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.
The following supplies are being made available at all NHC facilities:
Disposable face masks
KN95 face masks
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.
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 expected 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 expected to wear a mask anytime they are in common areas.
Out-of-house members are expected to 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/isolation practices when:
It has been at least 14 calendar days since symptoms first appeared or 10 calendar days after a positive COVID-19 test AND
At least 24 hours with no fever (<100.4 degrees F) without fever-reducing medication AND
Symptoms have improved
Note that people with conditions that weaken their immune system might need to stay home/quarantine longer than 14 calendar 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 / ISOLATION GUIDELINES
Following a positive COVID-19 test:
A resident who tests positive for COVID-19 will be isolated immediately.
The resident must stay in her room/the designated quarantine room. She may only come out to use the designated restroom.
When leaving her room to go to the restroom, the resident must wear a KN95 mask and face shield.
The resident may be contacted by the university and/or local health department and is expected to comply with related requests.
Isolation period: 10 calendar days after positive test results or 14 calendar days after last known exposure.
If any resident tests positive for COVID-19, it is highly likely that ALL residents of the facility have been exposed, therefore all facility residents will be required to quarantine. If a resident has previously tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered, the resident may seek an exemption from facility quarantine at firstname.lastname@example.org. While the resident is waiting for a decision on her exemption request, the resident is required to quarantine.
Daily cleaning service will be discontinued.
Residents will be expected to clean bathroom areas (e.g., sink, toilet, door handles, etc.) before and after use.
If a facility has a meal plan, meals will continue to be provided. If there is no meal plan, the NHC will provide support to coordinate meals.
Residents are expected to maintain social distancing and wear masks throughout the facility.
Residents are expected to stay in the facility and may only go outside for fresh air and must stay on the facility's property. When outside, residents are not permitted to be within six feet of any person. Any resident who leaves the facility property will NOT be allowed to return to the facility for the duration of the quarantine period.
Residents may be contacted by the university and/or local health department and are expected to comply with related requests.
Quarantine period: 14 calendar days after last known exposure.
Even if a member tests negative for COVID-19 during a facility quarantine, she must still comply with quarantine rules for the full 14 days.
Questions can be directed to email@example.com.
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 had previously defined a “close contact” as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. The updated guidance, which health departments rely on to conduct contact tracing, now defines a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
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. The NHC (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the chapter’s house manager must be notified as soon as possible after a resident in an NHC facility learns of significant exposure to COVID-19.
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 (email@example.com) 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: Phi Sigma Sigma staff and alumnae volunteers will assist members in building the skills needed to carry out accountability locally. 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 facility.
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.
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.