Latest Reopening Updates

September 4, 2020

Policy Guidance and Clarification Regarding COVID-19 Testing

The purpose of this communication is to provide policy guidance and clarification regarding COVID-19 testing, the definition of a close contact, and what is expected if you are required to isolate or quarantine. Included are links to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Testing

Symptomatic Individuals: All symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills;
  • Signs of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, lowered oxygen saturation);
  • Fatigue, sore throat, runny nose or congestion, headache, body aches/myalgia, or new loss of sense of taste or smell;
  • Other less common symptoms can include gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), rash, inflammatory conditions such as “COVID toes”, and thromboembolic events;
  • In elderly, chronically ill, or debilitated individuals such as residents of a long-term care facility, symptoms of COVID-19 may be subtle such as alterations in mental status or in blood glucose control; and
  • Children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

Close Contacts: All individuals deemed as a close contact (see definition below) of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 should also be tested as soon as possible.

People Coming from High Risk States: Per the Massachusetts Travel Order, all individuals coming from HIGH RISK states must quarantine or be tested. This applies to students and employees who travel to a high-risk state at any point during the semester. This type of testing is not usually covered by insurance and would be the responsibility of the traveler to obtain.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance for “Testing of Persons with Suspect COVID-19” can be found HERE.

Definition of a “Close Contact”

Close contact is defined by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10-15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. The World Health Organization (WHO) additionally includes persons with direct physical contact with a probable or confirmed case, direct care for a patient with probable or confirmed COVID-19 disease without using proper PPE, and other situations as indicated by local risk assessments.

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 10-15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

NOTE: wearing a cloth face covering or being outside does not prevent you from being deemed a close contact. This means, if you are within 6 ft of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for more than 10-15 minutes, you would be deemed a close contact and required to quarantine even if you were wearing a cloth face covering. You do not know if someone will test positive in the future, so it is important to always maintain physical distance.

Quarantine

People who have been in close contact (see definition above) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, or who are experiencing symptoms and are awaiting a test result, must QUARANTINE.

Students Living ON Campus: This means you will be required to move out of your room and either return home or move into temporary quarantine housing until cleared by Health Services.

Students Living OFF Campus: This means you will not be permitted on campus until cleared by Health Services.

Employees: This means you will be not be permitted on campus until you have been cleared per the Employee Return to Work Policy.

When will someone be cleared to leave quarantine?

If you have been deemed a close contact:

  • You must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days. A negative test result cannot be used to end a quarantine period early for a close contact.

If you have not been deemed a close contact, but are experiencing symptoms and are awaiting a test result

  • You may be able to end quarantine early upon receipt of a negative test result.

NOTE: People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

CDC quarantine information can be found HERE.

Isolation

People who test positive for COVID-19 must ISOLATE for a minimum of 10 days from the date symptoms first appeared (or from the date the test was taken for asymptomatic people).

Students Living ON Campus: This means you will be required to move out of your room and either return home or move into temporary isolation housing until cleared by Health Services.

Students Living OFF Campus: This means you will not be permitted on campus until cleared by Health Services.

Employees: This means you will be not be permitted on campus until you have been cleared per the Employee Return to Work Policy.

When will someone be cleared to leave isolation after having COVID-19?

People Who Test Positive but had no Symptoms:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test. This means you can leave isolation on the 11th day as long as you haven’t developed symptoms.

People Who Test Positive and are Experiencing Symptoms:

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first developed and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved

Previously Positive Individual Cleared from Isolation:

Individuals previously diagnosed with COVID-19 may continue to have detection of viral RNA for several weeks. This does not correlate with the presence or transmissibility of live virus. Those who have been cleared from isolation by either the symptom-based or test-based strategy, are not recommended for re-testing within 90 days of their original positive test. These individuals are also not subject to quarantine during this period.

CDC isolation information can be found HERE.

Reporting COVID-19 Campus Concerns or Violations

Questions: If you have questions regarding policies, safety precautions, or other general questions, please e-mail covidquestions@aic.edu.

Reporting Concerns or Violations of Policy: It is everyone’s responsibility to keep the AIC community safe and we need your help! Please use THIS FORM to report any concerns you have regarding adherence to COVID-19 health and safety standards and violations of COVID-related policies.

Examples of items to report:


August 10, 2020

Early Drop-off and Move-in Information

As a reminder, all students must sign up for EITHER an early drop-off date between August 14-16 OR a move-in time block and cannot move-in without an appointment. Please see the Fall 2020 Move-in Page for more information and to schedule your drop-off or move-in appointment. After reserving a time, students will receive a separate e-mail confirming their drop-off or move-in time slot.

Early Drop-Off Day Logistics

STEP 1: All students who have a reserved early drop-off time between August 14-16 will report directly to their residence hall at their assigned time and park in the parking lot outside of the building.

Step 2: Students will check in with the Residence Life staff in the lobby of their building and will be let into their assigned room for the allotted drop-off time block. After their allotted time has expired, students and their maximum of 2 guests will depart campus.

Step 3: New students who have dropped off their belongings in advance will return on Friday August 21, 2020 between 9am-12pm. Returning students who have dropped off their belongings in advance will return on Sunday August 23, 2020 between 9am-4pm. Early drop-off students will follow the steps below when they return to campus on the 21st or the 23rd:

  • Park in Lot I and check in at the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center. Here they’ll pick up their AIC Student ID (if applicable) and meet with various AIC offices to make sure they are ready to start or continue their AIC journey. This process will include:
    • Screening students for symptoms of COVID-19;
    • Ensuring students have completed the required pre-arrival tasks;
    • Obtaining key(s) to housing assignment; and
    • Testing students that were unable to obtain a test prior to arrival per the Massachusetts travel order. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLETING THE PRE-ARRIVAL STEPS TO RETURN TO CAMPUS.
      • As a reminder, students coming from HIGH RISK states who do not have a negative test result from a test conducted within 72 hours of arrival to Massachusetts, will not be able to stay in their room on campus until they have a negative result or have quarantined OFF CAMPUS in a lower risk state for 14 days.
    • After completing the check-in process in the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center, students may enter their residence hall and finish unpacking. Early drop-off students will not be permitted to park in their residence hall’s parking lot at this time because the lots will be reserved for students actively moving into the building that were not able to participate in the early drop-off period.

Move-in Day Logistics

STEP 1: All students who have a reserved a move-in time between August 18-23 will Park in Lot I and check in at the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center. Here they’ll pick up their AIC Student ID (if applicable) and meet with various AIC offices to make sure they are ready to start or continue their AIC journey. This process will include:

  • Screening students for symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Ensuring students have completed the required pre-arrival tasks;
  • Obtaining key(s) to housing assignment; and
  • Testing students that were unable to obtain a test prior to arrival per the Massachusetts travel order. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLETING THE PRE-ARRIVAL STEPS TO RETURN TO CAMPUS.
    • As a reminder, students coming from HIGH RISK states who do not have a negative test result from a test conducted within 72 hours of arrival to Massachusetts, will not be able to stay in their room on campus until they have a negative result or have quarantined OFF CAMPUS in a lower risk state for 14 days.

STEP 2: After checking in at the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center, residential students will be able to start moving into their 2020-2021 housing assignment. Residential students will move their vehicle from Lot I to the parking lot of their assigned residence halls where students will check in with the Residence Life Staff in the lobby of their building and begin moving into their space.

STEP 3: Families and friends must depart campus within the 3-hour scheduled time block to ensure other students can begin to move in during their scheduled time.


August 10, 2020

Fall 2020 Dining Update

The Dining Commons and the Hive will both be open during the Fall 2020 semester. While there will be physical distancing measures in place, both facilities will provide a large selection of dining options for students.

Dining Commons

Unlike previous years, all food items in the Dining Commons will be either individually packaged or placed in to-go containers by DC staff. Students can choose between sitting in the limited seating in the DC or taking food out of the facility to eat anywhere on campus, including the new large tent directly outside the DC.

The Hive

The Hive will continue to be open for students to purchase items a la carte using dining dollars, cash, or a card. In addition to using meal swipes in the Dining Commons, students will also be able to use meal swipes to purchase items from the Hive based on established meal swipe equivalencies. This provides students with maximum flexibility in dining options and also allows students to utilize their meal swipes in the Hive when the Dining Commons is closed.

Unlimited Meal Plan Change

To support the new meal equivalencies in the Hive, all students with the “7 Day Unlimited + $300 dining dollars” meal plan will be converted to a new “23 meals per week + $300 dining dollars” plan. The Dining Commons serves a total of 19 traditional meals per week (3 per day M-F, 2 per day Sa & Su). This new plan will provide 4 additional meal swipes per week, above the 19 traditional meals served in the DC, that can be used to re-enter the Dining Commons between meals or purchase items from the Hive. All other meal plans will remain unchanged and will include the new meal equivalencies in the Hive as well.


August 7, 2020

MESSAGE REGARDING YOUR SCHEDULE

Hello students. I hope you are well and preparing for the start of the semester, whether you will be with us on campus or participating from afar. Either way, we miss you and look forward to seeing you virtually or in person.

Many of you have expressed confusion or concern about your schedules, and I want to help clarify. If you are not enrolled in a health sciences program, you will have no face to face classes. Instead, you will be participating through Zoom (we call this “synchronous remote,” since you will be engaging with your faculty and other students at the times indicated on your schedule) and BlackBoard.

If you are a health sciences student, there may be certain courses or parts of courses that will be taught in a face to face environment. These are often hands on or lab courses, clinicals or practicums. Even for these courses, though, lectures (didactic) will regularly be offered through Zoom, so as to reduce risk.

**You will notice that your course schedule on the portal is now updated to indicate where/how your courses will be offered. For courses offered through Zoom, your schedule will denote REMOTE. Please note, all science classes are offered REMOTE this semester, even labs.**

Synchronous courses are live online courses that are conducted in real-time (REMOTE). The instructor and students are together in the same session, which will begin and typically end at a fixed time. Remote means you do not physically come to class, but you attend your class at the designated time listed. Your schedule will show a specific time if your class is synchronous.

Asynchronous courses are just the opposite. Instructors provide materials, lectures, tests, and assignments that can be accessed at any time. Students may be given a timeframe – usually a one week window – during which they need to connect at least once or twice. Your schedule will show a course listed as ‘ONLINE’ if it is asynchronous and offered through BlackBoard.

If your schedule lists a Location: Building/Room Number, you are expected to attend class on campus. Please refer to your blackboard for specific days you should plan to be on campus for class.

MWF classes are classes that meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
TR classes meet every Tuesday and Thursday
If the class meets just once a week, it would show as MTW, or (Thursday)

If you have specific questions about one of your courses, please reach out to either the registrar or to your professors, all of whom can help to answer them.

 

Be safe and stay in touch.

 

Mika Nash, EdD
Executive VP for Academic Affairs
American International College
1000 State Street
Springfield, MA 01109
(413) 205-3369


August 3, 2020

AIC Campus Reopening FAQs and Steps for Students to Return to Campus

Good Afternoon,

As you are aware, AIC is moving to live remote courses for the majority of classes offered during the Fall 2020 semester. We know this presents many challenges for our students and we believe it is important to keep the campus open to the AIC community to provide the structure and support on which so many students rely. This means most of the facilities students utilize such as the residence halls, Library, Dining Commons, Hive, Athletic Complex, Campus Center, etc. will remain open to AIC students. While there will be new safety precautions in place, we believe in the value of an on-campus residential experience and will do everything we can to promote an engaging environment.

The Student Affairs team has been working hard to ensure students have a great experience on campus. This includes installing two large tents on campus for increased outdoor programming, establishing satellite computer stations in the residence halls, and working with Academic Affairs to turn most of Amaron Hall into a community space for students to take their remote classes if they choose. The Dining Commons (DC) will still provide a wide selection of food options and will allow students to take food to-go and sit outside under the newly installed tent or anywhere else a student feels comfortable.

I also wanted to draw your attention to a couple important updates that have been posted online:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: This section will be updated regularly and will provide answers to many of the questions you might have as well as guide you in the right direction as you plan for the fall.

STEPS FOR STUDENTS TO RETURN TO CAMPUS: This section outlines the actions all students returning to campus must take, such as completing the Keeping the Hive Healthy course, signing the Release for Students Returning to Campus, and signing the AIC Campus Social Contract. It also explains the additional steps students traveling from High Risk States must take per the Massachusetts Travel Order. These items apply to all students returning to campus for any reason including living in the residence halls, taking in-person classes, participating in athletics, etc.

FALL 2020 MOVE-IN PROCESS: Residence Life put together a website with instructions and additional information regarding the move-in process. As a reminder, all students living in the residence halls are required to sign up for an early drop-off time or a regular move-in time prior to arriving. If you have questions about your housing assignment or living in the residence halls, please contact residence.life@aic.edu.

I know there is a lot of information to digest and you might be feeling overwhelmed. Please know that we are all here to support you and help you through this transition. If you still have questions after reading through the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, STEPS FOR STUDENTS TO RETURN TO CAMPUS, and FALL 2020 MOVE-IN PROCESS, please e-mail covidquestions@aic.edu or call (413) 205-3264.

Be well,

Matthew Scott

Vice President for Student Affairs


July 16, 2020

Message from President Vince Maniaci

Dear AIC Students,

I am so happy to be the first to welcome you back to AIC for the fall semester. While all of our lives took an unexpected turn in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, it makes the anticipation of seeing you on campus next month even more exciting. It has been quiet here without you!

Faculty and administration have been working diligently throughout the summer to prepare for you to rejoin the campus community, ensuring your return paves the way for continued growth and success both academically and socially while making your health and safety our priority.

The College has plans in place for academics, athletics, and student life. Please click through the links in the menu of this page to learn about the various ways we are ensuring you have a safe and memorable experience at AIC this year. If you still have questions after reading through the various topics and frequently asked questions, please e-mail covidquestions@aic.edu or call (413) 205-3264 and we will help you navigate the reopening process.

I look forward to seeing you in August!

 

Vince Maniaci

President

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