COVID-19 Information

TOGETHER WE WILL REMAIN HEALTHY AT THOMAS MORE (SEPTEMBER 10, 2021)

Dear Thomas More Community,

After four weeks into the fall semester, our community continues to navigate the covid pandemic and remain in Low Alert Threshold. We currently have 9 positive cases, 0.5% of our on-campus population. There are 36 individuals in quarantine, six of whom are currently on campus.

Our Healthy at Thomas More protocols are working. As the covid situation continues to evolve, the covid response team regularly reviews the recommendations of the CDC, the Governor, and our local health officials, and monitors the incidence rates on campus and in our local communities. In order to address outdoor events and large gatherings, we are implementing the following updates to our policies.

  • In addition to the indoor mask mandate, we have added guidelines related to facial coverings outdoors. Effective immediately, unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask outdoors within six feet of others. Vaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a mask outdoors within six feet of others but are not required.
  • Any indoor gathering of more than 50 individuals must be limited to a maximum of 75% capacity to allow for social distancing.

These enhanced protocols will be followed for our centennial kick-off events. Where possible, we have planned for outdoor celebrations. We ask that our community members follow all precautions, wear masks indoors at all locations on and off-campus and keep track of close contacts.
The covid response team also works daily to quickly address cases, identify close contacts, and mitigate risk to others. I would like to thank them for their continued leadership and dedication to ensuring the health and safety of our community and offer a few important reminders to assist their work:

  • Everyone is required to self-monitor for symptoms daily before arriving on campus. Anyone with symptoms should contact Campus Safety at 859.341.4867 and not come to campus. If symptoms appear while on campus, contact Campus Safety immediately at 859.341.4867. They are available 24/7 to address issues and answer questions.
  • Contact tracing is critically important to slow the spread of covid. Please keep track of your close contacts and respond to requests from the covid response team. Faculty should maintain seating charts and respond in a timely manner to assist with contact tracing efforts.

Vaccination is the most effective method to prevent infection, serious side effects, and the spread of covid. Our vaccination rate continues to improve. Seventy-seven students, faculty, and staff participated in our September 1 vaccine clinic, and we have added another clinic as part of Saints Serve on Tuesday, September 14, from 11:00am – 2:00pm.Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important way to protect our community and fulfill our responsibility to others. Registration is required in advance.

Lastly, I would like to remind everyone that we are in this together. I know that many of us are feeling tense, anxious, and unsure about the future of covid. Information regarding counseling services, as well as emergency hotlines and other off-campus resources, is available through Counseling Services. We must remain true to our values of respect, tolerance, compassion, and hospitality that define Thomas More University.

Sincerely, President Chillo

  • July 29, 2021 – update to mask requirement in accordance with updated CDC recommendations; update to vaccine requirements for experiential learning sites
  • August 16, 2021 – updated testing requirements for vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. These updates are consistent with CDC guidelines for vaccinated individuals.
  • August 27, 2021: clarified testing requirements for asymptomatic vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
  • September 9, 2021 – update to facial covering policy for outdoor activities; update to guidelines for large indoor gatherings

HEALTHY AT THOMAS MORE
-THE FALL 2021 PLAN-

The academic calendar for 2021-2022 depicts a normal schedule with a fall mid-term break, Thanksgiving holiday, spring break, and Easter recess. All residence and dining halls, athletic facilities, areas of worship, and on-campus student services and resources are fully re-opened.

All resident students must provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination prior to returning to housing. The test result must be from a test taken four days prior to arrival on campus. The test result or vaccination record must be submitted at least 24 hours in advance of arrival. All athletes must provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination to participate in athletics. The test result must be from a test taken four days prior to participation and submitted at least 24 hours in advance. Additional information will be sent to resident students and student-athletes from the dean of student diversity, engagement, and success.

Vaccination

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination to protect ourselves and our community.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Students participating in clinical, student teaching, or other experiential learning sites may be required to document vaccination to continue in those experiences. Failure to do so may delay degree progress. Documented vaccination will only be required according to the published guidelines of those third parties and communicated to students by their departmental advisors. Verification of vaccination will be provided to the supervising faculty member through the covid response team.

Once vaccinated, Thomas More University faculty, staff, and students should have their vaccination record on file through MyTMU (link for employeeslink for students). This information will be used to track the vaccination rate of our community, when needed to identify individuals who may need to be tested or quarantined during screening or contact tracing, and when complying with third party requirements for participation in onsite experiential learning. Except in the cases above, no employee or student may be asked about their vaccination status, and only members of the COVID response team are permitted to collect and share this information.

Fully vaccinated individuals can:

  • Refrain from testing and quarantine before and after travel
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure to COVID-19 if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from any screening testing

Preventative Measures

WEAR FACIAL COVERINGS WHEN AROUND OTHERS

Facial coverings are required for all individuals indoors on campus, regardless of vaccination status. Facial coverings must cover the mouth, nose, and chin and must be worn at all times except in the following cases:

  • when eating
  • while alone in a private space such as an office
  • when exercising indoors six feet away from others and not facing anyone
  • when resident students are in their own room or bathroom
  • when participating in official athletic programs

Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask outdoors within six feet of others. Vaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a mask outdoors within six feet of others but are not required.

In accordance with current Kentucky regulations, masks are required for all individuals in health care settings, including the campus health center, counseling center, and athletic training room.

Disposable masks will be available in Campus Safety as needed.

MONITOR YOUR HEALTH DAILY

Everyone is required to self-monitor for symptoms daily before arriving on campus. Anyone with symptoms should contact Campus Safety at 859.341.4867 and not come to campus.  If symptoms appear while on campus, contact Campus Safety immediately at 859.341.4867.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • New onset of loss of taste or smell
  • Fever of 100.4 or greater
  • Any two of the following:
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea (3 or more, looser than normal, stools in 24 hours)

SANITATION AND CAMPUS CLEANING

All individuals on campus have a responsibility to wash their hands and clean up their spaces. Classrooms and high-touch areas will be equipped with wipes that should be used before leaving. Additional hand-sanitizing stations will be placed around campus. In addition, Thomas More has enhanced cleaning protocols across campus in accordance with the standards established by National Resource Management for their campus clients.

LIMIT GATHERINGS

Any indoor gathering of more than 50 individuals must be limited to a maximum of 75% capacity to allow for social distancing.

Quarantine and Isolation

Symptom monitoring, quarantine, and isolation are used to keep individuals who are sick or might be sick away from others. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact within 48 hours with an individual who has tested positive or experienced COVID-19 symptoms, call Campus Safety at 859.341.4867.

Any absences related to quarantine and isolation will continue to be considered excused absences. Each faculty member will determine the appropriate method to provide reasonable and equitable means to make up missed work. The quarantine academic support team will continue to support all students who must be placed in quarantine.

 CLOSE CONTACT

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

GUIDELINES FOR VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS

Vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine following travel or exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 if both of the following criteria are met.

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Although quarantine is not required following exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19, testing is required 3-5 days after the exposure. In addition, the individual will be monitored for symptoms. See symptom monitoring guidelines below.

Documentation of vaccination must be on file with the Campus Health Center. Anyone who does not meet both criteria will be quarantined according to our procedures.

SYMPTOM MONITORING

Individuals who are not vaccinated and are a close contact of an individual who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to monitor their symptoms, minimize their contact with others, and track their close contacts. Individuals who are vaccinated and have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 must be tested 3-5 days after exposure, symptom monitor for 10 days, and minimize close contacts with others.

While being monitored for symptoms:

  • Individuals are recommended to minimize contact with others, always wear a mask when around others, and track all close contacts.
  • The Campus Health Center will provide specific instructions to submit daily check-in of symptoms.
  • Resident students may remain on campus and must complete daily wellness checks and track close contacts.
  • Athletes must follow athletic protocols.
  • If the symptomatic individual tests positive, you will immediately begin quarantine and must provide your close contacts. See procedures under quarantine.
  • If you develop symptoms, you will immediately begin isolation and must provide your close contacts. See procedures under isolation.

Individuals may discontinue symptom monitoring if the symptomatic individuals tests negative and you are not experiencing symptoms.

QUARANTINE

Individuals are required to self-quarantine if they are not vaccinated and have either traveled internationally or are a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals in quarantine are to monitor their symptoms and stay away from others.

  • Individuals who have tested positive within the last 90 days are exempt from quarantine as a close contact or due to travel.  Documentation must be provided to the Campus Health Center.  These individuals will be monitored for symptoms.  If symptoms develop, individuals will begin isolation.
  • Individuals are recommended to quarantine at home or their permanent residence to limit exposure to other community members.  If it is determined by the University that a resident student cannot go home, they may quarantine in the residence halls.  Quarantined students must be separated from non-quarantined students and must immediately be tested for COVID-19.  Resident students who maintain quarantine on campus will follow specific procedures.

All student information will be sent to the Campus Health Center, assistant dean of students, and Athletic Department to plan for housing and course needs, provide student support, and begin contact tracing. All employee information will be sent to the director of human resources for employee support and contact tracing.

If a student does not have a medical provider, they will be referred to a health care provider and local testing site. The student will need to have an insurance card and ID with them.

While in quarantine:

  • The Campus Health Center will provide specific instructions for quarantine. Students will not attend on- campus courses or participate in campus activities.
  • Monitor your health – watch for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 and notify your medical provider.
  • Stay home and stay away from others.
  • Resident students who maintain quarantine on campus will follow specific procedures provided. This will include delivered meals, daily wellness checks, assigned restrooms, no visitors, and other measures to ensure health and prevent spread.
  • If you develop symptoms, you must immediately begin isolation. See procedures below.

Individuals may be released from quarantine by the Campus Health Center. The following principles will be followed with modifications if needed for specific cases:

  • If quarantine was initiated due to being a close contact of an individual who tested positive and you do NOT develop symptoms while in quarantine:
  • 10 days after your last contact with that person OR
  • 7 days after your last contact with that person and a negative test taken on or after 5 days after your last contact.

Quarantine begins after your last contact with the person who is positive, even if this person is a household member. If you remain in close contact with a household member during their COVID recovery, you must continue quarantine for 10 days after their 10 day isolation ends OR 7 days after their isolation ends with a negative test taken on or after 5 days after their isolation ends. If you test positive, follow the isolation procedures below for positive individuals.

In addition to the above criteria, while students may return to campus activities, resident students must have a negative test result to return to housing. Athletes must follow athletic protocols to return to participation.

  • If quarantine was initiated due to international travel and you do NOT develop symptoms while in quarantine:
  • 10 days after arrival OR
  • 7 days after arrival with a negative test result from a test taken 3 days after arrival

ISOLATION

Individuals will isolate if they experience COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. People in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive test result for COVID-19, call Campus Safety immediately.

All individuals will immediately begin isolation.

  • A resident student who has tested positive for COVID-19 symptoms will be required to go home.
  • Residents with symptoms who have not tested positive may be permitted to isolate on campus depending on space availability and the severity of symptoms. Resident students who maintain isolation on campus must be tested immediately and will follow specific procedures. Any violation of isolation guidelines on campus will result in the student being removed from campus.

If a student does not have a medical provider, they will be referred to a health care provider and local testing site.

The individual will be asked to provide a list of close contacts from the last 48 hours.

All student information will be sent to the Campus Health Center, dean of students, and Athletic Department to plan for course needs, provide student support, and begin contact tracing. The Campus Health Center will provide specific instructions for isolation. Students will not attend on-campus courses or participate in campus activities. Students who isolate on campus will be provided with a care package and required to follow specific procedures including delivered meals, daily wellness checks, no visitors, and other measures to ensure health and prevent spread. All employee information will be sent to the director of human resources for employee support and contact tracing.

Isolation may end when released by the Campus Health Center based on CDC guidelines. The following principles will be followed with modifications if needed for specific cases:

If isolation was initiated due to symptoms:

  • Symptoms have improved and fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since initial onset of symptoms or a doctor’s note that indicates an illness or condition that is not related to COVID-19.Those who were also close contacts of positive individuals may not use a doctor’s note to be released early.
  • In addition to the above criteria, while students may return to campus activities, resident students must have a negative test result to return to housing. Athletes must follow athletic protocols to return to participation.

If isolation was initiated due to a positive COVID-19 test:

  • Symptoms have improved and fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since initial onset of symptoms or date of first positive test.
  • In addition, athletes must follow athletic protocols to return to participation.

Travel

Any student or employee traveling out of the country must report this travel to the assistant dean of students (students) or Human Resources (employees).  Individuals are required to quarantine for 10 days after arrival or 7 days after arrival with a negative test result from a test taken 3 days after arrival.

Vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine following travel if both of the following criteria are met.

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since traveling

All students and employees should follow state and local travel restrictions.  For travel guidance and for the latest information on high-risk locations within the US, check the state or local health department where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination.

Contact Information and Resources

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or have interacted within 48 hours with an individual who has tested positive or experienced symptoms, contact Campus Safety at 859.341.4867.

Disposable masks are available at Campus Safety. Cloth masks are available for sale in the More Store.

The COVID Response Team is chaired by Kelly French, Vice President and Chief of Staff.

Members include:

  • Annabelle Bautista, Dean of Student Diversity, Engagement, and Success
  • Theresa Behan, MS, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer
  • Terry Connor, Athletics Director
  • Laura Custer, Director of Human Resources
  • Joey Etheridge, Director of Facilities
  • Jeff Hetzer, Associate Athletic Director
  • Jay Langguth, Associate Provost and Professor
  • Dennis Lehmkuhl, Director of Campus Safety
  • Tori Myles, Assistant Dean of Students
  • Tammy Schatzman, RN, Director of the Campus Health Center
  • Rebecca Stratton, Director of Communications and Public Relations
  • Noah Welte, Assistant Vice President for University Operations