Novel Coronavirus

Updates and information about Antioch College’s continued preparedness, action, and response to the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A situational COVID-19 Task Force (chaired by Dean of Cooperative, Experiential, and International Education and Associate Professor of Cooperative Education Richard Kraince) is continually monitoring the situation as it develops and is creating recommendations for policy.

Important information for the Antioch College community and visitors including steps you can take to remain healthy are outlined on this page.

| STATUS UPDATES | IMPORTANT INFORMATION | RESOURCES |

Updated Friday, March 27, 2020

Announcing distance learning for Spring Quarter; Commencement postponed

Read the special announcement from President Tom Manley

Information for:

There are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus disease on the Antioch College campus or for students who have returned from Co-op. Staff are monitoring and are in touch with all students who are currently off campus.

The College’s staff—including a situational Task Force—are constantly monitoring the situation, and is in close communication with the Greene County Public Health Department and a series of actions have been implemented out of an abundance of caution.

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE DETAILS and please watch email and this page for updates

Campus Nurse

Pan Reich, RN, EMT-P
nurse@antiochcollege.edu

Task Force

Dr. Richard Kraince, Chair
Dean of Cooperative, Experiential, and International Education
rkraince@antiochcollege.edu

Important Information

Important Action Plan for those On Campus

After consultations with public health officials and to ensure our compliance with state mandated actions, we have created this Antioch Campus action-plan to help prevent the transmission of viral infections during this pandemic.

These actions apply to all students, staff, and faculty who are spending time on campus, and we hope you find them to be empowering to give you some control to keep yourself and our community safe!

Those on campus who are healthy and have not had contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 positive individual:
  • Please continue to practice “social distancing.”
  • Begin a routine of self-monitoring. This entails measuring your body temperature twice a day at about the same times and closely monitoring yourself for dry, unproductive cough and shortness of breath. Please utilize this form to record your monitoring (PDF); this data will be helpful should you become sick. Students: we’re currently seeking thermometers for your use.
  • Keep things clean. Before and after each use, please diligently cleanse all hard surfaces including desks, countertops, hard chairs, keyboards, door knobs, bathroom fixtures, etc. in your immediate work or living environment with germicidal products, which will be available at various stations on campus.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Teamwork will keep us healthy; this could mean stepping up and gently reminding each other!
Anyone with a body temperature of at least 100.0, dry cough, or shortness of breath; or if you’ve had contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 positive individual:
  • Please report the above positive findings to your supervisor or dean, and our campus nurse, via phone or email as soon as possible to discuss the need to self-isolate.
  • Initiating self-isolation; staff/faculty in your home and students in your private room.
  • When needing to perform essential duties, such as obtaining food, wear a mask securely over your nose and mouth and cleanse your hands thoroughly before going into public areas and use hand sanitizing gel if you inadvertently touch your face, eyes, or mask. Pan has masks for sick people who are self-isolating. You may discontinue this self-isolation protocol when your symptoms have been resolved for 72 hours and it’s been at least 7 days since the onset of your symptoms
  • Provide daily reports to your work supervisor or the Dean of Students, and campus nurse via phone or email.

Changes to Academic & Campus Operations

In light of the quickly evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, Antioch College announces a series of immediate actions. These measures are being taken out of an abundance of caution—rather than a sense of panic—to safeguard our community.

Actions include the suspension of classes beginning Thursday, March 12 for the Winter quarter with the remainder of coursework to be completed online, as well as online instruction for the start of the upcoming Spring quarter. In addition, campus events have been cancelled until further notice.

LEARN MORE

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center is currently CLOSED until further notice due to the Governor’s order to close fitness centers and gyms and the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 in Ohio and nationally. It is unclear when we will be able to re-open.

MEMBERSHIP UPDATES

All monthly membership payments have been suspended as of Friday 3/20/20 (unless you have specifically asked your membership payments to continue in order to continue to support us).

Since our software company does not yet have a tool to hold all annual contracts automatically, we continue to take requests for annual members who want membership holds starting 3/14/20, when we closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Annual membership hold requests can continue to be made at wellness@antiochcollege.edu.

SWIM LESSON UPDATES

All participants enrolled in March swim lessons have already been rolled over to lessons starting April 9th and running through May 2nd. In the event that opening of the Wellness Center is delayed further, the credit for swim lessons will remain for when we are able to re-open.

SUPPORT THE WELLNESS CENTER

Some of our generous members have asked how to support the Wellness Center during this difficult time. One way is to keep your monthly membership active during this closure by emailing this request to wellness@antiochcollege.edu. Another way is to DONATE to either our general fund, pool fund, tennis court fund, fitness equipment fund, or Curl Scholarship fund (which helps low income individuals and families have to access Wellness Center membership).

WELLNESS AT HOME

In an effort to support members during this unprecedented time, we have implemented a Wellness at Home webpage. We are working on more ways to bring Wellness activities to you at home. We will continue to update this page with links and offerings.

Thanks for your continued support during this challenging time. We are wishing good health to you and yours.

Glen Helen

The Trailside Museum and the Vernet Building at Glen Helen are closed until further notice.

Trails will be closed to the public Thursday, March 26 through Monday, April 6 in order to help protect the health and safety of our visitors and stay in accordance with Governor DeWine’s stay-at-home order.

The Glen Helen Raptor Center is closed to the public and programs are cancelled through mid April. The Raptor Center rehabilitation clinic remains open for raptors in need of medical assistance. Finders must call 937-767-7648 in advance to ensure someone is available to meet you at the clinic.

Since we are a private, non-governmental non profit, we do not fall under the public parks exemption. As such, we currently lack the staff and volunteer support necessary to protect the Glen and ensure the safety of our visitors under recent, but essential, social distancing directives.

We take great joy in the fact that the Glen is a sanctuary for so many and this is an outcome we wanted to postpone as long as we could, but, despite the difficulty we had making this decision, it is the right one. At this time, we all need to take social distancing seriously by staying home and limiting contact with others. We appreciate your understanding and continued support.

All Travel

Staff and faculty have been asked not to travel on official College business until further notice.

All members of the community are encouraged to limit non-essential travel at this time.

STUDENTS

The updated COVID-19 outbreak projections and government actions indicate that the safest course for individuals and public health systems is for everyone to be in their home communities immediately. Consequently, we are advising you to undertake necessary travel to your home base as soon as you can possibly manage it.

If you are unable to take a final exam at the scheduled time because of your travel, please be in touch with you instructor to make alternative arrangements. If you require any assistance or have any concerns please contact Dean Susan Lee at 937-319-2100 or any member of the Co-op or President’s Team.

IF YOU HAVE TRAVELED ALREADY

  • If you’ve traveled to China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, or Japan, you should self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Please contact College Nurse Pan Reich immediately (nurse@antiochcollege.edu).
  • If you’ve traveled to California or Washington State, AND are sick with a lower respiratory illness please contact College Nurse Pan Reich as soon as possible (nurse@antiochcollege.edu). If you also have a fever, you should contact Pan Reich and see a physician.

IF YOU ARE MAKING TRAVEL PLANS

  • If you are developing College-related international travel plans that have not yet been communicated, please inform Richard Kraince so we can be in dialogue with you about how to assess the risks involved.
  • Those considering College- or non-College-related travel either domestically or abroad should feel free to reach out to discuss travel plans as well.
  • Follow the CDC’s specific guidance for travelers.

TRAVEL INFO FORMS

In addition to the steps above, please complete the appropriate form which will help the College to track and assist all members of our community who have traveled or plan to travel.

Co-op Information

UPDATE ON END OF CO-OP TERM

The College feels that it is essential that students on Co-op get on the road as quickly as possible and travel to the location where you plan to spend your extended spring break, whether that means home, campus, or another location. We also urge you not to engage in spring break travel—especially in high risk zones—but actually head to a place where you will hunker down for a few weeks.

Please initiate a discussion with your Co-op employers/mentors and let them know that we are urging you to take action. When exactly you leave is ultimately your decision. You are the one who can best determine what your safest course of action will be. We just want to make sure you know that you do not have to wait until 5:00 PM on Friday, March 20 to leave.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED INFORMATION

On March 1, the CDC published a memo entitled “Guidance for Student Foreign Travel for Institutions of Higher Education” in response to the coronavirus’ spread. This memo calls on institutions that have students participating in foreign exchange or study abroad programs to “consider postponing or canceling upcoming student foreign exchange program” and to “consider asking students participating in study abroad programs to return to the United States.”

The Co-op Program regularly monitors threat levels issued by various agencies and has been in dialogue with students planning international Co-op experiences as well as faculty members who have upcoming international travel plans relating to their research or other professional obligations. It is our current institutional practice to assess travel risk on a case-by-case basis, but generally Antioch College conforms to the details of the country-specific recommendations communicated through the Travel Advisories issued by the US Department of State as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notices.

Our emerging policy response is this: Should a particular location where a student is planning to travel be designated by the US Department of State a “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” or if the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issues a “Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel” advisory, we will have to consider that location off limits for any Antioch College program, including Co-op. This is policy is in line with similar policies recently established at Brown University, Earlham College, Oberlin College, and other institutions.

Please keep in mind that all students’ physical and emotional safety is of highest importance as we develop these policies. The Co-op Program is committed to working with any affected student to plan an alternative Co-op experience or assist them in proposing to change their sequence, so they can complete a study term and then plan to go on Co-op at a later date if they would like to do so.

Our Co-op faculty is committed to working with any student during the term to consider alternative Co-op plans should at some point they decide that they do not want to take the risk of travelling to a location where a heightened risk level is becoming apparent. Moreover, Richard Kraince (Dean of Cooperative, Experiential & International Education) will be available throughout Spring Break to address these same concerns. Students should feel free to contact him at 937-768-8042 to discuss any concerns.

Student Info for Spring Term

ONLINE COURSE ACCESS

As we move to distance learning classes for the final week of the Winter quarter and the first two weeks of the Spring quarter (March 17 to April 17) we would like to get a good idea of the access that students will have to online platforms during this period.

Please complete the survey

REGISTRATION AND CHANGE OF SEQUENCE REQUESTS

Please visit this page for information for Spring Registration, Change of Sequence for Spring 2020 Term, and Registration Assistance for Spring and J/A Terms.

STUDENT ACCOUNTS

In light of the precautionary steps the College is taking in response to COVID-19, we are removing the billing holds on student accounts in an effort to make spring registration easier. Understanding that students may want, or need, to change the Co-op sequence in the Spring term, we are looking at ways to address any additional expenses.

Please feel free to contact the Student Billing office to go over the details of your account.

Lynda Earley – Student Billing office
learley@antiochcollege.edu
937-319-0072

Elise Peyroux – Controller
epeyroux@antiochcollege.edu
937-319-6172

STUDENT EMPLOYEES

While student employees are not expected to work during this time, student employees can continue work within the parameters above, assuming their work can be done while exercising social distancing measures.

Students Advised to Return Home

The updated COVID-19 outbreak projections and government actions indicate that the safest course for individuals and public health systems is for everyone to be in their home communities immediately.

Consequently, students are advised to undertake necessary travel to your home base as soon as you can possibly manage it.

If you are unable to take a final exam at the scheduled time because of your travel, please be in touch with you instructor to make alternative arrangements. If you require any assistance or have any concerns please contact Dean Susan Lee at 937-319-2100 or any member of the Co-op or President’s Team.

Your safety and well-being are guiding this decision. Please do not hesitate to contact any faculty and staff with questions or for support as we navigate this challenging time.

Information for Faculty & Staff

Antioch College operations are open, and we continue to monitor COVID-19 in order to take actions that support the health and wellness of the Antioch College community and the wider community. When you are not working from home, please consider hosting team meetings when possible by FreeConference.com, Google Hangouts, or Zoom. This can limit unnecessary exposure, even when individuals are in the same building.

EMPLOYEES WHO CAN WORK REMOTELY

We encourage all managers to think creatively about how to support employees (regardless of whether the employee is an exempt or hourly employee) in reducing their risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19, while enabling them to continue their important work. We encourage managers to be flexible and to allow for remote working as much as possible when employees request it. Remote working includes being fully available to colleagues during normal work hours via phone, email, Google Chat and Zoom. 

    • Remote working: Staff are strongly encouraged to work remotely if operationally feasible. Please review Antioch’s Temporary Remote Work Policy (PDF). Staff — If you have discussed working remotely with your manager and intend to work remotely, please complete the Temporary Remote Work Form.
    • Flexible scheduling: Managers should consider flexible work arrangements to cover essential work such as having employees work on campus with reduced shifts (fewer hours or fewer days). This can be coupled with remote work assignments for the time not spent on campus. For employees who cannot work from home, we are working with supervisors to establish flexible work schedules and arrangements on a departmental basis. Also — We have had requests from some employees to reduce their work hours in exchange for reduced compensation (example: moving from a 40-hour to a 32-hour work week). If you are interested in working reduced hours, please discuss this with your supervisor and Hannah Montgomery (hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu) to determine if it is a possibility for your position.
    • Online trainings: We will be sending more information to staff about available online trainings that can be a productive use of time spent working away from campus.

Remote work resources:

EMPLOYEES IN GOOD HEALTH WHOSE WORK MUST BE PERFORMED ON CAMPUS

Many Antioch employees must work on campus to provide essential services. At this time, Antioch employees who are well and whose work must be performed on campus are expected to work on campus as usual. Exceptions include:

    • Employees who are caring for someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, in which case employees should report this to HR and self-quarantine;
    • Employees returning from any country designated as a CDC Level 3 area, who must self-quarantine for at least 14 days before returning to campus and follow CDC precautions;
    • Employees who have preexisting conditions that put them at high risk for COVID-19.

If you have an exception above or have questions or concerns about performing work on campus, please contact Hannah Montgomery (hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu) or Nancy Raffoul (nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu).

EMPLOYEES WHO ARE SICK

Faculty and staff who have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath must stay home and should contact their health care provider. Employees on Antioch’s United healthcare plan can access uhc.com/virtualvisits to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19. Managers (with the support and involvement of HR as needed) should ask employees who are exhibiting such symptoms to go home and stay home until 24 hours after they are free of symptoms without the aid of medication. Employees exhibiting severe symptoms should contact their health care provider.

The health and well-being of our community is vital during this time. Employees may use sick time to cover work missed due to illness, care for children because of COVID-19 related closures of schools or day care centers, or for other breakdowns in care arrangements. Employees with insufficient accrued sick leave should contact HR about their situation (nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu; hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu)

If you have questions about sick leave, please contact the Office of Human Resources (hmontgomery@antiochcollege.edu; nraffoul@antiochcollege.edu).

CHILDCARE NEEDS

We understand that employees may need to change their work schedule to accommodate childcare needs due to school closures. If you have questions about childcare as it relates to your work, please talk with your supervisor, so we can work with you to address these needs.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

During this time, we recognize that people are feeling higher levels of stress and anxiety. Please remember that you can seek support through Antioch’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 24/7. Visit Lincoln4benefits.com or www.GuidanceResources.com (please see March 13 email from Hannah Montgomery with login credentials) or talk to a specialist at 888-628-4824.

ELECTRONIC TIMESHEETS

To support social distancing measures, timesheets can be submitted with an electronic approval (email indicating approval from supervisor to payroll@antiochcollege.edu) for the two payroll periods following March 13.

STUDENT EMPLOYEES

While student employees are not expected to work during this time, student employees can continue work within the parameters above, assuming their work can be done while exercising social distancing measures.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED MEASURES

  • Wiping down workspaces: Facilities staff are working hard to provide additional cleaning and wiping down across campus. You can help by routinely wiping down your office door knobs, workstations, desks, and conference rooms after meetings. If you have disinfecting wipes to spare, please bring them in for your office. We have a limited supply.
  • Travel and Events: As announced, employees should not travel or attend events or gatherings on official College business until further notice. Additionally, we are strongly encouraging all members of the community to practice social distancing, and to avoid non-essential travel as well as large events and gatherings.
  • Travel survey: If you have upcoming travel plans or have traveled recently, please complete this form so we can follow up appropriately.

Thank you for the important work that you do for the College, and thank you for helping to demonstrate the responsible leadership, resilience, and spirit of community collaboration that is key to decreasing the risk and consequences for our community and the world beyond. While there will be short-term challenges and disruption, we believe these consequences are well worth the long-term health and safety benefits of acting sooner than later.

Illness Prevention Measures

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or a bent elbow. Immediately throw tissues in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Keep all age recommended vaccines up to date including an annual flu vaccine
  • Follow the CDC’s specific guidance for travelers.

If You Are Sick

If you’re sick, it’s most likely a common cold or influenza. Stay home, especially if you have a fever.

If you simply must go to work or school, wear a face mask while around other people and cleanse your hands every single time you touch your face.

For questions and advice, please contact College Nurse Pan Reich (nurse@antiochcollege.edu).

Strategies to Cope

As the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases continues to increase, rising anxiety related to the outbreak is expected. Although feeling anxiety in response to a threat is a normal human reaction, sustained high anxiety can become counterproductive to your wellbeing. People who already suffer from anxiety and related disorders are especially likely to have a hard time during the coronavirus crisis.

Director of Counseling Services Nzingha Dalila, EdD is available to students by the phone on through video chat 24/7. Check your email for details.

The following suggestions can help you deal with coronavirus anxiety:

1. Practice tolerating uncertainty

Intolerance of uncertainty makes people vulnerable to anxiety. People who have a harder time accepting the uncertainty of a situation are more likely to experience elevated anxiety. Learn to gradually face uncertainty in daily life by easing back on certainty-seeking behaviors. With finals, projects, travel plans, family concerns, and spring term expectations, life is full of stress. But trying to reduce the amount of energy exerted in seeking certainty in every possible decision and outcome can bring some emotional relief.

Start small: Don’t text your friend immediately the next time you need an answer to a question; work to reduce the number of times a day you consult the internet for updates on the outbreak.

2. Tackle the anxiety paradox

Anxiety rises proportionally to how much one tries to get rid of it. What you resist persists. Struggling against anxiety can take many forms. People might try to distract themselves with drinking, eating or watching Netflix more than usual. Or they might obsessively check news streams, hoping to calm their fears. Although these behaviors can help momentarily, they can make anxiety worse in the long run.

Instead, allow your anxious thoughts, feelings and physical sensations to wash over you, accepting anxiety as an integral part of human experience. When waves of coronavirus anxiety show up, notice and describe the experience to yourself without judgment. Resist the urge to escape or calm your fears by obsessively reading virus updates. Facing anxiety in the moment will lead to less anxiety over time.

3. Transcend existential anxiety

Health threats trigger the underlying fear of death. When faced with reminders of one’s own mortality, people might become consumed with health anxiety and hyper-focused on any signs of illness.

Try connecting to your life’s purpose and sources of meaning, be it spirituality, relationships, or pursuit of a cause. Embark on something important that you’ve been putting off and take responsibility for how you live your life now, in this moment. Focusing on or discovering the “why” of life can go a long way in helping you deal with unavoidable anxiety.

4. Don’t underestimate human resiliency

Many people fear how they will manage if the virus shows up in town, at work or at school. They worry about how they would cope with a quarantine or a lost paycheck. Human minds are good at predicting the worst. But research shows that people tend to overestimate how badly they’ll be affected by negative events and underestimate how well they’ll cope with and adjust to difficult situations. Be mindful that you are more resilient than you think. It can help to lessen your anxiety.

5. Don’t get sucked into overestimating the threat

Coronavirus can be dangerous. So everyone should be serious about taking all reasonable precautions against infection. But people also should realize that humans tend to exaggerate the danger of unfamiliar threats compared to ones they already know (like seasonal flu or car accidents). Constant incendiary media coverage contributes to the sense of danger, which leads to heightened fear and further escalation of perceived danger.

To reduce anxiety, limit exposure to coronavirus news to no more than 30 minutes per day. We become more anxious when faced with situations that have no clear precedent. Anxiety, in turn makes everything seem more dire.

6. Strengthen self-care

During these anxiety-provoking times, it’s important to remember the tried-and-true anxiety prevention and reduction strategies. Get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, spend time in nature and employ relaxation techniques when stressed.

Prioritizing these behaviors during the coronavirus crisis can go a long way toward increasing your psychological well being and bolstering your immune system.

7. Seek professional help if you need it

People who are vulnerable to anxiety and related disorders might find the coronavirus epidemic particularly overwhelming. Consequently, they might experience anxiety symptoms that interfere with work, maintaining close relationships, socializing or taking care of themselves. If this applies to you, please get professional help. For faculty and staff, mental health providers are available through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Counseling services are free and available to all students at Antioch College or, if you prefer, contact your insurance provider and find out if they have online mental health services or a list of providers in the area that accept your insurance to visit with a counselor off-camps. Nzingha can also help students connect with off- campus behavioral health services.

You may also wish to read the CDC report on Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19.

 

Flattening the Curve

Through the College’s actions, we are doing our part to reduce pressure on the healthcare system.

Local Residents and Campus Visitors

Wellness Center patrons: please see specific details in the Wellness Center toggle above.

The College respectfully requests that local residents and other guests observe our social distancing measures and ask that they avoid visiting campus.

The Birch Kitchen dining facility and Olive Kettering Library are currently restricted only to members of the campus community; no outside guests, please.

Resources