Bunker Hill Community College

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Reopen FAQs

 

 Classes

All on campus labs will be capped based on the size of the classroom/lab space, to maintain distancing.

Most fall 2020 classes will be taught remotely through the delivery methods outlined in the chart below. Certain courses will be held face-to-face following strict safety protocols and these may include health sciences and science labs, as well as performing and culinary arts courses.

To view course descriptions, visit the Fall 2020 Course Delivery Information webpage.

Certain courses that cannot be completed remotely will be held face-to-face following strict safety protocols. These courses may include health sciences and science labs, as well as performing and culinary arts courses.

If you would like information about individual course sections, check out the College Catalog in SelfService.

Here are two definitions to assist you in interpreting the chart:

Synchronous: Learning the same things at the same time, at the same virtual location such as Webex and live videos.  You can ask questions in real-time and meet virtually face-to-face.

Asynchronous: Learning on-line at your OWN time following the syllabus using tools such as websites, blogs, email, videos, taped lectures, podcasts, e-portfolio.  You follow the course syllabus that outlines all assignment due dates.

Clinical placement sites must be in compliance with the state’s workplace safety standards for health care settings.  Those safety standards govern students’ clinical experience.  Service in these settings is part of these students’ learning experience in clinical placements.

 

 Facilities

  • BHCC’s cleaning vendor will continue enhanced cleaning within the common areas and restrooms daily, while also focusing on high touch areas such elevators doorknobs, etc. using disinfecting products approved by the CDC.
  • Prior to staff return, cleaners will wipe down all areas including classrooms, offices, lab areas, computer labs, and kitchen areas.
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfecting will be performed for any personal or shared workspace of an active employee diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • During the day and every night disinfection of commonly-shared spaces, objects, etc. will be performed.

In addition to these measures, the Facilities Department is taking the following steps prior to reopening to improve air circulation/ventilation and water filtration, in accordance with state and federal workplace safety recommendations.

Ventilation

  • All outside air dampers are fully opened to give the maximum amount of outside air to buildings at the main campus.
  • Air filters will be changed on all 20 rooftop Air Handling Units at the Charlestown campus, and in the HVAC system at the Chelsea campus.
  • Over 150 heating coils were cleaned in ceiling ducts throughout the Charlestown campus.

Water

  • The hot water system will be flushed to turn over the water in the hot water storage tank (3,000 gallons).

Plexiglass barriers are installed in student service stations in the Student Central/LifeMap area in B building. Plexiglass also has been installed in the LifeMap Area in E-Building. No other plexiglass installation is planned for office areas.  Distancing will be maintained by limited on-campus staffing plans and work schedules that ensure that staff in adjacent work areas coming to campus on different days.

Every other sink will be covered, and every other stall will be closed in the bathrooms, to maintain distancing.  Signs will be posted to limit bathroom usage to two people at a time.

The Facilities Department is taking the following steps prior to reopen to improve air circulation/ventilation and water filtration, in accordance with state and federal workplace safety recommendations.

Ventilation

  • All outside air dampers are fully opened to give the maximum amount of outside air to the buildings.
  • Air filters will be changed on all 20 rooftop Air Handling Units.
  • Over 150 heating coils were cleaned in ceiling ducts throughout the Charlestown campus.

Water

  • The hot water system will be flushed to turn over the water in the hot water storage tank (3,000 gallons)

Only students and faculty/staff who are pre-approved for scheduled activities will be allowed to enter the Chelsea campus.  There will be a security checkpoint at the building entrance, to ensure that all persons entering have a face covering and that they are approved to be on campus.  The stairway is open for use.  Only two people at a time will be allowed in the elevator.

 

 Remote

The College will be purchasing a limited number of cameras/mic sets and more laptops for staff/faculty.

Fixed (non-portable) BHCC equipment such as desktops, monitors, and printers cannot be taken off campus. The College is providing laptops to those who cannot use their own laptop from home.

Staff can access their desktops remotely through VPN and remote desktop. Currently, the VPN system does not have the capacity nor does our internet connection provide the bandwidth to accommodate full staff and faculty access simultaneously. The current system was not implemented to carry this much VPN load.  The College is in process of upgrading network bandwidth this summer and later this year, replacing the VPN system. With these changes, there will be sufficient capacity for all full time staff and faculty.

 

 Safety

The state workplace safety standards require face coverings for all persons entering the campus.  The College has a supply of cloth face coverings, and can issue one to anyone who comes to campus without one. 

In stages 1 and 2 of BHCC’s Reopen Plan, the only students, faculty and staff allowed on campus will be for scheduled lab sessions or for pre-arranged appointments for registration services. All persons entering the campus will sign in and out.  As more staff return to campus in stages 3 and 4, beginning in August, staffing plans and schedules will be determined by each department manager. 

Students who fail to follow any College policy are worked with individually through the Dean of Student Affairs office.  Most often they are able to meet with students and quickly de-escalate a situation.  In rare cases when they work with the student to change their behavior and the student is placing other members of the community at risk, this would fall under the Code of Conduct process regarding failure to follow a campus policy.

 

 Staff Return

The College has established a limit of 25% staff and faculty on campus on any given day during the fall, to support limited on campus instruction and other operations.  That percentage will vary between different offices and departments.  The Human Resources office is developing a protocol for each department manager to use to determine staffing levels and on campus work schedules with their staff.  This protocol will be issued as stage 3 approaches in August.  Several variables will be incorporated in the protocol, including the extent to which work can continue remotely, the configuration of the work area to maintain distancing, and whether any staff are in a vulnerable population for serious illness from COVID-19.

Plexiglas barriers will be used in some student service areas, for an additional level of protection with staff and student interactions.  In office areas, distancing will be maintained by arranging work schedules so that staff in adjoining work stations come to campus on different days.

The CDC has issued guidelines on populations at higher risk for serious illness from the COVID-19 virus.  People within these populations are encouraged to continue to work remotely.  The Human Resources office will set up systems by which faculty/staff can notify HR if they fall within these populations.  HR will oversee arrangements to make appropriate accommodations.

Whether work is performed on campus or remotely, work hours remain the same.

 

 Testing/Tracing

BHCC is developing a testing plan for the fall, in consultation with the Boston Public Health Commission and state public health and higher education authorities, which will sample an appropriate percentage of the small number of students and staff on campus in the fall.  Testing will be conducted by the East Boston Community Health Center, and will only involve students, faculty and staff who are on campus.  All of these testing participants will be asymptomatic.  

In addition, the College will continue to refer all symptomatic students, faculty and staff to free testing sites for diagnostic testing.  The College will maintain data on testing participants and results, and will reach out to any students or staff who test positive to ensure they have adequate support and appropriate services to isolate or quarantine.

For any positive COVID-19 cases among students, faculty or staff, the Mass. Dept. of Public Health will conduct contact tracing to identify any and all persons in close contact with the positive case during the incubation period.  All close contacts will be notified by DPH, and quarantine will be recommended as needed. 

The Commonwealth is launching a strategic testing program in communities across Massachusetts that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. The Stop The Spread campaign offers free COVID-19 testing in eight municipalities hit hard by the virus: Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn, Lowell, Marlborough, and New Bedford. 

There are free testing sites throughout Boston and in many other cities and towns in the BHCC service area.