The full PHSC College Re-Entry Plan can be found on this page in Related Documents. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions - also addressed within the College Re-Entry Plan document.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the College closed?
The College is open and operational with appropriate measures to protect the health of the community. Face coverings are required to be worn inside at all times, and outside when proper social distancing cannot be maintained.
Student Services: To assist with density reduction strategies, virtual services are highly encouraged. During Phase Three of the College Re-entry Plan, student services provided by Advising, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Admissions and Student Records, Career and Testing Services, Student Accessibility Services, Veterans Services and the College Store will be provided virtually and in-person with each office complying with the corresponding (1) staffing occupancy and (2) student and public access targets during Phase Three of the College Re-entry Plan. For in-person assistance, students should contact the specific Student Services Office for in-person office access protocols.
- Will there be access to academic and office buildings?
Academic Success Centers: To assist with density reduction strategies, virtual services are highly encouraged. During Phase Three of the College Re-entry Plan, access to the Academic Success Centers will be available for those students to test who cannot utilize a remote option. Students will schedule an appointment for an available testing time. Tutoring for students will be delivered virtually and in-person. For in-person tutoring, students should contact their campus Academic Success Center for availability of tutors by appointment to comply with Phase Three occupancy and access targets.
Libraries: To assist with density reduction strategies, virtual services should be highly encouraged. During Phase Three of the College Reentry Plan, library services for students will be delivered virtually and in-person. In-person services must comply with the listed Phase Three occupancy and access targets.
Computer Labs: During Phase Three of the College Re-entry Plan, students may access the Computer Lab. Computer Labs will be required to comply with the corresponding (1) staffing occupancy and (2) student and public access targets listed.
Other College Offices: During Phase Three of the College Re-entry Plan, all remaining offices and departments will be required to comply with the corresponding (1) staffing occupancy and (2) student and public access targets listed. Please contact the specific department regarding scheduling meetings or appointments.
During Phase Three of the College Reentry Plan, access to buildings on campuses which do not include classrooms, offices, or workspaces for employees shall be restricted.
- How has the College responded to the coronavirus pandemic?
- During our initial response to the virus, we activated our COOP plan, led by our Safety and Securities Committee.
- We have built on that foundation to create a structure that helps us ensure we have the latest information, can share that information across campus(es), make well-informed decisions (quickly if need be), monitor the status of the virus on our campus and in our community, and ensures we are taking the appropriate actions to safeguard our employees and students.
- We have close partnerships with our local public health department and county emergency management office.
- Pasco-Hernando State College’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in safety for our students, faculty, staff and the public. PHSC’s plan is aligned and consistent with local orders and ordinances of both Pasco and Hernando Counties, as well as the State of Florida’s Re-Open Florida Model. PHSC’s plans follow recommendations from the federal government (Opening Guidelines), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Florida Department of Health (FDOH), and the College Safety and Security Committee. See the full College Reentry Plan.
- What are the steps one can take to reduce the chance of infection or spreading infection?
Those students who remain on campus and all PHSC employees should practice smart hygiene and social distancing techniques. More information and guidance is available on the CDC’s website.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Social distance.
- Access remote services.
- Practice good personal hygiene.
- Wear a face mask, or face covering.
- Avoid close contact with people by remaining six feet apart.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
- Cover your cough with a tissue or sneeze/cough into your elbow.
- Do not share food.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Will face coverings be required?
During Phase Three of Re-entry, masks are required for all students, employees, and members of the public.
- What is social distancing?
Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or two arm’s length) from others when possible. Do not gather in groups of more than 10.
Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are members of vulnerable populations.
- What is considered “significant exposure?”
Significant exposure occurs when one is closer than 6 feet with at least 15 minutes of exposure to an infected person.
- What happens if a person tests positive for coronavirus? Who gets notified?
Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for all students, employees, and members of the public. PHSC recognizes the threat of exposure to infectious diseases and will employ methods to minimize the risks of spreading disease among the College population including requiring employees and students to stay home when necessary to prevent the spread of disease. PHSC strives, in cooperation with the CDC and the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), to maintain a balance between the need to educate all students, protect employee and student rights, and prevent the transmission of significant infectious diseases.
Students, employees, contract employees and members of the public who have been diagnosed with, experienced a significant exposure to, or show symptoms of a significant communicable infectious disease, whether symptomatic or not, have an ethical and legal obligation to avoid exposing other individuals to the disease. They are required to share that information with the appropriate College administrator as soon as possible and seek medical advice. Furthermore, infected individuals are to report diagnoses to local health authorities and seek counseling about how to care for themselves and prevent the spread of infection.
Any student or employee that may have had a significant exposure to an infected student or employee will be informed of the potential exposure, while maintaining confidentiality. They will be directed to return to their place of residence for CDC recommended self-isolation and instructed to follow-up with their health care provider and local health department.
Any employee who becomes aware of a student diagnosed with, exposed to, or has cause to believe he or she has a significant communicable infectious disease, shall notify their supervisor as soon as possible. Supervisors will immediately inform the appropriate Vice President or Provost and the Pandemic Coordinator (Associate Vice President of Facilities Management and Administrative Services).
An employee or student diagnosed with, has had significant exposure to, or who has cause to believe he or she has a significant communicable infectious disease, shall notify their supervisor or faculty member or College administrator, who will inform the appropriate Dean, Provost or Vice President. Once notified, the Dean, Provost or Vice President will report the case to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and the Pandemic Coordinator.
- I am a student employee. What do I do?
If you are approved to work on campus, due to occupancy restrictions during Phase Three of the College Re-entry Plan, please consult your direct supervisor regarding your work schedule on campus during Phase Three of the College’s Re-entry Plan.
- How can I apply to receive funding from the CARES Act?
Students who have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship due to campus disruption may be eligible for emergency relief funding. Students must complete the COVID-19 CARES Act Emergency Relief Funding application and submit to the financial aid office to review for eligibility. Grant funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and are a one-time grant payment.
Students will see the CARES Act grant received message on their WISE account and will see the funds on their BankMobile account once they are disbursed to the student.
- Where can I get help with personal stress and anxiety?
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Student Assistance Program (SAP) are available to offer emotional and psychological support during this stressful period.
Telephonic or video counseling is available. Employees and Students may directly access the EAP and SAP.
▪EAP Contact Information: 1-800-878-5470; Employees may also contact the Human Resources Office to arrange for access to services.
▪SAP Contact Information: 1-800-878-5470 or BayCareSAP@BayCare.org; Students may also contact the Office of Student Affairs or the Coordinator of Retention and Counseling Services to arrange for access to services.
- Will we be back on campus for Fall 2020 semester and how will programs and courses be taught?
As we begin reentering campuses for managed face-to-face instruction, the following information and requirements will be in effect from July 6, 2020 through the end of the fall 2020 semester.
All students, faculty, staff, and invited guests will be required to follow these protocols for facility entry:
For fall 2020, the College will adhere to the Phase Three guidelines of the PHSC College Re-entry Plan and will operate with the continuance of virtual instruction (both synchronous and asynchronous) for all lecture-based courses. There will be three course modalities with the following defined parameters:
- Faculty member is e-certified
- Master Course developed (E-Learning and Instructional Technology)
- Distance learning fee assessed
Hybrid (remote synchronous)
- Faculty member is e-certified
- Master Course developed (E-Learning and Instructional Technology)
- No distance learning fee assessed
- Course has meeting days and times in schedule only - Class meets remotely (50%) - No room listed in schedule; Utilizes technology through myPHSC (Canvas/Zoom)
Remote Learning (synchronous) will have the following identifiers:
- Course has meeting days and times in schedule only - Class meets remotely (100%) - No room listed in schedule; Utilizes technology through myPHSC (Canvas/Zoom)
- Faculty does not need to be e-certified
- Course shell should have minimum use requirements - No model course shell needed
- No distance learning fee assessed
Arts and Sciences
Science Lecture – 36 student cap
Science Lab Offerings:
- Collegewide – 18 student cap – Flex Hybrid ▪ 9 students (rotate) each week
- Remote learning
- Campus lab configuration (Lab Benches – ADA compliance)
Physics (West Campus) – 18 student cap for lecture and lab due to course materials
Science Lecture and Lab cap recommendations have been approved by the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer/College Provost for Fall 2020 only due to COVID-19 with the following notations:
- The reduction in lecture (36) and lab (18) student caps is due to CDC guidelines and the College's plan for a phased reentry.
- When students are fully able to return to on-campus classes the science lecture and labs will return to the standard class size/student cap (48/24).
- To accommodate the class reduction size, campuses will attempt to add sections to offset any potential loss in enrollments.
Workforce and Career Technical Education
- Engineering – Hybrid due to certain software for lab activities - Maintain social distancing due to enrollment numbers
- Fire Academy – No new cohort for fall; January 2021 new cohort will be held to new training hours and fees
- Law Enforcement, Cybersecurity and Welding cohorts will continue in fall 2020
- Digital Media/Multimedia Technology – three courses offered at Porter Campus for fall 2020 - Review of Software
- Drafting and Design Technology – use of program software at West Campus
- Professional Pilot Technology – For required simulations held at East Campus
- Unmanned Vehicle System Operations - On-campus for drone activity planned for fall
- Welding - classes held utilizing social distancing at East Campus and Marchman Technical College
- How do we manage handling objects that could contain the virus, such as mail and paper?
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Using good personal hygiene such as hand washing or anti-bacterial hand soap, covering your mouth with your elbow when coughing or sneezing is the best form of prevention.
- If someone is under quarantine due to testing positive, or potential exposure, to COVID-19, would this fall under FMLA?
No, but please check with Human Resources regarding this issue.
- I am required to take the mandatory quarantine, but I do not have enough leave accruals at this time. What do I do?
If you have come in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, then you must quarantine. Also, the College strongly advises you also get a test based on exposure. Human Resources will need proper documentation regarding exposure and personal test results and will do everything they can to provide additional time or allow you to work from home as an option.
- Does the occupancy mean that my department has to have a specific number of staff present every day?
Employees should work with their direct supervisor and Human Resources regarding on-campus and remote work schedules to ensure equity and compliance with PHSC employment policies. Offices and administrative units should work with the respective Vice President and Campus Provost to ensure offices are appropriately staffed to meet student and public need but flexible enough to comply with density reduction strategies such as remote work, flexible work scheduling, and work space reconfiguration.
- How do I disinfect my computer?
Custodial contractors are not under contract to disinfect computer keyboards, mice or phones. Employees who desire to disinfect their computer keyboards, mouse, or phone, should do so by complying with the following protocol:
Before cleaning your keyboard or mouse, first, turn off your computer. Keyboards, mouse, and phones may be wiped with a semi-damp anti-bacterial wipe containing no more than 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or a cloth sprayed with a disinfectant containing no more than 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Please ensure the wipes or cloths are not saturated. Never directly spray keyboards, microphones with a cleaning product. This will decrease the risk of saturating and destroying the electrical contacts.
Do not spray equipment with bleach or pure alcohol sprays.
When finished cleaning your keyboard, mouse, or phone, wash your hands per CDC Guidelines. If soap and water are not readily available for handwashing, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol.
- Will hand sanitizer stations be available for employees in areas that are not considered “high-traffic”?
Yes. The custodial contractor will maintain hand-sanitizer stations that are located throughout the campuses.
- Are face coverings required on campus and will the College supply them?
Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. During Phase Three of re-entry, face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees, contract employees, vendors and those conducting business on PHSC property except when eating or drinking. A face mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space (this does not include partitioned work areas in a large open environment).
If more than one person is in a room, face masks or face coverings should be worn. Face masks or face coverings should be worn by employees in a reception area, when inside any PHSC facility where others are present, including parking areas, hallways, break rooms, conference rooms and other meeting locations. If eating or drinking on campus, you should wear your face mask or face covering until you are ready to eat or drink and replace it after you have finished.
During Phase Three of reentry, face masks or face coverings must be worn by all students and visitors on campus except when eating or drinking. Employees, students and visitors will be responsible for procuring their own supply of face masks or face coverings. An initial limited supply of disposable masks for employees and students will be provided by PHSC. This will allow employees and students time to procure a personal supply of required face masks or face coverings. Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and must be disposed of after use.
- Am I at a high risk for contracting coronavirus?
In accordance with IMM 1-45 Infectious Disease: Student and Employee Reporting (Appendix D), employees who have been instructed to return to the workplace must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. Employees must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or have had evaluation and clearance by a physician or the Department of Health to be eligible to report to work. At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New gastrointestinal symptoms
- New loss of taste or smell
If you have any symptoms, you must contact your immediate supervisor and Human Resources. You should self-isolate until cleared by a physician or the Department of Health prior to returning to work.
According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:
- Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
- People with HIV
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic lung disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
- Severe obesity
- Being immunocompromised
A staff member whose health condition falls within one of the CDC High Risk Categories or who is pregnant should contact his/her supervisor to seek a temporary reasonable accommodation in accordance with IMM #1-44 Flexible Workplace (Telecommuting) (Appendix E).
Students reentering the campus must comply with the policy and procedure outlined in IMM 1-45 Infectious Disease: Student and Employee Reporting. (Appendix D of the College Reentry Plan).