Health Protocols

Testing & Contact Tracing

Health Services will work closely with the BOH and DPH in monitoring positive cases of COVID-19 on our campuses. In an effort to keep our campuses as healthy as possible, COVID-19 testing will be done on Bristol’s Fall River Campus and other campuses as deemed necessary, at a designated area deemed appropriate, on a regularly scheduled basis.

Testing will be conducted, free of charge for asymptomatic Bristol students, faculty, and staff on one of Bristol’s campuses.

Students who are enrolled in hybrid courses will be required to be tested prior to returning to campus in the Spring and at regular intervals throughout the semester. Hybrid students will be required to be tested weekly or bi-weekly depending on their program. Although not a requirement, faculty, and staff who regularly work on campus are strongly encouraged to take advantage of free on-campus COVID-19 testing as an effective way to help keep Bristol's campuses as healthy as possible. Those who are experiencing symptoms should contact their doctor or urgent care center to be tested and should not report to be tested on campus. By being tested, individuals who may be asymptomatic can be identified and therefore help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Classroom participation will also be taken daily for each face-to-face class (Hybrid Classes) and retained for contact tracing purposes.

All information related to an individual, including whether they tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact, is strictly confidential. No one other than Health Services will be notified if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19.


Self-Monitoring Responsibility

Employees and students shall self-monitor their health status daily prior to reporting to work at any Bristol location. Those who are feeling ill must not come to campus and should follow the appropriate sick notification procedure, as well as speak with their supervisor/instructor about completing work remotely, if possible. Additionally, employees and students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact their doctor or local urgent care center for further guidance and testing procedures, as necessary.

According to CDC guidance, potential COVID-19 symptoms include, but may not be limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • New cough (not related to a chronic condition)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches or weakness
  • Sore throat
  • New nasal congestion or runny nose (not related to seasonal allergies)
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Please review the CDC’s Symptoms of Coronavirus poster for more information.

Self-Certification

Each time before coming to campus, every employee and student shall self-certify that they are healthy in order to enter any of the Bristol locations. Self-certifying includes asking themselves the questions included on the checklists below:

SELF-CERTIFICATION QUESTIONS:

  • Do you have a fever (temperature over 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit) without having taken any fever-reducing medications?
  • Do you have a loss of smell or taste?
  • Do you have a cough?
  • Do you have muscle aches?
  • Do you have a sore throat?
  • Do you have shortness of breath?
  • Do you have chills?
  • Do you have a headache?
  • Are you experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite?
  • Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to self-isolate/quarantine by a medical professional or local public health official?
  • Have you been in close contact with anyone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to self-isolate/quarantine by a medical professional or local public health official?

Exposure Report Form: According to the CDC, a “close contact” is “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.”

If you suspect you are a close contact or have otherwise been exposed to someone with Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are experiencing symptoms of the virus, please consider filling out the Exposure Report Form.

Read more about the CDC's “close contact” definition and updated guidance here.

If any employee answers ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, they should stay home and do the following:

  • Contact their supervisor per normal sick notification procedures.
  • Be encouraged to contact their doctor or urgent care center.
  • Complete Bristol’s Exposure Report Form.
  • Continue to work remotely if able.
  • Be allowed to use paid time off.
  • If they are not able to use paid time off or would like to discuss other paid leave options, they should contact Human Resources.

Should an employee report to work sick and another employee is concerned, they should contact Human Resources at 774-357-2333 or human-resources-bcc@bristolcc.edu.

If any student answers ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, they should stay home and do the following:

  • Complete Bristol’s Exposure Report Form.
  • Be encouraged to contact their doctor or urgent care center.
  • Contact their instructor to let them know they will not be attending class.

Protocol for Positive COVID-19 Cases at Bristol

  • The local Board of Health (BOH) or Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will contact Bristol’s Health Services if there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • Contact tracing for those diagnosed with COVID-19 will be completed should the BOH/DPH contact Bristol and indicate they need assistance. Otherwise, all contact tracing will be conducted by the agency, which may go back 2 weeks prior to testing positive.
  • The BOH will advise on the next steps regarding appropriate cleaning, closure of buildings, etc.
  • The identity of a student or employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not be shared. Contact tracing will determine who needs to be notified if they are determined to be a close contact.

Letter to College Community Regarding Positive COVID-19 Cases

Click HERE for the letter to the Bristol Community


Travel & Exposure Reporting

So that the college may take appropriate preventative measures, offer avail-able resources, and immediately assist any member of our community who may become ill or has been in close proximity with someone who has become ill, it is asked that employees consider sharing information with the college regarding possible exposure to the virus. The information voluntarily submitted via this form will assist the college in implementing any precautions or protocols recommended by public health agencies. All information gathered through this process will be maintained confidentially only at Health Services and separate from personnel files or student records and shall be used only to assist the college in providing and maintaining a healthy learning and working environment. 

Exposure to COVID-19

Should you be informed that you are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, Bristol follows the guidance that a 14 day quarantine period should be observed. It is recommended that a close contact complete an Exposure Report form to receive advice from a Bristol Health Services Professional, which may include, but not limited to, not visiting any of the Bristol campuses for up to 14 days and producing a negative test result.

A list of available testing sites can be found on the “Stop the Spread” webpage on the mass.gov website. Some testing sites are free and do not require insurance. Please call ahead to confirm.

  • Exposure Report Form: Please consider voluntarily filling out this form if you suspect you may have been exposed to someone with Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are experiencing symptoms of the virus, as outlined in this document.

Travel

If you are traveling, please review Bristol’s Travel Protocols for guidance:

In addition, please consider filling out the Voluntary Travel Form:


High Risk Populations

According to the CDC, age increases the risk of COVID-19 infections. Additionally, individuals of any age with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection.

Individuals are considered at an increased risk if they have any of the following conditions which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Individuals might be at an increased risk if they have any of the following conditions which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Smoking
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Check out the CDC guidance for a complete list of those who might be at higher risk. Employees who may fall into these categories may voluntarily reach out to Gia Sanchez, Diversity & Title IX Officer, at gia.sanchez@bristolcc.edu regarding accommodations for their return to the workplace.