COVID-19 Update: Fall 2021

July 21, 2021

A Message from the Provost

As we approach the beginning of our next academic year, we are excited to be together again in our Belmont Abbey College community! Even now, we are preparing for the arrival of students in just a few weeks and anticipate the largest incoming class in the history of the college.

As you might expect, our preparations for the coming school year have included deep conversations around COVID management and protocols for the year, even as local, state, and federal regulations shift with some regularity. To that end, we have established the protocols and procedures below with an attempt to balance our desire for community and the safety of our community citizens with the requirements of external agencies.

I would ask you to read the protocols below and would additionally highlight a few of these items including:

  1. We will be conducting classes and a full slate of student programming in person and without masks and social distancing. In this, we are very much anticipating a return to activities as they were prior to COVID.
  2. We will NOT require vaccinations of students and employees.
  3. We will NOT require masking or social distancing in our campus functions including classrooms and dining services but do encourage those who are unvaccinated to appropriately mask.
  4. We are requesting the vaccination status of students and employees to comply with external requirements regarding isolation and quarantine for positive and presumptive cases. This request will come from studentlife@bac.edu (Wellness Center) in the coming days and we ask that you return this information no later than August 10th.
  5. Depending on the availability of on-campus resources including housing and dining service, isolation and quarantine may be off-campus for positive or exposed students AND may be at the expense of the student.

These procedures are, of course, subject to change as local, state, and federal authorities continue to provide updates. As before, we will communicate with the community as these occur.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Best,

Dr. Travis Feezell
Provost

COVID Management 2021-22

  • Belmont Abbey College will NOT require vaccinations of faculty, staff, or students.
  • Belmont Abbey College will request vaccination status prior to the beginning of the academic year (~August 10) of all students.
  • Masks will not be required. However, consistent with current governor’s orders, masking for the unvaccinated is encouraged.
  • Class capacities will be at traditional limits.
  • Student Life and Athletics are planning for a full slate of activities for the academic year.
  • Dining Services will return to normal activities in terms of preparation and delivery.
  • Courses will no longer be conducted via Zoom for purposes of COVID management; however, classes may be recorded and shared with particular students at the request of those students isolated because of COVID or away for athletics purposes.
  • Classroom instructors and employees may request social distance as appropriate.
  • Exemptions from in-person learning will not be allowed.

Symptomatic/Exposure Protocols

  • Students who are symptomatic are asked to visit the Wellness Center (or physician if commuter) for consultation and testing (if needed). Symptomatic students who visit the Wellness Center will be given an antigen test (at the expense of Belmont Abbey College) which should yield results within 15 minutes. If the test is positive, the student will be required to take an additional PCR test with a local provider. Transportation and Expense will NOT be provided for this test. Students will isolate in their rooms or off-campus until the results of the test are provided to the Wellness Center.
  • In the event of a positive test, students MAY be required to isolate off-campus depending on room availability (at the student’s expense) for the time consistent with best recommendations of local and state health officials. These recommendations may also include an additional negative PCR test (at the expense of the student) before returning to campus for courses and activities.

If a student is exposed to a positive case:

  • Those students with vaccinations or a positive test within the last 90 days (or consistent with current recommendations) are NOT subject to the restrictions below.
  • Those students exposed to a positive case without vaccination MUST quarantine for a time consistent with current local and state health officials.
    This quarantine MAY be off-campus depending on room availability
    If off-campus, this quarantine will be at the expense of the student
    Roommates (without vaccination or positive test) will automatically be quarantined; suitemates MAY be quarantined dependent on contact exposure.
  • Employees with symptoms or exposure should test/isolate/quarantine consistent with the processes above.
  • The items above are subject to change as institutional circumstances and county/state guidelines evolve.