Information and College Updates on COVID-19
Updated May 26, 2020
- Frequently Asked Questions for Students, Faculty, and Staff
- Plans for Fall Opening
- Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting
- Facts About COVID-19 Prevention
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions for Students, Faculty, and Staff
Please read our FAQ for information about the following:
- Plans for Fall Opening
- Travel and Self-quarantine Policy
- Housing and Campus Resources
- Remote Instruction/Coursework
- Events, Visitors, and Performances
- Summer and Fall Registration and Classes
If you have specific questions for the Registrar’s Office about declaring your major, ordering transcripts, preparing for graduation, class registration schedules and holds, and more, visit https://www.keene.edu/office/registrar/covid-19-faq/.
Plans for Fall Opening
Keene State College is planning to safely open campus in the fall semester. Please read our FAQ 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Facts About COVID-19 Prevention
- 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. COVID-19 was first diagnosed in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide and to all 50 US states.
This virus is a health concern because:
- It is newly identified therefore much remains unknown about it
- While some cases are mild, the virus has caused severe illness and death.
What is the risk?
The CDC currently considers COVID-19 to be a serious public health risk. Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is in the acceleration phase of the pandemic. The duration and severity of each pandemic phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
U.S. COVID-19 cases include:
- Imported cases in travelers
- Cases among close contacts of a known case
- Community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
- All U.S. states are reporting some community spread of COVID-19.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
The virus is thought to mainly spread from person to person, who are within 6 feet of one another, through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are believed to be most contagious when they have symptoms, such as cough or fever, but there have been reports of people transmitting the virus when they don’t have symptoms. It is possible that a person can become infected by touching a contaminated surface, and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes, however this mode of transmission is not thought to be the main way that the virus spreads.
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:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and 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. View Handwashing Handout
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.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Stay home from work or school if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
- Do not travel.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- CDC is recommending the use of a cloth face covering to keep people who are infected but do not have symptoms from spreading COVID-19 to others.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Medical face masks are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by CDC.
- The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
- CDC continues to recommend that people try keep about 6 feet between themselves and others.
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 recent travel and quarantine status.
- If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Tell them your symptoms and that you are being monitored for possible COVID-19.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- 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