When will breaks happen during the spring semester?
The spring semester will start Feb. 1 for most programs (read more about Shenandoah’s plans for Spring 2021). We are planning to observe spring break from March 29 to April 2; and Shenandoah’s campuses will be closed on Apple Blossom Friday on April 30.
Will classes be in person?
We’ve created a flexible plan for learning, called ShenFlex, in which each course is designed so that the instructor and the students have flexibility in participating face-to-face and/or online as needed. Classes are typically structured with a face-to-face core and additional online elements, but students will be able to participate fully online if needed, ensuring flexibility and continuity regardless of any disruptions.
What measures are being taken to make in-person classes safe?
Things look a little different on our campuses with safety signage and plexiglass erected in high-traffic areas. The situation continues to change daily and rapidly, and Shenandoah is pivoting to adapt to ever-evolving health conditions, circumstances, CDC guidelines and governmental executive orders.
We are committed to the highest standards of safety in our face-to-face interactions, and so Shenandoah has already completed a thorough re-classification of all of its classrooms and labs across all campuses. Maximum capacities for each classroom have been lowered and spaces have been reconfigured to ensure compliance with CDC guidelines on social distancing, and cleaning protocols are being put in place. We’re making plans to hold classes and other small-group activities in spaces normally reserved for large events so that everyone has room to physically distance. This means classes could be held in the chapel, the Ferrari Room or in a number of auditoriums on the main campus or even in one of our new outside classrooms. We’re also exploring methods to maintain 6-foot distancing within performance spaces.
Students, faculty and staff must wear masks/face coverings in all indoor spaces, unless they are in their private space, such as a residence hall room or an individual office. Read more about Shenandoah’s Personal Conduct & Social Distancing Policy.
Are my practicums and clinicals still happening?
Clinical placements and other experiential components are being evaluated by the appropriate schools.
What is the testing process at Shenandoah?
Asymptomatic surveillance testing is used to monitor for the incidence and prevalence of a community- or population-level occurrence of COVID-19, such as an outbreak. Shenandoah University is conducting its own SARS-CoV-2 surveillance testing through the use of pooled saliva samples, making it one of only a handful of universities in the country to do so. Learn more about Shenandoah’s surveillance testing.
A presumptive positive individual must then get a diagnostic COVID-19 test. Students will receive information from the Wilkins Wellness Center (and employees will hear from Human Resources) about next steps for diagnostic testing.
What’s the difference between diagnostic and surveillance testing?
The CDC defines testing this way:
- Diagnostic testing is intended to identify occurrence at the individual level and is performed when there is a reason to suspect that an individual may be infected, such as having symptoms or suspected recent exposure, or to determine resolution of infection.
- Surveillance testing is generally used to monitor for a community- or population-level occurrence, such as an infectious disease outbreak, or to characterize the occurrence once detected, such as looking at the incidence and prevalence of the occurrence. Surveillance testing is used to gain information at a population level, rather than an individual level.
What can I expect when I take the saliva test at Shenandoah?
This video about saliva tests helps to explain the process!
What does Shenandoah’s COVID-19 Dashboard show?
The dashboard shows active, confirmed positive cases in the Shenandoah community for the specified time period. Our community includes 5,000 employees and students (both undergraduate and graduate, part time and full time) who are living on campus, along with commuters and those who are all-online.
The collection of data for the dashboard is a complex process because it shows results obtained from the following:
- Tests administered to symptomatic individuals
- The university’s surveillance testing of asymptomatic students and employees
- Self-reported results from testing conducted off campus
- Virginia Department of Health
In addition, the university is tracking “active” cases as well as those individuals who are cleared to return to normal activity according to CDC guidelines. If individuals have not been cleared by the time the dashboard is updated, they will continue to be counted among the active positive cases.
Note: Shenandoah is conducting saliva tests. Individuals who receive presumed positive test results are referred for diagnostic testing. A presumed positive case is not listed on the dashboard until the diagnostic test is also confirmed to be positive.
Does the COVID-19 Dashboard include positive cases for those who aren’t on campus?
Yes. We rely on self-reporting from those who attend classes online or work remotely. Students, faculty and staff should report a COVID-19 exposure or test results (even if they’re negative) via the Shenandoah Go app.
Does the COVID-19 Dashboard show the number of individuals in isolation or quarantine?
No. The dashboard only features the number of active, positive cases. Anyone who tests positive is placed in isolation. Close contacts are placed in quarantine to see if symptoms develop over the course of 14 days. Non-residential students and employees are expected to follow the same protocols.
Why isn’t the COVID-19 Dashboard updated daily?
We are working to improve the data collection process so we can report cases more frequently on the dashboard. Since the university has different sources of receiving information (via our own surveillance testing, self-reported test results, and VDH), it’s a complex process to ensure the numbers we report are accurate.
What if I test positive for COVID-19, think I may have COVID-19, or believe I have been exposed?
First make sure you have been exposed by verifying that you had “close contact” with an individual who is confirmed as COVID-19 positive. If so, submit a report of your exposure using the Shenandoah Go app. The Wilkins Wellness Center will work with you individually. You will want to contact your health care provider for guidance regarding follow up and testing.
How do I report that I have COVID-19 or that I took a test?
Use the Shenandoah Go app. The Wilkins Wellness Center will review your submission and be in touch to discuss any symptoms, your test result, ongoing plan of care, and timeline to return to class in person.
Do I need to do contact tracing?
This is the job of the state health departments, including the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). However, the VDH has issued a worksheet to help identify individuals with whom you have had close contact. You should only use it after your diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed and you have been told to contact said individuals. It’s important to be honest about who may be considered to be a “close contact.”
Will I be told if someone I have class with has COVID-19?
You may be contacted by a contact tracer from VDH or the department of health from another state or county managing the “close contact” list for those with COVID-19. You will only be contacted if you meet the “close contact” criteria.
Is Shenandoah doing contact tracing?
Our policy is to follow the state process for contact tracing. We will keep the community informed if this process changes. You can read more about contact tracing at CDC Contact Tracing Resources.
When I have COVID-19 symptoms, should I stay home?
Yes, if you have any of the symptoms listed on the daily symptom checker of the Shenandoah Go app, you must stay home or remain in your residence hall room. You will receive an email or call from the Wilkins Wellness Center to discuss your individual situation. You may attend class and other activities remotely.
When can I return to class after a positive COVID test?
- You can be with others after
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
- Symptoms have improved
I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms
- If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after
- 10 days have passed since test
You will need permission to return to class from the Wilkins Wellness Center.
Should I post on social media that I have been exposed to or have COVID-19?
Shenandoah discourages the use of social media to discuss a COVID-19 diagnosis or possible exposure. Postings such as this can result in unintended consequences with family and friends.
Should I report individuals around me that are NOT wearing their mask?
The expectation is for everyone in the university community to wear a non-valved surgical or two-ply cloth mask over the nose and mouth in any enclosed building or structure when on a Shenandoah University campus and outside if social distancing isn’t possible. Accommodations for other facial coverings or medical exemptions should be referred to the Wilkins Wellness Center, which will explore options. If you see someone on campus not wearing a mask in accordance with SU’s expectations, you should feel free to encourage them to follow this important university protocol. It is up to each one of us to keep Shenandoah safe by reporting others for significant and repetitive behavior noncompliant with both safety measures and our SU Pledge to Keep Shenandoah Safe. You do not need to report for minor and infrequent behavior. We define “significant” as engaging in conduct that intentionally or recklessly threatens the health or safety of the university community. Reports can be made through the Student of Concern form.
What do I do if I suspect another student is ill?
If you are told by a student that they are ill or suspected of being ill, you should immediately submit a Student of Concern form and encourage the student to immediately contact the Wilkins Wellness Center. No further communication with the student is necessary due to the privacy of the student.
What does close contact mean?
The CDC had previously defined a contact” as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case. The updated guidance, which health departments rely on to conduct contact tracing, now defines a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
If I have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person, what should I do?
- Contact tracing will be conducted for close contacts (see definition above) of laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients
- Remote communications for the purposes of case investigation and contact tracing should be prioritized; in-person communication may be considered only after remote options have been exhausted
- The CDC says that close contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19 might not need to be tested if they do not show symptoms
- Those contacts who test positive (symptomatic or asymptomatic) should be managed as a confirmed COVID-19 case
- Asymptomatic contacts should self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure (i.e., close encounter with confirmed or probable COVID-19 case)
- If testing is not available, symptomatic close contacts should self-isolate and be managed as a probable COVID-19 case
- If testing is not available, asymptomatic close contacts should self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their last exposure
What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. See CDC definitions of quarantine and isolation.
- Isolation separates those who test positive for COVID-19 (even if they are asymptomatic, they are considered sick people with a contagious disease) from people who are not sick.
- People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available). We reserve special rooms on campus for residential students for this purpose.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease (close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID-19) to see if they become sick.
- Quarantine by staying home, avoiding contact with others, and monitor for symptoms until 14 days after the date of last close contact with the person infected with COVID-19.
- A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious starting from 2 days before they became sick (or 2 days before test specimen collection if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation.
- Quarantine by staying home, avoiding contact with others, and monitor for symptoms until 14 days after the date of last close contact with the person infected with COVID-19.
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e. they have received two doses of an mRNA vaccine or one dose of a single-dose series) and the exposure occurred at least two weeks after the last dose of the series
- The exposure is within three months of the last dose of the vaccine series
- The individual remains asymptomatic for all 14 days post exposure
The CDC information can be found at cdc.gov.
What does this mean for Shenandoah University?
Be sure to upload your immunization card. We are not requiring students, staff or faculty who have been exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine if they meet the above requirements.
Are flu shots required and offered on campus?
The SU Pledge encourages getting vaccinated for the flu in accordance with CDC recommendations unless there is a compelling reason not to do so. Flu shots for students are available at the Wilkins Wellness Center for $25 and will be billed to student accounts. Call 540-665-4530 to make an appointment for your vaccination or email questions to email@example.com.
Who can I talk to at Shenandoah about COVID-19?
Shenandoah University students should contact the Wilkins Wellness Center staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I try to reduce the spread of the virus?
Those who are not ill should practice good hygiene as this virus spreads easily, and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of infection. Please:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only when soap and water are not available.
- Maintain social distancing. Keep a safe, 6-foot distance from others when congregating.
- Wear masks/face coverings in all indoor spaces, and outside when social distancing is not possible.
- Stop greeting others with a handshake – use other non-contact methods of greeting.
- Limit exposure to others while eating/drinking without a mask.
- Wear a mask when riding in a car with others.
What should I do if I feel sick?
We ask that if you are sick, please stay home or in your residence hall until you are well and no longer exhibiting symptoms. Enter your symptoms into the Shenandoah Go app. The Wilkins Wellness Center will communicate with you to see if any testing and isolation/quarantine is warranted. Continue to be mindful of your health. Contact a medical professional if necessary. Wear a mask, wash your hands with soap and water often, sneeze into your arm or a tissue, and maintain social distancing.
Why is social/physical distancing important?
Social distancing is vital to stopping the spread of the coronavirus because it is so contagious. It is hard to follow guidelines when you feel healthy, but resisting the urge to hang out with friends and go to public places could save lives.
What is the best way to get help with the Shenandoah Go app?
Click on the question mark in the upper-right corner of the app to send a message to either the wellness team or app tech support. If the app is not functioning, check the troubleshooting tips online or fill out the form on the Shenandoah Go App Support page on the SU website.
What is the meaning behind the color-coded passes in the app?
- Green — app user has full campus access
- Yellow — app user may have been exposed to someone closer than 6 feet and without PPE
- Red — app user has symptoms and/or a fever
- Blue — app user has been in contact with the wellness center (or HR) and put in quarantine or isolation
Where will I have to show my mobile pass?
Mobile passes will need to be shown to enter the dining hall, classes, athletic practice, certain campus buildings, in-person events, and more. If you are trying to access any of these locations before you have completed your symptom check, you will not have a pass to show yet. You will have to complete your check to get a pass before you can enter.
What if I get a red pass?
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you will receive a red pass. Be sure to tap your pass for additional information. If you have a red pass, you should not come to campus. Residential students should stay in their room. If you are able to, you may attend virtual meetings and classes.
You will be contacted by a Shenandoah University health care professional to review your symptomatology. Depending on your conversation, they may change your pass to another color suggest a COVID-19 test, suggest that you continue to operate remotely, or more.
If you need to be in quarantine or isolation, the app will provide information about dining options.
What does a yellow pass mean?
You will receive a yellow pass if you have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19. A Wilkins Wellness Center representative will reach out to you to gauge your exposure level. They may recommend a COVID-19 test or they may change your pass to green.
What does a blue pass mean?
A blue pass means that you are in quarantine/isolation. Someone from the Wilkins Wellness Center will alert you if you will have a blue pass.Once you have a blue pass, you should continue to complete your symptom check each day but you cannot get any other pass color until the wellness center staff takes you out of quarantine/isolation.
Who will be able to see my symptomatology data?
It will only be available to university health care personnel, so that they can assist you if necessary.
Will I have to do my symptom check if I am a fully online student, faculty, or staff member?
Will I have to do my symptom check on days that I’m not coming to campus?
Yes. You will also need to log your symptoms on weekends and over holidays to not only provide consistency in your health information, but to also keep your personal streak of logging in your info alive! (Unbroken, semester-long streaks can earn you prizes!)
What is a streak?
For each day you complete your symptom check, your streak will rise by one. If you ever skip your symptom check for a full day, your streak will fall to zero. Streaks launched January 15, the day everyone started using the app. Unbroken, semester-long streaks will earn you recognition and prizes!
What if I forget to submit my symptom check?
Until you complete your symptom check, you will not have a campus pass, meaning you do not have access to in-person classes or meetings, the dining hall, and any congregate settings. If you fail to complete your check by the end of the day, you will face Shenandoah Code of Conduct penalties.
You will receive notifications from the app or a phone call to remind you to fill out your symptom check. If you go a full day without submitting, your completion streak will reset to zero.
Is doing the daily symptom check mandatory?
Yes. All Shenandoah community members must agree to the SU Pledge in the signup process for the app, and part of the pledge is to monitor your symptoms of COVID-19 and report them in the Shenandoah Go app.
What if I develop symptoms after I submit my symptom check?
You can resubmit your symptom check if you develop symptoms. Depending on your symptom check answers, you may receive a red pass instead of a green pass.
What if I don’t have a smartphone?
If you do not have a smartphone, please fill out this Google Form.
Are students required to live on campus all year?
Our first and second year live-on-campus requirement is lifted for the academic year 2020-21.
What are the rules for having guests in residence halls?
Shenandoah residential students are permitted to have one guest (per occupant of the room) at a time in the residence halls. Non-residential or non-Shenandoah guests are not allowed in the residence halls to protect those who live there. Read more about Shenandoah’s Personal Conduct & Social Distancing Policy.
Do residential students have to move out at the end of the fall semester?
No. Students who wish to remain on campus in the spring will be able to stay in the same residence hall so they may leave their belongings in their rooms. It is advised that you take home any personal items you might need over the break. If you have a refrigerator, you should remove all food and clean it. All bathrooms and shared spaces in the residence halls will be deep cleaned over the break.
Who can I contact about Residence Life questions?
Contact email@example.com if you have questions.
What is happening with Hornet Athletics this spring?
With testing and social distance procedures in place, the university plans to conduct intercollegiate athletics competition for 22 of its programs with the winter sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, and men’s wrestling) starting in late January. Those sports will return to campus to begin pre-season practice and acclimatization procedures in early January.
Fall and spring sports will return to campus on a schedule that allows them to undertake the same acclimatization procedures prior to the start of their scheduled seasons.
More information and schedules will be posted at suhornets.com.
Can I continue to learn online?
With ShenFlex, students will be able to participate fully online if needed, ensuring flexibility and continuity regardless of any disruptions the semester may bring.
For students with medical reasons or extenuating circumstances, please complete the Request for Modified Learning Arrangement for Spring 2021 form.
Our Just Keep Learning Plan continues to serve as an immensely important resource.
What if I can’t get online?
If you don’t have internet service, inform a faculty member. Assignments created in Canvas can be accessed on your smartphones and faculty are focusing on creating mobile-device-friendly content. Keep your faculty informed of any online difficulties.
Students who have no internet or weak internet can always call into a Zoom meeting via their phone. They will then get the audio portion of the class.
How do I take exams online?
Quiz and exam format may vary by course. Your instructor will work with you to make reasonable accommodations to meet the unique needs introduced by online learning.
Can I still access tutoring services online?
Tutoring is being provided online via Zoom and Google Hangouts. Students can continue to sign up for tutoring the way they always have, using TutorTrac at star.su.edu. Once they book an appointment, the tutor will contact them with information about how they will connect.
For any student who would like help and academic support, academic coaches are on hand via Zoom, Google Hangouts and phone to provide assistance in multiple ways. The coaches can connect you with resources such as tutoring and writing assistance, help you find answers to questions, work with you to balance out assignment load or just simply talk through the changes in course organization to help you, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Can I meet with someone about my resume, cover letter, job search, or interview skills online?
Yes. The Career & Professional Development staff can meet with students virtually or via a phone call. Students can book an appointment through Handshake and pick a time that works best for their schedule.
How can I utilize the library or access its online resources?
The university library has an extensive online collection of resources to support student research and study. It provides more than 300,000 academic e-books, 65,000+ e-journals and dozens of online databases to the academic community. Some of its specialized online streaming content includes the Naxos Music Library, Academic Films on Demand and Feature Films for Education. These and many other resources are available to you from off-campus.
Is the Counseling Center open?
Yes. The Counseling Center has initiated new practices during this time to provide care to more students at Shenandoah. The center may use other critical response personnel, in addition to the practicing therapists on staff, to assess needs and provide support to students.
All appointments are being conducted through video conferencing to promote the best health and safety practices for both staff and students. The Counseling Center can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-665-4752.
Is being stressed a normal feeling?
With all the recent developments and unexpected news regarding COVID-19, it is understandable to experience anxiety, stress and sadness, especially while we respond to these experiences out of our control.
The Wilkins Wellness Center and Counseling Center are committed to providing support to our students. We encourage everyone to increase their self-care practices in order to promote personal wellness, especially as it requires social distancing to help contain the virus.
This can include chatting with friends you’d normally see in person, but now via FaceTime or Snapchat, by playing games online and/or connecting in as many ways as possible while observing social distancing recommendations. Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotion you’re experiencing during this extraordinary and unprecedented time. Please see our list of resources in order to help manage any increased stress you experience.
How does the university send updates to students?
- Students should pay close attention to their SU email and look for notifications from the Shenandoah Go app.
- In addition, students should register for campus alerts to receive texts sent by the Department of Public Safety for weather-related information or emergencies.
- COVID-19 case information is posted on the dashboard.
- Some information will also be posted to the university’s main and Student Life social media accounts.
- Important messages related to Shenandoah’s response to COVID-19 are added to the communications archive on the website.
How can my parent or guardian sign up to receive communications?
Parents may opt into receiving messages from Shenandoah by filling out the form on the Parent Connection page.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths Vs Facts
Webinar with Hanan Kallash FNP-BC, Executive Director of the Wilkins Wellness and Counseling Center