Updated Tue Sept 15
- What Our Plans Include – and What to Expect on Campus
- College-Wide Mandatory Testing Plan
- Frequently Asked Questions
This is unlike any other time in Keene State’s history – so life isn’t the same this fall. It will be new for all of us. We’re Owls United more than ever, and because we’re in this together our semester together is going to be great. Take care for yourself and everyone around you, and be on the lookout for more information from our #OwlsUnited education campaign, including our first video, below, as well as signs on campus and social media posts to share with people you know in our community.
Please download the poster or graphic below to print or use in email, documents and other electronic communications to spread the word that we are #OwlsUnited at Keene State.
What Our Plans Include – and What to Expect on Campus
We are using a science-based public health plan to keep our community safe.
Click below to view the plan and details in an appendix listing.
Here’s some of what you’ll experience:
- Mandatory testing no more than seven days before arrival on campus with a negative COVID-19 test result for all students, faculty, and staff, as well as regular, recurring testing. We are coordinating closely with Quest Diagnostics to provide pre-arrival testing at no cost, as well as our local hospital, Cheshire Medical Center, to ensure testing is available, to respond to any outbreaks of the virus on campus immediately.
- We are collaborating with Cheshire Medical Center on contact tracing to identify others who could also be at risk.
- We will have reduced residence hall capacity to allow for greater protection against the virus spreading.
- Classrooms and labs will be structured to ensure physical distancing and classes will be offered remotely and in person to provide hybrid delivery for learning. 50 classrooms will have new technology so that half of many classes can be offered remotely. This means that students who are sick or are in quarantine can still keep up on their classes, remotely.
- We are stepping up cleaning further, to three times per day in common areas and in bathrooms – you can help too – keeping your living space clean, and disinfected will keep you and your roommate safe.
- Our dining services will offer the same delicious food, but it will be packaged in take-out style containers for your safety. Seating will be limited and spaced appropriately in the Zorn Dining Commons, or opt to take your food to-go. Online ordering will be available for all dining locations, and menu items will be customizable to fit any dietary or allergen needs.
- The academic calendar has been adjusted so that all classes start remotely on August 24, while in-person classes will begin August 31. Courses will continue as scheduled during Fall Break and Labor Day, rather than closing the College. You will complete your semester with remote classes and finals after Thanksgiving break, and students will not return to campus for the rest of the Fall term.
- More information about accessing courses remotely can be found here.
College-Wide Mandatory Testing Plan
Every faculty, staff and student at Keene State will be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis throughout the semester. Weekly testing is mandatory, and is an important part of the Community Commitment Acknowledgement that every College community member signed in order to be on campus.
The third phase of this weekly testing is on September 17 and 18 for every Keene State community member. This mass-testing will be held at Spaulding Recreation Center and will be done safely.
- The site is set up to ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing between every person.
- Though the Recreation Center may hold more than 450 people with safe physical distancing, the total number of people in the Recreation Center at one time will not exceed 300.
- Separate entrances and exits from the facility are carefully planned to ensure a one-directional flow to reduce potential contact.
- From arrival to departure, it should take 40 – 45 minutes or less for participants.
- Faculty, staff and students must wear a mask to enter the Recreation Center for their tests – no exceptions.
The most recent testing schedule for students is below:
Thursday, September 17, based on the first letters of student’s last name:
|Time||First letters of last name|
|9 – 10 a.m.||A - BER|
|10 – 11 a.m.||BIA - CAU|
|11 a.m. – 12 p.m.||CAV - DANF|
|12 – 12:45 p.m.||D’ANG - ELLS|
|12:45 – 1:30 p.m.||NO TESTING|
|1:30 – 2:30 p.m.||ELSE - GIZ|
|2:30 – 3:30 p.m.||GLAD - HOLO|
|3:30 – 4:30 p.m.||HON - LAC|
|4:30 – 5:30 p.m.||LAF-MARC|
Friday, September 18, based on the first letters of student’s last name:
|Time||First letters of last name|
|9 – 10 a.m.||MAR - MOS|
|10 – 11 a.m.||MOTH - PEEB|
|11 a.m. – 12 p.m.||PEET - ROG|
|12 – 12:45 p.m.||ROL - SOM|
|12:45 – 1:30 p.m.||NO TESTING|
|1:30 – 2:30 p.m.||SON - VIN|
|2:30 – 3:30 p.m.||VIO - Z|
The schematic below shows the careful layout of the Recreation Center for these two mass-testing times in September. Each “o” represents a marking on the floor where participants will stand – it is not to scale but each spot is 6 feet apart. People will enter from the top of the schematic, go to a registration table, then go to a testing table, and will exit immediately after checking out for one-directional flow.
The next phase in mandatory College-wide testing will begin after September 11 when the two rounds of mass-testing are complete. This weekly testing will be self-administered, will be more flexible for schedules, and will continue throughout the fall semester. The College will provide detailed information and instructions to all faculty, staff and students in the coming weeks.
MyQuest App Troubleshooting
Our Community-Wide Commitment is Needed to Stay on Campus
We each must make a commitment to ourselves, our roommates, our friends, colleagues and our whole community to make sure our plans to keep us on campus work. This means every hour of every day. Follow the guidelines that you’ll see and hear throughout KSC’s health education campaign, including physical distancing, wearing your mask in public spaces, and taking care of yourself, your roommates and friends. Remember, wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart and staying home when you’re not feeling well not only is good for you, but it keeps your friends, professors, students, and many other people around you safe.
No handshaking or hugs. Let’s find some other way to show our care for each other that is safer.
As much as we understand that large gatherings and attending parties is something students want to do in college, in this environment it is seriously irresponsible, and will only put your friends, yourself and your neighbors at risk.
Remember that you can speak up if you see someone who is not being careful – each choice we make can either keep each other safe, or can put each other at risk. We are Owls United in this together. Trainings will be available to help us learn how to help each other.
Health and Safety Protocols
Faculty, staff and students will complete pre-arrival testing for COVID-19 no more than seven days before returning to campus, to ensure a negative test result. To ensure the safety of people who may have had contact with someone with coronavirus, contact tracing will be done to notify individuals who may be at risk.
Wearing a mask at all times on campus in public spaces, except when an individual is in their living space, or eating while seated, is required for faculty, staff and students. Keene State will provide masks to all faculty, staff and students – and they are encouraged to bring their own masks as well to ensure a plentiful supply.
To help with physical distancing on campus, directional markers and signage will be posted in public spaces to remind and assist people with ways to safely navigate various situations.
Please note that currently, under the Governor’s order, any person traveling internationally (including Canada) or outside of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island or Vermont are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before traveling to New Hampshire, or after their arrival in New Hampshire. If this order applies to you, please plan accordingly.
Contact Tracing, Quarantine and Isolation
The Keene State College Rapid Response Team (RRT) is a team that facilitates quarantine, isolation and contract tracing. The RRT works in support of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH-DHHS) as a tier one, initial urgent response for members of the Keene State community. The RRT provides collected information and data to NH-DHHS to support their comprehensive contact tracing response.
The RRT immediately responds to suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 by facilitating isolation of positive cases and by identifying, within 24 hours, any people with potential exposure to person who tested positive to facilitate quarantine of contacts. Contacts are identified as any person who has been in sustained contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The person who tested positive is moved to isolation for 10 days, and until symptom-free. Contacts of a person who tested positive are moved to quarantine for 14 days. If either the person who tests positive or any of the contacts cannot move home, a dedicated space is provided for them.
Isolating cases are followed up with by Health Services at The Wellness Center, and quarantined contacts are followed up with by the Rapid Response Team. People who isolate and people in quarantine must be cleared at the end of their time period before returning to regular daily activities.
Student Activities, Clubs and Organizations
Though large-scale in-person social and co-curricular events won’t be taking place from either the Office of Student Involvement or from individual student organizations, we’ll have lots of fun opportunities to connect with other students. These include:
- Smaller-scale events may be held in-person as conditions allow, while others may be streamed online or using other virtual platforms, and some will do both.
- Hosting virtual events with the Night Owl Café as the backdrop, and we will hold in-person programs and events hosted by student organizations and the Office of Student Involvement that may still take place in large spaces such as the Mabel Brown Room and Mountain View Room with lower occupancy and different set up arrangements.
- Weekly BINGO and Trivia will resume, with games happening both in-person and virtually.
- The annual Fall Student Involvement Fair will have both in-person and virtual elements, so that new and returning students will be able to find out information about student organization opportunities early in the fall semester.
Student organizations will continue to be active, and groups will be able to plan meetings, events, and programs using new guidance and campus and facility requirements. Different plans are in development for alternative breaks, and we are working with local partners to find opportunities for virtual and small-scale in-person community service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why are we testing in the gym? It is safe to be testing inside?
A. The gym in Spaulding Recreation Center offers enough space to accommodate our population with safe physical distancing, and it allows for one-way traffic flow patterns to reduce potential contact between people. In addition, the space was designed for physical activity, with air exchange rates that are more aggressive than a performance hall or large classroom.
Q. Is there a testing drive-up option for the weekly College-wide mass testing?
A. Due to the number of people who are being tested, we are not able to offer a drive-up option.
Q. Will testing always be the same day of the week?
A. Yes – Thursday and Friday for the remainder of September.
Q. How often will we be testing?
A. Testing will be done weekly.
Q. If I can’t make the testing time – what happens?
A. You will need to be remote until you participate in the next week’s testing at the College.
Q. What is the purpose of the wristband that I get after the weekly testing?
A. The purpose of the wristband is to serve as visual cue that individuals are doing their part to support by participating in College testing protocol. The wristband has no meaning regarding test results. Keene State is planning to swap out wristband colors each week.
Q. What happens if I lost my testing wristband – or it came off?
A. Employees should contact Human Resources. Students should contact the Dean of Students Office at email@example.com or 603-358-2842.
Q. How soon will I get my COVID-19 test results?
A. It may take up to four days. Check the MyQuest App or call the Quest Back to School Support Link at 855-324-7472 for information.
Q. I can’t find my most recent test results – what should I do?
A. Call the Quest Back to School Support Link at 855-324-7472, Monday through Friday, 8am –5pm EST.
Q. What happens when there is a positive test result at Keene State?
A. The Keene State College Rapid Response Team is monitoring test results 24/7. In the event someone has a positive test result, the Rapid Response Team is quickly mobilized to contact the individual with a plan of action and begin the process of contact tracing. The rapid response process is very tightly managed with excellent oversight.
Q. What should students do if they have symptoms similar to those known for COVID-19 and they need to talk with someone outside of Wellness Center hours?
A. If students have COVID-19-like symptoms and need to talk with someone during the weekend or outside of Wellness Center hours: Students living on campus should call Campus Safety at 603-358-2228. Students who live off campus or are commuting to Keene State should call Cheshire Medical Center’s COVID-19 hotline at 603-354-5400.
Q. What is the difference between quarantine vs. isolation?
A. Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and it lasts at least 10 days from the day the person had their test, and until symptoms are gone. Quarantine is for people who have been in sustained contact with people who test positive, and it lasts 14 days from their last exposure to the person who has tested positive. There is n testing for COVID-19 at the end of isolation and quarantine. For people who were positive for the virus and are not contagious, residual RNA remains in the body for three months, which returns a positive result. These timeframe are science-based and in place to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.
Q. Can I take a COVID-19 to get out of quarantine?
A. No. Due to the differences in virulence and presentation of the virus at varying times for different people, it is not possible to test out of quarantine. So, someone exposed to the virus may not develop an infection immediately and could develop a clinical infection at any point during a 14-day period. As a result, Keene State follows Department of Health and Human Services and CDC guidelines to quarantine for at least 14 days, which allows confidence that transmission of the virus did not occur for the person in quarantine.
Q. I know someone who tested positive but I wasn’t contacted; should I have been?
A. It’s like that you were not contacted because the person who tested positive did not identify you as a contact. If you feel you have in fact been within 6 feet of this person for more than 10 minutes, you can first notify Campus Safety to reach the Rapid Response Team at 603-358-2228 and then self-isolate at your home for 14 days.
Classes and Coursework
Q. How will Keene State ensure physical distancing in classrooms?
A. Classrooms and labs are structured to ensure physical distancing and classes will be offered remotely and in person to provide hybrid delivery for learning. 50 classrooms will have new technology so that half of many classes can be offered remotely. This means that students who are sick or are in quarantine can still keep up on their classes, remotely. In residence halls, occupancy has been reduced without using triples and quads.
Q. How will students who are majoring in programs that require certification, such as teaching and nursing, meet their requirements in the fall?
Adjustments may need to be made for the fall, and faculty in these programs are working to ensure that students will have access to the experience they need to meet requirements, and to be prepared to start their careers. For specific questions, students should contact their professors.
Q. If a medical condition prohibits a student from being on campus for classes, can courses be taken remotely?
A. Yes, for students who have medical reasons for not returning to campus, courses will be provided remotely to accommodate their needs. We want to be sure all students have access to the quality education that Keene State provides.
Q. Will commuters have access to classes? Will commuters be tested for COVID-19 more frequently?
A. Yes, students who commute are welcome on campus! And there will likely be more frequent testing for these students. Monitoring for symptoms and staying home when not feeling well are important too.
Q. How will it work with students moving in the week of August 24 while also taking classes?
A. Classwork during the week of August 24 will not be tied to a class schedule – rather, faculty will begin instruction remotely and students can fit the coursework into their schedules that week.
Q. If there is a positive test, what will happen with the first case? In addition, if a professor tests positive, does the class then move online? Would that then result in a tuition discount?
A. The individual would moved to isolation immediately, and contact tracing would begin right away to notify any others who may be at risk. If a professor becomes ill, the same would happen, and either another faculty member would pick up the course, or it would move online – either way, the class continues.
Q. How will costs be adjusted if a student takes their classes fully online in the fall?
A. Students will not have to pay room or board, and they will have a discount in student activity fees. They will be billed for the total fee amount of $1,442 and then receive a Remote Learning Adjustment of $930.90, to pay $511.10.
Q. If a student in a class tests positive, will the entire class be required to quarantine?
A. Keene State is holding strict physical spacing at 6 feet or more in classroom spaces to avoid the need for entire classes to quarantine.
Q. What is the difference between “blended” and “remote-blended” classes?
A. Details about the different types of classes can be found here.
Dining on Campus
Q. What are my options for dining during the fall semester?
A. The Zorn Dining Commons and Lloyd’s will continue to serve its delicious food. More options will be available in individual, to-go packaging, and seating will be limited.
Health and Safety Precautions
Q. When will students be tested for COVID-19?
A. All Keene State students should have a COVID-19 test administered 7-9 days prior to arriving. Students who are living on campus should reference the Move In section above to see when their test results should be received by the college.
Q. Can students still have off-campus jobs?
A. Yes, and we ask students working in jobs off campus to carefully follow mask wearing and physical distancing and hygiene protocols also while away from campus.
Q. Can students go home for weekend visits during the fall semester?
A. We want to make sure our students stay well connected with their families, and we do need to consider potential risks of exposure associated with leaving Keene. Students will be able to return home for visits, appointments, etc. but we encourage students to stay in Keene if possible. Students must fill out the travel registration form before leaving Keene to travel.
Q. When will students be tested for COVID-19 at Keene State?
A. A. All students will participate in mandatory weekly testing along with faculty and staff.
Q. Will testing be free for students?
A. Yes, the college is paying for all costs associated with COVID-19 testing.
Q. Will faculty and students be wearing masks during in-person classes?
A. Yes, this is necessary to keep faculty and students safe.
Q. Do family members need to quarantine for 14 days before arriving on campus?
A. Currently, under the Governor’s order, any person traveling to New Hampshire from an international location (including Canada) from Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island or Vermont are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before traveling to New Hampshire, or after their arrival in New Hampshire. This means if you are coming to the college campus from a state outside of New England, or from another country, you must quarantine for 14 days either in your home state or country, or in New Hampshire prior to coming on campus. If this order applies to you, please plan accordingly.
Q. Will a parent be notified if their student has a positive COVID-19 test result?
A. This must be considered under the federal guidelines through FERPA. The college is looking into this further – once a decision is final, it will be shared here.
Q. Where will a student living off campus who is ill with COVID-19 quarantine?
A. If possible, the student will have private transportation to their permanent home. If this is not possible, the student may remain in their off-campus housing or alternatively, an on-campus location may be secured.
Q. What if a student refuses to wear a mask?
A. The student code of conduct has been updated to make it possible to issue repercussions for not following health requirements. The risk and potential outcome of not following these requirements are that serious – we must all do our part.
Q. Do I need to wear a mask even when I’m off campus?
A. Yes, the same requirements exist off campus in order to protect you and our Keene neighbors.
Q. How will Quest ensure that results will be returned in time?
A. Keene State has an agreement with Quest, which includes the kind of test that will be administered and the turnaround time of results, to ensure that our community has results in time for scheduled campus return.
Q. Will on-campus students be able to go shopping and dine at businesses outside of campus?
A. Yes, absolutely. You will need to continue to observe safety precautions by wearing a mask, practicing careful hygiene and physical distancing.
Q. If I test positive for COVID-19 or if I have symptoms prior to receiving test results, what should I do?
A. If you test positive for COVID-19, whether you live on or off campus, you should immediately call Campus Safety 603-358-2228 to report your positive result and inform your Residential Life staff if applicable. If you have COVID-19-like symptoms and you need to talk with someone during the weekend or outside of Wellness Center hours: Students living on campus should call Campus Safety at 603-358-2228. Students who live off campus or are commuting to Keene State should call Cheshire Medical Center’s COVID-19 hotline at 603-354-5400.
Q. If I test positive, will I get an email or phone call and need to react immediately? What is next?
A. You will be immediately contacted by the Keene State Rapid Response Team if your test comes back positive. Staff will provide instructions to you about what to do in that moment. We suggest that students have a sick plan and bag prepared in advance, so that they don’t need to be concerned about packing at the last minute and having to make any last-minute arrangements for their needs. If you are not in your room at the time you learn you have a positive test, arrangements will be made with you by campus staff to assist you in safely returning to your room for any needed belongings.
Q. What happens if my roommate is positive with COVID-19?
A. If your roommate tests positive, you will be contacted by our Keene State Rapid Response Team for assessment and assistance. If a quarantine is determined to be needed, you will quarantine at home, or on campus if unable to return home. While you are in quarantine you will be contacted regularly for continued assessment, support, and guidance by College staff, the room and bathroom in the living space will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and your roommate will be moved out of the living space until healthy to return.
Q. What happens if I have been identified through contract tracing?
A. If you are identified through contact tracing, you will quarantine at home, or if unable to return home, you will quarantine on campus. While you are in quarantine you will be contacted regularly for continued assessment, support, and guidance by College staff.
Q. When do I need to complete the Keene State COVID-19 training course?
A. Students should complete the training during the week of August 24 – 28. Students can ask their professors about how to access the training.
Q. How do I access the Keene State Health Attestation?
A. Students and employees may access the Health Attestation Form here, and also using the A-Z index at the top of keene.edu, searching for “Health Attestation Form”.
Q. What kind of information is asked in the Keene State Health Attestation?
A. Employees and students are asked Yes or No questions related to:
- not tested positive for COVID-19
- not been in contact with others tested positive
- do not have temperature of 100 degrees F or above in past 72 hours
- no respiratory symptoms
- no muscle aches/chills
- no change in sense of taste/smell
Q. What is the purpose of the Keene State Health Attestation?
A. Part of your expected individual responsibility is to help support the health and safety of Keene State community members. Evidence supports that temperature screening is a valuable and important self-health monitoring metric.
Q. How often do students/employees need to complete the Keene State Health Attestation?
A. Students and employees should complete the form once per day. It should be submitted no more than 90 minutes in advance of the first time being out on campus each time.
Q. How do I share feedback or concerns regarding student behavior associated with COVID-19 expectations?
A. If a productive conversation with the student isn’t possible, you may convey your concern using the Silent Witness form.
Q. Where is information on the enhanced Student Code of Conduct to address COVID-19?
A. You may find it here.
Q. Where do students go for mental health support?
A. Students may call the Wellness Center to talk with a counselor.
Q. What should I do if I don’t feel comfortable with my housing situation?
A. Be sure to contact the Residential Life Office at 603-358-2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What advice do you have for students who need to sign leases for off-campus housing?
A. While the college has control over housing availability and operations on campus, agreements with off-campus landlords are private between students and the property owners. The college does wish to help by coordinating with landlords to help with flexibility and understanding around these uncertain times.
Q. Who can students contact with questions about how the housing process works?
A. For students who have questions about how to select housing and/or roommate, the Residential Life Office is available to help you. Visit https://www.keene.edu/office/reslife/ for contact information and details.
Q. Who is permitted to visit students in residence halls?
A. Only Residential Life staff and students who are living on campus can enter residence halls.
Q. How will housing in residence halls be affected?
A. A limit of two people housed in one residence hall bedroom is established – no doubles or triples.
Q. Who will clean common bathrooms in suites?
A. Students will keep these spaces clean as they use them. If there any specific questions about this or if they need assistance, students can talk with their Resident Assistant.
Q. Do I need to wear a mask even if a neighbor in my residence hall comes to my room? What about if I’m in a shared bathroom?
A. Yes, wearing a mask around people other than your roommate will reduce risk of exposure to the virus.
Q. Will I be able to stay on campus after Thanksgiving Break begins?
A. Any student who has local commitments related to their academic program will be permitted to stay in on-campus housing to complete their academic requirements. This applies to student teachers and internships connected to accruing college credit. It does not apply to student employment, non-credit bearing internships and other local commitments not connected to coursework. Students remaining in housing may be consolidated to other campus accommodations in order to ensure safety and security and appropriate support.
Student Clubs and Activities
Q. Will fall sports be happening? What about club sports?
A.The LEC has canceled competition for the fall semester. We are, however, finding different ways for student athletes to safely continue practice and some competitive play. Club sport participation will be available – plans are being finalized.
Q. Are student clubs still operating?
A. Yes! We will ask student clubs that meet to carefully adhere to using a mask, practice physical distancing, and to limit gatherings to 10 or less people.
Q. Will student athletes be moving in early, now that the LEC has canceled competition?
A. Student athletes will move in on their own schedule, rather than as a group as early arrivals.
Student Support and Services
Q. What medical support will be available on campus to help students when the college opens in the fall?
A. Keene State will provide a satellite Upper Respiratory Infection clinic outside of Elliot Center that is available by phone and appointment to treat students with respiratory-related symptoms that may be due to the common cold, sinusitis, flu, strep, and could be Coronavirus-related. Students will also continue to have access to the Wellness Center in the Elliot Center for ongoing health and wellness needs such as counseling, injuries, and other common needs. A separate COVID-19 testing facility will also be located on campus, providing testing services only.
Q. How will the college support students with limited access to technology or internet?
A. The college is making plans to provide additional technology to students who need it to ensure that they can access their education remotely. This is part of the planning for the fall, and details on how to access these resources will be communicated later this summer.
Q. If a COVID-19 vaccine is available in the future, how could this change requirements on campus?
A. At this point in time, a vaccine appears to be some months away. When a vaccine is made available, the college will make efforts to prioritize the college community in receiving the vaccine in an effort to return operations as close to normal as possible, while ensuring no further risk to the community.
Q. Are out-of-state students able to come to campus if it opens in the fall?
A. Yes, absolutely! All students are welcome back on campus in the fall after opening.
Q. When will campus services, including the Bookstore, open in the fall?
A. At this time, we anticipate the Bookstore will open in the fall when the rest of the campus opens. This is part of the fall planning that is underway, which will be shared when complete.
Events, Visitors, and Performances
Q. Can I still enter buildings on campus?
A. All buildings on the Keene State College campus are currently closed to the public in order to ensure health and safety for our community members.
Q. When is the Commencement ceremony for 2020 graduates going to be held?
A. This year’s Commencement ceremony will be held virtually on October 3, 2020.