As members of the Wheaton community, we all share the responsibility of ensuring that “we may have life and have it abundantly.” In the midst of COVID-19, this means actively working to stay safe and healthy. Wheaton will rely on us to work together to self-monitor and comply with all protocols put forth by our college, the CDC, and the Massachusetts Department of Health. These protocols have been developed with the safety and security of all members of our community in mind. This commitment details the action items that each one of us must abide by in order to keep our campus safe, healthy, and open. By signing this commitment, you pledge to do your part. We have provided a glossary of terms at the end of this document to help clarify the language of the commitment.

Read the email overview from the Student Government Association

Community Commitment Sections

Pre-Arrival Expectations

I commit to submitting up-to-date health forms prior to my arrival on campus. This includes routine immunization information and past and current exposure to COVID-19, if any.

I pledge to adhere to the expectations outlined in the Massachusetts Travel Order, including submission of the state travel form.  If I am traveling to Massachusetts from another state or country, other than those listed as low-risk states, I will need to produce a negative PCR test result administered 72 hours before my arrival in Massachusetts or I will need to quarantine in a low-risk state for 14 days prior to returning to campus.

I am aware that the college recommends that ALL students (including students coming from the states listed above) self-quarantine in the region for at least 14 days prior to returning to campus to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 prior to arrival. I understand that if I leave the region listed above I will be considered a traveler and must adhere to the quarantine guidance above.

I understand that if I am exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if I have recently been exposed to COVID-19, or if I have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, I will not be permitted into the residence halls or on campus upon arrival.

I commit to digitally “signing” the updated Housing Agreement within the Housing portal and to follow the policies outlined in that agreement if I intend to live on campus.

Training

I pledge to complete required virtual training that all faculty, staff and students must attend on COVID-19.

Social Distancing

I commit to following all social distancing expectations and guidelines. Specifically, I commit to practice social distancing with the following stipulations that include, but are not limited to:

  • Keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from others when outside my designated residence hall room
  • Not gathering in physical groups larger than the number allowed by the current institutional policy and/or state guidance.
  • Avoiding crowded places and large gatherings
  • Utilizing virtual meeting options, whenever possible
  • Scheduling virtual office visits, as needed

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Personal Hygiene

I pledge to wash my hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or utilise a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, especially after being in a public space, after blowing my nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching my face.

(Note: If access to hand sanitizer or other personal protective equipment [PPE] is limited due to any range of factors [socioeconomic, transportation/location, etc], please reach out to Cynthia Maricle, Associate Director of Health Services for assistance.)

Face Coverings

I commit to wearing masks or face coverings at all times that I am indoors and outside of my residence hall room, as well as outside where social distancing cannot be maintained.

I understand that I will only be permitted to remove my face covering for the purposes of bathing and eating.

I commit as a resident to wear face coverings at all times in the residence halls other than when in my residence hall room, suite, or house with members of my “Residential Unit.”

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Cleaning and Disinfection

I commit to cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces in my personal work space, residence halls and classrooms after use in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes, door knobs, railings, cell phones, computers, bathrooms, kitchens, fitness equipment, etc.

I pledge to not remove the disinfected materials from these locations.

Presentation of Symptoms

I commit to monitoring myself for symptoms daily that, based on current guidance, are known to be associated with COVID-19 and I will self-report my symptoms to the college.

If I’m experiencing symptoms, especially of COVID-19, I commit to:

  • staying in my room and away from others
  • not visiting the dining hall or attending classes in person
  • wearing a mask to go quickly to the bathroom
  • contacting Norton Medical Center for medical guidance on whether COVID-19 testing or other care is required
  • contacting  Cynthia Maricle, Associate Director of Health Services when tested for COVID-19
  • moving into isolation while awaiting COVID-19 testing result
  • remaining in isolation as per CDC guidance if I test positive

I pledge to prioritize the health and safety of myself and the community by treating any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 and contacting Norton Medical Center for follow-up.

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Quarantine and Isolation Procedures

I commit to notifying the college and to quarantine following the college’s protocols and expectations if I come in unprotected close contact for more than 15 minutes with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or if I am asymptomatic awaiting test results as required by the American College Health Association (pdf).

I pledge to notify the college and to isolate following the college’s protocols and expectations if I am symptomatic and awaiting test results, or have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, as required by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the American College Health Association (pdf).

I commit to moving to specific residential spaces outlined by the college, or I will return home or to an off-campus location if I have been directed to quarantine or isolate.

The college has developed a comprehensive protocol for isolation and quarantine housing that includes staffing to support students in the transition to and while in isolation and quarantine, including meal delivery and cleaning procedures.

I understand that I will not be permitted to leave the designated quarantine or isolation space for the duration of my quarantine (14 days) or isolation (at least 10 days).

I understand that if any member of my “Residential Unit” is required to quarantine or isolate, I will be required to quarantine as a potential close contact.

I understand that required quarantine or isolation does not qualify me for a discount or refund of any Wheaton College tuition, room and board or other fees.

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Testing

I commit to participating in all onboarding, symptomatic, and ongoing testing as required by the college in order to be on campus.

I pledge to consent to any and all COVID-19 diagnostic testing advised by the Norton Medical Center, or any other medical provider or facility.

Contact Tracing

I commit to working with the Norton Board of Health, Wheaton College, or their designee to disclose potential close contacts in adherence with the Contact Tracing protocol.

I commit to using the CoVerified App and other screening tools as required by the college to submit a daily symptom tracker and track close contacts.

I pledge to be truthful about any unprotected close contact for more than 15 minutes starting from 2 days before my illness (symptom) onset (or, if I am asymptomatic, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time that I was placed into quarantine or isolation.

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General Health

I commit to following any and all health-related instructions/guidelines from the designated Wheaton-registered nurse on staff, who resides at the health center.

I pledge to contact Norton Medical Center if I am experiencing ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 and/or feel sick at all.

I understand that there are Doctors that are on call after-hours (508-286-5400), on weekends, and during holidays so if I am experiencing any symptoms during those days/times, I will not hesitate to contact Norton Medical Services for medical guidance.

Academic Expectations

I am aware that the academic calendar has been adjusted from previous years and that classes begin on Monday, August 24, and will transition to remote learning after November 24.

I understand that health and safety conditions on campus, locally, in Massachusetts, and/or nationally could require for the college to transition to remote operations and require all classes to be held virtually.

I commit to prioritizing the safety and education of my peers in both in-person and virtual courses.

I commit to not moving tables, chairs, or equipment within classrooms and common areas. These areas have been set based on updated capacity limits and configurations for proper social distancing.

I pledge to attend work or on-campus classes only if I am NOT exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if I have NOT recently been exposed to COVID-19, or if I have NOT been recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

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Common Areas

I understand that residence hall, suite, and house common areas and bathrooms are reserved solely for residents of that building, suite, or house, and I will not be permitted to use those spaces in a building or floor that is not my own.

I pledge to adhere to the posted occupancy limits for common areas that have been determined to best allow for proper social distancing.

I commit to not moving furniture from where it is placed in common rooms to ensure proper social distancing is maintained.

Guest Limitations

I understand that I will not be allowed to visit residence halls other than my own for at least the first two weeks of the semester. Expansion of guest privileges will be consistently evaluated and updated as conditions warrant.

I commit to not bringing guests from outside the Wheaton community in my residence hall at any time.

I understand that when and if guest privileges are expanded, I am allowed to have other members of the residential community as guests within my individual room or in my private bedroom area, but not in residential common areas of any hall, suite or house. Common areas must be left available and reserved for the residents of the building.

I pledge to comply with the maximum occupancy requirements of the residential room I am placed in.

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Possible Closure of Residence Halls

I understand that at any time Wheaton College may determine that it is in the College and community’s best interest to transition to remote operations and close the residence halls.

I commit to having an evacuation plan in place prior to my arrival on campus in the event that I will be required to vacate my residence.

Commuter Students

I pledge that as a commuter, I will adhere to the above protocols on campus and follow the same guidelines as I travel on public transportation, interact with those that I live, and with employers and co-workers at my jobs and internships.

I understand that I may be asked to self-administer a pre-arrival checklist before coming to campus, and remain remote at any sign of illness.

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Dining

I pledge to adhere to all traffic flow patterns, capacity limits, and social distancing measures implemented in the dining halls.

I commit to remaining 6 feet from others at all times, inside and out when waiting in line, in the servery, interacting with Aramark staff, walking in the dining room/area.

I commit to wearing a face covering at all times unless I am seated and eating.

I understand that seating is allowed for 30 minutes only for both indoor and outdoor seating, when seating becomes available. Furthermore, I understand that there will be no seating available in and around the designated dining spaces on campus for the first two weeks of the semester.

I commit to not moving tables and chairs within dining locations or at any outdoor seating areas.

I pledge to utilize hand sanitizing stations upon entrance to the building and to disinfect tables as appropriate.

I understand that Wheaton will provide meals through the arranged meal delivery service if I am being quarantined on campus.

I understand that it is essential that all residential students be on the college meal plan. If I am granted a rare waiver to the meal plan for medical or religious reasons, I will be asked to isolate or quarantine at home or off campus, including during the initial onboarding testing.

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Events

I commit, when/if given the opportunity to organize events and activities, that options are offered in both virtual and limited in-person capacity.

I understand that any in-person opportunities I plan must comply with federal, state, and local guidelines and must be approved in advance by Conference and Event Services.

I pledge to plan events that are accessible to all Wheaton students, whether they are living on campus, commuting, or receiving remote instruction.

I understand that if I intend to host an event that I will need to complete the COVID-19 Campus Events Safety Training.

I pledge to fill out a pre-registration form before attending all in-person events.

I pledge that if I intend to invite any non-Wheaton community members to campus for event purposes, I will get the proper approval to do so:

I understand that all approved visitors are expected to comply with college safety guidelines, including face coverings, symptom checks and social distancing.

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Travel Guidance

I understand that all college sponsored travel is suspended until further notice, including field trips for academics and co-curricular experiences.

I understand that Wheaton will be utilizing a travel registry to track college-sponsored travel related to students, faculty, and staff, when travel is permitted.

I understand that I am expected to limit my travel off of campus to shopping necessities, attending medical appointments, work, or other academic commitments.

I pledge to abide by current college policy regarding off-campus or out-of-state travel and subsequent requirements for self-quarantine.

I understand it is not the College’s responsibility to provide residence for me if I need to self-quarantine due to personal travel.

Updates to Policies and Guidance

I understand that mitigation strategies and policies are subject to change at any time based on developing circumstances and guidance.

I pledge to stay informed and educated about any changing requirements, including monitoring signage throughout campus regarding safety protocols.

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Student, Faculty, and Staff Conduct

I understand that failure to comply with this guidance will be handled through the Student Conduct process and may result in the loss of my housing or other privileges. Faculty compliance issues will be addressed by the Provost Office. Staff compliance issues will be addressed through Human Resources.

I understand that if I am removed from housing as a part of the Student Conduct process, I will not be refunded for any portion of my tuition, room and board or other fees.

I, ______________________, commit to take care of myself and my community by following the guidelines outlined above to ensure a safe and healthy return to campus and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Glossary of terms

Term Definition
Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • New gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms
  • New loss of taste or smell
Close Contact Anyone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 -15 minutes (with or without a mask/face covering) starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the person is isolated.
Residential Unit Roommates, students living together in a suite, and students living together in a house.
Onboarding Testing Upon return to campus, all students, faculty and staff are tested. Will require each student to undertake a 36-48 hour quarantine in one’s dorm room, with that varied length dependent upon the return of the test results.
Symptomatic Testing Community members with COVID-19 symptoms are tested,and if positive, isolated for at least 10 days, and contact tracing is done.
Ongoing Testing Community members are tested frequently to identify infected but asymptomatic individuals with the focus on our highest risk population (residential students, student-facing employees and community members with medical risk factors). Testing of all students and on-campus employees will occur once or twice a week.
Contact Tracing Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and their contacts (people who may have been exposed) and working with them to interrupt disease transmission. For COVID-19, this includes asking cases to isolate and contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 typically involves

  • Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone with whom they had close contact during the time they may have been infectious,
  • Notifying contacts of their potential exposure,
  • Referring contacts for testing,
  • Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and
  • Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period.

Necessary contact tracing will consist of a screening tool through the CoVerified App for community members to submit self-reports each day they are on campus.

Link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Maximum occupancy The maximum occupancy of a resident room with a capacity for one resident is 2, the maximum occupancy of a room with a capacity of 2 or more residents is 4. (Please note that adherence to the current guest policy is required regardless of the maximum occupancy of a resident room)
Evacuation plan A plan of how to leave Wheaton in the event of campus closing, including travel plans, transport and storing of belongings, and a plan of action that ensures personal and general community safety.
Self-isolation Self-isolation is the need/necessity to limit one’s exposure to others by staying home and taking necessary measures to mitigate the spread.
Self-quarantine Self-quarantine is the need/necessity to stay away from others  due to close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19  or if you are experiencing symptoms in order to to prevent the spread of the virus
CDC Guidelines Please refer to CDC guidelines.
On-campus Courses Courses that take place in person on campus in a traditional classroom setting; classroom spaces will be adjusted to follow social distancing protocols. If one of your classes is designated as “on-campus instruction” and you are not planning on living at Wheaton in the fall, please contact your professors.
Remote courses Courses that take place fully online; may be completely asynchronous or have synchronous virtual discussion elements.

 

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Additional Information and Resources

Norton Medical Center: 508-286-5400
Schedule a free telehealth appointment or receive medical guidance for concerning or worsening symptoms. After-hours care available through the On-Call Physician at 508-286-5400. Identify yourself as a Wheaton student and leave your name and call back number with the answering service and the covering physician will return your call.

The Counseling Center is the confidential and FREE mental health resource on campus for all students. To learn about services, check out the website, or give the office a call at 508-286-3905. Even when the Counseling Center is closed, or staff are unavailable, After Hours Mental Health Support is available by calling the front desk 508-286-3905 and following voicemail prompts to be connected to a clinician (24/7, available in languages other than English, and accessible from anywhere you are in the world).

If you have any needs, comments or suggestions for dining please reach out to orourke_scott@wheatoncollege.edu.

More helpful resources

Academic Advising advising@wheatoncollege.edu
Accessibility Services accessibility@wheatoncollege.edu
Career Services careerservices@wheatoncollege.edu
The Dean of Students Office deanofstudents@wheatoncollege.edu or 508-286-8218
Residential Life reslife@wheatoncollege.edu
Public Safety 508-286-3333
Title IX Office
Center for Social Justice and Community Impact and Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning

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