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COVID-19 Testing

 Where can students, faculty and staff be tested?

The University Health Center provides testing, the out of pocket cost is $55 or can be billed to insurance. Available by appointment only for all students, faculty and staff. Call 540-568-6178.

A weekly on-campus free testing clinic is available on the fifth floor of The Union (Warren Hall side, Room 502) for students from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Thursday and for faculty and staff from 8 – 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Limited spaces are available each week, sign up is required for both students and faculty/staff. For additional information see the off-campus FAQs or the faculty/staff FAQ page.

 Where can I get tested in Harrisonburg?

Students can get testing for COVID-19 at the University Health Center. The UHC will test patients with symptoms and those who had direct, close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Also, there are some doctors’ offices and Urgent Care clinics that can obtain specimens for testing. Consider checking with the local CVS pharmacies as there are two locations close to campus that are easily accessible.

You should expect a nose swab for an appropriate test. If you test positive somewhere off campus, please report your results to UHC.

 What is JMU’s plan for testing its students for COVID-19?

We are launching a mandatory surveillance testing program.

We are conducting entry testing as well as utilizing a mandatory surveillance testing program. For information regarding entry testing, see the Entry Testing FAQ.

In addition to the University Health Center’s existing testing capacity, JMU has contracted with a third-party testing company to test 300 non-symptomatic students per week who have not yet tested positive for COVID-19 to identify and get ahead of potential outbreaks of the virus. Testing is initially focused on on-campus students.

Dean of Students

 How do instructors find out if I missed class because I’m in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 outside of JMU UHC, you must self-report through the University Health Center website, using the “Self Reporting of COVID-19” button on the front page.

The Health Center will notify the Dean of Students Office (DoS) to provide documentation of your absence. Then the DoS will send you a message with a link and you will be able to go to this link and get an official notification letter that you can forward to your professors letting them know you have self-reported exposure or tested positive for COVID-19. The DoS is unable to excuse you from classes or assignments, and it is up to you to communicate directly with your instructors to determine how absences and assignments will be handled upon your return.

 Will the Dean of Students tell my instructors why I am missing class if I’m in isolation or quarantine at the university?

No.

They will only communicate that the student has self-reported to the University Health Center unless you specifically request that they communicate your diagnosis.

 If I let the Dean of Students know that I’ve tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19 and don’t attend class, will they notify my instructors for me?

You must report your exposure or positive test to the University Health Center rather than directly to the Dean of Students Office.

The Dean of Students Office (DoS) will send you a message with a link to an official notification letter that you can forward to your professors if you indicate you want this notification when you self-report with the University Health Center.  However, the DoS is unable to excuse absences or assignments. It is up to you and your instructors to determine how those absences and assignments will be handled upon their return.

 Can the Dean of Students tell my instructors that I have COVID-19 if I want them to?

Yes, but you must specifically make that request to the Dean of Students.

 Can the Dean of Students make my instructors excuse my absence?

No.

The Dean of Students Office is unable to make professors excuse absences. Students who self-report through the University Health Center will be given the option to have the Dean of Students notify their professors.  If students select this option, they will be sent a message with a link and an official notification letter they can forward to their professors. It is important for students to communicate with their professors as soon as possible.

 I’m a graduate student. Should I work with the Dean of Student’s office?

Yes!

All students can work with the Dean of Students office.

Dining

 How has on-campus dining changed to accommodate physical distancing?

Dining locations require students to display the LiveSafe app for entry. The app must be current for the date and display green. Dining locations are actively monitored to maintain occupancy at a level that allows for social distancing. To-Go meals have been added as a temporary option in both residential dining rooms (E-Hall and D-Hall). To accommodate students who wish to dine-in, indoor seating was reduced to allow for appropriate social distancing as defined by the Virginia Department of Health. To provide additional access to students D-Hall is now open 7am – 8pm M-F and 10am – 8pm weekends, continuously. All guests are required to wear facial coverings in dining locations except when seated and actively eating or drinking.  Some locations that do not allow for safe social distancing have been closed, have been modified or have eliminated indoor seating. All food stations are manned and all food item are served except for prepackaged items. All locations are laid out and marked so students understand how to queue and physically distance within the space. Plexiglass barriers have also been implemented at cashier stations and other areas where person-to-person interaction is frequent.

 My son/daughter has food allergies, can JMU accommodate them?

Yes.

We have options for food that is made without the top 8 most common food allergens—egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, soy and wheat. We maintain an allergen free pantry for student use at D-Hall.  Dining has a dietician on staff, Gillian Kelly, and we strongly encourage students who need nutritional assistance to contact her (540-568-5731, kelly-gillian@aramark.com).

 How do students isolated/quarantine in an off-campus hotel get meals?

  • Meals will be delivered.
  • Lunch will be delivered between late morning and early afternoon each day.
  • Dinner will be delivered along with a morning pack between late afternoon and early evening each day. The morning pack will include some shelf-stable breakfast options.

 How do students isolated/quarantine on or near campus get meals?

  • Dining Services has established a Quarantine Express Pick-Up Meal Service from Lakeside Café located on the ground floor of the College of Business as well as Jemmy’s Market/Convenience Store at E-Hall.
  • Lakeside Café’s operating hours are 11:00am-3:00pm.
  • Jemmy’s Market’s operating hours are 3:00pm-7:00pm.
  • Combined, these hours will allow for continuous service for your convenience from 11:00am-7:00pm.
  • There will be a variety of meal options available including Heat and Serve Entrees, Sandwiches, Sides, Desserts, Breakfast Options and Beverages.
  • Please feel free to take what you need, and feel free to take Breakfast Items for the next day.
  • Be sure to wear your mask the entire time that you are outside of your room, and please be sure to properly social distance.
It is important to remember that ONLY those in QUARANTINE are to use the "Quarantine Express Pick-Up Meal Service." Students in Isolation will receive delivered meals daily and should not be leaving their designated isolation building.
Extracurricular Activities

 I am concerned over students hosting parties and large gatherings, how will JMU prevent students from doing this, particularly Greek Life?

We will continue to educate our students to help explain this concern. In addition, we will be using many of our student leaders to help set the expectations for behavior. Finally, we will not allow our student organizations to host events off-campus and will address those that break this rule through our student and organizational conduct process. Executive Order 72 directs Virginia Residents to stay at home between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. and lowers the limit on social gatherings from 25 people to 10 people.

 How will my son/daughter be able to connect with other students safely in the fall?

There will be a variety of options for students to socialize safely.

Events will continue to be offered virtually, in-person and in hybrid formats so students can meet new people and get involved through whatever format they are most comfortable with at this time.

Event listings can be found on the Master Calendar, TV screens on campus and on social media pages of hosting departments/organizations.

Master Calendar: https://ems.jmu.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx

 Will fraternity and sorority recruitment and events be canceled to help stem gathering situations?

No, but there are plans, processes, and precautions in place to minimize risk.

On page seven of the Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan, Fraternity and Sorority Activities are outlined with the need for students to not gather in large groups for social events and the precautions that will be put in place for our Fraternity & Sorority Life community. We take our students safety very seriously, especially during this public health crisis of COVID-19. For updated Fraternity and Sorority Life information: https://info.jmu.edu/fsl/covid-19/

 I am on exec for a club and am trying to figure out the situation regarding holding club events for our general members. Can you help?

Yes.

We will be working with our student organizations in the planning/implementation of their events to make sure they follow health and safety guidelines while at the same time, allowing students to feel engaged. Please review the Return to Campus Protocol for Student Orgs as you begin planning organization activities and email any specific questions to beinvolved@jmu.edu!

 Will there be restrictions on program and event sizes?

Yes.

Event guidelines are shared on the Event Management page as well as in the Return to Campus Protocol for Student Orgs.

Health Center

 How will you guarantee the safety of students who must go to visit the Health Center?

We cannot provide any guarantees, but there are several ways in which we will significantly minimize risk to students who visit the UHC.

We are providing a mixture of telehealth and in-person delivery, reserving face-to-face meetings only when medically required or requested by the student. Additionally, for students coming in with symptoms we are directing them to a separate entrance where they are isolated from other students in a designated Respiratory Clinic. All students are required to wear a mask while in the health center and all health center employees they interact with will also be wearing a face mask.

 Am I able to get the medical information of our student?

Only with a signed FERPA waiver form and your student's permission for each visit to the Health Center.

If you are concerned about complete information about your student from within the university you and your student will need to sign a FERPA waiver form. FERPA is a federal law that protects students’ right to privacy with their educational records within a university. This can be accessed through the Registrar. One note: each time a student visits the University Health Center they are asked who the UHC can share information with about that visit. This can be different for each visit and will supersede any other forms.

 Is student health services ready to take care of our students? What is the bed capacity at the local hospital?

Yes, the university is prepared to provide outpatient medical care for our students as needed.

This care includes telemedicine services, in-person exams and COVID-19 testing. As the majority of students will have mild to moderate symptoms, we also provide self-care instructions to students who can manage their care without medical intervention. We are working closely with Sentara RMH (our local hospital) to ensure care for our students and monitor hospital capacity. A member of Sentara Leadership is part of our COVID-19 Response Team that meets weekly.

Sentara RMH Medical Center is readily capable of taking care of our community of over 200,000 residents which includes JMU students when school is in session. JMU students comprise only a small portion of the overall service area they serve, and they don't anticipate any issues being able to provide quality care to anyone in need.

Additionally, due to the pandemic, Sentara RMH Medical Center has received additional bed capacity from the state—should it be needed—to care for patients during any surges in the future. Sentara RMH Medical Center has plans in place and continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and is ready to respond to any change in the pattern of the virus that may be seen in the coming months.

On/Off-Campus Living

 Where are you quarantining students living on-campus who test positive for COVID-19?

We have residence halls reserved specifically for quarantining and isolating students related to COVID-19. In addition, the university has contracted with local hotels to provide quarantine space for students who are awaiting test results or those unable to go home to complete the full quarantine.

 If a student tests positive, what is the protocol for their roommates/suitemates?

Roommates will need to quarantine for 14 days. For suitemates, it depends.

The University Health Center and the Virginia Department of Health will perform contact tracing to identify "close contacts" of a positive COVID-19 case. If someone is identified as a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, then they will quarantine for 14 days.

Roommates will always be considered a close contact. Suitemates may as well which may result in this group quarantining together depending on the living situation.

 Are we still allowed to have guest spend the night during spring semester?

No.

For the Spring 2021 semester, our residence halls' building access will be restricted to the individuals that live there based on recommendations from the CDC and Virginia Department of Health. This will mean that overnight guests will not be allowed in the residence halls for the upcoming semester.

 What process, if any, is being used to monitor visitors (friends and family) who are on campus throughout the fall semester?

RAs will address this as they see it.

We are relying on students to follow the policy just like they are expected to follow all of the COVID guidelines. We are also encouraging residents to hold each other accountable as well, whether that is by addressing the situation themselves or notifying hall staff.

 What considerations should be made for students living in off-campus housing?

Public Transportation

 How are the on-campus buses changing to accommodate the new class schedule?

An 18-passenger limit will be in effect for HDPT transit buses. Designated seating will encourage physical distancing. Additionally, we have increased the number of buses to help alleviate the impact of lower ridership per bus.

 With classes ending close to 10pm, how can we reliably get home safely at night?

The bus schedule will change to accommodate the later class time. Additionally, we also have our campus police, the blue-light system, and the LiveSafe app (which can be used to monitor your friends as they travel to a destination) for those who feel uncomfortable traveling at night.

Student Expectations

 How long should students be quarantining before coming to JMU?

Students will be expected to quarantine for 8 days prior to their arrival on campus.

 How can you expect students to follow the rules? I am confident in myself but I do not trust other JMU students to successfully keep everyone else safe.

While personal accountability is heavily emphasized, we also expect that our students will hold each other accountable as well. When it comes to situations like this, it will be largely up to the students to keep the community safe.

For those who choose to not take the proper precautions, we will be counting on students like yourself to report these individuals so that we can respond accordingly. To support this, we will be requiring multiple trainings online regarding proper health and safety during this time so that students can feel confident knowing how they can best keep everyone around them healthy.

Additionally, our policies regarding masks and social distancing will be strictly enforced this fall, and students who fail to do their part in keeping the community safe will be sent to our Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practice.

Miscellaneous

 Are first-year students allowed to have cars given the circumstances?

Spring 2021 parking permits will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis by first year residents beginning January 12, 2021. This option is being made available for the Spring 2021 semester only, as an exception to the regulation normally disallowing freshmen from parking vehicles on campus. The cost of a Spring 2021 semester permit will be $150.00.

Please see https://www.jmu.edu/parking/freshmen-parking-info.shtml for more information.

 What is the best place for a student to quarantine – home or at school?

The answer is, it depends on the situation. Since quarantine means having no physical contact with others it can be very lonely. In many cases students would rather be home where they can be taken care of by family in familiar, comfortable surroundings (although they still need to follow the safety protocols like distancing and wearing a mask). In other cases, it may put a family member at risk or traveling is inconvenient so staying here is the best option.

If they test positive for COVID-19, it is important for them to isolate where they are. If at home, stay there. If here at JMU, stay here. Isolation housing is available for students who live on campus. An exception is if they test positive during entry testing, students are asked to return home to complete their isolation period. Students who live off campus should stay there and limit their exposure to roommates and other people, wear a mask when they need to leave their room and clean anything that they came in contact with.

 Who do I contact for exceptions to mask-wearing based on religious beliefs?

There will not be an exception for religious belief. If you have a question or concern, please reach out to AVP Marsha Mays-Bernard.

Useful Resources

 Useful links and departmental contact information

Spring 2021 Return to Campus Plan
https://www.jmu.edu/stop-the-spread/return-2021-spring.shtml

Office of Disability Services
https://www.jmu.edu/ods/index.shtml
disability-scvs@jmu.edu
(540) 568-6705

Office of Residence Life
https://www.jmu.edu/orl/index.shtml
res-life@jmu.edu
(540) 568-4463

Office of the Registrar
https://www.jmu.edu/registrar/
registrar@jmu.edu
(540)-640-6821

Center for Global Engagement- International Student and Scholars Services
https://www.jmu.edu/global/
isss@jmu.edu
(540) 568-6119

Student Activities & Involvement
https://info.jmu.edu/studentactivities/
beinvolved@jmu.edu
540-568-8157

University Recreation
https://www.jmu.edu/recreation/
UREC's COVID-19 Plan FAQ
urec@jmu.edu
540-568-8732 (540-JMU-UREC)

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