Hinds Community College recently released its Healthy at Hinds plan for fall 2020 that outlines health and safety protocols for returning to on-campus classes.
The plan is the college’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has impacted students and employees alike. Spring classes transitioned to online in March, and all summer classes are being taught online.
The college’s plan outlines extensive safety protocols. According to the plan:
-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. Masks should be worn in classrooms and all buildings.
-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. All employees and students should self-check their temperature before coming on campus each work or class day.
-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.
-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.
-All employees and students will be required to complete a Healthy At Hinds training through Canvas as part of their normal duties and requirements. Employees and students should check their temperature each day before coming to work/school. Any employee or student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result or comes in direct contact with someone who has tested positive, should complete the Healthy at Hinds Self Reporting Form and self-quarantine for fourteen days.
-As part of the safety protocol, the college will clean facilities more often and 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 twelve 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. Water fountains will be covered and marked “do not use.” Touchless bottle filler water stations are acceptable and will be available.
The plan is housed on the college’s website and will be updated regularly. The full plan can be viewed at hindscc.edu/covid/campus-plan.
“Our goal for the fall is to conduct instructional, co-curricular and business activities in a manner that is familiar and inviting, while undertaking some unfamiliar and reserved steps which are necessary to protect everyone,” said Dr. Stephen Vacik, who became Hinds president on July 1. “Because the pandemic has been so pervasive and unpredictable, the Healthy at Hinds Plan is also subject to alterations, as dictated by circumstance as well as local, state and federal mandates and best practices.
Fall classes at Hinds Community College begin on August 17, 2020 and end on December 7, 2020. However, students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break and will continue the remaining coursework online. The last day of on-campus classes is Friday, November 20.