Guide to Spring 2021 Semester

Dear Kutztown University Community,

Thank you for your continued support of our fall reopening plan. Our students and employees came together, made adjustments in their academic and personal lives – all for the health and wellness of our campus community. You have shown tremendous strength this fall and I thank you for your commitment to each other and Kutztown University.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve gathered feedback, assessed our resources and abilities, and made appropriate changes for the spring semester. Our Spring 2021 reopening plan is now available for review below. Our primary focus from the fall remains the same: to complete our mission of providing a quality education for our students, and doing everything possible to provide a nurturing environment for all those who work and learn on our campus.

Please be aware that the plan is a “living” document and we will adjust our plan based on revised guidance. Any changes will be communicated to the campus community.

Our plan is to conduct the 2021 spring semester similar to the current model that is in place for the fall.

  • Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.
  • 87% of our course offerings will have a synchronous component, wherein the classes will be held live in person or with technology (or both) in real time. Our expected offering of courses include 67.6% online, 25.8% in-person hybrid, and 6.6% in-person.
  • Masks and social distancing are required in many areas of our campus.
  • There will be no spring break. Instead, there will be four regular class days throughout the semester in which classes will not be held (Feb. 11, March 10, April 2 and 20).  In addition, no classes will be held Saturday, April 3. These days are meant to be “wellness days” for students and faculty. No school work should be assigned on these days.
  • Residence halls will remain open for students (move-in Jan. 16-18).
  • Dining halls open Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.
  • Final testing protocols will be determined after further consultation with the State System and PA Department of Health. We will continue to test students for COVID-19 who are symptomatic, per guidelines. We are considering multiple options to increase our rapid testing capacity and to allow testing for groups wherein testing is required, such as intercollegiate athletics, student teaching and other areas. We will continue to monitor state guidelines concerning asymptomatic testing.
  • Limited, temporary housing is available for students in quarantine or isolation.

I want to thank the Emergency Management Committee for its tireless efforts in putting this plan together, and the many others who have contributed their time and ideas to this endeavor.

We will continue to update the campus through winter break as we approach the spring semester. I encourage everyone to read through our plan to fully prepare yourself for your return to campus. If you have additional questions, our Office of University Relations is ready to help at ur@kutztown.edu.

My very best wishes to you all.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson
President
Kutztown University

COVID ALERT PA

COVID Alert PA is the official mobile app by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) that uses the Exposure Notification System (ENS) provided by Apple and Google.

Add your phone to the fight and download the free mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store today.

    Spring 2021 Planning COVID-19 Response

    To address the issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Kutztown University has taken a collaborative approach in preparing and planning for the Spring 2021 semester. Many factors may influence our planning and there are some situations that will be governed by the federal government, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Numerous individuals have worked on the plan and provided input into the plan so that the university can resume operations and fulfill its educational mission. We each have a personal responsibility to our own health and must be mindful of others. We would ask for your understanding, cooperation and patience as we all navigate through a period of time that is both challenging and unprecedented. We welcome you back to Kutztown University and wish you a successful semester.

    Campus Life
    • Instructional Formats and Modalities

      Kutztown University will begin the Spring 2021 semester with face-to-face instruction wherever feasible. When not feasible, or because of changing conditions, KU administration may approve the utilization of the following hybrid instruction formats:

      • A higher-than-normal number of fully-online courses on the schedule.
      • More open classroom space for physical distancing in on-campus classes, when feasible.
      • Alternate instructional pedagogies including distance education and virtual instruction to student segments to classrooms with synchronous presentation. Learning Management System shells will be used to house course contents for all courses. Synchronous presentation platforms, including Looking Glass, Adobe, Google Hangouts, Zoom, D2L and others will be used to deliver course content. Exams/tests/quizzes may be administered virtually using secure measures such as D2L and/or in classrooms with appropriate physical distance. University policies for online course development will be followed for all courses with 50% - 100% of online delivery.
      • Laboratory classes, classes requiring hands-on activities, classes requiring on-campus equipment, as well as other selected traditional face-to-face classes, will be prioritized in the assigning of space. Classes will be scheduled in rooms where lab equipment/software/hands-on accessories are available and where virtual instruction equipment is installed. Classes will be scheduled in larger rooms, when possible, to ensure physical distancing. Classes with higher enrollment may be scheduled in larger classrooms or other campus facilities. Alternate class attendance schedules, with one-third to one-half of the students in each class meeting virtually one day and attending in-person on the following class day in alternate fashion to maintain physical distance guidelines, may be considered when feasible and approved by administration.

      These models also allow for greater flexibility in instructional response in the event of an outbreak. KU's IT Help Desk will provide pedagogical and technical support and guidance.

    • Academic Calendar
      • Residence halls will open Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021.
      • Classes begin Tuesday Jan. 19, 2021, in the formats and modalities listed in the Schedule of Classes.
      • Spring break will be canceled. Classes will be held on those dates. There will be five days throughout the semester in which classes will not be held (Feb. 11, March 10, April 2, 3 and 20).
      • Finals will be held beginning Monday, May 3, 2021.
      • The semester will end Saturday, May 8, 2021.
      • Information concerning commencement will be shared at later date.
    • Monitoring Student Health and Class Absenteeism

      The university and all of its employees play an important role in controlling the spread of COVID-19.  Their observations and reporting of student attendance and symptoms, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) will be key. Everyone will be asked to:

      • Observe student behavior and refer a student who appears symptomatic to the university’s Health and Wellness Services.
      • Monitor student absenteeism in both online and face-to-face classes. Class absenteeism due to a medical reason may trigger additional time for students to complete assignments and reschedule tests and quizzes. Students who were absent due to illness in face-to-face courses may be required to provide return to school documentation from their medical provider before returning to class.
    • Physical Distance and Cleanliness in Classrooms, Labs, and Library

      Guidelines such as those published by the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be used as a basis for classroom design and capacity on physical distancing. Students and faculty should not enter a classroom until the room is completely vacant. Students and faculty should wait at a reasonable distance away from the doors, while waiting for classrooms to become vacant.

      Tables, chairs and desks in classrooms will be set up to comply with the recommended physical distancing guidelines. Signs will be placed to remind students and faculty not to move chairs, tables and desks.

      Capacity lists of physical distance for individual classrooms and large group spaces will be prepared according to available state and federal guidelines.

      Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the buildings. Trash cans will be available nearby. Students and faculty should wipe desks, keyboards and computer mouse devices before using them. Used wipes should be immediately thrown in the trash can.

      Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines shall be used as the basis of classroom design and capacity on physical distancing and will be used to arrange tables, chairs and study carrels in KU's library. Wipes and hand sanitizer will be available in different locations in the library. Trash cans will be available nearby. All users should wipe keyboards and computer mouse before using. Used wipes should be immediately thrown in the trash can.

      KU's library may also have to move to restricting student access to some areas. Staff working in these areas would be instructed that the areas are closed and to refrain from allowing others from entering into the collections space. Only designated library staff would retrieve requested books and resources.  To ensure compliance, library staff would periodically monitor the space.

    • Academic Support Services

      Academic Support Services will be available during the Spring 2021 semester. The university offers a variety of student support services which will help students make the most of their time at KU. Whether you need help with a paper, resume, or maybe you need a tutor for a certain class, KU has all the services you need. Not only do we offer educational help but also emotional, cultural and physical support as well. Kutztown wants to see students succeed, and with the support of numerous services, students will be sure to reach their professional aspirations. List of Student Services.

    • Athletics

      Kutztown University has opted out of conference-mandated competition for fall and winter sports and will pursue a conference-mandated spring sports season. Decisions on the resumption of intercollegiate athletics are made based on campus policies, local, state and national governmental guidelines, as well as guidance from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. KU has formed an Athletic Resocialization Team to address the reintroduction of intercollegiate athletics.

    • Residence Halls

      Returning students to on-campus housing is among the most important goals and it also presents one of the greatest challenges to a healthy and safe residential experience. Residence Life will utilize the residential building structure to promote supportive student "pod areas." A pod area may be a wing or floor of students or area under the purview of the community assistant – their "KU family" – responsible for each pod area member's emotional wellbeing, physical health and social support. Most residence halls are physically designed by hallways and layouts to create such pods.

      On-Campus Residency Requirement

      The university will be flexible with our two-year residency requirement in order to allow high-risk students to be able to commute to campus or take classes online. The university will follow guidance from the American College Health Association, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements and/or recommendations when available.

      Assessing Residential Capacity

      KU expects residential occupancy in Spring 2021. The university has taken a family unit approach to providing housing within its residence halls. At this time, all students wanting to live on campus are being accommodated. In the event that circumstances change, the university will provide an update to the 2020-2021 housing accommodations plan.

      Supplemental Student Codes of Conduct and Housing Contracts

      Students returning to campus must take the necessary steps as determined by KU and state government and health officials to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Supplemental awareness materials will be provided to students related to the university COVID-19's guidelines and expectations.

      Only residential students who have successfully completed their Health and Wellness Services paperwork will be permitted to move into residential halls. Those forms will include a verification that all required immunizations are on file and confirmation of emergency contact information.

      All students will need to have a "Safety Plan" prior to arrival on campus, to be activated in the event that quarantine, isolation, or closures of campus residence halls become necessary. Students must be aware that they may be required to be relocated or sent home due to illness. The university will not require this plan to be submitted, but will expect the student to be prepared in case they come into contact with or contract COVID-19. Elements of the student’s plan must include answers to the following questions for each student:

      • Where will the student go in the event that they must leave campus?
      • What transportation options exist for the student?
      • Does the student have access to a vehicle?
      • Do they have a registered vehicle on campus?
      • Are they dependent on public transportation?
      • How quickly can a student get to their designated location given their transportation options?
      • Is emergency contact information provided?

      Operational Guidelines to Enforce Physical Distance

      Enforcement of physical distancing in the residential community will require the following:

      • Masks in common area spaces, including restrooms, laundry rooms and hallways.
      • If conditions warrant, KU may need to close/lock building lounges and common area kitchens/recreation rooms.
      • Signage in restrooms and laundry rooms may be posted related to possible occupancy limits.
      • An addendum to the KU Visitation Policy will be enforced at all times. This addendum will be provided to all students through their welcome hall and floor meetings. Alterations in the Residence Life programming model has been created to comply with physical distancing guidelines and established policies.


      To adhere to best practice, move-out and the return will include:

      • Social distancing guidelines;
      • Masks worn outside the student rooms at all times;
      • Students moving back in may be limited to a set number of persons to assist them (1 person to assist the student at a time).

      Guidelines for Winter Break Departure

      Returning students do not need to remove their possessions from their assigned room. They will need to take all items personally needed for winter break, as they will not be able to return to campus for forgotten items.

      Guidelines for Move-In for 2021 Spring Semester

      Move-in will occur Jan. 16-18, 2021. Additional protocols for students' return to campus are being developed and will be communicated to campus at a later date. Students will be emailed instructions about the move-in process, including check-in assignment. Students who did not live on campus in the fall semester will return Saturday, Jan. 16. Students returning to campus who lived on campus in the fall semester will return Sunday, Jan. 17, and Monday, Jan. 18. Classes resume at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. They are to follow the format below after checking into their hall.

      Students who moved out of their on campus housing assignment during the 2020 fall semester, who wish to return to their on campus housing assignment for the 2021 spring semester, should contact Housing at 610-683-4027 or housing@kutztown.edu.

      The university requests that all students reduce contact with others outside of their family and follow CDC guidelines, such as: wearing a mask in public buildings, reducing non-essential travel and increasing handwashing two weeks prior to returning. International students who are able to return to KU from abroad will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before attending classes or visiting university offices/facilities. International students who live off campus will self-isolate in their off-campus housing. International students who live in KU residence halls will be placed in designated isolation in their assigned room or another designated location on campus. Students will be informed of this requirement in advance so that they can plan on arriving within 15-20 days of class start date.

      Guidelines for Move-Out at End of 2021 Spring Semester

      Residence halls will close for the Spring 2021 semester at 6 p.m., Friday, May 8, 2021. Students will have 24 hours after their last final to move out of their residence hall, or by 6 p.m., Friday, May 8, 2021, whichever comes first.

    • Dining Operations

      Kutztown University Dining Services is committed to the safety and well-being of the students, faculty, staff and employees as we plan to return for the spring semester. As in the fall semester, Dining Services will remain fully focused on food safety and sanitation, including additional safety processes and protocols that follow federal, state, local, Aramark and Kutztown University guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The plan will adapt to the guidelines and protocols as they are updated, and decisions are made at the university level.

      Dining Services continues our commitment to be a trusted authority promoting a safe food service environment within a holistic student-friendly atmosphere and with a cost-effective approach.

      Our program will meet regulatory guidelines, and site-specific adjustments will be made to ensure the food safety of our guests and dining services staff:

      • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place in all dining service areas with special attention to high-touch points.
      • Previously self-service areas, such as salad bars and breakfast nooks, have been relocated to be served by an attendant.
      • Beverage areas are self-service with additional safety precautions, including increased frequency of disinfecting, single use cups and Nano-Septic Self-Cleaning Strips.
      • Condiments and silverware have been relocated and are provided at each station upon ordering.
      • Cashier stations have additional plexiglass barriers and touchless payment.
      • All food concepts are served by an attendant and have additional plexiglass barriers.
      • Socially distanced seating areas comply with state, KU and Aramark guidelines.
      • Napkins, disinfecting table wipes and hand sanitizer stations are available for guest use through all locations.
      • Kutztown University Catering will offer a full range of options available individually packaged or buffet style with safety precautions in place.
      • Guest-facing technology alternatives have been deployed to meet the changing needs of our guests. Mobile ordering has been implemented for the Academic Forum Food Court.
      • Consistent communication with guests and team members includes social media, floor decals, COVID safety signage, directional signage and digital messaging screens.

      Hours of operation will be communicated during winter break.

    • Transportation

      Campus shuttles shall operate at a reduced capacity. Riders must wear masks while on the shuttles. Students should plan for increased wait times, and may need to leave for classes earlier than they have in the past, if using the shuttles. 

    • Internships

      Spring internships will continue for the Spring 2021 semester. Students should work with their professor and/or department chair on identifying internships. Internship sites will determine whether internships are face-to-face or virtual.

    Mitigation
    • Hygiene Requirements

      Know how it spreads

      • COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, mainly by the following routes:
        • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within six feet).
        • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings or talks.
          • Respiratory droplets cause infection when they are inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, such as those that line the inside of the nose and mouth.
      • People who are infected but do not have symptoms can also spread the virus to others.

      Wash your hands often

      • 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, or sneezing.
      • It's especially important to wash:
        • Before eating or preparing food.
        • Before touching your face.
        • After using the restroom.
        • After leaving a public place.
        • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
        • After handling your mask.
        • After changing a diaper.
        • After caring for someone sick.
        • After touching animals or pets.
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

      Avoid close contact

      Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

      • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
      • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
      • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
        • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
        • Find a mask that fits. Avoid adjusting and touching outside of mask.
      • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
      • Continue to keep about six feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

      Cover coughs and sneezes

      • 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.

      Clean and disinfect

      • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
      • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
      • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectant will work.

      Monitor your health

      • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19.
      • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
        • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
      • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

      Wearing a mask or face covering offers a measure of protection for yourself and others. Until further notice, the requirement for wearing a mask or face covering on campus will be determined by the university, based on expert guidance.

      Students and employees must wear masks in classrooms, public areas and common spaces; when two or more people are in a vehicle; when riding in an elevator; in high-volume customer service areas, or where recommended social distancing cannot be maintained to support those at high risk.

      KU will provide information and reinforce proper personal care and good hygiene practices in accordance with CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Each employee and student received two reusable masks at the start of the 2020 fall semester. Those who are new to the university or need replacement masks can pick up new masks at the KU Card Office. Disposable masks will be placed in selected areas of high interaction.

      Good hygiene practices will be communicated via email to employees and students and posted via different media outlets throughout our facilities.

      Recommendations for use of PPE will change as the intensity of the situation changes. With guidance from federal, state and local agencies, the university will update and provide instruction/information to the campus community.

      The Borough of Kutztown enacted temporary emergency Ordinance 2-2020, which sets forth regulations to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. When in the Borough, masks are required when within six feet of someone not a member of your household. If an individual is in violation of the ordinance, they are subject to a fine. The Borough of Kutztown is committed to the health and well-being of our entire community. The Borough urges all residents to comply with this ordinance and thanks you for doing so to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors. More information.

      Employees

      Masks

      Employees should wear a mask while outside and unable to maintain social distancing.

      Employees are required to wear a mask while at the workplace, unless they are secluded and alone. Masks can be a disposable mask or reusable cloth mask. Each employee received two reusable masks at the start of the 2020 fall semester. Those who are new to the university or need replacement masks can pick up new masks at the KU Card Office. Employees may use personally owned masks – these masks should be approved by their supervisor prior to being used.

      Gloves

      Facilities employees should wear gloves while working in high-touch areas.

      Additional PPE required for employees interacting with a student who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. These employees must wear an N95 facemask, gloves, gown and goggles or safety glasses or shield.

      Students

      Students should wear a mask while outside and unable to maintain social distancing. Resident students must wear a mask anytime they are outside of their personal room and within a building or with anyone else but their roommate. Commuter students must wear a mask anytime they are on campus within a building or with anyone.

      Visitors

      Visitors should wear a mask while outside and unable to maintain social distancing.

      Visitors must wear a mask while on university property, while in a building, or with another person. Masks will be supplied by the visitor.

      Contractors/Vendors/Service Providers

      Service providers should wear a mask while outside and unable to maintain social distancing.

      Service providers must wear a mask while on university property, in buildings or with another person. Masks will be supplied by the contractor.

    • Guidelines for Employees

      Physical Distancing

      Signage will be placed at elevators, conference rooms and other meeting spaces on campus to ensure proper distancing. In addition, desks/work spaces will be modified as needed in offices utilizing communal work space to ensure proper distancing. Employees with their own offices will be encouraged to close their office doors whenever possible. Employees will be expected to perform their work on campus. Departments can possibly consider and adopt rotational work schedules if necessary, in which only a portion of the department's employees are present on campus at a given time, to enhance physical distance between employees. Such decisions will require consultation with Human Resources.

      Continued Utilization of Web and Telephonic Platforms

      The university will continue to see an increased usage of telephonic and web-based platforms to be a best practice that should continue even after the current COVID-19 crisis has abated. Although there is certainly value in meeting in-person from time to time when it is safe to do so, university leadership will model and recommend that regular and non-critical meetings be held via web conference or telephone wherever possible even when all parties are on campus, so that employees can stay in their own offices (a physical distancing measure) instead of traveling across campus for a meeting. Employees should use technology for available office hours whenever possible and regularly monitor phone and email messages, including for those working remotely.

      Continued Preparation and Tracking Guidelines

      The university will continue to track and follow guidance and best practices as provided by relevant federal, state and local authorities as normal operations resume. The university will continue to track and consult this guidance as necessary to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws.

      In addition, the EEOC has updated its "Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act" guidance. Employees who indicate the inability to work (due to disability status of self or family member, or other situations that may require a flexible work schedule), will be accommodated and will be based upon policy whenever possible and reasonable. This process will be undertaken and created by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education offices in Harrisburg.

      Human Resources will provide employees with guidance as well as policies, wherever necessary, setting forth best practices in light of COVID-19 and other potential future pandemics.  For instance, physical contact including handshakes/fist bumps/high fives should be avoided, and regular handwashing and use of hand sanitizer will be encouraged. Meetings involving food or beverage service will be prohibited unless express permission is given by management, and in that case, food and beverages will be limited to single serving beverages and packaged food items in lieu of communal/shared platters and utensils.

      Human Resources will continue to track the employees who are able to work remotely so that the university is able to transition smoothly in the future if there are additional periods of time when the Governor mandates non-essential employees to stay home.

    • High-Risk Populations (Shielding)

      The university will consult guidance from the CDC on an ongoing basis to assist us in understanding the categories of employees, students and visitors at higher risk for severe illness. This information can be found on the CDC's website.

      Students in High-Risk Population

      Students identified as high-risk for COVID-19, with concerns about their return to campus, should select a schedule that decreases their risk, which may include online courses. Students with disabilities seeking accommodations should contact KU's Office of Disability Services at 610-683-4108 or dso@kutztown.edu.

      Employees in High-Risk Population

      Changes to employee work status and location will be communicated through the supervisory chain. More information.

    • Enforcement

      The university will maintain a communication plan with all employees, students and visitors informing them of physical distancing requirements and other prevention (hygiene) best practices through signage, monitors and physical signs throughout campus.

      Staff observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or university policy will report observations to their supervisor. Faculty observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or university policy will report observations to their administrator. Students observing non-compliance of recommended guidelines or university policy will report observations to class faculty or staff. Employees will reemphasize guidelines and policy requirements as necessary and/or report observations to administration. In case of emergency, employees or students will call University Police.

      Students will be expected to wear masks in classrooms and other venues where they cannot social distance. Exceptions will be made for health reasons.

    • Social Distancing/Gatherings

      Limitations will be placed on the size of events and gatherings in accordance with current guidance and recommendations from government and health officials. Physical distancing and self-health monitoring will be implemented as appropriate. Priority for available space will be given to first meet the academic needs of the university. Departments will consider alternative ways to host programs and events with limitations placed on the number of or presence of spectators. Tabling opportunities in the McFarland Student Union will be suspended temporarily, as these activities cannot be held in compliance with appropriate physical distancing requirements at this time.

      Student Club and Organization Activities

      The Office of Student Involvement will provide approval for in-person student organization events in compliance with proper use of on-campus spaces and physical distancing guidelines. The maximum size for events will be determined in compliance with governmental and health official recommendations.   Events will only be approved for members of the university community. Campus buildings and spaces, when not in use for academic classes or approved events, will be secured to prevent unauthorized use of space.

      The Office of Student Involvement staff will provide tools and training to assist student clubs and organizations with their organization and event planning for the coming year. The Office of Student Involvement will promote the use of virtual meetings and programming.

      University Police, Facilities Management and Camps and Conferences will continue to have shared access to reservation systems to ensure compliance and monitoring of approved student organization events.

    • Campus Environment Modifications

      Resources and guidelines will be provided for students to utilize spaces on campus that follow CDC guidelines, according to the phases of opening directives from the state at that time. Facilities like the McFarland Student Union and the Student Recreation Center will be operating at lower capacities to comply with state and local health guidelines. Large gatherings and events will continue to be significantly curtailed through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • Cleaning and sanitation efforts throughout campus have been increased to meet appropriate CDC guidelines.
      • Classrooms are being re-organized/rearranged to aid in social distancing, including signage to the classroom to denote acceptable/safe social distances.
      • Classrooms are being upgraded with technology (audio and video) to allow for concurrent in-person and remote learning wherever possible.
    • Clinical Services

      The university will continue to provide additional support to Clinical Services to better serve KU students. Clinical Services will be operating on an appointment-only basis in the 2021 spring semester. Students should make an appointment by calling 610-683-4082. A well and sick waiting room have been identified and social distancing will be required. Additionally, well and sick exam rooms have been established to minimize exposure. Upon arrival, students will be directed to the appropriate waiting room. Health and Wellness Services has the means for diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Any student who is tested or who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 will be advised to isolate until test results are available.

      If a student is a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19, Health and Wellness Services will contact Housing and Residence Life staff to notify of a student who needs to isolate. Close contacts will be asked to quarantine for up to 14 days. Health and Wellness Services will follow the Isolation Policy developed in collaboration with Housing and Residence Life.

      Contact tracing guidelines will be followed based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

      Excuse notes will not be given on a routine basis. Students and professors will need to work out a plan for absenteeism.

    • Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS)

      Counseling and Psychological Services will be available during the Spring 2021 semester. The majority of services will be offered by phone and online via Zoom to protect the health and safety of students, staff and faculty. This format will also enable us to offer consistent services to all students, regardless of their location throughout the semester. Learn More.

    • Non-Essential Travel

      Employee travel for university business must be approved prior to the travel by the area vice president and the university president, per the university's travel policy.

      Employees and students should limit their travel to being essential whenever possible. By remaining on campus and reducing your exposure to unknown areas, you are enhancing the health of KU. If you must travel, then considerations should be given to areas where you are intending to travel and they should be researched for the status on COVID-19. Travelers should check the CDC guidelines prior to or after taking a trip to make sure that the area visited does not require a 14-day isolation period prior to resuming normal activities.

    • Schedules

      It is expected that employees will work at their campus locations as they had done prior to the pandemic. To the extent possible, the university will support, permit and/or require staggered shifts for regular on-campus work hours where feasible or necessary. Staggered shifts/work times would permit employees to be on-ground when necessary, but lessen the possibility of inadvertently overcrowding workspaces and offices. The university will take multiple steps to protect and support its staff and faculty as on-campus operations resume. In the event that conditions change, the university may support and encourage remote work wherever feasible, including providing continued support to staff and faculty who are not used to working remotely, and advising on best practices regarding setting up a workspace at home, and having realistic expectations of oneself when working remotely. Hot spots and other electronic/IT items may be provided to employees on an as-needed basis so that they may perform their job duties remotely. University operations may be impacted by winter weather. Weather policies have been adjusted to reflect operations during the pandemic and can be accessed online.

    Monitoring Campus
    • Self-Reporting

      Self-Reporting

      As a proactive measure to keep our campus community as healthy as possible, we are asking for your help to ensure the good health of all students and employees.

      Please self-report for any one of the following situations:

      Quarantine

      • You have been asked to quarantine due to exposure to a person who is positive for COVID-19.

      Diagnosis

      • You have been diagnosed with, or tested positive for COVID-19.

      How to Self-Report

      Students:

      • Contact Health and Wellness Services by phone (610-683-4082) or email (health@kutztown.edu) to self-report.
      • This information will be confidentially managed ensuring only those with a need to know are informed.
      • For a student, generally those with a need to know are the student’s faculty, dean and certain members of administration.

      Employees:

      • Contact Human Resources by phone (610-683-1353) or email (humanresources@kutztown.edu) to self-report.
      • This information will be confidentially managed, ensuring only those with a need to know are informed.
      • You can help by not engaging others who do not have a need to know, and by refraining from open dialogue or discussion about individual employee medical status.
      • For employees, generally those with a need to know are an employee’s supervisor, certain members of the administration, and Human Resources.
      • The university will take reasonable precautions to protect health information, pursuant to all applicable laws and statutes, including, but not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

    • Testing

      Kutztown University will continue to test students for COVID-19 who are symptomatic, per guidelines. Final testing protocols will be determined after further consultation with the State System and PA Department of Health. At the time this plan was published (Nov. 20, 2020), the university is considering multiple options to increase its rapid testing capacity and to allow testing for groups wherein testing is required, such as intercollegiate athletics, student teaching and other areas. The university will continue to monitor state guidelines concerning asymptomatic testing.

      Clinical Services has the means to perform diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for symptomatic students. Students will be tested based on the guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. If the demand for testing should exceed the resources of Clinical Services, students will be referred to a local testing site.

      Students experiencing COVID-like symptoms should contact KU Health and Wellness Services, Beck Hall, for examination and testing at 610-683-4082. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All students will need to call for an appointment. There will be no walk-in appointments this semester. When Clinical Services is closed, please contact Public Safety and Police Services at 610-683-4001 for immediate assistance. If you have an emergency off campus, call 911. If a student is advised to quarantine or isolate due to possible COVID-19 exposure, tests positive for COVID-19, or believes they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they should contact Health and Wellness Services by phone (610-683-4082) or email (health@kutztown.edu).

      Any student who is tested, or who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, will be advised to isolate until test results are available.

      Employees experiencing COVID-like symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for diagnosis, testing and/or treatment. If an employee is advised to quarantine or isolate due to possible COVID-19 exposure, tests positive for COVID-19, or believes they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they should contact Human Resources by phone (610-683-1353) or email (humanresources@kutztown.edu).

      Local COVID-19 testing sites can be found here.

    • Contact Tracing

      Working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Co-County Wellness Services (CCWS) has been contracted to conduct contact tracing for COVID-19 for Berks County. Using teams of tracers comprised of part-time staff and volunteers, CCWS will provide contact tracing to Kutztown University. The university will assist as required.

      1. Faculty and Staff

      These services will generally be provided by the county health department, or contracted service in the county of residence of the infected individual. Berks County has contracted with Co-County Wellness Services to perform contact tracing.

      1. Students

      In general, contact tracing services for KU students will be performed by Co-County Wellness Services; however, for commuting students living outside Berks County or Pennsylvania, this may not be the case and services will be performed as prescribed in their county or state.

      1. Notification of Potentially Infected Individuals

      The entity performing the contact tracing will contact potentially infected individuals directly and inform them of the need to quarantine.

      1. Self-Reporting: Students

      Students required to quarantine will be required to contact their professors to request reasonable arrangements to complete course work due medical reasons.

      1. Self-Reporting: Faculty or Staff

      Faculty or staff required to quarantine must contact Human Resources to request flexible work arrangements or leave due to medical conditions.

    • Confirmed Case

      Health and Wellness Services has protocols in place for identifying, testing and isolating potential cases, and will take necessary action on campus property consistent with established health and safety practices.

      The Pennsylvania Department of Health has protocols for testing, announcing and advising cases — including contact tracing — along with individuals’ healthcare professionals. It is up to public health authorities to determine what information is shared publicly in the interest of public health, and in accordance with relevant privacy requirements. 

      Faculty and Staff Positive for COVID-19

      The ultimate success of the university response to a positive or presumed positive case for a faculty and staff member relies heavily on the individual promptly self-reporting their medical exam/test results to the university.

      KU faculty and staff suspecting they may have COVID-19 would report to their primary care health professional for examination and testing. Once a positive test result is received by the healthcare provider, they are responsible for notifying the patient and PADOH. At this point, the patient will be required to isolate to prevent further transmission.

      PADOH will then begin the contact tracing process to identify any other individuals that may have been affected and need to be in quarantine (see the contact tracing section below for more information).

      Because of the delay (2-14 days) in receiving test results, and out of concern for the members of the KU community, the university has taken the position that a person will need to isolate immediately while awaiting test results if they are presumed positive for COVID-19.  However, the efficacy of this policy is dependent upon timely self-reporting by the faculty or staff member who must contact Human Resources immediately if:

      1. During the office visit, they exhibit symptoms and their medical care provider determines they should be presumed positive for COVID-19 pending test results or;
      2. They receive confirmation that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

      Student Positive for COVID-19 Using KU Health and Wellness Services (H&WS)

      KU students on campus suspecting they have COVID-19 should report to H&WS for examination and testing. If a positive test result is received by H&WS, they are responsible for notifying the patient and PADOH. At this point, the patient will be required to isolate to prevent further transmission.

      PADOH will then begin the contact tracing process to identify any other individuals that may have been affected and need to be in quarantine (see the contact tracing section below for more information).

      Because of the delay (2-14 days) in receiving test results, and out of concern for the members of the KU community, the university has taken the position that a person will need to isolate immediately while awaiting test results if they are presumed positive for COVID-19.  If during the visit to H&WS the student exhibits COVID-19-like symptoms, they will be presumed positive for COVID-19 pending test results and will be required to isolate.

      Student Positive for COVID-19 Using a Private Healthcare Provider

      The ultimate success of the University response to a positive or presumed positive case for a student using a private healthcare provider relies heavily on the individual promptly self-reporting their medical exam/test results to the university.

      Students suspecting they may have COVID-19 may report to their primary care health professional for examination and testing rather than H&WS.  Should this be the student’s choice, the healthcare provider is responsible for notifying the patient and PADOH of a positive test result.  At this point, the patient will be required to isolate to prevent further transmission.

      PADOH will then begin the contact tracing process to identify any other individuals that may have been affected and need to be in quarantine (see the contact tracing section below for more information).

      Because of the delay (2-14 days) in receiving test results, and out of concern for the members of the KU community, the university has taken the position that a person will need to isolate immediately while awaiting test results if they are presumed positive for COVID-19. However, the efficacy of policy is dependent upon timely self-reporting by the student who must contact KU H&WS immediately if:

      1. During the office visit, they exhibit symptoms and their medical care provider determines they should be presumed positive for COVID-19 pending test results or;
      2. They receive confirmation that they have tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Quarantine/Isolation

      Quarantine

      • Exposure to COVID-19 (Asymptomatic).


      Individuals who have been advised that they were exposed to COVID-19 will be directed to stay home for 14 days to help prevent the spread of disease. According to the CDC, people in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health and follow directions from their state or local health department as well as their medical doctor. More info.

      Isolation

      • Separates individuals who are infected with COVID-19 from others who are not infected (Symptomatic or tested positive without symptoms).


      Individuals with a diagnosis or presumed to have COVID-19, or have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results, will need to isolate at home and follow their physician’s and CDC guidelines to return to work or school. More info.

      On Campus Isolation and Quarantine Process

      A process to identify and separate individuals residing on campus that are presumed positive or confirmed positive with COVID-19 is critical to mitigating the further spread of the virus.  In general, students residing on campus will be encouraged to isolate or quarantine at home and students residing off campus will be instructed to isolate or quarantine at their off-campus residence.

      Students returning home or to their off-campus residence for isolation will be provided the following services:

      • Protocols to properly isolate/quarantine.
      • Follow-up calls to check on their health condition.
      • Reminders to call their personal physician or seek other medical care should symptoms warrant.

      H&WS, along with Housing and Residence Life, has also developed a plan and identified facilities for those resident students that cannot isolate or quarantine off-campus, or may need to remain on-campus for a short period until being able to transition to the off-campus residence.

      Once a need for on-campus isolation or quarantine is identified, H&WS will work closely with Housing and Residence Life to transition the student to their assigned isolation/quarantine area.  Students being relocated will be reminded to take the following items with them:

      • Laptop/instructional supplies
      • Cell phone and Phone charger
      • Comfortable clothing for the length of Isolation (pants, shirt, underwear, socks)
      • Personal hygiene (soap, toothbrush/paste, brush, deodorant, towel, washcloth)
      • Wallet and KU ID card
      • Pillow/sheets/towels
      • Health insurance card
      • Cloth mask

       

      H&WS will provide students in on-campus isolation/quarantine the following:

      • Thermometer (paper and disposable)
      • Temperature and symptom tracker
      • Tylenol
      • Cough drops
      • Hand sanitizer (if available)
      • Mask (if needed)
      • Reference numbers to H&WS, Counseling Center, and University Police.
      • Detailed instructions regarding how to properly isolate and when isolation can be discontinued.
      • Daily phone call follow-ups Monday thru Friday as well as phone triage as needed.
      • If the student requires medical evaluation during their on-campus isolation due to a decline in condition or worsening of symptoms and it is during regular business hours, H&WS licensed staff will assess the patient via a telephone triage visit. ER instructions will be given as indicated.
      • If H&WS is closed and student experiences a decline in condition or worsening of symptoms, they will be instructed to call Public Safety for transport to ER by ambulance.

      Housing and Residence Life will coordinate meals for students in on-campus isolation/quarantine. Students will be provided a boxed meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It will be prepared by Dining Services and brought to the doorstep. Students will be texted once the food is outside their door. Students without a meal plan may be charged a nominal fee. Breakfast delivered between 8-8:30 a.m.; lunch between 12:30-1 p.m.; and dinner between 5-5:30 p.m. 

      Symptom-Based Strategy for Discontinuing Transmission-Based Precautions (Isolation and Quarantine)

      Per the CDC at the time this plan was written, the decision to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions for patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection should be made using a symptom-based strategy as described below.  The time period used depends on the patient’s severity of illness and if they are severely immunocompromised.

      Patients with mild to moderate illness who are not severely immunocompromised:

      • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
      • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
      • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved

      Note: For patients who are not severely immunocompromised and who were asymptomatic throughout their infection, Transmission-Based Precautions may be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test.

      Patients with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised:

      • At least 10 days and up to 20 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
      • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
      • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
      • Consider consultation with infection control experts

      For those in isolation or quarantined on campus, the decision to discontinue the transmission-based precautions will be made by H&WS.

      Terminal Cleaning

      Once isolation/quarantine is determined to be over and the student is cleared to return to their room, the isolation/quarantine room will remain vacant for the time prescribed per current CDC, DOH and housing guidelines before terminal cleaning and disinfection.

      Temporary Housing for Quarantine and Isolation

      KU has identified facilities for the temporary housing and care of individuals who cannot go home and must be either quarantined or isolated. Rooms have been identified for quarantine of individuals who may have been exposed and may be infected with COVID-19, but are not yet ill (asymptomatic).  Additionally, areas have been identified for the isolation of those individuals who are ill (symptomatic) and either probable or confirmed positive for COVID-19. Our plan accounts for capacity potential, an individual’s basic needs, medical support and facility maintenance.

    • County Status Change

      Kutztown University will follow the status conditions as outlined by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania COVID-19 Pandemic Plan and specifically Berks County, where the institution is located.

    Communication
    • Campus Communication
      • The university website (www.kutztown.edu/Spring2021) will serve as a hub for official information about the university’s reopening plans for the spring semester, including campus announcements, FAQ's and social distancing guidance.
      • Campus email is the primary mode of communication with all students and employees. Secondary channels to reinforce university messaging include;
        • Daily Brief
        • Campus Update
        • Maroon & Gold Alumni Newsletter
        • Parents & Family Bulletin
        • KU Alerts (emergency messages only)
        • Announcements (new, urgent non-emergency messages)
        • Bear Essentials
        • Omnilert text messaging system
      • A Campus Update was established to inform our campus community with daily updates (Monday through Friday) and will continue through the Spring 2021 semester. When classes are not in session, Campus Update will continue twice/week (Tuesday and Friday).
    • Employee/Student Return to Campus

      The Spring Reopening Plan addresses what is being done to safely prepare the campus and our community, expectations of the campus community in regards to social distancing, hygiene and use of personal protective equipment. When further guidelines are put in place, communication will be prioritized via campus email announcements.

    • Positive COVID-19 Case on Campus

      The Pennsylvania Department of Health has protocols for testing, announcing and advising cases — including contact tracing — along with individuals' healthcare professionals. It is up to public health authorities to determine what information is shared publicly in the interest of public health and in accordance with relevant privacy requirements.

      In compliance with the Clery Act, KU will alert the campus community, via email, if a student or employee on campus self-reports a positive case of COVID-19 to the university. Those deemed to be in close contact will be notified as per the guidelines from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Confidential exposure information will be provided in consultation with health officials using HIPAA guidelines. COVID-19 results fall under HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA information is confidential and should not be shared with anyone. KU will maintain confidentiality of the student or employee as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, as applicable.

    • Media Inquiries

      University and State System decisions about the Spring semester are likely to pique media interest. As in the past, if any member of campus is contacted directly by a member of the media, please contact University Relations (UR@kutztown.edu) to coordinate a response.

    • Public Inquiries

      The university continues to field inquiries through its public channels. The Office of University Relations has a response team in place to handle inquiries from the public on official university channels, which works with appropriate areas of campus to coordinate timely responses.

    COORDINATION WITH LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS

    Kutztown University has coordinated with Berks County Emergency Services, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as appropriate.  We will continue to coordinate with those agencies, as well as our local municipal officials.   We enjoy a strong working relationship and will continue to work together as necessary.

    SYSTEM EXPECTATIONS FOR EMPLOYEES, STUDENTS, AND VISITORS

    The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has designed and created expectations for all universities to use as a framework for a return to campus for Spring 2021. Those expectations and System information can be found online.

    Conclusion

    Please be aware that this is a “living” document and we will adjust our plan based on guidance provided at any time as necessary, prudent and based on what is reasonable and feasible.  There are still many unanswered questions and we will provide additional information as we receive it from the various governing entities. Reopening our institutions of higher education in a healthful manner is critical to advancing our commonwealth’s rich tradition of producing the next generation of leaders. As Governor Wolf and his respective staff weigh and develop the best options for opening our institutions during these unprecedented times, we hope that this document will serve to inform you of those decisions. We also hope that this document will emphasize the careful and measured analyses that institutions like KU continue to undertake in order to prepare to welcome our students and employees back to our campus. We welcome the opportunity to partner with the all stakeholders, and we hope to add to a collaborative conversation that will successfully lead to the reopening of Kutztown University. 

    As part of our preparation at the earliest stages, we had asked that all departments on campus to update their Continuity of Operations Plans, which highlighted their action plans and their order of succession. When the Governor and the commonwealth started to implement the color-coded response plan for COVID-19 in the 2020 spring semester, the Emergency Management Team identified that all areas which have a Continuity of Operations Plan would benefit from preparing and enhancing their operational continuity by including the color codes, and specific planning into their existing COOP plans. We would urge each department within the university to develop such plans at the departmental level to improve the operational effectiveness of its Continuity of Operations Plans.    

    Committee Members

    Mr. John Dillon

    Chairperson

    Director of Emergency Management 

    Mr. Bryan Salvadore   

    Co-Chairperson

    Deputy Director of Emergency Management

    Dr. Michelle Kiec

    Member

    Dean of Visual and Performing Arts

    Dr. Steve Lem

    Member

    President – University Senate

    Dr. Deryl Johnson

    Member

    Vice President – University Senate

    Dr. Thomas Stewart

    Member

    President – APSCUF

    Dr. Jason Lanter

    Member

    Vice President – APSCUF

    Mr. Agostino D'Ancona

    Member

    President – SGB

    Mr. Kurtis Haynesworth

    Member

    Parliamentarian – SGB

    Ms. Emily Campbell

    Member

    Secretary - SGB

    Mr. Ken Steward

    Member

    Associate Vice President – EMT Member

    Dr. Duane Crider

    Member

    Chairperson of University Safety Committee

    Ms. Amy Ridenour

    Member

    Special Events Coordinator – Office of the President

    Mr. Josh Leiboff

    Member

    Director of Web and Digital Media

    Ms. Carol Sztaba

    Member

    University Architect 

    Ms. Jennifer Weidman

    Member

    Director of Human Resources

    Ms. Desiree Reasoner

    Member

    Director of Residence Life – EMT Member

    Ms. Jane Rodgers

    Member

    EHS (LAS) - EMT Member

    Mr. Rick Miller

    Member

    Manager of Servers and SIT – EMT Member

    Ms. Dee Hess

    Member

    Executive Director of Health and Wellness – EMT Member

    Mr. William Lendzinski

    Member

    Assistant Director of Health and Wellness Services

    Elizabeth Pflugler

    Member

    Business Services