Piedmont’s COVID-19 Response: Key Elements
- Face coverings for students, employees, and visitors are optional on campus. For clinical settings, please check the policies of each site.
- Vaccination is not required, but is highly encouraged.
- Check the CDC website for the most current information on COVID-19.
August 1, 2022
As we enter the endemic phase of COVID-19, armed with effective strategies to prevent and treat the disease, Piedmont University’s policies must reflect the current reality. At this time, we expect to follow the policies and procedures below for the 2022-23 academic year. Any changes to our policies and procedures will be reflected on this website and communicated to appropriate members of the university community. These practices are consistent with our efforts to move from a temporary emergency COVID-19 response to an ongoing, sustainable approach.
Face coverings are now optional on Piedmont University’s campuses, regardless of vaccination status. These new guidelines extend to public events, including athletic games, meetings, and lectures. When it comes to wearing a face covering, please do what makes you comfortable. Please also be respectful of others’ decisions ─ even if you disagree with them.
Piedmont does recommend that any individual with COVID-19 symptoms wear a face covering until they are cleared by a medical professional.
When to Raise a Flag in Starfish
If you are a student experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should raise a health-related concern flag in Starfish and isolate from others:
- Fever or chills
- Difficulty breathing
- Head/body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If You Get Sick and Test Positive for COVID-19
If you test positive or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must isolate away from others to avoid spreading the illness. Follow the steps below to get help, stay healthy, and help protect those around you.
- Return to your residence and avoid public spaces.
- Isolate away from others for at least 5 full days from when your symptoms started, or from your positive test if you have no symptoms. If after 5 days you are asymptomatic or symptoms have significantly resolved, you may end isolation if you obtain a negative rapid test. It is recommended that you wear a face covering when around others in your residence and in public for an additional 5 days. See below for isolation options. If you had no symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5.
- You are strongly encouraged to isolate at your home or at an off-campus location, particularly if you live within 400 miles of campus. We understand that in some limited circumstances this will not be possible. You will be allowed to isolate in your residence hall if necessary. In these cases, your roommate(s) will have the option to isolate/quarantine off campus. Take immediate action for your own health and for the safety of yourself and others.
- If you are unable to isolate off campus, you may be required to do so in your room. This means you may be with your roommates — who will in turn need to quarantine.
- In some cases, your roommates may elect to quarantine at home or at an off-campus location.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 with either a PCR or an at-home antigen test, you must immediately begin isolation regardless of your vaccination status. If you test positive, you should immediately alert your instructors through Starfish and begin isolation procedures.
If You Live Off Campus
- Isolate at your residence.
- While in isolation, stay away from others as much as possible by staying in a specific room and using a separate bathroom.
- If you have to be around other people, it is recommended that you wear a face covering.
- Remain in isolation until you meet the criteria for ending isolation.
- You will receive appropriate academic accommodations from your instructors during your isolation period if you raise a health-related concern flag in Starfish.
If You Live On Campus
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and have a single bedroom on campus, isolate in your room. If you don’t have a single bedroom, consider isolating off campus, at a friend or family member’s house where you would have your own space.
- If you cannot stay off campus, you will be allowed to isolate in place on campus. Isolating in place means that you should stay in your current room assignment ─ while also distancing yourself from your roommates as much as possible.
- You and your roommates are advised to wear face coverings inside the residence. Your roommates will be allowed to temporarily stay with family and friends in the area, if they wish.
- If you are isolating in place, you will receive appropriate academic accommodations from your instructors if you raise a health-related concern flag in Starfish.
How to Obtain Food While Isolating on Campus
While isolating/quarantining, it is important to maintain good nutrition by eating regular meals. If you must isolate/quarantine and you are subscribed to a meal plan, you can arrange for a peer to pick up meals for you by completing this form at least 2 hours prior to the desired meal pickup time (when possible):
The form will be received by Piedmont Dining personnel, who will use it as validation that you want a peer to pick up a meal for you using your meal plan. The form will also be used confirm the peer’s identity. The peer needs to bring both Piedmont University ID as well as your meal request submission confirmation for authentication. You will need to fill out a form for every day that meals are needed. You have the option of receiving up to three meals a day.
If You Get Sick and Test Negative for COVID-19
If you test negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 but still have symptoms, you should still be careful about contact with others, particularly if you tested with an at-home antigen test very soon after developing symptoms. It is recommended that you repeat the test 48-72 hours later if your initial at-home test is negative. It is also recommended that you wear a face covering until you are cleared by a medical professional.
How to Calculate Days and Isolation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines Day 0 as the day you first test positive or the day you first show symptoms, whichever comes first.
- You must isolate for at least 5 full days. You may end isolation on day 6 with a negative rapid test. If you do not have symptoms, you may end isolation after 5 full days from your positive test or the onset of your symptoms.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Stay in a separate room away from other household members, if possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Wear a well-fitting face covering when you need to be around other people through day 10.
Ending Isolation for People Who Had COVID-19 and Had Symptoms
If you have COVID-19 and have symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. You can leave isolation after 5 full days.
Note that these recommendations on ending isolation do not apply to people who are moderately ill or very sick from COVID-19 or who have weakened immune systems.
Isolate away from others for at least 5 full days from when your symptoms started, or from your positive test if you have no symptoms. You may re-test on Day 5 with a rapid test (not PCR) performed by a clinician. If your test is negative and you feel able, you may return to campus but continue to wear a face covering through Day 10. If your second test is positive, remain away from campus through Day 10.
Faculty and Staff
- If you’re on campus, return to your place of residence. If you are already off campus, stay at your place of residence and contact your immediate supervisor.
- Contact your primary care physician and schedule a COVID test.
- Isolate away from others for at least 5 full days from when your symptoms started, or from your positive test if you have no symptoms. You may re-test on Day 5 with a rapid test (not PCR) performed by a clinician. If you are negative and you feel able, you may return to campus but wear a face covering through Day 10. If you are positive, remain away from campus through Day 10.
- If you are required to isolate, reach out to your supervisor to discuss the continuation of coursework and student learning. You may work as you feel like it with permission from your department head. Simply report time you do not work as sick leave in Self Service.