Campus-Wide Health and Safety POlicies

Campus-Wide Health and Safety Policies

The following sections of this document contain important policies, procedures, and protocols that have been designed and implemented for the purpose of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on the Howard Payne University campus upon the return of residential students and non-residential students to the Brownwood, El Paso, and New Braunfels campuses in the fall of 2020. It is imperative that each member of the Howard Payne University Family take personal responsibility in fulfilling his or her role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on the University’s campus in order to protect the health of the HPU campus community and the greater Brown County, Comal County, and El Paso County communities by abiding by the policies, observing the procedures, and adhering to the protocol included on this page.

These policies, procedures, and protocols have been developed through thorough review of best practices and available guidance from public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department, from information provided by our local healthcare leaders at Brownwood Regional Medical Center, and from the expertise of leaders in the fields of higher education, healthcare, virology, and epidemiology.

Howard Payne University expects all students, faculty members, staff members, and off- campus visitors to follow all policies, procedures, and protocols during their time on the HPU campus. The failure to comply by or intentional disregard of the University’s stated policies, procedures, and protocols will result in reprimand and potential penalties including, but not limited to, being permanently trespassed from the all University campuses and events (off-campus guests), written reprimand (faculty and staff), and loss of on-campus dining and residency privileges (students).

If a student, faculty member, or staff member is tested for COVID-19 and receives a positive test result, he or she is required to alert the University of the positive result immediately by filling out the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form on the HPU Gateway. Students are required to begin self-isolating in their on- or off-campus living space and follow all University-required self-isolation procedures they are cleared to return to campus by the HPU Contact Tracing Team.

The HPU Contact Tracing Team will alert the student’s course instructors, resident director (if applicable), on-campus employment supervisor (if applicable), and the University Athletics Department (if applicable); however, students are encouraged to also contact those individuals to ensure they are fully apprised of the situation. Employees are required to self-isolate and follow all University-required self-isolation procedures until they are cleared to return to campus by the HPU Contact Tracing Team.

Additional details related to self-isolation protocols can be found by clicking here.

If a student, faculty member, or staff member is informed by the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department, other local health department, or University representative that they were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, he or she is required to alert the University immediately after receiving notification of exposure by completing the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form on the HPU Gateway. Students should self-quarantine in their on- or off-campus living space and not return to campus until receiving direction from University representatives on self-quarantine procedures and a personalized campus-return timeline. The HPU Contact Tracing Team will alert the student’s course instructors, resident director (if applicable), on-campus employment supervisor (if applicable), and the University Athletics Department (if applicable); however, students are encouraged to also contact those individuals to ensure they are fully apprised of the situation. Employees should notify their supervisors and leave work immediately and not return until receiving direction from University representatives related to self-quarantine procedures and a personalized campus-return timeline.

Additional details related to self-quarantine protocols can be found by clicking here.

Howard Payne University has agreed to partner with the Brownwood-Brown County Department of Health to conduct contact tracing for any Howard Payne University student, faculty member, or staff member that tests positive for COVID-19. If a Howard Payne University student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, the University will identify, contact, monitor, and provide self-quarantine guidance to exposed individuals on the Howard Payne University campus (both students and employees), and the Brownwood-Brown County Department of Health will identify, contact, monitor, and provide self-quarantine guidance to individuals outside of the Howard Payne University campus community.

The University is committed to continuing to protect the private personal and health information of Howard Payne University students and employees. All identifiable personal and health information related to students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to COVID-19 will be disclosed only to public health authorities and to University personnel on a need-to-know basis. All disclosure will be compliant with all FERPA and HIPAA provisions, regulations, and standards, except in the case that some individual FERPA and HIPAA provisions, regulations, and standards have been waived or suspended by the United States government for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Any information related to exposure by an infected individual will be given in a non-identifiable manner so as to protect the privacy of the infected individual while still protecting the health of the exposed individual.

Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, any individual who travels internationally to a country with a Level 3 travel advisory for COVID-19 is required to self- quarantine for fourteen days upon return to the United States.

Students, by virtue of admission to and enrollment at Howard Payne University, and employees, by virtue of entering into an at-will employment agreement or faculty contract with Howard Payne University, agree that they are responsible for complying with all University policies. Students and employees are required to abide by all COVID-19 spread mitigation policies, procedures, and protocols.

The failure to comply by or intentional disregard of the University’s COVID-19 spread mitigation policies, procedures, and protocols will result in reprimand and potential penalties including, but not limited to, being permanently trespassed from the all University campuses (off-campus guests), written reprimand (faculty and staff), and loss of on- campus dining and residency privileges (students).

If a student, faculty member, or staff member is symptomatic of COVID-19 and is instructed by their personal healthcare provider to be tested for COVID-19, he or she is required to alert the University immediately after being tested for COVID-19 by completing the COVID- 19 Self-Reporting Form on the HPU Gateway. Students should follow self-quarantine procedures in their on- or off-campus living space and not return to campus until receiving clearance to do so by the HPU Contact Tracing Team upon submission of a negative test result.

The HPU Contact Tracing Team will alert the student’s course instructors, resident director (if applicable), on-campus employment supervisor (if applicable), and the University

Athletics Department (if applicable); however, students are encouraged to also contact those individuals to ensure they are fully apprised of the situation. Employees should notify their supervisor and not return to campus until receiving clearance to do so by the HPU Contact Tracing Team upon submission of a negative test result.

Those who receive a negative test result will be cleared to return to campus upon submission of a copy of the negative test result to the HPU Contact Tracing Team. Those who receive a positive test result will be required to complete the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form on the HPU Gateway and self-isolate for the required period of time.

Use the links to find additional details related to self-quarantine protocols and self-isolation protocols.

Each morning before coming to campus, all University employees, including faculty, staff, and student workers, are expected to conduct a daily self-screening to assess their health prior to coming to work. Students are encouraged, but not required, to complete this self-screening daily before attending class or participating in on-campus activities.

Individuals should ask themselves the following questions before determining whether they should come to work, attend class, or participate in on-campus activities that day:

    1. Have I been in prolonged, close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks, has anyone in my household (or on- or off-campus living space) tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks, or have I exhibited symptoms of or tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks?
    2. Do I currently have any of the following symptoms?
      • Running a fever (100.4°F) or feeling feverish
      • A new cough that cannot be attributed to another health condition
      • New shortness of breath that cannot be attributed to another health condition
      • New congestion or runny nose that cannot be attributed to another health condition
      • New sore throat that cannot be attributed to another health condition
      • New muscle aches that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity (exercise, athletics, etc.)
      • Any of these symptoms: chills, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, loss of taste or smell, nausea

If an individual answers “yes” to any of these questions, he or she should self-quarantine in their home or on- or off-campus living space, follow the instructions found here, and contact their personal healthcare provider or the University Nurse to determine what next steps should be taken.

If an individual answers “no” to all of these questions, he or she may come to work, attend class, and participate in on-campus activities that day, but should continue to abide by the University’s COVID-19 spread mitigation policies including wearing a face covering, maintaining at least a six-foot social distance, and other University, local, state, and federal orders.

Wearing a face covering has been proven as one of the most effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially in preventing spreading by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. Effective immediately, face coverings are required in all indoor spaces on the Howard Payne University campus, including in classrooms during classes, with the following exceptions:

  • When eating or drinking in the Beadel Dining Hall or at Fambrough’s, provided that a six-foot social distance is maintained for the duration that the individual’s face covering is removed
  • While engaging in physical activity or exercise in the Elliston-Cassle Wellness Center
  • When presenting in a classroom or public setting, provided that the individual is ten or more feet away from the audience
  • When an individual is alone with his or her roommate(s) in their private, on-campus living space (residence hall room, apartment, or duplexes)
  • When a student is participating in an intercollegiate athletic practice or competition in a manner that abides by NCAA and American Southwest Conference health and safety guidelines
  • When an employee is alone in his or her private office, with the exception of when interacting with a student, another employee, or an off-campus guest
  • When a student has been seated in a classroom and the class has begun, provided that there is an acceptable social distance (about six feet) between that student and his or her classmates
 

Additionally, face coverings are required outdoors on all University property when a six- foot social distance is not possible to maintain. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Transition periods in between classes
  • Entering or exiting buildings at the start or end of the work day
  • Attending athletic events or other campus events
 

The University has purchased one HPU-branded reusable cloth face covering for each student, faculty member, and staff member. These face masks are reusable and hand- or machine-washable. If a student or employee loses or damages his or her face covering, additional HPU-branded reusable cloth face coverings will be available for purchase at the Stinger Store in the Mabee University Center or on the Stinger Store website.

Students are free to wear their own face coverings, provided that any design, artwork, or message on the face covering is appropriate in a Christian academic environment.

Employees are free to wear their own face coverings, provided that their face covering does not promote another institution of higher education, and that any design, artwork, or message on the face covering is appropriate in a Christian academic environment and professional workplace environment.

Employees whose responsibilities require representing the University in off-campus settings are required to abide by these policies at all off-campus engagements at which they are representing the University, regardless of the local or state ordinances related to face coverings.

Employees are required to always wear a face covering in public settings in which they are conducting University business. This includes trips to purchase office supplies or other items, meetings with off-campus groups, or any other time in which the individual is conducting University business in a public setting.

Employees who must ride in a vehicle together for University business are required to wear a mask due to the lack of ability to social distance and the increased risk of COVID-19 spread in close, air-conditioned quarters.

Off-campus guests are required to wear face coverings for the entire duration of their time on campus and at all University-sponsored events. The University will provide face coverings to prospective students and their families for individual visits and/or Yellow Jacket Preview events. Off-campus guests who attend campus for other purposes should be informed of the face covering requirement either prior to or upon their arrival.

In an effort to be welcoming to our off-campus guests while at the same time protect the health and safety of the HPU Family, all off-campus visitors to the Howard Payne University campus should be asked to fill out the COVID-19 Campus Access Screening Form, available here.

The COVID-19 Campus Access Screening Form will ask each visitor about health information related to COVID-19 as well as information related to any recent exposure to COVID-19 or if the visitor has tested positive for COVID-19. Any individual who has exhibited COVID-19 symptoms, has been exposed to a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, or who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last fourteen days will be required to leave campus immediately.

Social distancing has proven to be another effective method in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, as the virus is spread most easily when individuals are in close contact of each other. Therefore, effective immediately, individuals should maintain at least a six-foot social distance whenever possible.