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 in fall 2020.

Direct close exposure is defined as exposure 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

  • All employees, students, vendors and other members of the public visiting a campus are required to wear a mask, or some sort of fabric covering, that covers the mouth and nose when they are in public areas and where social distancing cannot be followed.
  • Face masks should be worn in classrooms and when entering or exiting buildings. Clear face shields that protect the face but do not hide the mouth are an acceptable substitute for faculty.
  • Each person should provide their own mask or covering if possible; however, the college will make masks available for individuals who don’t have them. Anyone who does not adhere to the requirement for face coverings can be denied entrance to any college facility. Proper cleaning of reusable masks or face coverings is required.
  • If wearing a mask/covering would create a serious health and safety hazard, individuals can be exempted; however, a doctor’s excuse will be required, and face shields would be required. Contact your campus Dean of Students to submit the doctors excuse.
  • 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.
  • Complete the Healthy At Hinds Self Reporting Form.

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 a minimum of 14 days
  • 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 six 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.