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Message from President Jo Allen

Meredith College President Jo AllenIn times of crises, we look to our values to help guide us through the uncertainty. The Meredith community is dedicated to a set of seven core values, which serve as the foundation for our programs, our interactions with each other, and our outreach beyond the campus. 

Our core values of integrity and responsible citizenship — which call on each of us to uphold the highest standards of truth, personal honor, and ethics —  have never been more important as we commit to following requirements regarding face coverings, cleaning, and hygiene outlined in Meredith’s Community Standards. 

Adhering to these standards will be imperative to helping to keep ourselves and each other safe during this ongoing global health crisis.

Reporting Known COVID Exposures

For the sake of individuals and the entire Meredith community, students must report their exposure to a known COVID positive or if they have symptoms to Student Health immediately. Reports of student exposures should be made via email to healthcenter@meredith.edu.

Community Standards Reporting Process For Students: Meredith's Division of College Programs developed a Student Reporting Process and Outcomes document with extensive guidance on student expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees must report their COVID exposures to the Office of Human Resources at (919) 760-8898 or hr@meredith.edu.  Pandemic leave has been established for illness or waiting periods to prevent having to use vacation or other sick leave. If a student contacts a faculty or staff member about the students' own Covid exposure or symptoms, please remind the student to make an official report to Meredith Student Health at healthcenter@meredith.edu.

Employees must report all COVID exposures to the Office of Human Resources at (919) 760-8898 or hr@meredith.edu.

Not reporting is a violation of Meredith's Community Standards. 

Guidelines for Face Coverings, Hygiene & Physical Distancing

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close person-to-person contact. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. (Visit the CDC site for more recommendations on how to protect yourself and others.)

Face Coverings

To help keep our community more safe, Meredith is requiring the use of face coverings for all employees, students and other community members when in common areas, especially when physical distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained, with few exceptions. Studies have shown that wearing a face covering greatly reduces the probability of transmitting the virus that causes COVID 19. All individuals should maintain at least a six foot distance, regardless of the use of face coverings

For face coverings to be most effective, they must be used properly. Please review the links that follow to ensure you are using your face covering properly. These links are also available on the campus and HR MyMeredith COVID-19 resource pages. Please refer to them any time you would like a reminder of these important safety guides.

Graphic Explaining why face coverings are important for both healthy and Covid carriers in social setting

Face Covering Requirements and Reminders

  • All students and employees are required to wear face coverings in classrooms, common areas, going to and from the dining room, and wherever social distancing is not possible. Our Health Services and HR Directors have approved drinking through a straw with your mask in place while in class.
  • Please also help ensure that vendors, guests, interviewees or others with whom you are coordinating a campus visit know that they will be required to wear face coverings while on our campus.  
  • Face coverings are not substitutes for physical distancing. 
  • A limited supply of face coverings is available in the Office of Human Resources for employees who do not have access to a face covering. The Meredith College Campus Store also has low cost options available. 
  • Cloth masks or face coverings should be washed daily. Also, remember to wash hands prior to handling face coverings and avoid touching the front of the mask/face covering when securing it on your face.
  • Wash your hands after removing the face mask. When using a mask intermittently in a single day or evening, store it in a paper bag between uses.
  • If anyone on campus is not wearing a face covering in a common area or situation where social distancing requirements cannot consistently be maintained, they will be reminded to put on a face covering. This reminder may come from a supervisor or anyone on our campus. It’s important that we do this for each other to keep our community safe. Requirements to wear face coverings will be enforced for employees and other community members.    

Exceptions to Wearing Face Coverings

A face covering is not required in the following circumstances:

  • While actively eating or drinking. Our Health Services and HR Directors have approved drinking through a straw with your mask in place while in class.
  • When walking or exercising outdoors alone.
  • In cases where a medical and/or pedagogical condition prevents an individual from safely wearing a face covering. Individuals with health concerns that may prevent masks from being worn should coordinate in advance with Human Resources (hr@meredith.edu or 919-760-8898) to if you are an employee or with Health Services (healthcenter@meredith.edu or 919-760-8535)  if you are a student. Please do not disclose medical information to co-workers or supervisors.
  • While in private offices and residence hall rooms alone or with a roommate.
  • During Meredith College approved outdoor photo/video shoots. Other than in photo/video shoots approved by Meredith College, individuals included in group photos should wear face coverings and practice physical distancing. 

Six feet of physical distance should be maintained at all times, even during the circumstances listed above when a face covering isn’t required. Individuals should carry a face covering with them at all times while on campus in case unexpected situations arise when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.

More resources about masks and face coverings: CDC How to Wear Cloth Face Coverings, WHO's Advice for the public: When and how to use masks, About Cloth Face Coverings, Wearing Cloth Face Coverings, Washing Cloth Face Coverings, and Making Cloth Face Coverings

Physical Distancing

  • Faculty, staff and students should avoid close personal contact and maintain a minimum of 6 feet apart at all times.
  • Remain mindful of physical distancing in small spaces such as elevators, stairwells, and restrooms.
  • Faculty and staff with individual offices should consider working with office doors closed.
  • Eat in locations that allow for physical distancing such as outside, in a private room or office with the door closed.
  • Continue using virtual meetings to the extent possible. When in person meetings are necessary, maintain a minimum of 6 feet apart and consider the use of outdoor meeting spaces.

Hygiene

  • Engage in frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizers and wipes frequently. 
  • Wiping commonly touched surfaces before and after use is recommended.
  • Use disposable tissues to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

Additional resources on hygiene:

For Employees: What to Do if You’re Sick or Exposed to COVID-19

Meredith employees are asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath). 

Employees who have symptoms should notify the Office of Human Resources, contact their healthcare provider, and use sick leave to stay home. The Office of Human Resources will coordinate with the employee’s supervisor.

Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended steps and should use pandemic leave. Sick leave should be used after pandemic leave ends. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Employees who are well but who reside with an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 should notify the Office of Human Resources, follow CDC-recommended precautions, stay at home, and use pandemic leave. The Office of Human Resources will coordinate with the employee’s supervisor. After pandemic leave ends, sick leave should be used.