COVID-19

Health & Safety Protocols

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness that is primarily spread through droplets from person to person, although there is some evidence that it may also spread through contact with surfaces such as door knobs, light switches and other areas people commonly touch on a routine basis.

Some people who test positive for COVID-19 don’t exhibit symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus to others without realizing they have it.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and how it has continued to spread throughout Mississippi, the Healthy At Hinds plan outlines strict protocols to follow for students, employees and anyone else planning to be at one of Hinds’ six locations.

Direct close exposure is defined as exposure (within the past 48 hours) to someone that is positive for COVID-19 in which the individual was less than 3 ft. apart for more than 15 minutes.

Face coverings

On August 9, The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) issued new guidance for colleges and universities regarding COVID-19. Hinds Community College will adhere to the universal indoor mask use guidance effective immediately.

That means Hinds is requiring the wearing of masks indoors, except when employees or students are within their own office spaces or residence halls. This policy will continue until further notice. As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to make changes as appropriate based on guidance from health authorities.

Highlights from the MSDH guidance issued 08/09/2021 include the following:

Universal Indoor Mask Use

  • Due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta Variant and consistent with CDC Public Health Guidance, MSDH directs that masks be worn universally indoors for all students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors, but masks should be considered in crowded outdoor settings or during activities of close prolonged contact with others.

Vaccination

MSDH recommends that all eligible students, faculty, and staff receive COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccination remains the primary public health prevention strategy to end transmission and allow for safe participation of in-person classes and sponsored activities. Mississippi colleges and universities should continue to promote COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible students, faculty, and staff.

  • If exposed to to COVID-19, no quarantine is necessary for fully vaccinated individuals unless symptoms develop, keeping students and staff fully engaged.

Mitigating spread by contact

  • Washing and/or sanitizing of hands should occur each time, before and after, touching face or face covering.
  • Employees whose job duties require they often touch items belonging to others (such as credit, cards, receipts, mail, computers, etc.) should wear gloves that are regularly disposed of and replaced.
  • Interaction with and sharing of materials with other employees, students or visitors should be limited. For example, pens should not be placed on counters for visitors/customers to use. Everyone should try to use their own pens and other materials to reduce the spread.

Self-check temperature before coming to work or class

  • All employees and students should self-check their temperature before coming on campus each work or class day.
  • The college reserves the right to conduct temperature checks for employees and/or students if needed.
  • Anyone who has a temperature above 100.4 degrees or experiences COVID -19 symptoms should not return to campus or leave as soon as the elevated temperature or symptoms are detected.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, those symptoms include: cough, shortness of breath, fever, new loss of taste or smell, chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Protocol for elevated temperature and other symptoms

  • Contact your healthcare provider immediately
  • Leave campus immediately or do not come back to campus
  • Complete the Healthy At Hinds Self Reporting Form
  • May return to campus if symptoms resolve in 24 hours
  • Not return to campus
  • Contact your healthcare provider immediately
  • Complete the Healthy At Hinds Self Reporting Form
  • Self-quarantine for 10 days and return provided you are symptom free for 72 hours
  • Neither students nor employees should return to a Hinds campus until given permission by the proper authority.
  • It is not recommended and is strongly discouraged that a student or employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 have another COVID-19 test within 90 days of testing positive.

Note: Protocols for nursing and allied health students may be different from other students. Those students should contact their instructors or program chairs for additional information.

Social Distancing

Social distancing of at least three feet is required in all classrooms, labs, shared offices, common spaces and other locations.

  • The college is taking action to encourage social distancing through signage, spacing in classrooms, public areas and other high traffic areas.
  • Public, gathering spaces on campus will be marked for social distancing or closed altogether.

Capacity

  • Effective July 30, Hinds Community College will convert back to 100 percent for classroom and events.

Academic Calendar

For fall 2021, Hinds Community College will operate under the published academic calendar with some modifications. Classes will begin and end on the already-scheduled dates.

  • Classes begin on August 16, 2021 and end December 3, 2021.
  • Residence hall students will be required to move out by Friday, December 10, 2021.

Student Responsibilities & Self Reporting

Students will be required to do the following
  • Complete the “Healthy At Hinds” training in Canvas. This training is placed as the first module in all canvas shells.
  • Complete this training during the first week of their first course, including the acknowledgement that the training has been completed and that the student will abide by the guidelines.

 

Self-check temperature

All students should self-check their temperature before coming on campus or going to class each day. Any student who has an elevated temperature or exhibits the symptoms of COVID-19 as outlined by the Center for Disease Control should do the following:

 

Positive COVID-19 Tests and/or Direct Contact

Any student who tests positive for COVID-19, or comes in direct contact with someone who has tested positive, should do the following:

  • Complete the Healthy At Hinds Self Reporting Form
  • Self-quarantine for 10 days and return provided you are symptom free for 72 hours
  • Refrain from returning to a Hinds campus or class until given permission by the Dean of Students office.

 

Fully Vaccinated Individuals
  • If exposed to to COVID-19, no quarantine is necessary for fully vaccinated individuals unless symptoms develop, keeping students and staff fully engaged.
  • Students who have been fully vaccinated no longer have to be tested before checking into residence halls.

Employee Responsibilities & Self Reporting

Healthy At Hinds Training

All Hinds employees will be required to complete a Healthy At Hinds training through Canvas as part of their normal duties. All employees should complete this training. Included as part of the training are the following:

  • Protocols for informing the college of a positive COVID-19 test or need for quarantine due to exposure.
  • Guidelines for returning to campus after a positive test.
  • Acknowledgement of the guidelines.

 

Self-check temperature

All employees should self-check their temperature before coming to work each day. Any employee who has an elevated temperature or exhibits the symptoms of COVID-19 as outlined by the Center for Disease Control should do the following:

  • Contact their healthcare provider
  • Contact their supervisor
  • Complete the Healthy At Hinds Self Reporting Form.

 

Positive COVID-19 Tests and/or Direct Contact

Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19, or comes in direct contact with someone who has tested positive, should do the following:

  • Contact their supervisor
  • Complete the Healthy At Hinds Self Reporting Form
  • Self-quarantine for 10 days and return provided you are symptom free for 72 hours
  • Refrain from returning to work until given permission by their supervisor.

 

Fully Vaccinated Individuals

If exposed to to COVID-19, no quarantine is necessary for fully vaccinated individuals unless symptoms develop, keeping students and staff fully engaged.

Residence Halls

Move-In Procedures

Housing is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of students. Students are assigned designated times for move-in, and restrictions placed on the number of a student’s family members allowed in a residence hall at a time. The designated move in times will be communicated to the students.

For housing related questions contact reslife@hindscc.edu or call 601-857-3222.

Fully Vaccinated Students

Students who have been fully vaccinated no longer have to be tested before checking into residence halls.

Athletics & Student Activities

Increased Capacity

Effective July 30, Hinds Community College will convert back to 100 percent for classroom and events.

Facilities Maintenance

As part of the safety protocol for facilities, the following measures are being taken:

  • Cleaning of facilities and frequently touched surfaces and areas will be increased and performed routinely throughout the day.
  • All facilities will be fogged with a peroxide-based cleaner routinely.
  • Access to any contaminated area will be restricted for a minimum of eight to 12 hours. Disinfecting and a deep cleaning of the area will be performed prior to the area being reopened.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are installed throughout each campus.
  • The college is taking action to encourage social distancing through signage, spacing in classrooms, public areas and other high traffic areas. Public, gathering spaces on campus will be marked for social distancing or closed altogether.
  • Water fountains will be covered and marked “do not use.” Touchless bottle filler water stations are acceptable and will be available.
  • Vending machines will remain available for students and employees and will be cleaned regularly.
  • Elevators capacity will be limited to two passengers at any time.