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Fall 2020 Reopening:
Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I test positive?

Students within driving distance of the campus are strongly encouraged to isolate and recover at home if at all possible. We are arranging separate housing for students should they test positive for the virus. Students will receive assistance to move; meals will be delivered; Health Services will provide medical support; students can engage with courses remotely; or if students are too ill to engage with coursework, course excuses will be communicated to faculty members. Students in isolation are to follow protocols established by the CDC.


What will happen if I am named as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

According to CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health guidance, we will ask students to quarantine in their own living space for 14 days after their last contact with the positive case, while monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. It is possible that close contacts will need to be tested after conferring with the public health department. Classes will continue remotely during this time, and we will deliver meals to the student. If the student is sharing a bathroom, they will need to follow specific protocols for cleaning between use.


Students within driving distance of the campus are strongly encouraged to quarantine at home if at all possible. 


How will students attend class in the event of illness or need to isolate/quarantine?

All Covenant faculty have been asked to prepare for teaching their courses in person and through remote instruction (via on-line delivery). Students will have access to their course content even if they are sick or spending time in isolation/quarantine. We will respond with flexibility and safe practices to promote our community’s health as well as our students’ academic and personal well-being.


We strongly recommend that students come to campus with a laptop computer so that they have ongoing access to the tools they need to succeed academically during this highly flexible period.


What should I do if I need a special housing accommodation in the fall due to health concerns around COVID-19?

Though we desire every student to attend on campus in the fall, we strongly advise that students who are medically at-risk consider not coming to campus due to the potential exposure to the virus through asymptomatic individuals, but instead to continue learning remotely until a vaccine or treatment becomes available. Specific medical exception housing questions can be emailed to 


What will the cleaning protocols be across campus?

Sanitation levels will be increased across campus to help prevent the spread of germs. Students will also see increased health and safety signage along with hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass shields where appropriate. Community bathrooms in campus buildings will be cleaned twice a day according to external guidance. Founders Hall community bathrooms will be disinfected each day. Students living in suite style housing, campus apartments, or rooms with private bathrooms will be encouraged to clean their bathrooms regularly. All students will be asked to assist with frequent cleaning across campus in communal spaces (e.g. desks, equipment, etc.) by using the cleaning supplies that will be made available.


How will dining services and access to meals be adjusted to care for our community?

Students will continue to have access to meal service in the Great Hall. However, we will need to serve our students in a way that aligns with the mandated safety guidelines. To accomplish this, we will have fewer options, and they will be served by staff or in a “grab and go” manner. We plan to add outdoor seating,  open the Blink for extended hours, repurpose space to provide socially distanced dining tables and other safety measures including, but not limited to, increased cleaning and extended hours. 


Will Priesthill Health Services be available to care for my medical needs that are not COVID-19 related?

Health Services anticipates offering most of its regularly provided services. All students will need an appointment, as opposed to walk-ins. Students also will be screened for symptoms with a questionnaire and temperature check prior to entering the clinic. Health Services will offer Telehealth appointments as an alternative to an in-person appointment. There will be a separate waiting room for “well patients” so as to reduce the risk of potential cross-contamination.


What if my symptoms of COVID-19 are serious enough to require hospitalization?

Health Services clinical staff will be available to evaluate every student presenting with symptoms of COVID-19, whether minor or severe, with the goal of rapid testing. If symptoms require, students will be taken to a health clinic or hospital for further evaluation and care.

How do I make an appointment with Health Services?

Students need to call 706-419-1275 to make an appointment. No walk-in appointments unless a true emergency. Students will be asked COVID screening questions and either given an appointment time to be seen or directed to another health care facility or COVID testing center to best serve their needs. 


Will masks and thermometers be supplied by the college, or will they be the responsibility of the student?

All students have been asked to bring their own masks and thermometers when they come to campus.


Will Health Services be able to test me for COVID-19 or the flu?

Health Services will be screening and triaging students who have symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza. Testing on campus will not be available, but we will refer you to testing sites in the area. Testing will again be available for the flu and strep.


Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

You can refer to the COVID-19 website for a list of area testing locations. 


To whom do I report a positive COVID-19 test?

If you have a positive test for COVID-19, please notify Health Services at 706-419-1275, follow the directives from the testing center, and then isolate immediately while you await further instructions.


To whom do I report if I develop symptoms?

If you have any symptoms, please notify Health Services at 706-419-1275 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8-4:30pm for further instructions, treatment options, and assistance. On the weekends and after hours, please contact the RD on Duty at 706-450-7001.


How often should I monitor myself for fever or other symptoms of COVID-19?

All students are required to self-monitor their health daily by taking their temperature and reviewing the screening questions. Students must immediately report elevated temperature or other COVID-19 symptoms to Health Services at 706-419.1275.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever =100.4° F

  • New or worsening cough*

  • Shortness of breath

  • Difficulty breathing*

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • GI symptoms (nausea or diarrhea)

*Excluding due to a known medical reason other than COVID-19


What is contact tracing, and how will it be handled?

The CDC defines contact tracing as “part of the process of supporting patients and warning contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission.” Students who test positive for COVID-19 in Georgia will be contacted by the Georgia Public Health Department for contact tracing from the date of onset of symptoms. Students should begin working on developing a list of close contacts in the intervening time. According to the CDC, “for COVID-19, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.” Upon notification of a potential positive test, the College will also conduct its own internal tracking process in order to move as expeditiously as possible to contain potential spread.


Will counseling services still be available?

Counseling services will continue by appointment. Counselors will take appropriate precautions for in person appointments and will also be offering telecounseling as able. In addition, the College will be contracting with Virtual Health to provide 24/7 counseling to all students. The first three sessions with Virtual Health are paid by the college. Students will bear the cost of additional sessions and can use health insurance.

What will the academic experience be like this semester?

With the stated priority of residential delivery of courses with accommodations for remote learning, technology has been installed in every classroom and training provided for faculty to make courses accessible for any student who cannot be in the classroom, lab, or studio due to sickness, isolation, etc. Faculty will be prepared to teach both in the classroom and remotely so that any student who is quarantined or is at home can keep pace with the rest of the class.


A small number of courses will be fully on-line due to a few professors teaching remotely in order to honor our priorities to protect the most vulnerable. These courses will be denoted in Banner on the student schedule as remote learning with a room assignment "RL." In addition, students can expect to be learning remotely on occasion due to space constraints in classrooms in order to provide six feet of distance between students. This means that each student will take their turn learning remotely in order to give all students in the class an equal number of days in the classroom.

  • All faculty have been given resources for flexible and remote learning design
  • Cameras and recording technology have been added to every classroom on campus
  • Faculty will be distanced from students at least six feet in each room
  • Face masks are required during class
  • All students will need a laptop or compatible tablet to engage with the remote educational opportunities provided by the College.


What should I do if I am unable or feel unsafe about coming to campus for the Fall 2020 semester?

While planning for most students to be on campus, we recognize that some students will be unable to join us due to travel restrictions, underlying health issues, or general concerns about the overall health on campus. The College will accommodate remote learners who have been approved in advance by the Office of Academic Affairs. Students requesting to study remotely are required to have a Google Meeting with the Office of Records to review course schedules, technology, and other tools needed for academic success.


How will students attend class in the event of illness or need to isolate or quarantine?

All faculty have been asked to prepare for teaching their courses in person and through remote instruction (via on-line streaming). Students will have access to their course content even if they are sick or spending time in isolation or quarantine. We will respond with flexibility and safe practices to promote our community’s health as well as our students’ academic and personal well-being. We strongly recommend that students come to campus with a laptop computer so that they have ongoing access to the tools they need to succeed academically during this highly flexible period.


What changes will students encounter in courses that involve applied learning?

Our faculty are developing plans to allow for safe and adapted science labs, music instruction, theater, and studio art. The College will adapt experiential and active learning for the campus’ COVID-19 safety standards while remaining focused on academic excellence and meeting learning outcomes. We will communicate adaptations of specialized courses to students via their faculty instructors.


Will students be able to participate in off-campus academic internships and student teaching practicums?

For the safety of our community and our neighbors, we will strongly encourage students to stay on campus and limit off-campus activities. We are working to identify how students may fulfill specialized degree requirements, including off-campus academic experiences, in a safe manner. In those situations where off-campus academic experiences are not possible due to safety restrictions, we will work with students to identify alternatives.


What is the plan for Study Abroad and Break on Impact trips?

For the spring semester 2021, there will be no Break on Impact trips, but no final decision has been made regarding study abroad. Some of our hosting organizations continue to remain open as an option at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and update the community as needed.

I heard we have a new food service provider, is that true?

Yes, after 18 years with Chartwells, Covenant has partnered with Creative Dining out of Michigan to provide our meal program. We are very proud to be associated with this professional and well established organization. We are sure you will see and taste the difference.


Will I be able to take food out of the Great Hall?

Disposable to-go containers will be allowed to take out of the Great Hall.


How will I receive food if I am isolated?

Food services will provide a disposable to-go container with your daily meal and it will be either picked up by your roommate, or if you have been officially isolated, a staff member will drop off your meal for you directly to your room.


Has seating changed and will there be other seating options available?

Yes, 100 chairs have been removed from the Great Hall and appropriate distance has been placed between tables. Additionally, the pool is being converted to an outdoor seating area for dining with a tent covering. This will give us a net increase in total number of seats.


Will masks be required in the Great Hall?

Yes, masks will be required when standing and moving about in the Great Hall and may be removed once you are seated.


Will hours of operation be the same as last year?

The hours of operation will be similar, however we will be opening the Great Hall 15 minutes earlier at lunch to allow employees to get through the line prior to the student arrival.


Will there be any changes in the Blinks hours?

Yes, we will be opening the Blink in the morning and night time, as last year, but will also be open from 11:30 am to 3:45 pm.


Will there still be self serve stations?

The food service staff will serve almost all of the stations. However, the Breakfast cereals will be self-serve as well as the drink station. There will be hand sanitizers at those stations and we ask that all customers use the sanitizer prior to using the self serve stations.


How will social distancing be practiced in the Great Hall?

There will be markings on the floor in the Great Hall reminding all diners to observe proper social distancing. You will see tape on the floor in front of the counters as well as circles reminding you to keep an appropriate distance from the group in front of you.

Can I have a sleep/study?

This academic year (Fall 2020 - Spring 2021) we will not be permitting sleep/study set-ups in rooms in order to de-densify rooms due to potential spread of COVID-19.


Do I have to wear a mask on my hall?

Not at all times, but you should for large gatherings like Prayer and Praise, hall meetings, and formal or informal programming. We are encouraging social distancing on the hall whenever possible.


What if someone on my hall wants to social distance or wear a mask or is at a higher risk?

If someone around you wants space, give them that space. If they want you to wear a mask while you talk to them, wear a mask while talking to them. If they prefer that you not go in their room, don’t go in their room. These are easy ways for you to love your brother or sister. These are small discomforts that we can gladly take on to care for and love each other well.


Will we have open hall hours this year?

We will begin the semester with no open hall hours.


Can I have visitors from other halls?

This year we are starting the semester restricting hall access to only residents from the hall. After the first two weeks we will reassess and work with students to provide current and up-to-date regulations for interacting with students outside of your hall.


How can I hang out with friends who are not on my hall?

You can hangout with friends, but this interaction will be limited to indoor or outdoor public spaces while observing distancing and mask rules. (Examples of indoor public spaces include Andreas Lobby, Founders 2nd and 3rd lobbies, Caudle Room, Carter Lobby, Carter mailroom, and academic building lobbies.) We are working to limit potential exposure opportunities, and therefore want you to exercise thoughtful caution when spending time with others.


Can I have visitors from off-campus?

No off-campus visitors are permitted at this time in residential spaces. Off-campus students will be allowed to visit their friends in the residence hall public spaces described above.


Are students permitted to travel off campus, go to church, etc.?

We are asking students to limit off campus travel.* The more residents who travel off campus, the greater the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and introducing it to our campus community. Students should minimize exposure by observing on and off campus the behaviors outlined in The Covenant Commitment. Wisdom should always be exercised. It is better to get take-out and eat outside. Do not pack as many people as you can into a vehicle. Drive with the windows down and wear a mask. Leave campus for a hike with friends, but large gatherings in close quarters should be avoided. There is a reason the virus is spreading in bars and fraternity houses. If students become aware of exposure to someone with COVID-19 while off campus, they should contact Health Services to inform them and receive guidance.

*Note: Students may leave campus for off-campus jobs, internships, practicums, etc. Students may also travel to church, for groceries, supplies, services, etc., if the locations they are visiting make it possible to or are practicing CDC COVID-19 best practices, i.e., requiring masks, social distancing, etc.

The Chapel Office has put together a list of local churches with information regarding their available services as well as whether or not they follow the same COVID-19 protocol as Covenant. It is important that you know this information before attending a church so that you can safely attend and also uphold the Covenant Commitment.
Local Church COVID-19 Information Sheet


What is the 615 rule?

Per Georgia Department of Public Health protocols, if someone tests positive, they will be isolated. They will then identify all people they had close contact with as defined by being less than six feet away for more than 15 minutes. These contacts may then need to be quarantined. Keep this in mind as you gather, study together, play video games, attend prayer and praise, or travel off the mountain for essential needs.

Will we have chapel in the fall?

There will be a few changes in light of our current context, but we will continue to have chapel, where we will encounter Jesus together, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11-11.35am.


Where will we meet?

We will have chapel outdoors on the chapel lawn. On days with inclement weather, we will move chapel inside the chapel building.


Will chapel continue to be mandatory?

  • Chapel will be mandatory, but we are reducing attendance requirements by almost fifty percent given our unique circumstances.

  • In order to abide by Covid and social distancing guidelines, we will be unable to have the entire community together at any point for chapel. Therefore, we have created the following schedule so students are aware what days they are invited to attend chapel:

    • Monday: Andreas/Carter/Students Apartments
    • Wednesday: Founders/Mac/Off Campus
    • Friday: Andreas/Carter/Student Apartments
    • Following Monday:Founders/Mac/Off Campus
    • Following Wednesday: Andreas/Carter/Student Apartments
    • Following Friday: Founders/Mac/Off Campus
    • Repeat the above cycle
    • The full schedule of which days students are required to attend can be found here.
  • This will give students the opportunity to attend 18 chapels. They will be required to attend 10 chapels which is 60% of the total number.


How will chapel attendance be taken?

Chapel department work study students carrying scanners will come to you as you are social distanced and have you scan your Scots card.


What happens if it rains?

Should we have inclement weather, chapel will be moved inside the chapel building and we will have first-come, first-serve seating for 112 students. These indoor chapels will not be required and will be reduced from the students total number of required chapels.


Will masks and social distancing be required for chapel?

  • Masks and social distancing will be required for outdoor chapels, which will be made possible by the size of the area in which we will gather.

  • Masks and social distancing will be required for indoor chapels, which will be made possible by sitting in designated seats in the chapel that are consistent with CDC recommendations for social distancing.


Will we be able to sing together during chapel?

  • We will be able to sing when outdoors, masked, and distanced by 6 feet.

  • We will not be able to sing indoors.


Will the content of chapel be impacted by our current context?

  • Chapel content will remain largely unchanged, with the exception that most of our speakers will be local, or coming from a relatively short distance to reduce travel requirements.

  • We are planning on hosting our fall conferences: the Schaeffer Conference with special guest speaker Kevin DeYoung, the Reformation Lectures with special guest speaker Irwyn Ince, and our Missio Dei Conference with local guest speakers.


Will we have Day of Prayer?

We will have our fall Day of Prayer. We are exploring creative options for our sunrise service if we are unable to meet at Rock City.


Will chapel still be super rad?

Yes, chapel will rock your world and make you question how you survived summer without it. Make no mistake, it will be weird having to wear masks and sit so far apart, but we will take the time to reflect, learn, long, and give thanks to God for His blessings in our community.


Will there be bagpipes?

We’re working on it.

Can clubs & organizations still meet in-person?

Yes. Clubs and Organizations can meet outdoors if social distancing is possible, and can meet indoors, as long as students follow the College’s practices for classroom instruction which sets students six feet apart and requires wearing masks in the meeting space.


Can club sports still operate as normal?

Maybe. Student Life will partner with Athletics to ensure consistency amongst teams and determine how/if club sports can operate while still mitigating the risk of infection. Students who participate in club sports may be asked to wear masks, or make other changes to how their sport is played in order to allow for social distancing.


Can clubs & organizations reserve classrooms or other campus spaces to meet in?

Clubs will still be able to reserve campus spaces. However, most classroom spaces will be locked in the evenings to ensure they remain sanitary for classes the following day. Therefore, space will be more limited and students will need to be diligent in reserving spaces early or meeting outside when possible.


What kind of activities can clubs & organizations participate in?

For the most part, clubs can still operate as usual, given that they follow required social distancing practices and wear masks when required. However, club sports may need to make some adjustments to their normal operation, and general club travel will not be permitted. See below for more details on club travel.


Should masks be worn during club activities?

It depends. If a club is meeting outdoors and can guarantee social distancing of at least 6ft at all times, masks are not required. Masks are required for all indoor meetings, and social distancing still must be maintained.


Can clubs & organizations travel off-campus for meetings, trips, retreats, etc?

Not at this time. To impede the spread of COVID-19, Covenant College clubs and organizations will not be allowed to travel off-campus for meetings, retreats, conferences, etc.


Can clubs or organizations bring off-campus guest speakers to Covenant?

Yes. Off campus guest speakers will be allowed on-campus after being vetted by the Office of Student Development. Club leaders who wish to bring a guest to campus will need to reach out to Emily Balint or Nesha Evans for approval.


Will the traditional CAB events (eg. Jazz on the Overlook, Mistletoe Mingle, SK80s) still take place?

No. Because 500-750 students typically attend these events, it is impossible to find large enough event spaces that could ensure social distancing. CAB, Student Senate, and Student Development are still determined to plan other events that allow students to connect with one another and have fun!


Will large Residence Hall events like Around Founders, Mac Movie, Carter Christmas, or Down in Andreas still happen?

These traditions will be hard to accommodate in their past formats due to restrictions on visitors to residence halls and social distancing requirements. There is an opportunity for creativity as buildings and halls reimagine these events and new ones in outdoor formats and in compliance with current safety measures.

Will the gym be open this fall? 

We expect the Ashe Activity Center and other large spaces will be open with appropriate distancing measures and increased infection control measures. Gym users should expect to wear masks while in the facility unless they are exercising.


What will the gym hours be? 

6 AM-10 PM Monday-Friday

8 AM-10 PM Saturday



Who will have access to the gym? 

Only students and employees will have access to the indoor athletic facilities. Unfortunately, no community members or family members of employees will be allowed to use the gym. 


How many people will be allowed access at one time?

Flexibility will be essential in creating access to our most popular spaces; students, faculty, and staff will have access to each space in the gym on a first come, first serve basis as we reach the adjusted capacity for each space. We expect to be open with appropriate distancing measures and increased infection control measures.


Gym users will enter through Ashe Lobby where a Facility Supervisor will sign them in while performing a temperature check and COVID-19 screening questions. Once signed in to the gym, users will select a specific gym space (Ashe Fitness Room, Barnes Weight Room, Barnes Aerobics Room, and the Ashe Weight Room) and will be signed in to that space by a second facility supervisor who will be tracking check in times. Use of each space will be limited to 30 minutes per person, and no more than 10 individuals will be permitted to use each room at one time. Once the max capacity is reached for a room, users will need to wait outside of the building until space is available.


During the peak time period (Weekdays 3 PM-7 PM), access will be limited to students only, and not available for Covenant employees.


Regarding Ashe Gym floor, partitions will be used to separate groups as needed. In the initial opening phases, pick-up basketball can be played 3 v 3, masks will be required, and games will be limited to half court. Anyone waiting off the court must also remain masked and social distanced. If courts are being used in a way that allows social distancing to be maintained, masks are not required. The courts are also open for individual workout use, and court space (like the other gym spaces) will be given on a first come, first serve basis and limited to 50 minutes at a time. No more than 50 individuals are allowed to occupy the Ashe Gym floor at any time.


For Ashe Gym floor use, users are encouraged to bring their own equipment if available. If not available, users will be able to check equipment out through the intramural office between the hours of 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm. Equipment will be sanitized by intramural staff upon return.


Barnes Gym Floor will remain closed for general student recreational use. It will only be used for academic purposes, intercollegiate athletics, or approved student events submitted through the FURF system by athletics and other involved departments across campus.


What protocols will be implemented to ensure adequate cleaning, proper social distancing and increased infection control? 

Machines in each of the workout spaces will be moved to a minimum of 6 feet apart to ensure social distancing or turned off and clearly marked with signage to prevent use. Stations will be taped on the floor in the Barnes Weight Room and the Aerobic Room. Hand Sanitizer and Wipes will be placed in each area with signage and instructions for patrons to wipe down equipment and machines after use. Facility Supervisors will be walking through at regular frequent intervals to enforce proper social distancing, limited capacity, and sanitation procedures.


With the exception of the Ashe Fitness Room, entry doors to each workout room will remain propped open whenever possible to reduce spread of germs.


Ashe Locker Rooms will be available for changing and restroom use only; no use of showers or storing personal items in lockers will be permitted.


Gym users should expect to wear masks while in the facility unless they are exercising.


Equipment for Ashe Gym Floor (basketballs, soccer balls, etc.) will be kept in the intramural office. The Intramural Department will oversee the borrowing of this equipment, and sanitizing it upon its return after use.


The gym will close midday (11:00 AM - 1:30 PM) to allow additional time to clean restrooms and disinfect high use areas throughout the facility. Closing the gym at 10 PM will allow additional time to ensure the facility is properly sanitized in preparation for the following morning.


Will intramural sports be offered this fall? 

We expect to offer intramural sports activities that are low health risk, and we will pursue creative new options for friendly competitions and increase the number and variety of outdoor activities.


Temperature checks and COVID screenings will be conducted for all participants and intramural staff prior to each night of intramurals. Screenings and non-contact check in will take place away from the playing field or surface (Ashe lobby for indoor sports, in the bleachers for outdoor sports).


Team size will be limited to 10 athletes per team per night and masks will be required for all participants (teams and intramural staff).


Teams will be asked to wear a certain team color each night to eliminate the need to use shared pennies or jerseys, with penalties in place if this request is not followed.


Games will be spaced 20 minutes apart to allow staff to sanitize equipment between uses. Staff will also sanitize all shared equipment at the beginning of each night and again at the end of the night.


What are the policies for using the library this fall?

  • Access to Anna E. Kresge Memorial Library will be available to Covenant College students, staff, and faculty only. The library is closed to community and extended family patrons.
  • All individuals must wear a mask while in the library.
  • All patrons will wear a mask while walking to their study space and while in public areas, including the book stacks.
  • Study spaces have been reconfigured to align with campus and public health guidelines around physical distancing
  • Once seated, students will keep a 6-foot social distance from other students.


What about browsed library materials?

A patron will return any item that has been browsed (i.e. removed from the shelf) to a re-shelving truck. Please do not return the item to the shelf. A browsed book will be unavailable for 72 hours.


Is it safe to check out materials?

Yes. In line with guidance from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), returned materials will remain quarantined for 72 hours.


When will items be due this fall?

All items will be due November 17, 2020. Materials may be returned through the library’s book drop on the left front of the building.


Will physical course reserves be available?

Access to physical reserves will be constrained. Due to current findings from REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project concerning surfaces and the Coronavirus, Anne E. Kresge Memorial Library will quarantine books on physical reserves for 72 hours after each use by a student during fall 2020.


Is Interlibrary Loan available?

ILL is available for books and articles. Requests may take longer than normal. Some requests may be cancelled if another library is unable to fulfill the request.


Will Capstone Carrels be available?

No, Capstone Carrels will not be available.


What about the other spaces in the library?

Offices, classrooms, and centers will be open. These spaces may have policies that differ from the library.