Campus Health and Safety

Campus Health and Safety

Will social distancing guidelines be in place in the Fall?

Maintaining space from others is one of the most effective tools in slowing the spread of COVID-19. To support this effort, Blinn will follow social distancing guidelines, utilize virtual meeting and communication tools where possible, and limit the number of people on campus at a time.

Additionally, furniture and seating will be arranged to encourage social distancing and floor markers will indicate six-foot separations where lines are formed.


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What is Blinn doing to disinfect campus spaces?

Blinn has collaborated with its custodial vendors to conduct advanced cleaning protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines and has purchased additional cleaning supplies. Disinfectant wipes will be available for use by instructors and students for wiping down spaces as needed.


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Is the College installing Plexiglas dividers on campus?

Yes. To protect employees and campus visitors, the College is installing Plexiglas dividers at some workstations to maintain physical separation.


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Should I wear a face mask or covering on campus?

Blinn requires all individuals on campus - including employees, students, visitors, and contractors - to wear face masks or face coverings when in the presence of others. Please note that face masks are not a substitute for proper social distancing.

Individuals who choose to wear a face shield must also wear a face mask or face covering.


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What is a face covering?

A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or other type of material that covers an individuals mouth and nose. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists five criteria for cloth face coverings, which must:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the face,
  • be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • include multiple layers of fabric,
  • allow for breathing without restriction,
  • and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to face.

FDA-approved surgical masks also may be used as a face covering. Please note that the CDC recommends that individuals not wear masks with exhalation valves or vents. 

Individuals who choose to wear a face shield must also wear a face mask or face covering.


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Will Blinn provide face coverings?

Blinn will not provide face coverings for students and visitors. Blinn will provide one washable, re-usable face mask for each employee returning to work.


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Do I need to wear a face covering while eating or drinking?

No, you do not need to wear a face covering while eating or drinking.


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Are face coverings required while riding a bus?

Texas A&M Transportation Services, which provides bus service to the Blinn College campuses, requires all individuals riding the bus to wear a face covering.


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Can a student or employee request an exemption from the requirement to wear a face covering?

Yes. Some individuals may not be able to wear a face covering due to a pre-existing medical condition or other disability. Students should contact the Office of Disability Services

at their respective campus to request an exemption through the accommodation process. Advance notice of the need for accommodations/exemptions can help to ensure that there is adequate time to review the request and decide on a case-by-case basis. If a student has been approved for this exception to the policy, they will be given an accommodation letter to provide to faculty members to allow them to remain in class without a face covering. If possible, a face shield should be worn instead of a face covering. If this is not possible, the CDC recommends limiting exposure to others and maintaining a 6 feet physical distance at all times in the absence of a face covering. Students may also consider using available distance education options.

For requests based on a religious concern, students should contact the Dean of Student Engagement.

Blinn employees should contact the Human Resources Department to request accommodations/exemptions.


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Can faculty use face shields in the classroom instead of masks?

Face shields cannot substitute for masks, though faculty are encouraged to wear a face shield in addition to a face mask if they desire. Cloth masks are now available with clear plastic in the mouth area – and these are being used for instruction to those with hearing impairments and in sign language situations. Plastic face shields are not a substitute for cloth face coverings, and do not provide the same benefit, as per the National Institute of Health.


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Should I bring hand sanitizer to campus?

Students and employees are welcome to bring hand sanitizer to campus. Additionally, Blinn is installing additional hand sanitizer stations in the common areas of every campus facility for use by employees and students. Disinfectant wipes will be available for use by employees and students for wiping down spaces as needed.


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Who is responsible for cleaning surfaces between class sessions?

While classrooms will not be cleaned between each class, the College will provide sanitizing wipes for both students and faculty to clean surfaces as needed.
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Who is responsible for cleaning the work stations and laptops used in the classroom?

Blinn staff in the open computer labs would use sanitizing wipes on the keyboards and surrounding areas after each student uses that location. Further, additional wipes will be available for students who desire to clean these areas before use.


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Will students be allowed to exchange papers? Can we hand out materials in class?

The College strongly encourages a paperless environment for Fall 2020.  Assignments, homework, quizzes and assessments should be posted online and assignments uploaded in eCampus. With the exception of projects that require building an artifact, all assessments and exams will have a remote alternative.


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Who do I contact if cleaning supplies are not available in their assigned classroom?

Blinn is working with the Facilities Department to design an easily accessible form that faculty, staff, and students can use to report areas where supplies need to be replenished. Custodial staff will provide the supplies when replenishing is needed.
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Will the instructor and students be required to quarantine for 14 days if a member of the class tests positive?

Only those who were closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes need to isolate. Since our classes are all providing for 6 feet of separation between all students and faculty, except in very limited situations – e.g., health sciences, etc. – this isolation protocol should rarely be needed.
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If a student discloses to a faculty member that they might have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, who needs to be notified?

If the student reveals this information to the instructor, faculty member should refer the student to the Campus Clear app, and notify the Campus Clear app manager for students at 979-209-7400. To contact the Campus Clear app manager for employees, call 979-209-7546.


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How is Blinn handling restroom occupancy and cleaning?

Occupancy of restrooms will be limited based on facility size to ensure at least 6 feet of social distancing between individuals, and signage will be posted to indicate the appropriate capacity. Restrooms will be cleaned routinely during the day and will undergo a detailed cleaning each evening.


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What guidelines will be in place for campus elevators?

Campus elevators will be limited to one individual at a time. Please wear a mask or face covering in the elevator and avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand or fingers.


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Will guidelines be in place for campus water fountains?

All campus water fountains will be turned off but water bottle filling stations will remain open.


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Will campus health clinics be open?

Yes. Baylor Scott & White will continue to manage Blinn's health clinics on the Brenham, Bryan, and RELLIS campuses. Students, staff, and faculty who demonstrate flu symptoms should first call the on-campus clinic and set up an appointment. Each clinic will limit the number of people who can enter the facility at one time.

For more information, please see www.blinn.edu/health-clinic


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Can I get coronavirus through the mail?

The CDC, World Health Organization, and surgeon general each have indicated that there currently is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through the mail. Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often through respiratory droplets. However, it is recommended that all employees and students wash their hands after handling paperwork and mail.
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Is Blinn making changes to its HVAC systems?

Experts indicate that there is little evidence to link air conditioning to the spread of COVID-19. However, Blinn is following the recommendations of the CDC and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers to increase the frequency of their filter changes and using filters with the highest Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating possible.
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Will social distancing be expected in campus hallways?

All employees, students, and guests will be expected to socially distance in campus hallways. In many campus buildings, hallways will be restricted to one-way traffic, with clearly marked entrances and exits and hallway signs indicating the flow of pedestrian traffic. Hallway furniture has been removed or marked to disallow usage.


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