Frequently Asked Questions
How to find a vaccination site?
Click here to find a vaccine near you.
Will my classroom have a sanitizing station?
A sanitation station will be provided in classrooms, labs, library, offices, and student support areas. Hand sanitizer will be available in various spaces across campus as well.
Will classrooms and other spaces be cleaned more frequently this semester?
Physical Plant staff will continue providing daily cleaning of classrooms, break rooms, bathrooms, and all public spaces. In addition, high touch areas will be sanitized by our staff at least twice per day using EPA approved disinfectants.
My face covering is uncomfortable. I can’t breathe well with a face covering.
Medical professionals have shared that an ill-fitting mask can cause discomfort. For example, complaints about challenges breathing are likely from a mask that is too small in size or fitted too close to the nose and mouth. If you have questions about finding the right mask, reach out to Nicole Lenez, Pandemic Coordinator at email@example.com.
Where can I find College updates and communications?
We will regularly update this website and will post all COVID-19 related communications on our COVID-19 Dashboard page here.
What happens if there is a campus outbreak?
All decisions regarding campus shut down will be made with the Virginia Department of Health. Both the public health of our campus and community, and the potential risk of transmission, will guide all of our decisions concerning whether to remain on campus or to dismiss students to return to their respective homes.
The campus community will be alerted to dismissal or shut down via email and use of RAVE alert technology and will be informed of all procedures related to evacuation.
What factors will the College consider when deciding whether to remain on campus or send students home?
Ferrum College is establishing thresholds that trigger campus decisions to cancel outside community events, on-campus events or, as a last resort, minimize staffing and occupancy on campus and move entirely to remote learning. Factors to be considered in the decision-making process include:
- The College can no longer meet or provide essential functions such as safety, shelter, food service, cleaning/sanitation
- The College can no longer deliver courses (hybrid and in-person) safely
- The number of positive cases in the surrounding areas grow to a level that endangers the College community
- The College is actively servicing, quarantining/isolating students at a level that cannot be adequately served by College staff and our local healthcare partners
How do I know if I should be tested? How can I get tested?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed, call your doctor. Your doctor will determine if you need testing. Do not go to your doctor’s office without calling first, as infection control protocols must be in place before you arrive. You can find Virginia testing locations here: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/
If you have symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), and either have a positive lab test or have been directed by your medical provider to isolate at home, click here to learn the appropriate steps you must take and how long you will need to continue self-isolation: https://www.ferrum.edu/stronger-together/keeping-campus-healthy/
I am concerned about protecting members of my household who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.
The CDC has guidelines for households living in close quarters, such as people who share a small apartment, live in the same household with large or extended families, or live with someone with a serious underlying medical condition.
How will athletic workouts and trainings be conducted?
Ferrum College athletics will follow the guidelines set forth by the NCAA and Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The guidelines are fluid and will be updated regularly throughout the summer and academic year and communicated to our student-athletes through the athletic training and coaching staff.
What should I do if someone is not following the College’s COVID-19 guidelines?
Please contact Nicole Lenez, Dean of Students and Ferrum College Pandemic Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or Human Resources at 540-365-4596 or call the Campus Conduct Hotline at 1-866-943-5787.
My roommate/suite mate tested positive for COVID-19. Should I quarantine as well?
Click here for information.
Can I have overnight guests on campus?
Students will not be permitted to have non-student visitors in their room/apartment without permission from the Office of Residence Life & Housing.
What happens if I need to quarantine or self-isolate?
Whenever possible, the College will assist the student with isolating or quarantining in their current room. If a student is unable to isolate or quarantine in their current room, the College has reserved quarantine housing on campus.
Any student who is quarantined will have meals and other necessities delivered to them by the Office of Student Life & Engagement.
Is it too late to request a single room?
Please contact the Office of Residence Life at email@example.com to inquire about housing options.
Why isn’t tuition reduced if not all instruction are in-person?
Ferrum College is committed to offering our students a high-quality learning experience in the classroom and online. All college faculty will have completed an intensive online teaching certification by the start of fall semester. Classrooms will be equipped with the necessary technology to conduct online and in-person instruction.
Will I receive a housing refund if Ferrum moves to fully remote learning and we have to leave campus?
If Ferrum College experiences an outbreak and is directed by state or national public health officials to move to fully remote instruction with students no longer in residence halls, any refund of room & board will be at the discretion of the College and will be based on several factors, including but not limited to, state or federal financial relief. That refund may be in the form of a credit toward a future semester. Tuition will not be refunded.
Will my class have a web camera? If so, what software do I need?
Faculty will have portable web cameras for fully remote courses. The instructional spaces have also been updated with webcams. Students who are working remotely will need to have access to a computer or a laptop with an internal camera.
How will attendance be tracked this year?
Faculty will take attendance in all seated and online courses.
How do I know if one of my classes is fully online?
The majority of the fall course offerings will be delivered by in-person format. A Hybrid course means that there will be 50% face to face instruction and 50% of the class will be online. The online portion of the class may be synchronous, meaning that it meets via Zoom or Virtual Classroom at the normal class time on the days that the class does not meet face to face. Instruction in an asynchronous course does not occur at the same time.
Hybrid courses are indicated with an “H” following the section number. For example: ENG-101-105H. All fully remote, or online classes are indicated with an “O” following the section number. For example: MTH-103-102O.
How to find a vaccination site?
Click here to find a vaccine near you.
What do I, as a supervisor, do if my employee reports having COVID-19, or reports being in contact with someone with COVID-19?
If an employee feels ill, they must follow the steps outlined here.
Once an employee has notified you that they have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you must notify Ferrum College’s Office of Human Resources.
Please respect employees’ privacy by keeping any medical information confidential that an employee shares with you. Please do not contact other departments, or specific individuals, to report the positive diagnosis or to attempt contact tracing.
I advise a student club/organization. Are they operating differently?
Clubs and organizations, including fraternities and sororities, will have some limitations on programming and meetings. All events and meetings will need to be approved through the Office of Student Life & Engagement. Please contact Justin Muse at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A member of my household is in self-isolation. Should I remain at home as well?
Yes. Individuals who are in close contact with someone who has received a confirmed positive COVID-19 result are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days since the last contact. Consult your doctor at the first indication of symptoms. The CDC offers advice and guidance for these situations here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/living-in-close-quarters.html
From the Virginia Department of Health: “Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes or having exposure to the person’s respiratory secretions (for example, being coughed or sneezed on; sharing a drinking glass or utensils; kissing) while they were contagious. A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious starting from 2 days before they became sick (or 2 days before they tested positive if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation.”
Who do I contact about cleaning supplies?
How will I be notified if a student is in quarantine or isolation?
The Office of Student Life & Engagement will work with all students and the Department of Health. Faculty, coaches, and supervisors will be emailed notification of a student illness and expected time out of class per doctor’s note as normal. Please note, this may not indicate what illness the student has or if they have been in quarantine.
If you are considered a close contact with anyone who tests positive, the Virginia Department of Public Health will reach out to you directly with instructions and information.
Whenever possible students who are quarantined as a precaution or are asymptomatic, OSL&E will work with them and faculty to continue their class work remotely for that time whenever possible.
What are the most reliable sources of COVID-19 information?
According to the Virginia Department of Health “For those with access to the internet, the best sources of up-to-date information are the Virginia Department of Health website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. You can also call 877-ASK-VDH3 for additional information.”
What is Contact Tracing? How do I know if I was a close contact?
The Virginia Department of Health states:
“Contact tracing is a method often used by the health department to prevent the spread of disease. For COVID-19 it means ensuring everyone who has been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is aware that they might have been exposed, checking on their health status, and providing them with information about how to prevent the spread of disease, including the importance of quarantine (which means staying at home and maintaining social distance from others) and what to do if symptoms develop.
Contact tracers won’t ask you for money or information like your social security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
It is important to answer calls you receive from the health department. When you do, it helps us:
- Understand communities affected by COVID-19.
- Inform public health actions.
- Understand who is at risk.
- Follow up with high risk groups.
- Track the progress of the outbreak in our state.
- Determine when it is safe to return to public life.
Information collected during interviews is used only by public health agencies. The information is protected in secure systems and individual information is not shared with anyone else. Interviewers operate under strict confidentiality rules.”
“When assessing a person’s risk of exposure to COVID-19, close contact means being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes or having exposure to the person’s respiratory secretions (for example, coughed or sneezed on; shared a drinking glass or utensils; kissing) while they were contagious. For example, briefly walking by someone with COVID-19 in a store is not considered close contact.
A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious starting from 2 days before they became sick (or 2 days before they tested positive if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation.”
Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?
The Virginia Department of Health states “Anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity can get COVID-19. People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicate the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups. Share the facts on how COVID-19 actually spreads to help stop stigma.”
What do I do if I hear someone else is symptomatic/positive/in quarantine?
On campus we want to protect the community while still keeping the community member’s information as private as possible. If you are concerned the College may not be informed, or that you may have been in contact with this person and not heard anything, please contact the Office of Student Life and Engagement (student) or Human Resources (employee).
Where can I get help if I am feeling overwhelmed/scared/etc...
Students are encouraged to reach out to the Office of Student Life and Engagement at email@example.com to set up an appointment to talk with a staff member. We are available for in-person, phone, and video appointments. Counseling Services are also available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees are encouraged to reach out to Human Resources staff, their supervisors, or utilize the Employee Assistance Benefit (EAP) which provides free access to a short term counselor who can assist with talking through concerns, etc..
What is the Ferrum College policy concerning children in the workplace?
The College’s policy concerning children in the workplace is as follows: “Ferrum College encourages the families of our employees to participate in College-sponsored activities and be a part of the campus community. However, an adult must accompany children not participating in an organized activity. Employees are not permitted to bring children to work with them due to the interruption it may cause in the workplace and potential liability issues.”
Employees who bring a child to campus for any reason acknowledge, as per our policy, that their child must be accompanied by an adult at all times. In addition, due to the risks of COVID-19, these employees assume all responsibility for their child, including any illness resulting from them being on campus.