Stay Healthy, Stay Safe: COVID Protocols for Spring

Infographic: Reminder to mask up and other CDC recommendations to stay healthy.JWU students taking in-person academic courses for the 2021 spring semester recently returned to the classroom after kicking off the academic year with a week of virtual learning. Classrooms are utilizing assigned seats and seating has been reduced to ensure proper social distancing; mask usage is enforced in all on-campus public spaces.

Prior to their arrival at JWU, all students returning to campus (whether planning to live in residence halls or off campus) were required to submit a point-of-origin COVID test to JWU Health Services, as well as complete a two-week quarantine.

To call the past year “challenging” is an understatement, but the JWU community has weathered the many changes — from social distancing and mask-wearing to virtual classes and taking their club-related activities to Zoom — with aplomb and resilience. (Call it the Wildcat Way in action.)

“Our diligence with ongoing testing and wearing masks during the fall effectively helped to minimize the spread of the virus,” notes Providence Campus President Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D., '92. “As we prepare for the spring semester, please continue the health practices you have adopted at JWU to keep yourselves, your friends and loved ones safe.”

Sentinel Testing & Daily Check-in
As the Spring term rolls on, weekly COVID sentinel testing will be the norm. Each week, a random selection of student, faculty and staff will be selected for testing. If selected, participation is required; signup notices are sent via JWU email on the Friday prior to testing. (During the first week back on campus, a total of 807 students, faculty and staff were tested.)

In addition, all students, faculty and staff will be required to fill out the Daily Check-in questionnaire, which screens for onset COVID symptoms and monitors overall health.

“Easy and Painless”
Sentinel testing takes place at the indoor practice center behind Harborside Village on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am-4pm. Testing will be limited to those who have been selected for the week. (In other words, only show up if you have a signup email from JWU.)

Watch JWU student Tracy Chan, a graduate assistant for Residential Life, take you through her COVID-19 testing from start to finish:

Associate Professor Cara Sammartino, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., of the College of Health & Wellness also shared her “quick and painless” experience getting tested:

Fully remote students living in Rhode Island are expected to arrange for their own individual testing each week. In the event of a positive diagnosis, they must immediately contact Health Services to report their status.

On the academic front, faculty are excited to be back in class. Associate Professor Karyn Jimenez, who teaches graphic design courses at JWU Providence, shared her enthusiasm (and classroom setup) on Instagram:

“First in-person class since March 12th!! Excitement and nerves are high, but it feels really good to be back. I set up the lab so all 18 are separated by 6ft, windows open, names on seats so they can’t move, and I’m the only professor teaching in this room all semester. It’s as safe as it can be at the moment.” 💙👍 #pandemicteaching

Associate Professor Karyn Jimenez-Elliott

Stay Up to Date
The entire JWU community is encouraged to stay up to date on the latest COVID protocols (which can be subject to rapid change, depending on recommendations from the state Department of Health) by downloading the JWU mobile app (via Apple iOS or Android) and checking JWU’s COVID-19 Center for the latest official updates.

In conclusion, Bernardo-Sousa notes that “the year 2020 has certainly tested us on many levels, but I remain humbled by our Wildcat community’s response. Thank you, again, for your sacrifices and resolve. Continue to stay vigilant and safe.”

Additional Resources
Residential Life
Counseling Services

Be safe, JWU! Photo: Mike Cohea