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General Health Protocols

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These protocols are in place for the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. Following health protocols is everyone’s responsibility and creates a caring environment where we are all doing our part to help keep our community healthy. We will provide more details on the application of these protocols in the near future. 

NOTE: Much of this information is applicable for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Watch for updated information for Summer and Fall 2021 coming soon! 

What is the required reporting before returning to campus for summer 2021 term?

Students who return to on-campus classes or living in the summer must submit one of the following in MedProctor before returning to campus in the summer:

  • proof of completing the required series of COVID-19 vaccinations (i.e., two doses for Moderna and Pfizer or one dose for Johnson and Johnson) at least two weeks before returning to campus, 
  • a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within five days prior to moving into the dorm or attending any on-campus classes, or
  • evidence of a positive COVID-19 test result within the last 90 days but before the last 14 days prior to returning to campus.

Students who present documentation for a complete vaccination series will not be required to quarantine after exposure to a COVID-19 positive case (unless they are exhibiting symptoms) and will not be included in any random surveillance testing throughout the semester. 

Students who present proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test and those who are more than 90 days past a positive COVID-19 test result may be required to participate in university COVID-19 surveillance testing throughout the semester and will not be allowed to be on campus following an exposure to a positive COVID-19 case for the time period specified by the Health Center. 

A PCR COVID-19 test requires submission of the sample to a certified laboratory for analysis and the results typically take between 24-72 hours. Please note that this is not a “rapid point of care” test where results are available within an hour or so. The PCR COVID-19 test is the most reliable test to diagnose positive cases where individuals are asymptomatic. While results are typically provided within 24-72 hours, increased testing in areas may cause additional and unexpected delays in receiving test results. Students should seek testing at their home location prior to returning to campus. This test is available at various COVID-19 testing locations sponsored by public health departments in your home counties or state and at private medical facilities. Some testing sites have a fee for testing. Students living in Tennessee can locate testing sites here prior to returning to campus. Students should prepare for any unexpected delays in their COVID-19 test results and make plans to study from home until their PCR COVID-19 test result is received. 

After taking the PCR COVID-19 test and while awaiting the test results, students and employees should take additional precautions to limit their exposure to others and reduce their activities to lessen the likelihood of an exposure after taking the test. 

Students should submit proof of their vaccination, negative PCR COVID-19 test results or positive COVID-19 test through Med+Proctor using their established student account before they return to campus for summer. Click here for step-by-step instructions for uploading information to Med+Proctor. Students who live in the dorm should also bring proof with them and present it to their Residence Hall Director before returning to their dorm.

Example Testing Schedule for Summer Return

If this is your anticipated arrival date on campus... ...then take your PCR COVID-19 test on or after this date.  
 Monday, May 10, 2021  Wednesday, May 5, 2021
 Tuesday, May 11, 2021  Thursday, May 6, 2021
 Wednesday, May 12, 2021  Friday, May 7, 2021

Please follow this same calendar timing for any initial return to campus for classes or other events throughout the summer term.

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What are the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine? 

The Lipscomb University Health Center has been certified as a leading facility to receive and distribute the COVID-19 vaccination series. University students over 18, faculty and staff can contact the health center to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. Students, faculty and staff are strongly recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccination to be able to fully engage in in-person activities on campus. 

The benefits from being vaccinated assist in mitigating the virus to protect the health of our community and will limit disruptions to day-to-day activities. Safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 help reduce negative effects from the coronavirus pandemic. The vaccines:

  • help fewer people be infected.
  • lower the number of people who have to be cared for in the hospital.
  • reduce the long-term effects of COVID-19.
  • lower the number of deaths from COVID-19.

Read more information about the COVID-19 vaccine here

The institution reserves the right to institute surveillance testing at any time for all or for any group or segment of the Lipscomb community. The CDC has provided guidelines for fully vaccinated asymptomatic individuals here that includes exemption from screening tests, if feasible. Additionally, students, faculty and staff who require isolation or quarantine will be required to do so off campus. 

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What COVID-19 testing is available in the Lipscomb University Health Center?

The ability to test and trace individuals who have been infected by COVID-19 is key to containing the spread of the virus on campus. We have created internal capabilities to rapidly assess, sample and test any student, faculty or staff member reporting COVID-19 symptoms and those identified through clinically relevant contact tracing. Testing protocols are established in conjunction with CDC guidelines. 

  • Rapid Point of Care Testing. The Lipscomb University Health Center has the ability to conduct rapid point of care COVID-19 testing, which provides timely, same day results, usually within one hour or less. This allows LUHC staff to more quickly identify those who are sick and conduct contact tracing to more rapidly curtail the spread of the virus. 
  • PCR Testing. The Lipscomb University Health Center has partnerships with several area laboratories that are available to process and analyze COVID-19 tests. Results from these tests are usually available between 18-48 hours.  

For each COVID-19 case presented, the LUHC staff determine the testing protocols needed which may include the proactive testing of roommates, screening of athletic teams, closely monitoring selected sites and surveillance testing throughout the semester. 

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Will the school administer the COVID-19 vaccine? If so, will it be required?

Lipscomb University Health Center has been certified as a leading facility to receive and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. University students over 18, faculty and staff can contact the health center at 615.966.6304 to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. Students, faculty and staff are strongly recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccination to be able to fully engage in in-person activities on campus.

Read more information about the COVID-19 vaccine here

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What general health protocols are expected?

These protocols are in place for the health, safety and wellbeing of our community. Following health protocols is everyone’s responsibility and creates a caring environment where we are all doing our part to help keep our community healthy. In the summer and fall semesters we will continue to follow the basic COVID-19 protocols outlined below.

  • Mask/Face Covering. Wear a mask or face covering at all times on campus when indoors. A mask is not required when outdoors but maintaining an appropriate physical distance is encouraged, especially when with individuals not from one's immediate family. This helps to protect others from individuals who may be unaware of their own infection with the virus. See more detailed guidelines in the next question below
  • Physical Distancing. The CDC encourages keeping at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others. Physical distancing is especially important with individuals who are at high risk for the COVID-19 illness.

    We know that at some level this is a personal decision and as we are all adults in the Lipscomb University community, we will each have to make our own decisions when we are in our “own spaces.” However, to protect others, we will ask everyone to follow the proper physical distancing guidelines in public spaces where they are posted and when it is possible. 
  • Hand Washing. We are encouraging all members of the Lipscomb community to frequently wash their hands with soap and water. We have also installed numerous hand sanitizer stations at the entrance to most buildings. Please feel free to use these stations frequently. 
  • Enhanced Sanitization. Through our excellent Service Operations team, we will have more frequent and enhanced sanitization of public spaces and frequently touched surfaces including both an increase in cleaning frequency and use of enriched cleaning products and enhanced cleaning procedures.
  • Monitor Your Own Health. Continue to monitor your own health and note any abnormal findings to the Report An Illness reporting system.
  • Stay Home. When you are sick or exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms stay home to protect your health and the health of others. 
  • Report An Illness. When you are sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms Report An Illness promptly. Failure to adhere to any requirement may result in disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or dismissal for students and termination of employment for employees, depending on the facts and circumstances. Student violations will be reported to Tasha Coleman, director of community standards, and will be processed in accordance with the Student Handbook. Employee violations will be reported to their supervisor and will be processed in accordance with the Employee Handbook. 
  • LipscombREADY App. You will be receiving information soon regarding a new app entitled LipscombREADY that is already available for download through the App Store. The LipscombREADY app will be a vital part of our community’s risk management and support resources. It will replace the current Bison Alert texting system for emergency notifications and will be means to quickly access many resources including emergency contacts, requesting assistance, reporting an incident and accessing information such as student support services and campus maps. In addition, we will be adding information regarding overall health and safety resources pertaining specifically to COVID-19 as well as Lipscomb’s guidelines and protocols. 

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Will I have to wear a mask or face covering? 

Medical experts have emphasized that wearing a face covering is a key preventative measure in reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Face coverings should fit securely on the face and cover the nose and mouth. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have relied on our best judgement, advice from medical professionals and required guidelines from various governmental authorities, including the CDC and Metro Public Health Department, to inform our COVID-19 guidelines and policies to protect the wellbeing of our community. 

Our current and future policies will be informed by the percentage of vaccination within our community which will determine our ability to return to less restrictive gatherings, activities and other policies, such as mask requirements. 

Here are the current face covering guidelines:

  • Children 5 and Under: Face coverings are not required for children ages five and under.
  • Everyone Outdoors: Face coverings are not required when outdoors. Physical distancing is encouraged in these instances, especially when not with individuals from one’s immediate family.
  • Everyone Indoors: Face coverings are required indoors. Exceptions include:
    • Face coverings may be removed while actively eating and drinking.
    • Face coverings may be removed when alone indoors. This includes private offices, dorm rooms or suites. 
    • Face coverings may be removed in small group gatherings of fully vaccinated individuals.
    • Face coverings may be removed when engaged in vigorous exercise while indoors and maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet. 

This policy applies to off-site events and leased building space, as well as on Lipscomb University campus, both indoors and outdoors. Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risks to the wearers and those around them according to both CDC and ACHA guidance. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. For more detailed information, please refer to the Lipscomb Face Mask Policy

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What do I do if I have a fever or show other COVID-19 illness symptoms?

Stay home or in your dorm room if you are sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever of 100°F or higher, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new GI symptoms and new loss of taste or smell). Report your illness to the medical clinic. Students report their illness to their RA/HRA and employees report to their supervisor. The Office of Health and Wellness is in the process of creating an App that will be used to report any illness symptoms so they can monitor the health and well-being of our campus community.

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What do I do if I come in contact with a person who is later diagnosed with COVID-19?

  • Direct Contact with a Positive COVID-19 Case. Following contact tracing protocols, if you have been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and are NOT fully vaccinated, you need to report your exposure to the Health Center and consult a medical professional or the Lipscomb Health Center for testing. You may be isolated for up to 14 days; 20 days for those who are immunocompromised. Report an Illness
    • Quarantine/Self-Isolation. Following contact tracing guidelines, Health Center staff will determine if quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the date of the last exposure to the positive individual is required. If no symptoms appear within that period, you may return to normal activities after the 10-day period. Those who are immunocompromised may return to normal activities after a 20-day period.
  • Report. Report any positive COVID-19 tests or exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case to the Lipscomb Health Center using the Report an Illness link.
    • Students Report. Students who are in self-isolation should report their status to the student care coordinator in the Office of Student Wellbeing by emailing studentlife@lipscomb.edu as well as to EACH of their instructors to request remote learning options. 
    • Employees Report. Employees who are in self-isolation should report their status to their supervisor and contact the Office of Human Resources by emailing hr@lipscomb.edu or contacting Lynn Chappin at 615.966.7015. 

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What do I do if I have to self-isolate or quarantine?

The quick identification and isolation of those with positive cases and quarantining of those who have been exposed to someone with an active COVID-19 case are essential in minimizing the spread of the virus on campus and will help us continue to manage and minimize its spread successfully. As we did during the fall 2020 semester we will continue to follow CDC guidelines, which requires students and employees to complete an appropriate self-isolation period under the following circumstances.

  • Isolation Period. Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to complete an isolation period for a minimum of 10 days and must be fever free for 24 hours before being approved to return to campus. Students must make arrangements to complete this isolation period off campus. There will be limited space on campus for students who need a few hours to make travel arrangements to transition to their planned off campus location. 
  • Quarantine Period. Students and employees who have not completed the COVID-19 vaccination series or had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days and who were in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case for a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period are recommended to complete a 14-day quarantine period and will be required to complete a quarantine period for a minimum of 10 days without any symptoms reported during the quarantine period. “Close contact” is defined as being within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person, with or without a mask, for a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. Students must make arrangements to complete this quarantine period off campus. There will be limited space on campus for students who need a few hours to make travel arrangements to transition to their planned off campus location.
  • Any student or employee who has received a COVID-19 vaccination and who is not exhibiting symptoms will not be required to complete the quarantine period if exposed to an individual who has tested positive for the virus. Documentation of vaccination is required. 
  • Students who live on campus will be required to have a viable plan for isolation or quarantine in off-campus locations as there will be very limited on-campus options available.  

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What are the general guidelines for a COVID-19 positive case? 

When positive cases happen in our community, you can be assured that we have tested and verified guidelines and procedures to follow that everyone in the community can count on. These guidelines and procedures are based on advice and guidance from the CDC, the State of Tennessee and medical experts with whom we consult in matters such as this. We are using the best guidance available to protect our students and employees! So, when a positive COVID-19 case is identified within our community, we have developed guidelines to follow in ALL cases. 

  • Symptoms Identified. Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home, consult a medical professional and be tested for COVID-19. Students and employees may contact the Lipscomb Health Center for a COVID-19 test. The COVID-19 test in the Health Center provides a very quick response, usually within one hour. To contact the Lipscomb Health Center, email healthservices@lipscomb.edu or call 615.966.6304.
  • Medical Care. The Lipscomb Health Center is available to any student experiencing any illness symptoms and will provide appropriate medical care and supplies. Students who need more extensive medical care than can be provided by the Health Center will be referred to a local hospital or other medical facility.
  • Positive COVID-19 Test. Any employee or student who receives a positive COVID-19 test must report the results to the Lipscomb Health Center. Report an Illness
    • Quarantine/Self-Isolation. Any person who tests positive with COVID-19 must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days and must be asymptomatic (no symptoms) for 24-hours prior to ending isolation.
    • Students. Before returning to normal community activities, students must receive an official note of clearance from their medical professional or the Health Center. 
    • Employees. Employees may return to work once cleared through the Office of Human Resources.  
  • Contact Tracing. The LUHC staff have been certified by Johns Hopkins University Contact Tracing Course to proactively and accurately trace contacts of those who test positive for the virus through a combination of in-person interviews and technology. When a person in the Lipscomb community (student or employee) tests positive for COVID-19, the Lipscomb Health Center will conduct contact tracing to identify any person within the Lipscomb community who may have been in contact with the positive COVID-19 case. Contract tracing goes back 48 hours from when symptoms were first exhibited,  is done in compliance with HIPAA and helps to ensure a safer environment within our Lipscomb community. In addition, public health officials will contact the individual with the positive case and will ask about activities before and after the illness symptoms appeared in order to conduct a contact tracing in the larger community.
  • Direct Contact with a Positive COVID-19 Case. Following contact tracing protocols, if you have been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, you need to report your exposure to the Health Center and consult a medical professional or the Lipscomb Health Center to determine the need for testing. You may be in quarantine for 10-14 days or 20 days if you are immunocompromised. Report an Illness
    • Quarantine/Self-Isolation. Following contact tracing guidelines, Health Center staff will determine if quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the date of the last exposure to the positive individual is required. If no symptoms appear within that period, you may return to normal activities after the 10-14 day quarantine period or 20 days if you are immunocompromised. 
  • Report. Report any positive COVID-19 tests or exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case to the Lipscomb Health Center using the Report an Illness link.
    • Students Report. Students who are in self-isolation should report their status to the student care coordinator in the Office of Student Wellbeing by emailing studentlife@lipscomb.edu as well as to EACH of their instructors to request remote learning options. 
    • Employees Report. Employees who are in self-isolation should report their status to their supervisor and contact the Office of Human Resources by emailing hr@lipscomb.edu or contacting Lynn Chappin at 615.966.7015. 

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What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • Steps to Follow for a Positive COVID-19 Test. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others:
    • Medical Care. Seek appropriate medical care. 
    • Report. Notify the Lipscomb Health Center using the Report an Illness link. 
      • Students Report. Students who are in self-isolation should report their status to the student care coordinator in the Office of Student Wellbeing by emailing studentlife@lipscomb.edu as well as to EACH of their instructors to request remote learning options. 
      • Employees Report. Employees who are in self-isolation should report their status to their supervisor and to the Office of Human Resources by emailing hr@lipscomb.edu or contacting Lynn Chappin at 615.966.7015. 
  • Isolate. You should strictly isolate yourself at home for at least 10 days after you became ill, and you should be feeling well (and without fever) for at least 3 days in a row before resuming normal activities.
    • Other members of your household should also stay home, and no visitors should be allowed.
    • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home to the extent possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Household members should consider relocating to a separate, uninhabited housing location if available to decrease their risk of exposure.
    • Where possible, ask others such as friends or family to get food or necessities for you.
    • If you must leave home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.
  • Inform Your Close Contacts. Your close contacts will need to consult their healthcare provider. You are recommended to stay home for 14 days and are required to stay home for a minimum of 10 days after their last contact with you.
  • Monitor Your Health. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Consult your medical professional. Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and, if needed, take medication to reduce your fever.
  • Arrange for Care. If your symptoms get worse and you need to seek healthcare, call ahead and tell the provider that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • Practice Healthy Habits.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for ≥ 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly, including your phone.
  • Returning to Regular Activities. Once you’ve completed your required isolation period at home, you can return to your regular activities.
    • If you tested positive for COVID-19, you may need a medical release before you are cleared to return to normal activities. 
    • You do not need to be retested in order to resume your regular activities.
    • This recommendation is consistent with CDC’s Symptom Based Strategy.
  • Learn More.

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What mental health and counseling services are available?

For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a time filled with anxiety, fear, isolation, challenges and changes over the last few months. Lipscomb’s University Counseling Center is a free resource available to any student who would like to access their services. The counseling center is available both in person and via telehealth as the medical governing boards allow. To contact the University Counseling Center, email counselingcenter@lipscomb.edu or call 615.966.1781.

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How do I report an illness?

Students, faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19, must stay home and report your illness immediately using the Report an Illness form. This form is monitored and will be kept strictly confidential on a need-to-know basis, and your submission will be responded to by a member of the Lipscomb University Health Center staff. Lipscomb University Health Center is staffed by a dedicated team including nurses, nurse practitioners, a physician, a pharmacist, case managers and contact tracers. 

The Lipscomb Health Center is available to any student experiencing any illness symptoms and will provide appropriate medical care and supplies. The clinic staff may use telehealth to contact students to check on their progress. Students who need more extensive medical care than can be provided by the Health Center will be referred to a local hospital. To contact the Lipscomb Health Center, email healthservices@lipscomb.edu or call 615.966.6304.

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