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Campus Renewal Plan 2021-22

Be WISE. Stay Safe.

Introduction

Mississippi University for Women plans to return to conditions closer to its pre-pandemic state of operations through the promotion of personal responsibility. With greater understanding of the nature of the COVID-19 virus and readily available vaccines, the campus can resume more traditional activities at higher densities. While the university will continue to promote robust health and wellness protocols, accountability and personal responsibility will play a critical role in keeping individuals and the campus safe.

The following protocols should be considered institutional directives and are not subject to the discretion of individuals or individual units.  Individuals are encouraged to check these guidelines regularly as they are subject to change.

Vaccination

Free vaccinations are available to all members of the campus community. If you are interested in receiving a free COVID-19 vaccine on campus, please call the Campus Health Center at 662-329-7289.

For more information and if you have questions, please visit MSDH's site at: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420,976.html

For more information related to vaccine effectiveness, please review https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness.html?s_cid=10464:vaccine%20effectiveness:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21

Daily Symptom Checking

All members of the MUW community should perform a self-assessment of possible COVID-19 symptoms daily. Any resident experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other illness) should not interact with others and should be tested for COVID-19. They should immediately contact their health care provider and the Campus Health Center (662-329-7289).

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and must be worn covering the nose and mouth. Due to the recent increase in the of COVID-19 cases and aligned with recommendations made by the Mississippi Department of Health, MUW will require face coverings indoors (except when alone in a personal space) on campus regardless of vaccination-status. Face coverings are not required when outdoors. 

Face shields are not approved substitutes for face coverings except in instances where lectures, presentations, etc. are being given and ten feet of distance can be established between the presenter and the audience. 

This policy will be re-evaluated as the public health emergency evolves. 

Physical Distancing

All elevators should remain single occupancy.  Point-of-sale and point-of-service areas should maintain distance between patrons through appropriate signage.  Directional and entry/exit signage is no longer necessary.

Physical Distancing in the Classroom

Classroom seating for students will be at least 3 feet apart with 6 feet of distance between students and the lecturer or presenter; however, academic programs that have clinical or other learning objectives that require student practitioners to regularly interact with one another in proximate space may return to full capacity. Academic programs may utilize additional distance in larger and/or non-traditional venues so long as the section capacity is sufficient to meet the student demand for the course.

Seating charts should be maintained in all classes to assist in the case investigation / contact tracing process.

Sanitization

Sanitizing wipes will be available in buildings across campus. Individuals are asked to take personal responsibility for their personal spaces and other spaces they utilize by wiping down surfaces before and after use.

Campus Health Center

The Campus Health Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for university holidays. Nurse practitioners are available to see MUW and MSMS students and employees along with their dependents age three and over. The cost of the visit for students and employees is free. Dependents are charged a $15 fee. The health center charges a nominal fee to cover the cost of any medication or supplies used and for complete physical exams that require lab testing.

Contact Tracing

The Campus Health Center will continue to perform contact tracing duties for the campus community. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone who tested positive should contact the health center regardless of vaccination status. The Campus Health Center number is 662-329-7289.

Quarantine

Vaccinated individuals (with proof of vaccination) will not need to quarantine unless symptoms of COVID-19 develop. Individuals not fully vaccinated will continue to quarantine for up to ten days after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and should contact the Campus Health Center for quarantine protocol and contact tracing (662-329-7289).

Employee Quarantine

Employees should contact Human Resources for leave information (662-329-7222) and their supervisor.

Student Quarantine

Students should contact their instructors. If working on campus they should also contact their supervisor.

COVID Testing

The Campus Health Center will continue to offer PCR and rapid COVID testing for individuals exhibiting any sign or symptom of COVID-19. The rapid test is offered free of charge.

COVID 19 testing may be required for limited populations (e.g. student athletes, residential students, Study Abroad). This may be a condition of participation or a response measure following a potential outbreak. Those who are fully vaccinated and provide proof will not be subject to testing.

Mental Health

For Employees:

MUW benefits-eligible employees and members of their households are covered under the Humana Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Work-Life Services Benefit at no cost to the employee. The services provided are available to help you and your household members manage everyday life issues that can affect you at home and work. They offer assistance and counseling in person or by telephone, a variety of resources for health and wellness as well as numerous referral services and it’s all confidential. Follow the link for Humana’s contact information and to learn more about this benefit: https://www.muw.edu/hr/employees/benefits#EAPWL

For Students:

The MUW Counseling Center is available to provide a wide range of free services to currently enrolled students. Staffed by well-trained mental health professionals, the center can assist through in person and virtual counseling sessions. The MUW Counseling Center is located on the corner of 11th Street and 4th Avenue. Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and counselors are on-call for nights, weekends, and holidays. More information about appointments, services, and staff can be found at https://www.muw.edu/centers/counseling.

Academic Calendar

The fall 2021 semester returns to a traditional format, beginning August 16 and ending December 3.  Fall break returns this year from October 4-5 and Thanksgiving break will be November 24-26. Final examinations will be conducted from November 29-December 3.
https://www.muw.edu/registrar/academiccalendar/2022

Delivery Method

All courses must be taught though their published delivery method. Courses may be moved to remote delivery for limited periods of time should it be deemed necessary as part of case investigation by the contact tracing team.

Meetings

Groups and individuals are encouraged to transition meetings to in-person as space permits. Participants are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their space and employ practices that promote health and wellness of the community.

Travel

Unless traveling to an area with a travel restriction, travel procedures may return to normal, and individuals traveling should be aware of the conditions that exist at their destination. Travelers should adhere to international travel guidelines published by the CDC and contact the Campus Health Center if there are questions.

Residence Life

While more traditional housing operations will resume in fall 2021, strategies to promote wellness within the congregate housing setting will continue. This may include extended move-in periods, testing protocols, updated guest policies, etc. Students will be notified via email about testing sign-ups.

As should all members of the MUW community, residential students should perform a self-assessment of possible COVID-19 symptoms daily. Any resident experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other illness) should not interact with other residents. They should immediately contact their health care provider and the Campus Health Center (662-329-7289).

Signage and Media Toolkit

Consistent communication is crucial for the health, safety and well-being of the campus and broader community. If you need a set of posters printed for your office, please contact the Office of University Relations at (662) 329-7119 for a copy.
Be WISE. Stay Safe.


Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccinations

Q: Are Covid-19 vaccines required by the university?
A: No, vaccination is not required for students, faculty and staff. However, the university strongly encourages individuals to get vaccinated.

Q: Can I ask about an individual’s vaccination status?
A: No, an individual’s vaccination status is protected personal information and faculty and staff should not ask individuals about their vaccination status.

Q: What should I do if someone asks me about my vaccination status?
A: Generally, you should not be asked about your vaccination status. Exceptions may include times when you are seeking medical treatment, during contact tracing, or in the execution of testing protocols. Otherwise, if you are asked, you can politely respond that you are not comfortable providing personal medical information.

Classrooms

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about Covid-19 classroom protocols?
A: Individuals should contact the Student Success Center (Reneau Hall 1st floor, 662-329-7138 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) about available resources.

Q: Will instructors penalize students for missing class due to Covid-19 isolation or quarantine?
A: The university will be returning to pre-pandemic class attendance expectations. Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratory periods, and other meetings that constitute a regular part of their University program, and the student must consult the instructor concerning required makeup work and will be held responsible for all work missed. For more information about this topic, please review the Class Attendance Policy in the Student Bulletin found at http://bulletin.muw.edu/content.php?catoid=36&navoid=2224#missed-class-policy.

Employees

Q: What leave is available for quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19? Can I telecommute while quarantined?
A: An employee will need to use personal leave, medical leave or leave without pay according to State law. Telecommuting may be an option and will be evaluated by the supervisor on an individual basis.

Q: Will the University supply PPE, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer for offices/departments and how do I request supplies?
A: Yes, you may contact Resources Management at 329-7126 for information regarding supplies and refills.