Coronavirus Updates

Introduction

Simpson University looks forward to welcoming you our students, faculty, and staff back to campus for the fall 2021 semester. It is a great year to be a Red Hawk. This is the fourth year in a row that our enrollment has grown. This is our centennial year, and you will be part of celebrating 100 years of Simpson history. We also have a new and exciting food service provider in Sage. You will taste the difference your first day.

As we did last fall, the university has developed a reopening plan that will allow us to safely resume campus life while mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and adhering to all state and federal guidelines. As of late August, Shasta County is considered high risk for COVID-19 transmission based on case rates and test positivity rates. This makes safety guidelines all the more important for our campus.

Increased knowledge of COVID-19, effective vaccines, and virus variants have created a different pandemic landscape than the one we faced at this time last year. This year's plan was developed with this year's circumstances in mind. As such, some details of Simpson's COVID-19 safety strategies have changed from the 2020/21 school year.

This document will serve as a resource to guide us in keeping our community safe and healthy. Thank you for your help and cooperation. Please direct any questions to our COVID liason team at covid@simpsonu.edu or our Dean of Students, Mark Endraske (mendraske@simpsonu.edu). For additional information, please keep reading.

Returning to Campus

  • Fall Semester Schedule

    Simpson will open on time for the start of fall classes. Classes will begin on Monday, Sept. 6, and end on Friday, Dec. 17. No students will be allowed to move onto campus before Sept. 3 for New Student Orientation unless they receive advance approval.

  • COVID Vaccination
    • Students and employees are strongly encouraged to get a COVID vaccine.
    • Students and employees who choose not be vaccinated must participate in weekly COVID testing.
    • Simpson University reserves the right to require vaccination for employees, students, and visitors in the future should a change in circumstances make that step necessary to sustain normal business operations.
    • Vaccine Clinics (3) will be available on campus throughout the fall semester.
  • COVID Testing Prior to Arrival

    Students returning to Simpson for fall 2021 must submit one of the following:

    • Proof of vaccination.
    • A negative COVID test taken within the last 10 days.
    • A positive COVID test taken within the last 90 days (please do not arrive on campus until the contagion phase has passed). Weekly on-campus COVID testing will not be required for students who have had a positive test result within the last 90 days.

    Results may be emailed to covid@simpsonu.edu.

  • Arriving without a Test

    If a student arrives without proper COVID paperwork, a test will be administered on campus immediately upon arrival, and the student will be required to stay off campus at the student’s expense, until a negative test result is available, during which time the student’s participation in on-campus activities will be limited. This helps ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, and our continuity of operation. After the university has received a negative test result from the student, the student will be allowed to come on campus.

  • COVID Testing after Arrival
    • Students and employees who choose not to be vaccinated will be required to participate in weekly COVID surveillance testing made available on campus.
    • Testing frequency may change based on community transmission rates of COVID-19.
    • Students and employees may register in advance for the COVID testing system (Color) at the following link: vhttps://home.color.com/covid/sign-up/start?partner=cdph710.
    • Registration is only required one time. After registering for the Color testing system, students and employees can simply check in during on-campus testing clinics and save time.
    • Weekly testing can also be done at offsite locations. Please forward your COVID test results to covid@simpsonu.edu.
    • Many students should also expect testing as part of the program they associate with (e.g. nursing, athletics, etc.).
    • Any student who has received a positive COVID test within the past 90 days does not have to participate in weekly testing.

Academics

Classroom Instruction - In Person Class

Classes will be offered face to face whenever possible. Social distance will not be required in classrooms. Face masks will be required indoors.

Internships/Student Teaching/Clinicals

Students are expected to follow the guidelines of the specific site. When returning to campus, students should take every precaution with hygiene and sanitization of personal belongings.

Campus Life

  • Social Distancing
    • Physical distancing is no longer required. However, this is subject to change should the campus experience an outbreak of COVID-19.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including those inside the home. If possible, allow the sick individual to have their own room and bathroom. If they are unable to have their own bathroom, wipe down high-touch surfaces after use. When in common areas with a sick individual, make sure everyone is wearing a cloth face mask and limit the time with them in an enclosed space. 
    • The university will work to limit large gatherings and utilize outdoor venues when possible. This will include serving food outdoors more often and promoting outdoor gathering spaces.
    • Follow respiratory etiquette.  Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using your inner elbow.
  • Face Coverings
    • Face coverings should be worn over the nose and mouth, replaced, and cleaned regularly.
    • For students living in university housing, face coverings do not need to be worn when in the residence with roommates. 
    • Employees and students are required to wear face coverings indoors but may remove them under the following conditions:
      • When a person is alone in a non-public area or room.
      • While eating or drinking in designated dining areas, provided students are at least 6 feet apart, or, if indoors, outside air supply to the area has been maximized to the extent feasible.
      • Students who cannot wear face coverings due to a medical condition or disability, or who are hearing-impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person, have the option to apply for accommodation through the Student Success Center.
      • Those who have university-approved accommodations may wear an effective, non-restrictive alternative to a face mask, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom tucked into the shirt collar, if your condition permits it. Apply for accommodations through the Student Academic Success Center.
  • Sympton Screening
    • Campus Safety will perform temperature checks at the entrance to campus. 
    • Initially, we will have temperature checks on Monday each week, and for large events.
    • Students and staff are requested to monitor their symptoms at home. This includes cough, shortness of breath, or fever, and any other symptoms the student may be experiencing. Students may want to purchase a thermometer to be able to complete daily temperature checks.
    • If students do not pass the symptom check, they are responsible for notifying their professors and/or their on-campus employer that they cannot attend class or work that day.
  • Arriving without a Test

    If a student arrives without proper COVID paperwork, a test will be administered on campus immediately upon arrival, and the student will be required to stay off campus at the student’s expense, until a negative test result is available, during which time the student’s participation in on-campus activities will be limited. This helps ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, and our continuity of operation. After the university has received a negative test result from the student, the student will be allowed to come on campus.

  • Quarantine
    • Unvaccinated students and staff must follow quarantine protocol if they are exposed to (have close contact with) someone who has, or is presumed to have, COVID-19.
    • Usually, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine after an exposure unless they develop symptoms, in which case they should quarantine and get tested right away. 
    • During quarantine, students should not attend practice or chapel or events or other extracurricular activities. Students should also avoid crowds and always wear a face mask when around other people. 
    • Quarantine will last 10 days from the last date of exposure. 
    • They may continue to attend school for in-person instruction if they:
      • Are asymptomatic;
      • Continue to appropriately mask, as required;
      • Undergo at least twice weekly testing during the 10-day quarantine; and
      • Continue to quarantine for all extracurricular activities at school, including sports, and activities within the community setting.
  • Isolation
    • If isolation is required, a student should return home. Students who cannot return home to isolate will be moved to an isolation room on campus. There will be a process for food delivery for those living in the residence halls.
    • The student must adhere to strict home isolation instructions if they have a positive lab test for COVID-19, are awaiting test results, and/or develop symptoms of COVID-19 within 10 days of being exposed to COVID-19. The student is to remain in isolation until cleared by Public Health or the COVID-19 liaison.
    • Students who do not comply with isolation orders will be subject to an accountability/judicial process.
    • Isolation lasts for 10 days, unless symptoms are present. 
  • Athletic Programs
    • Risk level (cases per 100k people in Shasta County) will be used to determine hosting games on campus. See link: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/. 
    • Weekly testing will be required for student athletes who are not vaccinated. 
    • Health screening will be required prior to practice or games. 
    • Face masks will be required for spectators at indoor athletic contests.  
  • Guidelines for Nursing Students
    • Nursing students must adhere to the university guidelines regarding their return to campus.  
      • When arriving on campus, students must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test within the last 10 days, or a positive COVID-19 test within the last 90 days. (Students submitting a positive COVID-19 test result must be asymptomatic for at least 24 hours before arriving to campus for in-person learning.)
      • Nursing students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must upload proof of their completed vaccination within CastleBranch and Canvas.  
      • Nursing students who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to test for COVID-19 bi-weekly (twice weekly) while participating in clinical learning experiences throughout the semester. 
        • One of the two COVID-19 tests completed weekly must be done within 48 hours of scheduled clinical experiences.  
        • Weekly negative COVID-19 test results must be uploaded within CastleBranch and Canvas in order to participate in clinical. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain updated and current documentation within both CastleBranch and Canvas. Failure to maintain current documentation will warrant removal from clinical and potential course failure. 
    • Students who test positive for COVID-19 are not to attend clinical, lab, simulation, and/or any in-person classes. Positive test results should be emailed to covid@simpsonu.edu and dwulfestieg@simpsonu.edu. It is your responsibility to contact your professors and instructors regarding your health status and learning plans.  
    • Students who have a recent positive COVID-19 test must wait 90 days to re-test for COVID-19. They may return to clinical when their public health ordered quarantine order has expired and the student is 100% asymptomatic for 24 hours. Students must be fully masked, wear goggles, and be cautious in the clinical setting until testing can resume.  
    • Students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, are to assess their temperatures before lab/simulation learning activities. Those experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should stay home.
    • Students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, are to wear face masks and goggles (i.e., eye protection) when in the lab/simulation/clinical space.

Other COVID-19 Protocols

  • Symptoms
    • If a student exhibits a fever of 100.4 or above and one of the following symptoms, they should stay home to quarantine and get tested. COVID-19 symptoms include:
      • Fever or chills (fever of 100.4 or higher)
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
    • Students should not participate in any on-campus activities while ill. Residential students should report symptoms to covid@simpsonu.edu and to the Residence Life staff as soon as possible for meal delivery and living-area health.
  • Exposure to COVID-19
    • Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not exhibiting symptoms will need to quarantine at home for 10 days after your last close contact exposure, monitor for symptoms, and report any changes to health to covid@simpsonu.edu. Exposure is considered ≥15 minutes within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 without either individual wearing a mask.
    • Students who are exhibiting symptoms will need to isolate at home and not return to campus until at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared; at least 24 hours with no fever (and no fever-reducing medication); and symptoms have improved.  
  • COVID-19 Positive Test
    • Students who test positive for COVID-19 must follow public health guidelines for isolation. If they test positive but do not have symptoms, they must isolate for 10 days. If they have symptoms, they must remain home until at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared; at least 24 hours with no fever; and symptoms have improved.
    • If a student has a hardship that prevents them from isolating at home, the university will provide campus accommodations and care.
  • Contract Tracing and Quarantine
    • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted for contact tracing.
    • If a patient was in close contact with anyone while symptomatic, those people will be quarantined for 10 days. If they develop symptoms during quarantine, they will test for COVID and isolate.