Hastings College updates, coronavirus information

Campus Update

Campus Community –

It has been wonderful to see you all back on campus after our winter break. Thank you for everyone’s continued good work and support of our COVID-19 precautions. Our collective work of wearing masks, social distancing and practicing good hygiene continues to be vital. Nowhere can this be more important than a college campus, where students, faculty, and staff want to meet and learn in-person.

As we’ve all been hearing and experiencing, COVID-19 transmission rates (specifically the Omicron variant) continue to increase in the community of Hastings and in some parts of the United States. The HC COVID Team has been discussing the situation with the South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) and they discussed that Nebraska is just beginning its omicron wave of positives compared to other parts of the country.

The SHDHD dashboard on new cases per 100,000 in the past 7 days continues to be in ‘RED’ at the highest levels to date (according to the press release from SHDHD on 1/11/2022, we jumped to 821 per 100,000), and COVID exposure and positivity rates have had an uptick on our campus with students and employees.

Due to this increase and out of an abundance of caution, beginning Monday, January 17, Hastings College will move to YELLOW on our Phased Guideline Matrix for the next two weeks. Please review the matrix in detail to evaluate how this affects you and your participation on campus.

A few important reminders:

  • All coronavirus information and links can be found at hastings.edu/return. This includes:
  • Masks will continue to be worn in all campus buildings
  • Classroom occupancy will move to 75%
  • Hold meetings and gatherings virtually when feasible
  • Social distancing and regular hand washing continues to be vital
  • Starting at lunch on Monday, Dining Hall density will be reduced and available seating will be expanded into Rooms A&B.
  • “Clam Shells” will still be available for purchase in the dining hall for take-out service.
  • Not required but as an extra precaution for those who desire it, double masking (using a clean cloth mask over a medical grade mask) is recommended. Extra medical grade masks will be available in campus buildings.

The HC COVID Team will continue to review our COVID related needs, the CDC guidance, and work with the SHDHD to monitor the situation and make further recommendations. Please continue to check your email and hastings.edu/return for further updates about COVID-19 guidelines. If you have questions about this information or other concerns, please let us know.

We are Broncos; we are one campus and one community, and I know we will continue to care for ourselves and for one another.

Dr. Annette Vargas
Vice President of Student Access, Enrollment and Performance

Previous Campus Announcements

Dear Hastings College Students,

Welcome back to campus! As we monitor the impact of COVID-19, and especially the Omicron variant, we want to continue doing what we can to stay on campus and keep our campus and our community safe. We know it’s important to you to remain as actively involved in your college experience as possible. By working together, we’ll create a campus community that will allow everyone to attend classes, participate in campus and co-curricular activities, engage in meaningful work, and have a fulfilling social life while limiting the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

As a reminder, with students coming from several dozen states and more than 20 countries, Hastings College will continue to extend our indoor mask requirement. The HC COVID Team will continue to meet with the South Heartland District Health Department, review updated CDC guidance (see our updated COVID policies below), and monitor the situation. Once appropriate, we will suspend the indoor mask mandate, but until then, we ask that all members of our community continue to wear a mask (covering your nose and mouth) when indoors. This includes all buildings on campus including HSU. Masks may be removed when eating, when alone or with your roommate in your dorm room or apartment, and during performance practices.

Testing: We have the availability to test for COVID on campus in the Stone Health Center. If you are in need of a test, are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with COVID, fill out the COVID Tracker Form and the COVID Case Manager will help you make arrangements to get tested.

I know this is A LOT of information and we are feeling some mask fatigue, but your efforts are allowing everyone to attend classes, participate in campus and co-curricular activities, engage in meaningful work, and have a fulfilling social life while limiting the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Please continue to check your email and hastings.edu/return for further updates about COVID-19 guidelines. If you have questions about this information or other concerns, please let me know.

We are Broncos; we are one campus and one community, and I know we will continue to care for ourselves and for one another.

Dr. Annette Vargas
Vice President of Student Access, Enrollment and Performance

Updated COVID Policies

Isolation/Quarantine:

There’s no way we can completely remove the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Plan ahead as to what you will do in the event that you are experiencing symptoms. Per the December 27, 2021 CDC Guidance:

If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate): Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Fill out the COVID Tracker Form
  • Stay in your residence hall room/apartment/home and isolate for 5 days.
  • No symptoms or symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your living space.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves (without the use of fever reducing medication).

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine):

If you: Have been boosted OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Fill out the COVID Tracker Form
  • Wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Get tested on day 5, if possible.
  • Stay in your residence hall room/apartment/home if symptomatic.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

If you: Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted OR are unvaccinated

  • Fill out the COVID Tracker Form
  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.

Hastings College will have limited spaces available for isolation and quarantine. It is encouraged for students and family members to have a quarantine and isolation plan for off campus as well.

While a COVID vaccine is not currently required for students, we do encourage all students and employees to get vaccinated. We know that getting the vaccine is currently the most effective way for us to protect ourselves and those around us. If you would like additional information, please let me know.

Class Protocols due to isolation/quarantine

If you are placed in isolation/quarantine, you must first fill out the COVID Tracker Form and then notify your professors that you are in quarantine or isolation and your expected return to class date. The responsibility of notifying faculty on a student’s isolation/quarantine status is on the student to (a) help reduce the workload on campus health officials and (b) remind students of their investment in staying safe while continuing to learn.

Once you have notified your professor that you are in isolation/quarantine, then the professor will decide what accommodation is appropriate for their class to ensure access to your learning. These accommodations, can take on many forms as determined by each professor:

  • Students can attend remotely through Google Meet
  • Students can be provided video recording of class
  • Students can use Google Meet to work in class group discussions
  • Student discussions can be moved to Canvas/discussion board format

If you are not meeting the communicated expectations for remote learning, are not communicating with your professor, or your professor has not received additional accommodations from Megan Launchbaugh, you will be contacted by Megan or someone else from student engagement.

For students who experience symptoms that impair their ability to participate remotely, complete coursework, or otherwise meet the expectations set forth by the professor, the student should email Megan Launchbaugh at megan.launchbaugh@hastings.edu. Megan will then notify their professors of any additional reasonable accommodations the student qualifies for.

Hi fantastic Hastings College students –

I wanted to provide an update on classes before we actually, you know, started classes.

We will be having our usual face-to-face classes starting January 4. Masking protocols will still be in place, at least for the first two weeks. The College anticipates being able to go face-to-face throughout the semester, although, as we all know, things can change quickly.

You can help your fellow students by continuing to get vaccinated, continuing to wear a mask in crowded places, continuing to wash your hands, and continuing to work together to get through this.

As always, if you have any questions, please let me know. I may not have all the answers, but I should be able to put you in contact with a person who does.

Have a restful last couple days before we get back to the learning.

Dr. Jonas Prida
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Dear Hastings College Community,

Thank you for your work in keeping our campus and community safe by wearing masks indoors so far this year. This effort has allowed us to continue in-person classes and events on campus. I know we are starting to feel mask fatigue, but your efforts are keeping our transmission rates low on campus; however the transmission rate is still fairly high but trending downward in Adams county. This is good news! Here is a message from Michele Bever from the South Heartland District Health Department:

I just wanted to take a moment to share with the Hastings College community how much the health department appreciates your partnership since the very beginning of the pandemic and throughout the many months we have been addressing COVID pandemic issues together. All of you — students, staff, faculty, leadership — have done such a great job incorporating best public health practices, encouraging and facilitating testing, offering and taking advantage of vaccination opportunities, and putting into practice as many prevention layers as you can. Your actions are working to reduce the impact of this tenacious Delta variant and the prevention layers you are using are also effective against influenza, the common cold and other respiratory illnesses coming in the fall and winter. Through your efforts, the HC campus community has been a safer place to live, learn, work, and play. Keep up the good work!

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that individuals (regardless of vaccination status) wear masks indoors when the vaccination status of individuals is unknown and/or safe distancing (6 feet or greater) cannot be maintained in communities with high transmission rates.

Yes, we want to be done with this mask stuff as well. Although we are getting there, we are just not quite there yet. Since by just wearing masks we are doing so well, Hastings College will continue to extend our indoor mask requirement until Adams County is out of RED (high transmission rate) and into ORANGE using the South Heartland District Health Department’s dashboard. The HC COVID Team will continue to meet and monitor the situation and once we reach ORANGE, we will send an email suspending the indoor mask mandate. Until then, we ask that all members of our community continue to wear a mask when indoors. This includes all buildings on campus including HSU. Masks may be removed when eating, when alone or with your roommate in your dorm room or apartment, and during performance practices.

We know that getting the vaccine is currently the most effective way for us to protect ourselves and those around us. Our recent “voluntary” submission form indicates we are running about 70% for employees and 50% for students. If you haven’t yet let us know that you are vaccinated (if you did so during the lottery, you do not need to resubmit at this time), please fill out the “voluntary” submission form. We won’t share your name, we are just trying to get a more accurate count. We hope that sometime soon as vaccination rates go up and community transmission rates continue to go down, that we will all be able to unmask soon.

At this time, testing for students will be done locally in coordination with the COVID Case Manager. BUT, If you are experiencing symptoms or know of any students who are experiencing symptoms, please encourage them to complete the COVID Symptom Tracker to schedule a test.

We are Broncos; we are one campus and one community, and I know we will continue to care for ourselves and for one another.

Dr. Annette M. Vargas
Vice President for Student Access, Enrollment, and Performance

Dear Hastings College Community,

As we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and especially the Delta variant, we want to continue to do what we can to stay on campus and keep our campus and our community safe. Thank you for your work keeping the transmission rates low on our campus, however, the transmission rate is fairly high in Hastings and Adams county.

Hastings College remains in GREEN on our Guideline Matrix. The COVID Planning Team is extending our indoor mask requirement through October 22. We ask that all members of our community continue to wear a mask when indoors. This includes all buildings on campus including HSU, Residence Halls, and Performance Facilities. We will continue to evaluate our recommendations based on CDC guidelines, the transmission rates of our community, and recommendations from the South Heartland District Health Department. Masks may be removed when eating, when alone or with your roommate in your dorm room or apartment, and during performance practices.

At this time, testing for students will be done locally in coordination with the COVID Case Manager. If you are experiencing symptoms or know of any students who are experiencing symptoms, please encourage them to complete the COVID Symptom Tracker to schedule a test.

All of the College’s COVID-19 resources and planning documents are posted at hastings.edu/return.

We are Broncos; we are one campus and one community and I know we will continue to care for ourselves and for one another.

Dr. Annette M. Vargas
Vice President for Student Access, Enrollment and Performance

Dear Hastings College Community,

Congratulations to an amazing start of the 2021-2022 school year! As we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and especially the Delta variant, we want to continue to do what we can to stay on campus and keep our campus and our community safe. Thank you for your work keeping the transmission rates low on our campus, however, the transmission rate is fairly high in Hastings and Adams county.

Hastings College will remain in GREEN on our Guideline Matrix, but the COVID Planning Team is extending our indoor mask requirement through September 20. We ask that all members of our community continue to wear a mask when indoors. This includes all buildings on campus including HSU. We will continue to evaluate our recommendations based on CDC guidelines, the transmission rates of our community, and recommendations from the South Heartland District Health Department. Masks may be removed when eating, when alone or with your roommate in your dorm room or apartment, and during performance practices.

New Hastings College cloth masks have arrived. We will be distributing them to all students and employees on Monday, August 30, outside of HSU from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Please stop by on Monday to pick up yours.

At this time, testing for students will be done locally in coordination with the COVID Case Manager. If you are experiencing symptoms or know of any students who are experiencing symptoms, please encourage them to complete the COVID Symptom Tracker to schedule a test.

We are Broncos; we are one campus and one community and I know we will continue to care for ourselves and for one another.

Dr. Annette M. Vargas
Vice President for Student Access, Enrollment and Performance

Dear Hastings College Students,

We know it’s important to you to remain as actively involved in your college experience as possible. We believe that by working together, we’ll create a campus community that will allow everyone to attend classes, participate in campus and co-curricular activities, engage in meaningful work, and have a fulfilling social life while limiting the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

As a reminder, with students coming from several dozen states and more than 20 countries, we have made the decision to require masks indoors for Block 1 (through August 31). While a COVID vaccine is not required for students at this point, we do encourage all students and employees to get vaccinated — and are hosting a vaccine clinic August 26 on campus.

COMMUNITY HEALTH

Hastings College is a conscious community that takes seriously both personal responsibility and the care of others. During the 2021-22 academic year, we will continue to monitor research, all CDC recommendations, and all directed health measures. Based on the information available, we are asking each person to do their part to maintain the healthiest community possible.

  • We ask that you engage in active self-monitoring:
  • Take your temperature each day using the thermometer you’ll bring to campus with you so you know what your regular, healthy temperature range is on that thermometer.
    • Monitor for symptoms.
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
REMINDERS FOR CAMPUS LIVING

We encourage all students to have access to a few important health related items. These items include:

  • Masks – All Hastings College students will be provided one cloth mask, but consider having enough for laundering and daily use (one mask per day);
  • Thermometer that you are familiar with (and extra batteries);
  • Over-the-counter COVID-19 relief items such as:
    • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen (allowing you to rotate between the two if appropriate), cough drops or other symptom-relieving medications;
  • Facial tissue and hand sanitizer for personal use;
  • Anti-bacterial/viral cleaning supplies for your personal use; use cleaning supplies will be provided in public spaces, residential halls and in classrooms across campus;
  • Personal supplies for academic work such as highlighters, dry-erase markers and other items you might use in a classroom or study session;
  • Outdoor items such as insect repellent, sunscreen, a camp chair and an outdoor blanket. These will be useful as you physically distance yourself from others and participate in activities.
TESTING

At this time, testing will be done locally in coordination with the COVID Case Manager. Complete the COVID Symptom Tracker to schedule a test. Currently, we will no longer have access to on campus testing.

ISOLATION/QUARANTINE PLAN

There’s no way we can completely remove the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Plan ahead as to what you will do in the event that you are experiencing symptoms. Per the July 29 CDC Guidelines:

  • Vaccinated:
    • If you are fully vaccinated, you do NOT need to isolate or quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19, unless you have symptoms.
    • If you have symptoms, fill out the COVID Symptom Tracker, and the COVID Case Manager will be in contact.
  • Unvaccinated:
    • If you are NOT vaccinated, you WILL need to isolate, fill out the COVID Symptom Tracker, and the COVID Case Manager will be in contact.
    • If you are not vaccinated and experience COVID symptoms you will have to quarantine.
DEFINITIONS
  • Isolation: a separation from others when one has symptoms and is waiting for test results or has tested positive.
  • Quarantine: a separation from others if a person is not showing symptoms but has been exposed, or believes they may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Hastings College will have limited spaces available for isolation and quarantine. It is encouraged for students and family members to have a quarantine and isolation plan for off campus as well.

Please continue to check your email and hastings.edu/return for further updates about COVID-19 guidelines. If you have any specific questions about this information or other concerns, please contact any of the individuals below.

Can’t wait to see you all very soon. Go Broncos!

Dr. Annette Vargas
Vice President of Student Access, Enrollment and Performance
avargas@hastings.edu

Skyler Good
COVID Case Manager
covid@hastings.edu

Candi Kennedy, RN
Campus Nurse
healthcenter@hastings.edu

Dr. Lisa Smith
Student Engagement
studentexperience@hastings.edu

Brian Hessler
Housing Office
housing@hastings.edu

Dear Campus Community,

Updated Return to Campus Protocols
Welcome back! We are excited to get our fall semester started. As we monitor the impact of COVID 19 and especially the Delta variant, we want to be sure we start our semester by safely integrating all our students and employees back on campus.

We will continue to update our policies and planning documents at hastings.edu/return. I am grateful for the work of the College’s COVID Planning Team led by Dr. Annette Vargas, Vice President for Student Access, Enrollment and Performance; and Skyler Good, COVID Case Manager.

While transmission rates are low to moderate in our area, we will welcome students from all over the country during move-in. So, starting Monday, August 9, we will institute an indoor mask requirement on campus for everyone, whether or not you are vaccinated for COVID 19. This updated policy will stay in place through Block 1, August 31.

We are taking this extra precaution to ensure that we can keep all students and employees safe and learning as we start the fall term. Please know that we will continue to monitor and evaluate our campus realities as well as guidance from health care experts.

Vaccine Clinic
We know that getting vaccinated for those who are eligible is simply the best path forward.

To assist with vaccinations, our area Health Department will host a clinic at HC on Thursday, August 26, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in HSU Room C.

We will continue to offer weekly raffle drawings ($100 in Bronco Bucks or Downtown Hastings Dollars) and a grand prize drawing ($1,000 in Visa Gift Card or tuition waiver) for vaccinated individuals through the end of September. Please take the time to enter even if you’re not interested in the prizes so we can get an accurate count of our vaccinated population on campus. (Students can enter here; employees can enter here.)

We are Broncos; we are one campus and one community and I know we will continue to care for ourselves and for one another.

Dr. Rich Lloyd
Executive President
o: 402.461.7326

For March 2020-May 2021 COVID-19 information, view this archive page.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email