Fall 2021 information and guidelines for a safe return to campus

 

3 Things to Know

Open Sign 1 FCC is open. 
Mask Icon 2 Face masks are required in all indoor spaces.
Vaccination Icon 3 Vaccines are encouraged.

 

 

FCC encourages all eligible students, faculty, staff, and visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

In August 2021, Frederick Community College (FCC) resumed full operations and returned to regular business hours for all in-person services. The College continues to closely monitor and carefully assess the impact COVID-19 has on our operations and instruction.

FCC formed a Coronavirus Advisory Group (CAG) that continues to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 since resuming full operations for the fall semester. The CAG consists of employees from different departments and teams throughout the College, and is led by Dr. Tony Hawkins, Provost/Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Continuing Education, and Workforce Development. The CAG is tasked with gathering, discussing, and sharing information with the College community, but is not a decision-making body.

The Coronavirus Advisory Group (CAG) will:

  • Facilitate prompt and transparent communications to the College community
  • Monitor the COVID-19 impact on our students and employees
  • Make health and safety recommendations for students and employees

CAG communications and additional information are available here.

Daily Dashboard: Local COVID-19 Data(Frederick County Health Dept.)

 

This data is updated daily by noon M-F (excluding holidays).

FCC is Open

The Frederick Community College (FCC) campus and the Monroe Center are open. Face masks are required in all indoor spaces. The College returned to in-person instruction and services in August 2021.

Hours of operation for individual College offices and services can be confirmed here.

The Frederick Community College Roadmap to Resilience and Recovery (3R) plan details actions taken by FCC to protect the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the College community.

 

Guidelines for Everyone

FCC will continue to follow all published guidelines from the CDC, Governor Larry Hogan's Office, and the Frederick County Health Department.

 
  • Masks are required in all indoor spaces, with the exception on individual employee offices.
  • Masks are not required in outdoor settings.
  • Student-athletes and coaches are required to wear masks while practicing indoors. Athletics will continue to follow all league COVID-19 requirements.
  • The Student Game Room remains closed.
  • The Bess and Frank Gladhill Learning Commons is open.  For more information on hours of operation click here. 
  • The Carl and Norma Miller Children's Center operates from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, following the state of Maryland guidelines for childcare centers (including appropriate masking to protect children and our professional team).
  • FCC continues to offer in-person, hybrid, and online classes.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated, but not required. We will hold vaccination clinics for students on our main campus and at the Monroe Center.

 

Dealing with COVID-19 Guidelines for Employees and Students

The following are general guidelines for employees and students related to exposure, quarantine, and return to work or class procedures for all affected by COVID-19. Employees or their supervisors should notify Human Resources (HR), and students should contact the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) (Dr. Kate Kramer-Jefferson - [email protected]) (if they have been exposed, tested positive, or are subject to quarantine due to the virus.

Based on the most recent guidance from the Frederick County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control, this document will be updated as needed and posted on the FCC web site.

If individuals have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or are unvaccinated and have been in close contact* with someone who has COVID-19:

  • Do not come to the main campus or the Monroe Center
  • Report this to HR for employees or the Office of the DOS for students
  • Consult with a doctor or state public health agency regarding next steps to take
  • Stay home until you have been cleared by your doctor or state public health agency
  • Students should continue to attend classes remotely, if able, and inform faculty of any missed classes (Consult the Office of the DOS for assistance)
  • Employees can use available leave or leave without pay while in quarantine (Consult HR for assistance)
  • Receive clearance from HR or the Office of the DOS before returning to main campus or Monroe Center
*Close contact, as defined by the CDC, means someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were around someone with COVID-19.
 

Return to Frederick Community College (Physical Presence on Main Campus or the Monroe Center)
Individuals should wait to receive their test results and obtain a clearance from a healthcare provider or state agency before returning to the main campus or Monroe Center. In absence of guidance from a healthcare provider, FCC will follow the CDC guidelines:

  • Individuals in quarantine, who are not vaccinated and have not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19 may return to the main campus or Monroe Center after 10 days have passed since the date of a positive test (provided the test took place 5 days or later from the date of exposure).
  • Individuals who are not vaccinated and have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 may return to the main campus or Monroe Center once at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours have passed without a fever (without the use of fever reducing medications) and other symptoms are improved (i.e., coughing, shortness of breath, etc.).
 

Vaccinated Employees and Students
Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine after known exposure with someone who has COVID-19 unless they are experiencing symptoms. It is recommended that individuals get tested three to five days after exposure, even if they do not have symptoms. Individuals should wear a mask indoors in public following exposure for 14 days or until a negative test result is received.

Vaccinated individuals who receive a positive test result should isolate for 10 days.

Fully vaccinated individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should quarantine and seek advice from a healthcare provider. The above return to main campus and Monroe Center guidance will apply.

 

Communication Plan
Upon notification that an employee or student has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, HR or the Office of the DOS will work with the individuals to ensure a safe return to main campus or the Monroe Center. HR/Office of the DOS will work with individuals to identify others with whom they have had direct contact with while on the main campus or the Monroe Center, as well as the last day the individual was physically on-site. The Vice President for HR or the DOS, or designee, will notify identified individuals in writing:

  • that they may have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis,
  • the last day the impacted individual was physically on College premises, and
  • the recommendation to contact their healthcare provider if they begin experiencing symptoms.

No identifying information will be shared in this communication in accordance with the confidentiality and privacy provisions of FERPA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and amendments, and College policy.

The College will notify our designated point of contact at the Frederick County Health Department, as required, through an agreed upon process.

 

For employee questions related to COVID-19, clarification of guidelines, or to report an employee case of COVID-19, please contact Alicia Hilsher ([email protected]) or Diana Oliver ([email protected]) in HR. An employee or their supervisor should notify HR if the employee has been exposed, tested positive, or is subject to quarantine due to the virus.

 

For student questions related to COVID-19, clarification of guidelines, or to report a student case of COVID-19, please contact the Office of the DOS, Dr. Kate Kramer-Jefferson ([email protected]) or Lisa Hildebrand ([email protected]) or via phone at 301-846-2469.

Faculty and staff should forward any student reports of COVID exposure or positive test results to the Office of the DOS, which will initiate the above communication plan. Faculty and staff should not share any such reports with other students or campus members outside of established guidelines.

Please note specific vaccination and/or COVID testing policies may be required from programs with Clinical Education experiences based on the policies of our clinical partners.

 

COVID-19 Exposure Flowchart

exposure flowchart

*Close contact, as defined by the CDC, means someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more.  An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19.  A person is still considered a close contact even if they were wearing a mask while they were around someone with COVID-19.

**In situations requiring quarantine, employees must be cleared by HR, and students must be cleared by the Office of the Dean of Students to return to main campus or the Monroe Center.
COVID-19 testing is recommended three to five days after exposure, no matter an individual’s vaccination status.

Please note specific vaccination and/or COVID testing policies may be required from programs with Clinical Education experiences based on the policies of our clinical partners.

A downloadable version of the Guidelines can be found here.

Microphone Icon COVID-19 Announcements

 

 

October 6, 2021

Summary of Coronavirus Advisory Group Meeting on October 5, 2021

The Coronavirus Advisory Group (CAG) met on October 5 to continue its work related to COVID-19 and its impact on FCC.
During this meeting, the group, led by chair Dr. Tony Hawkins, stressed the need to guard against complacency when dealing with the pandemic, discussed the newly updated “Return to Campus” webpage, and heard updates on the current COVID-19 situation in the county, the number of COVID-19 cases among students and employees, the search for a pandemic coordinator, and a proposed vaccine mandate for students and employees. Updates on those topic items are below.

Guarding Against Complacency
Dr. Tony Hawkins, provost/executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Continuing Education, and Workforce Development, and Kathy Francis, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management (MACEM) and Public Safety, stressed with the group the importance of guarding against complacency at this point in the pandemic. They told the group that while the pandemic has gone on much longer than most of us imagined, the only way to get to the other side of it is to continue taking all the necessary measures that have been proven to mitigate the impact of the virus: staying home when sick or exposed to someone who is sick, wearing masks in all indoor settings, socially distancing when necessary, and getting vaccinated. Dr. Hawkins reminded the group of the importance of taking these measures seriously not just on campus, but also in our personal lives outside of work. With the fall and winter holidays coming up, now is an especially important time to “stick to it” and “don’t let your guard down.”

Return to Campus Webpage
The Return to Campus webpage has been updated to make it easier for all College constituents to find all the FCC information they need related to COVID-19. This webpage provides information on:

  • Specific guidelines for students and employees to follow if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or are unvaccinated and have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • An exposure flowchart to help understand guidelines
  • All current College communications related to COVID-19
  • Links to other COVID-19 resources and more

The updated webpage is live and can be viewed here.

Current COVID-19 Situation in Frederick County

Lewis Godwin, chief of operations, and Jerry Boyd, special assistant to the president for Institutional Effectiveness, shared information from a recent update given by Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, health officer for the Frederick County Health Department. That update included:

  • Transmission of COVID-19 in Frederick County remains high.
  • We are currently in the fifth wave of COVID-19. This fifth wave is the second largest one we have seen.
  • The hospital is seeing a high number of patients, but it is not over its capacity.
  • We are not seeing as many deaths from COVID-19 as we did earlier in the pandemic because of the vaccine. The vaccine is effective is lessening the severity and avoiding death from COVID-19.
  • Hood College and Mount Saint Mary’s University have reported lower COVID-19 exposure rates recently, which they attribute to vaccine mandates.

COVID-19 Cases Among Students and Employees
Dr. Kate Kramer-Jefferson, dean of students, reported that 14 students have self-reported positive test results since the beginning of the fall semester in late August. Of those, four will be considered active by the end of the day on October 5.

Dr. Hawkins reported that there are three active cases among FCC employees, six employees are currently in quarantine, and 10 employees have reported an exposure.

The group discussed how it’s important to note these cases are not from campus transmission and were instead from community transmission.

Pandemic Coordinator
Dr. Hawkins shared that a candidate for the newly created position of FCC pandemic coordinator will be interviewed this week. The person in this position will be the main point of contact for the College in all COVID-19 tasks, serve as the liaison between the College and county and state health departments, manage the tracking and analysis of COVID-19 cases among students and employees, ensure all COVID-19 messaging across the College is consistent, and work with all College stakeholders in the continued fight against COVID-19.

The pandemic coordinator is a grant-funded position using HEERF funds.

Vaccine Mandate
Dr. Hawkins discussed a vaccine mandate resolution that Dr. Thomas Powell, FCC president, will present at the next FCC Board of Trustees meeting on October 20.
The resolution would mandate COVID-19 vaccines or approved religious or medical exceptions for all FCC students and employees by January 5, 2022.

FCC students who show proof of vaccination by that date will receive $50 to their student credit that can be used toward tuition or at the College Bookstore or Cougar Grille. Vaccinated students will also be entered into a raffle for prizes.

FCC employees who show proof of vaccination by January 5, 2022 will receive $400 in their following paycheck.

The draft resolution has been distributed to FCC affinity groups and the College Senate so that all employees have a chance to provide feedback.  

If this resolution is passed, Dr. Powell will start working with various constituent groups on obtaining proof of vaccinations from students and employees, reviewing applications for vaccine mandate waivers, and instituting requirements for individuals who receive waivers, such as the wearing of a mask, socially distancing, and frequent testing.

Dr. Hawkins explained that because vaccines have proven to be the strongest tool in the fight against COVID-19, he hopes student and employee incentives will help get more individuals vaccinated and move the College closer to ending the pandemic.

The CAG meets every two weeks. Its next meeting is scheduled for October 19, 2021.

 


Previous Communications
 

FCC Response to Coronavirus

The Frederick Community College Roadmap to Resilience and Recovery (3R) Plan details actions taken by FCC to protect the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and the College community.

Timeline of Coronavirus Response

All recent actions and guidelines remain in effect unless otherwise indicated.

 

August 4, 2021

Stage 4 was amended to include the following:

  • Masks are required in all indoor spaces.
  • In all classrooms, masks are required.
  • In individual offices, wearing masks is optional. 
  • In group meetings, masks are required. 
  • In outdoor settings, masks are not required.
  • Student-athletes and coaches are required to wear masks while practicing indoors. Athletics will continue to follow all league COVID-19 requirements.
  • The Cougar Grille will operate with limited services.
  • The Bookstore operates for six hours a day, with masks required and a limit on the number of patrons allowed in the Bookstore at a single time. 
  • The Student Game Room remains closed.
  • The Bess and Frank Gladhill Learning Commons operates with limited hours. 
  • The Carl and Norma Miller Children's Center operates from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, following the state of Maryland guidelines for childcare centers (including appropriate masking to protect children and our professional team).
  • FCC continues to offer in-person, hybrid, and online classes.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated, but not required. We will hold vaccination clinics for students on our main campus and at the Monroe Center.

 

August 2, 2021

FCC entered Stage 4 of the 3R Plan.

 

July 2, 2021

FCC announced the following changes when the College moves into Stage 4 of the 3R Plan on August 2, 2021:

  • Face coverings will be optional for all FCC faculty, staff, and students while on the main campus or at the Monroe Center.
  • Physical distancing requirements will be lifted along with other restrictions in place in Governor Hogan's Executive Order 21-06-15-01.

 

June 7, 2021

FCC moved to Stage 3 of the Frederick Community College Roadmap to Resilience and Recovery plan, with plans to enter Stage 4 on August 2, 2021.

 

January 5, 2021

Stage 2 was amended back to ten (10) individuals based on the Maryland Department of Health Advisory dated December 17, 2020.

 

October 6, 2020

Stage 2 was amended to thirteen (13) individuals in specifically identified rooms on the main campus and at the Monroe Center. All other capacity limits remain at ten (10) individuals.

 

September 21, 2020

The College community adhered to the requirements of Stage 1 of the plan and successfully moved to Stage 2. Additional information is available here.

 

July 6, 2020

FCC entered Stage 1 of the Frederick Community College Roadmap to Resilience and Recovery plan.

 

March 11, 2020

Coronavirus is declared a global pandemic.

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