PHI SIGMA SIGMA & COVID-19

Given the landscape is quickly evolving, we will continue to update this page with information and resources to keep you informed about Phi Sigma Sigma operations in response to COVID-19. 

Phi Sigma Sigma believes in fostering a Culture of Care within our chapters and communities. To prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our sisters, we have adjusted our COVID-19 protocol to align with the latest expert guidance. Please find Phi Sigma Sigma's updated COVID-19 protocol, below.

We cannot predict the impact of COVID-19 over the coming year and therefore will be reviewing and adjusting our protocols, procedures and guidelines on a regular basis. Please continue to work with your chapter services manager to plan events and activities to prioritize safety and sisterhood.

PROTECTING EACH OTHER

As women of substance, character and influence we recognize our responsibility to foster a community of care. The simple measures to reduce the risk of transmission have not changed and include:

  • Wearing masks when around others (even if you are vaccinated)

  • Washing your hands

  • Limiting close contact with others

 

Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all state/province, local health and/or public health department, venue and university directives regarding attendance at events and participation in activities associated with the chapter, and Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all directives communicated by the owner or manager of any facility where an event or activity associated with the chapter is held.
 

MASK REQUIREMENT

As part of our Culture of Care, we believe that mask wearing protects you and protects those with whom you interact.  Where appropriate, wear a mask.

Rules on masking vary by location and are changing as the pandemic evolves.  Phi Sigma Sigma members, volunteers, staff and guests, are required to follow all state/province, local health and/or public health department and university directives regarding mask requirements. Additionally, Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all directives communicated by any vendors or venues associated with chapter activities or events. 

If masks are not required at an event, Phi Sigma Sigma requests that you consider what makes sense to keep people as safe as possible.  If you will potentially be interacting with vulnerable populations, consider wearing a mask even if it is not formally required.  

OUTDOOR EVENTS

Outdoor settings have a lower rate of transmission and allow for more social distancing. Therefore, you generally do not need to wear a mask when outdoors. However, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

Phi Sigma Sigma highly recommends wearing masks outdoors when social distance cannot be maintained. This includes bid day, football games, etc.
 

HOUSING REQUIREMENTS

At this time, masks are not mandatory for day-to-day life in Phi Sigma Sigma facilities.  Chapters are required to wear masks during recruitment activities conducted in the chapter facility and at any trainings conducted in the chapter facility by a member of Phi Sigma Sigma staff or other outside presenters. Chapters may consider a mask requirement for other events where high risk community members are present such as Parents’ Day. 


Phi Sigma Sigma facilities are not to be used as an isolation or quarantine space. All residents are required to submit a personal isolation/quarantine plan in case they show symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

READ MORE ABOUT HOUSING PROTOCOLS HERE.

STAFF SAFETY PROTOCOLS

As Phi Sigma Sigma staff members are not a part of the campus communities they are visiting, staff members will continue to wear masks when attending chapter events or meeting with chapter members in an indoor environment. To prioritize everyone’s safety, all chapter members will be asked to also wear a mask when meeting with a staff member or volunteer, regardless of vaccination status.

MANAGING POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES

Should an advisor or a leader of the chapter become aware of a member who has tested positive, follow the university's protocol for isolating. Sisters who have been in contact with her should follow the university's protocol for quarantining.

 

You ISOLATE after a positive test. The isolation period is 10 calendar days from the positive test. You QUARANTINE after a known exposure or close contact with a person who has COVID-19. The quarantine period is 14 calendar days after the last known exposure.

 

Sisters affected will likely feel overwhelmed and scared. It is important that we continue to support them. We advise virtual check-ins on Zoom, coordinating meal delivery, etc. Chapter services managers will help you to create a support plan.

 

The archon should document any known positive cases on the Phi Sigma Sigma website. Each individual member who tests positive should follow state/province, local health and/or public health department and university directives to report cases as required.

HEALTH & SAFETY EXPECTATIONS

All members and new members are provided and asked to acknowledge the following expectations and can be held accountable by the chapter or the Fraternity:  

  • I acknowledge that Phi Sigma Sigma recommends adherence to the guidelines provided by the CDC. 

  • I acknowledge that Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all state/province, local health and/or public health department, and university directives regarding attendance at events and participation in activities associated with the chapter, and that Phi Sigma Sigma requires compliance with all directives communicated by the owner or manager of any facility where an event or activity associated with the chapter is held. 

 

  • I agree to wear a mask and/or maintain social distancing in accordance with state/province, local health and/or public health department, and/or university directives, as well as with directives communicated by the owner or manager of any facility where an event or activity associated with the chapter is held. 

 

If Phi Sigma Sigma maintains a housing facility and/or any other type of chapter occupied space (collectively “facility”) at the university I am attending:

 

  • I will adhere to rules and procedures regarding food service, sleeping quarters, hosting of guests, including non-resident members, scheduling of study spaces, use of masks and social distancing in communal living areas and other stated expectations in order to keep myself and my sisters safe.

 

  • I will respect the health concerns of the house director, facility staff and other members in my interactions with them.

 

  • I understand that while precautions to clean the facility and provide procedures to assist with social distancing will be taken, it will be up to me, any permitted guests and other residents of the property to limit outside exposure and to follow guidelines suggested to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

  • I understand that by electing to live in, visit or enter the facility, I am agreeing to release the Fraternity, local house corporation, the NHC, and any other individual volunteer, advisor, employee or board member from liability associated with the risks inherent in a communal environment, including transmission of COVID-19 or any illness or injury associated with COVID-19.

 

Information & Resources

General Resources


Please monitor your state or territory’s health department as your local jurisdiction may have stricter guidance/requirements than the CDC.




What is COVID-19?


According to the World Health Organization, coronavirus causes COVID-19. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include headache, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Individuals who are elderly or pregnant, and anyone with preexisting medical conditions are at the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

Much is still unknown about COVID-19. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, the spread of the coronavirus from person-to-person most likely occurs among close contacts who are within six feet of each other and is passed through respiratory secretions such as sneezing and coughing. It is unclear at this time if a person can get the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. For those currently residing in the U.S., additional information can be found on the CDC website. For those currently residing in Canada, please utilize the information found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.




Prevention and Containment of Illness


Wherever you live, you likely have close contact with a large population throughout your day. As a result, you may be subject to a higher risk of exposure to any type of communicable illness. In order to protect your health and wellbeing, please follow the below guidelines related to all illnesses and contagious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is helpful, but hand washing is better! If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, even if you feel asymptomatic. Many illnesses have an incubation period and you may not yet be aware if you could be spreading an illness to others or if it has been passed to you.
  • Stay home when you are sick (even if you're just feeling slightly under the weather). You don't want to put others at risk. If a member or volunteer attends an event and is feeling unwell, they should depart as soon as possible.
  • Visit the doctor. If you have any respiratory symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it in the trashcan. And make sure to wash your hands afterwards!
  • Avoid sharing germs. Distance yourself from people who are sick and avoid sharing drinks, Chapstick, makeup, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, tables, laptops, cell phones and study spaces.
  • If a member is diagnosed with a contagious illness, have a plan for communicating with HQ immediately at prepare@phisigmasigma.org. Headquarters staff will assist in communicating with members, advisors and the university.