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COVID-19

Students social distance in a classroom while wearing face masks.

Faith International University
3504 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA
Policies and Procedures for COVID-19 Safety
Academic Year 2021-22

This document provides an overview of policies and procedures for Faith International University (FIU) operating as a Fully Vaccinated Campus in response to WA State COVID-19 regulations. All campus gatherings must adhere to the following guidelines outlines in Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation for higher education (June 2021).

Note: Further information may be published during the academic year to be in compliance with any State of Washington guideline and regulation adjustments.

PDF DOWNLOAD: Governor Inslee’s Proclamation Regarding Resident Students

PDF DOWNLOAD: Governor Inslee’s Proclamation Regarding Employees

General Guidelines:

In order to be part of the solution for controlling transmission of COVID-19 for all, FIU has a responsibility to engage in practices that support the health and well-being of the larger Tacoma community. In order to limit transmission risk of COVID-19 while creating the most effective teaching and learning scenarios, FIU will utilize the health guidelines provided by state and local government.

Our goal is to return to FIU full time for on-campus learning in the Fall Quarter 2021. In order to maximize the student learning experience, FIU will provide opportunities for students’ academic, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth as well as promote social and emotional health and well-being. FIU will attempt to provide flexible, safe, and healthy opportunities for ongoing connections with peers, faculty and staff.

FIU will demonstrate a commitment to equity and ensure quality education for all enrolled students whether on campus or studying remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FIU will provide schedules and clear communication about the resident courses we are able to provide. This ongoing communication will be continuous and will reflect any updates given to us from the health department and the governor’s office as the school year progresses.

Phasing

This plan reflects the best recommendations from the WA State Department of Health. This policy aligns with all four phases of WA State’s Safe Start Plan. At phase 4 FIU will engage in appropriate physical distancing, appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE), temperature monitoring, handwashing, and cleaning activities.

Cleaning

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. It can also spread through close contact like shaking hands. It is less likely to spread through touching surfaces. FIU has adopted an enhanced cleaning schedule that includes:

  • Wiping down of all frequently touched surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectant in between classroom activities.
  • Daily cleaning of every classroom and bathroom.
  • Regular cleaning of floors.
  • Cleaning of high touch areas (e.g., desks, keyboards, phones, doorknobs, light switches)
  • Eating and snacking during designated times and in designated areas only, with cleaning of individual spaces afterward.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are available at the entry point of both buildings and in the student lounge.

Screening

FIU will provide a health screening for every student and employee as they enter the north or south building. This includes:

1) Infrared thermometer temperature check after entering through the designated entry point in the South Building. An additional infrared thermometer is available at the designated entry of the North Building if a student needs to see an administrator.

2) Visual check for signs of illness (difficult breathing, fatigue, cough, etc.)

In order to help us keep everyone as safe as possible, we ask that you do your own health check at home before coming to FIU. If you are exhibiting the following symptoms, please stay home and contact your instructor by email or through Canvas:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever of 99.5°F or higher (without fever-reducing medications) or a sensing a fever
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle or body aches or chills
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Congestion/running nose (Documented allergies provide exception to this rule, but please stay home the first day these symptoms appear, just to be certain you are not ill.

Hygiene

  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water including before and after going to the bathroom, before and after eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Face Coverings (Masks) and Classroom Protocol

Students and employees will follow the current WA State mandate regarding masking indoors.

PDF DOWNLOAD: WA State Face Covering Proclamation August 19, 2021

At this time facial coverings must be worn by all students and employees who enter the building; masks must cover the nose and mouth.

Note: If all students in the classroom have been vaccinated the instructor may determine if the masks are necessary during the lecture. Facial masks should be worn during academic breaks if students are no longer in the classroom.

In addition, short breaks from facial coverings may be provided during the class by allowing students to step outside the building as needed (e.g., go to their car, get some fresh air).

Disposable masks are available at the entry points if you do not have one with you. Disposable masks should be thrown away at the end the class.

Any FIU student or employee with a documented health condition or impairment that prohibits the use of a facial covering, a face shield may be used. Exemptions should be documented in writing by a health professional.

Masks may be:

  • Secured behind the ears or around the head.
  • Multiple layers of fabric tied around the head.
  • Made from a variety of materials, such as fleece, cotton or linen.
  • Factory-made, hand-made, or disposable.

Should facial coverings become optional in later phases, as directed by the governor’s office and health department, FIU will move to a modified plan to alternate between physical distancing and wearing of facial coverings to allow for more time without masks.

Physical Distancing

FIU is committed to physically distancing students and staff as much as possible. Seats are normally rearranged and staggered to allow for 6 feet of distance in all classrooms to the maximum extent feasible. Employees should limit their travel in the building and work in their designated office as much as possible.

Confirmation of Vaccination

A COVID-19 vaccination must be in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BionTec or Moderna) or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson (J&J Janssen). Note: All employees and students must wait for two-weeks after the final dose to be considered vaccinated.

FIU will require attestation of vaccination including a hard copy or electronically signed attestation from the student. Attestation must include:

  • The date/s when the dose/s were administered,
  • a signed statement of truthfulness subject to disciplinary action if the statement proves to be untruthful.

Note: Local health officials may require further verification of the student’s vaccination status.

Faculty and Staff

Employees who regularly show up for work in any of FIU’s buildings must provide a copy of their vaccination card or sign a waiver of exemption to the vaccination requirement. Copies will  be reviewed by the president. The copies will be kept in their personnel record. Vendors who enter the campus buildings (even occasionally) are requested to provide a copy of their vaccination record. Employees who work in other states or who work at home only (non-campus personnel) are not required to provide a vaccination record or waiver. Such employees may provide the information if they desire to have it in their personnel record.

An instructor who teaches a regular 10-week resident (on-campus) course should be vaccinated.

Non-vaccinated, non-campus personnel who have already had a verified case of COVID-19 may enter FIU on certain Fridays during the month (with approval from the president) when regular personnel are absent. Such employees should limit their campus visit and must work in their designated office.

Confirmed Case Process and Virus Spread

Should a student or staff member be diagnosed with COVID-19, they or their family should notify FIU immediately. Dr. John Wheeler’s cell number is 253-905-1838. You may call this number to speak directly to him or leave a message. The Pierce County Health Department may advise next steps. It is possible that other students and staff who were in close contact with the infected individual will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. FIU may or may not be directed to close in case of an outbreak. This depends on what is found during contact tracing, the number of cases, the extent of the exposure, and whether the virus appears to be spreading within the school. During this time, we will offer instruction through Distance Learning.

For more information about COVID-19 visit the Public Health – COVID-19 website.

For more mental health resources call the Wellness Center at 425-889-5282 or visit the WA State Mental and Emotional Well-Being resources page.

If you are concerned about COVID-19:

If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, contact FIU, call your healthcare provider, and follow the procedures outlined here.

If you have not been around someone diagnosed with COVID-19 but are experiencing symptoms, follow the procedures outlined here.

If you were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated, contact FIU and your healthcare provider, and follow the procedures outlined here.

For more mental health resources call the Wellness Center at 425-889-5282 or visit the WA State Mental and Emotional Well-Being resources page.

How to Avoid COVID-19

  • Get vaccinated. This is the best defense against contracting COVID-19. Vaccine Locator.
  • Wear a cloth face covering to cover your mouth and nose in all indoor public spaces and outdoors in crowded areas such as a ballpark.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, especially after shaking hands with people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Cover your coughs and sneezes to avoid spreading the virus.  
  • Limit non-essential trips and minimize contact with others who do not live with you.      
  • Stay at least six feet from others outside of your home.  
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are needed as a caregiver to someone suffering from the disease, do not return to public activity until you are cleared by medical personnel to do so.  
  • Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.      
  • Avoid group gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.     
  • People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others.

Remember to Pray

Pray that God will protect the health of each member of the FIU community from COVID-19. Pray that everyone will overcome any anxiety and fear. Pray that government leaders will make wise decisions about how best to overcome the virus. Pray that civil health authorities will make wise decisions about how to control the spread of the virus. Pray for people all over the world that the virus would be elimated and blessings may come out of this time of struggle.

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Students and Colleagues,

Faith International University is sensitive to the issues surrounding the COVID-19 Virus and is working with city, county, and state officials regarding public health decision-making. As was stated in our previous update, Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, and the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) issued a directive in response to COVID-19 prohibiting on-campus instruction at all postsecondary colleges and universities in Washington State from Tuesday, March 17, at 12:01 a.m., until Friday, April 24, at 12:00 p.m. https://coronavirus.wa.gov/

This means we have transitioned all of our resident classes scheduled to begin Spring Quarter, April 6th, to online classes.

Our administrative and faculty offices are closed to the public; however, all key personnel, staff and faculty are working remotely and they may be reached by telephone or email. Please call or email the specific administrator or faculty member with whom you wish to speak during this transitional time period (see the button at the bottom of this message for contact information).

To our VA students and families:

On March 21, 2020, President Trump signed Senate Bill S. 3503 to protect Veterans Affairs (VA) students who enrolled into residential courses which were replaced with online equivalents due to COVID-19. Distance learning students who enrolled into courses which do not have approved residential equivalents will not receive increased funding. VA certifications will begin once guidance for School Certifying Officials (VA SCO) is provided. This will be coming soon.

To our Financial Aid students:

FIU is operating remotely and our financial aid processor has assured us that they remain fully operational through the miracles of technology. This means, there should be NO DELAYS in federal financial aid for those of you who have applied for it and are eligible. For those of you who are new to financial aid Spring quarter, be on the lookout for email communications from our processor regarding the completion of the application process.

If you would like federal financial aid for Spring quarter but have not yet applied through the FAFSA, please apply as soon as possible at https://fafsa.ed.gov . For Spring 2020, you will need to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA and will need information from your 2017 IRS tax return. For Summer quarter 2020 through Spring 2021, please complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA by June, using information from your 2018 IRS tax return.

To our International students and families:
International students with residency requirements will not be affected by the transition to online classes. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) guidelines allow students to continue their degree online without any interruption to their program.

As always, we are trusting God to keep us safe from any disease. But, we should always take practical, common-sense precautions, not in a spirit of fear, but as stewards of our body. We continue to pray that God will conquer this outbreak and that we will be protected by His hand (Ps. 33:18-22).

A LIST OF PRECAUTIONS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY THE TACOMA-PIERCE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND ARE LISTED BELOW:

“Public health is identifying more positive cases of the disease in the state. These new cases suggest the disease is spreading in Washington. School district officials, staff and families can help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t yet. Flu activity is still elevated.