Health and Safety Guidelines

We are happy to be welcoming students, faculty and staff back to campus. These Health and Safety Guidelines must be adhered to at all times to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

All faculty, staff and students will receive training that includes reviewing overall COVID-19 details; Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management (EHSRM) protocols and policies; campus access protocols, etc.

Symptom Monitoring Requirement

Individuals who plan to access campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to campus. People must be free of any and all symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 before entering campus or any building on campus. At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4F degrees or greater
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Sneezing, runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal (diarrhea; vomiting)
  • Loss of taste or smell

Any person experiencing any symptoms must not report to campus. They must remain at home and contact a medical provider immediately. Individuals must be symptom-free for 72 hours prior to requesting a return to campus. To return, an individual must provide clearance from a medical provider to Human Resources (HR).

Vulnerable Persons

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions and/or health histories may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. The following is a partial list including the most common conditions. For a full list please visit the CDC’s website.

  • Older adults (aged 65 and older)
  • People with HIV
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes (Types I and II)
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Being immunocompromised
  • Kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Liver disease
  • Smoking/Vaping
  • Pregnancy
  • Cystic fibrosis

Members of the community who are considered vulnerable by CDC standards should contact Human Resources (HR) or the Center for the Student Experience (CSE) for information regarding reasonable accommodations. No one will be required to disclose a diagnosis(es). Individuals will be guided through the reasonable accommodation process for employment purposes (faculty or staff) or to determine classes and class load (students).

Testing

ArtCenter is not requiring individuals to obtain a COVID-19 test because testing is only relevant if results are immediately available on the day an individual is reporting to campus.

However, anyone who has taken a COVID-19 test and has tested positive must notify the HR office immediately. ArtCenter has a legal obligation to inform and cooperate with local public health agencies about any positive cases in our campus community so that those officials can coordinate any necessary contact tracing. Persons who test positive must self-isolate for 14 days and must follow all guidance issued by their medical provider. Individuals will be permitted to return to campus once the 14-day isolation period is over, if they have been symptom-free for 72 hours prior to the requested campus access date/time.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a critical component to controlling community spread of COVID-19. All individuals have a responsibility to monitor their comings and goings at all times to be able to assist contact tracing should it be necessary. If an individual is identified as a positive case, presumed positive case, or is a close contact of a positive or presumed positive case, they will be asked to provide information regarding their activities and whereabouts related to campus activity. The College has a legal obligation to notify the community of any exposure while still maintaining the privacy of the reported case.

Based on current health department contact tracing protocols, only those who meet the definition of a close contact within a span of 48 hours of a positive or presumed positive case will be notified. Close contacts are defined as any individual who has been in close proximity of less than six feet for 15 minutes or more. Individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a positive or presumed positive case of COVID-19 must contact the director of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management in the HR office, consult with their medical provider and self-isolate for 14 days. Individuals will be permitted to return to campus once the 14-day isolation period is over, if they have been symptom-free for 72 hours prior to the requested campus access date/time.

Hygiene Controls

Hand-washing - Everyone must maintain the strictest hand hygiene protocol by frequently washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds. Ring your hands in a circular motion, cleaning arms, up to the elbows and underneath fingernails. Use hand sanitizer frequently if there is no access to soap and water.

Coughing/Sneezing hygiene - If you are in a private setting and do not have your face covering on, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw used tissues in the trash. 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.

Physical distancing - Everyone on campus is required to maintain a minimum six-foot physical distance from other individuals at all times. No exceptions will be made since COVID-19 can spread without an individual showing symptoms or feeling sick. There will be no public access or events inside any of the College’s buildings. Similarly, mass gatherings for events, shows, lectures or other activities, are not permitted.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Face Coverings - Face coverings must be worn by all faculty, staff and students while on campus when in the presence of others and in public spaces (e.g., elevators, common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, studios, labs, shops, etc.). Appropriate use of face coverings (disposable, cloth or other types) is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. Face covers must be properly worn, covering the nost and mouth at all times except when eating or drinking while maintaining physical distance between yourself and others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not show symptoms or feel sick. The face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing, both must be practiced in tandem.

Type, description and intended use of face coverings/respirators:

    • Cloth - Homemade or commercially manufactured face coverings that are double- or triple-layered, washable and help contain the wearer's respiratory emissions. Cloth or disposable face coverings are required for campus community use. Must be laundered or replaced daily.
    • Disposable - Commercially manufactured masks that help contain the wearer's respiratory emissions. Cloth or disposable face coverings are required for campus community use. Must be laundered or replaced daily.
    • Particulate - Commercially manufactured, NIOSH and OSHA approved respirators. Required for use in shops and lab areas based on the work being performed.
    • Particulate with nuisance vapor relief - Commercially manufactured, NIOSH and OSHA approved respirators. Required for use in shops and lab areas based on the work being performed.
    • Half facepiece reusable respirator - Commercially manufactured, NIOSH and OSHA approved respirators. Required for use in shops and lab areas based on the work being performed.
    • Variable style with exhalation valve - Any style mask or facepiece with exhalation valves are prohibited, even if an individual purchases one for themselves. These types of exhalation valves are not equipped with a filter, therefore, the wearer releases droplets that could potentially spread the virus.

How to put on a face covering (disposable, cloth or other types):

        • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering.
        • Ensure the face covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
        • Situate the face covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
        • Depending on the type, tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
        • Throughout the process, avoid touching the front of the face covering.
        • Note: if you wear glasses, to prevent steaming, you may want to try a tissue inside of your face covering.

How to remove a face covering (disposable, cloth or other types):

        • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering.
        • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face covering.
        • When taking off the face covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
        • Wash hands immediately after removing your face covering.

Care, storage and laundering:

        • Keep face coverings stored in a paper bag or a bag made of other breathable material when not in use.
        • Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after use. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent before first use, and after each shift. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
        • Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after use or if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.

Individuals who are unable to wear one form of face covering due to health reasons will be required to wear an alternate face covering. Employees (faculty and staff) should contact Human Resources (HR) to discuss reasonable accommodations, but will not be required to disclose any diagnosis/diagnoses. Students must provide medical documentation from a health care professional to the CSE describing the need for an accommodation to this public health mandate.

Goggles/Face shields - As a reminder, the eyes are an additional route of entry to the body for COVID-19. You may be required to wear goggles or face shields as assigned PPE when performing your work and interacting with others if your job requires the use of tools, equipment and/or machinery if these were assigned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional positions requiring the use of eye protection will be reviewed and announced based on specific activities being performed. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments.

Gloves - Based on your job, you may be required to wear gloves as assigned PPE when performing your work and interacting with others. If not job-required, but you prefer to wear gloves while performing work for your own comfort level, contact your supervisor or EHSRM. According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks.

Sanitation

Facilities Disinfecting - The Facilities Department will ensure that cleaning and sanitation of high-touch surfaces occurs frequently throughout the day. Classroom cleaning will take place in between each and every class. All used spaces will be cleaned thoroughly every night. Cleaning procedures for equipment, specialty labs, makerspaces and dedicated spaces will be established with each department prior to the start of term. Cleaning supplies or requests can be made using the Facilities Work Order available on Inside ArtCenter.

Personal Disinfecting - Take time to wipe down tables, tools, pens, equipment, workstations, keyboards, computer mouse, etc. before utilizing them with a disinfectant wipe or with a clean cloth and disinfecting cleanser. This should be repeated regularly throughout the time you are on campus. Do not reuse soiled rags. Clorox wipe dispensers are located in select areas for your convenience.

Breaks and Rest Periods

Breaks provide an opportunity for people to walk outside, alone and physically distanced from others. Individuals should not congregate in groups during breaks or resting periods. As stated previously, face coverings are required indoors at all times. Face coverings are also required if you are outdoors and unable to maintain a minimum six-feet of distance from another person. Practice strict hand hygiene before going on break and immediately after break.

Using Restrooms

Restrooms will be cleaned frequently per our current sanitation schedule. A physical distance of six feet should be maintained at all times, even in restrooms. If there is insufficient space to maintain distance due to others in the restroom, individuals should either wait outside or return at a later time. Do not visit another floor in the same building to access a restroom except in urgent situations. All individuals should carefully limit the areas they visit while on campus. Hand washing hygiene practices must be followed after any visit to the restroom.

Using Elevators

No more than two people may be in an elevator at a time. Stairs should be used as much as possible. People using the elevator must wear face coverings even if they are the only occupant and should avoid touching elevator buttons with exposed hand/fingers. Hand washing hygiene practices must be followed after any elevator ride.

No Smoking Policy

As COVID-19 has been identified mainly as a respiratory virus, ArtCenter reminds the community that we are a tobacco- and smoke-free campus. The policy is available on the ArtCenter website, with additional information and resources available on Inside ArtCenter.

Travel Restrictions

Travel restrictions remain in place for the calendar year. Anyone who has traveled anywhere—internationally, domestically or outside of the Greater Los Angeles region—within the last 10 days is required to self-quarantine for 14 days commencing on the day of arrival and monitor their own health. (Greater Los Angeles encompasses five counties in Southern California, including Ventura County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Orange County.)

Persons who experience symptoms must contact a medical provider. Any impact to work or classes due to self-quarantine will be mitigated by the use of remote methodologies to ensure the individual can safely meet their obligations. Individuals are instructed to also communicate directly with their supervisor, affected instructor(s) and/or academic department chair and staff (director/coordinator).

The CDC and the U.S. Department of State have applied heightened levels of travel warnings and advisories, meaning that there is ongoing community transmission in the U.S., and all travelers (even those who do not leave the country or re-enter from another country) must apply these additional precautions. The specific recommendations from the CDC include:

    • All travelers (domestic or international) are required to monitor their health and practice physical distancing for 14 days after returning from travel;
    • Travelers (domestic or international) should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
    • Travelers (domestic or international) who are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care; and
    • Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.

Anyone who has traveled outside the United States should be aware of factors that may impact their return and re-entry, including:

  • Availability (and costs) of commercial air travel.
  • Operations of U.S. consulates regarding processing visa applications has been greatly delayed in some cases recently and vary from country-to-country.
  • Restrictions on non-U.S. nationals have already been implemented. (Future decisions may also apply to all travelers, regardless of nationality.)
  • As of March 20, 2020, all U.S. consulates and embassies worldwide have temporarily suspended all visa processes for persons who are not U.S. citizens, but remain open to U.S. citizens.
  • Anyone planning to leave the United States should research applicable travel advisories or restrictions and be aware that they may be subject to health protocols such as enhanced screenings at airports and mandatory quarantines, which may prevent individuals from starting work or school for approximately 14 days after entry into this (or any other) country. People should consider that choosing to leave the U.S. may have serious consequences impacting their academic programs and/or visa status. Please understand that the decision to stay in the U.S. or in any other country, or the decision to leave one location for a home country is a deeply personal one that considers finances, family, health needs, etc. ArtCenter will not tell anyone what decision they should make; but we will provide the most accurate information available.

    If you are an international student and you have already left the U.S., please email international@artcenter.edu to discuss your travel itinerary, and any expected or planned date of return so that we can properly update your international student visa records as we are required to do with the U.S. federal government. Failure to inform us so that we can update those records may affect any future re-entry to the U.S. or any future visa applications (of any sort).

    International students should also keep up to date on any travel or health advisories from their home countries.