COVID-19: Health and Safety Guidelines

KCAD and Ferris State University are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on campus operations. 

The University is taking proactive measures in alignment with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kent County Health Department, and state regulations to protect everyone’s health and safety.

COVID-19 Symptom Checker

All KCAD students and employees are required to complete the online COVID-19 Symptom Checker each day before coming to campus*. A reminder email will be sent to all student and employee email addresses each morning. If you fail to complete the symptom checker daily, you will receive another email reminder. Those that fail to complete the symptom checker on a regular basis may be contacted by the Birkam Health Center.

*Employees (including student employees) must complete the Symptom Checker every day when working, even when working remotely.

NOTE: This self-checker is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms or emergencies. The self-checker and recommendations are based on best clinical practices, current CDC guidelines and illness severity.

What if I suspect I may have COVID-19?

If you are sick, have symptoms or have been potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus, stay home and report your concerns to your health provider or the Kent County Health Department at 616-632-7100.

To find the testing site nearest to you, visit the State of Michigan's online directory of testing site locations.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Even if you are not exhibiting symptoms and feel fine, it is critical that you report a positive test result so KCAD can take measures to protect the campus community. Your information will not be shared with the general public, but KCAD is required to report the number of positive cases.

File an online report via MyFSU.

Required Safety Practices

While on campus, all students, faculty, and staff are required to do the following:  

  • Wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth inside all campus buildings and in any situation where social distancing is difficult
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw used tissues in the trash (if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands)
  • Practice good hand washing/sanitizing often
  • Refrain from gathering in groups and practice social distancing in and out of class
  • Stay to the right when using hallways and follow directional guidance for stairwells
  • Limit the number of people riding in an elevator to no more than two at a time
  • Disinfect tools, equipment, and work surfaces before and after use

There will be signage on campus to help members of the KCAD Community be aware of and follow these required safety practices.

Health and Safety Guidelines

As we return to campus each of us will need to do our part to understand and follow health and safety guidelines. Please see below for more information on how you can help ensure campus remains a healthy and safe learning environment.

Cleaning and Sanitization

The KCAD facilities team is dedicated to the health and safety of our campus community. Disinfecting protocols have been heightened throughout the campus in accordance with CDC guidelines in an effort to make sure all surfaces, along with critical touch points will be addressed on an ongoing basis.

Areas to be cleaned and disinfected daily would include (but not be limited to):

  • Classrooms and learning spaces
  • Restrooms
  • Corridors and common/public spaces

To support these efforts, the custodial department is using electrostatic disinfecting application devices. The electrostatic applicator gives a negative charge to the disinfecting solution as it exits the nozzle, allowing an even coat of solution that sticks to a targeted surface with 360-degree coverage.

Additionally, the department is procuring a residual antimicrobial product called MicrobeCare, which creates a barrier that kills 99.99% of microbes and prevents mutation and minimizes the spread of viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast on a wide variety of products. MicrobeCare, manufactured by Parasol Medical, has been proven to be safe and effective in highly sensitive healthcare environments.

This product will be applied to all points within buildings including, but not limited to, door handles, light switches, handrails, tabletops, chairs, computer keyboards, and restroom fixtures. to reduce the potential for exposure to COVID-19.

In addition to the MicrobeCare being applied to all vertical and horizontal surfaces, students and employees will be involved in a “Clean In, Clean Out” disinfectant process. Supplies will be located in classrooms, labs, shops, and studios.

Employees who wish to have MicrobeCare applied in their office will need to contact Jack Bartholomew in Facilities to request this service. Prior to this cleaning taking place the requesting employee will need to remove all items from horizontal surfaces for the product to be effective.

Clean In, Clean Out
In addition to the cleaning and sanitization efforts of KCAD’s Facilities team, students and employees are asked to help keep the campus health and safe by following a “Clean In, Clean Out” disinfectant process. Supplies will be located in each space

Contact Tracing and Quarantine

A University official and/or public health officials will conduct a phone interview with the individual who has tested positive to help determine the risk of potential exposure to students, employees and approved visitors. The Birkam Health Center will help coordinate contact tracing with the local health department. Once completed, a timely communication will be released depending on the situation.

Concerning an employee, the local public health department may contact an employee’s supervisor if further contact tracing of the COVID-19 positive individual is needed; however, the actual test results and all other protected health information will not be disclosed.

Permission to return to campus will be given when these three conditions are met:

  • The individual (student or employee) remains fever-free without the use of fever reducers for 72 hours.
  • The individual (student or employee) shows improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
  • It has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. For an employee and at the direction of their supervisor, employees may be required to provide documentation from their health care provider before returning to work.

Face Coverings

To align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state regulations, all students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth inside all University buildings and in any situation where social distancing is difficult.

KCAD will provide one branded, washable face covering to all faculty, staff and students prior to the start of the school year. You may also wear a homemade covering or purchased face covering of your choice as long as they meet the following CDC guidelines*:

  • Fit snuggly against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction

*Recent studies have indicated that gaiters are not an effective face covering. Given this and that they do not meet the above criteria, gaiters are not an acceptable face covering.

Fabric face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and they must be properly laundered with soap/detergent before subsequent use. 

Face coverings are NOT required when:

  • Actively eating or drinking while seated at a designated eating/drinking area
  • Working alone in your private office with the door closed when you reasonably expect no other individual to enter

Exemptions from Face Coverings
A student seeking an exception to this policy should contact Marie Yowtz, Director of Counseling and Disability Services, at [email protected] or by calling 616.299.3046.

Employees needing an exception or accommodation should visit the Coronavirus Information section on the Ferris HR website for forms and information.

Students and employees with an approved accommodation may be accommodated with online courses, remote work, and/or a face shield. Given this, all individuals at the University should be wearing a face covering/shield as required above.

KCAD is asking everyone to accept the responsibility of protecting themselves and others. Students and employees who put others at risk by violating these expectations will be subject to action that may lead to removal from campus.

Hand Washing

Frequent handwashing is one of the most important actions you can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Handwashing should occur after touching anything in a public area, after using the restroom, prior to eating, and before and after touching your face or blowing your nose. The correct handwashing technique should be completed by wetting your hands, applying soap and thoroughly rubbing hands together for at least 20 seconds. You should be sure to clean under your fingernails and in between your fingers.

After thorough rinsing, use a paper towel when available to dry your hands. Use the same paper towel to turn off the faucet and to turn the door handle in public restrooms upon exiting. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub into your hands until dry. Hand sanitizer should not be considered an equal replacement for effective hand washing.

Social Distancing

KCAD has redesign the layout of our campus spaces and classrooms to follow social distancing requirements. Seats will be 7 feet apart, and there will be a 7-foot divide between the instructor and students. Social distancing guidance and reminders will be found throughout campus to help support social distancing best practices. See the Facilities Access Information section for more details.