Health & Safety FAQ

Health & Safety

What are the health expectations all campus members should be prepared to follow this semester?
The expectations for students, faculty and staff are outlined in our Community Covenant addendum and include the following: self-screening for illness; cooperating with testing, contact tracing, quarantining and isolation; personal hygiene; physical distancing; wearing a close-fitting mask; sanitizing common areas; engaging in these standards off campus; and graceful cooperation and accountability. For the full guidelines, click here.

Updated August 10, 2020

Will JBU provide masks or do I need to bring my own?
JBU will provide one mask upon arrival, but please bring three to five additional close-fitting masks. (The JBU Bookstore will have masks available for purchase throughout the semester.)

Updated July 27, 2020  

What should JBU students who are considered medically at-risk do to engage with classes and work in the fall?
We ask that these students contact Jarrod Heathcote in the Office of Disability Services to begin to work through the relevant issues.

Updated July 27, 2020  

Will testing for the COVID-19 virus or antibodies be required before the start of classes?
Because of the difficulty in obtaining testing in many parts of the world and the wide range of time it takes to obtain results, we are not requiring students to be tested before they arrive. If possible, we are encouraging students to follow best practices and self-quarantine with their immediate family for 14 days prior to arrival, but we realize that may not always be feasible. We do ask that each student (and move-in helper) take their temperature prior to arriving on campus to move in. We will also take your temperature when you arrive and ask you to verify that you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms and are not aware of any exposure to a positive person.

Updated July 27, 2020  

What will the cleaning protocols be across campus?
The JBU Facilities Department is following all recommended cleaning guidelines and is using chemicals approved and recommended for use against COVID-19. Our cleaning and sanitization procedures include:

  • Cleaning heavy-use surfaces more frequently.
  • Providing cleaning supplies to each department to supplement the daily cleaning as desired.
  • Following the recommendation of cleaning resource companies with regard to what chemicals are best to protect against COVID-19.
  • Ordering large quantities of cleaning supplies, gloves and other necessary supplies to avoid possible shortage issues. 
  • Placing hand sanitizing stations across campus and filling them with effective hand sanitizer.
  • Installing touchless faucets in bathrooms that serve more than five people. 

Updated July 27, 2020  

What other safety measures are being taken?
JBU is limiting the number of outside guests that come to campus. Typically, we host more than 50 outside events during a school year that bring thousands of guests to our community. To protect our students and the community, we are canceling most of these events. A handful of events may be considered if we can keep the community members and JBU personnel separate. We have also canceled (or moved online) some of our large gatherings such as Homecoming, Grandparents’ Day, Candlelight, etc.

Updated July 27, 2020  

Do commuter students need to follow the new COVID-19 guidelines?
Yes. Commuter students must follow the same guidelines, and as stated in our community expectations, we expect them to adhere to the health standards off campus with non-household members.

Updated July 27, 2020  

When will a student be tested?
Given the limited availability of testing and the increase in cases in Arkansas, right now only symptomatic students and students determined to be exposed to an infected person will be given a COVID-19 test. Most test results are taking five to seven days or longer to be reported. The ADH recommends that symptomatic or exposed students be placed in quarantine until they find out the results of their test. Arkansas has allocated money to help universities acquire testing, and JBU has been in conversation with several providers and state officials to see if we might be able to obtain a timelier testing process for JBU students.

Updated July 27, 2020  

Should I have an antibody test to determine if I have had COVID-19 in the past?
JBU is not recommending the antibody test because it will not affect how a student will engage on campus.

Updated July 27, 2020  

If I have had or get COVID-19 and recover, will I be required to quarantine if exposed to a positive person?
That will be determined by the ADH’s contact tracer, but currently the ADH policy is that you will be asked to quarantine if exposed even if you have already recovered from COVID-19.

Updated July 27, 2020  

Do I have to wear a mask on campus?
Students will wear close-fitting cloth masks whenever they are inside a building (except in their closed residence hall rooms or when eating in the dining hall). Students will also wear close-fitting cloth masks outside when they cannot be physically distanced from others or when requested as part of an activity (e.g. singing during Worship on the Quad). 

Updated July 27, 2020  

How do you define a "close-fitting mask"?
Masks must be 2-ply and fit tightly around the nose, mouth and chin. Straps may go around the ears or around the entire head. Masks with exhalation valves are not allowed. Bandanas, neck gaiters and snoods are less effective, so we ask that students arrive with three to five close-fitting masks. JBU will provide one mask to each student.

Updated July 28, 2020  

What will happen if I test positive during the semester?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the testing laboratory must send their name and contact information to the ADH. An ADH caseworker will then contact that student and explain the process of isolation. They also expect to call JBU to inform them of the positive result on campus. Next, a contact tracer will call the positive student to determine who they have been in “close contact” with during their infectious period (which includes 48 hours prior to the first symptom or the positive test). Though the ADH looks at a totality of facts and circumstances, they generally define “close contact” as anyone who has been closer than six feet to the infected/positive person, without a mask, for more than 15 minutes. This definition reinforces the importance of maintaining physical distancing and wearing masks as much as possible; these practices will minimize the number of students infected or placed in quarantine. The contact tracer will then communicate with all of the people in “close contact” with the infected/positive person and require them to quarantine. This communication process is supposed to be completed within 48 hours of the test result reporting, but it is taking longer right now due to staffing shortages (five to seven days or longer). We have been informed that the University of Arkansas Medical School will be handling the contact tracing for higher education, and we are hopeful that they will be more efficient. Given the current response time, JBU will also try to facilitate contact tracing, isolation and quarantining to minimize the spread of infection as we wait for the ADH process.

Updated July 27, 2020  

What if a student is determined to have been in “close contact” with an infected/positive person? The contact tracer will call all “close contacts” of an infected/positive person, and those exposed students will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days. If possible, the ADH recommends that an exposed student in quarantine should be housed alone in a single room with access to their own bathroom. There may be some flexibility for higher education, given its congregate living context. Again, JBU expects that most quarantined students will go home, if feasible, during their quarantine. The rest will be placed in housing provided by JBU. The ADH suggests that the quarantined student be tested three to five days after exposure to see if they have contracted COVID-19 because it takes several days after exposure for the virus to show up on the test. If the student tests positive, we expect that most students will go home for isolation, if feasible, or they will be transferred to the isolation housing at JBU and follow that protocol. If the student tests negative, they will have to remain in quarantine for the full 14 days because the disease can develop at any time during those 14 days. To repeat, a negative test does not release a student from quarantine. This fact is another major reason for requiring masks and physical distancing to minimize the number of students determined to be “close contacts” and quarantined. JBU will provide food service to students in quarantine if they remain at JBU, and those students will be able to keep up with their studies through Blackboard and Zoom. New OWL camera technology in most classrooms will provide a more immersive student experience within Zoom. The ADH and JBU will monitor the symptoms of all students to make sure that they are getting proper health care. JBU residential life staff will also continue to minister to their emotional and spiritual needs. 

Updated July 30, 2020  

Will there be required regular testing for faculty or staff, especially those that come into frequent close contact with students, such as residence life staff or lab instructors?
Arkansas is currently only testing those people who are symptomatic or have been exposed to a confirmed positive person, so we are unable to do this. Like students, we are requiring all faculty and staff to take their temperature every day and not come to work if they have a fever over 100, are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Updated July 27, 2020 

What should I do if I am concerned about another student, faculty or staff member that is not abiding by campus expectations or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
You should gently and kindly remind them of JBU’s community commitment to try to keep one another safe by following the campus expectations or notify the appropriate supervisor. If a student feels unsafe in a course experience, we would ask them to speak with the college dean or Dr. Robert Norwood.

Updated July 27, 2020  

What if I am not comfortable wearing a mask or have medical issues that make it difficult? Can I still come to campus?
Wearing a mask will be a requirement for attendance this fall. If you have medical issues that make this difficult, JBU's reasonable accommodation is for students to attend classes via Zoom. However, face masks must be worn inside every JBU building including residence halls and the dining areas. If you have additional questions, please contact Jarrod Heathcote at the office of disability services. 

Updated July 27, 2020  

Will health services help students get to the clinic for testing?
If a student does not have their own transportation, we will help them get to a testing site.

Updated July 27, 2020  

Will health services have the capacity to care for my non-COVID-19 medical needs?
Yes. Nurse Rhonda will still be able to see students for routine medical needs and help guide them to appropriate medical care if needed.

Updated July 27, 2020  

What if my symptoms of COVID-19 require hospitalization?
The JBU nurse and/or residence life staff will be monitoring any positive students remaining on campus in isolation. They will also help you make that assessment and assist with arrangements for transportation to either the Siloam Springs Hospital or another hospital in the Northwest Arkansas area. Currently, our hospitals have the capacity for COVID-19 patients.

Updated July 27, 2020  

What if I have mental health issues that make following the guidelines difficult?
Please contact Jarrod Heathcote at the office of disability services or the JBU Student Counseling Center.  Currently, due to the health risks to you and others, we are requiring that all students, faculty and staff wear masks. There may be some accommodations to use technology to be a part of the classrooms remotely.  The Student Counseling Center is available to provide effective therapies to help manage such mental health conditions and concerns.

Updated July 27, 2020  

What happens if I don’t wear a mask and physically distance from others?
The community covenant and the expanded COVID-19 covenant are documents that help our community live well together. To be sure, they require mutual sacrifice, but they also provide mutual benefits. Any time students willfully or negligently break the covenant, the members of our community should work to correct and restore that person with the grace modeled in scripture. Eventually, if a student continues to violate the community expectations, the university staff may need to engage in student discipline.  We have always worked to be restorative in the discipline process, and we will continue to do so with these new realities.

Updated July 27, 2020   

What happens if I refuse to isolate or quarantine?
The ADH’s order to isolate or quarantine is enforceable as a matter of law. JBU is also asking students who come this fall to be willing to comply with the ADH’s and JBU’s requirements.

Updated July 27, 2020   

Do I need to maintain physical distancing between my boyfriend/girlfriend and me?
We fully understand that COVID-19 policies create additional hardship for dating couples.  We are asking that you continue to abide by the covenant policies of maintaining a six-foot distance, realizing that if one or both of you are quarantined or isolated, it will create more separation in the long run. 

Updated July 27, 2020   

Will there be any individual checks to be sure commuter students coming on campus are healthy? 
Commuter students will do daily self-screenings just as all residential students, faculty and staff are doing. We are depending on everyone to commit to these practices and be accountable for their actions.

Updated July 27, 2020