Pellissippi State Community College announced Friday a multi-stage plan for a slow, limited return to campus following the coronavirus pandemic that closed the college to all but essential personnel this spring.
While one of Pellissippi State’s campuses is located in Blount County, Pellissippi State has adopted the guidance for Knox County as released by the Knox County Health Department for all five Pellissippi State campuses. The college’s plan also incorporates additional guidance from the Tennessee Board of Regents, the American College Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control.
“Our first priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “As we return to campus, we will do so in a manner that follows the best guidance of local, state and federal authorities. Within that frame, we will work to create the kind of engaged academic and student experience members of our community have come to expect.”
Pellissippi State’s first stage starts Monday, May 4, but only allows limited access to two campuses: Hardin Valley and Strawberry Plains.
Those campuses will be open to those classes necessary for students to finish coursework that must be done on campus – skills assessment and project completion – during finals week. These labs in career programs such as Welding Technology, Engineering and Nursing will not be operating at full capacity, in keeping with social distancing guidelines of leaving at least 6 feet of space between individuals and 10 or fewer people in one room. For that reason, an entire class may not be able to work or test at the same time.
Stage 1 also allows employees who have been working remotely to access their offices, by appointment only, to retrieve items they need.
While on campus, everyone must wear a mask at all times and follow social distancing guidelines. Anyone who has been exhibiting any of the symptoms of Covid-19 as outlined by the CDC should not report to campus. All employees are asked to take their temperatures before reporting to campus, and students who report for labs will be asked three screening questions provided by the Knox County Health Department before they are allowed to enter campus buildings:
- Have you been told to quarantine/isolate by a medical provider or the health department?
- Have you had face-to-face contact for 10 or more minutes with someone who has Covid-19?
- Are you feeling ill and/or experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19?
Stage 2 is scheduled to start May 29 and opens Blount County and Magnolia Avenue campuses to essential employees. The college’s Division Street Campus will remain closed throughout summer, as in previous summers.
Future stages will be announced at a later date.
Pellissippi State previously announced that all summer courses will move online, with limited in-person instruction in the second summer term for lab sections.
For more information about Pellissippi State’s coronavirus response, including an archive of the college’s daily updates to faculty, staff and students, visit www.pstcc.edu/coronavirus.