Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Assumptions & Approaches

  • The risk of infection will not be zero. There will continue to be new positive cases. Therefore, mitigation strategies will remain a mainstay of our plan.
  • Physical distancing will continue to be required until a vaccine is developed and widely administered.
  • There may be subsequent mass outbreaks which will necessitate future curtailment of campus operations, so agility and flexibility in planning will be essential.
  • A vaccine will not be available for widespread use for at least twelve to eighteen months.
  • Comprehensive education will be required for employees and students to assure them of the safety and appropriateness of their return.
  • We will begin transition back to normal campus presence or operations when the following occurs or is in place:
    • a plan approved by the Executive Management Team (EMT);
    • sufficient resources are in place to comply with all state and CDC guidelines for personal protection and prevention;
    • sufficient communication has occurred to inform and educate members of the campus community on the plan, any requirements for personal protection and prevention, and available resources for assistance; and
    • attributes of a safe campus are met.
  • Because there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a safe and prepared campus that mitigates risk of infection and spread as much as possible, the following are considered attributes of campus readiness for planning purposes:
  • College deans will continue to coordinate the management of their curricula to allow whatever combination of on-campus and virtual education is necessary to optimize the health and safety of all involved. The deans are advised to have in place contingency plans in the event that a new pandemic surge necessitates returning to fully virtual education.
  • Any employee or student who is ill is directed to remain home.
  • Full compliance with all CDC recommendations for personal protection, prevention, and hygiene, along with sufficient supplies to support these activities for all employees and students.
  • Regular cleaning of all building interiors using an approved cleaning agent known to be effective against COVID-19. Cleaning procedures will comply with all CDC recommendations.
  • Increased cleaning frequency of high touch, high volume areas. This includes increased cleaning of restrooms and ensuring adequate supplies of soap and towels.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are in place in high volume, high touch areas, near building entrances and throughout campus, and are checked routinely for supply adequacy.
  • Signage is deployed in high volume areas and/or restrooms on proper hand cleaning and respiratory etiquette.
  • Common areas, eating areas, lounges, classrooms, and other congregating areas have furniture arranged to promote physical distancing with signage to not move furniture. The placement of furniture is meant to be sustained and enforced.
  • Laboratories, both research and instructional, have increased surface and equipment cleaning along with provisions to maintain physical distancing. This will be the responsibility of the research team.
  • Mental health services are readily available to all eligible students via tele-counseling with counselors remote from campus.   New client intakes are being done by counselors on campus utilizing tele-counseling to students who are remote.
  • All doors that can be open will remain open. All others will have their door handles cleaned on a frequent, regular basis.
  • Physical distancing is preserved in all locations.
  • Gatherings will comply with all state and CDC guidelines.
  • A process to rapidly identify and quarantine those in contact with newly diagnosed cases is in place.
  • Capability exists to perform rapid campus close contact analysis and identification and is used for all new cases. There is ongoing dialogue with county public health officials in these efforts.
  • There are campus communication efforts in place, which include a regular cadence of campus updates via Zoom which are later posted on the NEOMED Coronavirus Information website.
  • Criteria are identified to inform and guide future decisions about campus operations and/or curtailment in the event of future outbreaks.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Northeast Ohio Medical University