COVID-19

Healthy At Hinds

In March 2020 the global COVID-19 pandemic affected the operation of Hinds Community College as well as individual students and employees. Every person connected with the college has been impacted somehow. Classes transitioned to an online environment, and employees coped in a variety of ways, either by working remotely or changing their usual practices for doing their jobs in other ways.

The safety and health of students and employees are of paramount importance. We also recognize that returning to some sort of normalcy is critical to all of us.

Keeping these goals in mind, the Healthy At Hinds plan was developed over a number of weeks and outlines protocols and procedures that enable Hinds employees and students to return to a college environment that is as normal as possible while at the same time exercising precautions that allow us to do so more safely.

The Healthy At Hinds plan will be disseminated to the faculty, staff, students and the public to help ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. With input from a wide array of employees from across the college, medical and health professionals, and guidance from state authorities, we understand that this plan will remain fluid and will be an on-going work in process. As we learn more about COVID-19, and as recommended practices and procedures evolve, the Healthy At Hinds plan may also evolve.

Local governments may impose guidelines or executive orders that are stricter than these. Those guidelines will be followed based on the geographic location and the campus that is affected.

Introduction

Healthy At Hinds

In March 2020 the global COVID-19 pandemic affected the operation of Hinds Community College as well as individual students and employees. Every person connected with the college has been impacted somehow. Classes transitioned to an online environment, and employees coped in a variety of ways, either by working remotely or changing their usual practices for doing their jobs in other ways.

The safety and health of students and employees are of paramount importance. We also recognize that returning to some sort of normalcy is critical to all of us.

Keeping these goals in mind, the Healthy At Hinds plan was developed over a number of weeks and outlines protocols and procedures that enable Hinds employees and students to return to a college environment that is as normal as possible while at the same time exercising precautions that allow us to do so more safely.

The Healthy At Hinds plan will be disseminated to the faculty, staff, students and the public to help ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. With input from a wide array of employees from across the college, medical and health professionals, and guidance from state authorities, we understand that this plan will remain fluid and will be an on-going work in process. As we learn more about COVID-19, and as recommended practices and procedures evolve, the Healthy At Hinds plan may also evolve.

Local governments may impose guidelines or executive orders that are stricter than these. Those guidelines will be followed based on the geographic location and the campus that is affected.

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 6 ft. apart for more than 15 minutes.

Face coverings
  • With the availability of vaccines and the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks are no longer required on campuses of Hinds Community College. This applies to indoor and outdoor facilities.
  • For employees, students and guests who have not been vaccinated, masks are strongly recommended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Washing and/or sanitizing of hands should occur each time, before and after, touching face or face covering.
Mitigating spread by contact
  • 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

Any employee or student who has an elevated temperature or exhibits the symptoms above should do the following:

  • 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

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

  • 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 spring 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 January 11, 2021 and end May 3, 2021.
  • Residence hall students will be required to move out by Friday, May 7.
  • Students will be given opportunities to finish the coursework for the term regardless of their access to devices and/or Internet.

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 an individual is fully vaccinated and is exposed to someone who has tested positive, no quarantine or COVID-19 test will be required if they are asymptomatic.
  • 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 an individual is fully vaccinated and is exposed to someone who has tested positive, no quarantine or COVID-19 test will be required if they are asymptomatic.

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

As of May 2021 the capacity allowed for inside athletic events is being raised to 75 percent of capacity. However, 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.