Bristol New Bedford Campus Closed Wednesday, August 4
All members of our college community, students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and others from the effects and spread of the virus. Individuals with the Bristol App may voluntarily upload their vaccination information for contract tracing purposes.
If possible, the college will host a vaccination clinic(s) dedicated to students, faculty and staff.
More information regarding vaccination can be found on the Bristol website: http://www.bristolcc.edu/together/vaccinations/.
At this time, the 15 Massachusetts community colleges will not be mandating vaccinations for students.
NOTE: Some Bristol students may be required to be vaccinated to participate in clinical assignments or other activities.
Faculty & Staff
Currently, the vaccine will not be required for faculty or staff.
Testing & Contact Tracing
Required COVID-19 testing will be evaluated regularly based upon the COVID-19 virus fluctuation and vaccination rates in our region, state, and country.
On-campus employees are strongly encouraged to participate in regular testing.
As a reminder, testing provided by Bristol Community College is not for people experiencing symptoms or those who are a close contact to someone confirmed positive with the virus. Those with symptoms must contact their health care provider. Testing on our campuses is strictly to identify asymptomatic carriers.
All information related to an individual, including whether they tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact, is strictly confidential.
For the summer semesters, testing will continue to be required every other week for students taking hybrid classes, participating in internships or clinicals. This testing schedule is in place for courses starting on June 1, 2021. The testing schedule may be modified depending on the enrollment of subsequent summer courses/terms beginning on July 12, 2021. Please review the Testing Locations and Schedules link below for more information.
Students who have been vaccinated will still be required to participate in testing at this time. Bristol may review any updates or changes recommended in the testing protocol by the State of MA and/or CDC and update our testing protocol accordingly. In line with current protocols, the COVID-19 Response Specialist will inform faculty of any students enrolled in on-campus courses who have not tested.
The college highly recommends that if a student is coming on campus infrequently or for limited meetings with an advisor, faculty member, counselor, to pick up materials from the library, etc.., or for other reasons, they be tested 48-72 hours before their visit. Testing may be obtained on campus at various times/locations, or at any eligible testing site in the area.
Please refer to http://www.bristolcc.edu/together/testing/ for current testing requirements and protocols.
The College has established a partnership with The Broad Institute for COVID-19 testing and surveillance. This partnership will continue as long as necessary. The Broad Institute testing at Bristol is free of charge for students who are taking hybrid or face-to-face courses and/or participating in internships or clinicals, and for college employees working regularly on-campus.
The college will continue its process of sending student test results to Academic Affairs. Any students who have not tested will be identified and required to test before going to campus or class. Athlete testing will be the responsibility of the Director of Athletics and Recreation.
COVID-19 Testing Locations and Schedules
More information about COVID-19 testing locations and schedules can be found at http://www.bristolcc.edu/together/testing/.
Bristol Mobile App
The Bristol App will be updated to collect data that will keep us informed of the safety and health of those on our campuses. The app will help us monitor symptoms of those on campus and contact trace those who may have come in close contact with someone who is confirmed as having the virus. The app will also track those who have been vaccinated and may choose to voluntarily provide that information. The data collected will also help us in determining the need for COVID-19 testing on our campuses.
All information provided within the Bristol Mobile App will be secured and kept in the strictest of confidence.
Employees and students shall self-monitor their health status daily prior to reporting to work at any Bristol location. Those who are feeling ill must not come to campus and should follow the appropriate sick notification procedure, as well as speak with their supervisor/instructor about completing work remotely, if possible. Additionally, employees and students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact their doctor or local urgent care center for further guidance and testing procedures, as necessary.
According to CDC guidance, potential COVID-19 symptoms include, but may not be limited to:
- Fever or chills
- New cough (not related to a chronic condition)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Sore throat
- New nasal congestion or runny nose (not related to seasonal allergies)
- New loss of smell or taste
- Nausea or vomiting
Please review the CDC’s Symptoms of Coronavirus poster for more information.
Each time before coming to campus, every employee and student shall self-certify that they are healthy in order to enter any of the Bristol locations. Self-certifying includes asking themselves the questions included on the checklists below:
- Do you have a fever (temperature over 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit) without having taken any fever-reducing medications?
- Do you have a loss of smell or taste?
- Do you have a cough?
- Do you have muscle aches?
- Do you have a sore throat?
- Do you have shortness of breath?
- Do you have chills?
- Do you have a headache?
- Are you experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite?
- Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to self-isolate/quarantine by a medical professional or local public health official?
- Have you been in close contact with anyone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to self-isolate/quarantine by a medical professional or local public health official?
Exposure Report Form: According to the CDC, a “close contact” is “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.”
If you suspect you are a close contact or have otherwise been exposed to someone with Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are experiencing symptoms of the virus, please consider filling out the Exposure Report Form.
Read more about the CDC's “close contact” definition and updated guidance here.
If any employee answers ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, they should stay home and do the following:
- Contact their supervisor per normal sick notification procedures.
- Be encouraged to contact their doctor or urgent care center.
- Complete Bristol’s Exposure Report Form.
- Continue to work remotely if able.
- Be allowed to use paid time off.
- If they are not able to use paid time off or would like to discuss other paid leave options, they should contact Human Resources.
If any student answers ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, they should stay home and do the following:
- Complete Bristol’s Exposure Report Form.
- Be encouraged to contact their doctor or urgent care center.
- Contact their instructor to let them know they will not be attending class.
Protocol for Positive COVID-19 Cases at Bristol
- The local Board of Health (BOH) or Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will contact Bristol’s Health Services if there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Contact tracing for those diagnosed with COVID-19 will be completed should the BOH/DPH contact Bristol and indicate they need assistance. Otherwise, all contact tracing will be conducted by the agency, which may go back 2 weeks prior to testing positive.
- The BOH will advise on the next steps regarding appropriate cleaning, closure of buildings, etc.
- The identity of a student or employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not be shared. Contact tracing will determine who needs to be notified if they are determined to be a close contact.
Exposure to COVID-19
Should you be informed that you are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that an Exposure Report Form is completed in order for Bristol Health Services to contact you. Quarantine and contact tracing protocols will be in line with the Commonwealth’s current guidance, as well as Bristol Health Services’ protocol.
A list of available testing sites can be found on the “Stop the Spread” webpage on the mass.gov website. Some testing sites are free and do not require insurance. Please call ahead to confirm.
- Exposure Report Form: Please consider voluntarily filling out this form if you suspect you may have been exposed to someone with Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are experiencing symptoms of the virus, as outlined in this document.
High Risk Populations
According to the CDC, age increases the risk of COVID-19 infections. Additionally, individuals of any age with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection.
Individuals are considered at an increased risk if they have any of the following conditions which may include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Individuals might be at an increased risk if they have any of the following conditions which may include, but are not limited to:
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Check out the CDC guidance for a complete list of those who might be at higher risk. Employees who may fall into these categories may voluntarily reach out to Gia Sanchez, Diversity & Title IX Officer, at email@example.com regarding accommodations for their return to the workplace.