July 22 Update: Caring Well. Staying Well. Operating Plan Now Available

July 22, 2020 |

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. (Psalm 94:19)

This week’s updates include:

  • Cedarville’s Caring Well. Staying Well. COVID-19 operating plan for fall 2020
  • Connecting with the STING (Getting Started) leadership team
  • Information on how students with health conditions can request accommodations
  • New video interview on how to have healthy conversations when you’re facing complicated COVID-19 circumstances.

We begin this week’s update with the Caring Well. Staying Well. COVID-19 Operating Plan, now available for your review:

This comprehensive guide outlines our strategies and protocols for living, learning, and working in community during this academic year. Guided by Philippians 2:3-4, our planning is focused on balancing two priorities:

  • Providing a vibrant residential experience for our students
  • Maintaining a healthy work and study environment for our entire campus community

We will remain flexible and responsive, ready to adapt our plans as needed.

Getting Started Information – New students, your STING leadership team wants you to know about the following ways to connect as you get ready to come to campus in August:

  • Download the “Events at Cedarville University” app. Once in the app, click on “Find Guides” and type “Cedarville University – 2020 Getting Started” and download it.
  • Follow @sgaville on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up with campus life and to learn more about Getting Started.
  • Download the “Rinnova 2 Go” app. It’s great for when the need  for caffeine comes over you, and it lets you skip the lines!
  • Check your email at least once a week between now and Getting Started.

Requesting Accommodations for Medical Conditions – Students with underlying medical conditions should consult with their personal physician for guidance on returning to campus.

  • Students Unable to Come to Campus – Students who are not able to safely come to campus should request access to remote learning for the fall semester by sending an email from their Cedarville University email account to registrar@cedarville.edu requesting that they be permitted to take their courses remotely. In the email request, include Cedarville ID number, major, name of advisor, and planned graduation month and year. The Registrar’s Office will coordinate the details of notifying the advisor, professors, and will confirm the arrangements with the student. They will also notify Residence Life that campus housing will not be required. The student should alert the Registrar’s Office if there are any changes in the remote learning plan.
  • Students Able to Come to Campus – Students who are able to return to campus but may require nonacademic accommodations should contact Nancy Ranger, administrative assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries, at 937-766-7871 or rangern@cedarville.edu.

Healthy Conversations – In our most recent Caring Well. Staying Well. video, Derrick Green, Chair of the Department of Communication, shares how we can have productive, win-win conversations in the midst of complicated COVID-19 circumstances.

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49 Comments

  • Concerned parent says:

    Has the leadership team for Covid considered doing temp. checks for students and family member when they return to campus? If people do have a temp, then they should not allowed entrance to campus. This may be a good safety precaution with so many people arriving on campus soon. My other daughter’ school will be doing daily temp checks on all the students. Having some type of regular temp. checks on campus throughout the semester we believe would be beneficial to all.

    Also will the dorms be following any special kind of social distancing and mask requirements in the bathrooms/laundry/hallways/public areas in order to meet the CDC and the state of Ohio’s guidelines? CDC does recommend that the dorms not be 100% occupied. It seems most parent’s believe some extra cautions should be added to the dorm/residence areas.


    • Sarah says:

      Hello. We are asking faculty, staff, and students to conduct daily personal health checks. If they are not feeling well or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we are asking them to self-isolate. This means a student should not attend class in-person, but should participate virtually. Before students, parents, faculty, and staff arrive on campus, we encourage them to exercise caution in their activities and interactions between now and Getting Started as we prepare for a healthy return to campus.
      Thank you for sharing your concerns. We have decided to consider residence halls to be students’ home. We will not require masks in the residential setting.


  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for taking the time to address so many questions. I know this has got to be a trying time for the university on so many levels.
    I am curious why the college went to online classes in March 2020 with the state of Ohio having 564 cases and 8 deaths (newarkadvocate.com) and now is offering online and in person classes in August with the state reporting 95,106 cases and over 3570 deaths (coronavirus.ohio.gov).

    Why wouldn’t the college be safeguarding not only their students, but older adults who are employed by the college? Why close with fewer cases and open with an increase in outbreaks?

    This isn’t a matter of fear, but a matter of being prudent and exercising the wisdom that the Lord has given.
    James 4:17

    Please, reconsider the consequences of the college’s decision, and have online classes for all, for the fall semester.
    Thank you.


    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for writing and addressing the challenging decisions that all colleges and universities have been grappling with. The decision to go online in the spring was mandated by our State and reflected a need to ramp up hospital capacity, PPE, and prepare for the then completely unknown impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Although the numbers are certainly higher now than March, our State is in a far better position to manage outbreak; contact tracing and testing capabilities are more robust; and our government officials have provided guidance to colleges and universities on how to safely reopen. We understand and appreciate that we are embarking upon an unprecedented year as a campus community and are humbly trusting the Lord for His protection and favor as we stand for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Please pray with us!


      • A concerned alum says:

        Can you explain why the university is not mandating masks for common areas in the dorms? This is going to create a huge problem. Students will be congregating closely in these areas and it’s no different than being in class. Covid will not cease to exist inside of the dorm walls. Also, will there be rules regarding students not leaving the campus and visitors not coming to campus to protect our children? I know of many students who will be sneaking out to see girlfriends and boyfriends from different colleges and would like to know if there will be a rule, if the rule will be enforced AND what the consequence is for breaking the rule. Simply “recommending” students to stay on campus will give room for students to do what they want.


        • Sarah says:

          Thank you for writing and carefully reviewing both Cedarville’s plan. As we worked to develop the Caring Well. Staying Well. plan, we considered guidance vs. mandates and recommendations vs. requirements from both the CDC and our governor’s Responsible RestartOhio guidelines. Our focus was on protection of students, faculty, and staff along with the desire to provide a vibrant residential experience as much as we can in a COVID environment. Our healthcare team of experts also discussed the protocols for our residence halls and carefully weighed what was practical against potential risks and supported our current direction. We will, of course, monitor and adapt as needed. In addition, we will prioritize the health of our faculty, staff, and students and we will not host large group events on campus. Although there will no consequences for breaking the guidelines, if a student is exposed to someone who tests positive, they will have to quarantine for their dorm for 14 days. Thank you again for writing! Please pray with us for wisdom as we move forward.


          • Concerned alum says:

            With all due respect, quarantining in your dorm room with an innocent roommate who was abiding by rules and regulations is not fair to the roommate. The plan of quarantining a student in their dorm room with their roommate is a disaster. If that person comes down with Covid, then the roommate will as well. For that matter, why make recommendations if there are no consequences. Cedarville will be closed down within weeks with this policy. Please rethink some of these policies.


          • Sarah says:

            Thank you for your comment. If a students tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they will be moved to isolation. We understand and appreciate that we are embarking upon an unprecedented year as a campus community and are humbly trusting the Lord for His protection and favor. Please pray with us.


  • A Concerned Parent says:

    I have a few questions about Cedarville’s response should the campus shut down. How many Isolation rooms does the university have? There are many students that live far away or cannot bring the virus home to their at risk parents as the guide suggests they should. What will it take for the campus to shut down again? How many cases will there be on campus to sustain a shutdown? If the university does shutdown will students receive a refund on thier room and board?


    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for your question. We have 36 isolation rooms (72 beds) in Faith Hall as well as two University-owned homes that could be used for isolation and/or quarantine spaces. We also expect that some students who live within a close driving distance would plan to isolate or quarantine at home, then return to campus when cleared by their physician. For students that live far away or have parents and families that are high-risk, they will be able to isolate/quarantine on campus.
      We will work closely with Greene County Public Health as we manage any cases and determine appropriate steps that may be required to mitigate spread. The decision to go online in the spring was mandated by the State. Since the State has been able to ramp up hospital capacity, PPE, and contact tracing, it has provided guidance to colleges and universities on how to safely reopen. We do not anticipate or expect another closure. If it were to occur, a decision about refunds would be made at that time.


  • Concerned CU Parent says:

    How many Isolation rooms does Cedarville have? At what point will the campus shut down again (a certain number of cases, a percentage of the student body, or will someone have to die for the campus to go remote)? Will students be refunded on their room and board if the campus is to shut down?


    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for your questions. We have 36 isolation rooms (72 beds) in Faith Hall as well as two University-owned homes that could be used for isolation and/or quarantine spaces. We also expect that some students who live within a close driving distance would plan to isolate or quarantine at home, then return to campus when cleared by their physician. We will work closely with Greene County Public Health as we manage any cases and determine appropriate steps that may be required to mitigate spread. The decision to go online in the spring was mandated by our State and reflected a need to ramp up hospital capacity, PPE, and prepare for the then completely unknown impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Although the numbers are certainly higher now than March, our State is in a far better position to manage outbreak; contact tracing and testing capabilities are more robust; and our government officials have provided guidance to colleges and universities on how to safely reopen. We do not anticipate or expect another closure. If it were to occur, a decision about refunds would be made at that time.


  • Mary says:

    Can family visit a student on campus for a day (not go to their dorm, dining or visit a class)? Or can a student go home for the weekend? I was just wondering if you were discouraging or prohibiting visitors or home trips during this semester.


    • Kelly says:

      Hello, Mary! We are encouraging students not to leave campus until exams are over on November 24 and discouraging off-campus visitors. Our desire is to slow the spread of the virus by limiting interactions with those outside of the campus community.


  • Anonymous says:

    1. In reading the CDC guidelines for dorms/shared housing it appears that the Caring Well Staying Well CU handbook for dorms/housing doesn’t follow the CDC guidelines.( ie. CDC requires social distancing in all common dorm areas, bathrooms, halls, limited people in elevators, stairwells etc.) They also suggest a certain % capacity for dorms, not 100% full. Will CU consider updating/revising their guidelines to meet CDC suggested requirements?

    2nd. What day will the food service open for returning students?


    • Kelly says:

      Thank you for writing and carefully reviewing both Cedarville’s plan as well as guidance from the CDC. As we worked to develop the Caring Well. Staying Well. plan, we considered guidance vs. mandates and recommendations vs. requirements from both the CDC and our governor’s Responsible RestartOhio guidelines. Our focus was on protection of students, faculty, and staff along with the desire to provide a vibrant residential experience as much as we can in a COVID environment. Our healthcare team of experts also discussed the protocols for our residence halls and carefully weighed what was practical against potential risks and supported our current direction. We will, of course, monitor and adapt as needed. Thank you again for writing! Please pray with us for wisdom as we move forward.

      In response to your second question, for Getting Started weekend, the first contract meal for students is August 14 at dinner, though the dining hall will be open before then for paid entry.


  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you CU for all you are doing to help provide safety for the CU community!! I am wondering if it would be best to require all coming from the states with high Covid stats to be tested before arrival to CU. This would include athletes arriving early.


    • Kelly says:

      Hello. Thank you for asking. I’ve shared your question with our leadership team, and I anticipate additional discussion around testing and pre-arrival wellness screening in the coming days. If there is any new guidance, we will share in an upcoming update.


  • Noah Chaplin says:

    Will students be expected to wear masks when they are in a classroom be themselves studying in the evening or in the library?


    • Kelly says:

      Hi Noah. If a student is in a classroom alone, there is no mask requirement. We are confirming, based on the Governor’s July 22 mandate, whether masks will be required in the library. We will get back with you as soon as possible.


  • Leslie says:

    I have a few unanswered questions after reading the fall plan that I’m hoping you can clear up.

    1. I was told last week that the engineering classes aren’t available online. So if the student is in quarantine or sent home how will they continue in those classes and if they can’t access these classes will a refund be offered?

    2. If they’re exposed to someone with covid symptoms, where do they self monitor?(which I assume means quarantining. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this.)
    Will they be in their own dorm room with access to the community bathrooms and laundry? Will someone bring them food?


    • Kelly says:

      Hello, Leslie. We are committed to making Cedarville’s courses, including engineering, available to all students and will adapt and be flexible should a student be in quarantine or need to return home for a period of time. We encourage you to connect with your engineering advisor if you have specific questions.

      In regard to your second question, we have passed it along to our leadership and will provide an answer as soon as possible.


    • Kelly says:

      Leslie,

      As a follow-up to your second question, although we are confirming guidance with our local health department, the current plan is for students who may have been exposed to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms in their own rooms. Meals would be provided, and students would be able to continue their courses online.


  • Linda Kowal says:

    How many people will be permitted in the dining hall at one time? Will lunch times be scheduled so that every one does not arrive at the same time (after chapel). Will students be forced to take their food to go if the dining hall is full?


    • Kelly says:

      Hi Linda. The dining areas will operate at 50% capacity, and we have opened additional seating areas in the SSC event rooms and added outdoor table options on the Chick-fil-A patio. Having the Chick-fil-A building open also provides another large indoor seating area, which has not been available in the past. Even so, masks will be required in lines because we can not fully distance during the busiest times. Further, we are making to-go meals available from all locations, including two Grab & Go stations in Callan Athletic Center and the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies. Pioneer Food Services has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 plan that is being applied not just at Cedarville, but at the many campuses they serve around the country. We appreciate their diligence and concern for our students’ health, and we are supporting their efforts.


  • CU Parent says:

    Besides the Fitness center being open to the public, what other facility will be accessible to the public? Chick-Fil-A?


    • Kelly says:

      All of our buildings are generally open to the public (e.g. Library, Bookstore, Chick-fil-A, etc.). However, the COVID-19 protocols will be in place for any members of the public who come to campus for any reason, and we will not be hosting any large events that will bring guests to campus while we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even Admissions will host only individual family visits, and guests will not attend classes or chapel. Our highest priority is to the protection of our students, faculty, and staff in the residential setting.


  • Cheryl says:

    Sarah, Will the Fitness center be open to the public?
    Due to the fact the resident hall is not truly family I would think mask would have to be worn all times. The only time they can be off is off in their private rooms. It is just like if you were in a hotel-that is all public area.
    THANK YOU CU for making these changes line up with the Governor’s plan


  • ADAM CHERRY says:

    Intramural sports ?

    Noted gym/rec center open. Capacity?


  • Josh says:

    Will students be able to play basketball without a mask?


  • Anonymous says:

    Hello!

    Where will the outdoor chapels be held? And on the honor system, will students have to self communicate attendance online, daily?

    Thanks


    • Sarah says:

      The outdoor chapels will be held in the large grassy area near the Milner Business Administration Building. No, you will not have to report chapel attendance.


  • Concerned Parent says:

    Since DeWine came out today and is now mandating the following: “Mask must be worn in any indoor location that is not a residence or when individuals are outdoors and unable to maintain a distance of 6 feet or more,” will this change the requirements for the university. I would imagine students and staff will be required to wear masks whenever in a building, as well as, when in a classroom (even if socially distanced).

    Also, I understand that a residence hall is considered a “home”, however, what about requiring masks to be worn when being out of the student’s room. For example, wouldn’t it make sense to require a mask in the communal restrooms when several people will be in there at the same time? It is very crowded in the restrooms and laundry rooms and there is no air circulation on those areas. Or what about moving about in the halls or in the common spaces where many students will likely hangout (which is indoors with limited air circulation). Was this covered and I missed it?


    • Sarah says:

      Hello, there.
      We are carefully reviewing the mask mandate and travel advisory that were issued by the Governor on July 22 and will provide an update as soon as possible on how this will impact the Cedarville family. Please watch for more information in our next Caring Well. Staying Well. update.
      In regards to your second section, more information is available on page 6; but overall students are expected to wear a face mask is all public areas, especially when social distancing is not possible. In addition, this is another reason we are discouraging students from visiting other residence halls than their own.


      • Concerned Parent says:

        Hi Sarah,

        The information on page 6 (that you referred me to) says that facial coverings are NOT required in residential settings. In lieu of what Governor DeWine said yesterday requiring facial coverings to be worn at all times while indoors, I am hoping the students will be required (not just encouraged) to wear their facial coverings when in the residence halls UNLESS in their private room. Communal restrooms and common spaces within a residential setting with little to no fresh air circulation would appear to put students at risk.


        • Kelly says:

          Thank you for your follow-up. We will pass along this feedback to our leadership. Please continue to pray for wisdom as we seek to balance protecting our students, faculty, and staff while also providing the vibrant residential experience our students so enjoy.


  • Fiona says:

    Hi there!
    Regarding the health self-assessment on page 7 of the operating plan, how do students know if they have a fever (or not)? Should they have a thermometer with them then?


    • Sarah says:

      Hello, Fiona! Yes, we encourage students to bring their own thermometer. 🙂


      • A curiouse student says:

        Pardon me, but where is the link for the returning to Cedarville protocols? I keep seeing “see this on page 6 or 7” and I am curious as to where I can find it because I will be attending classes in the fall and would like to know what Cedarville requiring when students come back.


  • Jedidiah Hopkins says:

    So is the gym closed? Because I will be miffed if it’s closed


  • CU Parent says:

    Thank you for putting out such a comprehensive plan. Can you clarify how chapel will work? It said it will be at a reduced capacity of 500 students due to social distancing protocols but it didn’t say anything about who the 500 will be that will be able to attend in person each day. Is it first come first serve? Are the different classes assigned a day? I’m not sure I understand how that will work.


    • Sarah says:

      Hello, there! A chapel schedule is being created for attendance. Since we are considering residence halls to be family units, it is likely halls will attend chapel together. This will not be first come, first serve. The in-person chapel attendance schedule will be communicated with the students. Does this answer your questions?


      • Caleb says:

        What about commuters? I am an incoming freshman and will be commuting from Wright-Patt. Will I still be able to attend chapel in-person if I am not affiliated with a residence hall?


        • Sarah says:

          Yes, you will receive a chapel schedule for when you may attend chapel in-person in the Jeremiah Chapel. In addition, we encourage you to view chapel in your 9 or 11 a.m. classroom.