COVID-19 SEARK's Response

COVID-19 response


Face Mask Guidelines

Today, effective immediately, Governor Hutchinson lifted the statewide mask mandate which was put in place to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Governor Hutchinson also announced all Arkansans, age 16 and older, are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine.

 As an entity of the State of Arkansas, SEARK College will comply with the Governor’s announcement. However, the wearing of masks is still strongly encouraged by all members of the campus community.

 Here is a link to the Governor’s press release:


If a person takes a test as a precaution (no known exposure or symptoms) should they remain at home pending the receipt of results? 

Yes. The CDC recommends isolation until results are received. Isolation is not the same as quarantine. The CDC states that anyone not in close contact with an individual should monitor themselves for symptoms and should be allowed to continue to work as long as they do not have symptoms.
Isolation separates sick people from people who are not sick.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a COVID-19 to see if they become sick. These individuals may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.

If a person who has been exposed, taken a test, it’s negative, and 14 days have passed (with no symptoms) can the employee return to work?

Yes, If the person does not develop symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the end of the self-quarantine period, they will be free to resume normal activities, including school or work. 

I have a positive COVID-19 test. When can I return to work?

Self-quarantine for 14 days is advised to prevent the spread of the virus.  All employees must quarantine for 14 before returning to work.

What should I do if someone with known or suspected COVID-19 has recently been on SEARK’s campus or has tested positive?

    The key to workplace exposure is whether there has been “Close Contact” or not. OSHA defines close contact as:

  • Any individual who has been in close face-to-face or touching contact, generally 30 minutes or more.
  • Anyone talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the individual was symptomatic.
  • Anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids. 
  • Close friendship groups or workgroups. 

•    The Arkansas Department of Health is now encouraging testing for individuals who believe they have had contact with or been exposed to a positive case, so testing may be advisable even if the employee does not have symptoms. Contact a local COVID-19 screening center. The employee should self-isolate at home until test results are available.
•    Anyone not in close contact should monitor themselves for symptoms and should be allowed to continue to work as long as they do not have symptoms.

How is COVID-19 spread

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., while shouting, chanting, or singing). These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Why is it important to wear a mask/face covering while on SEARK’s campus? 

A mask/face covering may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask/face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings. The COVID-19 can be reduced when cloth face coverings are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing,  and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. 

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through food, including restaurant take out, refrigerated or frozen packaged foods? 

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

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. 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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

What precautions can students/faculty/staff take to remain safe when sharing workspace?

Refer to the website: