Caution & Care 

HOUSING - FALL 2020

 

Carefully WELCOMING SISTERS home!

Phi Sigma Sigma and the National Housing Corporation have been hard at work preparing for the return of our chapter members.  Despite substantial challenges, the NHC is hopeful that this will be a year of exploration and discovery of one’s self, a year of deepened friendships, and a year of growth. 

 

The NHC has spent the past few months working with industry experts and creating modified plans that follow local and state health department guidelines. Although we cannot guarantee that our facilities will be COVID-19 free during the academic year, we are working hard to minimize risks.  Residents must remember that taking steps to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 is the shared responsibility of every collegian who lives in the facility. 

 

We can’t wait to welcome you home!

GENERAL FACILITY CARE DURING THE PANDEMIC

All household members should educate themselves about COVID-19 symptoms and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in homes. 

All NHC facilities will be cleaned seven days a week.  This will include increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, toilets, sinks).  Residents are encouraged to frequently clean their personal property such as phones, tablets, computer keyboards/touch screens, keys, etc.

 

Hand sanitizer stations will be located at facility entrances and in high traffic areas (e.g., dining area, stairwell, etc.) throughout the house. 

 

New toilet seats with lids have been installed in all bathrooms. Members are encouraged to close the lid before flushing.

 

Signage with information about COVID-19 and best practices will be placed throughout the facility.

MOVE-IN PROCEDURES

To maximize the safety of our members and their families, we will be utilizing modified a modified move-in schedule.

 

Based on your sign-up form, you will be assigned a specific time for move-in.  Four members will move in per day, with a three-hour window to drop things off.

 

A move-in party may only include the member and two additional people. Any additional family members or friends must remain outside the facility.  All individuals are required to wear masks or face coverings during the move-in process.

 

Campus-specific exceptions are noted on facility pages.

 

Please note, no one should come to the chapter facility if they feel sick, are exhibiting symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test, or have been directed to self-quarantine based on recent travel or exposure.

TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER

Live-in members are encouraged to wear a mask anytime they are in common areas.

Out-of-house members must wear a mask while in common areas. Out-of-house members should not visit private areas (e.g., bedrooms, non-public bathrooms, etc.).

 

All members are encouraged to avoid close contact (less than six feet) with each other.

 

It is recommended that beds be placed at least six feet apart. If this is not feasible, it is recommended that members sleep in opposite directions (“head to foot”).

 

Utilize hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the facility.

 

Wash your hands frequently.

 

Do not take phones or portable devices (i.e., anything you may need to put down) into the bathroom.

SIGNS, SYMPTOMS & TESTING POSITIVE

All members should educate themselves about COVID-19 symptoms and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in chapter facilities.

If a member knows or thinks she has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive, she is encouraged to go to her permanent home to quarantine.

 

If the member is unable to quarantine at home, Phi Sigma Sigma will work with the university on an alternate quarantine plan.  For live-in sisters, this may include remaining at the Phi Sigma Sigma facility.

 

A member may discontinue quarantine practices when:

  1. It has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND

  2. At least 24 hours with no fever (<100.4 degrees F) without fever-reducing medication AND

  3. Symptoms have improved

 

Note that people with conditions that weaken their immune system might need to stay home/quarantine longer than 10 days. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.  If testing is available in your community, it may be recommended by your healthcare provider.  You can be with others after you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.
 

QUARANTINE GUIDELINES

The NHC will follow CDC guidelines for quarantining sick members, including:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, sinks) 

  • In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated for an ill person: cleaning frequency reduced to as-needed (e.g., soiled items and surfaces) to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person. 

  • As much as possible, an ill person should stay in a specific room and away from other people in the chapter.  A specific bathroom will be designated for the ill person. This bathroom will not be used by non-ill residents.

  • A designated individual will be the caregiver who can provide personal cleaning supplies for an ill person’s room and bathroom. These supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants. 

  • If a separate bathroom is not available, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person. If this is not possible, the designated caregiver should wait as long as practical after use by an ill person to clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces. 

  • All household members should follow home care guidance when interacting with persons with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 and their isolation rooms/bathrooms.

FAQ

Q: You said that anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine. How do you define close contact?

A: The CDC defines close contact as:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes

  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19

  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)

  • You shared eating or drinking utensils

  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Q: I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19. I feel ok or my COVID test is negative. Do I need to quarantine?

A: Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should quarantine since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Q: How can a member be tested for COVID-19?

A: Members are encouraged to follow the guidance of their primary care physician, campus health care center or local/state health department regarding testing.

Q: What do I do if I test positive?

A: The NHC (prepare@phisigmasigma.org) and the chapter’s house manager must be notified as soon as possible after a resident in an NHC facility tests positive. Refer to the quarantine procedures for additional details.

Q: Can I stay in the chapter house during academic breaks during the fall semester (e.g., Thanksgiving)? 

A: In most cases, the NHC will keep facilities open continuously until December 22.

Q: What are the rules and how will they be enforced?

A: There is a level of personal responsibility and social norming that is going to be critical. We have expectations that there be interpersonal/peer-to-peer confrontation and informal accountability.
 
Phi Sigma Sigma staff we will assist members build the skills and authority to carry out accountability locally.

This mirrors what we see at the campus level. Procedures that have been published by campus communities include intervening and asking peers to put on their mask or stating their request directly to the person first and then work through additional steps when they are not compliant beyond the request.

Q: Will I get a refund if I test positive and move home, classes move online, etc?

A: Per the 2020-2021 Room Agreement Amendment, no refunds of room and/or board will be provided if a member vacates the facility for any reason including, but not limited to, the university commences or transitions to online instruction, the university shuts down the campus for any reason directly or indirectly related to COVID-19, the member contracts COVID-19, the member withdraws from the university, or the member is unsatisfied with the hygiene practices of the other collegians residing in the premises.  
 

Mask Display

Health & Safety Expecations

As noted in the annual Policy Acknowledgement statement, 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. In addition, the Fraternity 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.  

All members are required 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

  • Comply 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 at my university: 

  • Members must 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.

  • Members must respect the health concerns of the house director, facility staff and other members in all interactions with them.

  • While precautions will be taken to clean the facility and provide procedures to assist with social distancing, it is up to each member, 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.

  • Members are expected to do all they can to keep themselves and others safe.

COORDINATING COAST TO COAST 
Facility-Specific Plans

Making plans for a safe return continues to be an effort of collaboration between the house corporation, campus, city, county and state. The prescribed precautions and risk factors specific to each campus and property type will continue to be evaluated and updated.   

INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

(410) 799-1224

Phi Sigma Sigma, Inc.

8178 Lark Brown Road - Suite 202

Elkridge, MD 21075

Emergency Line: (410) 530-1913

PhiSigHQ@phisigmasigma.org

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© 2020 by Phi Sigma Sigma, Inc.