COVID-19 SEARK's Response Facemask Requirement

COVID-19 response

COVID-19 FAQ (PDF)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, SEARK has been committed to following the guidance and directives of the CDC and local and state health officials. There has been a recent surge in Arkansas rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Starting August 23, 2021, all students, employees, and visitors to SEARK campuses are required to wear a facemask covering their mouth and nose before entering a campus building, and to wear a mask in common areas where social distancing is not possible. This will ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff.

The CDC encourages everyone to get vaccinated, and states that vaccination is still the best way to limit the spread of the pandemic.  We will be hosting more COVID-19 vaccine clinics to ensure the opportunity is available to anyone accepting of the vaccine. 

The pandemic has reinforced the need to be mindful of others as we work to protect our communities. We ask that you continue to be respectful and take personal responsibility for your own health and safety by not coming to work or class if you are feeling ill.

To find out more about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, visit vaccines.gov.
 
The CDC recommends isolation until test 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 virus and do not know it, or they may have the virus but do not show 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 2-10 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.

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

Refer to the website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html