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HGAC/CTI GUIDELINES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SAFE RETURN TO IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION

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The Hiram G. Andrews Center (HGAC), home of the Commonwealth Technical Institute (CTI), is providing this COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in advance of resuming in-person instruction to outline precautions, modifications and strategies developed to promote healthy and safe in-person operations. The decision to resume in-person instruction was allowed by changing conditions with the spread of COVID-19 and motivated by the educational need of students for the hands-on instruction and externship/internship experiences needed for the successful completion of their programs. This decision and plan for offering in-person instruction takes into primary consideration the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and community and follows Pennsylvania’s Phased Reopening and Recovery plan and Pennsylvania Department of Education Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Institutions and Adult Education programs.

GENERAL GUIDANCE

  • A gradual return to work for staff is recommended, staggered shifts may be necessary to maintain social distancing, and those who can telework may be approved to do so by the HGAC Director, according to operational needs.

  • To prevent and reduce transmission, the CDC recommends that all employees undergo a brief health screen (which may include a temperature inquiry or actual check via non-contact infrared thermometer) by designated personnel upon return to work. The COVID-19 Screening Form Template, created by the Office of Administration (OA), will be utilized. Screens will be conducted daily thereafter, until deemed no longer necessary. Information collected will be kept in a confidential binder. Employees will be denied access to the building if:
    • They report, or present with, a fever (temperature > 100.4° F.)
    • They report or present with cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, chills, repeated shaking with chills, or new loss of taste or smell that are not attributed to an existing condition.
    • They report having close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or is under investigation for COVID-19.
    If any of the above criteria is reported or observed, the person conducting the screen will refer the employee to their health care provider and provide an envelope containing the Referral to Medical Services Notice-Commonwealth Employee or the Referral to Medical Services Notice-Contractor and the Return to Work Status Form. They will instruct the employee to contact their supervisor as soon as possible for instruction on leave and other reporting requirements. Personnel conducting the screening shall also notify the employee’s supervisor, as well as sign, date, and provide completed forms to appropriate administrative staff.

  • It is recommended that all students be screened (which may also include a temperature check) prior to being allowed access to the building upon return for vocational training or evaluation. If their temperature is >100.4 degrees F, the temperature will be re-checked once. If their temperature remains >100.4 degrees F, the student will be denied access to the building.

  • Students who have been granted access to the building upon admission or re-admission will have their temperature taken daily by designated staff until no longer deemed necessary. Information collected will be kept in a confidential binder.

  • Colored wrist bands may be considered to indicate staff and/or students who have undergone a successful health screen for that particular day.

  • It is recommended that only continuing students return to campus for the remainder of the summer term to reduce the number of dorm halls utilized (to avoid co-habitation) and to facilitate follow through with social distancing & infection control parameters, especially during times with limited staff.

  • Face masks must be worn by all employees on the job site as well as students until deemed no longer necessary by the PA Secretary of Health.

    Exceptions include when:
    • It impedes vision.
    • The individual has a medical condition.
    • It creates an unsafe condition while operating equipment or executing a task.
    • Eating or drinking during breaks and lunch periods (should practice social distancing).
    • Driving alone; or
    • When isolated in a closed personal office or dorm room.
    If unable to use a mask or acceptable alternative, employees should contact Human Resources. Students should contact their HGAC counselor.

  • Non-essential visitors must be approved by the HGAC Director before entering the worksite.
    • If able, utilize virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings to practice social distancing.
    • Appointments should be scheduled in advance, if feasible.
    • They must follow social distancing guidance.
    • Employees should consult with their supervisor prior to scheduling such visits.

  • All visitors must wear a mask. If a visitor does not have a mask:
    • An unused or sanitized mask should be provided, if available.
    • Ask if the visitor has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing one. Be aware that documentation of the medical condition is not required, per OA.
    • Determine if they can be assisted while maintaining social distancing.
    • Ask that they return at another time.
    Children under the age of 2 years are not required to wear a mask.

  • All visitors and contractors will be screened, using the Visitors and Contractors Screening Script, developed by OA.

  • Employees who are ill should not report to work; staff who become ill at work should contact their supervisor immediately. Supervisors consult with HGAC Management to determine an appropriate course of action.

  • Social distancing should be practiced by all employees, students, and visitors including:
    • Staying six feet away from others as a normal practice;
    • Eliminating physical contact with others, such as handshakes, hugs, etc.;
    • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible;
    • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or who is coughing or sneezing;
    • Using stairs instead of elevators; if you must use an elevator, use discretion to maintain social distancing; and
    • Using bright-colored tape strips on the floor, if needed, to designate a stopping point for incoming visitors to each personal office space.

  • At the beginning and again at the end of the work shift, employees should:
    • Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the facility;
    • Remain in your car until your scheduled window of start time, if applicable;
    • Maintain six feet of space between each person while waiting in line;
    • Avoid touching their face before having a chance to wash their hands;
    • Be patient as staff conduct health screens;
    • Remain in their car if there are long lines for screening or inclement weather; and
    • Wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol upon arrival and departure.

  • In addition to social distancing, employees are expected to follow other methods of infection prevention, especially in common areas, including:
    • Staggering breaks and meal periods to limit the number of employees in a confined area at one time;
    • Consider alternate sites for breaks or meals;
    • Remove seats or chairs to promote sitting 6 feet apart;
    • Post occupancy limits in communal areas, including around vending machines, ATMs, coffee machines, etc.;
    • Wipe tables, seats, all surfaces, refrigerator handles, coffee pots, and microwave ovens before and after use; and
    • Clean frequently touched areas or personal workstations-including tables, desktops, light switches, phones, keyboards-regularly with soap & water or other approved method if dirty, followed by an approved disinfectant. Supervisors will provide instructions and appropriate cleaning tools for your workstation.

  • Proper signage will be posted throughout the Center to promote social distancing and infection control parameters.

  • Gloves should only be used for handling mail, handling money, custodial work, certain trades (including health care workers), and groundskeeping.

  • Common outdoor areas, such as the bus shelter and smoking shelter, may have restricted occupancy.

  • All staff are encouraged to assist with monitoring of the health & safety guidelines put in place, such as social distancing, hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, etc. for everyone’s safety.

  • Employees are encouraged to stay home if they are ill. However, it is possible to still be exposed to COVID-19 at the worksite. Specific protocols have been developed by OA to address situations when:
    • An employee exhibits symptom (I.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, or new loss of taste and smell) while at work;
    • An employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • An employee has been exposed to someone with COVID-19;
    • The need for post exposure health screening; and
    • The need for post-worksite cleaning and disinfecting.
    Employees should consult with their supervisor if they have any questions or concerns regarding these protocols. Supervisors consult with HGAC Management to determine an appropriate course of action.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

EDUCATION

  • If necessary, classroom seating should be arranged to maintain 6 feet social distancing, students should face the same direction if possible.
  • If unable to modify the classroom for distancing purposes, arrange for an alternate classroom that can accommodate spacing needs.
  • Encourage use of hand sanitizer (or use of soap & water if a sink is available) before and after each class.
  • Classes that use an open flame, such as Bunsen burners or welding torches, should use soap & water for hand washing instead of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Encourage students to wipe down desk area and any shared equipment after each use.
  • Obtain plastic keyboard covers to facilitate the sanitization process.
  • Students performing more strenuous activity in class may need more frequent rest breaks if wearing a mask.
  • Re-visit transporting students to externships

LIBRARY

  • Recommend a Plexiglass barrier or staff member wears a face shield at the circulation desk.
  • Place hand sanitizer (preferably no-touch) at the entrance.
  • Use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the library.
  • Use gloves when handling items from the book drop; wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Use a designated cart or bin for each day to collect items from the book drop and used magazines; identify the date of collection to facilitate the quarantine process.
  • Quarantine items for 3 days, per recommended guidelines.
  • Remove seats at tables and computer areas to maintain social distancing.
  • Sanitize equipment and work areas after each student use.
  • Have proper cleaning products available to disinfect computer or audio equipment after each use.
  • Obtain plastic keyboard covers to facilitate the sanitization process.
  • Disinfect all areas at the end of the day.
  • Use signage on computers to indicate the need for sanitization after student use until disinfected.
  • Librarian will keep log of students utilizing the library.
  • Appropriate signage to be posted as needed.

DINING HALL

  • Remove seats and arrange remaining chairs to promote social distancing.
  • Place tape on the floor and walls to denote distance between persons standing in line.
  • Place stanchions in appropriate areas to direct flow and maintain distancing.
  • Assign a single point of entry at mealtimes.
  • Stagger dining times to avoid congestion.
  • Ensure that all students either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before approaching the food line.
  • Have all utensils and napkins pre-packaged.
  • Offer pre-filled beverages to eliminate use of self-serve beverage dispensers.
  • Offer pre-made salads instead of using the salad bar.
  • After receiving their meal tray, students should proceed to the farthest tables to be seated.
  • Arrange waste receptacles and rolling carts for trays near the exit doors.
  • Clean and sanitize chairs and tables after use.
  • Dorm counselor/security staff to monitor for social distancing and proper hand washing/use of hand sanitizer.

RECREATION

  • If necessary, remove chairs in Rec. hall areas (near tvs, arts & crafts tables, etc) to promote 6 feet social distancing.
  • Divide students in groups and assign access times to the Rec. Hall.
  • Remove items that are difficult to sanitize such as magazines, puzzles, board games, etc.
  • Schedule outdoor activities as able.
  • Provide virtual gaming opportunities.
  • Limit tournament play to a certain number of players to promote social distancing as necessary.
  • Limit the cooking group to 2 students and 1 staff member; consider additional sessions to accommodate more students overall.
  • Encourage students to frequently use hand sanitizer.
  • Encourage students to clean exercise or gaming equipment after each use.
  • Monitor students exercising in the gym to avoid over exertion if wearing masks.
  • Monitor students to ensure compliance with infection control measures.
  • Disinfect facility vehicles after transporting students for recreational outings.
  • Disinfect all areas at the end of the day.

DORMITORIES

  • Use separate dorm counselor offices for intake and for handling of individual student issues.
  • Post signage to encourage social distancing and infection control parameters in hallways, lounges, and laundry rooms/laundry cart area.
  • Limit co-ed visits/co-visitation to 2 persons per dormitory room, until social distancing measures are relaxed.
  • Limit the number of students in dorm lounge areas.
  • Place sanitizer wipes near the microwave.
  • Dorm counselor will sanitize tv remote and student ID badge when swapped out.
  • Place hand sanitizer stations at the entrance to each dorm hall.
  • Place sanitizer wipes in the laundry room and laundry cart areas.
  • Enforce cleanliness during regular room inspections.
  • Monitor all dorm areas for compliance.
  • Disinfect facility vehicles after transporting students.

STUDENT GUIDANCE (Sent to students prior to return to campus)

GENERAL INFORMATION:

  • The information in this guide provides examples of the efforts that will be in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus at HGAC but is not intended to be a full or complete list.
  • The health and safety guide will be updated according to recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and PA Department of Health.
  • Students who are participating in online classes are permitted to return for the Summer Term.
  • In-person classes will resume on campus on July 13, 2020. Online classes will continue until then.
  • The dormitories will reopen during the week of July 6th, but students MUST schedule a move-in date with the HGAC Counselor. Students should NOT arrive on campus without a scheduled date and time.

BEFORE YOU RETURN:

  • All students will receive a call from the HGAC Counselor to review this guide and the Student COVID-19 Agreement, and to schedule a date for return.
  • All students will receive a call from a Wellness Center nurse for a confidential health check. If a student becomes ill before returning to campus, the student must tell the HGAC Counselor before arrival.
  • All students must make sure they have private transportation home in case they become ill. HGAC will not transport students home and public transportation is discouraged. HGAC will also not be responsible for the care of an approved service/emotional support animal.
  • A thorough cleaning and disinfecting process will be completed throughout the building.
  • Students must sign the “Student COVID-19 Agreement” before returning to campus. Students who are not able to follow the guide or refuse to follow the guide will be sent home.

HEALTH INFORMATION:

  • All students must have a confidential health check, in person once on campus, which will include a temperature check by the Wellness Center nurses. Temperatures may be checked daily after that, until no longer necessary. Students may not return if:
    • They report, or present with, a fever (greater than or equal to 100.4° F.)
    • They report or present with cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, chills, repeated shaking with chills, or new loss of taste or smell that are not attributed to an existing condition.
    • They report having close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or who is being tested for COVID-19.
  • If any of the symptoms above are reported or observed, the student must return home.
  • Colored wrist bands may be used to show students who have completed a successful health check for that day.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to do daily temperature checks. Students will not be permitted to enter the dining hall, class, or other service areas without daily temperature check and designated color wrist band. For the day/
  • Face masks must be worn until no longer necessary, as decided by the PA Secretary of Health. Exceptions include when:
    • It blocks vision.
    • The individual has a medical condition.
    • It creates an unsafe condition while operating equipment or completing a task.
    • Eating or drinking during breaks and lunch periods (should practice social distancing).
    • Driving alone; or
    • When alone in a dorm room.
  • If unable to use a face mask or other approved face covering, students must provide medical documentation from their doctor to the HGAC Counselor and Wellness Center.
  • Students who become ill after arriving on campus should immediately tell a Dorm Counselor and stay in their room to protect others. A Wellness Center nurse will assess the student and determine a course of action. A quarantine means the student is not permitted to leave the dorm room, nor have HGAC visitors, until medically cleared or until transportation home is arranged.
  • Social distancing should be practiced, including:
    • Staying six feet away from others as a normal practice;
    • Eliminating physical contact with others, such as handshakes, hugs, etc.;
    • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible;
    • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or who is coughing or sneezing;
    • Using stairs instead of elevators; if using an elevator, maintain social distancing; and
    • Brightly-colored tape strips on the floor will show a 6-foot distance.
  • Throughout the day, students should:
    • Avoid gathering in groups of people;
    • Avoid touching their face before having a chance to wash their hands; and
    • Wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently.

DAILY LIFE INFORMATION:

  • Only one visitor will be permitted into the building to help the student with moving in. The visitor must also participate in a health exam before entering. Sanitized carts will be available.
  • Visitor assisting student to move-in, must wear a mask.
  • Dormitory assignments will be changed to one student per room. Students will be contacted if a move to another room is needed. HGAC will cover the cost of cable transfer fees when appropriate.
  • Dormitory visitation will be restricted to 2 persons per dorm room (student assigned to the room plus one) until social distancing measures are relaxed. Only HGAC students are permitted to visit. Outside visitors will not be allowed at this time.
  • Dormitory maintenance review will be held two times a week.
  • Signs will be posted throughout the Center to promote social distancing and infection control guidelines.
  • Entrances to the building may be limited and supervised.
  • Common areas, such as laundry rooms, lounges, Student Union, Courtyard Café, Notions Corner, Library, bus shelter and smoking shelter, may have signs showing how many people are allowed inside.
  • A microwave station will be temporarily moved near Cambria Hall.
  • A Dorm Counselor will sanitize TV remotes and student ID badges when signed out.
  • Cleanliness during regular room inspections will be strictly enforced. Cleaning supplies will be available with the Dormitory Counselors to clean personal space and items.
  • Good personal hygiene must be maintained, including regular showering, doing laundry, and washing masks.
  • Procedures, scheduling, hours, waiting lines and waiting rooms for areas such as the Wellness Center, Counseling Department, Mailroom and Financial Aid may be changed for social distancing, safety and daily cleaning.
  • Handwashing will be required upon entry into the Dining Hall before taking a tray.
  • There will be no self-service available in the Dining Hall. Items such as utensils, a la carte, salad bar and drinks will be pre-packaged.
  • Seating in the Dining Hall will be changed for social distancing. After receiving a meal tray, students should go to the farthest table away to be seated. Students may sit near friends, but at an appropriate distance.
  • The dining hall will have 2 seating times, with designated entry times, per meal. Students will be assigned to one group.
  • Meals times may be staggered to limit the number of students in the Dining Hall at one time.
  • Weekend brunch will be temporarily suspended. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided 7 days/week.
  • Recreational trips and indoor group activities may be limited in size, but available more often. Outdoor physical activities will be encouraged.
  • Classroom seating will be rearranged, or classes will be moved to a larger room, to maintain social distancing.
  • Classes that use an open flame, such as Bunsen burners or welding torches, should use soap & water for hand-washing instead of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Seating in security vehicles will follow social distancing.
  • Unnecessary, off-campus travel is discouraged.
  • Food deliveries may take place outside the main lobby under the awning.

STUDENT LETTER and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (Sent to students prior to return to campus)

Dear Commonwealth Technical Institute (CTI) Student,

First and foremost, I hope this letter finds you safe and healthy, and enjoying a break from school work! The week of April 27-May 1, 2020 is our scheduled term break, and no remote/virtual classes for CTI will be conducted.

You are receiving this letter as a student currently enrolled in a training program at CTI@HGAC and I’d like to provide you with very important updates, just received, regarding our Summer Term.

The CTI Summer term will begin as scheduled on Monday, May 4, 2020 via on-going remote/virtual instruction for students, like you, who are already enrolled in a CTI program. Without any action on your part, you will be automatically enrolled in the next term of your training program. You should maintain contact with your instructor(s) regarding new term assignments beginning May 4th.

A physical return to HGAC has not been scheduled. It is important that you understand that while we will start the Summer Term remotely, we already know that we are not able to complete the entire term remotely, due to hands-on/lab instruction requirements. If we are unable to resume in-person classes, on campus, on or before mid-July, we then will take the necessary steps to address the remaining weeks and requirements of the Summer term.

You will be receiving a call from your HGAC Counselor, if you haven’t already, to confirm your enrollment in the Summer Term. We understand there are some unique reasons that may make it more difficult for you to participate in remote instruction, so we highly recommend that you discuss your individual needs and circumstances with your HGAC and OVR counselor.

As always, questions should be directed to your assigned HGAC Counselor. If unknown, please contact our Admissions/Counseling Supervisor, Martin Tran, at mtran@pa.gov.

We will continue to wait patiently for a date when we can return to campus. We will keep you informed when it is safe to return. The quickest and earliest notice of this will come via a RAVE alert.

I offer my personal apology to you, as this news may be disappointing, and assure you that we all look forward to resuming in-person HGAC programs and services as soon as it is safe to do so.

Until we will be together on campus again soon, please stay home and stay safe.

Jill Moriconi, HGAC Director

Hiram G. Andrews Center Student COVID-19 Agreement

I acknowledge that, upon return to Hiram G. Andrews Center, mitigation efforts will be in place to minimize the exposure and spread of COVID-19. I understand that there is inherent risk in returning to a school/dormitory environment and agree to the following:

  • I will participate in health screenings, providing honest and accurate information about risk exposure, and will immediately report symptoms if they appear.
  • I will adhere to all health and safety guidelines set by HGAC including but not limited to wearing a mask, handwashing, maintaining 6 feet social distancing (in classroom, dining hall, common areas, etc.), single occupancy dormitory assignments, minimizing unnecessary trips off campus, changes in visitation, etc.
  • I will take an active and personal role to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • I will not hold HGAC liable for potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • If I develop symptoms or become ill with COVID-19, I must secure private transportation home or will quarantine in the HGAC dormitories to protect others.
  • If I refuse to adhere to HGAC’s health and safety guides, I will be discharged without completing my chosen program.

I have reviewed and understand the terms and conditions of this COVID-19 Agreement.

Student Signature:                                                  Date:

I have reviewed and discussed the terms and conditions of this COVID-19 Agreement with the student.

VR Counselor Signature:                                        Date: