COVID Updates, October 29, 2021: COVID Protocols and Masks, Reporting, and Attendance
The indoor mask requirement expires October 29, 2021.
TCAT Dickson desires that our students be able to learn in the environment that is best for them, whether that is in-person in a classroom, in virtual classes online, or a hybrid combination of the two. We also want our students to be as safe and healthy as possible. It is why we have worked hard in recent years to upgrade campus safety.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities agree that the best ways to keep our campus communities healthy for in-person learning are vaccinations and proper masking indoors where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Each TBR institution has been encouraged to determine if mask wearing is the appropriate response for their campuses based on local conditions, and supports our actions for the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and our broader communities.
Currently, the Covid rates for all campuses has been on the decline; therefore, the mask mandate is expiring on October 29, 2021. Should an increase in COVID-19 numbers occur within our service area, or based on guidance from the CDC, it is possible to return to previous COVID-19 protocols, reporting, and attendance policies.
COVID-19 Protocols and Masks
In addition to social distancing and washing hands frequently, masks are currently required in all TCAT Dickson buildings for all persons regardless of vaccination status. As previously implemented, masks will be encouraged while indoors except when one is in a private office, when actively eating or drinking, or if safety precludes wearing a mask as in the case of wearing a welding hood. Masks will not be encouraged outdoors but students are to continue to observe social distancing guidelines.
Students and employees will not be completing a daily self-assessment but each are required to remain at home if they are feeling ill, have been diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual. Individuals with COVID symptoms are encouraged to get tested.
The TCAT Dickson attendance policy is returning to the use of a hybrid option for students that are COVID positive or who have been contact traced. Students will be required to work online daily during their normally scheduled hours of attendance and must engage with faculty members on a daily basis. Students who do not attend classes in this manner will be counted absent.
TCAT continues to track COVID cases for students and employees. Individuals that are ill with COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, or have been contact traced, must be reported to the TCAT COVID office for guidance on how to attend classes virtually and guidelines related to a return date.
Screening and Notification Process
All instructors and supervisors are to utilize the following process in determining how to handle a Covid notification from a student or employee:
1. Instruct the student or employee to stay home or in their vehicle until otherwise notified.
2. Have the student or employee contact Marylin.Estes@tcatdickson.edu or Cynthia.Garland@tcatdickson.edu, or by phone at (615) 395-5846.
3. The COVID-19 office staff will utilize the most current guidelines to assess the personal symptoms/testing and complete a screening form to determine if that individual must isolate or quarantine, and if so, for how long.
4. The screening result will be relayed back to the instructor and student; or the supervisor and employee.
Common Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
- Common Signs and Symptoms
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Instructors will provide detailed guidance to students on how social distancing occurs in their classrooms and labs. Our educational goal is for students to continue working toward graduation by gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the workplace. To accomplish this, interaction with the faculty is very important so that students can demonstrate critical thinking and have discussions with the instructor.
TCAT Dickson & Clarksville Campus Safe Community Pledge
TCAT Dickson & Clarksville Campus believes strongly in the concept of education as a method for encouraging and maintaining a supportive and safe community. Each student, faculty, and staff member play an integral part in supporting core principles to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. While the institution can do its part in minimizing risk on campus, everyone must do their part to support efforts to minimize exposure and spread to peers and colleagues. By engaging in the on-campus community of the institution, you recognize all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
Students, faculty, and staff can help keep our community healthy by being mindful of their actions and following the institutional/public health and safety protocols. As such, we ask each individual to pledge to take responsibility for your own health and help stop the spread of the COVID-19 by agreeing to the following pledge:
I understand I have a part to play in the fight against COVID-19 and commit to being a responsible member of the campus community. I pledge to uphold the TCAT Dickson & Clarksville Campus Safe Community Pledge every day by demonstrating personal integrity, respecting others, and supporting my college and local community by:
- Following institutional/public health guidelines designed to protect myself and others
- Limiting the size of gatherings in social situations in accordance with public health guidelines
- Maintaining social distancing
- Protecting myself and others in areas of campus and where distancing isn’t possible
- Washing my hands frequently
- Staying home if sick or if I have symptoms of COVID-19
- Reporting to school officials if I have tested positive for COVID-19
- Wearing an appropriate face mask and other protective equipment as directed by the college
- Looking out for others and encourage their faithful commitment to the pledge
Precautions for Returning to Campus
The following precautions are being implemented as part of the college’s plan for return to campus.
Screen all people (Students, Staff and Visitors) coming to campus for Covid-19 symptoms with the following questions:
o Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
o Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or stomach symptoms?
o Have you had a fever of 100.4 or greater in the last 48 hours?
o Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
o Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
All individuals should have temperatures checked if unsure about having a fever. The screening questionnaire is posted on entrance and classroom doors. Healthy students should report directly to their classroom where the screening questionnaire will be provided in writing for confirmation.
If a person becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately. Students who are awaiting rides to their residence or are awaiting medical care must be taken to a location to isolate from others. Touchless thermometers are available in or near these locations.
- Dickson Campus: The old Financial Aid Office next to the student break room.
- Clarksville Campus: The administration office to the left of the Campus Coordinator’s office.
- Franklin Campus: The classroom or lab, whichever is not currently in use.
- AMC Campus: The front office space between the lobby and breakroom.
Additional TCAT Guidance
- Prohibits congregating in break rooms, restrooms, and other common areas and limits capacity of these spaces to permit social distancing of at least 6 feet.
- Perform routine cleaning and disinfecting of campus spaces daily or upon completion of use.
- Employees or students who are being tested for COVID-19 are to inform their supervisor or instructor. Administration will work individually with each case to determine the next steps in terms of continuing any essential work from home should the individual desire to do so.
- In the case of employees or students who report a positive test result, administration will work to perform contact tracing and notification according to the current recommendations of CDC, the Tennessee Health Department, and any other related emergency agency guidance.
Preventing COVID-19 on Campus
Preparation is the key to reducing the impact of COVID-19 upon your campus. The following steps should be taken to properly care for students and staff:
TCAT Dickson is utilizing the following supplies:
• Touchless thermometers
• Hand sanitizer (minimum 60% alcohol)
• Disinfecting wipes and other cleaning and disinfecting supplies
• Cloth face coverings for students and staff
TCAT Dickson is following these environmental preparations:
• Posting signage to communicate and remind students, staff and visitors of policies and procedures
• Arranging classroom seating to permit physical distancing
• Closing water fountains
• Making hand sanitizer readily available for use by staff and students
• Considering how to best limit crowding in hallways as students move from one area of a building to another
• Determining schedules for the regular cleaning and disinfection of shared equipment, workstations, restrooms and high-touch surfaces throughout the day
• Eliminating high-touch surfaces, where possible
• Utilizing outdoor spaces when possible
Questions Pertaining to Campus Reopening
Students, employees, or community persons with comments and concerns may send them to TCAT administration at https://tcatdickson.edu/about/contact-us .
TBR Student Resource Guide (Google Doc): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MscOfKBI5sLjeWfsMvDHhzIiVj7xOocWuSta...
Student Health and Wellbeing: TCAT Dickson cares about the physical and mental health of its students. For additional information on resources provided for access to virtual therapy or access can learn more at: https://www.tcatdickson.edu/current-students/student-health-and-wellbeing
Tennessee has a community service helpline with trained volunteers available to help students locate services within their area. Services include Housing and Utilities, Food, Transportation, Legal, etc. Students can access this resource in the following ways: Web; Text 898-211, enter zipcode; or Call 2-1-1.
Charter Internet: Free broadband and wifi for 60 days for students do who not already have an account. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395.
Comcast Internet: Comcast’s is offering its Internet Essentials service to those households eligible for public-assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI. Applicants can visit internetessentials.com to enroll in the program; they may also call (855) 846-8376 for English or 855-765-6995 for Spanish.
AT&T Internet: All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. AT&T has expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, AT&T is offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.
Tennessee Pledge Guidelines for Higher Education - https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/governorsoffice-documents/covid-19-ass...
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has launched a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line in partnership with the Tennessee Poison Center. The number is 877-857-2945 and is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT.
People with concerns about their health should contact their health care providers. Tennessee Department of Health has additional information available at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has updated information and guidance available online and can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.