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Current Health and Safety Protocols

SPRING 2022 RETURN TO CAMPUS

With the surge in Omicron across the country, flight disruptions and our return to campus so close to New Year’s Day, classes for the Spring 2022 semester will begin fully online on Wednesday, January 5 and Residence Halls will remain closed until Saturday, January 15. We will resume fully in-person classes on Tuesday, January 18

We recognize this change in schedule will create additional questions, and we will be in touch as soon as possible with more information. The University will be providing room and board refunds for residential students through January 15 based on this schedule change. 

Spring 2022 Health & Safety Protocols 

For our COVID-19 Campus plan to be effective, we ask that everyone be familiar with and embrace our campus safety protocols. Please keep in mind that these policies are subject to change based on changing conditions and/or public health recommendations, and there may be exceptions to some policies at events with heavy crowd density or involving high risk activities.

For further questions on COVID-19, please visit our Belmont Health Services page.

Vaccination

Vaccination is strongly recommended for anyone wishing to be a part of the Belmont community. Students, faculty and staff who have been vaccinated are asked to upload their vaccination record in the health services portal. Please find instructions on our Vaccine Information page on how to upload proof of vaccination.

Masks

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks when indoors, except when in a personal residential or work space, alone in a personal vehicle or while actively eating or drinking.

Masks are not required outdoors, although everyone is encouraged to use good judgment about masking when in densely populated outdoor situations. Masks may also be required at certain outdoor events/activities that involve large crowds or are deemed high risk. Requirements for such instances will be communicated in advance as much as possible.

Health Monitoring and Daily Symptom Tracker

All active members of the campus community are asked to closely monitor for COVID-19 symptoms throughout the semester. Anyone experiencing symptoms, regardless of vaccination status should remain off campus or in their residence hall until they have been evaluated or otherwise advised by a Health Services professional. (If you are sick, stay home!) 

  • Vaccinated persons will not be required to fill out the Symptom Tracker on a daily basis (and will not receive daily reminders), but should us the Symptom Tracker to report symptoms, if present, to Health Services.
  • Unvaccinated persons will be required to fill out the Symptom Tracker on a daily basis before reporting to work or class.
  • All members of the campus community--students, faculty and staff--are required to report positive COVID-19 test results to the University through the Symptom Tracker or by contacting Health Services, regardless of vaccination status.

Antibody tests do not qualify as an exemption at this time. Based on CDC guidelines, a positive antibody test could result from an infection with a different virus from the same family of viruses. In addition, there is no clear understanding on the robustness or durability of immunity following natural infection.

In order to support the ability of faculty and/or staff to manage the living and learning campus environment in a manner that promotes the educational mission of the university and preserves to the maximum extent possible the in-person attendance and participation of students in their educational experiences, Belmont Faculty or Staff may require students or other individuals to show Symptom Tracker status prior to entering a classroom, laboratory or other indoor space, and are empowered to uphold University policies accordingly.

Reporting of symptoms or positive test results via the Symptom Tracker will alert Belmont’s Health Services team to potential cases of COVID-19 and will help us manage the spread of COVID on campus. 

Testing and Contact Tracing

Belmont will continue on-site testing of symptomatic individuals in the Gabhart clinic (NOT the McWhorter clinic), and contact tracing will take place when positive cases are detected. Assessments, testing and treatments will take place in the Gabhart Clinic by appointment only. Call 615.460-5865 for more information on appointments. 

Positive cases and close contacts will be advised to quarantine or isolate according to CDC guidance. For any student who tests positive, Belmont’s contact tracing team will conduct regular check-ins to ensure the student is doing well, does not need to seek additional medical attention and is compliant with isolation. Health Services will be available for telehealth visits as needed. Belmont contact tracers will also identify close contacts within the Belmont community for prompt notification and appropriate cleaning/disinfecting measures. 

Health Services also has a supply of free Everlywell COVID-19 test home collection kits for student and employee use. Learn how to get a free Everlywell COVID-19 test home collection kit here.

Quarantine and Isolation Practices

Belmont is committed to maintaining a safe in-person living and learning experience. With this in mind, the University is following both the Center for Disease Control and the State of Tennessee Department of Health’s current guidelines for quarantine and isolation. 

Every student should have a firm plan in place to isolate or quarantine at home or away from campus for a minimum of five days in the event of a qualifying exposure or a positive COVID-19 case. Belmont’s isolation and quarantine policies include a variety of strategies including accessibility to a limited number of quarantine and isolation housing options for students who require a shorter period of quarantine or isolation and/or whose permanent homes are further away from campus. 

The university’s COVID-19 Team will work with each student who needs to isolate or quarantine to develop a plan that works for their specific situation.  

Per the Tennessee Department of Health, isolation (once a positive case has been detected) guidelines are as follows: 

  • An individual must isolate for a minimum of 5 days after onset of symptoms and may be released after they are fever-free for 24 hours and show improvement in symptoms.
  • If you test positive but remain symptom-free, you should isolate for five days after the test is conducted. 
  • Regardless of symptoms, you should continue to wear a mask when around others for 10 days following the onset of symptoms or when the test was conducted.

Per the Tennessee Department of Health, quarantine (once an individual has had a close contact** with someone who is positive for COVID-19) guidance for individuals who have been vaccinated with all recommended vaccine doses are as follows: 

  • If you have experienced a close contact, you do not have to quarantine if you have remained asymptomatic since the exposure and:
    • Have been boosted (1), completed the first series of the Pfizer / Moderna vaccines within the last 5 months (2) OR received the J&J vaccine series within the last 2 months (3)
  • You should get tested 5 days after the date of the exposure (even if you are asymptomatic), and wear a mask when around others for 10 days after exposure. If you test positive, you must isolate (see above section). 

Per the Tennessee Department of Health, quarantine (once an individual has had close contact** to when someone who is positive for COVID-19) guidelines for unvaccinated individuals or those who have NOT been vaccinated with all recommended vaccine doses when eligible are as follows: 

  • If you have experienced a close contact (regardless of whether the case was symptomatic), you must quarantine for five days. 
  • You should be tested on day 5 of quarantine. After that test, you can leave quarantine but should continue to self-monitor for symptoms and continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days. 
  • If symptoms develop over the course of these 10 days, you must isolate and be tested for COVID-19. 

**Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Any student who is isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19 should contact and work with each of their faculty members to develop plans for any time they may be away from class.

University-Sponsored Travel 

* UPDATED NOVEMBER 22, 2021
Domestic Travel.
Domestic travel that is University sponsored is open to any individual regardless of vaccination status. All unvaccinated individuals traveling on a University sponsored trip will be required to submit to pre- and post-travel COVID-19 tests and produce negative results. As per longstanding policy, student organizations seeking to travel domestically outside of the Nashville Metro area must submit a completed application form for approved travel -- See the Student Orgs resources page for more information. 

International Travel. International travel that is University sponsored and discretionary in nature is limited only to vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated persons who have a documented disability for which exception to Belmont’s vaccine requirement is a reasonable accommodation will be allowed to travel. All vaccine exceptions are subject to the entry/exit laws of the host country. Students who wish to request a disability accommodation should contact the Office of Accessibility Services to begin that process.   

Off Campus Learning Experiences

Individuals involved in off-campus learning experiences (such as clinicals, internships, student teaching assignments, performances, etc.) that are required as part of a Belmont education are subject to the requirements and protocols of those off-campus partners or venues. As such, it is possible that unvaccinated individuals may not participate in such events and a suitable replacement to gain similar experience or course credits may not be available.

Exceptions for High-Risk Activities

Official University activities and experiences determined to produce higher-risk conditions for the transmission of COVID-19 – such as musical and other performances, athletic competitions, and group fitness classes – may require additional protocols be implemented for the safety of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. These exceptions will be communicated directly to the individuals involved in such activities.

Adherence to Protocols

Refusal to comply with Belmont’s health and safety protocols will be considered a conduct issue and handled accordingly by Student Life or Human Resources.

Protocol Changes

Belmont will continue to monitor and report cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff as a means to assess the overall condition of our campus community, as well as case counts in the Nashville/Davidson County area. Belmont will also continue to monitor changes in guidance from local, state and federal public health agencies. 

In the event that the threat to our campus increases or public health guidance or mandates dictate, Belmont’s health and safety protocols may change at any time. In such a case, all members of the campus community will be expected to adhere to new or modified guidelines.