Information and College Updates on COVID-19
Updated August 20, 2020
- Plans for Fall Opening
- Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting
- Frequently Asked Questions about Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
- Facts About COVID-19
- Travel Policy Update – Effective Immediately
- 14-Day Self-Quarantine Practice & Monitoring
- Important Highlights to Know
- Current Advice from Health Officials
- Keene State College’s Pandemic Response Team
Plans for Fall Opening
Keene State College is planning to safely open campus in the fall semester. Please visit our Fall Campus Return page for more detailed information.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting
In compliance with the 30-day Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting—Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students as relates to Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”), Keene State College releases the following:
- Keene State College acknowledges the institution has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- Keene State College will receive up to $1,498,680 from the Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
- Keene State College distributed $349,750 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission for the 30-day Report. As of August 20, 2020, Keene State College has disbursed $858,500 of Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
- Keene State College determined that 2,755 students at the institution are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
- 653 Keene State College students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. As of August 20, 2020 1,658 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant.
- The methods used by Keene State College to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act was based on demonstrated need that was disclosed on the students’ FAFSA. A survey was sent to each qualifying student to determine if they were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Keene State College sent survey instructions, directions, and e-mail communications to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.
Frequently Asked Questions about Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
Questions and answers about the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund can be found here.
Facts About COVID-19
COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory infections
The time from exposure to development of symptoms is known as the incubation period. According to the World Health Organization, the average incubation period is 5-6 days, however symptoms may appear anywhere between 2-14 days following exposure to the virus. The symptoms may range from mild to severe and can include*:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
*The CDC continues to update the list of symptoms as more information and data are gathered.
The virus is thought to mainly spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs sneezes, or talks. Droplet transmission can occur between individuals who are within 6 feet of one another. According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, “a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for greater than 10 minutes starting from 2 days prior to illness onset, (or for asymptomatic cases, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the time the infected person was isolated.”
People may also become infected by touching a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob, and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
It is believed that people are most contagious when they have symptoms, however recent studies show that the virus can also be spread by people who are presymptomatic before they develop symptoms- and by those who are asymptomatic, meaning they never develop symptoms.
The best way to prevent respiratory illness is to avoid being exposed to viruses. In accordance with the latest best practices from the CDC, we recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Wear a cloth face covering in public settings or among people outside of your household. Be sure the mask covers both your nose and mouth.
- Maintain 6 foot social distancing guidelines
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home from work or school when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If you are sick and suspect COVID-19, stay home except to get medical care.
Additionally, you should:
Seek emergency care or call 911 if you are having trouble breathing, have persistent pain or pressure in your chest, have bluish lips or face, new confusion or inability to arouse. Contact your healthcare provider before going to their office. Keene State College students may call
The Wellness Center at (603)358-2200 Monday through Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm.
You can also contact the NH Division of Public Health Services with questions and/or concerns at (603)271-4496 or after hours (603)271-5300.
Travel Policy Update – Effective Immediately
Given the rapid spread of COVID-19, and the fluidity of the situation, all Keene State-sponsored travel has been canceled until further notice.
14-Day Self-Quarantine Practice & Monitoring
- Take your temperature with a thermometer at least two times a day and watch for cough or difficulty breathing. Record your temperature each time.
- Stay home from school and work.
Employees: Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work to develop any alternative plans for work (e.g., working remotely) and how to report your leave time.
- Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
- Try not to have any visitors to your house during this time. If you have visitors tell them that you are under possible COVID-19 self-quarantine.
- Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
- If you get sick with fever > 100.4 degrees F, have cough, shortness of breath, or other signs of respiratory illness, contact the NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control: 603-271-4496 (after-hours: 603-271-5300) or your local state department of public health and tell them about your symptoms and that you are under possible COVID-19 quarantine. Do not go out in public.
- If you need to seek medical care for other reasons (such as necessary infusions, dialysis, lab draws, etc. for other chronic conditions), call ahead to your provider and tell them about your quarantine status.
- If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Tell them your symptoms and that you are being monitored for possible COVID-19.
- People who may have mild symptoms of COVID-19, even if they haven’t been tested, should stay home until at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND you have had no fever for 72 hours (3 days) without the use of fever reducing medications AND other symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath, are improved.
Important Highlights to Know
- Keene State College campus buildings are closed to the public.
- On-campus events will be postponed, canceled, or offered virtually until further notice.
- Spaulding Gym is prepared to serve as additional capacity for COVID-19 patient support, if it is needed. At this time, it has not been activated.
- Looking toward Fall 2020, students will continue their learning and remain on track to reach their academic goals. Faculty and staff are developing continuity plans and blended classroom and remote academic experiences using student and faculty feedback from the spring 2020 semester. Academic and business planning ensures that our college will continue delivering academic programs during the pandemic or other public health emergencies, long into the future.
Current Advice from Health Officials
CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your outing is not essential, and practice social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick. Essential Errands (within your local area)
As communities across the United States take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact, people are facing new challenges and questions about how to safely run essential errands to meet basic household needs, like:
- Grocery shopping
- Getting delivery or takeout food
- Getting gasoline
- Going to the doctor or getting medicine
Keene State College’s Pandemic Response Team
Keene State College activated its Pandemic Response Team to implement a plan that manages operations during the pandemic. The purpose of this Plan is to describe specific actions to be taken at designated Alert-Level Stages by the College in the event of an outbreak with specific organization responsibilities for primary and support groups outlined. The Plan is implemented in accordance with the KSC Emergency Operation Plan and used to advise the community about the campus response to a potential or developing pandemic. The plan encompasses the various aspects of communication and education, preparedness, emergency response, and the recovery and maintenance efforts to take place in the event of a potential or developing pandemic.
In line with the World Health Organization Pandemic Response Alert Phases and recommendations of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Keene State College established an alert matrix for our Pandemic Response Plan with actions based on severity of the situation. Sub-groups of the Team are carefully assessing necessary conditions for reopening the campus in the fall, as well as academic operations and business operations. They provide recommendations to Keene State leadership.
Members of the Pandemic Response Team include representatives from the following areas:
- The Wellness Center
- Child Development Center
- Campus Safety
- Residential Life
- Dining Services
- Physical Plant
- Environmental Safety
- Emergency Planning Committee
- Custodial Services
- Marketing and Communications
- Human Resources
- Global Education
- Academic Affairs
- Information Technology
- President’s Office