California Baptist University has prepared a plan for the Fall 2020 semester to manage the novel coronavirus through precautions and requirements. This includes a quarantine process for students who are exhibiting symptoms, who have tested positive for the illness or who have been in direct contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.
To manage COVID-19, Anthony Lammons, dean of students, said the school has remained informed about the situation by referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state government and the Riverside County Health Department.
“We are doing our best to remain in good communication locally and beyond,” Lammons said. “We take your safety and ability to study, and the safety of all of the employees here very seriously, and we are doing everything that we can. It can be a time of frustration, and we understand that. I implore our community to look beyond ourselves and look out for everybody. We hope to return to some semblance of normalcy, but there is no guarantee when that will take place. Meanwhile, we will continue to move forward.”
Lammons said that if a student tests positive, CBU will take steps to isolate the individual, which could occur at the student’s home or in on-campus housing set aside for quarantine. While a student is in isolation, the school will monitor the student’s health and deliver food. Students who test positive must remain in isolation for 14 days.
In addition, CBU will attempt to prevent the spread of the virus by contact tracing through the Office of Student Care. When a student tests positive, the Office of Student Care speaks with the student to discover who might have been exposed to the virus on campus. Any individuals who were in the presence of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 for longer than 15 minutes would be notified and must quarantine for 10 days.
Students might also be required to enter isolation if they display symptoms of COVID-19, such as failing to pass the daily temperature check required for residential students. If a student is exhibiting symptoms, the school will discuss the situation with the student and health professionals to make an informed decision about the next steps to take, including quarantine and testing.
Caleb Russell, senior mechanical engineering major, experienced the on-campus quarantine process when his father tested positive for COVID-19 after helping him move into his on-campus housing. After learning of his father’s positive test result, Russell was contacted by Student Services and sent to quarantine in the Cottages while awaiting his own test results.
Before entering isolation, he was instructed to bring supplies for two weeks of quarantine and he scheduled food deliveries to his doorstep through InsideCBU. After three days of isolation, he received his negative COVID test result, so he was able to leave.
“I would encourage students to be patient in this time and know CBU and their officials do not have all the answers, but no one does,” Russell said. “I think it is a testament of faith to go through this and say no one is in charge of this but God and he does have a bigger plan in mind that we may be blind to at this time.”
Lammons said that currently all positive cases on campus have been isolated and no large outbreak has occurred. To avoid an outbreak, Lammons encourages students to remain informed about COVID-19, adhere to restrictions on campus and take their health and the health of others seriously.
“New things are constantly being discovered about this virus, so the biggest thing I can say on this topic is just to practice good hygiene,” said Mikayla Mniz, senior nursing major. “Take the right precautions. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face excessively, wear a mask and socially distance when you can.”
If the campus experiences an outbreak of COVID-19 cases, the Riverside County Health Department or the Executive Council would make decisions about the next steps to take.