Have questions? We make it easy to get in touch:

Call Us

800-837-1290

Text Us

412-419-3772 (standard text/SMS rates will apply)

Chat with Us

Launch Chat Now

Email Us

chathamadmissions@chatham.edu

Request Information

Complete our Request for Information form

Or, answer a few questions and we will be glad to help.

Loading...

Planning Guidelines

This page contains the health and operating guidelines for higher education institutions provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (DOE). 

CDC Guidelines

"As institutes of higher education open in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers ways to help protect students, faculty and staff and slow the spread of COVD-19. Implementation of the CDC guidelines should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community." 

Chatham will provide links to the planning documents and updates provided by the CDC here. This is the Considerations for Higher Ed Institutions document released on May 21, 2020.

Download Document

Below is a chart of CDC recommendations and the status of implementation at Chatham. 

Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Spread

Recommended Action

Chatham Status

Staying Home or Self-Isolating when Appropriate
Before returning to campus, actively encourage everyone who has either been sick with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 to self-isolate or stay home.

Once back on campus, educate everyone on when they should stay home or self-isolate in their living quarters.

YES 

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
Recommend and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used. Encourage covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of the elbow.

 YES

Cloth Face Coverings
Recommend and reinforce use of cloth face coverings. Face coverings should be worn as feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.

 YES

Adequate Supplies
Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing adequate supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer,  paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible), and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans.

 YES

Signs and Messages
Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., building entrances, restrooms, dining areas) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs.

 YES

Maintaining Healthy Environments

Cleaning and Disinfecting
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, hand railings, bathroom stalls, dining hall tables) at least daily or between use as much as possible. Use of shared objects (e.g., lab equipment, computer equipment, desks) should be limited when possible, or cleaned between use.  Develop a schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfection.

 YES

Shared Objects
Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect and limit the use of supplies and equipment to one group at a time and clean and disinfect between uses. 

 YES

Ventilation
Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.

YES

Water Systems
To minimize the risk of diseases associated with water, take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., sink faucets, drinking fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown.

 YES

Modified Layouts
Space seating/desks at least 6 feet apart when feasible. For lecture halls, consider taping off seats and rows to ensure six-foot distance between seats. Host smaller classes in larger rooms. Offer distance learning, in addition to in-person classes. Create distance between students in institutional vehicles by skipping rows when possible.

 YES

Physical Barriers and Guides
Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, particularly in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart. Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, where necessary.

 YES

Communal Spaces
Close shared spaces such as dining halls, exercise rooms, and lounges if possible; otherwise, stagger use and restrict the number of people allowed in at one time; clean and disinfect between use. Add physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, between bathroom sinks and between beds, especially when they cannot be at least 6 feet apart.

 YES

Food Service
If possible, serve individually plated meals (versus buffet or any self-serve stations). Provide grab-and-go options. Use disposable food service items (e.g., utensils, dishes). If disposable items are not feasible or desirable, ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water.

 YES

Maintaining Healthy Operations

Protections for Students, Faculty, and Staff at Higher Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19
Offer options that limit exposure risk for those with higher risk for severe illness  (e.g., telework and modified job responsibilities for faculty and staff, and virtual learning opportunities for students). Put in place policies to provide privacy in compliance with applicable federal and state laws.

 YES

Regulatory Awareness
Be aware of state or local regulatory agency policies related to group gatherings to determine if events can be held.

 YES

Gatherings
Pursue virtual group events or meetings, if possible, and promote social distancing of at least 6 feet between people if events are held. Limit group size to the extent possible. Limit any non-essential visitors and activities involving external groups or organizations, especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area.

YES 

Telework and Virtual Meetings
Encourage telework for as many faculty and staff as possible, especially employees at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Replace in-person meetings with video- or tele-conference calls whenever possible. When possible, use flexible work or learning hours (e.g., staggered shifts or classes).

 YES

Travel and Transit
Consider options for limiting non-essential travel in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance. Encourage students, faculty and staff who use mass transit to consider using other transportation options.

YES 

Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact
Designate an administrator or office to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns.

 IN-REVIEW

Participation in Community Response Efforts
Consider participating with state or local authorities in broader COVID-19 community response efforts.

 YES

Communication Systems
Put systems in place to have students, faculty and staff report to the institution if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days in accordance with health information sharing regulations for COVID-19.  

 YES

Leave (Time Off) and Excused Absence Policies
Implement flexible sick leave policies and practices that enable faculty, staff, and students to stay home or self- isolate when they are sick, have been exposed, or caring for someone who is sick.  Leave and excused absence policies should be flexible, not punitive, to people for taking time off and should allow sick employees and students to stay home and away from others.

YES 

Back-Up Staffing Plan
Monitor absenteeism of employees and students, cross-train staff, and create a roster of trained back-up staff.

IN-REVIEW 

Staff Training
Train staff on all safety protocols.

 PLANNED

Recognize Signs and Symptoms
If feasible, conduct daily health checks or ask faculty, staff, and students to conduct self-checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or symptom checking).

 YES

Sharing Facilities
Encourage any organizations that share or use facilities to also follow these self-check considerations.

 N/A

Support Coping and Resilience
Encourage employees and students to take breaks from activities that cause feelings of stress or anxiety.  Promote healthy eating habits, getting enough sleep, and finding time to unwind.  Encourage employees and students to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling. Consider posting signage for the national distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

YES 

Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick

Advise Sick Individuals of Home Isolation Criteria
Sick faculty, staff, or students should not return to campus or end isolation until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.

 YES

Isolate and Transport Those Who Are Sick
Make sure that faculty, staff, and students know they should not come to campus if they are sick, and should notify the COVID-19 point of contact if they become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case.

Immediately separate faculty, staff, and students with COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals who are sick should go home or to a healthcare facility. Work to identify an isolation room or area to separate anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive but does not have symptoms.

Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone who is sick to their home or to a healthcare facility.

YES 

Clean and Disinfect
Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting.

 YES

Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts
In accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, notify local health officials, faculty, staff, and students immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.  Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home or in their living quarters and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

YES 


PDE Guidelines

"The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has developed guidance for safely resuming in-person instruction at colleges, universities, seminaries, trade schools, and adult basic education programs across PA. It considers the diversity of providers in the postsecondary sector and allows local, institution-led response teams to develop and coordinate each institution’s unique path forward. This preliminary guidance is informed by what is currently known about COVID-19 and incorporates existing federal and state public health and safety recommendations directed at postsecondary institutions. It should also be noted that this guidance may change as new information becomes available." 

Chatham will provide links to the planning documents and updates provided by PDE here. This is the Preliminary Guidance version 1 document released on June 3, 2020. 

Download Document

 

Below is a chart of PDE recommendations and the status of implementation at Chatham. 

Hygiene, Sanitation, and Face Coverings on Campus

Recommended Action

Chatham Status

Hygiene and Sanitation Protocols
Provide students with hygiene information and clearly post information in places that have high student traffic on campus. Supply appropriate hand sanitizer, hand wipes, or hand soap for students, staff, and visitors. Conduct regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched.

 YES

Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Face coverings should be worn by all students, faculty, and staff in all classrooms, public shared spaces on campus, or in areas where social distancing cannot be observed. Institutions must make their best effort to ensure an adequate supply of face coverings. Individuals unable to wear face coverings due to a health condition or disability should be encouraged to be extra cautious about maintaining proper social distance and observing all other hygiene protocols.

 YES

Implementing Social Distancing Interventions and Modifying Facilites to Create an Environment Conducive to Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive Learning

Social Distancing and Facilities Modifications
Students, faculty, and staff should maintain a safe social distance of at least 6 feet apart when feasible. This includes offices, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, restrooms, common areas, and outdoor spaces. Install plastic partitions or barriers into places where social distancing cannot be observed (e.g., student service counters, cash registers, dorm spaces, bathroom sinks, etc.). Provide guidance such as tape on floors or sidewalks to enforce social distancing. Limit appointments with student service offices (e.g., financial aid, registrar, etc.) to scheduled appointments for non-emergency issues. Encourage alternative methods of contact such as email, chat, and telephone calls.

 YES

Limit Large Non-Instructional Gatherings or Congregation in Communal Spaces
Non-instructional gatherings should not exceed more than 250 people in the green phase. Reduce common seating areas on campus, in classroom buildings (including the library), and in dining facilities. Schools should consider further restricting gathering size of spectators for large events. Student groups should be advised to host remote group events, gatherings, or meetings, to the extent possible. Stagger the use of gyms and common areas restrict the number of people allowed in at one time to ensure safe social distancing. Clean and disinfect between uses. Guidance on collegiate sports is forthcoming.

 

 YES

Limit Number of Students in the Classroom
Consider limiting class size to accommodate appropriate social distancing of 6 feet between individuals when feasible or implement other social distancing strategies that reduce risk of transmission between students in the classroom. Consider holding smaller classes in larger spaces. Consider repurposing spaces such as gyms as classrooms to facilitate social distancing. Consider holding classes outside.

 YES

Control Entrance and Exits to Buildings
Consider designating limited entrance points without prohibiting access for students and staff with disabilities. Post and communicate changes to building entrance procedures.

 

 IN REVIEW

Space Accommodations
Consider reconfiguring dining facilities and operations to ensure that students are 6-feet apart or that partitions are in place that provide added protection. Further, consider reducing seating and offering carry out and delivery options. Ensure all space accommodations follow ADA laws and regulations.

 YES

Residence Halls
Develop guidelines for the use and cleaning of residence halls consistent with CDC guidance. Decisions about residence hall capacity should be made in the best interest of the health and safety for students, following the guidance provided by the CDC for Living in Shared Housing to inform your planning. Communicate regularly with residents on the seriousness of COVID-19 and make them aware of institution policies and protocols related to COIVD-19. Consider any special needs or accommodations for special needs populations or populations most at-risk for COVID-19 who need to take extra precautions. Limit visitors and non-essential staff entering living quarters. Consider reserving a residence hall, a portion of a residence hall, or some other housing to quarantine exposed individuals or confirmed cases. Develop protocols for quarantine and containment for students living in residence halls.

YES 

Ventilation
Ensure that ventilation and exhaust systems are properly operating and increase circulation of outdoor air. Open windows where possible. 

 YES

Bathroom Facilities
Develop guidelines for the use and cleaning of bathrooms consistent with CDC guidance. Practice 6 feet of social distancing, or other physical distancing strategies, when using bathroom facilities, including showers, sinks, toilets, and urinals. Consider separating shower stalls with physical barriers, where feasible, and clean regularly. If no barriers are in place, consider other social distancing practices like using every other shower stall or limiting the number of students at any given time to limit cross contamination and to control traffic flow.

 IN REVIEW

Clinical Health Services
Plan to enhance your provision of health services, if possible. Campus health personnel and administrators should establish a protocol for reporting exposures, cases, and outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus to DOH. Establish and publicize COVID-19 specific protocols. Establish protocols for limiting in-person visits and transitioning to telehealth when possible.

 

 YES

Mental Health Services
Provide regular mental health services to students. Encourage faculty and staff to access mental health services through their healthcare provider. Establish and publicize provisions for walk-in emergency situations. Reinforce and update training for staff as needed, including residence hall advisors and resident assistants. Provide reminders of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits for faculty and staff or consider signs for the national distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. Encourage everyone to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media, when they are feeling overwhelmed.

YES 

Counter Stigma
Self-reporting of symptoms and exposure by students, faculty, and staff is imperative to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus and stigma can discourage self-reporting and self-quarantining. Establish efforts to counter the stigma of getting the virus and self-quarantining. Develop policies that support self-quarantine and mitigate any negative impact of quarantine on grades, tenure, promotion, or employment status.

 

YES 

Accommodations for Faculty, Staff, and Students

Vulnerable Populations
Consider policies and practices to provide accommodations for individuals at higher risk of COVID-19 and individuals with disabilities. Ensure any accommodations for people with disabilities are consistent with ADA laws and regulations. Consider providing opportunities to telework for employees over 60, employees with underlying health conditions, or for employees who are experiencing a mental health crisis as a result of COVID-19.

 YES

Teleworking
Continue telework whenever possible, even when in-person instruction, operations, services activities continue. Consider rotating schedules of employees on campus to limit the number of personnel on campus at one time. Consider implementing flexible attendance and leave policies. Avoid non-essential travel for students and employees.

YES 

General Considerations for a Phased Return to Campus, Course Modifications and Accommodations to Academic Calendars

Phased Return to Campus
Consider a phased-in return to campus for students, faculty, and staff to meet the educational needs of students. Consider student cohorts (e.g., first-year students, living/learning communities, etc.) when bringing students back. Consider majors and disciplines for a phased-in restart (e.g., healthcare students, those with clinical requirements, etc.).

 

 YES

Course Modifications and Adaptations
Identify opportunities for course modifications and adaptations conducive to various learning modalities and remote platforms. Consider varying in-person vs. remote learning course offerings creating options for those who need to be on campus and those who can continue remote learning. Consider hybrid models of teaching. 

IN REVIEW

Accommodations to the Academic Calendar
Consider an early term start and an early completion. Consider avoiding breaks in the middle of the term. Consider modules (2 eight-week models). Consider adjusting hours of operation (such as staggered start times).

 YES

Expectations Surrounding Voluntary Reporting and a Protocol for Handling a Confirmed Case on Campus

Monitoring, Surveillance, and Voluntary Reporting
Students, faculty, and staff should report if they have visited an area of high prevalence (domestic or international) in the previous 14 days or if they know they have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Institutions should screen for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature checks, where high volumes of students reside, where prior COVID-19 exposure has occurred, or when levels of community spread increase. Individuals exhibiting symptoms: must not be permitted to enter campus buildings; must self-quarantine on campus, if possible, or at home; must not report to work, class, clinical assignments; may not participate in any institution-sponsored events or activities; and should consult with their medical provider about options for testing and necessary treatment.

If a student, faculty, or staff has been exposed, they should be asked to self-quarantine (on campus, if possible, or at home) for 14 days and to follow additional state guidance.

YES 

Protocol for a Confirmed Case on Campus
Notify DOH or local health officials and emergency management personnel. Determine if a temporary suspension (2-5 days) of in-person instruction is warranted. Clean and disinfect all areas thoroughly per CDC guidance.  Communicate case or exposure information with students, staff, and faculty. If individuals were in close contact with someone who became infected with the disease, follow CDC guidance. Work with local public health officials, if possible, to determine when routine operations can resume on campus. 

 YES