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Fall 2020 Updates and Safety Information

Latest Updates

Last Updated October 7, 2020
Southern Adventist University is dedicated to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. The University Health Center continues to monitor updates relating to the spread of COVID-19.
  • Please be aware that everyone arriving on campus must wear a face mask, complete a brief online symptom survey, and have their temperature taken in order to receive a colored wristband indicating they are cleared to be on campus for the day. Locations and times for the temperature check stations can be found below.
  • DO NOT GO TO CLASS OR WORK if you have potential COVID-19 symptoms; call the University Health Center at 423.236.2713 for further assessment.
  • On-campus instruction will end at Thanksgiving, followed by two weeks of distance learning. Residence Hall and meal plan costs have been reduced accordingly.
  • Winter 2021 classes will begin on January 19 (new student enrollment activities will be on January 17) and midterm break will be March 18-19. The end of semester and graduation dates remain unchanged.
  • An overview of the health and safety precautions Southern is implementing is available by visiting southern.edu/safety. The full policy can be found at southern.edu/covid19policy.
View Complete Archive of Fall 2020 Communications

temp station map

Temperature check locations and times
Drive-up locations Drive up locations icon Day time
Park Lane (Student Park) Mon-Fri 6:15 to 7:45 a.m. 
AdventHealth Hall Lot Sun 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  Mon & Wed 7:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  Tue & Thur 7:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. 
  Fri 7:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
Taylor Circle (Hulsey Side) Mon-Fri 7:15 to 9:15 a.m.
Church Upper Lot Mon-Thu 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  Fri 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Walk-up locations Walk up locations icon Day time
Cafeteria Drive Mon-Fri 6:15 to 8:45 a.m.
  Fri 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
 and 5-6:30 p.m.
  Sat 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Student Center Mon-Thu 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  Fri 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Student Only Student only locations Day Time
Thatcher Chapel Every Day 9 to 11:30 p.m.
Talge Hall Every Day 9 to 11:30 p.m.

Guest Instructions

To help protect the health of all, campus guests must complete a symptom survey and participate in a temperature check before entering any campus building or participating in any campus activity. The symptom survey is found at southern.edu/guest or can be completed, along with the temperature check, at an assessment station on campus. If cleared for the day, visitors will receive a colored wristband that must be worn at all times while on campus.

Guest Survey

Safety Precautions

All students and employees will be required to participate in daily temperature checks and symptom surveys to help quickly identify individuals who may be infected. Visitors will also participate in this screening, filling out the symptom survey at southern.edu/guest within 12 hours of arriving on campus and stopping at a temperature check station. Everyone who is cleared to be on campus will receive a colored wristband.

To help protect others from infection, masks are required in all public spaces, classrooms, and rooms where multiple people work and wherever in-person interactions occur, including when less than 6 feet from others outdoors. Washable masks have been provided to all students and employees.

At least 6 feet of physical distance should be maintained when possible between individuals on campus, both inside and outside of buildings, even when wearing a mask.

No individual safety precaution on its own will keep campus safe; it will take everyone’s cooperation and diligence. This means:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face mask when around others
  • Clean and disinfect regularly
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Maintain your overall health: eat well (avoiding excess sugar and junk food), drink lots of water, spend time outside in the fresh air and sunshine, get plenty of exercise, and work to reduce stress
  • Monitor how you feel and DO NOT GO TO CLASS OR WORK if you have potential cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms; call the University Health Center (423.236.2713)

Our goal is to keep everyone healthy and coronavirus-free this fall! However, we realize that given the current pandemic, some in our campus community may become infected with COVID-19. When that happens, we offer the care and support that is needed. You can read the plan here.

We have taken the special precaution of installing high-tech purification systems in all buildings on campus. These needlepoint bipolar ionization systems provide hospital-level air purification in all classrooms, offices, meeting areas, and residence halls. It works by emitting charged ions that bind to airborne particles and remove pathogens such as the coronavirus from the air. To learn more about this initiative, you can read this news story.

In addition to increasing their cleaning frequency, our sanitation team has a powerful tool in their arsenal: electrostatic spraying machines. These special devices evenly disperse hospital-grade cleaning agents throughout a room, disinfecting even hard-to-reach places. This ensures that high-contact surfaces and heavily trafficked areas receive a deep cleaning frequently.

We have adjusted the Fall 2020 semester schedule. We are eliminating the mid-term break and ending in-person instruction at Thanksgiving break, followed by two weeks of distance coursework through various methods to complete the semester on December 11. This plan reduces travel to and from campus and sends students home during a time when the spread of viruses has historically increased. More details about the revised academic calendar can be read here in an email sent to students on July 1.

To allow for safer in-person instruction, classroom capacity has been decreased with a goal of 50%, putting more space between students while still benefiting from face-to-face interaction. This primarily means moving classes with larger enrollments to larger classrooms to ensure the maximum amount of physical distancing. We will also employ other tactics to maximize personal distancing.

Good hand hygiene is critical in reducing the spread of disease, so we have increased the number of hand-sanitizing stations available throughout campus.

To further reduce possible transmission, plexiglass barriers have been installed at key interaction points such as reception desks and cash registers.

Social activities are an important part of campus life, so we will continue to find ways to get together for fun, learning, and worship. However, we will make some adjustments for increased safety, such as holding larger gatherings—including Vespers—in a big, open-air tent, removing the Enrichment Credit requirements, and not serving food at any events.

Southern’s Food Service personnel are always committed to exceptional food safety. Additionally, the team has restructured food delivery methods to minimize wait times, including introducing an online ordering app and providing more grab-and-go options.

See the Full Policy