September 15 Town Hall FAQ

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What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? 

You are put in quarantine if you are in close contact with someone who tested positive. The quarantine period is 14 days from last exposure to a person who tested positive. Under quarantine, you are not allowed contact with people to limit exposure to others.  

A person who tests positive is placed in isolation. The isolation period is at least 10 days from the time symptoms began, as well as at least 24 hours without fever and use of fever-reducing medication, and no other 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. 

Note: People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within three months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause for their symptoms. 

Can I stay at Berry to isolate or quarantine? 
Yes, you can. If you are able to go home, we will talk about going home. We know some students can’t go home depending on their situation. We will work with you. 

If I have to quarantine, do my roommates also have quarantine?
Not always. The contact tracers will work with the person who tested positive to identify who needs to quarantine. 

Who are the contact tracers? How can they know?
They are students who have been certified (by the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Contact Tracing program) and are supervised by Berry Health Center professional staff. They do interviews with students who test positive about behaviors and interactions and then fill out a quarantine list. 

Should I not tell the contact tracers everyone I’ve been in contact with?
It is important to tell everyone you have been in contact with even if you are concerned about a policy violation. Everyone is responsible for minimizing the spread.

What is the point of checking students in at the gate house after 7 p.m.?
To get a sense of what is happening regarding behavior on and off campus.

Is there a goal or timeframe when testing will start again on campus?
Testing will begin again on campus the weeks of Sept. 28 and Oct. 5.

The CDC recommends you do not test asymptotic people. Why are we testing?
This has changed.  Clarifications made on Sept. 18, 2020

  • Due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons, including close contacts of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection.

You should obtain a test for COVID-19 at least once during your quarantine. If you have no symptoms, the test should take place on the 10th day of quarantine. You should obtain a test earlier in your quarantine if you experience symptoms. 

And even if you have a negative test, you need to quarantine for 14 days. 

What type of testing would be given?
A PCR nasal swab test provided through the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Do we quarantine while we wait for test results?
No, but we will ask you to limit interactions as well as complete a contact tracing chart.

If we have an outbreak, do we take classes on campus?
If we needed to shift to remote learning, we are prepared to continue to house students on campus.

Six-person townhouse, one person tests positive. Do the others quarantine?
Yes if they meet the standards of being a close contact.

Will Berry’s administration be tested as well?
Yes, we are all a part of the same community. 

What are the rules of personal bubbles?

  1. Residence hall lobbies can be enjoyed by residents of any building so long as all students in the lobby are wearing masks, non-residents are escorted by building residents, and the total number of individuals in the lobby does not exceed posted limits. 
  2. Each resident may designate a “personal bubble” with up to 5 other students (for a total of 6 students). These students may visit one another in their residential spaces, provided the following guidelines are met. 
  3. All roommates must agree to allow visitation in their space. Any roommate can refuse visitors. 
  4. Only visitors who belong to the same personal bubble group as at least one resident of the room are permitted to enter the room. Visitation in residential spaces is still prohibited unless you are accompanied by a resident who belongs to your personal bubble. 
  5. As campus continues to be closed to the public, residents are not permitted to have guests from off campus enter the residence halls. Commuter students are permitted, if they are a member of a resident’s personal bubble group. 
  6. Each bedroom space may host an equal number of guests as there are residents in the space.
  7. Common spaces in suite or cottage style living are limited to no more than 4 people at a time, including residents. 
  8. Even if all individuals in a room belong to the same personal bubble, face masks are always recommended. 
  9. If roommates do not belong to the same personal bubble group and each have a visitor in the room, masks are required. 
  10. Regular visitation hours for all guests will be followed. 
  11. Visitation is not allowed in any space in which a resident is quarantined.  
  12. Students who violate the visitation policy, put themselves and others at risk by failing to observe COVID-related expectations, or otherwise violate the Viking Code may have their visitation privileges revoked.  

Why can’t the people in my personal bubble have key card access to my dorm?
It’s best for all guests to be escorted to ensure continued health of the building.

How do RAs know who is in the bubbles?
They are able to access students’ bubbles through the Residence Life housing portal.

How do personal bubbles look outside our residence halls?
Face coverings are required in every building.

Can I remove someone from my bubble?
No. We will open the portal on Sept. 23 for students to establish a bubble if they did not originally, but students will not be allowed to change bubbles at this time.

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