Pioneers Protecting Pioneers

Phased Reopening Plan

Screening Tool

Reference Guide

Volunteer State Community College will begin a slow, phased reopening to the greatest extent possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our students, employees and surrounding communities. This complex undertaking is being carried out in a manner that will occur in phases. This will allow the College time to continually assess and learn from the latest information about COVID-19 made available.

Our phased reopening plan involves four levels of operation:

Summary of Plans:

Level 3: Highly Restrictive – Pandemic Escalation (similar to spring 2020 semester status)

  • All campus instruction provided remotely using eLearn, Teams, and Zoom.
  • Clinicals and other experiential learning in the community suspended.
  • Employees working both remotely with some on campus. This includes staffing rotations within offices.
  • Domestic Travel suspended.
  • International Travel suspended.
  • Limited access to main campus in Gallatin. No access to campus locations in Cookeville, Livingston and Springfield.
  • Campus events at all locations cancelled or postponed to later dates.
  • International Study trips suspended.
  • Athletic programs suspended.
  • Large events on campus cancelled or postponed. 

Level 2: Considerably Restrictive (similar to summer 2020 status)

  • COVID-19 daily screening protocol in place for all person’s visiting a Vol State campus location.
  • All campus instruction provided remotely through eLearn and Zoom with few exceptions.
  • Clinicals and other experiential learning in the community is possible on a case by case basis with community partners who will follow appropriate safety standards. 
  • Select labs on campus are operating with clinical experiences or by appointment per academic area of study.
  • Employees working both remotely with some on the Gallatin campus. This includes staffing rotations within offices.
  • Limited operations at Vol State Cookeville. Vol State Springfield and Vol State Livingston operate under a remote status.
  • No meetings or gatherings with more than 10 individuals
  • Plexiglass at reception areas and other service points will be in place. Crowd control measures will be added with appropriate signage in place to promote physical distancing and other protocol promoted to control public health.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocol at all campus locations.
  • Non-essential travel suspended.
  • International travel suspended.
  • Athletic recruiting underway with social distancing guidelines in place, where possible.
  • Select large events possible with safety plans in place. 

Level 1: Moderate restrictions with sustained decrease of community spread. Most operations back on campus, but with restrictions in place. (This is the base plan for fall 2020.)

  • COVID-19 daily screening protocol in place for all person’s visiting a Vol State campus location.
  • All Vol State campus locations are open during regular days and business hours.
  • Faculty will identify courses, experiences or competencies that can only be completed in a face-to-face setting. These determinations will be given first priority for using classrooms, labs or other on-ground resources.
  • All other academic programs will be offered in varied formats that include: 
    • Virtual Online: Courses are offered online using virtual platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom to offer instruction at the days/times listed in the schedule.
    • Online: Traditional online courses that will not meet at a particular day or time.
    • Hybrid: Courses offered part online or virtual instruction and part face-to-face instruction in a classroom. Instructors will let students know which days they will meet on campus.
  • Clinicals and other experiential learning permitted with appropriate limitations.
  • Laboratory and on-campus experiential courses permitted with physical distancing and other safety measures in place.
  • All individuals must use face coverings when on campus.
  • Employees working on campus with remote work option available for those who identify an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure to themselves or others in their household. 
  • Plexiglass at reception areas and other service points. Crowd control measures with appropriate signage in place to promote physical distancing and other measures to enhance public health. 
  • Enhanced cleaning protocol at all campus locations.
  • Non-essential travel suspended.
  • International travel suspended.
  • Athletic competition permitted based on guidance from the NJCAA and TCCAA. . This may mean that games are played without the presence of spectators. 

Level 0: The New Normal (future plan) 

  • On campus face-to-face instruction, limited physical distancing expectations.
  • Laboratory and other experiential courses permitted.
  • Clinicals / Experiential learning in the community with few limitations.
  • Employees working on campus with remote option available with approval.
  • Large events permitted.
  • Domestic and international travel permitted.
  • Athletic competition permitted with spectators. 

Individual Responsibility

Individuals are expected to follow guidelines and principles that promote the health of the campus community at-large. Measures outlined help protect one another and help prevent the spread of the virus. Because medical experts believe the continued spread of the virus is partly due to contagious people who have no symptoms, all faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Stay home when feeling ill, when exposed to COVID-19 (e.g. positive household member case), or if diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19. To reinforce individual responsibility, faculty must demonstrate flexibility with students who are absent from class due to illness or quarantine. Likewise, supervisors must be flexible with employees who are absent due to illness or quarantine.
  • Employees or students who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the CDC are encouraged to work with their supervisors or course faculty to identify possible alternatives for work or academic instruction.
  • Employees who are diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should notify Vol State’s Office of Human Resources. Students who are diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.
  • Wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, wear face coverings when appropriate. 
  • Practice recommended physical distancing when appropriate.
  • Adhere to notices and instructions posted around campus related to COVID-19 mitigation.
  • Follow specific safety and health parameters that are outlined in this document along with future campus directives. 

COVID-19 Self Screening:

Effective June 1, all employees coming to campus must complete a screening form daily before arrival. You need a thermometer on hand and must take your temperature to input on the form. All Vol State campus locations remain closed to the public, but we are open online. Starting June 29, select campus operations will open up to students and visitors. Each person visiting a Vol State campus location will need to complete the screening form each day when planning to visit a campus location. 

Students may still receive help from offices in Student Services as well as from Academic Affairs through phone, email and virtual platform. Please visit volstate.edu for a full list of directory information. 

Safety and Health Measures

Vol State will continue to promote the safety and health measures outlined by the CDC, Tennessee Department of Health and other appropriate authorities. As part of its demonstrated advocacy for campus health and safety, the college must communicate broadly about the importance of individuals’ health and safety. 

Physical Distancing and Face Coverings

Central to ensuring health and safety is the requirement that individuals wear appropriate face coverings on campus, adhere to physical distancing measures, and engage in appropriate sanitation activities. Based on current CDC recommendations, the current standard of 6 feet of distancing between individuals should be maintained as much as possible. Physical distancing is especially important for times when individuals are sitting or standing in an area for longer periods of time. Thus, staffing plans for work areas should take this distance measure into account. Additionally, the classroom physical distancing recommended are based on the 6 feet distancing. 

Physical distancing alone without face coverings is not sufficient. Individuals will be expected to provide their own face covering. Although the college may be able to provide some masks, supplies are based on availability. 

Face Covering / Mask Protocol

In conjunction with the Pandemic Crisis Management Team and following health agency recommendations, the college has adopted the following protocol. During the implementation of our return to campus plan, social distancing and the wearing of a mask will be required. Toward that end, here is guidance:

Mask Fitting

  • Masks should be worn so that they fully cover the nose and mouth.

Mask Required

  • Transiting from your vehicle to your work area and back to your vehicle.
  • Staff at front office or reception areas where walk in traffic may occur.
  • All in person meetings with other members of the college community even when social distancing is possible.
  • Occupying an office with one or more other persons where fixed walls are not in place.
  • Visiting or transiting through any interior public spaces. This includes restrooms, hallways, conference rooms, or break rooms.

Mask Not Required

  • In your office when alone.

This protocol will remain in place until notified otherwise. We will continue to monitor the CDC and other health agency recommendations.

As we anticipate the return of students and the pubic to our campus, plexiglass sneeze guards and signage will be installed to help people maintain social distancing.