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Roane State Community College

Required on campus: face covering and wellness screening.Required on campus: face covering and wellness screening.
Coronavirus COVID-19
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Coronavirus Response - FAQ
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Coronavirus Response - FAQ

IMPORTANT NOTE: The frequently asked questions and answers below will continue to be updated as new information is provided. If you have an immediate health concern, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you require emergency medical assistance, call 911. For information about Fall 2020 and accessing RSCC campuses during the pandemic, visit this FAQ.

What is Roane State doing in response to the coronavirus pandemic?

In February 2020, Roane State assembled an emergency action committee to monitor the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation. This committee has been meeting on a weekly basis and more frequently as needed to address the concerns of the campus community. They have updated our Pandemic Preparedness Plan, created an online resource page and assisted with communicating critical information to students, faculty and staff.

On March 13, 2020, Roane State announced an extension of the spring break period through March 22. This extension reduced the number of students and staff on campus and allowed time for faculty to prepare for the transition to delivering their courses online.

On March 23, 2020, all campuses were closed and most courses resumed in an online format. Those courses remained online for the rest of the spring semester. Campuses were closed through April 30 when the State of Tennessee's Safer-at-Home order expired. Only a small number of essential personnel were permitted on campus to perform critical tasks. This time period was also used for enhanced cleaning of facilities.

Beginning May 4, 2020, limited access on four campuses began so that programs could complete required in-person skills testing. The limited access locations included Roane County, Oak Ridge, Knox and Clinton. Only certain buildings or areas were used in these locations and only those who were approved were allowed access. All activity on campuses complied with CDC guidelines for safe physical distancing, face coverings, sanitizing and other precautions.

On June 24, 2020, Roane State outlined its phased reopening plan for the remainder of the summer term and leading into fall. RSCC is offering a mix of in-person and online classes for the fall semester. However, the college may transition to online learning again if the need arises.

The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, their families, and the broader communities we serve are the top priority. We continue to seek guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Tennessee Department of Health and our local health departments as well as the Tennessee Board of Regents with any action or precaution taken in response to this pandemic. We hope these measures will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Has there been a case of COVID-19 confirmed on any of Roane State’s campuses?

Yes, Roane State recieved the first report of a confirmed case of COVID-19 from a student on June 18, 2020. Steps were taken to close and clean affected areas and notify those who had been in close contact with the student. Additional cases have since been reported by both students and employees. Roane State moved to level two of its Pandemic Preparedness Plan on March 13, 2020, as a public health precaution.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Please self-report your positive test result using the online portal at roanestate.edu/checkup. Upon RSCC receiving the notification of the self-report, you will be contacted by an RSCC employee to determine your return date. With a positive test, the isolation period is 10 days from date the sample was taken for the test, or the onset of symptoms, whichever happened first. The college then has to look at two days prior and determine what buildings and areas of the campus you may have visited and who you may have been in close contact with. Close contact means being within six feet of someone for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

NOTE: Please be very specific when you self-report so that we are able to trace your steps effectively. We are only able to see your classes attended, not if you have been to the Library, Gym, Cafeteria, or Student Lounge. The college then has the affected areas cleaned per CDC guidelines and notifies any individuals that may have been exposed. We can not stress enough the importance of social distancing at all times.

What happens when someone self-reports a positive case?

The college's COVID-19 Response Team goes into action when a report of a positive COVID-19 case is received. Using schedule and wellness screening information, RSCC staff look back at the individual's schedule for two days prior to the date of testing or the onset of symptoms (whichever came first). Additionally, the following actions are taken as needed:

Where can I see how the college plans to respond if the situation in our area worsens?

Roane State’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan is available for review along with additional information at the following link: roanestate.edu/coronavirus. The plan includes details on the college’s multi-tiered response to coronavirus or any other widespread/pandemic illness.

Roane State will continue to monitor all the factors impacting our decisions regarding college schedule and campus access in consultation with health experts and the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The Pandemic Preparedness Plan and the coronavirus resource page listed above will continue to be updated as additional items of potential concern are identified.

What should I do if I find out I have been around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Please note that this only applies if you were around the individual during the time they were experiencing symptoms and up to two days prior to their onset of symptoms or the date of their test. 

You should alert your instructor/supervisor that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days from the last date of the contact with the positive case. If you want to return earlier, you can return after a 10 day quarantine with a negative test taken 10 days after the exposure.

If you are an employee, please contact Human Resources to submit the request to see if you are qualify for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Additional information can be found online.

What if I have had indirect contact with a positive case? For example, you might have been in close contact with someone who learned that they had come into close contact with someone else who tested positive.

In this very common situation, you can still report to class/work but should continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Those symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever (in last 48 hours), loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea (in the last 24 hours). If any of these symptoms develop and they are NOT related to underlying conditions, please contact your instructor/supervisor to make alternative arrangements until you are symptom free.

Please note that the above procedure does not apply if you have had direct contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19; it only applies to indirect contact (contact with someone who is not sick and has not tested positive).

Can employees continue to work remotely?

Please work with Human Resources for this request. RSCC will work with you any way possible to accommodate your request as long as tasks are completed and the coverage can be maintained. These will be reviewed case by case. Possible alternatives could be a change in your work schedule or physical location. Any accommodating request will have to be submitted to Human Resources for review and approval.

Can I request an update to the household income reported on the FAFSA due to reduction in income resulting from the COVID-19 crisis?

Students may request an update to the income reported on the FAFSA for various reasons. Specific options relating to the COVID-19 crisis have been added. To submit a request, log into RaiderNet, click on Your Financial Aid and choose either the 2019-2020 Income Adjustment Request Form and the 2020-2021 Income Adjustment Request Form. Requests submitted are reviewed weekly and an email will be sent to your Roane State email account with additional steps to take.

When a positive test is reported, what steps will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Once RSCC is made aware that an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, the college will work with the student/employee to track down all locations they may have visited on campus during the period they may have been contagious. These areas will be closed and cleaned prior to reopening. RSCC will also consult with the local health department.

If necessary, notification of the positive case will be sent out through the RaiderAlert system and via email so all members of the campus community are made aware as quickly as possible. The college will also make contact with any other students/employees the positive case has been in close contact with during their time on campus.

Please keep in mind that close contact is defined as being within six feet of someone for a total of 15 minutes or more. All classrooms and labs will be set up for the six feet spacing and everyone should be wearing a face covering.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus or COVID-19?

The CDC now reports that people with COVID-19 can have mild to severe symptoms. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

Please note that this list is not all inclusive. The CDC advises that you should consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

With some COVID-19 cases being asymptomatic, what is the protocol for preventing the spread in these situations, especially in a lab setting?

The learning environment will be adapted for physical distancing in order to avoid close contact with others. As CDC guidance suggests, everyone should avoid touching their eyes, mouth and nose. Hands should be washed frequently and face coverings must be worn inside campus buildings. Cleaning of facilities will also be part of the daily routine. By taking these steps, we will reduce the risk of exposure even in cases of an asymptomatic person who does not know they have COVID-19.

If I feel sick, what should I do?

You should not come to campus for any reason if you are ill. Students should contact their instructors to let them know if they are sick and will be absent from online or in-person class meetings. Roane State will be providing flexibility for absences due to illness and other COVID-19 related issues. Students should contact their instructors as soon as possible to let them know if they will be absent from class and to inquire about how they might make up any missed work.

Employees should contact their supervisors as soon as possible to let them know if they develop symptoms and will be absent. If you are working from home and are unable to complete your work due to illness, you should also let your supervisor know.

If you begin to feel unwell or exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 after arriving on campus, you should leave immediately if possible. If you cannot leave immediately (e.g. if you are waiting on transportation or do not feel as though you can leave campus safely on your own), you should notify a Roane State employee and report to the designated isolation room on your campus. Those locations are listed below. Signs will also be posted to alert you where your nearest isolation room is located.

County Isolation Room
Campbell County Room 107
Cumberland County Room 144
Clinton Facility Room 114
Fentress County Room 121
Knox County Room 120
Loudon County Room 134
Morgan County Conference Room 111
ORBC C-108
Roane County O-205
Scott County Conference room near front entrance

Is there a way to get medical advice without going to my doctor’s office?

Yes, enrolled students can use telemedicine resources available through WellVia to connect with doctors anytime, anywhere for a reduced cost. WellVia doctors diagnose acute non-emergency medical conditions and prescribe medications when clinically appropriate. This service is also available to spouses and children of Roane State students. See program details and registration information.

If my symptoms worsen, when should I seek medical attention?

The CDC advises that if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, you should get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

*NOTE: This is not an all-inclusive list of emergency warning signs. Please consult your medical provider if you or a loved one begins exhibiting symptoms that are severe or concerning. Call 911 if you have a medical emergency and notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put a cloth face covering on before medical help arrives.

If an RSCC employee tests positive for COVID-19, can they take paid leave or sick leave?

The answer depends on whether the employee can work from home. There is also the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that an employee may be eligible for as well. Check your RSCC email for a message from Human Resources about FFCRA. If you believe you might be eligible for FFCRA, you should communicate with Human Resources to confirm eligibility. If eligible, an employee would not have to use their sick or annual leave up to a certain time period. There are different qualifying reasons for leave related to COVID-19, so it's important to review the information provided to you via email from HR. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources directly.

What if I’m sick, but I don’t think it’s COVID-19?

If you are sick with any illness, you should stay home and contact your doctor for advice and treatment. Please also contact your instructor to let them know if you will be absent from online or in-person class meetings due to illness. Employees should contact their supervisors if they are sick and will be absent.

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus?

The CDC reports that the virus is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. For this reason, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Actions you can take to protect yourself and others include:

Are high-traffic areas at Roane State being cleaned more thoroughly in light of the outbreak?

Yes, enhanced cleaning as an additional public health and safety precaution is part of Roane State’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan.

How does Roane State plan to address physical distancing issues like students gathering outside of classrooms or other common areas in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Physical distancing reminders will be posted in campus buildings. The wellness screening that must be submitted daily by anyone who comes to campus also includes a statement of understanding that everyone must stay 6 feet apart.

Has a drill or simulation been conducted on campus to test physical distancing guidelines?

Spring and summer classes that were required to be held on campus allowed us to see the physical distancing rule in action and no major issues were discovered.

What happens during a college-wide closure?

Students and faculty continue their courses in a distance learning format (D2L) wherever possible. This means that instruction will be provided online using Momentum and Zoom.

Alternative arrangements will be made for courses that are not able to move completely to an online format. This may include a delay and extension of the semester.

Only essential personnel will be permitted on campus during a closure. If you are deemed essential, you will receive additional information and instruction from your direct supervisor.

How will I know what to do during a campus-specific or college-wide closure?

Roane State will communicate any announcements regarding interruptions to college activities and/or operations through RaiderAlerts, email, the college website, social media, and local media as needed. The same is true for an announcement that courses will return to the traditional in-person format. If you are impacted, instructors will provide information about how to continue classes and when to return. Please ensure your Roane State email inbox is not full and check it frequently for updates.

Has Roane State made a decision about college-organized international travel?

At this time, Roane State has canceled all upcoming study abroad trips planned for 2020. This includes trips to Italy, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Galapagos Islands. Students and faculty impacted by this decision will receive additional communication about refunds and other arrangements.

College-organized international travel is canceled. A determination about when international travel can resume will be made at a later date.

Is there any guidance from the college regarding personal travel, both domestic and international?

Roane State advises everyone to stay informed about global and domestic travel warnings. Please take the latest information from the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health into consideration before traveling.

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