Skip to the main content
×

Registration for fall courses is open! Attend class in person, virtually or both | Get started now

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Free COVID-19 testing is available on the Lake Worth campus. Testing is open to ALL PBSC students, faculty, staff and the general public. 

Walk ups are welcome and appointments are available. Preregistration is encouraged.

PBSC COVID Testing Site Hours

Lake Worth

  • Location: CRA 102
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM*
    • Please note that testing will not be avilable on holidays or days the College is closed.

 


Your mask choice is respected at Palm Beach State College.

Following CDC guidelines, masks are recommended indoors in areas of high transmissibility. Masks will be available at PBSC events.


 

COVID-19 Response Protocol  (Previously titled Exposure Protocol)

Follow the latest Palm Beach State College (PBSC) Step-by-Step Protocol for Close Contact or confirmed positive test of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

PBSC Response Protocol Flow Charts

Students

Staff/Faculty

* Recognizing that the CDC updates its guidance as new information becomes available, it is recommended that you view the CDC website often. The College will also coordinate the response protocols and guidance with the local health department. The PBSC Security Department and the Health and Safety Department (HSD) will be the primary liaison.

Confirmed Case – report of person with COVID-19 and meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence. 

Probable Case – report of person meeting clinical AND epidemiologic evidence of COVID-19 but without confirmatory laboratory evidence. 

Close Contact – someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. 

Isolation – used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available). Don’t share personal household items and wear a mask when around other people if able. 

Quarantine – the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic from others who have not been so exposed to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. Quarantine [https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/quarantineisolation.html] may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.

Please note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the isolation and quarantine recommendations for the public as follows:

If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
    If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

 

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

If you:

Have been boosted

OR

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months

OR

Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

 

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted

OR

Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted

OR

Are unvaccinated

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

If you are a member of the PBSC community and have been in close contact with an infected person or know that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please adhere to the following protocol:

Faculty/Staff:

1. Contact immediate supervisor (IS) with sufficient detail.

2. Immediate supervisor will contact the Security and Health and Safety departments (HSD), and other Supervisors and Campus Leaders with details and plan for closure.

3. Security Department and/or HSD will make a detailed report to include locations, classes, other employees, and/or students possibly exposed:

a. The employee will be advised to follow the guidelines established by the CDC for quarantine procedures.

b. During the self-quarantine period, the affected employee may work remotely from home, if their job duties permit, with this assignment being approved by their supervisor.

c. The employee will advise their immediate supervisor of their COVID-19 test results if tested before returning to campus.

d. If the employee is tested and the result is confirmed positive for COVID-19, the employee must follow the confirmed positive, “Known Infection” protocol.

e. If the employee is not tested, they will be advised to follow the CDC guidelines for self-quarantine for those individuals who are not tested.

4. Determination to close affected buildings and/or areas, altered work schedules, and/or relieving employees from duty will be determined by provosts, supervisors, directors, executive deans, deans, or authorized authority.

5. Level 2 cleaning and disinfection of affected areas/buildings will be conducted by the approved service provider, if applicable.

6. Employees will be advised to contact Human Resources at www.palmbeachstate.edu/hr/benefits/leave-policies.aspx for direction concerning any applicable COVID-19 compensation 

 

Students

1. Contact your specific Campus Student Dean:

Student Dean Contact Information
Campus Dean Email Phone
Lake Worth Ron Malave malaver@palmbeachstate.edu 561-868-3055
Boca Raton Van Williams williamv@palmbeachstate.edu 561-862-4400
Palm Beach Gardens Tracey Olsen-Oliver olsenolt@palmbeachstate.edu 561-207-5326
Belle Glade Dr. LaTanya McNeal mcneall@palmbeachstate.edu  561-993-1128
Loxahatchee Groves Kimberly Lancaster lancastk@palmbeachstate.edu

561-790-9006 (Lox)

561-993-1134 (BG)

2. The campus student dean will contact the Security Department and/or the Health and Safety Department, respective faculty, instructors, directors, and campus leadership, or other authorized authority. The Security Department and/or HSD will make a detailed report of the situation to include locations, classes, employees, and other students possibly exposed.

3. Procedures for lockdown and cleaning will be followed pursuant to protocol, if necessary.

4. The decision to close buildings, cancel, or modify classes will be at the discretion of the respective faculty, instructors, directors, or campus leadership.

5. Students must communicate with faculty and follow the Student Handbook www.palmbeachstate.edu/studenthandbook regarding absences related to COVID-19.

6. Students will be advised to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine procedures.

7. Test result(s) should be provided to the campus student dean.

a. If the test result is positive, the student must follow protocol for confirmed positive case or “Known Infection” section of this protocol.

b. If a student is not tested, they will be advised to follow the CDC guidelines for self-quarantine for those individuals who are not tested.

If a member of the PBSC community is confirmed positive for COVID-19, follow these steps:

Faculty/Staff

1. Contact immediate supervisor.

2. Immediate supervisor will contact the Security and/or the Health and Safety Department (HSD), who will make a detailed report to include locations, classes, other employees, and/or students possibly exposed. 

3. Respective supervisors are responsible for notifying other supervisors, campus leadership, possibly exposed employees, faculty, staff, and students, who have had close contact with the confirmed positive employee. Confidentiality rules according to HIPAA guidelines must be adhered to.

4. Once a confirmed, positive test result has been reported, the affected buildings or specific areas within buildings will be immediately locked down or blocked off as soon as practical. Signs reading “Restricted Area | Do Not Enter | Authorized Personnel Only” will be posted at all entries.

5. The Security Department and/or HSD will contact the affected employee or student to determine those areas occupied/affected.

6.  Respective supervisors, directors, provosts, deans, campus leadership, or authorized authority will work with the Health and Safety Manager and the COVID-19 Operational Task Force to assess risk and determine the final length or duration of closure for each building or area.

7. Determination to alter employee work schedules, and or relieve employees from duty will be determined by respective supervisors, directors, provosts, deans, campus leadership, or authorized authority.

8. Cleaning procedures will be conducted by the approved service provider according to current guidelines.

  1. Level 2 cleaning can be performed after a 24-hour waiting period.
  2. Level 3 cleaning will be necessary if performed less than 24-hours from exposure.
  3. Levels 1-3 are defined by the contracted cleaning provider.

9. The employee who is confirmed positive for COVID-19 must report and provide documentation of confirmed positive results to their supervisor and Human Resources via benefits@palmbeachstate.edu. Human Resources has the right to require medical documentation in all COVID-19-related cases.

10.  Employees will not be approved to return to work until they have self-isolated for five days, have no symptoms of COVID-19 illness (without the use of medication), and have received a negative test result. If you continue to test positive after day five of isolation, it is recommended that you isolate for another five days or until your test result is negative. Some people continue to test positive for weeks or months after infection, in those cases clearance from a medical professional is required.

11. Employees who have had direct exposure/close contact to the infected/confirmed positive employee will be instructed to follow the CDC guidelines for close contact and quarantine procedures.

  1. During the self-quarantine period, the affected employee may work remotely from home, if their job duties permit, with this assignment being approved by their supervisor.
  2. If the employee is not tested, they will be required to follow the CDC guidelines for those individuals not tested.
  3. It is the responsibility of the respective supervisors, directors, provosts, deans, campus leadership, or authorized authority to notify affected employees of possible exposure to COVID-19 while adhering to HIPAA guidelines concerning the identity of the infected employee.

12. Employees will be advised to contact Human Resources for direction at www.palmbeachstate.edu/hr/benefits/leave-policies.aspx for any applicable COVID-19- related compensation. 

13. The Security and/or HSD Department will notify the Epidemiology unit of the Palm Beach County Health Department and provide pertinent information for contact tracing efforts. Students, staff, and faculty may also be required to provide tests results to the Health Department, if requested, and are required to fully cooperate when contacted.

 

Students

1. Contact your specific Campus Student Dean:

Student Dean Contact Information
Campus Dean Email Phone
Lake Worth Ron Malave malaver@palmbeachstate.edu 561-868-3055
Boca Raton Van Williams williamv@palmbeachstate.edu 561-862-4400
Palm Beach Gardens Tracey Olsen-Oliver olsenolt@palmbeachstate.edu 561-207-5326
Belle Glade Dr. LaTanya McNeal mcneall@palmbeachstate.edu  561-993-1128
Loxahatchee Groves Kimberly Lancaster lancastk@palmbeachstate.edu

561-790-9006 (Lox)

561-993-1134 (BG)

 

2. The campus student services dean will contact the Security Department and/or the Health and Safety Department (HSD), respective campus leadership or authorized authority, deans, program directors, faculty, and staff. 

3. Students must communicate with faculty and follow the Student Handbook www.palmbeachstate.edu/studenthandbook regarding absences related to COVID-19.

4. Respective campus leadership, deans, program directors, faculty and staff, or authorized authority are responsible for notifying other possibly exposed students, faculty, and staff of a COVID-19 positive test. Confidentiality rules according to HIPAA guidelines must be adhered to.

5. The Security Department and/or the HSD will make a detailed report of the situation to include locations, classes, employees, and other students, faculty and staff who have been exposed or have had close contact.

6. Procedures for lockdown and cleaning will be followed pursuant to protocol.

7. The decision to close buildings, cancel, or modify classes will be at the discretion of the respective faculty, instructors, directors, campus leadership, or authorized authority.

8. Students who test positive for COVID-19 must report and provide documentation of confirmed positive results to their respective campus student dean.

9. Students who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to follow the CDC guidelines for confirmed positive cases and self-isolation procedures.

10. Students will not be approved to return to school until they have self-isolated for five days, have no symptoms of COVID-19 illness (without the use of medication), and have received a negative test result. If you continue to test positive after day five of isolation, it is recommended that you isolate for another five days or until your test result is negative. Some people continue to test positive for weeks or months after infection, in those cases clearance from a medical professional is required.

11. Other students, faculty or staff who have had close contact to a confirmed positive student will be instructed to follow CDC guidelines for close contact and self-quarantine procedures.

  1. If the exposed student(s), faculty, or staff are not tested, they will be required to follow CDC guidelines for those not tested and not show symptoms of COVID-19 infection, without the use of medication, before returning to campus.

12. The Security Department and/or HSD will notify the Epidemiology unit of the Palm Beach County Health Department and provide pertinent information for contact tracing efforts. Students, staff, and faculty may also be required to provide tests results to the Health Department, if requested, and are required to fully cooperate when contacted.

This Emergency Protocol is in compliance with FS 287.057(3)(a) and Administration Code 6A-14.0734(3). District Facilities will assist the campus with procuring the required remediation, cleaning, and disinfection.

Communication is very important, especially for unvaccinated people who may have come in contact with the affected student or staff member.

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of COVID-19.

Certain PBSC programs such as Nursing and Public Safety have established more restrictive and comprehensive COVID-19 standards and protocols based on accreditation and industry standards.

The College has partnered with Nomi Health to administer free COVID-19 testing.

Campus Location and Times

Lake Worth

  • Location: CRA 102
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM*
    • Please note that testing will not be avilable on holidays or days the College is closed.

Prepared by: David Olerich, HVAC & EMS Specialist, Palm Beach State College

Revised: Nov. 18, 2020

Objective

To provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for the faculty and students returning to campus after the COVID-19 quarantine. It is the goal of the college to implement best practices in our operations henceforth to meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the CDC and follow the recommendations of ASHRE to the greatest extent possible.

 

Observations to Consider

With infectious diseases transmitted through aerosols, HVAC systems can have a major effect on the transmission from the primary host to secondary hosts. Decreasing exposure ofsecondary hosts is an important step in curtailing the spread of infectious diseases.

ASHRAE’s Executive Committee and Epidemic Task Force approved the following statements specific to the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two statements are appended here due to the unique relationship between the statements and the protective design strategies discussed in this position document:

Statement on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce airborne exposures.

Statement on operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission: Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. Unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and that may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Pathogen dissemination through the air occurs through droplets and aerosols typically generated by coughing, sneezing, shouting, breathing, etc. The majority of larger emitted droplets are drawn by gravity to land on surfaces within about 3–7 ft. General dilution ventilation and pressure differentials do not significantly influence short-range transmission. However, small aerosols (<10 μm), which can stay airborne and infectious for extended periods (several minutes, hours, or days) and thus can travel longer distances and infect secondary hosts who had no contact with the primary host.

 

ASHRAE Recommended Ventilation and Air Cleaning Strategies

The use of highly efficient particle filtration in centralized HVAC systems reduces the airborne load of infectious particles. This strategy reduces the transport of infectious agents from one area to another when these areas share the same central HVAC system through supply of recirculated air. Filtration will not eliminate all risk of transmission of airborne particulates because many other factors besides infectious aerosol concentration contribute to disease transmission.

The entire ultraviolet (UV) spectrum can kill or inactivate microorganisms, but UV-C energy (in the wavelengths from 200 to 280 nm) provides the most germicidal effect, with 265 nm being the optimum wavelength. While ASHRAE Position Document on Filtration and Air Cleaning (2018) does not make a recommendation for or against the use of UV energy in air systems for minimizing the risks from infectious aerosols, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved UVGI as an adjunct to filtration for reduction of tuberculosis risk and has published a guideline on its application (CDC 2005, 2009).

Controlling RH reduces transmission of certain airborne infectious organisms, including some strains of influenza, this document encourages designers to consider temperature and RH. Scientific literature generally reflects the most unfavorable survival for microorganisms when the RH is between 40% and 60%. These studies showed that RH below 40% is associated with three factors that increase infections. First, infectious aerosols emitted from a primary host shrink rapidly to become droplet nuclei, and these dormant yet infectious pathogens remain suspended in the air and are capable of traveling great distances. When they encounter a hydrated secondary host, they rehydrate and can propagate the infection. Second, many viruses and bacteria are anhydrous resistant and have increased viability in low-RH conditions. And finally, immuno-biologists have now clarified the mechanisms through which ambient RH below 40% impairs mucus membrane barriers and other steps in immune system protection.

 

ASHRAE Recommendations for Building Operation

Specific HVAC strategies supported by the evidence-based literature should be considered, including the following:

  • Enhanced filtration
  • Portable, free-standing high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
  • Temperature and humidity control
  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (disable demand-controlled ventilation and open outdoor air dampers to 100% as indoor and outdoor conditions permit).
  • Improve central air and other HVAC filtration to MERV-13
  • Keep systems running longer hours (24/7 if possible).
  • Add portable room air cleaners with HEPA or high-MERV filters with due consideration to the clean air delivery rate.
  • Add duct- or air-handling-unit-mounted, upper room, and/or portable UVGI devices in connection to in-room fans in high-density spaces.

Palm Beach State College HVAC Operation Standards

In accordance with the ASHRE recommendations from the ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols listed above, Palm Beach State College will implement the following procedures district wide:

  • Temperature and humidity control goal of 60% RH.
  • Increase outdoor air ventilation (disable demand-controlled ventilation and open outdoor air dampers to 100% as indoor and outdoor conditions permit).
  • Improve central air and other HVAC filtration to MERV-13

In addition to these district wide operations the following items will be implemented under certain circumstances:

  • Keep systems running longer hours (2 hrs. before occupancy and 1 hr. after).
  • Add portable room air cleaners with HEPA or high-MERV filters.
  • Add duct- or air-handling-unit-mounted, UVGI devices or equivalent in high-density spaces.

All information in this document is taken from the ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols Approved by ASHRAE Board of Directors April 14, 2020.

 

Palm Beach State College HVAC Maintenance Procedures Post COVID-19

As best practice all maintenance performed on air handling equipment shall be performed following the procedures outlined in this document.

  • All maintenance performed on the equipment shall be performed with the unit OFF. The unit shall be de-energized and allowed to come to a complete stop before any panels or doors are opened.
  • All work being performed on the equipment in the air stream shall be done while wearing proper PPE consisting of at minimum face mask and gloves. Face shield is optional unless it is known that there was a positive COVID-19 test result from someone in the area served.
  • Filters shall be carefully removed and bagged inside the mechanical room or on the roof where applicable.
    • If the filter change is following a COVID cleaning the coil and all interior cabinet surfaces shall be treated with an appropriate disinfectant and new filters shall be installed. If new filters are not available, existing filters must be removed and treated with a disinfectant spray per the manufacture’s guidelines.
  • If the unit is equipped with GPS Bi-Polar Ionization, turn off the power to the unit and clean the tips of electrodes per manufactures guidelines.
  • Inspect AHU interior for conditions that could promote viral or bacterial growth and clean accordingly using a disinfecting cleaner for that purpose.
  • Perform any other required maintenance procedures and close doors or panels before restoring power to the AHU and GPS.

 

Guidelines Associated with COVID-19 Cleaning

As a part of the Palm Beach State College COVID-19 response plan, thorough cleaning of buildings having been exposed to the virus is mandated. Such cleaning will take place before the all-clear will be issued to reoccupy the building. Following such cleaning and before the all-clear is issued the above described maintenance shall be performed to the HVAC equipment.

Special caution should be exercised when performing a post COVID-19 cleaning to not disturb particles that could be released into the airstream and distributed throughout the building. To ensure that nothing still viable remains following the service process, in addition to the maintenance procedures as listed above, coil and interior cabinet treatment with an appropriate disinfectant shall be performed regardless of the appearance of the equipment.

Actions you can take:

  • Wear a mask on campus, indoors and outside when social distancing is not possible 
  • Make sure you can breathe through your mask 
  • Cover both your nose and mouth with your mask 
  • Wash your cloth face coverings regularly 
  • Keep a safe distance – 6’ ft 
  • Wash your hands often 
  • Refrain from touching your face 
  • Avoid shared surfaces and crowded settings 

View/print safety flyer

(Updated 8/18/2021)

 

Print page