COVID-19 Update, July 31, 2020

Dear Davis & Elkins College community,

Happy last day of July! With early arrival students coming to campus starting next week, students and parents/guardians should review the Davis & Elkins Guide for Returning to Campus. All persons arriving on campus should report to the gatehouse entrance and will undergo COVID-19 symptoms check. The guide also provides guidelines for student testing, symptom monitoring, and student health services, as well as changes to residential and dining operations. There is a lot of important information in today’s update and we strongly urge you to read it over with your family. In the meantime, we are preparing for your safe and healthy return to campus and are eager to see you!

Students to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus

All students will be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival to the Davis & Elkins College campus for the Fall 2020 semester. The cost of this testing will be covered by the college. We will use a “Point of Care” test that provides results within 20 minutes. Any student testing positive has two choices:

  1. immediately return home; or
  2. isolate on campus (the Byrd Conference Center has been designated as the on-campus isolation site)

Any isolated student will have his/her own comfortable, air-conditioned room with a private bath, and meals will be delivered daily. Any isolated student will get a daily visit from a nurse in-person or via ZOOM videoconferencing. Classes will be delivered to these students online for the two-week isolation period, and reliable Wi-Fi/internet/cell service will be provided.

“Just in case” supplies

In the event you test positive, you will want some essential items to go with you into isolation. Here are some recommendations.

To pass the time:

  • books
  • games
  • puzzles
  • movies

For your health:

  • your prescription medications
  • acetaminophen (ibuprofen use should be avoided with COVID-19)
  • a thermometer
  • healthy snacks (dried fruit, nuts, cheese, apples, etc.)
  • your favorite beverage or soda (water will be provided)

For your education:

  • your laptop
  • textbooks

In addition to screening upon arrival to campus, new procedures during the academic year include but are not limited to:

  • testing for students following restricted travel from campus
  • rigorous symptom monitoring
  • creation of a stringent sequence of processes if a student shows symptoms
  • a comprehensive series of steps in the event of positive cases; and
  • closure of campus to any and all unofficial visitors

Please refer to the Davis & Elkins Guide for Returning to Campus for complete campus guidelines and procedures.

“Knock Things Out Before Your Arrival Series” continues in Friday updates

D&E will continue its series of informative pieces in today’s Student Update outlining 2 timely tasks that students (and parents) should accomplish as the Fall 2020 semester nears. Be sure to read the Student Update to not only put these items on your To Do List, but to get them checked off!

Knock Things Out Before Your Arrival: Parking on campus

  • All vehicles on campus must display a parking permit, which can be obtained after completing the proper application with the Office of Public Safety. Please click here to access and complete the parking permit process.
  • A student auto registration fee of $100 for the academic year, which is charged during the fall semester, is listed in Tuition and Fees and can be removed from the student’s account if he/she does not park a vehicle on campus. Please click here to access and complete the Request to Remove Auto Registration Fee from Student Account form. Please return the form via email to Ms. Lisa Senic, Administrative Assistant for the Office of Student Life/Coordinator of Parent Relations at senicl@dewv.edu.
  • Do not park in designated handicapped spaces (unless you have a state-issued permit), fire lanes, green space areas, or in the visitor parking in front of Halliehurst or the guest parking at Graceland. Tickets resulting in fines will be issued for violations.
  • Parking on campus is specified by zone, with signs designating if the parking is for residential students (first-year and upperclassmen), commuter students, faculty, staff, or visitors. Also, please note that the possession of the required parking permit and/or state-issued handicapped permit does not guarantee a parking space.

Knock Things Out Before Your Arrival: Student ID

  • D&E Information services requires incoming freshmen sign the Acceptable Use Policy Agreement, which creates student tech account login information. Click here to access and complete the form.
  • Want to skip the college ID photo line? You can submit a photo ahead of time! BUT before you send your photo, make sure it meets all the criteria described on the form. Please click here to complete the process. All students can visit the Helpdesk in Booth Library to pick up their student IDs and get photos taken. Your college ID card is your key to your residence hall and other buildings on campus.

Important information about course delivery and schedule changes

The global pandemic has altered the course of life, including the methods in which higher education is delivered. As a result, D&E faculty and administrators have spent months looking at creative course delivery in anticipation of the new academic year, including the impacts of social distancing, smaller class sizes, and classroom capacity restrictions. Read this update on course delivery and course schedule changes.

D&E takes on creative course delivery in a COVID-19 world

D&E faculty and administration has worked throughout the summer to develop creative course delivery methods. Even with global pandemic guidelines in mind, including classroom capacity restrictions, faculty saw the challenges that presented themselves in course delivery as opportunities. Click here to read about creative course delivery methods that will be used at D&E.

Reminder: Big changes in Dining Services

As students might expect, there will be major changes in dining services operations on campus starting with the Fall 2020 semester. Dining halls/meals/food consumption guidelines include the requirement of face masks, except when eating, and social distancing. All dining facilities will have signage, TV monitors, and floor decals to effectively direct students through the processes of obtaining food, paying for food, and seating (if applicable). D&E’s Meal System Plan reflects changes as well, including an online ordering system and touchless entry/pay at dining facilities with ID cards so that meals can be deducted from student meal plans. There is also an emphasis on “grab and go” meals for students to accommodate social distancing and safe dining. For a complete overview of student dining services operations, students and parents/guardians may refer to the Guide for Returning to Campus Living and Learning Environments section.

D&E located in state and county with favorable COVID-19 statistics

As of today, West Virginia is ranked 44th for COVID-19 cases among the 50 states and District of Columbia (Source: Statista). As of July 30, Randolph County, West Virginia, has reported 204 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 195 recovered patients and no deaths. State health officials have confirmed that more than 110 of those cases in Randolph County have occurred with inmates and employees at the Huttonsville Correctional Center which is located more than 20 miles from campus. (Source: West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources)

D&E student health checklist: What you need to bring to campus

In order to make sure our students are healthy and safe, we have undertaken a number of measures over the last several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of our responsibility is to instill responsibilities in you, as a D&E student, to come to campus fully prepared in these unusual times. All Students are asked to come to campus with their own Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and over the counter (OTC) medication supplies. Those items include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • thermometer (digital)
  • masks (medical grade if of high risk to infection due to comorbidity)
  • disinfectant wipes
  • hand sanitizer – large bottle for residence hall room and pocket size for carrying around campus
  • cold and allergy medications of choice
  • pain/fever reliever (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.)

By coming to campus prepared and with the appropriate supplies, you can decrease or even eliminate routine visits to Student Health. For a comprehensive list of items to bring with you to campus, please visit this link.

Schedule of Events released for students arriving on campus

D&E has released a schedule of events for students arriving on campus, regardless of when you may arrive for the Fall 2020 semester. The schedule starts with international students and domestic students residing a significant distance from campus and/or from confirmed COVID-19 hotspots, who will arrive the week of August 3-7. (see phased move-in schedule below) The events schedule, which is the result of campus-wide planning, runs through August 14 and adheres to safe distancing guidelines. To access the complete schedule of events, click here.

Phased move-in process for all residential students (new and returning)

All residential students (new and returning) will sign up for a block of time to arrive on campus and move items into rooms. During these blocks of time, only 5 students and their accompanying family members (no more than 2 additional family members) will be permitted in each residence hall to move in. International students and domestic students residing a significant distance from campus and/or from confirmed COVID-19 hotspots are encouraged to move in the week of August 3-7. Other residential students are encouraged to move in the week of August 10-14. Residential students living within 90 miles of campus are instructed to move in their belongings and then return home until Saturday, August 15, for new students and Sunday, August 16, for returning students. Full details on the Phased Move-in process can be found here.

New Student Orientation for residential and commuter students begins August 15

New Student Orientation for all new students — residential and commuter — will begin on Saturday, August 15. Your undergraduate experience officially starts in three weeks and we are thrilled that you have chosen to attend Davis & Elkins College! Our faculty, staff, and your fellow students look forward to meeting you next month. Click here to read over the complete New Student Orientation and Opening Event Schedule.

Change in student post office guidelines

In accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines, students are now required to open their own mailboxes. Only oversized parcels will be directly distributed to students at the window. Students will still receive an email when they have an oversized parcel.

D&E Bookstore

Students are encouraged to purchase their books online and pick them up at the D&E Bookstore during specified, in-store, pick-up hours. The bookstore remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to reopen will be announced in the coming weeks. In-store, pick-up hours will be announced. For online orders, click here.

Guide for Returning to Campus on the D&E website

D&E has released its Guide for Returning to Campus last week, a comprehensive plan assembled by the Davis & Elkins College Re-opening Task Force in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The guide is available on the D&E website and is accessible by clicking this link.

D&E emphasizes Return to Campus Guidelines

The health and safety of all students, faculty, staff, and the entire D&E community are our first priority. As such, the College has established the following guidelines for students as they prepare for the August return to campus:

  • Students are asked to self-isolate at home seven (7) days prior to the return to campus.
  • Students may, of course, interact with family members, but community exposure should be discontinued.
  • Check for the symptoms of COVID-19 daily prior to leaving for campus.
  • Do not depart for campus if you or another family member is sick.
  • Masks and social distancing standards should be strictly followed while in transit to campus.
  • Avoid large gatherings and crowds when possible in transit.
  • Follow face covering and handwashing guidelines.

Check this weekly student update, the D&E Mobile App, and your email regularly for updates. The Emergency Notification System (nixle) will also be used as appropriate.

Please practice social distancing and stay well.

 

Dr. Rosemary Thomas

Vice President for Enrollment Management
Institutional Advancement