Stories @ TCAT

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton has a plan to continue its COVID-19 pandemic protocol when the fall term begins Sept. 1.

College President Dean Blevins said the COVID-19 health screening processes will continue, including a mask mandate for everyone on-campus, protocols for symptomatic, and positive COVID testing of faculty, staff and students.

On the first day of class, the plan is for a majority of programs to be in-person, on-ground or if a program area is in a different modality, the students will be contacted.

“The college is flexible in moving to on-line, hybrid, or on-ground instructional delivery as program specific issues arise. We will be swift in making these changes,” Blevins said.

As an added feature, there will be a “drive through registration process” to allow students to complete orientation and related instruction outside instead of inside a crowded auditorium.

“As we continue to see an increase in local COVID-19 cases in our Service Delivery Area it is imperative that we stay ever vigilant on protecting our college community,” Blevins said.

He recently sent out updated COVID-19 Health Screening Guidelines that gives direction if a student (or faculty member) answers “yes” to the health screening questionnaire which at times, he said, is confusing on how to proceed.

Blevins said he also sent out a return to campus/work screening form related to C-19 from symptoms/exposure or testing positive.

Blevins said this form should clarify when it is safe for a student to return to class or an employee to return to work.

Recently, three Administrative Office staff tested positive for COVID-19 and a couple others may have been exposed. Blevins said all of those exposed were quarantine for 14 days.

“Because we are experiencing positive cases and exposures, we will be working an alternate schedule in the offices to limit the number of personnel on campus in the administrative office area to one-half through the end of the trimester. Each office area/department should still be covered to provide services to students and staff,” Blevins said.

Blevins asked faculty "to be ever vigilant with your students on screening and observing COVID-19.”