Health and Safety

As we continue to confront this pandemic, Carroll College will remain diligent in protecting the health and safety of our students, employees, and visitors on campus, as permitted by Montana law. Carroll’s plan uses a methodical, health-driven approach to maximize the safety of all, and makes the health and well-being of those on campus and in the Helena community our continued top priority.

Monitor Symptoms

According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. As such, we are requiring employees, students and visitors to conduct symptom monitoring before coming to campus. You must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be on campus. If you are a campus resident and are displaying any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19, you must stay in your room and contact the Wellness Center as soon as possible. These policies apply irrespective of vaccination status.

These include THE ONSENT OF NEW SYMPTOMS of one or more of the following: 

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever – 100.4° and above 
  • Chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Monitoring for symptoms should continue through all phases of the Carroll College Marching Forward Plan.

Self-Health Screening

It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly when returning to campus. Employees and students must conduct a daily self-health screening. If you cannot pass the health screening, please stay home, and seek medical guidance if necessary. Self-health screenings should continue through all phases of the Plan, irrespective of vaccination status.

Testing and Tracing

Carroll College will continue to work closely with the Lewis & Clark Public Health Department to support testing and tracing. The College has contracted with a private organization to utilize a process developed by the Yale School of Public Health called the Saliva Direct test for COVID-19 testing. The saliva direct test is easier to administer, provides faster results, and is comparable in accuracy to nasal swab tests. Test results are available in 24 to 48 hours. Carroll College’s testing policies apply equally, irrespective of vaccination status.

This protocol is intended for the collection of the normal saliva that naturally pools into the mouth. No coughing or sniffing prior to sample collection is required. Water should be avoided 10 minutes prior to collection. Other drinks, food, and nasal sprays should be avoided for 30 minutes before sample collection. Additional information can be found at the following website:  https://ysph.yale.edu/news-article/27120/

Symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will be available through the Wellness Center. Notices will be sent out regularly on when and where the testing will occur. There are also various locations in Helena which provide COVID-19 testing. For more information, please visit the Lewis & Clark Public Health COVID-19 Hub at https://www.helenamontanamaps.org/LCPHCovid19HUB/.

Vaccinations

To provide the best protection for yourself and the community, please strongly consider getting vaccinated if you are able to do so. Carroll College will be hosting several free vaccination clinics on campus both at the start and during the Fall 2021 semester. 

  • While Carroll currently is not mandating the vaccine for students as a condition of attendance, we strongly recommend that all students and members of the campus community get vaccinated, if able to do so. Having more people vaccinated will allow our campus community to mitigate and reduce the chances for the virus to spread.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccines is published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.

  • Other questions dealing with your unique health situation should be directed to your healthcare provider. If you are a student, you can contact the Wellness Center.

Social Distancing

Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to distance yourself from others when possible, even if you, or they, have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness. Employees, students and visitors should follow these social distancing practices while on campus, irrespective of vaccination status:

  • Physical Spaces - Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) away from others if possible.
    • Avoid gathering in groups larger than the following in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate social distancing: 
      • Phase 1 - 10 or more
      • Phase 2 – 50 or more
      • Phase 3 – no size limit, but will continue to be cautious with large groups and practice health and safety protocols with enhanced cleaning, handwashing and social distancing when possible.
    • Abide by floor markings and signs denoting appropriate spacing for social distancing.
  • Classes - Will incorporate appropriate social distancing per phase as possible, remove or tape off desks to increase physical space between students when possible, and enhance cleaning measures. Face coverings are required in all classrooms for faculty and students until county transmission levels drop below orange/red (substantial/high) transmission levels for Lewis and Clark County, subject to exemptions for medical and/or religious reasons requested and approved by Carroll College. Carroll College asks and highly recommends that all campus members wear masks in indoor public spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic if they are able to do so. 
  • Housing - Residence hall common areas and shared community spaces will be modified to account for social distancing guidelines.
  • Gatherings, Events, Large Venues - Will comply with State orders, including appropriate limitations on the number of participants, including, but not limited to, athletic competitions, performing arts events, conferences, Hunthausen Activity Center, Library, and Campus Center.
    • Carroll’s campus and the Helena community have ample outdoor spaces, allowing for recreation to be spread out and not contained solely in indoor venues.
  • Dining - Will incorporate appropriate social distancing, reduce density to increase physical space between students, and enhanced cleaning measures through all phases of the Carroll College Marching Forward Plan. In an effort to best protect our community, we are highly recommending that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings while in public indoor spaces on campus, subject to exemptions for medical and/or religious reasons requested and approved by Carroll College. Carroll College asks and highly recommends that all campus members wear masks in indoor public spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic if they are able to do so. Face coverings may be removed while sitting at tables and eating or drinking.  

Handwashing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

Always remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Promptly throw used tissues in the trash and then immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Face Coverings

Studies suggest that wearing a face covering could potentially decrease the chances of unknowinglytransmitting the virus to others, thus potentially slowing the spread of COVID-19. With this in mind, face coverings will be required to be worn by all employees, students and visitors when in any building on campus through Phase 2, subject to medical and religious accommodations requested and approved by Carroll. 

We have modified our Phase 3 plan consistent with current CDC guidelines while attempting to be mindful of providing Carroll College students, employees and visitors with a safe environment to learn, work, live and visit.

  • Face coverings are required in all classrooms for faculty and students until county transmission levels drop below orange/red (substantial/high) transmission levels for Lewis and Clark County, subject to exemptions for medical and/or religious reasons requested and approved by Carroll College.
  • Carroll College asks and highly recommends that all campus members wear masks in indoor public spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic if they are able to do so.

In addition, updated guidance from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html) recommends mask use in indoor settings in locations experiencing increased COVID-19 transmission and infection. This online data tracker https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view indicates that Lewis and Clark County is currently experiencing a “high” level of community transmission.

In light of this guidance and updated county information, in an effort to best protect our community, we are highly recommending that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear face masks while in public indoor spaces on campus if able to do so. Private offices and dorm rooms are exempt from these recommendations. 

These are our mitigation protocols as they stand today and are subject to change at any point. We will continue to monitor the situation as well as guidance issued by local, state and federal health professionals in determining our best courses of action permitted by Montana law to keep our community safe, healthy, open and in-person.

Employees, students and visitors will be asked to provide their own face coverings. The Saints Shoppe has face coverings for sale for those who come to campus without one. 

It is important to note that face coverings are not intended to be a replacement for other evidence-based measures for preventing spread of the virus, including frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and practicing social distancing.

Cleaning/Disinfection

Clean facilities and equipment require a commitment from all levels of the Carroll community. Everyone has an important role and responsibility in maintaining a healthy environment.

  • College Responsibility - Through all phases of the Carroll College Marching Forward Plan, the College will provide increased cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas, frequently used facilities, and common areas (including elevators, restrooms, classrooms, and other high-traffic spaces) with the use of BPA-approved cleaners that meet CDC guidelines for disinfecting for COVID-19. For high-traffic areas within facilities, the College will also provide, when possible, no-touch disposal receptacles, increased placement of hand sanitizers, and installation of additional signage encouraging good hygiene.
  • Individual Responsibility - Individuals are responsible for cleaning their personal and shared spaces and office equipment.
    • Workspace - Individuals are encouraged to disinfect their individual workspaces daily.
    • Equipment from Home - Individuals bringing electronic equipment to campus must clean all equipment prior to use.
    • Shared Items - Individuals should avoid using other’s phones, desks, offices, computers, work tools, etc., when possible.
  • Student Residential - Cleaning supplies will be provided to students with guidelines for cleaning frequency of high-touch items, and individual living spaces.
  • Office and Working Spaces - Cleaning supplies will be provided to employees so they can clean office equipment, furniture, and other high touch surfaces within individual and shared workspaces.
  • Classrooms - Cleaning supplies will be provided in each classroom to be used as follows: 
    • At the end of each class day, students and faculty will be expected to spray down desks, chairs, tables, teaching stations and technology in each classroom.
    • At the beginning of each class day, students and faculty will be expected to wipe down desks, chairs, tables, teaching stations and technology in each classroom.
  • Shared Used Items - Cleaning supplies and signage will be placed on copy machines, and in conference rooms and breakrooms to instruct individuals to wipe down machines, tables, chairs, keyboards, etc. after each use.
  • Replenishing Supplies - If an employee or student notices that an area is out of paper towels, soap, disinfectant spray or any of the campus hand sanitizer stations are empty, please email Facilities at facilities@carroll.edu to notify them.

What to do if You are Ill

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, immediately call your primary healthcare provider or the Carroll College Wellness Center at 406.447.5441 - do not go to the center before calling first. After assessing your symptoms, your healthcare provider or the Wellness Center may order a COVID-19 test. You will be contacted directly for instructions on how to receive a COVID test. These policies apply regardless of your vaccination status.

  • Until test results are obtained – immediately self-quarantine and please adhere to the following protocols:
    • Students – Contact the Wellness Center at 406.447.5441 to report that you have been tested and determine the best course of action. 
    • Notify your faculty members, supervisors, coaches, etc. to report that you are sick or suspect you may be sick and will not be attending class/work/practice. 
    • You will be required to self-quarantine until your test results come back. 
    • Employees: Contact your supervisor to report that you are sick or suspect you may be sick and will not be attending work- immediately self-quarantine.
    • Stay home until instructed otherwise by Lewis & Clark Public Health or your healthcare provider.
    • You will be required to self-quarantine until your test results come back.  
  • When test results are obtained:
    • An interviewer from Lewis & Clark Public Health or your healthcare provider will contact you if you test positive for COVID-19. 
    • If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the interviewer or healthcare provider will help you understand what to do next, what support is available, as well as let you know how long you should isolate yourself.

If You are COVID-19 Positive

Lewis & Clark Public Health, your healthcare provider or the Carroll College Wellness Center will directly contact anyone who has been tested and is confirmed positive for COVID-19. If you have tested positive, all students and employees should take the following steps:

  • Fill out the COVID-19 Reporting Form.
  • Students – If the call comes from Lewis & Clark Public Health, contact the Wellness Center at 406.447.5441 to report your positive case. If you live on campus, immediately contact Residential Life & Housing at 406.459.0540 so they can facilitate your move into isolation. Notify your faculty members, supervisors, coaches, etc. that you have tested positive and that you will not be attending class/work/practice. 
  • Employees: Contact your supervisor to report that you are COVID-19 positive and will not be attending work.
  • If you become ill, contact your healthcare provider, the Wellness Center at 406.447.5441 or if it is after hours, call St. Peter’s Urgent Care Line at 406.442.2480.
  • Stay home until instructed otherwise by Lewis & Clark Public Health or your healthcare provider, except to get medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas.
  • Ask friends or family members to do your shopping or use a grocery delivery service.
  • Practice frequent hand washing, wearing a mask when in spaces others use, disinfect surfaces you touch, and keep your space clean.
  • Isolate yourself from people and animals in your home - stay in a specific room away from other people and use a separate bathroom, if available. Limit contact with pets and other animals. If possible, have a member of your household care for them. If you must care for an animal, wear a face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
  • Returning to Normal Activity After Testing Positive- You can return to normal activity according to the CDC Guidelines after:
    • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND;
    • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication AND;
    • Symptoms have improved (Please note:  Loss of taste or smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and will not have to delay the end of isolation). 
    • If you had no symptoms at the time of testing, you can return to normal activity 10 days after your COVID-19 test date as long as you remain asymptomatic.

If You Are Exposed to Someone with a Suspected or CONFIRMED POSITIVE COVID Test

Lewis & Clark Public Health or a College representative will directly contact anyone who has been identified as having been exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 case.

Close Contact –Under CDC guidelines, a close contact is defined as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period."

NOTE: The COVID Active Case Action Team (CACAT) will review all new pertinent County and Campus COVID-19 infection data on a daily basis. The College reserves the right to update these policies at any time.
  • A close contact is considered asymptomatic if they do not have any of the following symptoms: (i) fever or chills; (ii) cough; (iii) shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (iv) fatigue; (v) muscle or body aches; (vi) headache; (vii) new loss of taste or smell; (viii) sore throat; (ix) congestion or runny nose; (x) nausea or vomiting; or (xi) diarrhea.
  • If you are a Carroll College student or employee and have been exposed to someone with a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 test, we will be treating all close asymptomatic contacts the same (Carroll’s policies for asymptomatic close contacts will not differ based on vaccination or immunity status). 
    1. Carroll College has established the following policies for asymptomatic close contacts:  
      1. Carroll College highly recommends that students consider self-isolating until a negative test result is received.
      2. Close contacts may be identified by the COVID-19 positive individual through the COVID-19 Reporting Form.
      3. If you are a confirmed close contact, you must also fill out the COVID-19 Reporting Form
      4. The CACAT will track all positive cases and close contacts and will be in communication with each impacted individual. 
      5. Roommates will automatically be considered close contacts.  
      6. All close contacts will be required to wear a mask whenever in a communal space or in the presence of any other individual on Carroll’s campus for 10 full days after the date of exposure even after a negative test result is received.   
      7. All close contacts will be required to test three (3) days after the date of exposure.  If the 3rd day falls on a weekend or holiday, then the testing must take place immediately following the weekend or holiday.   
        1. Carroll offers asymptomatic and symptomatic testing Monday through Friday excluding weekends and holidays. Please call 406-447-5441 to make an appointment for testing.  
        2. A Public Health officer or College representative can help provide information about testing, or you may work with your healthcare provider. The Carroll College Wellness Center may be able to provide some general guidance as well by calling 406.447.5441.
      8. The CACAT team will monitor the 3-day testing period and will send students a notification reminder that they must test in accordance with 1.g. 
      9. Asymptomatic close contacts will not be quarantined unless they violate the testing requirements under sub-bullet 1.g.  
      10. The Student Life team will be informed if a student does not test within the 3-day testing period to launch the student conduct process.   
      11. If asymptomatic close contact students do not test on day 3 or if they fail to wear a mask as required above, this will be considered a student conduct issue at which time the student will go through the Student Conduct process in which the first step is to automatically place the student in quarantine. If the student fails to abide by the quarantine requirement, further sanctions may be warranted.  
      12. All asymptomatic close contacts must monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after learning of their status as a confirmed close contact.  If an asymptomatic close contact develops any COVID-19 symptoms, they must immediately report those symptoms to the Carroll College Wellness Center and take an additional COVID-19 test. 
    2. If you are a close contact and develop symptoms you must follow the protocols under the section above titled “What To Do If You are Ill,” including Isolating yourself if you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, consistent with Carroll College’s confirmed COVID-19 policies.  (Carroll’s policies for symptomatic close contacts will not differ based on vaccination or immunity status.)
      1. Students – If the call comes from Lewis & Clark Public Health, contact the Wellness Center at 406.447.5441 to report your symptoms and/or confirmed positive test, if applicable.  If you live on campus, immediately contact Residential Life & Housing at 406.459.0540 so they can facilitate your move into isolation. Notify your faculty members, supervisors, coaches, etc. that you are a confirmed contact and that you will not be attending class/work/practice. 
      2. Employees: Contact your supervisor to report that you are a confirmed contact and will not be attending work.
      3. If you become ill, contact your healthcare provider, the Wellness Center at 406.447.5441 or if it is after hours, call St. Peter’s Urgent Care Line at 406.442.2480.
      4. Stay home until instructed otherwise by Lewis & Clark Public Health or a healthcare provider except to get medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. 
      5. Ask friends or family members to do your shopping or use a grocery delivery service.
      6. Practice frequent hand washing, wearing a mask when in spaces others use, disinfect surfaces you touch, and keep your space clean.
      7. Isolate yourself from people and animals in your home - stay in a specific room away from other people and use a separate bathroom, if available. Limit contact with pets and other animals. If possible, have a member of your household care for them. If you must care for an animal, wear a face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them. 
      8. If you become symptomatic, please refer to “What to Do If You Are Ill”.