Aerial Drone Photo of Bridgewater College Campus

COVID-19 and CARES Act Information

Guide for Students, Faculty, Staff & Community

If your question is not answered on this page,
please email covid-19@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu

Introduction

President David Bushman established a COVID-19 Task Force, co-chaired by Dr. Leona Sevick, Provost, and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Leslie Frere, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, charged with developing plans for offering in-person instruction and reopening Bridgewater College. The Task Force includes representatives from Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities, Custodial Services and Food Services. This Return to Campus Guide is the collective work of virtually every department at the College, and is in line with guidance from both federal and Virginia authorities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that colleges and universities designate an administrator to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns, and ensure that the campus community knows who this person is and how to contact them. Roy Ferguson, Executive Vice President, will serve as the administrator responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Here is his contact information:

Responsible Administrator: Roy Ferguson, Executive Vice President
Office: Flory Hall, room 102
Phone: (540) 828-5307
Email: rferguson@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu

Section 1: Guiding Principles

The safety of our faculty, staff, and students, and the public with whom the College interacts, is a priority for Bridgewater College in the development of policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary goal for Bridgewater College in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue the College’s vital educational mission.

Bridgewater College’s plans are aligned and consistent with the Commonwealth of Virginia Phased Reopening model as well as recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The College is planning for a return to on-campus instruction this fall. As our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus and the broader public health landscape continue to evolve, our guidelines, policies and plans will be updated. Regardless of specific conditions:

  1. Bridgewater makes a priority the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community.
  2. None of us can guarantee what shape COVID-19 will take, and none of us – including the College – can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. This is simply not feasible. It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
  3. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections at Bridgewater is a shared responsibility. Every member of our community must do their part. This means adhering to national, state, and local health guidelines and requirements, and adhering to those measures Bridgewater deems safe and appropriate for its campus.
  4. As a matter of transparency, each member of our College community must understand that if you come or return to the physical campus of Bridgewater College, there is a risk you may contract COVID-19. The College is taking all recommended steps to mitigate this risk, but it cannot categorically guarantee this will not happen. By coming onto campus, you understand that this is possible.

This Guide is equivalent in all respects to a College policy. All faculty, staff and students are expected to comply fully with the policies, protocols and guidelines outlined in this document, as amended from time to time. Failure to do so may result in corrective action.

Section 2: Health and Safety

2.1 What is COVID-19 and How Does it Spread?

COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

  • COVID-19 is primarily spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, shouts or sings.
  • You may also become infected by touching your mouth, nose or eyes after sharing or handling any object or touching a public surface contaminated by the virus.
  • Because COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close proximity to one another, it is important to avoid contact and physically distance (at least six feet) from others when possible, and all employees are required to wear a face covering while on campus (see below).
  • Because COVID-19 can be spread through contact with surfaces and objects, frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfection of public surfaces also are critical to preventing the spread of the disease.

2.2 Symptom Monitoring and Self-Assessment

Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should use the self-monitoring questionnaire to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students (e.g., email, Canvas, Paycom).

At this time, the symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here.

2.3 What if an Employee develops symptoms of COVID-19?

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to work, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. If you experience symptoms while you are at work, inform your supervisor immediately. You may be asked to return home. In either case, you should consult your health care provider. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to report for or return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should contact 911 immediately.

An employee who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-19, must self-isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

2.4 What if a Student develops symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are a residential student and you experience symptoms, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room. If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to self-isolation and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-19, must self-isolate until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

2.5 Vulnerable Populations

According to the CDC, individuals age 65 and older, and individuals of any age with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those conditions include:

  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
  • serious heart conditions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Other conditions may result in an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • moderate to severe asthma
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypertension
  • immunocompromised state
  • liver disease
  • pregnancy
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

To review the CDC’s current list of conditions, look here.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to advise the College if they have a condition that may place them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. All health-related information is kept confidential.

For Employees: If you believe your condition may require a special work arrangement, please review the Temporary Telework Policy, found here, and complete the Telework Request Form, found here, to submit a request for a special work arrangement. Please contact the Human Resources office at HumanResources@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5386 if you have any questions.

For Students: If you believe your condition may require a special housing or academic arrangement, please contact Dr. Chip Studwell, Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5370, to make the request.

2.6 What if I test positive for COVID-19?

If an employee or student receives notification of a positive test for COVID-19, they must immediately notify either Human Resources, in the case of an employee, or Student Health Services, in the case of a student, and await instructions on next steps, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee or student who tests positive or receives a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate and not return to campus, or participate in campus activities, until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If the student or employee is symptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

If the student or employee is asymptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive test; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

2.7 What if I do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but have been identified as a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19?

For employees, if you have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate, consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing quarantine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19; and
  • The employee is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

For students who have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms: (i) if you are a residential student, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room; (ii) If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to quarantine and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus or participate in campus activities until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing quarantine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

2.8 Relationship with Local Health Department and Local Health Care

The College has well-established partnerships with VDH and Carilion Clinic. Our contact at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is Dr. Laura Kornegay. Her contact information is below:

Dr. Laura Kornegay
Virginia Department of Health
100 North Mason Street
P.O. Box 26
Harrisonburg, VA 22803
(540) 574-5101

VDH will provide the College with the system that Student Health Services will use to notify VDH of any positive cases among students. Students are to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Student Health Services to avoid anonymous reports made directly to VDH.​  As faculty and staff become aware of potential exposure and seek care from their own healthcare providers, the College highly recommends that they report that to Human Resources so that contact tracing can be conducted and return to work protocols can be followed.

The College is 10 miles from Sentara RMH Hospital in Harrisonburg, 25 miles from Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville, and 56 miles from the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Students and employees who may need hospitalization will choose the health care facility based on personal preference.

2.9 Testing for COVID-19

Consistent with VDH recommendations, employees and students are not required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus or at certain intervals.

If an employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, the employee should consult their health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19.

Students should consult Student Health Services or their personal health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19. The College has contracted with Carilion Clinic (“Carilion”) to perform COVID-19 testing for students. Carilion will bill the student’s health insurance for the cost of the test (which is approximately $100). VDH will perform COVID-19 testing at no cost for students without health insurance.

2.10 Contact Tracing and Surveillance

Contact tracing is the identification, monitoring, and support of individuals who have been in contact with patients with confirmed or probable diagnoses of COVID-19 and who, therefore, have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus. Prompt identification, voluntary quarantine, and monitoring of COVID-19 contacts can effectively break the chain of disease transmission and prevent further spread of the virus in a community. VDH has committed to take the lead in conducting contact tracing related to cases that involve the College’s employees and students. All cases and contacts are notified by the local health department and given specific instructions on how to monitor their health, how to isolate/quarantine, and when isolation/quarantine is released. The College will assist the local health department, as requested, with identification of contacts, providing information and instructions to contacts, and such other support as requested by VDH.

Campus level disease surveillance will be performed by the College, as feasible. The College will use sources of data for surveillance which may create an updated picture of COVID-19’s spread and its effects on the campus community and thus inform the College’s response to support the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors. Those sources may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • the daily visit numbers for COVID-like illness to the Student Health Center
  • the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases (students and employees)
  • the number of students and employees who are in quarantine/isolation
  • capacity of local and regional hospitals
  • COVID-19 prevalence data in Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, and the Commonwealth of Virginia

The College will review COVID-19 health and safety related data to direct its mitigation efforts and recommend changes in delivery of academic and support services on campus, as well as a change to remote operations, if necessary.

2.11 Quarantine and Isolation

“Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

“Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus should follow the recommendations of their health care provider, as well as the CDC and VDH, regarding quarantine or isolation. Employees must contact Human Resources and inform the College if their health care provider has recommended quarantine or isolation. Employees may not return to work until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above.

Student Health Services will, consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines, require students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus to quarantine or isolate as described above. To most effectively utilize quarantine space on campus, students who are able may return to their permanent home address for the period of quarantine or isolation, and complete and submit to Student Health Services a COVID-19 Action Plan, on a form to be provided by the College. Students should consider the health status of those where the student will be in quarantine or isolation. The CDC has identified certain condition that may place individuals at higher risk for severe illness upon contracting COVID-19. Students must remain in quarantine or isolation until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above and are cleared to return by Student Health Services. Students for whom returning to their permanent home is not reasonably practicable will be required to quarantine or isolate on campus in spaces in Daleville Hall or Crimson Inn designated by the College for quarantine or isolation.

Residence Life staff will ensure the following needs of students in quarantine or isolation on campus are met: food, laundry services, cleaning supplies, and trash removal. Access to health services (including mental health services) will continue in virtual and in-person formats as appropriate and available. Distance learning opportunities will be facilitated through Academic Affairs. Students will be asked to report any symptoms to Student Health Services immediately.

2.12 Hand Hygiene

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face.
  • Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

2.13 Respiratory Etiquette

  • If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nosewith a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or use the inside of your elbow) and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissuesin the trash.
  • Immediately wash your handswith soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

2.14 Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty and staff on campus in indoor spaces, including but not limited to, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any setting on campus, indoors or outside, when an employee or student engages with another person (e.g., walking with someone or passing someone on the sidewalk). Unless otherwise permitted by special exception, students must wear face coverings at all times in classrooms and laboratories.

Guidance from every source confirms that wearing a face covering is one of the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. You should always have a face covering with you and unless you can ensure you will not encounter another person you should wear your face covering.

Students and employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following limited circumstances: (i) when an employee is the sole occupant of a room with a closed door, such as one’s office; (ii) when one is alone in a private vehicle; (iii) for faculty members, while teaching, provided at least six (6) feet separates the faculty member from any student in the class; (iv) when a student is alone in the student’s residence hall room or with only the student’s roommate(s); (v) in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can consistently be maintained (e.g., seated in a meeting); (vi) when an employee or student is eating at any location other than the Main Dining Hall in the Kline Campus Center or Smitty’s Café in the Forrer Learning Commons, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; (vii) when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; and (viii) if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees and students will be required to provide their own face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee or student forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

As you probably have heard by now, “my mask protects you and your mask protects me.” For that to be the case, a face covering must capture the air we exhale so that it protects those who encounter the wearer. Not all face coverings fit the bill. For example, face coverings with an exhalation vent may not prevent the virus spreading from the wearer to others. Because the CDC recommends against the use of face coverings with an exhalation vent or value, such face coverings are unacceptable form of face covering at BC and may not be used to comply with the requirements of this section. Here is a link from Mayo Clinic describing acceptable and unacceptable face coverings.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Invited visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. The College will provide disposable face coverings for each office suite. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors may have a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering. An employee seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Human Resources at humanresources@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu to make the request. A student seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Dr. Chip Studwell, director of academic support and disability services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5370, to make the request. Individuals who are hearing impaired may also have difficulty communicating and lip reading if face coverings are used. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained using alternative solutions.

After initial communication from the College, an informational campaign highlighting prosocial behavioral expectations will be launched, including the need for face coverings and physical distancing.  This will include but is not limited to posters in campus buildings including academic buildings, residence halls, social media posts, and digital screen advertisements.

Student Life will provide an online reporting form for Community members to use who have concerns about non-compliance by students with the face covering requirement. Student Life will review submissions and determine the need for educational reinforcement. Intentional disregard for behavioral expectations may result in a referral to student conduct.

2.15 Cleaning and Disinfecting

Custodial Services (Aramark) will follow CDC recommendations on frequencies, disinfectants, and suggested distancing measures for workplace cleaning. Generally, private offices will be cleaned on the same schedule as prior to the pandemic. In addition to normal dusting, vacuuming and emptying of trash cans, cleaning staff will use disinfectant to clean frequently touched areas in offices. Common spaces in office areas will be cleaned daily, using disinfectant to clean surfaces and frequently touched objects. Custodial staff will wear face coverings and gloves and will practice social distancing while cleaning occupied areas.

As re-opening proceeds and buildings become fully used by employees and students, high-traffic areas in academic buildings, the Kline Campus Center, Funkhouser Center, Nininger Hall, Yount Hall and the Forrer Learning Commons will be cleaned more frequently, depending on usage. During academic sessions, surfaces and frequently touched items in those areas will be cleaned with disinfectant at least twice per day during weekdays and as needed during the weekend, depending on space usage. Additional disinfection of classroom surfaces, such as tabletops, chair armrests, and computer workstations, can be performed by faculty and students between classes as desired using provided materials.

In following the VDH, State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), and local health department guidance, the College will be prepared to maintain and revise the hygiene practices and cleaning/disinfecting protocols as follows:

  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols to include frequently touched surfaces; transport vehicles; schedules for increased cleaning, routine cleaning, and disinfection; ensuring adequate cleaning supplies and correct use/storage.
  • Provisions for hand sanitizer/handwashing stations.
  • Minimize shared objects and ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing to the extent possible (e.g. dedicated student supplies, lab equipment, computers, etc.).

Facilities and/or custodial staff will provide a continuing supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to all office areas and classrooms for use by students, faculty and staff in those areas. Before starting work and before leaving any room in which they have been working, faculty and staff should wipe down all work areas with the disinfectant wipes provided. This includes any shared-space location and equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, phones, audio visual, and other electrical equipment; coffee makers; desks and tables; light switches, doorknobs; lab equipment). Each department is responsible for maintaining and ordering supplies of disinfecting wipes through the Facilities department work order system. Always read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Be sure to discard wipes in a waste container following use.

2.16 Employee Mental and Emotional Well-Being

The College provides an employee assistance program to employees and family members with free, comprehensive support through the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These resources include:

  • Counseling and Well-being
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Management and HR Consultation

Training and Education Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-346-5484.

More information is available at www.anthemeap.com

2.17 Employee Training

Upon returning to work on campus, all employees are required to complete COVID-19 training. The training will include information on the following topics:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combating discrimination, bias and stigma

Signage will be posted across campus with reminders of how to stay safe and keep others safe.

2.18 Leave Policies

In addition to its usual Paid Time Off policy, the College adopted an Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy to address the impact of COVID-19. The Policy provides employees with up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Section 3: Student Health

3.1 Medical-Grade PPE for Health Services Staff

  • Carilion Clinic will provide PPE for the staff members to wear during clinic operation.
  • This includes face coverings, gloves, gowns and face shields

3.2 Maintenance of Typical (non-COVID-19) Health Services

  • Student Health Services will continue to provide care for all students.
  • Visits to Student Health Services will be by appointment only (healthservices@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5384).
  • Spaces will be designated to separate sick and well students.
  • To the extent practicable, services will be provided through telemedicine.

3.3 Mental Health Services

  • Counseling Services will continue to provide therapy for all students.
  • The necessary six-foot distance cannot be achieved in all treatment rooms, and wearing a face covering significantly impairs the therapeutic modality and may, in some instances (anxiety) exacerbate symptoms.
  • Therefore, counseling services will be provided exclusively through teletherapy, where the client will sit in front of a computer with a webcam and engage in teletherapy with a clinician who is in a separate physical space.

3.4 Student Health Services Facility

  • Signage will be posted on both doors to the Student Health Services physical space instructing students to call the clinic before entering as a way to screen symptomatic and asymptomatic students.  These instructions will also be posted online.
  • The number of chairs in the waiting area will be decreased, the material changed to a less porous one to promote easier disinfection and distanced by six feet.
  • Signage will indicate that friends are not allowed to accompany the student seeking treatment.
  • Carilion Clinic will communicate directly with the College’s housekeeping contractor to determine time, method, and frequency of space disinfection, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines.

3.5 Student Health Services Staff Considerations

  • Carilion Clinic will fit all staff (3) for appropriate PPE and supply as needed.
  • Non-students will be encouraged to seek treatment from their primary care provider and to report Covid-19 positive cases to HR for further instructions with regard to return-to-work protocols.
  • The clinic will be staffed by three providers from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

3.6 Student Health Services Patient Care Considerations

  • Students seeking care will be screened by phone before being granted entrance to the physical space.
  • Triage and screening procedures will limit possible contamination of shared objects (pens, clipboards, etc.) as clinical staff will be conducting those procedures.
  • Specific triage procedures (temperature checks, questionnaire content) will be determined by Carilion Clinic in collaboration with the VDH and CDC guidelines.

Section 4: Physical Distancing

4.1 Generally

Physical distancing is a simple and very effective way to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Because people can spread the virus before having symptoms, it is important to keep physical distance from others when possible. In practice, this means:

  • Stay approximately six feet away from others as a normal practice, including while waiting in line to enter a building or office.
  • Eliminate physical contact with others, such as handshakes and embracing coworkers, fellow students, visitors or friends.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible (e.g., phones, desks and other office equipment)
  • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the buildings or spaces.
  • Supervisors should consider placing tape on floors to mark off approximately six feet for individuals to stand apart, using a material that does not damage the floor or other surfaces.
  • Reminding staff and faculty to avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water several times during their shift to reduce the risk of potential person-to-person infections.

4.2 Building Entry and Exit

Campus building entry and exit directions are under consideration. Division heads and department directors should evaluate their functional area office spaces and determine if colored tape, signs or other visual cues will be needed to assist the traffic patterns in those locations.

4.3 Classrooms and Learning Spaces

The College will implement the following strategies to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be marked clearly non-distanced.
  • For courses that cannot be accommodated in distanced classrooms effectively, faculty may employ the modified “hy-flex” model of instruction in which students will rotate between in-person and remote instruction. Faculty will assign students to rotating groups, and classroom technology will be enhanced to provide robust remote instruction.
  • Large course enrollments that cannot be accommodated reasonably in distanced classrooms, including use of the modified “hy-flex” model described above, may be divided into smaller-sized sections.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and staff can practice appropriate physical distancing.
  • Remote tutoring services will be provided to comply with physical distancing protocols.

4.4 Student Activity Spaces

Maximum density for in-person events will be the lesser of 250 or 50% of normal maximum occupancy. All meeting spaces will have visible signage stating the maximum occupancy under guidance and Executive Orders then in effect.

To the extent applicable, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, for student activities on campus.

In preparation for physical distancing and extra-curricular activities, the following guidelines are being implemented:

  • In-person, hybrid, and virtual programming is being established to best fit the needs of students and the event.
  • Students will need to register for events in advance and there will be a capacity limit for in-person events.
  • In-person events will be limited to currently enrolled College students only.
  • Outdoor spaces will be utilized for as many events as possible.
  • Most, if not all, in-person programming will be adaptable to allow for a virtual experience.
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn for all indoor, in-person events and there will be signage to ensure that students are aware of the face-covering requirement. Students will not be permitted entrance to the event without a face covering.
  • When students come to in-person events, they will need to check in to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • Any lines that are established will have physical distance markers on the floor.
  • There will be handwashing or hand sanitizing stations at every check-in point.
  • There will be only one entrance and one exit at events.
  • Food at events will be limited to single-use options or pre-packaged options.
  • Plexiglas barriers may be placed at check-in tables to limit contact between students.
  • Student clubs and organizations will be encouraged to meet virtually. Any clubs or organizations that meet in person will need to maintain a check-in process to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • All events are being re-envisioned to ensure social distancing or transitioned to an online model.

4.5 Funkhouser Center for Health and Wellness

The College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Fitness and Exercise Facilities, as well as applicable CDC and VDH guidance for cleaning and disinfecting and prevention and disease control (e.g., signage, occupancy, screening, physical distancing, face coverings), with respect to the operation and use of the Funkhouser Center for Health and Wellness.

4.6 Working Environments

Whenever possible, work areas will be arranged to allow separation of approximately six feet between stations. Where six feet of distancing is not feasible, division heads and directors can consider alternative measures to mitigate potential exposure, such as the following:

  • Staggered work shifts.
  • Shields or physical barriers that may be installed where practical and permitted, subject to state building code.
  • Conversion of large meeting rooms into workstations to increase opportunities for physical distancing.
  • Visual cues such as colored tape or signs to indicate to visitors where they should stand while waiting in line. (Take care to avoid damaging floors). Supplies should be ordered through Facilities.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space.
  • Designated stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.

4.7 Meetings

  • Evaluate all meetings, conferences and special events to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone).
  • If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:
  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.

4.8 Common Spaces for Employees

  • You should avoid direct contact with hard surfaces in communal areas, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, water coolers/fountains, chairs, tables.
  • You are encouraged to use paper towels to touch any surface and use wipes to disinfect before and after every use.
  • You should clean communal spaces throughout the day.
  • You must determine if shared utensils, condiments and other like items need to be temporarily removed from shared spaces.

4.9 Breaks and Meal Periods

To maintain distancing, staff and faculty are encouraged to use alternate sites for breaks, which may include their workstations, unoccupied meeting rooms, cars or outside space, if available and weather permitting.

Staff and faculty eating in their work environment (e.g., break room, office) should maintain six feet of distance between themselves. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Face coverings should only be removed in order to eat, and then put back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break rooms to support physical distancing practices between staff and faculty. Faculty and staff should wipe all surfaces in common areas (e.g., tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines) before and after use.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to use paper products and disposable utensils to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

4.10 Using Stairs and Elevators

Staff and faculty who are physically able are encouraged to use the stairwells, instead of elevators, when transitioning between floors. If elevators are used within a building, no more than one individual may be in an elevator at a time.

When faculty and staff are using the elevator, they must wear a face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Faculty and staff must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator. Guidelines will be posted outside of all elevators.

4.11 Using Restrooms/Bathrooms

To ensure appropriate physical distancing between individuals, the availability of restroom facilities in campus buildings may be limited. When facilities have not been removed from service it is requested that employees and students occupy alternate urinals, restroom stalls, and sinks to maintain physical distance. Avoid congregating in the restroom and emphasize courteous behaviors and an awareness of the needs of others to use the restroom. Use proper precautions and hand washing techniques and avoid touching doorknobs, faucets, and paper towel dispensers.

Students should minimize the time spent in shared bathrooms, and should not store personal items in shared bathrooms. If toilets and showers are separated by physical barriers, all can be used. For sinks and open showers, every other sink/shower should be used.

Restrooms in use will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily.

4.12 Telework Requests

We understand that some employees may request to continue to work remotely for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19 risk status or childcare, for example. The College’s new telework policy is found here. The online request form for continuation of teleworking is found here and is submitted to Human Resources for review.

4.13 Traveling by Vehicle

If travel is required for work or in connection with a class, students, staff and faculty should ride alone in vehicles where operationally feasible. Staff and faculty who must have more than one employee in the vehicle due to safety or work standards must wear face coverings. College vehicles may not be used to transport more than one student at a time.

If the driver is alone throughout the trip, a face covering is not necessary. If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants must wear face coverings. Staff and faculty do not need to wear a face covering if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Staff and faculty who travel to multiple work locations and/or enter retail establishments as part of their job responsibilities should be reminded that they must follow the safety guidelines established for the specific worksite and retail establishment. Physical distancing guidelines must be followed and face coverings must be worn as described in relevant guidelines while performing work for the College.

4.14 Limiting Visitors to Campus

In an effort to limit the transmission of the virus, Bridgewater College is restricting access to all College facilities until further notice. Only faculty, staff, authorized vendors and contractors, currently enrolled students, prospective students and their families, and authorized guests invited by the College are permitted in campus facilities. Additionally, permitted campus visitors should wear a face covering while on campus and observe other health and safety guidelines as described in this Guide (e.g., symptom self-assessment, wash hands frequently, maintain physical distancing). Appropriate signage announcing limited access to College facilities will be posted.

Section 5: Student Housing, Dining and Campus Life

5.1 Move-In

Students and their move-in helpers are expected to stay home if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in advance of students’ scheduled move-in time. Face coverings are required during the move-in process. Those arriving without a face covering will be provided with one upon check-in.

Students are permitted to bring no more than two additional people to assist them in the move in process. Based on physical distancing restrictions, the College encourages students to bring only those individuals whom they need to assist with move in. Family and other guests may wait in the designated areas (tents) near each building.

All students will be assigned a two-hour timeslot during which they are able to move into their residential area. Once the timeslot ends, move-in helpers will be asked to vacate the residence hall to allow other students to move in safely. There will be approximately 100 students per timeslot per day. There will be time between each timeslot for custodial staff to clean and disinfect high-touch areas in preparation for the next timeslot.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available throughout all residential spaces, with a priority for high-traffic locations such as entrances, elevator lobbies, and outside of stairwells.

5.2 International Travel

International travel is an evolving situation. Currently, both the U.S. State Department and the CDC have issued alerts to avoid all nonessential travel globally. And travel to the U.S. from some countries is prohibited.

Students arriving in the U.S. from any international destination will be required to follow current CDC guidance of a 14-day self-quarantine period. Students arriving in the U.S. will be given the option to self-quarantine on campus or with a U.S.-based family or friend. The College’s international student advisor is communicating with currently enrolled international students who are outside of the U.S. about the self-quarantine guidelines.

Admissions materials sent to newly admitted international students have been modified to reflect current COVID-19 plans and the importance of pre-arrival travel communication.

5.3 Hall Director and Resident Assistant Training and Responsibilities

Student Life staff will provide training for hall directors and resident assistants, to include:

  • Hybrid training model which includes virtual sessions and small group training settings.
  • Training sessions include sessions about COVID-19, health and wellness, and promotion of a prosocial behavioral campaign.
  • Resident Assistants will be asked to document policy infractions regarding the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, and visitation and gathering policies.
  • Resident Assistants will be trained to focus on developing their communities, virtually, including checking in on residents’ health and well-being.
  • Resident Assistants will assist in the education of residents regarding COVID-19, health and safety practices, and the Bridgewater College public health plan.

5.4 Training and Education

Prior to arriving for orientation, incoming students will be provided with information regarding behavioral expectations while on campus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once on campus, training for students will include the following:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom and residence hall behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance (restorative referrals)
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma
  • Dining hall changes

Signage with maximum occupancy for common spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage regarding social distancing, proper hand hygiene and COVID-19 information following Bridgewater’s prosocial campaign and resources from VDH and the CDC.

  • Student leaders (RA’s SOAR Mentors, Peer Health Educators, Eagle Success mentors, etc.) will model behavioral expectations throughout Student Orientation.
  • Orientation Leaders will talk to first year student groups about behavioral expectations during Welcome Week.
  • Resident Assistants will have conversations with their residents about behavioral expectations.

5.5 Entrance and Egress for Residential Buildings

  • Residence Halls (Blue Ridge, Dillon, Daleville, Geisert, Heritage, Wakeman, and Wright) will each have doors designated as entrance-only and exit-only. This encourages one-way traffic patterns in and outside of the buildings. The exception to this would be in the event of a fire alarm or emergency.
  • Entrance and egress for Stone Village, Wampler Towers, Cottages, and Crimson Inn will operate as normal.
  • The elevator in the Wright-Heritage Link will be limited to one person in the elevator at a time.
  • Residential students may only enter, and will only have ID card access to, the residence facility to which they are assigned. Commuter students will not have access to, and may not enter, any residence facilities.
  • No visitors from off-campus may enter any residence facility, unless accompanied by a College employee authorized by Student Life.

5.6 Residential Common Spaces

Residential common spaces include hallways, bathrooms, lounges, kitchens, laundry rooms, breezeways, yards, porches, and decks.

  • Occupancy will be reduced in all residential common areas to 50% of maximum occupancy. All spaces will be clearly marked for COVID-19 maximum occupancy.
  • Social distancing must be practiced in all residential common spaces.
  • The exercise facility in the Wright-Heritage Link will be closed until further notice.

Section 6: Dining Services

6.1 Physical Distancing

  • To ensure physical distancing consistent with Virginia guidelines, occupancy of the main dining hall in the Kline Campus Center will be limited.
  • Tables and chairs will be modified or removed to allow for physical distancing to be maintained.
  • The floor of the entrance and exit will be marked, and rope and stanchion will be used to encourage appropriate flow of traffic and to maintain physical distance.
  • The floor of the serving area will be marked with directional arrows to direct traffic flow.
  • The number or students in the serving area will be limited. As one student exits, another student will enter.
  • Visual cues will indicate where students should stand while waiting to enter the main dining hall or be served at Smitty’s Café.
  • Plexiglas barriers will be installed in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café to separate students from dining services employees.
  • Only students will be permitted to eat in the main dining hall; employees will not be permitted to eat in the main dining hall.

6.2 Face Coverings

  • Dining services staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café, and in the kitchen and food storage and preparation areas.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings while in any dining facility. Face coverings must be worn during movement in the facility and may only be removed when seated and eating.

6.3 Infection Prevention

  • Signage will be installed to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Dining facilities employees will follow all infection prevention guidelines, including:
  • Self-monitoring symptoms prior to reporting for work each day, including checking their temperature each day
  • Practicing proper hand hygiene
  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth
  • Staying home when ill
  • Wearing gloves while working and interacting with students and others

6.4 Cleaning/Disinfection

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all registers and high-traffic service points
  • High contact surfaces will be routinely disinfected at least every 60 minutes during operation
  • Table tops will be disinfected between patrons with the use of a Multi Peroxide Disinfectant/Sanitizer recommended by the Local Health Authorities

6.5 Service Delivery

  • Self-service stations in the main dining hall will be eliminated and replaced with staff-served meal stations.
  • All items will be served on disposable ware to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
    • All dining ware will be kept behind the service line and handled by a gloved dining facility employee when preparing a student’s meal.
  • The use of take out with compostable three-compartment boxes will be strongly encouraged to reduce the number of students eating in the main dining hall and increase the speed of service.
  • Smitty’s Café will offer pre-packaged items and beverage service for purchase.

Section 7: Events and Gatherings

For all events on campus, including athletics events, ceremonies and performances, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • For indoor events, the maximum number of attendees, including employees, will be 50% of the permitted occupancy of the event space, or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is less, so long as physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Recommendations for spectator attendance at athletic events continue to evolve. The College will adhere to the latest guidance from VDH and CDC, and, to the extent applicable, the NCAA and Old Dominion Athletic Conference, regarding spectator attendance at athletic events.

Section 8: Shutdown Considerations If Necessitated by Severe Conditions and/or Public Health

8.1 Management of Campus Outbreak

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. VDH will be the agency to declare an outbreak if one occurs. Once VDH declares an outbreak, the College will continue to follow the directions of VDH and CDC regarding any response and mitigation efforts and cooperate with VDH for investigations and contact tracing.

8.2 Campus Dismissals or Shutdowns

Any decision regarding campus dismissal or shutdown will be made in consultation and coordination with VDH. The College will comply with the direction provided by VDH regarding whether conditions mandate a temporary dismissal or a shutdown. For example, an initial shorter term dismissal may allow time for VDH to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the College and for custodial staff to clean and disinfect any affected facilities. The need for an extended dismissal may be based on what VDH discovers from contact tracing. If there is substantial transmission in the local community, VDH may suggest an extended dismissal or shutdown. Regardless, the College will comply with VDH guidance.

In the event of a dismissal or shutdown, the College will continue teaching and research activities, using alternative teaching methods and remote learning options as feasible and appropriate. The College will use existing infrastructure and services (e.g., Zoom) to support an efficient transition of classes from in-person to remote-based formats. This may include using strategies such as faculty check-ins, and synchronous and asynchronous class meetings and lectures.

In the event of a temporary dismissal, students will be strongly encouraged to pack lightly to expedite departure from campus. In the event of a shutdown in which students will have to return home for an indeterminate time period, the College will have students complete an express check-out process and remove all belongings form the residence hall.

8.3 Reduced Campus Activity

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. The College will seek and comply with VDH guidance regarding the need to reduce campus activities. Depending on the level of infection among students and employees, it may be necessary for the College to cancel some or all in-person campus activities.

8.4 Student health and safety on campus versus returning home

Student health and safety on campus versus returning home is highly dependent on a multitude of variables (e.g., permanent residence location, transportation, number of family living at home). The College is working with VDH to determine a more specific tool to use to make these decisions, which likely will be made on a case-by-case basis.

8.5 Communications plan for dismissals/shutdowns.

This Guide, and subsequent updates regarding changes in campus activities or dismissals or shutdowns, will be posted on Bridgewater’s website and linked from the homepage. In addition, the College will link to the Guide and subsequent announcements from the College’s social media accounts and will email students, parents, faculty and staff with any information regarding changes in campus activities or dismissals or shutdowns.

Approved By:  Dr. David W. Bushman, President
Approval Date: 07/01/2020
Effective Date: 07/01/2020
Last Revision Date: 09/15/2020
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President


FAQs for Students


Health & Safety

Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should use the self-monitoring questionnaire to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students (e.g., email, Canvas, Paycom).

At this time, the symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here.

If you are a residential student and you experience symptoms, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room. If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to self-isolation and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-19 must self-isolate until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

Consistent with VDH recommendations, employees and students are not required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus or at certain intervals.

Students should consult Student Health Services or their personal health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19. The College has contracted with Carilion Clinic (“Carilion”) to perform COVID-19 testing for students. Carilion will bill the student’s health insurance for the cost of the test (which is approximately $100). VDH will perform COVID-19 testing at no cost for students without health insurance.

If a student receives notification of a positive test for COVID-19, they must immediately notify Student Health Services and await instructions on next steps, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. A student who tests positive or receives a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate and not return to campus, or participate in campus activities, until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If the student is symptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

If the student is asymptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive test; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

For students who have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms: (i) if you are a residential student, please stay in your residence hall room or return to your residence hall room; (ii) If you are a commuter student, please do not come to campus and remain in your home, or, if you are on campus, please return to your home if it is safe for you to do so.

In either case, contact Student Health Services (540-828-5384). If Student Health Services is closed for the day, or if during a weekend, the student should contact their RA, who will then consult with Residence Life staff about appropriate next steps with regard to quarantine and remote instruction arrangements.

A student who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus or participate in campus activities until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing quarantine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

A student must receive approval from the College to return to campus after being in quarantine or isolation. To receive the approval, and for questions about next steps if you are a remote learner, please contact Dr. Neal Rittenhouse at jrittenhouse@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

“Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

“Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others.

Student Health Services will, consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines, require students who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus to quarantine or isolate as described above. To most effectively utilize quarantine space on campus, students who are able to may return to their permanent home address for the period of quarantine or isolation, and complete and submit to Student Health Services a COVID-19 Action Plan, on a form to be provided by the College. Students should consider the health status of those where the student will be in quarantine or isolation. The CDC has identified certain condition that may place individuals at higher risk for severe illness upon contracting COVID-19. Students must remain in quarantine or isolation until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above and are cleared to return by Student Health Services. Students for whom returning to their permanent home is not reasonably practicable will be required to quarantine or isolate on campus in spaces in Daleville Hall or Crimson Inn designated by the College for quarantine or isolation.

Residence Life staff will ensure the following needs of students in quarantine or isolation on campus are met: food, laundry services, cleaning supplies, and trash removal. Access to health services (including mental health services) will continue in virtual and in-person formats as appropriate and available. Distance learning opportunities will be facilitated through Academic Affairs. Students will be asked to report any symptoms to Student Health Services immediately.

  • Carilion Clinic will provide PPE for the staff members to wear during clinic operation.
  • This includes face coverings, gloves, gowns and face shields
  • Students seeking care will be screened by phone before being granted entrance to the physical space.
  • Triage and screening procedures will limit possible contamination of shared objects (pens, clipboards, etc.) as clinical staff will be conducting those procedures.
  • Specific triage procedures (temperature checks, questionnaire content) will be determined by Carilion Clinic in collaboration with the VDH and CDC guidelines.
  • Student Health Services will continue to provide care for all students.
  • Visits to Student Health Services will be by appointment only (healthservices@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.eduor (540) 828-5384).
  • Spaces will be designated to separate sick and well students.
  • To the extent practicable, services will be provided through telemedicine.
  • Signage will be posted on both doors to the Student Health Services physical space instructing students to call the clinic before entering as a way to screen symptomatic and asymptomatic students.  These instructions will also be posted online.
  • The number of chairs in the waiting area will be decreased, the material changed to a less porous one to promote easier disinfection and distanced by six feet.
  • Signage will indicate that friends are not allowed to accompany the student seeking treatment.
  • Carilion Clinic will communicate directly with the College’s housekeeping contractor to determine time, method, and frequency of space disinfection, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidelines.

Campus Experience

We did consider going online following the Thanksgiving break, and concluded that we would have students return following the break to complete classes and take exams.

Our view is that we need to be ready to move to remote instruction at any point in the semester. Virginia’s Higher Education Reopening Guidance , issued by the Governor’s Office, in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), identifies (i) positive trends in public health data and (ii) adequate surge health care capacity as two of the conditions necessary for campuses to be able to reopen. As I am sure you are aware, the last two weeks have seen a dramatic increase in new cases in some states that have required those states to roll back some of the easing of restrictions. Thankfully, conditions in Virginia have remained stable and we hope they stay that way. But prudence dictates, and the state requires, that we be prepared to react to any changes in the conditions and, if necessary, once again shift to remote instruction.

With respect to Thanksgiving, it is difficult to predict now what the conditions may be in late November. As we approach that time there may be some good reason to move to remote instruction following the break, and if there is we will do so. Because we will be prepared to take that step at any time during the semester, we can make that decision at that time if conditions require it rather than committing to that course today.

For information on shutdown considerations please review that section under Campus Operations & General Information.

Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty and staff on campus in indoor spaces, including but not limited to, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any setting on campus, indoors or outside, when an employee or student engages with another person (e.g., walking with someone or passing someone on the sidewalk). Unless otherwise permitted by special exception, students must wear face coverings at all times in classrooms and laboratories.

Guidance from every source confirms that wearing a face covering is one of the most effective means of slowing the spread of COVID-19. You should always have a face covering with you and unless you can ensure you will not encounter another person you should wear your face covering.

Students and employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following limited circumstances: (i) when an employee is the sole occupant of a room with a closed door, such as one’s office; (ii) when one is alone in a private vehicle; (iii) for faculty members, while teaching, provided at least six (6) feet separates the faculty member from any student in the class; (iv) when a student is alone in the student’s residence hall room or with only the student’s roommate(s); (v) in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can consistently be maintained (e.g., seated in a meeting); (vi) when an employee or student is eating at any location other than the Main Dining Hall in the Kline Campus Center or Smitty’s Café in the Forrer Learning Commons, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; (vii) when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least ten (10) feet can be maintained; and (viii) if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees and students will be required to provide their own face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee or student forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

As you probably have heard by now, “my mask protects you and your mask protects me.” For that to be the case, a face covering must capture the air we exhale so that it protects those who encounter the wearer. Not all face coverings fit the bill. For example, face coverings with an exhalation vent may not prevent the virus spreading from the wearer to others. Because the CDC recommends against the use of face coverings with an exhalation vent or value, such face coverings are unacceptable form of face covering at BC and may not be used to comply with the requirements of this section. Here is a link from Mayo Clinic describing acceptable and unacceptable face coverings.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Invited visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. The College will provide disposable face coverings for each office suite. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors may have a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering. An employee seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Human Resources at humanresources@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu to make the request. A student seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Dr. Chip Studwell, director of academic support and disability services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5370, to make the request. Individuals who are hearing impaired may also have difficulty communicating and lip reading if face coverings are used. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained using alternative solutions.

After initial communication from the College, an informational campaign highlighting prosocial behavioral expectations will be launched, including the need for face coverings and physical distancing.  This will include but is not limited to posters in campus buildings including academic buildings, residence halls, social media posts, and digital screen advertisements.

Student Life will provide an online reporting form for Community members to use who have concerns about non-compliance by students with the face covering requirement. Student Life will review submissions and determine the need for educational reinforcement. Intentional disregard for behavioral expectations may result in a referral to student conduct.

Prior to arriving on campus, all students will be provided with information regarding behavioral expectations while on campus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once on campus, training for students will include the following:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom and residence hall behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance (restorative referrals)
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma
  • Dining hall changes

Signage with maximum occupancy for common spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage regarding social distancing, proper hand hygiene and COVID-19 information following Bridgewater’s pro-social campaign and resources from VDH and the CDC.

  • Student leaders (RA’s SOAR Mentors, Peer Health Educators, Eagle Success mentors, etc.) will model behavioral expectations throughout Student Orientation.
  • Orientation Leaders will talk to first year student groups about behavioral expectations during Welcome Week.
  • Resident Assistants will have conversations with their residents about behavioral expectations.

Residence Halls will have designated entrances and exits to each building:

  • Residence Halls (Blue Ridge, Dillon, Daleville, Geisert, Heritage, Wakeman, and Wright) will each have doors designated as entrance-only and exit-only. This encourages one-way traffic patterns in and outside of the buildings. The exception to this would be in the event of a fire alarm or emergency.
  • Entrance and egress for Stone Village, Wampler Towers, Cottages, and Crimson Inn will operate as normal.
  • The elevator in the Wright-Heritage Link will be limited to one person in the elevator at a time.

Residential common spaces, including hallways, bathrooms, lounges, kitchens, laundry rooms, breezeways, yards, porches, and decks, will observe the following safety measures:

  • Occupancy will be reduced in all residential common areas to 50% of maximum occupancy. All spaces will be clearly marked for COVID-19 maximum occupancy.
  • Social distancing must be practiced in all residential common spaces.
  • The exercise facility in the Wright-Heritage Link will be closed until further notice.
  • Students should minimize the time spent in shared bathrooms, and should not store personal items in shared bathrooms. If toilets and showers are separated by physical barriers, all can be used. For sinks and open showers, every other sink/shower should be used.
  • For the safety of the residential community and to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the guest policy as outlined in the Eagle has been suspended until further notice. Residents will not be permitted to host guests in the residence halls, and residents will only receive access to their assigned residence hall on their BC ID. Please refer to the Return to Campus Guide for the latest information and policy updates.
  • A guest is defined as an individual who does not live in the BC on-campus residence hall that they are attempting to visit. This includes residents visiting other residence halls, BC students who live off campus, and visitors who are not affiliated with BC.
  • Residential students may only enter, and will only have ID card access to, the residence facility to which they are assigned. Commuter students will not have access to, and may not enter, any residence facilities. No visitors from off-campus may enter any residence facility, unless accompanied by a College employee authorized by Student Life.

On July 21, 2020, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) announced the postponement of all fall and winter sports until after January 1, 2021. The ODAC intends to sponsor conference competition for fall, winter, and spring sports in the spring semester, and our student-athletes will be engaged on campus this fall to prepare for their competitive seasons later this academic year. You can see the ODAC statement here https://odaconline.com/general/2020-21/releases/072120-odac-update.

Student-athlete health records are still due on Saturday, August 1st. For more information, please visit: https://bridgewatereagles.com/atc/preparticipationforms. Any questions should be directed to Heather Grant at hgrant@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

For all events on campus the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • For indoor events, the maximum number of attendees, including employees, will be 50% of the permitted occupancy of the event space, or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is less, so long as physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.

Maximum density for in-person events will be the lesser of 250 or 50% of normal maximum occupancy. All meeting spaces will have visible signage stating the maximum occupancy under guidance and Executive Orders then in effect.

To the extent applicable, the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, for student activities on campus.

In preparation for physical distancing and extra-curricular activities, the following guidelines are being implemented:

  • In-person, hybrid, and virtual programming is being established to best fit the needs of students and the event.
  • Students will need to register for events in advance and there will be a capacity limit for in-person events.
  • In-person events will be limited to currently enrolled College students only.
  • Outdoor spaces will be utilized for as many events as possible.
  • Most, if not all, in-person programming will be adaptable to allow for a virtual experience.
  • Face coverings will be required to be worn for all indoor, in-person events and there will be signage to ensure that students are aware of the face-covering requirement. Students will not be permitted entrance to the event without a face covering.
  • When students come to in-person events, they will need to check in to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • Any lines that are established will have physical distance markers on the floor.
  • There will be handwashing or hand sanitizing stations at every check-in point.
  • There will be only one entrance and one exit at events.
  • Food at events will be limited to single-use options or pre-packaged options.
  • Plexiglass barriers may be placed at check-in tables to limit contact between students.
  • Student clubs and organizations will be encouraged to meet virtually. Any clubs or organizations that meet in person will need to maintain a check-in process to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines (e.g., wearing a mask, approved daily health check via LifeSafe).
  • All events are being re-envisioned to ensure social distancing or transitioned to an online model.

The College will implement the following strategies to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be marked clearly non-distanced.
  • For courses that cannot be accommodated in distanced classrooms effectively, faculty may employ the modified “hy-flex” model of instruction in which students will rotate between in-person and remote instruction. Faculty will assign students to rotating groups, and classroom technology will be enhanced to provide robust remote instruction.
  • Large course enrollments that cannot be accommodated reasonably in distanced classrooms, including use of the modified “hy-flex” model described above, may be divided into smaller-sized sections.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and staff can practice appropriate physical distancing.
  • Remote tutoring services will be provided to comply with physical distancing protocols.
  • All meetings, conferences and special events will be evaluated to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone).
  • If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:
  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.
  • To ensure physical distancing consistent with Virginia guidelines, occupancy of the main dining hall in the Kline Campus Center will be limited.
  • Tables and chairs will be modified or removed to allow for physical distancing to be maintained.
  • The floor of the entrance and exit will be marked, and rope and stanchion will be used to encourage appropriate flow of traffic and to maintain physical distance.
  • The floor of the serving area will be marked with directional arrows to direct traffic flow.
  • The number or students in the serving area will be limited. As one student exits, another student will enter.
  • Visual cues will indicate where students should stand while waiting to enter the main dining hall or be served at Smitty’s Café.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café to separate students from dining services employees.
  • Only students will be permitted to eat in the main dining hall; employees will not be permitted to eat in the main dining hall.
  • Dining services staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times in the main dining hall and Smitty’s Café, and in the kitchen and food storage and preparation areas.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings while in any dining facility. Face coverings must be worn during movement in the facility and may only be removed when seated and eating.
  • Self-service stations in the main dining hall will be eliminated and replaced with staff-served meal stations.
  • All items will be served on disposable ware to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
  • All dining ware will be kept behind the service line and handled by a gloved dining facility employee when preparing a student’s meal.
  • The use of take out with compostable three-compartment boxes will be strongly encouraged to reduce the number of students eating in the main dining hall and increase the speed of service.
  • Smitty’s Café will offer pre-packaged items and beverage service for purchase.
  • Signage will be installed to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Dining facilities employees will follow all infection prevention guidelines, including:
    • Self-monitoring symptoms prior to reporting for work each day, including checking their temperature each day
    • Practicing proper hand hygiene
    • Practicing physical distancing
    • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth
    • Staying home when ill
    • Wearing gloves while working and interacting with students and others
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all registers and high-traffic service points
  • High contact surfaces will be routinely disinfected at least every 60 minutes during operation
  • Table tops will be disinfected between patrons with the use of a Multi Peroxide Disinfectant/Sanitizer recommended by the Local Health Authorities
  • Because the required six-foot distance cannot be achieved in all treatment rooms, and wearing a face covering significantly impairs the therapeutic modality and may, in some instances (anxiety) exacerbate symptoms, all mental health services will be offered virtually during the upcoming academic year.
  • A group-therapy modality will be emphasized this year in order to address the needs of as many students as possible
  • Students will be encouraged to utilize their residence hall space or other spaces on campus that feel safe and private where they can engage with a mental health provider via a videoconferencing platform.

Students should schedule appointments only via phone (540) 828-5379 or by email at counseling@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.


Residential Waiver, Online Learning and Special Accommodations FAQs

RESIDENTIAL WAIVER

  • Go to the Fall 2020 Remote Options Form and complete the form to waive your residency requirement. Once a student elects to live off-campus, they WILL NOT be able to return to residential status for the Fall semester.

Students who elect to leave campus housing after the semester begins will be eligible for a partial refund of the residential fee, which will be calculated the same as for students who withdraw from the College. For Fall 2020, that calculation will be as follows:

Week of Status Change % of Residential Fee Refunded
Aug 20 – Sept 11 100%
Sept 12 – Sept 17 75%
Sept 18 – Sept 24 50%
Sept 25 – Oct 1 40%
Oct 2 – Oct 8 30%
Oct 9 – Oct 22 25%
Oct 23 – Nov 5 20%
Nov 6 – Nov 24 15%

*** No refund after Thanksgiving Break

  •  Yes. The residential requirement waiver is currently in effect for the Fall 2020 semester only. Bridgewater College is expecting to return to our regular residency policy for the Spring semester and residential students will be assigned to and billed for housing and dining accordingly.
  • If you wish to continue living off-campus after Fall 2020, you will need to meet the criteria and submit the Off-Campus Housing Form for separate approval, or pursue a request to live off campus through Disability Services. We recommend starting this request process no later than October 2020 to ensure a decision is reached before Spring 2021 housing assignments are completed.
  • Maybe. On November 2nd, 2020, at 10AM, you will receive a housing application form. You will need to complete this to request your Spring 2021 housing assignment. This request does not need to match your selected room assignment from last year, but it can. Once all the forms have been collected and the process closes on November 20th, 2020 at 1PM.  You will be notified of your Spring 2021 assignment the week of November 23rd, 2020. The form will ask for you to share your housing style and room type preferences, provide your top three choices for residence hall, and provide any specific roommate request(s) you have. The Residence Life staff will do their best to honor these requests, based on the spaces available on campus.
Yes. Once you choose to waive your residency on the form, you will be prompted to answer whether you want to attend classes in person or remotely
  • Your financial aid might change. Student Accounts will provide a revised statement of account after your housing status has been updated and your financial aid eligibility has been recalculated. McKinney ACE Scholarship, Eagle Award, Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant and BC Out-of-State Incentive Scholarship amounts will not change provided full-time enrollment is maintained. Reductions to loan amounts and other grants and scholarships will be done as needed to assure that cost of attendance and calculated financial need from the FAFSA are not exceeded.
  • Non-resident students will be charged partial fees for technology and student service fees. These fees will be the same as the Commuter student fees.
  • Yes
  • Non-residential students will not automatically have a meal plan applied to their statement.  Students who wish to purchase a meal plan can enroll in the BC Bucks program via the GET App.  Please visit https://wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu/life-at-bridgewater/housing-dining/dining/meal-plans/ for information on loading your BC Bucks.
  • Students may also purchase a To Go box for a one-time fee of $5 and then purchase a To-Go meal at $7.50 for lunch, $5.50 Breakfast, $10.00 for Dinner using BC Bucks or a credit card at the dining hall door.
  •  Per the Return to Campus Guide, only students assigned to a residence hall will have ID card access to that residential facility. However, students have plenty of public areas outside of residence halls where they can visit with friends or meet with classmates for projects.
  • Every student will have an RA assigned to them to assist them in engaging with the Bridgewater Community. Your RA will be able to connect with you virtually, as well as in person.
  • There may be some opportunity for remote work study assignments. If remote work is possible, your supervisor will contact you about your work assignment closer to the start of the semester. Not all student employment jobs are suitable for remote work.
  • RAs are required to live on-campus for Fall 2020. If you choose to complete the Fall 2020 Residential Requirement Waiver, you will have the opportunity to reapply for an RA position for Spring 2021.

ONLINE LEARNING

  • At this time, only non-residential students are permitted to engage in remote learning by completing the Fall 2020 Remote Options Form. Residential students who do NOT want to complete the Fall 2020 Remote Options form but do want to participate in remote learning due to health conditions identified by the CDC as putting them at an increased risk for illness from COVID-19 should contact Dr. Chip Studwell, Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or 540-828-5370 to discuss what options may be available to address their concerns.
  • Students must have adequate internet access. Faculty will continue to deliver synchronous classes with active participation. Video communication will be important for the full experience.
  • The minimal home internet connection that would support remote learning effectively would be 25Mbps of download and 5Mbps of upload speed.
  • Students must have a suitable laptop based on IT recommendations via their BYOD policy. A cell phone or tablet alone is not enough to be successful.

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

  • If you believe your health condition may require a special housing or academic arrangement, please contact Dr. Chip Studwell, Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.eduor (540) 828-5370, to discuss what options may be available to address your concerns.
  • If you believe your health condition may prevent you from wearing a face covering, please contact Dr. Chip Studwell, Director of Academic Support and Disability Services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.eduor (540) 828-5370, to discuss what options may be available to address your concerns.
  • Students who want to pursue the option to waive their residency requirement and participate in remote learning should complete the Fall 2020 Remote Options Form.
  • Students who want to pursue the option to waive their residency requirement and participate in remote learning should complete the Fall 2020 Remote Options Form.

Move-in

New students will move-in on Thursday, August 20th. Returning student move-in will take place August 21st , 22nd and 23rd . With the change to optional residency for the fall semester, we need to give students time to weigh this decision before determining exact time slots. Therefore, returning student move-in time slots will be sent to everyone the week of August 10th. Students that have special needs or requests may reach out to reslife@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu after August 10th.

The CDC recommends that all students self-quarantine for 7 days prior to returning to campus. Students and their move-in helpers are expected to stay home if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in advance of students’ scheduled move-in time. Face coverings are required during the move-in process. Those arriving without a face covering will be provided with one upon check-in.

Students are permitted to bring no more than two additional people to assist them in the move in process. Based on physical distancing restrictions, the College encourages students to bring only those individuals whom they need to assist with move in. Family and other guests will be asked to wait in their vehicles in the parking lot behind McKinney Hall.

All students will be assigned a two-hour timeslot during which they are able to move into their residential area. Students will receive an email notification with information regarding the move-in process. If students show up to move-in before their time slot, they will not be permitted to enter the residence hall until their time slot. Once the timeslot ends, move-in helpers will be asked to vacate the residence hall to allow other students to move in safely. There will be approximately 100 students per timeslot per day. There will be time between each timeslot for custodial staff to clean and disinfect high-touch areas in preparation for the next timeslot.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available throughout all residential spaces, with a priority for high-traffic locations such as entrances, elevator lobbies, and outside of stairwells.

International travel is an evolving situation. Currently, both the U.S. State Department and the CDC have issued alerts to avoid all nonessential travel globally. And travel to the U.S. from some countries is prohibited.

Students arriving in the U.S. from any international destination will be required to follow current CDC guidance of a 14-day self-quarantine period. Students arriving in the U.S. will be given the option to self-quarantine on campus or with a U.S.-based family or friend. The College’s international student advisor is communicating with currently enrolled international students who are outside of the U.S. about the self-quarantine guidelines.

Admissions materials sent to newly admitted international students have been modified to reflect current COVID-19 plans and the importance of pre-arrival travel communication.

General Campus Operations


Campus Safety Measures

Custodial Services (Aramark) will follow CDC recommendations on frequencies, disinfectants, and suggested distancing measures for workplace cleaning. Generally, private offices will be cleaned on the same schedule as prior to the pandemic. In addition to normal dusting, vacuuming and emptying of trash cans, cleaning staff will use disinfectant to clean frequently touched areas in offices. Common spaces in office areas will be cleaned daily, using disinfectant to clean surfaces and frequently touched objects. Custodial staff will wear face coverings and gloves and will practice social distancing while cleaning occupied areas.

As re-opening proceeds and buildings become fully used by employees and students, high-traffic areas in academic buildings, the Kline Campus Center, Funkhouser Center, Nininger Hall, Yount Hall and the Forrer Learning Commons will be cleaned more frequently, depending on usage. During academic sessions, surfaces and frequently touched items in those areas will be cleaned with disinfectant at least twice per day during weekdays and as needed during the weekend, depending on space usage. Additional disinfection of classroom surfaces, such as tabletops, chair armrests, and computer workstations, can be performed by faculty and students between classes as desired using provided materials.

In following the VDH, State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), and local health department guidance, the College will be prepared to maintain and revise the hygiene practices and cleaning/disinfecting protocols as follows:

  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols to include frequently touched surfaces; transport vehicles; schedules for increased cleaning, routine cleaning, and disinfection; ensuring adequate cleaning supplies and correct use/storage.
  • Provisions for hand sanitizer/handwashing stations.
  • Minimize shared objects and ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing to the extent possible (e.g. dedicated student supplies, lab equipment, computers, etc.).

Facilities and/or custodial staff will provide a continuing supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to all office areas and classrooms for use by students, faculty and staff in those areas. Before starting work and before leaving any room in which they have been working, faculty and staff should wipe down all work areas with the disinfectant wipes provided. This includes any shared-space location and equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, phones, audio visual, and other electrical equipment; coffee makers; desks and tables; light switches, doorknobs; lab equipment). Each department is responsible for maintaining and ordering supplies of disinfecting wipes through the Facilities department work order system. Always read and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Be sure to discard wipes in a waste container following use.

Campus building entry and exit directions are under consideration. Division heads and department directors should evaluate their functional area office spaces and determine if colored tape, signs or other visual cues will be needed to assist the traffic patterns in those locations.

Individuals who are physically able are encouraged to use the stairwells, instead of elevators, when transitioning between floors. If elevators are used within a building, no more than one individual may be in an elevator at a time.

When individuals are using the elevator, they must wear a face covering and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers, if possible. Individuals must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator. Guidelines will be posted outside of all elevators.

To ensure appropriate physical distancing between individuals, the availability of restroom facilities in campus buildings may be limited. When facilities have not been removed from service it is requested that employees and students occupy alternate urinals, restroom stalls, and sinks to maintain physical distance. Avoid congregating in the restroom and emphasize courteous behaviors and an awareness of the needs of others to use the restroom. Use proper precautions and hand washing techniques and avoid touching doorknobs, faucets, and paper towel dispensers. Restrooms in use will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily.

The College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Fitness and Exercise Facilities, as well as applicable CDC and VDH guidance for cleaning and disinfecting and prevention and disease control (e.g., signage, occupancy, screening, physical distancing, face coverings), with respect to the operation and use of the Funkhouser Center for Health and Wellness.

Facility Access:

Do not enter the facility if you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Access is by appointment only! Please go to “MyBC” click “CAMPUS INFORMATION” and then “CAMPUS RECREATION” to sign up for a workout time slot.

The Forward Virginia Plan mandates that the number of patrons permitted in the facility at one time is limited to 75% of the facility’s rated occupancy. Consequently, patrons are required to sign up for a workout time via Schedulicity. We ask that if you will not be using the Center during the scheduled time, you cancel in Schedulicity at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Schedulicity will open at 12:00 noon the day before to sign up for the following day.

Patrons must stay within their allotted workout time and exit the facility promptly so that the facility can be cleaned for the next group.

COVID-19 Risk Reduction:

Traffic patterns have changed in the facility. People will access the Funkhouser Center via the main entrance and exit via the door facing Dinkel Avenue.

Patrons should wash their hands frequently while in the facility, including when entering and exiting the facility.
Masks are required throughout the facility at all times. Masks may be removed only when you are actively exercising.

Social distance spacing between patrons is required. A minimum of 10 feet must be maintained in exercise areas and a minimum of six feet in other areas.

Patrons are required to clean all equipment before and after use. Wipes are available throughout the facility.

To adhere to social distancing policies, safety rails on the Smith Press and half-rack should be used instead of spotting. Do not lift maximum loads or perform exercises that may require a spotter. Safety is key.

Other:

The following areas are closed: men’s and women’s locker rooms, the racquetball court, open recreation in the gymnasium (this includes pick-up basketball and similar activities) and the track. This is due to the inability to maintain safe social distancing in these areas.

Equipment and towel checkout are not available. Forward Virginia mandates that exercise equipment that cannot be thoroughly disinfected after each use may not be used.


Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Partnership

The College has well-established partnerships with VDH and Carilion Clinic. Our contact at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is Dr. Laura Kornegay. Her contact information is below:

Laura Kornegay
Virginia Department of Health
100 North Mason Street
P.O. Box 26
Harrisonburg, VA 22803
(540) 574-5101

VDH will provide the College with the system that Student Health Services will use to notify VDH of any positive cases among students. Students are to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to Student Health Services to avoid anonymous reports made directly to VDH.​  As faculty and staff become aware of potential exposure and seek care from their own healthcare providers, the College highly recommends that they report that to Human Resources so that contact tracing can be conducted and return to work protocols can be followed.

The College is 10 miles from Sentara RMH Hospital in Harrisonburg, 25 miles from Augusta Medical Center in Fishersville, and 56 miles from the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Students and employees who may need hospitalization will choose the health care facility based on personal preference.

Contact tracing is the identification, monitoring, and support of individuals who have been in contact with patients with confirmed or probable diagnoses of COVID-19 and who, therefore, have been exposed to, and possibly infected with, the virus. Prompt identification, voluntary quarantine, and monitoring of COVID-19 contacts can effectively break the chain of disease transmission and prevent further spread of the virus in a community.

VDH has committed to take the lead in conducting contact tracing related to cases that involve the College’s employees and students. The College will provide support for VDH’s efforts as requested by VDH.

Surveillance or proactive prevalence testing by the College is not planned at this time. Rather, VDH plans to respond to case reports with full contact tracing and testing for confirmed or suspected cases.


Events

In an effort to limit the transmission of the virus, Bridgewater College is restricting access to all College facilities until further notice. Only faculty, staff, authorized vendors and contractors, currently enrolled students, prospective students and their families, and authorized guests invited by the College are permitted in campus facilities. Additionally, permitted campus visitors should wear a face covering while on campus and observe other health and safety guidelines as described in this Guide (e.g., symptom self-assessment, wash hands frequently, maintain physical distancing). Appropriate signage announcing limited access to College facilities will be posted.

For all events on campus the College will follow the Virginia Guidelines for Social Gatherings, the CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting, and VDH guidance for prevention and disease control. On-campus events for authorized guests will adhere to the following criteria:

  • Events that support the mission of the College and the health and safety of our students will be prioritized.
  • For indoor events, the maximum number of attendees, including employees, will be 50% of the permitted occupancy of the event space, or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is less, so long as physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.
  • For outdoor events, guest and employees must at all times maintain at least six feet of physical distancing between individuals who are not members of the same household.
  • Face coverings are required for all indoor events, and preferred for outdoor events. When physical distancing cannot be effectively maintained for outdoor events, face coverings are required.
  • Clearly delineated foot traffic pathways will be established to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Clearly delineated gathering/eating spaces will be established, limiting each area to individuals or groups who reside together
  • Restriction of food distribution to covered, single-serving options and individually wrapped utensils.
  • Signage with maximum occupancy for events spaces will be clearly displayed, as well as signage to encourage infection prevention, including wearing face coverings, washing hands, and physical distancing.

On July 21, 2020, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) announced the postponement of all fall and winter sports until after January 1, 2021. The ODAC intends to sponsor conference competition for fall, winter, and spring sports in the spring semester, and our student-athletes will be engaged on campus this fall to prepare for their competitive seasons later this academic year. You can see the ODAC statement here https://odaconline.com/general/2020-21/releases/072120-odac-update.

Student-athlete health records are still due on Saturday, August 1st. For more information, please visit: https://bridgewatereagles.com/atc/preparticipationforms. Any questions should be directed to Heather Grant at hgrant@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.


Shutdown Considerations

The College will provide VDH with information as regularly as possible regarding COVID-19 infections among students and employees. VDH will be the agency to declare an outbreak if one occurs. Once VDH declares an outbreak, the College will continue to follow the directions of VDH and CDC regarding any response and mitigation efforts and cooperate with VDH for investigations and contact tracing.

Any decision regarding campus dismissal or shutdown will be made in consultation and coordination with VDH. The College will comply with the direction provided by VDH regarding whether conditions mandate a temporary dismissal or a shutdown. For example, an initial shorter-term dismissal may allow time for VDH to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the College and for custodial staff to clean and disinfect any affected facilities. The need for an extended dismissal may be based on what VDH discovers from contact tracing. If there is substantial transmission in the local community, VDH may suggest an extended dismissal or shutdown. Regardless, the College will comply with VDH guidance.


COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

  • COVID-19 is primarily spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, shouts or sings.
  • You may also become infected by touching your mouth, nose or eyes after sharing or handling any object or touching a public surface contaminated by the virus.
  • Because COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close proximity to one another, it is important to avoid contact and physically distance (at least six feet) from others when possible, and all employees are required to wear a face covering while on campus (see below).
  • Because COVID-19 can be spread through contact with surfaces and objects, frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfection of public surfaces also are critical to preventing the spread of the disease.

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those conditions include:

  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • immunocompromised from solid organ transplant
  • obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
  • serious heart conditions
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • people 65 years and older

Other conditions may result in an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including:

  • moderate to severe asthma
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypertension
  • immunocompromised state
  • liver disease
  • pregnancy
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

To review the CDC’s current list of conditions, look here.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to advise the College if they have a condition that may place them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. All health-related information is kept confidential.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face.
  • Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or use the inside of your elbow) and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Physical distancing is a simple and very effective way to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Because people can spread the virus before having symptoms, it is important to keep physical distance from others when possible. In practice, this means:

  • Stay approximately six feet away from others as a normal practice, including while waiting in line to enter a building or office.
  • Eliminate physical contact with others, such as handshakes and embracing coworkers, fellow students, visitors or friends.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are touched by others as much as possible (e.g., phones, desks and other office equipment)
  • Avoid anyone who appears to be sick or is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the buildings or spaces.
  • Supervisors should consider placing tape on floors to mark off approximately six feet for individuals to stand apart, using a material that does not damage the floor or other surfaces.
  • Remind individuals to avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water frequently to reduce the risk of potential person-to-person infections.

CARES Act – last updated 8/24/20

Update 5-18-20

The direct deposit payments for the CARES Act Emergency Grants have been authorized today. If you are eligible for the grant AND completed registration for direct deposit, you should have received a system-generated email informing you of the pending payment. It may take a couple days for the banks (yours and the College’s) to complete the transaction. Please contact Student Accounts if you believe you should receive a grant by direct deposit and do not see it in your bank account by Friday of this week.

We will begin printing checks for grant payments tomorrow. As noted previously, processing and mailing paper checks will take a bit longer than usual due to remote work conditions for our staff. If you are eligible for the CARES grant and did not choose direct deposit, please allow two weeks for receipt of your check, at the mailing address on file with the College.

Update 5-14-20: Cares Act Emergency Grants for Students

The CARES Act Emergency Grants have been credited to eligible student accounts. The grant, in the amount of $575, is identified on your account with the designation “CARES Act Emergency Grant”. In accordance with federal guidelines, we initiated a request last week with the College’s bank to establish a separate checking account from which to distribute the funds. This will enable the most accurate tracking of student payments and allow for required federal reporting. The bank has advised us that the set up for this account may take several more days. We have requested expedited handling of our request, and will update this page when payments have been issued. Please continue to be patient with this process. We are getting very close!

Update 5-13-20: Cares Act Emergency Grants for Students

The CARES Act Emergency Grants have been credited to eligible student accounts. The grant, in the amount of $575, is identified on your account with the designation “CARES Act Emergency Grant”. In accordance with federal guidelines, we initiated a request last week with the College’s bank to establish a separate checking account from which to distribute the funds. This will enable the most accurate tracking of student payments and allow for required federal reporting. The bank has advised us that the set up for this account may take several more days. We have requested expedited handling of our request, and will update this page when payments have been issued. Please continue to be patient with this process. We are getting very close!

What if I don’t see the CARES grant on my account?

The US Department of Education (DeptEd) provided guidance subsequent to the initial funding announcement, restricting eligibility for the grants to students who are eligible for federal Title IV student aid. The College has communicated directly, via email, with those students who we believe are not eligible under the guidelines, and provided additional information. Generally, if you have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the College, you are eligible for this grant. If you believe you are eligible for federal student aid under Title IV and do not see the CARES grant credited to your student account, please contact the Financial Aid office at finaid@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

What do I need to do now?

Nothing! A refund request form will not be required to receive the CARES Act Emergency Grant ($575). We will process those account credits as an automatic payment, separate from fee refunds. As noted above, federal reporting requirements for the grants necessitated a new account setup with the College’s bank. We are waiting on that final account setup now, which has been slower than usual due to COVID-19 impacts within the banking industry. We are reminding our bank partners daily that our students are waiting on these grants, and they have promised to expedite our request as much as possible. We would like to provide a definite date for disbursement of the grants, but we simply do not have one as of today. We will update this page when direct deposit payments have been issued and the schedule for paper checks is known. 

As noted several times, direct deposit will be the fastest and most secure way to receive these payments. Thanks to many of you who have responded to this recommendation and completed the direct deposit registration! 

There is still time to sign up for direct deposit if you have not already done so. This is a separate direct deposit sign-up from the one you may have completed for student wages in the Paycom system. If you are a student employee, that direct deposit registration will not transfer to Student Accounts. As a reminder, follow these instructions if you need to sign up for direct deposit of student account funds:  

For Direct Deposit: Login to MYBC, select Self Service Menu, select Banking Information, and select Add Account.  Complete the form. This will be the most secure and fastest way to receive any refunds or credits from your account. If you do not have a bank account, paper checks will be mailed to the address on file. Due to the current remote working requirements for College staff, the paper checks will take longer to process.

How can I use the money I receive from the CARES Act Emergency Grant?

The US Department of Education (DeptEd) requires that the student funds be used to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). When the pandemic caused the College’s transition to online-only instruction and the effective closure of our campus, every enrolled student experienced some degree of financial challenge. We’ve heard from many of you and understand you incurred unexpected costs related to internet service at home, additional devices needed to remotely access campus resources or additional living expenses at home. For this reason, the College elected to distribute the CARES student funds equally to all eligible students. In accordance with DeptEd guidance above, you may not leave the CARES Act Emergency Grant on your student account to pay an outstanding balance or a deposit. 

What if I don’t want/need this grant?

If you do not believe you have incurred expenses such as those indicated by DeptEd and described above, or for some other reason do not wish to receive the grant, please contact Student Accounts at student_accounts@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu as soon as possible. Any unclaimed grants will be placed into a special fund for supplemental COVID-related emergency student grants, in accordance with DeptEd guidelines. In other words, any declined grants will help other students in need, and will not be used for any other College purpose.

Are the CARES emergency grants taxable?

The College is not advising students on the potential tax consequences of these payments. We suggest you monitor information provided by the Internal Revenue Service and/or consult with a tax professional if you have questions.

download the Cares Act Public Report (5/26/20)
REQUIRED REPORTING ON CARES ACT EMERGENCY STUDENT GRANTSUpdated: May 26, 2020Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received itsallocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

 

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 26, 2020 is $876,875.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1551.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid

Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 26, 2020 is 1525.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this COVID-19 & CARES Act Information page. See specifically messages dated April 16, April 22 and May 18 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.

July 10, 2020

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 10, 2020 is $895,275.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1,559.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of July 10, 2020 is 1557.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this COVID-19 & CARES Act Information page. See specifically messages dated April 16, April 22 and May 18 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.

August 24, 2020

Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires institutions to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received from Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care). Accordingly, the following information must appear in a format and location that is easily accessible to the public 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020. The College intends to use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College received $899,990 on April 30, 2020 from the Department pursuant to the College’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. This amount represented 50% of the total amount of funds received by the College under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

RESPONSE:        The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 240, 2020 is $895,275.

  1. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as of March 13, 2020 was 1,559.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 24, 2020 is 1557.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

RESPONSE:        Bridgewater College allocated the total grant amount equally to eligible students who were enrolled at the College on March 13, 2020, which was the closing date for the residence halls on our campus. Students were instructed to inform the College if they did not incur eligible expenses, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, or if the student for any other reason declined the grant. Any student grant funds that remain after all payments are disbursed will be made available to students with financial need using guidelines that will be based on guidance from the Department.

  1. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

RESPONSE:        All instructions, directions and guidance provided to students concerning the CARES Act Emergency Grants for Students have been posted on this page. See specifically messages dated May 18, May 26, July 10 & August 24, 2020 with subject lines referencing the CARES grants.


FAQs for Employees

Faculty, staff and students are required to conduct symptom self-monitoring every morning before reporting to work or going to class or some other College-related activity. All employees and students must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work, come to campus or leave the residence hall room, unless such symptoms are due to an existing known unrelated health condition (e.g., seasonal allergies) or the individual has clearance from a qualified health care provider. Employees and students should use the self-monitoring questionnaire to ask themselves: “YES or NO, since yesterday, have I had any of the COVID-19 related symptoms or have I been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?” The College will provide periodic reminders to conduct symptom checks through signage and the College’s network systems accessed by employees and students (e.g., email, Canvas, Paycom).

At this time, the symptoms of COVID-19 include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or above
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC’s most current list of symptoms is found here.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to work, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. If you experience symptoms while you are at work, inform your supervisor immediately. You may be asked to return home. In either case, you should consult your health care provider. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to report for or return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should contact 911 immediately.

An employee who (i) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, and (ii) has a negative test for COVID-10, must self-isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or if the student was identified as a “a close contact” (e.g., within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19, at least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

Consistent with VDH recommendations, employees and students are not required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus or at certain intervals.

If an employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, the employee should consult their health care provider regarding the need to be tested for COVID-19.

If an employee receives notification of a positive test for COVID-19, they must immediately notify Human Resources and await instructions on next steps, which will be consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee who tests positive or receives a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19 will be instructed to isolate and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing isolation.

If the employee is symptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
  • Other symptoms are improving.

If the employee is asymptomatic:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the first positive test; and
  • The student is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

For employees, if you have been identified as a “close contact” (within six feet, for at least 15 minutes) of someone with confirmed COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms, do not report to work and inform your supervisor as soon as possible. Human Resources will contact you for more information and to discuss your eligibility to return to work or if an alternative work arrangement may be appropriate, consistent with CDC and VDH guidance. An employee who was a close contact of someone with a confirmed positive COVID-19 infection will be instructed to quarantine and not return to campus until they meet the following criteria for discontinuing quarantine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the last contact with the person with COVID-19; and
  • The employee is not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

“Quarantine” is used to keep someone who might have COVID-19 or been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

“Isolation” is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay isolated until it’s safe for them to be around others.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed or suspected of being infected with the virus should follow the recommendations of their health care provider, as well as the CDC and VDH, regarding quarantine or isolation. Employees must contact Human Resources and inform the College if their health care provider has recommended quarantine or isolation. Employees may not return to work until they meet the criteria for discontinuing quarantine or isolation described above.


Campus Experience

You should always have a mask with you when on campus, as masks are required for students in classrooms as well as when you cannot guarantee six feet of social distance can be maintained, whether inside or outside. For example, masks are required when walking around campus during class changes, when moving through a campus building, or when in a meeting where six feet social distance cannot be maintained. Please read on for more specific information about the College’s face covering requirements.

Face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty and staff on campus in indoor spaces, including but not limited to, offices, conference rooms, residence halls, dining facilities, storage areas, gyms, garages, elevators, hallways, stairwells, break rooms, and College-owned or leased vehicles. Face coverings must be worn in any setting on campus when an employee or student engages with another person. Unless otherwise permitted by special exception, students must wear face coverings at all times in classrooms and laboratories. The College continues to evaluate best practices for wearing face coverings in the classroom and laboratory settings, while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.

Students and employees are not required to wear a face covering in the following circumstances: when an employee is the sole occupant of a room, such as one’s office, or in a private vehicle; when a student is alone in the student’s residence hall room or with only the student’s roommate(s); in situations in which appropriate physical distancing of at least six feet is maintained; when an employee or student is eating; when an employee or student is exercising, provided that physical distancing of at least 10 feet can be maintained; and if the face covering impedes vision or creates an unsafe condition for operating equipment or executing a task.

Employees and students will be required to provide their own face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be provided by the College when an employee or student forgets their face covering. Disposable face coverings may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. Cloth face coverings should be laundered each day.

Face coverings may not display images or words that are inappropriate or offensive.

Invited visitors will be provided a face covering when they do not have their own. The College will provide disposable face coverings for each office suite. If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering, the visitor should be asked to return at another time, or the employee may determine if assistance can be provided remotely while maintaining physical distancing. Student, faculty, staff, and visitor safety should be the first priority in considering how to handle the situation.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors may have a bona fide medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering. An employee seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Human Resources at humanresources@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu to make the request. A student seeking an exception to the requirement to wear a face covering should contact Dr. Chip Studwell, director of academic support and disability services, at cstudwell@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu or (540) 828-5370, to make the request. Individuals who are hearing impaired may also have difficulty communicating and lip reading if face coverings are used. If a face covering cannot be worn, physical distancing must be maintained using alternative solutions.

After initial communication from the College, an informational campaign highlighting prosocial behavioral expectations will be launched, including the need for face coverings and physical distancing.  This will include but is not limited to posters in campus buildings including academic buildings, residence halls, social media posts, and digital screen advertisements.

Student Life will provide an online reporting form for Community members to use who have concerns about non-compliance by students with the face covering requirement. Student Life will review submissions and determine the need for educational reinforcement. Intentional disregard for behavioral expectations may result in a referral to student conduct.

The College will implement the following strategies to provide physical distancing in classrooms, labs, and other learning environments:

  • All classrooms and lab spaces have been measured and assessed for providing the appropriate physical distancing for students and faculty during classes. Desks and chairs at a six-foot distance will be labeled and their locations marked on the floor; additional desks and chairs will be marked clearly non-distanced.
  • For courses that cannot be accommodated in distanced classrooms effectively, faculty may employ the modified “hy-flex” model of instruction in which students will rotate between in-person and remote instruction. Faculty will assign students to rotating groups, and classroom technology will be enhanced to provide robust remote instruction.
  • Large course enrollments that cannot be accommodated reasonably in distanced classrooms, including use of the modified “hy-flex” model described above, may be divided into smaller-sized sections.
  • Spaces in the Forrer Learning Commons and academic support and disability services facilities will be modified to ensure students and staff can practice appropriate physical distancing.

Remote tutoring services will be provided to comply with physical distancing protocols.

Whenever possible, work areas will be arranged to allow separation of approximately six feet between stations. Where six feet of distancing is not feasible, division heads and directors can consider alternative measures to mitigate potential exposure, such as the following:

  • Staggered work shifts.
  • Shields or physical barriers that may be installed where practical and permitted, subject to state building code.
  • Conversion of large meeting rooms into workstations to increase opportunities for physical distancing.
  • Visual cues such as colored tape or signs to indicate to visitors where they should stand while waiting in line. (Take care to avoid damaging floors). Supplies should be ordered through Facilities.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space.
  • Designated stairways for up or down traffic if building space allows.
  • Evaluate all meetings, conferences and special events to determine if they can be conducted virtually. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or part using available virtual collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, telephone).
  • If an in-person meeting is deemed necessary, implement the following protocols:
  • Keep meetings as short as possible, limit the number in attendance, and use physical distancing practices.
  • Meeting rooms must accommodate a physical distancing requirement of six feet of separation for everyone in attendance.
  • Where needed, temporarily remove tables, chairs or other items that limit the ability to practice proper physical distancing.
  • You should avoid direct contact with hard surfaces in communal areas, including refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, water coolers/fountains, chairs, tables.
  • You are encouraged to use paper towels to touch any surface and use wipes to disinfect before and after every use.
  • You should clean communal spaces throughout the day.
  • You must determine if shared utensils, condiments and other like items need to be temporarily removed from shared spaces.

To maintain distancing, staff and faculty are encouraged to use alternate sites for breaks, which may include their workstations, unoccupied meeting rooms, cars or outside space, if available and weather permitting. Employees will not be permitted to eat in the main dining hall.

Staff and faculty eating in their work environment (e.g., break room, office) should maintain six feet of distance between themselves. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Face coverings should only be removed in order to eat, and then put back on. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in break rooms to support physical distancing practices between staff and faculty. Faculty and staff should wipe all surfaces in common areas (e.g., tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines) before and after use.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to use paper products and disposable utensils to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

If travel is required for work, staff and faculty should ride alone in vehicles where operationally feasible. Staff and faculty who normally have multiple employees in the vehicle due to safety or work standards must wear face coverings.

If the driver is alone throughout the trip, a face covering is not necessary. If more than one person is in the vehicle, all occupants must wear face coverings. Staff and faculty do not need to wear a face covering if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Staff and faculty who travel to multiple work locations and/or enter retail establishments as part of their job responsibilities should be reminded that they must follow the safety guidelines established for the specific worksite and retail establishment. Physical distancing guidelines must be followed and face coverings must be worn as described in relevant guidelines while performing work for the College.

We did consider going online following the Thanksgiving break, and concluded that we would have students return following the break to complete classes and take exams.

Our view is that we need to be ready to move to remote instruction at any point in the semester. Virginia’s Higher Education Reopening Guidance , issued by the Governor’s Office, in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), identifies (i) positive trends in public health data and (ii) adequate surge health care capacity as two of the conditions necessary for campuses to be able to reopen. As I am sure you are aware, the last two weeks have seen a dramatic increase in new cases in some states that have required those states to roll back some of the easing of restrictions. Thankfully, conditions in Virginia have remained stable and we hope they stay that way. But prudence dictates, and the state requires, that we be prepared to react to any changes in the conditions and, if necessary, once again shift to remote instruction.

With respect to Thanksgiving, it is difficult to predict now what the conditions may be in late November. As we approach that time there may be some good reason to move to remote instruction following the break, and if there is we will do so. Because we will be prepared to take that step at any time during the semester, we can make that decision at that time if conditions require it rather than committing to that course today.


Human Resources

We understand that some employees may request to continue to work remotely for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19 risk status or childcare, for example. The College’s new telework policy is found here. The online request form for continuation of teleworking is found here and should be submitted to Human Resources for review at HumanResources@wwwdev-cloud.bridgewater.edu.

The College provides an employee assistance program to employees and family members with free, comprehensive support through the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These resources include:

  • Counseling and Well-being
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Management and HR Consultation

Training and Education Support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-346-5484.

More information is available at www.anthemeap.com

Upon returning to work on campus, all employees are required to complete COVID-19 training. The training will include information on the following topics:

  • Symptom checking
  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing
  • Classroom behavioral expectations
  • How to respond to non-compliance
  • How to handle reports of illness
  • Strategies for combatting discrimination, bias and stigma

Signage will be posted across campus with reminders of how to stay safe and keep others safe.

In addition to its usual Paid Time Off policy, the College adopted an Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy to address the impact of COVID-19. The Policy provides employees with up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.