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COVID Response Plan

Health & Safety Measures

HPU’s Health and Safety Task Force
To resume in-person classes, High Point University President Nido Qubein commissioned the Health and Safety Task Force to assess, develop and implement a plan to ensure the health and safety of the entire campus community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health and Safety Task Force has continually refined processes throughout the fall semester and is continually monitoring conditions on a national, state and local level.

The Health and Safety Task Force includes leaders from the Office of Safety and Emergency Services, the Office of Student Life, facilities management, medical advisors and student leadership. The Task Force has implemented a number of measures, both operationally and to the physical campus, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These measures include changes to campus dining, recreation centers, common spaces, campus events and important resources like HPU Libraries. These measures will continue to be implemented and updated throughout the year.

The measures outlined throughout this web page took effect for students, faculty and staff who were on campus in July for Summer Session II, when undergraduate classes resumed in-person and students lived returned to live on campus. They remain in effect for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters.

HPU’s Clean Team
The university has implemented a Clean Team who frequently disinfects all high-traffic touch points across all campus buildings throughout the day. To see some of their efforts in action:

New Student Health Center
We have established a new Student Health Center at 1300 University Parkway that has separate, designated entrances for students experiencing respiratory symptoms and well patients. The 6,500-square-foot building houses eight exam rooms and 12 full-time staff members, including two full-time medical providers. If students are unable to take themselves to Student Health, we have a dedicated shuttle available with protective, plexiglass barriers to transport them.

For more information, including how to schedule a video consultation, visit www.highpoint.edu/studenthealth

Cloth Face Coverings

On June 24, 2020, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order requiring cloth face masks to be worn in all public spaces to slow the spread of the virus.* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends wearing cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Wearing a face mask reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission and is a step we can all take to care for the members of our HPU family. Therefore, in compliance with applicable federal, state or local orders, at HPU, students, faculty and staff are required to wear face masks when indoors in all classrooms, labs, studios, and other public spaces (such as hallways, building entrances, public restrooms, in HPU transportation such as shuttles, and other common spaces). The order does not require masks to be worn outside where physical distancing is possible. Campus community members can walk to and from class without a mask as long as they maintain six feet of distance. Masks should have two layers and fit snug around the nose and mouth.

There is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of masks with one-way valves or vents, gators, or face shields for controlling transmission of the virus, and thus these face coverings are not an acceptable substitute for face masks. Exceptions may be made for the use of face shields with an approved medical excuse, or when public speaking, with greater than six feet of distance between speaker and audience.

If an individual is not wearing a face covering in the classroom, they will be referred to Campus Concierge to receive a complimentary face covering. If someone comes to class without a face mask, they will be asked to secure one immediately from any Concierge location. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the classroom, studio or lab for that day. They will be counted absent for the day and held accountable for all coursework.

Should there be a concern for public safety, HPU Security would be notified at 336-841-9111. Many academic buildings will have one-way entrances and exits. Additional signage will be shared in classrooms stating that coverings are required and how to properly wear a face covering.

The university will supply all members of the HPU family—students, faculty, staff and parents when arriving for move-in —with a reusable cloth face mask to help everyone do their part. Students should follow these steps to safely wear a cloth face covering:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before putting on and taking off your face covering.
  • Handle only the ear loops or ties.
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.
  • Wash your face covering frequently.

Students who require an accommodation to the face covering requirement should contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services. For additional information about wearing and using a cloth face covering, visit the CDC website. This Duke Health study also explains why bandannas and neck fleeces, such as “gaiters,” are not appropriate replacements for cloth face coverings.

Click here to watch a nurse and HPU mom explain how to wear face masks properly.

*For more information about the Executive Order, such as exceptions, click here.

Additional information:

-The CDC recently advised that masks with exhalation valves or vents should not be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19.

-The CDC also does not recommend face shields as a substitute for a face covering. Instead, face shields should also be worn with a mask under them when physical distancing is not possible. Exceptions may be made for the use of face shields with an approved medical excuse, or when public speaking with greater than six feet of distance between speaker and audience.

-According to a recent study by researchers at Duke Health, bandannas and neck fleeces such as “gaiters” emit an increased droplet count, and therefore are not the most effective mask to mitigate the spread of the virus.


Physical Distancing
As is currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, physical distancing is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the virus. HPU has made the following changes to campus to encourage the practice of physical distancing:

  • Furniture in outdoor areas, such as Slane Student Center patio, as well as in common spaces, study areas and classroom spaces, has been rearranged where possible.
  • Visual markers have been placed on the floor, such as Slane Starbucks, instructing people on where to stand if they are waiting in line.
  • Signs have been installed outside of elevators alerting people of proper safety measures.
  • Protective barriers in areas such as Slane Student Center and Smith Library have been installed.
  • Equipment that students check out from the library or other areas is being sanitized between each use.
  • There are one-way entrances and exits to many buildings.
  • Protective plexi-glass barriers are being installed in places where students have close interactions like dining areas, the bookstore and student accounts.
  • All water fountains have been turned off. Students, faculty and staff are to only use water bottle filling stations.
  • Class schedules, locations and times will be adjusted to allow for enhanced physical distancing in classrooms. Any student whose schedule has been or may be altered will be contacted directly.
  • Large attendance events, like Family Weekend or concerts, will be delayed or canceled to diminish the opportunities for viral spread.

Self-Health Assessments
As one of many measures High Point University has implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, all students, faculty and staff are completing required, regular self-health assessments. According to health care officials, taking a self-health assessment can answer basic questions that inform your decision to proceed with your daily routine, stay home, or seek medical attention, for the sake of your health as well as the health of others. Taking your temperature and answering questions regarding symptoms related to COVID-19 is one more measure we can all take to ensure the safety of the campus community.

As classes prepare to resume, students will complete this self-health assessment within 24 hours of returning to campus. After being cleared to return to campus, students will complete daily self-health assessments. The frequency may change based on the national situation as the academic year continues.