Return to Campus 2020-07-16T12:55:03+00:00

Return to Campus

COVID-19, emerging in 2019, has led to an unprecedented impact to all elements of our daily lives. While the pandemic and preventative measures will continue to evolve throughout the next academic year, Williamson’s top priority is keeping our community safe. The college will continue to work alongside its local, state, and federal partners to safely conduct campus operations. We look forward to working with all members of the college community to make this coming year a memorable, safe, and successful one.

We ask all members of the college community to understand that information and guidance outlined within this Health Plan may change based on the spread of the virus, the advice of public health experts, or by order of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The college will continue to evaluate all measures and strategies to safeguard its students and the entire Williamson community. More information can be found in the sections below.

Current Phase

Pennsylvania State Recovery Phase: YELLOW/GREEN
Delaware County Recovery Phase: GREEN
Williamson College of the Trades Recovery Phase: GREEN

Current Phase Protocol


Public Health Measures

(As of Thursday, July 16, 2020, 1:00pm)

Every student, faculty and staff member at Williamson this fall will be required to comply with the following measures designed to keep members of college community safe.

  • Face coverings will be required across campus, to include all common spaces, classrooms, dormitories (excluding individual rooms), meeting rooms, and shop areas.
  • All students, faculty, and staff will receive personal protective equipment, including masks, and will use hand sanitizing stations located across campus. Additional social distance measures, such as plastic partitions and signage have been added across campus. The college will be providing additional training and presentations during student fall orientation and faculty/staff in-service sessions.
  • In an effort to maximize social distancing, student travel off-campus will be limited during the school week.
  • Libraries, student lounges (excluding the Rowan Hall Student Lounge), study rooms, athletic facilities, and other common areas will be open, however the number of occupants will be limited to support social distancing measures.
  • The dining schedule and operational protocols have been modified to maximize safety and social distancing measures. Plastic plates and utensils will be used for all meals.
  • The college will enhance its cleaning schedule of all campus facilities, including dormitories, common areas, classrooms, and shop areas.
  • Facility heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system filter replacement schedule has been increased. MERV 13 filters will be used throughout campus in alignment with CDC, American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE), and the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA) recommendations.
  • Additional measures include modifications to the college academic schedule, activities and events, limitations to off-campus field trips and travel, and a reduction to campus visitations, all designed to maximize social distancing practices.

COVID-19 Test & Screening Protocol

(As of Monday, July 6, 2020, 12:00pm)

In alignment with Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the college has developed a comprehensive testing program.

  • All students, faculty, and staff will receive a COVID-19 test at the start of the academic year. The college will provide this test at no cost to the individual. Test details will be mailed to all students, faculty and staff, mid to late July. The college will be supplementing the viral tests with Health Screenings throughout the academic year.
  • Williamson will continue to coordinate with local and state resources to test anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. The college will isolate and quarantine students testing positive or those awaiting test results if the student is unable to travel home. Williamson will continue to work with state and local government agencies for contact tracing and additional testing protocol.

Academic Policy

(As of Monday, July 6, 2020, 12:00pm)

Given Williamson’s unique educational experience, all courses are planned at this time to be offered in-person during the fall term. However, the college remains prepared to quickly transition a specific course(s) or sections of a course(s) to a distance education format as conditions change.

  • Face coverings will be required to be worn in all academic and shop classes.
  • The college will limit class sizes below 30 participants, maximizing classroom social distancing between students when feasible. The college has increased its cleaning protocol for all classrooms. Hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies are available in each classroom.
  • Given that technical shop courses are difficult to hold in a distance education format, the college will be adding evening class periods starting in the fall. Through frontloading additional shop periods, the college retains greater flexibility to adjust the fall term academic calendar, to include the option of transitioning to distance education if conditions warrant.
  • The daily Academic Schedule has also been adjusted to accommodate social distancing practices, specifically in terms of daily activities, such as Chapel, Assemblies, and use of the Dining Facility.

Student Life

(As of Thursday, July 16, 2020, 1:00pm)

In an effort to minimize the spread of the virus on to the campus, the college will significantly limit student travel off-campus during the academic week. Students returning each Sunday night will also undergo a health screening protocol.

Dormitories

With classes commencing on September 2, the college will use a staggered schedule to welcome back its students. Beginning with First Year Experience, incoming Freshmen will move into their assigned dormitory on August 18. Juniors and Seniors will move into their assigned dormitories according to a phased schedule prior to the start of orientation on September 1.

  • In compliance with CDC, PA State guidelines and recommendations, students will be assigned to double occupancy rooms by default, although the college may assign a student a single room, when available, due to any pre-existing medical condition. Residents will be assigned to specific bathroom areas.
  • Face coverings will be worn at all times, except for roommates in individual dormitory rooms, and posted social distancing guidelines will apply in all common areas.
  • Cleaning protocols have been increased in all campus facilities and hand sanitizer stations will be readily available throughout the college.
  • The Director of Residence Life and individual Dormitory Managers will take an active role in ensuring the safety of each student dormitory. Dormitory Managers will routinely review health and safety protocols with their assigned student residents.
  • The Rowan Hall Student lounge is closed until further notice.

Student Health Services

Serving as a focal point for testing and student health management, Student Health Services (SHS) will continue to offer a full range of services to students, through both in-person and virtual consultations. Students or employees who believe they have been exposed to, have contracted COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms associated with the virus should contact Student Health Services immediately or their Dormitory Manager if after hours.

  • It’s helpful to note that isolation and quarantine are different terms. Isolation refers to cases where an individual has a confirmed infection. Quarantine refers to situations where an individual has been potentially exposed but may or may not be infected. The college has set aside separate housing for both the isolation and quarantine of students who are unable to travel home.
  • Students reporting COVID-19 symptoms or believe they have contracted the virus will be initially quarantined, then sent home awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. Students unable to go home will be quarantined and transported to a local testing location. Students sent home may be provided a distance education kit containing a laptop and connection instructions prior to departure. SHS staff will remain in contact with the student throughout the process. If the initial COVID-19 test result is positive, the student must remain isolated in accordance with state and CDC guidance. If the initial test is negative, the SHS staff will work with the individual student to develop a return to campus plan. Students contracting the virus will require a negative viral test before returning to campus or leaving isolation.
  • SHS Staff and college administration will notify and work with local and state agencies to conduct contact tracing. The college may require additional students or employees to quarantine awaiting the results of COVID-19 test as a result of contact tracing.

Clubs & Activities

Student clubs and extracurricular activities will be available in the fall; however, face coverings and social distancing protocol will be observed.

College Store

The college store will open in the fall; however occupancy limits will be enforced to facilitate social distancing protocol. Additional safeguards and protective shields will be in place to further protect the store staff. The store will be encouraging online sales and may curtail hours for events.


Athletics

(As of Thursday, July 16, 2020, 1:00pm)

In coordination with the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), Williamson has canceled all fall athletic programs. The college will continually assess the pandemic environment alongside the NJCAA and USCAA to determine if athletics can be safely resumed in the spring term.

The fall term intramural program has been suspended to facilitate evening technical shop classes.

The college will be instituting additional protocols within the athletic department to include:

  • Occupancy limits for all indoor athletic facilities to include weight room, gymnasium, locker rooms, meeting rooms, and the athletic medical trainer facility.
  • All athletic facilities will undergo increased cleaning efforts and hand sanitizer stations will be readily available.
  • The Athletic training staff will be outfitted with additional protective equipment and will be adjusting their office protocol in accordance with state and CDC recommendations.

Prevention Information from the CDC

(As of Monday, July 6, 2020, 12:00pm)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.


Helpful Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources

COVID-19 News & Information
Situation Summary
Travel Advisories
CDC: Frequently Asked Questions