COVID-19: Coronavirus Updates & Information
LAST UPDATE: Friday, September 11, 2020 @ 6:12 PM CT
If you would like to help students during these challenging times, please consider
Return to Campus Guidelines & Plans
In service to our Blackburn community and region, Blackburn calls upon students and faculty to adhere to these safe practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across campus and our community. To remain in a face-to-face learning environment, we must remain healthy. Thus it is in everyone’s interest to follow Blackburn’s policies and to respectfully request others to also do so.
Blackburn College will frequently update plans as the guidance surrounding COVID-19 virus evolves. Please check this page frequently for updated information.
Latest Messages to Blackburn Community
COVID-19 Policy Reminders (9/11/2020)
Employees and students on campus are required to follow Blackburn COVID policies.
- Employees who repeatedly fail to follow safety policies may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment in accordance with Blackburn’s policies and procedures.
- Students who repeatedly fail to follow safety policies may be removed from campus and transitioned to remote learning. Infractions to this policy will be adjudicated through the student conduct code process. Infractions occurred in the Work Program will be filed in the Work Program and also in Student Life for disciplinary action.
- Blackburn community members who notice repeated infractions of these policies are encouraged to report the infraction to email@example.com (if it involves a student) or to firstname.lastname@example.org (if it involves an employee working on campus).
A reminder of COVID policies:
Employee Health Screening Procedures:
- Employees and students on campus are required to self-screen and report symptoms daily through the institutional app https://app.covidoncampus.com/; those who miss or exhibit possible symptoms will be contacted.
- Students will be given individual thermometers for self-temping.
- Blackburn will have a temperature screening kiosk at DING to scan individuals as they enter for meals.
Face Covering, Social Distancing, and Safety Measures:
Face coverings (masks) are required to be worn in all public areas of buildings (including DCC Commons) and when individuals cannot maintain social distancing practices, except:
- Faculty/staff offices when alone (or with office mate)
- In DING while actively eating or drinking. Eating is not permitted in DCC Commons.
- Students are in their own dorm room and alone or with only their roommate, showering, or washing their face or brushing their teeth
- Student intercollegiate athletes or coaches who are physically active during athletic practice and play
There will be a four-person limit in residence hall rooms after the first week; all must wear masks.
Social distancing should be practiced as much as possible and individuals will be required to abide by posted signs in public areas.
Find our policies:
Update on Keeping Campus Open (9/9/2020)
From the COVID Response Team:
Some in the Blackburn community have been asking what the “trigger point” might be that would cause Blackburn to shut down the campus and switch entirely to remote learning (as we did last spring). That is a much more complicated question than it may appear because a variety of factors interact and contribute to making such a decision. There is not just one specific event that would trigger that decision, but a number of factors that would be considered, including,
- The numbers of students, who are on campus in quarantine/isolation, and our capacity to house, feed and otherwise support those students.
- The number of students, faculty, and staff who are ill, quarantined or in isolation due to exposure to COVID-19. (For example, it takes a certain number of students actively able to do their work program jobs to keep dining services and campus services running).
- Whether there is “uncontrolled community spread” of COVID-19 on campus. Uncontrolled community spread is defined as an outbreak of COVID for which we cannot trace the source and must assume it is coming from somewhere on campus, but we cannot identify and isolate the source.
The Blackburn COVID Response Team, which is made up of administrators, faculty, staff, and students, is meeting regularly and actively monitoring these factors. Based on these factors and others, as appropriate, this group would make a recommendation to the President and President’s Cabinet regarding whether or not to go to fully remote instruction. The President, with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees, would then make the decision regarding whether or not to switch to fully remote learning.
Be assured that we are currently doing very well with respect to all three of these things, and that is largely thanks to your willingness to consistently comply with the COVID regulations we have put in place (masks, social distancing, daily symptom reporting, and handwashing). When you do that, you are actively contributing to keeping our campus open. Keep up the good work and we may become a shining example of how a college can safely provide a face-to-face experience in spite of the pandemic.
Remain Vigilant! Act as though everyone you meet has the virus and take precautions. Then the virus will have no chance.
Use of COVID screening information from the symptoms application
Per updated Public Health recommendations, individuals with stronger COVID-like symptoms will be quarantined until they receive an alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test. Students and employees should contact their medical provider or have a free telehealth consult with a public health nurse practitioner (call 217-854-3692, option 1, to set up an appointment). Those with health insurance can also utilize the walk-in clinic next to the Carlinville hospital, open Sunday through Saturday 8AM – 4PM. In all three instances, individuals are typically released from quarantine or asked to be tested for COVID. Those who refuse testing must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and those who are tested will be released from quarantine with a negative test.
The COVID Response Team
Return To Campus
- All students should be tested for COVID-19 within three days before arrival on campus. Public Health testing sites typically need 24 hour notice and will set an appointment date. Testing in Illinois is free through Public Health, and testing should be free and available in other states. Any student who is told that the testing is not free or available for them should contact Blackburn (see below).
- Students should have test results sent to Blackburn at email@example.com or faxed at 217-854-5700.
- Students should also bring paper or electronic confirmation if possible.
- Students with positive test results must remain at home, and should contact Jarrod Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for remote learning and to reschedule their arrival to campus.
- Students unable to be tested prior to arriving on campus should contact Jarrod Gray at email@example.com. We will work with these students to arrange testing here in Macoupin County and modify their arrival date if necessary.
- To ensure the safety of all, students who have not been tested, and students who were tested but do not yet have test results, will be placed in acclimation status and will have limited mobility on campus until their testing results are received.
- Students who test positive must be placed into isolation and return home if at all possible. Those who cannot return home will be placed in isolation on campus and will be unable to leave their room until released by Public Health.
- Students and anyone coming with them to assist with move-in will be required to go through a health screening process before keys will be given out. If anyone in the vehicle is experiencing symptoms, everyone in the student’s party will be sent home.
- If you, anyone in your household, or anyone with whom you will be travelling to campus are sick or experiencing symptoms, stay home and let us know. We will arrange an alternative time for you to move in later.
- Two visitors can help a student move into their room at one time. Visitors and students must follow our campus safety guidelines which includes (1) stay home if anyone has a temperature, is sick or may have been exposed to someone that is sick, (2) wear a facemask while on campus and while inside the residence hallways, (3) and socially distance yourselves as much as possible. Move-in Visitors need to leave campus after you are moved in and have completed any business at the college that day.
- Due to the nature of the pandemic, existing housing assignments may be changed as needed. If in the event we must close campus due to the pandemic, students should be prepared to move off campus with short notice. For this reason, please pack light and only bring the essentials you need to campus.
- Students must wear face coverings except when they are in their own dorm room and alone or with only their roommate, showering, or washing their face or teeth
- Students may not visit other students’ residence rooms for the first week of the semester
There will be a four-person limit in residence hall rooms after the first week (all must be wearing masks)
- No off-campus visitors are allowed into residence halls after move-in
- Housing is limited this year due to preparing spaces on campus for isolation and quarantine. Graham Hall will be reserved to serve this purpose. Residents from Graham are being reassigned to other buildings.
- Each room will have a bottle of sanitizer and paper towels
- Some bathroom sinks will be disabled to encourage social distancing
- Due to the nature of the pandemic, existing housing assignments may be changed as needed throughout the semester.
- Isolation rooms are for students that have tested positive for COVID19. Quarantine rooms are for students that have been exposed to someone that has tested positive but they themselves have not tested positive.
- Any student that requires quarantine or isolation will be sent home for 14 days. If you are not able to go home, you must stay in a designated quarantine room until released from Macoupin County Public Health (MCPHD). This means you can not leave your room, except to go to the bathroom, while you are in quarantine or isolation for 14 days. Meals will be brought to you. You will attend your classes remotely during this time.
Except as mentioned for move-in weekend, there will be no daytime or nighttime non-campus visitors allowed in the residence halls. Students may visit each other in their rooms after the first week, but no one is allowed in your room the first week except for you and your roommate.
Read more in the full letter sent to students on 8/4/2020 and the Residential Living Plan.
ATHLETES – Please read the Athletics Plan for additional information.
If you need medical assistance, please contact your primary care physician or local health department.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Jarrod Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-854-5582) in Student Affairs. If you have Academic or technical questions, please contact Director of the Student Success Center Rachel Stull (email@example.com or 217-854-5623) or your professor/instructor directly.
If you’re feeling anxious and could use a confidential sounding board, virtual counseling is available to the campus by scheduling an appointment with Counseling Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Macoupin County & Illinois Resources
- Illinois Department of Health (IDOH)
- Macoupin County Department of Health Official Webiste & Facebook
National & Global Resources