships, student teaching, etc.) The more residents travel off campus, the greater the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and introducing it to our campus community. If students are aware of exposure to someone with COVID-19 while off campus, they should contact their Resident Director or the COVID-19 Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform them and receive guidance. Students who travel out of state, whether for personal or university reasons, will need to communicate with the Senior Leadership Team to determine if quarantining will be required after travel.
In support of self-monitoring and reporting requirements, any resident who has an exposure to COVID-19 or who registers a fever of greater than 100.4 or experiences other symptoms of the COVID-19 virus will be required to contact their Resident Director or the COVID-19 Response Team and follow their directives. In some cases, students will be required to remain in their rooms in quarantine, with meal and laundry service delivered, or be isolated in Phillipps Hall 1 west until they are cleared to resume normal activity. Remote learning will be available in these situations.
Symptom Monitoring/Self Screening
It is expected that all community members will consistently practice symptom monitoring. All students are required to take their body temperature daily before leaving their living areas at the start of each day.
Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
It is required that all community members will consistently practice physical distancing, protective mask wearing, frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer usage, and shielding others when needing to cough or sneeze. This means specifically that students will maintain a six-foot equivalent ( approximately one to two arm’s length) when around other people, including moving about campus, visiting buildings, and attending class. Classrooms and the Dining Center have been configured to promote distancing.
It is required that students wear masks when outside of their living spaces. Exceptions include when eating or exercising outdoors with adequate physical distancing.
As a result of COVID-19 testing, and/or becoming symptomatic, some community members may be required to enter quarantine or isolation as directed by the Student Development staff. Being quarantined will mean completing coursework remotely during the time you are quarantined/isolated. The university has reserved residential spaces on campus for isolation purposes.
Community members who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to participate in contact tracing interviews to mitigate the spread of the virus within our community.
Friends, family, and social visitors are not allowed on campus at this time without prior authorization for an approved purpose.
- Students requesting special visitor authorization may send their request to email@example.com no less than 24 hours in advance..
- Health clearance:
- Visitors need to complete the #CampusClear check-in process through the app or webform (https://web.ivy.ai/app/campusclear). They will need to display their green “Cleared for campus access” screen to gain entry. QR codes linking to the app will be available at the Miller Hall entrance. If they are unable to access the app or webform, an alternate health questionnaire will be available at the entrance.
- Visitors will need to have a temperature check at the Miller Hall check-in station. The visitor’s temperature must be below 100.4 degrees to enter.
- All visitors must wear an approved face covering and practice social distancing at all times while on campus; no visitors will be admitted without a face covering.
- You are expected to inform your guests not to come to campus if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or not feeling well for any reason.
- All visitors report to Miller Hall at the 910 Elliot Avenue entrance (by Campus Safety and Security) and be met and escorted by their host.
- If they have parked in campus parking or visitor spots, they will need to report their vehicle information, as usual.
- This includes visitors to ALL campus buildings; shuttle service is available to Mensing and Kingsriter, if needed.
- If you will be hosting your visitor in Kingsriter or Mensing, you may reach out to a Miller Hall staff member to serve as your proxy “greeter” for check-in, who will escort your guest to the shuttle; you are expected to be at the entrance to your building to meet them. Guests may not come directly to your building without checking in at Miller.
- Signs will be posted at the entrances of all buildings directing visitors to enter via Miller Hall.
- Advance notice: If you are hosting an authorized visitor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Visitor Notification and provide:
- Name of visitor
- Purpose of visit
- Date and time of visit
Residential students are required to follow guidelines established for leaving campus including, but not limited to, using discernment about whether or not leaving campus is necessary, whether or not to visit certain locales, practicing physical distancing and mask wearing, and not being tourists to COVID-19 “hotspots.”
Many of our sister schools and institutions of higher learning of similar size across the country have adopted housing policies limiting the number of residents in any given living space to two individuals. Due to NCU’s multiple occupant dorm rooms being above required standards for spacing, it has been determined that dorm rooms with established occupancy of 3 and 4 individuals will continue to be housed accordingly.
Students living in on-campus housing will have the expectations and guidelines related to life together in the season of COVID-19 thoroughly reviewed and explained to them during Welcome Week and orientation.