Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation Measures - September 1, 2020 | Benedictine College

Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

Enacted September 1, 2020.
These measures will be regularly reviewed.

Health and Safety Modifications

  • Masks/face coverings must now be worn on campus at all times and in all places. (Exceptions: when walking alone outside, exercising outside, or when students are in their assigned residence hall rooms as households).
  • Knowing that socialization outside of households has contributed to spread, physical distancing must be more vigilant.
  • Students who have returned from quarantine or isolation must still adhere to all college health and safety guidelines.

On-Campus Student Experience

  • Undergraduate students who live on campus should minimize non-essential activity until further notice and are strongly encouraged to remain on campus. Residents must adhere to common space occupancy limits.
  • Mass and Confessions will continue to be offered as scheduled in St. Benedict’s Abbey with all health and safety protocols in place. Adoration in Memorial Hall will continue as planned in accord with the safety measures.
  • The Haverty weight room and Amino Center weight room will be closed until further notice.
  • Students are asked to reduce density in common spaces (e.g. Haverty Center, Library, JPII Student Center). Staff will monitor these locations and may require students to relocate.
  • The Dining Hall and other food service locations will only be grab-n-go until further notice. Students should eat exclusively either outside at a strict physical distance, in a location at a strict physical distance, or in their residence hall rooms.
  • Student clubs and organizations must demonstrate that they can carry on their activities in accord with physical distancing and mask wearing or plan on meeting remotely.
  • Fall athletic practices are being reevaluated and modified by each sport to maintain compliance with the CDC, KDHE, and Atchison County.
  • Winter and spring sports practices are suspended until September 10.
  • Pastoral visits to quarantined or isolated students are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis to make sure they can be done safely.

Off-Campus Student Experience

  • A significant number of the college’s COVID-19 positive cases have been linked to off-campus gatherings. Transmission has occurred due to parties, dining in restaurants or bars, and even in cars where occupants were unmasked. The common thread among cases is a lack of mask wearing and physical distancing.
  • It is imperative that off-campus undergraduate students minimize non-essential activity to and from campus as well.
  • Like on-campus students, off-campus undergraduates should not gather inside with anyone who does not live in their apartment unit or home.

Addressing Violations

  • Faculty or staff should report those who are not wearing masks or who are engaging in unsafe behavior with specific names and details to the Student Life Office email at studentlife@benedictine.edu. Violations will be referred to the conduct process.
  • Students found responsible for violating our COVID-19 policies will face severe disciplinary action, up to and including removal from campus housing, dismissal from the College, etc.

Care for Our Members in Quarantine and Isolation

  • The number of cases we experienced in the first week of classes far exceeded our estimates, and it stressed the mitigation strategies we put in place to test and care for our community members.
  • Through efforts of leaders across the College, we have modified several processes and added substantial staff to our efforts to respond to this initial spread of the virus. We added staff to respond to our COVID-19 cases and we realigned additional staff to augment the efforts to support students in quarantine and isolation. Our improvement efforts will continue until our care is as responsive and thorough as we and you expect.


The COVID-19 virus is formidable, and the health and safety of you, our faculty and staff, and the local community remains our top priority. These are difficult times, so please be attentive to both your physical and emotional well-being. Benedictine College’s desire to offer an on-campus experience stands at risk, yet we are here to support one another. Preventing further spread requires urgent action from each of us. In addition to what’s been outlined above, please commit to wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and proper sanitization practices. This shared commitment and the success of these measures will determine whether we can remain together.

Stronger together!

Linda Henry, Ed.D.
Vice President of Student Life

Joseph Wurtz, Ed.D.
Dean of Students

Appendix A: Quarantine Procedure for Households

Household: A household is a group of students who share a housing unit. All students assigned to a housing unit will be considered a “household” for purposes of contact tracing and quarantine requirements.

Household Quarantine Procedures: It is important for all students to understand the quarantine requirements that may be required of their household. If one household member develops significant symptoms of Covid-19, receives significant exposure to COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19, the following actions will occur:

  • The student with significant symptoms or a positive test result will be required to isolate off campus, either at home or a hotel, effectively immediately. (If a symptomatic student tests negative, they and their household members, will be released from quarantine). The duration of the quarantine for the student who has tested positive will typically last for 10-14 days. The student will be automatically enrolled into the meal delivery service and should notify their professors. A County Health Official will contact the student once they are released. They remain subject to Benedictine College quarantine procedures. When a student is released, their quarantine is complete, and they can resume all campus activity. Any student who tests positive should remain in the Atchison Community for the period of isolation.
  • The other household member(s), who live with a symptomatic student or a student who has received a positive test, is/are required to start a 14-day quarantine in their housing unit. To diminish the potential spread of COVID-19, all household members will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine irrespective of the contact tracing process conducted by County Health Officials. The household member(s) will be automatically enrolled into the on-campus meal delivery service and should notify their professors. After completing the 14-day quarantine, household members can resume all campus activity.

Household Definitions by Residence Halls:

Turner Hall, St. Scholastica Hall, and Memorial Hall: Each room in these residence halls will be defined as a household. Therefore, the two students assigned to each a room are a household.

Newman Hall, Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall, and St. Michael Hall: A household in these residence halls is defined as every suite in the residence hall. Therefore, the four students who share a bathroom between their two assigned rooms are defined as a household.

McDonald Hall: A household in McDonald Hall is defined as every suite in the residence hall. All eight students who live in each suite are household members with the other students in their suite.

Elizabeth Hall: Every student who shares the same housing unit number in Elizabeth Hall will be a household. This applies to each of the different room configurations (two-person, three-person, four-person, and six-person) in Elizabeth Hall.

Cray-Seaberg Hall: The definition of a household in Cray-Seaberg Hall depends on if students have a suite-style housing unit or a stand-alone double occupancy unit. When a student has suitemates, all of the suitemates (four students) are defined as a household. The students who do not have suitemates are household members with just their roommate.

St. Joseph Hall: The students who live in the single rooms in St. Joseph Hall are not a household with any other students. The students who live in the six-person suites in St. Joseph Hall are a household with all of the other students who live in their six-person suite.

Kremmeter, Legacy, Wolf, and Lemke Halls: A household in these residence halls is defined as each of the apartments in the residence hall. Therefore, the four students who live in an apartment together are a household.

Row Houses, Campus Houses, and Off Campus House: A household in the Row Houses, Campus Houses, and Off Campus Houses is defined as all of the students in each of the individual Row Houses, Campus Houses, and Off Campus House.

Appendix B: COVID-19 Specific Policy Violations/Sanctions*

Scenario 1: Student is not wearing a mask in public/outside of room in residence hall.

1st offense:

  • $25.00 fine

2nd offense:

  • $75.00 non-compliance fine
  • Probation

3rd offense:

  • Removed from campus housing

Scenario 2: Residence Hall room without a lounge (Turner, Memorial, etc.) allow guests into their residence hall room.

1st offense:

  • $75.00 non-compliance fine for everyone involved

2nd offense:

  • Will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Sanctions could include additional fines, probation, removal from campushousing.

Scenario 3: Individual violating quarantine or isolation protocol – hanging out in residence hall lounge, going into other buildings on campus, etc.

1st offense:

  • $75.00 non-compliance fine
  • Probation

2nd offense:

  • Will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Sanctions could include additional fines, removal from campus housing.

Scenario 4: Household with own lounge in housing unit (apartments, row houses, etc.) – not under quarantine/violating the max guest policy for housing units with a lounge. Outcomes are for members of the hosting housing unit.

1st offense:

  • Lose ability to host guests for four weeks & $75.00 non-compliance fine

2nd offense:

  • Will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Sanctions could include fines, probation, removal from campus housing.

Outcome for guests:

  • $75.00 non-compliance fine

Scenario 5: Student/household unit actively under quarantine who host other students while under quarantine. Outcomes are for members of the hosting housing unit.

1st offense:

  • Probation for each individual who lives in the quarantined household
  • $250 fine for each individual who lives in the quarantined household

2nd offense:

  • Household is removed from campus housing

Outcome for guests of quarantined students:

  • $75.00 non-compliance fine
  • Will be required to quarantine in their rooms for 14 days

* This is not an exhaustive list of violations or sanctions.