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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Palm Beach State College (PBSC) Coronavirus (COVID-19)

(Updated - 10/24/2021)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (less than 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, indoor crowded settings, and/or through touch surfaces contaminated with the virus.
PBSC remains in constant contact with appropriate governmental agencies to include the Palm Beach County Health Department. We attempt to follow the coronavirus guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for institutions of Higher Education (IHE).

The College initiated the Healthy Building Program, which includes the following four steps:

1. Environmental Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Building Health Checks
2. Identify and Remediate IAQ Deficiencies
3. Provide Supplemental In-Room HEPA Filtration
4. Provide IAQ Guard Web-Based Building Monitoring

Additionally, all face-to-face classrooms are equipped with cleaning stations including disinfectant wipes (or spray bottles with paper towels), hand sanitizer and extra masks.  All classrooms are cleaned and disinfected each evening. The Custodial Team has increased the number of Day Porters to disinfect hi-touch points in restrooms and common areas a minimum of three times per day. 

The College EXPECTS everyone to wear an approved facial covering while inside PBSC facilities unless alone in a personal workspace. We expect everyone to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask and practicing proper hand hygiene through frequent handwashing and/or use of hand sanitizers.
Currently, there are no travel restrictions both personally or professionally placed on PBSC employees. The College policy remains the same regarding job related travel.

Palm Beach State College STRONGLY ENCOURAGES all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated. The College will continue to work with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County and others to bring vaccination mobile sites onto our campuses.

PBSC has partnered with Nomi Health Inc. to provide testing on all five campuses for students, faculty, staff, and adjuncts. Both the antigen (rapid) and PCR tests are offered. Testing is available five days per week at the following locations:


COVID Testing Sites/Hours

Belle Glade

  • Technical Education Center  (Room TEC126 Wellness/Fitness Center)
  • Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 6PM
  • Friday: 9AM – 1PM

Boca Raton

  • BocaTech Building  (Room BT146 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Lake Worth

  • Public Safety Training Center  (Room PSW105 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Loxahatchee Groves

  • Lecture Hall   (Room 140)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM

Palm Beach Gardens

  • BioScience Technology Complex  (Room SC118 Wellness Center)
  • Monday – Friday: 9AM – 6PM
  • Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Contact your doctor or medical professional.
  • Use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s symptom checker.  

 
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Note: This list does not include all possible symptoms.

Follow the PBSC protocol for those persons testing positive.

  • If you are an employee, contact your immediate supervisor per the PBSC response protocol.
  • If you are a student, contact the Dean of Student Services on your respective campus per the PBSC response protocol.
  • The PBSC response protocol will be activated.
  • Classrooms and/or affected areas will be immediately closed until disinfected
  • Disinfection procedures will be conducted via the Facilities Department
  • The infected employee will be advised to follow CDC guidelines for those persons testing positive for COVID-19
  • The Security and Health and Safety Department will investigate and document in a report.
  • Initial contact tracing procedures will begin and those who have had close contact with the infected person will be notified and advised to quarantine pursuant to CDC guidelines. 

PBSC will require that you follow CDC guidelines for quarantine for unvaccinated persons:

  • Self-quarantine for 14 days after last exposure to the infected person
  • This period may be shortened to 10 days if you show no symptoms of COVID-19 disease.
  • The quarantine period may be shortened to 7 days if you are tested (not earlier than five days after exposure) and receive a negative test result.
Individuals who are fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC but were exposed to an individual with COVID-19 do not have to quarantine. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they do not have symptoms and wear a mask while indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a test result is negative.

You do not have to quarantine if you are:

  • Someone who has had COVID-19 disease within the previous 3 (three) months and
  • Has recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)

The Healthy Building Program (outlined previously) includes enhanced building filtration, increased outside air, and increased mechanical system run times. In-Room HEPA Filtration (AeraMax) Units are being installed in high density spaces such as classrooms, student learning centers, testing centers, student engagement areas and open office areas. 

 

Student Resources

Students are expected to wear a mask when they attend class. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to self-isolate for at least 10 (ten) days and receive a negative test before returning to class or a clearance from a medical professional if a negative test cannot be obtained.
Through its eLearning program, PBSC offers online courses and degrees for motivated, self-disciplined students whose schedules do not permit them to attend regularly scheduled on-campus course meetings, or for those who like the convenience of live-online lectures or blend of on-campus and online learning.
PBSC provides student assistance with the Learning Management System (Canvas), investigates student reported problems with course material delivery, and assists students with learning online effectively.

 

General Support

24/7 Live Support via Chat and Phone

  • Access via the 'Help' button inside Canvas
  • Call:  877-376-9392

Canvas Login/Password Assistance via Student IT Service Desk

Canvas Administrator (Anne Guiler)

LMS Operation & Online Course Availability:

Student Support/Assistance:  

Faculty Support/Assistance:

Zoom access to live classroom lectures and Zoom recordings to watch later are offered when feasible and as needed to join class from home or get caught up by reviewing the recordings.

If a student tests positive, they are required to contact the Dean of Student Services on their respective campus as listed below:

Contact Information for Deans of Student Services
Campus Name Email Office Phone Number
Belle Glade LaTanya McNeal mcneall@palmbeachstate.edu 561-993-1128
Boca Raton Van Williams williamv@palmbeachstate.edu 561-868-3939
Lake Worth Ronnie Malave malaver@palmbeachstate.edu 561-868-3055
Loxahatchee Groves- Kimberly Lancaster lancastk@palmbeachstate.edu 561-790-9025
Palm Beach Gardens Tracey Olsen-Oliver olsenolt@palmbeachstate.edu 561-207-5326

 

Accommodations and Resources

Workplace accommodations are intended to assist employees in performing the tasks associated with their job. While there is not a prescribed list of workplace accommodations, some that may be considered are:

  • Installation of plexiglass/protective transparent barriers between the employee and other individuals.
  • Temporary relocation of office to a remote and more isolated area on campus.
  • If available relocation of classroom to larger space to conduct classes.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), face shields, podium shields. 
Yes. As outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers do not have to provide a particular reasonable accommodation if it poses an "undue hardship," which means "significant difficulty or expense" to the college.
  • PBSC will provide two weeks of paid leave for employees who have tested positive for Covid-19 and cannot work from home. To be eligible, you must be fully vaccinated as outlined in the CDC guidelines.
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for PBSC faculty, staff, and family members has COVID-19 resources. More information about the EAP is available on the Human Resources webpage.

There are several online resources for tracking the number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally, in the United States, the state of Florida, and Palm Beach County. Palm Beach State College provides a weekly update of the positive cases campus by campus which is available on the Intranet and in the weekly Intranet Digest.

Nomi Health Inc., a healthcare provider with whom PBSC has partnered with to provide free COVID 19 testing will produce a dashboard report weekly on the number of tests and positive cases for each college campus.

 

For additional questions and support, please email Health and Safety Manager Mikel Kline, at klinem@palmbeachstate.edu

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