The following priorities have been taken into consideration while establishing protocols for the fall semester:
- The promotion of health and safety measures that reduce Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on campus.
- Providing an atmosphere where all students can get a comprehensive academic experience and in-person instruction.
- Providing clear guidance for the University community to observe health and safety measures and remaining flexible for changes as needed.
- Recognizing the need to respect that people have different viewpoints regarding health concerns during this time.
Federal, State, and Local Guidance
The University will continue to rely on federal, state, and local guidance in developing its plans, policies, and procedures for a safe reopening this fall.
Student Health Center
The Braden Clinic will operate a Student Health Clinic on-campus in Xavier Hall. The clinic will provide regular health services, including symptom checks, symptom monitoring, and COVID-19 testing.
The Student Health Clinic will be open on campus twice a week (Tuesdays 1 – 6 pm, and Fridays 8 am – 1 pm), in Xavier Hall, rm. 137. Students may walk-in or make an appointment to be seen.
Move-In Temperature and Wellness Checks
All residential students will undergo a temperature and wellness check prior to move-in. Students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms at check-in will be asked to undergo further examination in the campus clinic prior to moving into their room that day. If deemed necessary by medical personnel, students may be asked to take a COVID-19 test and possibly quarantine in Xavier Hall or remain off campus in accordance with campus health safety protocols for testing, quarantining and isolating. Family attending move-in and orientation days on campus will be limited in number. Any family members arriving on campus are expected to be free of any symptoms of COVID-19. Any family member or student who believes they may have COVID-19 prior to arrival should not come onto campus for orientation or to move-in. Residential students may postpone arrival if they believe they may have COVID-19, have symptoms, or are awaiting a test. Students can contact the Office of Residential Life for assistance with a deferred arrival. More information will be provided to students in the upcoming days on any additional fall arrival campus protocols.
As of the writing of this plan, Collier County is mandating that all persons are required to wear a face mask or face covering whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.
To help facilitate this recommendation:
- A reusable mask and container of hand sanitizer will be given to every student.
- Students are encouraged to bring their own face coverings or masks and hand sanitizer with them to campus.
- Coverings featuring characters, graphics, images, logos, or words must reflect Catholic values and cannot contain profanity, political-related content, or any message deemed inappropriate or distracting.
- Faculty and staff are also asked to bring their own face coverings or masks to campus each day.
- Members of the community may choose to keep their mask/face covering on at any or all times, if they prefer.
- Individuals who are unable to wear face coverings due to health reasons may request accommodations through the Office of Human Resources for employees and the Office of Adaptive Services for students at Jenifer.LeCompte@avemaria.edu.
- Additional criteria will be given on mask wearing when there has been potential direct contact as a measure for self-seclusion.
Face masks are most important in places where people are in close proximity but should also consistently be used in conjunction with physical distancing practices.
Ongoing communication on face coverings and masks will be provided as assessments are made.
Students, faculty, and staff are asked to remain at a physical distance of at least 6 ft. when interacting with others both indoors and outdoors whenever possible. Remote meetings should be offered to reduce face-to-face exposure.
All students, faculty, and staff are expected to follow proper hygiene recommendations, such as frequent handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipe stations will be placed around campus for use as needed in classrooms and common spaces.
Roommates and suitemates are considered one household unit. Physical distancing and face coverings are not needed among members of a household unless someone begins to show signs of a communicable illness.
Faculty, staff, and students are expected to stay home or in their room if they exhibit any potentially related to COVID-19, or if they are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
People infected with COVID-19 may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Fever greater than or equal to 100.4
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- New GI symptoms
For the most up-to-date list of COVID-19 symptoms, please visit the CDC website, or use one of the following COVID-19 Symptom Tracker apps:
Symptoms of Non-Contagious Illness/Conditions:
If a student, faculty, or staff member has mild symptoms of a noncontagious illness (For example: allergies, autoimmunity) they are not considered to be under any quarantine or isolation protocol. However, if the individual is coughing or sneezing frequently, it would be appropriate to wear a face covering whenever possible.
Highly Communicable Illness
If a student has symptoms they believe may be of concern for a communicable illness, they must immediately self-quarantine.
Due to the current climate, it is important everyone is considerate of not only their own health, but also the health of others; this includes being conscientious and taking personal measures to prevent the spread of all communicable illness (not just COVID-19).
Positive COVID-19 Results
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate. (See Isolation Measures).
- Faculty and staff with positive diagnoses should contact their primary care providers regarding self-monitoring and isolation measures.
- Those with positive COVID-19 diagnoses will be allowed to resume to normal activities once they have been symptom free for 10 days or they test negative for the virus.
Exposure to household members with positive COVID-19 Results
- If a member of a student, faculty, or staff’s household tests positive for COVID-19, then all other members of his/her household who are not exhibiting symptoms will be asked to maintain self-seclusion for 10 days (rather than self-quarantine). (SEE Self-seclusion Measures)
- If a member of a student, faculty, or staff member’s household or a direct contact tests positive for COVID-19, then all other members of his/her household who are exhibiting symptoms will be asked to get tested and self-quarantine while they await their test results.
- Residential and commuter students who test positive for the virus will follow protocol for self-quarantine. (SEE Quarantine Measures)
- Employees of the University should quarantine at home.
- Students in self-isolation for valid reasons should contact their resident director on call as soon as possible so that accommodations can be made. The resident director on call will verify the student’s condition with clinical staff on campus and alert Academic Affairs and Adaptive Services that the student is in isolation so they may receive academic support and accommodation.
- Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 and who live within 300 miles of campus will be advised to isolate at home if possible. Those who cannot return home will be moved to Xavier Hall to isolate. Commuter students should isolate at home.
- Student who are in isolation in Xavier Hall will have their food delivered at regular meal times during their isolation period.
- Faculty and staff with valid reasons to self-isolate should contact their primary care providers regarding self-monitoring and isolation measures.
Students, staff, or faculty awaiting COVID-19 Results
- If a student, staff, or faculty member is awaiting test results for COVID-19, he/she should remain in self-isolation until the results are determined.
- Asymptomatic faculty in this situation will be expected to teach their courses online. Faculty who are too ill to teach while isolating are expected to arrange for their courses to be covered.
- If a student, staff, or faculty member tests negative they should remain home until they no longer have contagious symptoms.
- Students awaiting test results should contact the on-call resident director as soon as possible so that accommodations for classwork can be made for the time they are in self-quarantine.
Who is considered a close contact requiring self-seclusion measures?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
- In self-seclusion, a student, faculty, or staff member can attend class and other necessary events or activities while taking great caution to stay at least a 6 foot distance from others, and wearing a face covering at all times.
- Anyone who has been in close contact of someone with a positive COVID-19 test requiring self-seclusion should take precautions to protect the health of others as though they could be an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carrier.
- If at any point someone in self-seclusion becomes symptomatic, they should immediately move into self-quarantine. (SEE Quarantine Measures)
- Residential students in self-seclusion should not eat in the dining hall facility and should take their food-to-go.
Students may obtain testing at local health care facilities (such as the Braden Clinic) and at local Collier county testing sites. Students should go online or call ahead when possible to determine best practices for getting tested.
Contact Tracing and Proximity Tracking:
- Members of the AMU community who test positive for COVID-19 should ensure local county health departments are notified of their diagnosis and will be responsible for being in contact with the individuals and their close contacts regarding recommendations for quarantining and monitoring of symptoms to mitigate the spread of the virus.
- Students diagnosed with COVID-19 should communicate with individuals who are considered close contacts and notify Residence Life of their diagnosis immediately. (SEE Close Contacts)
Areas and Spaces
Enhanced screening, such as routine temperature checks, may be advised where high volumes of students reside, where prior COVID-19 exposure has occurred, or when levels of community spread have increased. When deemed necessary by either the University or health officials, temperature screenings will be required prior to entry into campus buildings.
- The University has spread classroom space across campus to allow for greater physical distancing and the streamlining of traffic in and out of buildings.
- Classrooms will have assigned seating and will be cleaned between classes.
- Chairs and tables have been removed from each classroom and slight reconfigurations have been made to allow greater distancing.
- To allow for proper distancing in the classroom, room assignments have been made so that each class will meet in a space with a greater capacity than the enrollment of the course.
- Surface and hand sanitizing materials are available in each classroom for students and faculty.
- Students should plan to wear a face covering to class and should maintain physical distance from others.
- Masks should be worn by students, faculty, and staff, as they travel through hallways and out of the building.
- Students must wear their masks while seated to fully participate in class unless they are practicing self-seclusion due to close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Students practicing self-seclusion should leave their mask on during class.
In an effort to ensure health and safety best practices in AMU’s dining facilities, the following modifications will be made:
- Different points of entry and exit will be available for each dining facility to have a one way flow of traffic in the Cafeteria, Café and Coffee shop.
- Signage will be used to direct customers through the dining halls and queuing areas.
- Most menu items will be fully served by Dining Services staff and carryout will be permitted at all dining locations.
- All to-go food will be served on disposables, including Styrofoam containers, wrapped plastic cutlery and paper cups with lids.
- The hours of operation for all dining facilities will be extended as needed to accommodate the needs of our community.
- Seating will be reduced to satisfy social distancing requirements in each of the dining spaces.
- Additional seating will be made available on the 2nd floor loft area of the Student Union, and tables will be set up outdoors where possible at dining hall locations.
- Staff will wear gloves and face masks in the dining facilities at all times, and frequent handwashing will be required for all staff, as is already the practice.
- Extended custom sneeze guards have been fabricated and will be installed to enhance protection for both staff and patrons.
- Hand-sanitizing stations will be placed at all dining service entrances.
- Beverage stations, tables, and high-touch areas will be thoroughly and frequently cleaned.
- Tables will be marked with “CLEAN” signs following each cleaning. Once a group sits at a table, they should lay the sign down on its side so cafeteria staff know the table will need to be disinfected for the next group once everyone has departed. Once the table has been properly disinfected, it is ready to be used again.
- Diners should wear masks indoors as they travel to and from their tables, and especially as they get their food.
- Any one eating in the dining hall should take care not to share food or drinks with others, and should continue to sit at a distance from others at their table.
The residence halls will operate at no more than standard capacity, with the following changes being made to the student living environment:
- Each residence hall will have posted signage regarding hygiene and sanitation procedures, physical distancing, mask usage, and COVID-19 symptoms.
- Students will be expected to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, including daily temperature checks.
- Accommodation requests for students with special needs, including those at high risk for COVID-19, will continue to be addressed by the Office of Residence Life and the Office of Adaptive Services on a case-by-case basis.
Since many meeting spaces will be used as classrooms, campus events will be significantly reduced to include only those essential for academic, athletic, or student service purposes. Events for the fall will be smaller in scale to allow for more distancing and less direct contact to prevent the spread of illness. Students in self-seclusion must avoid optional events.
Staff and Faculty Meetings
To avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact and cross-campus traffic, faculty and staff are encouraged to meet by video using Microsoft Teams.
- Adaptive Services will work with faculty to provide students who are unable to attend class for health-related reasons with all necessary accommodations, such as note taking services.
- Faculty will be expected to make their course sessions available via Teams, Conferences, or some other platform, or to record their class sessions so students in isolation are able to stay engaged.
- Adaptive Services will be working with Tutoring Services to hold virtual tutoring sessions for isolating students.
Academic Building and Library
- Seating in areas with high foot traffic may be reduced or adjusted in order to prevent crowding.
- Students using study tables in the library should maintain adequate physical distancing.
- Study rooms are limited to two persons per room.
- Study carrels and tables will continue to undergo frequent sanitation and cleaning.
In science labs, student labor will be divided and shared within each lab group so that only one student per station will touch lab equipment. When appropriate, labs will meet at half capacity every other week with a scheduled online component in the off week.
- After students have moved into their residence hall, no outside guests will be permitted to visit students in the residence halls until further notice or without special permission.
- All outside guests visiting campus must be registered with University staff or faculty through the Office of Security.
- The Field House weight room has been moved to the Student Union Building.
- The Student Gym has been renovated to allow for a better student experience.
- Students should plan ahead for workouts as only a limited number of students will be allowed to occupy the weight room or gym at any given time.
- Those using the gym and weight room are expected to wipe down equipment after each use.
Sacramental Life and Campus Ministry
- Campus Ministry is creating a plan to increase the number of Mass times available on campus.
- Mass will be held in the Student Union Ballroom during the fall semester to allow for greater distancing.
- The University will continue to follow all Diocesan rules and regulations regarding health and safety measures.
AMU’s athletics programs will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Florida government’s recommended guidelines, along with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Sun Conference, and Mid-South Conference best practices and recommendations.
At this time, varsity athletics are scheduled to compete in accordance with conference protocols and procedures. Additional details surrounding health and safety plans for student-athletes and fan participation are still being finalized.
Traditional intramural sport league opportunities will be reviewed in September. The Office of Student Affairs is currently reviewing safe activities for the fall 2020 semester, and an announcement about club sports will be forthcoming.
AMU Athletics is reviewing policies for student fitness center usage, taking into account current safety and sanitation protocols. More information about student recreation space will be made available as the semester begins.
The University is also planning the following in accordance with NAIA guidelines:
- COVID testing for all players, coaches, and athletic department staff
- Daily screening by the Athletic Training staff
- Daily temperature checks prior to practice and—during pre-season—prior to dinner (100.4 will be the threshold)
- Temperature checks (100.4) for players, coaches, and support personnel prior to getting on the buses for games
- Sanitizing stations next to hydration stations during practice and games
- No communal water bottles during practices or workouts
- Limit off-campus movement during preseason, and discourage off-campus movement during the season
- Training staff in dorms at night
- Sanitizing stations in the locker room and weight room
- Locker room sanitized daily
- Increased weight lifting slots to allow for smaller groups. The same people will stay together throughout the lift.
- Longer weight lifting slots to allow for proper sanitation
- Laundry performed regularly
- Shorter and/or earlier practices to allow for mandatory post-practice shower by players, trainers, and coaches
- All students, staff, and faculty are asked that they limit personal travel in light of COVID-19 concerns. When avoiding travel is not possible, travelers should follow physical distancing and mask guidelines, along with continued proper hygiene.
- Employees considering University-related travel should consult with their supervisor first for approval.
Changes to the Academic Calendar
- Fall break, which was scheduled to take place on October 15 and 16 (Thursday and Friday) is canceled, and classes will be held on these days. Classes on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week are canceled.
- The last day of in-person classes for the fall semester will take place on the Friday before Thanksgiving week (November 20).
- Classes will resume exclusively online the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 30), and final exams will take place online the week of December 7-11.
Students can choose to stay on campus through the Thanksgiving break if they would prefer, but if a residential student chooses to leave at any point after November 21, they should plan to stay home until classes resume for the spring 2021 semester.
Students seeking to return to the residence halls prior to the start of the spring term should contact their Resident Director to request an exception. Students returning at that time may need to self-quarantine in order to prevent the spread of any illness to those who remained on campus for the break.
The University Counseling Center provides confidential personal/psychological counseling for all AMU students. Appointments can be scheduled through the University website.
Recommendations on All Health Safety Management
Health safety plans will continue to be reviewed and evaluated and changes will be made as needed.