We want you to stay healthy and safe this semester, especially as the Delta variant of COVID-19 ramps up in this area. One way we can help protect ourselves and others is by wearing masks. Masks are required in academic and student services spaces where social distancing guidelines of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained. Classrooms, labs and anytime someone is helping you – advising, tutoring, a service counter or an instructor’s office – are some examples.
Otherwise, we recommend you wear a face mask indoors, even if you’re fully vaccinated. We know we all forget to grab our masks sometimes, so we will have masks available at tables when you start your classes next week. We also are installing mask dispensers around our campuses.
If you’re confused about whether or not a space requires masks, just look for the signs. We’ll have “Mask Up” and “Mask Recommended” signs posted, or you can always ask one of our faculty or staff. We know the changing COVID-19 guidance can be confusing for us all!
The best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, of course, is to get vaccinated! If you don’t already have plans to get your COVID-19 vaccine, mark your calendars for our Vaccinate and Educate Fair on our Hardin Valley Campus. Drop by anytime between noon and 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, outside the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, no appointment necessary! You can choose from the two-dose Pfizer vaccine or the one-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and you can bring your family and friends.
Pellissippi State also encourages you to
Stay home when you’re sick or a member of your household is sick.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly.
Fill out the self-reporting form linked on the top of our College homepage if you are exposed to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19.
Self-reporting helps us support you while you are ill or quarantined and also can help us let others know if they may have been exposed. Don’t worry: we will not divulge your name! We have all sorts of student services, including confidential counseling, that can help you through a stressful time. Look for more information about these options next week.
Thank you for continuing to do your part to help keep us all #PellissippiStrong!
Pellissippi State has taken several steps to combat coronavirus. During the months that most Pellissippi State students and employees were learning and working from home, Facilities installed new air purification units in each college building on all five campuses. A third-party study of the technology released in October 2020 showed that these units inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.9%.
Pellissippi State also is continuing to operate indoor spaces at limited capacity to increase opportunities for social distancing. Academic spaces such as classrooms are operating at 75% capacity while nonacademic spaces such as auditoriums and community rooms are operating at 50% capacity.
“We also will be identifying some outdoor spaces for classes and meetings so that our faculty, staff and students can take advantage of the nice weather we usually have in September,” Wise said.
While the college no longer requires daily campus access forms to be completed, those who have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19 are still asked to fill out Pellissippi State’s self-reporting form to help the college with contact tracing. Most importantly, however, Wise stresses that all faculty, staff and students should stay home if they are sick to reduce the likelihood of the spread of the disease.
Follow these guidelines for self-reporting your own illness or your exposure to others with COVID-19.
Pellissippi State employees and students who are experiencing illness, have tested positive for COVID-19, are awaiting test results for COVID-19 or suspect they are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 should complete this self-reporting form, which is now linked from the top of the College's homepage.
Pellissippi State employees and students should complete the self-reporting form if they have been exposed to a person who has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, is awaiting COVID-19 test results or has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Students who fill out the self-reporting form will receive a follow-up communication from Student Affairs whileemployees will receive a follow-up communication from Human Resources or assigned volunteers from the College.
Per CDC guidance: if you have had or think you have had COVID-19 and you had symptoms, you may return to work (or class) after:
If you tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, you may return to work or class after 10 days have passed since your positive test.
If you have been exposed, the CDC recommends that you:
Pellissippi State has been recognized by the Knox County Health Department for our commitment to the safety of our employees and the people we serve through a designated COVID-19 coordinator, visible safety signage and staying up-to-date with Knox County Health Department's COVID-19 efforts.