Navigating a Safe On-Campus Environment


EWC will work as a community to operate in the safest manner possible that promotes the health and wellness of our campus community. Our campus is multi-generational and diverse, and all the solutions proposed may not be suitable for every single member of the campus community. However, the College is prepared to do its best in reasonably accommodating all employees and students, where possible.

Edward Waters College is currently engaged in dialogue with a third-party medical provider regarding a campus testing site. However, the College strongly recommends that all faculty, staff, and students take a COVID-19 test within seven days prior to the return to campus.  Free community testing locations are available in and around the City of Jacksonville. The City of Jacksonville COVID-19 testing information can be found here.

The Office of Human Resources has worked with the College’s medical insurance providers to obtain coverage, or preferably, provide free COVID-19 testing, for EWC insured faculty and staff. The incorporation of the COVID-19 testing service under insurance coverage will be for a limited time within network. Additionally, the protocols to mitigate further viral transmission at EWC is as follows for faculty, staff and students where applicable:[1]

  • Students who have either tested positive, have results pending, or are showing symptoms for COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate while ensuring their medical, social, and academic needs are met (See Appendix, Students with Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis).
  • Employees who have either tested positive, have results pending, or are showing symptoms for COVID-19 must stay home and self-isolate.
    • Employees will be required to self-report to the Office of Human Resources immediately and complete the HR COVID-19 LINK on the HR webpage.
    • Failure to report COVID-19 symptoms or to falsify said report will be subject to disciplinary action up to immediate workplace dismissal without pay and/or termination of employment.
  • Faculty, staff and students must be medically cleared in order to return to campus if diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19. Where applicable, medical clearance documentation has to be provided to the Office of Human Resources, the Dean of Students in the Division of Student Success and Engagement, and the Office of the Provost.
  • Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to be re-tested and screened at a frequency determined by health professionals based on health indicators designed to measure the prevalence of the virus on campus or in the geographic region.
  • In addition to the aforementioned testing recommendation, individuals who work or fall into any of the following groups identified as having a high risk of exposure are strongly encouraged to undergo additional testing:
    • Symptomatic individuals and exposed contacts;
    • Campus Safety and Security;
    • Facilities, including custodial;
    • Athletics coaches and staff;
    • Campus Housing (select groups); and
    • Select Vendors (including food service).
  • At the time a Coronavirus vaccine becomes available, the Office of Human Resources, along with the Division of Student Engagement as points of contact, will be charged with working with the Duval County Health Department to conduct mass vaccine clinics for the EWC community. Faculty, staff, and students are also strongly encouraged to get the seasonal flu vaccination, which will be offered for free with those who have health insurance, $20 for those without at the Schell-Sweet Community Center.

[1] EWC has formulated a Decision Tree to advance the protocols and movement of potential viral transmission based on information found on the CDC website.  For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html.

Considerable monitoring, tracking, and oversight is required to mitigate the risk of a local resurgence of the coronavirus.The College anticipates establishing an EWC Health Center by the Fall 2020 semester. This center will work with the Office of Human Resources and Student Success and Engagement, along with Communications and Marketing to help manage documentation of testing and case management, vaccination records, sick/ill employees leave, quarantine, return to work, contact tracing, notification of contacts, and surveillance. Within the same timeframe, the College will seek to build or contract the creation of a secure database to maintain this sensitive information.  The EWC Health Center is slated to provide an app that tracks the medical history of individuals as a part of its database, of which EWC will have the availability to use.  However, due to HIPPA, that information may not be accessible by College staff.

The anticipated EWC Health Center, will serve as a lead for College surveillance activities, following industry guidance for the “ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data essential to planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health…”[1] Analysis of the EWC environment, in consultation with senior leadership, will inform future assessments regarding student extracurricular activities and social gatherings. At EWC surveillance activities will include the following:

  • Monitoring national, state, and local rates of infection to facilitate early identification of community spread
  • Monitoring of screening activities to help identify clusters of symptoms reporting and/or absences
  • Rapid identification of persons with positive test results for COVID-19 with required isolation, contact tracing and quarantine of identified close contacts
  • Management of persons with COVID-19 symptoms and/or diagnosis to provide support, referrals as needed and to monitor for compliance with quarantine or isolation
  • The Office of Human Resources along with the Division of Student Success and Engagement and will track the presentation of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 symptoms among employees and students, respectively, that present on campus for medical services, or until a health-related unit can either be created or identified. The College will implement a process to assist in managing this portfolio.

[1] Gerardo-Giorda L, Puggioni G, Rudd RJ, Waller LA, & Real LA (2013). Structuring targeted surveillance for monitoring disease emergence by mapping observational data onto ecological process. Journal of Soc Interface, 10 (86).

A cluster of two or more positive COVID-19 cases at any EWC location will result in additional restrictions to mitigate transmission risks. A “cluster” is defined as cases with common times, geographic locations and/or exposures.[1] Only if deemed necessary, will additional measures be taken in consultation with Senior College Leadership, as well as internal and external, local, and state health and other officials.

[1] World Health Organization (2020).  Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Situation Report-80. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200409-sitrep-80-covid- 19.pdf?sfvrsn=1b685d64

The health and safety of all Edward Waters College faculty, staff and students are our number one priority. The College will provide masks and/or face coverings and sanitizing agents to all faculty, staff and students as part of an initial wellness package. Additional provisions of PPE will be distributed to those stakeholders in high traffic areas. The most important and critical mechanism to manage the spread of COVID-19 is compliant individual behavior and self-assessment. We are asking each Edward Waters College stakeholder to monitor their individual actions to ensure they are operating in the safest manner possible. As recommended by the CDC the protocols to mitigate further viral transmission at EWC is as follows for faculty, staff and students where applicable:

  • If you are unwell, or have an elevated temperature, please do not attend classes in person and employees should not report to work on campus, but arrange with your supervisor to work remotely.
  • Faculty, staff and students diagnosed with COVID-19 should isolate in their home or residence hall (for on campus residence) as recommended by the CDC.
  • Faculty, staff and students who are symptomatic or have significant exposure to COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days as recommended by the CDC.
  • Faculty, staff and students must be medically cleared in order to return to campus if diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19. Where applicable, medical clearance documentation has to be shared with the Office of Human Resources, the Dean of Students in the Division of Student Success and Engagement, and the Office of the Provost.

Additionally, when a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified on campus and in order to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff EWC will follow the recommended Higher Education CDC* protocols:

  • Coordinate and work with public and local health officials.
  • Determine cancellation of classes and closure of buildings and facilities if needed.
  • Communicate with students, staff, and faculty.
  • Clean and disinfect thoroughly.
  • Ensure continuity of education (i.e. on-line instruction).
  • Ensure continuity of safe housing for on-campus residence.

*Centers for Disease Control Guidance for Higher Education Institutions (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-ihe-response.html)

Recognizing that there will be factors – predictable and unpredictable – outside of the College’s control that will arise during the academic year such as a resurgence that poses a significant threat to the health and safety of campus community, EWC will surveil and rapidly identify any reemergence of an outbreak. As such, the institution will work in coordination with the Florida Department of Health as required and respond accordingly. Towards that end, in the event of a resurgence of the virus beyond containment (outbreak) or by direction of the Florida Department of Health, the State of Florida or the City of Jacksonville, the campus will consider remote instruction and remote work from home as implemented in Spring 2020 in the event of a resurgence. Remote and online instruction for all courses will be re-implemented and staff will be re-transitioned to entire remote work operations. As implemented during Spring 2020, only essential personnel would remain on campus. All of the aforementioned protocols will be determined upon review with senior level administration, with the executive privilege of instituting the Remote Instruction and/or Remote Work protocol at the exclusive approval of the President & CEO.

The Division of Institutional Advancement, Development, Marketing, and Communications is responsible for the orderly and timely dissemination of information as related to constituency knowledge of operations and expectations related to COVID-19 and the College re-engineering for fall 2020.  The Office of Marketing, Communications, and College Relations (MCCR) will implement the following: 

  • Comprehensive on-campus signage
  • Engagement with internal and external campus communities through the College’s official multi-media platforms for communication, such as the EWC website, EWC emails, and EWC social media outlets as per EWC branding strategies. The EWC website features a COVID-19 Emergency Response microsite, where internal and external college constituents can locate information relative to updates, changes, procedures, and protocols related to institutional shifts and operational enforcement. The website will also feature a Frequently Asked Question section that is organized and stakeholder specific. 
  • Coordinate and work with local, state, and federal authorities to garner information on changes regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and will inform the appropriate divisions in an effort to adjust in an impromptu manner. 
  • Develop crisis management documents including, but not limited to, press releases and responses to media requests related to the institution, with sensitivity to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Development of informational videos and/or securing a series of videos to collect and/or record and produce for student and employee re-acclimation and education to the “new normal” on campus.