LSCO COVID-19 FAQs

 

Campus Safety

Is the College working with local, state, and federal officials?

LSCO remains in constant contact with appropriate governmental agencies and continues to review the coronavirus guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and our local County officials.

What steps is LSCO taking to help protect the safety and well-being of faculty, staff, and students?

LSCO is offering classes in traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and online format. All classrooms hosting face-to-face classes will continue to be cleaned and sanitized daily.

Janitorial staff continues to vigorously clean common spaces/touch points, including door handles, elevator buttons, and areas of shared usage, such as restrooms and computer labs. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in high-traffic areas of each campus building. 

LSCO’s leadership team continues to monitor COVID-19 and will provide up-to-date, relative information to our faculty, staff, and students.

What should I do if I believe I might have the coronavirus or think I have been exposed?

In order to protect our Gator community, if a student, faculty or staff member or an immediate family member has COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19, or has been exposed to COVID-19, they should complete the Coronavirus Report Form and notify the COVID Coordinator, Patty Collins (409.882.3922), and their instructor or immediate supervisor. LSCO will require that they self-quarantine for 5 days from the date of exposure prior to returning to campus. They may return to campus when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • are fever-free for at least 24 hours (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications)
  • symptoms have significantly improved, and
  • at least 5 days have passed since their exposure, or in which their symptoms first appeared, or from the date the specimen was collected for their test.

LSCO has developed Self-Quarantine Guidelines for all faculty, staff, and students. Anyone who has been exposed to or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to follow the above guidelines and complete the Request to Return to Campus Following Self-Quarantine Form and receive approval from Patty Collins or her designee before returning to campus. 

According to the CDC, if you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself, and to help protect other people in your home and community. 

  • Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor: Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay away from others. You should stay in a specific “sick room” if possible, and away from other people and pets in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

For more information visit the CDC’s webpage and review the details on what to do if you are sick.

If I am up to date on my COVID-19 vaccinations as defined by the CDC, do I still have to self-quarantine?

Individuals who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations as defined by CDC but were exposed to an individual with COVID should follow these self-monitoring guidelines and use the daily self-assessment tools provided on the website:

  • Take temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever.
  • Watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit activities in public.
  • Keep distance from others, preferably 6 feet or more.
  • It is strongly suggested that a well-fitted face covering be worn when around others for 10 days following exposure.
  • If symptoms develop, get tested for COVID.

Students, faculty, and staff who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required to self-quarantine unless they begin to have symptoms or test positive. 

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

LSCO is asking all faculty, staff, and students to do their part to help our Gator Community stay well by taking the following steps, as recommended by the CDC, to reduce the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after visiting a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw the tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. 
  • Consider taking a COVID test periodically to confirm that you are not infected and asymptomatic. Testing information can be found on the United States Department of Health and Human Services webpage.  

Students

What is required for students to attend classes?

We are following CDC, State, and Local health protocols, including:

  • encouraging self-monitoring before entering a building,
  • allowing all faculty, staff, and students to wear a face mask should they choose to,
  • allowing all faculty, staff, and students to maintain 6’ social distancing should they choose to, and
  • continued and regular stringent cleaning and disinfecting of all LSCO buildings, offices, and classrooms.

Prior to arriving on campus, students should monitor their health according to the CDC guidelines. 

Will classes be online?

LSCO is offering classes in traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and online format.

We will follow CDC, State, and Local health protocols, including strongly recommending students monitor their health on a daily basis and following our self-monitoring guidelines and recommend that unvaccinated people follow the CDC guidance and continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

How do I contact faculty?

Faculty will be available either on campus during their posted office hours or via email. Please check your my.lsco (Office 365) email for messages from your instructors and use the “reply” feature to contact them in return. It is important for you to communicate with faculty via your my.lsco email account instead of a personal email so that the faculty member can confirm that they are working with their students. For assistance accessing your my.lsco email account, please email helpdesk@lsco.edu

Faculty and staff emails may also be found in the campus directory on the LSCO website. 

Additional contact means such as “chat” or virtual meetings may also be arranged by your faculty on an individual basis. LSCO faculty are ready to support you.

What if I do not have the resources to do online classes?

If you cannot get to a place that has Internet/Wifi or use your phone's hotspot, you can try calling 844-488-8398 as Spectrum may be offering free Internet for students. We have prepared a list of other resources that may be available to you. Click here to view that list

Please contact your instructor to assist you in finding the resources that will be best for you. In addition to instructor assistance, all LSCO students have access to Lamar State College Orange Virtual Success Center through UpSwing. Additional information about how to access UpSwing can be found at https://lsco.upswing.io/

Also, our Library and Gator Success Center are both available to assist students. Visit the Library or Gator Success Center during regular campus hours or virtually on our website and click WE’RE HERE! SPEAK TO US button.

What if I am not confident in my computer skills to do online classes?

LSCO faculty and staff are committed to helping all students succeed. We have multiple resources to assist you. Please work with your instructor to find the resources that will be best for you. In addition to instructor assistance, our Library and Gator Success Center are both available to assist students. Visit the Library or Gator Success Center on our website and click WE’RE HERE! SPEAK TO US button.

How can a student access or reserve library resources?

Library resources AND research support will continue to remain available online in digital formats through OverDrive or via the “Chat with a librarian” feature.

How can I register for classes remotely?

Students are welcome to come to campus to visit with an advisor. Our campus is open Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  

Students can schedule a remote advising session appointment with an Advisor. To schedule an online appointment please contact the Advising Center at advising@lsco.edu or at (409)882-3340.

Students may also register for courses online through Self Service Banner (https://www.lsco.edu/registration/registration.asp). 

More information on course registration can be found on our Online Registration website page.

Is the bookstore open?

LSCO’s campus bookstore is available to students virtually. They will accept orders online for delivery or for pick-up at the Lamar University Beaumont campus. Plan ahead and shop early since there may be longer shipping times than usual based on local delivery conditions. Please visit the bookstore website for specific information regarding bookstore policy, textbook rentals, or purchases.

Questions?


Employees

I am an LSCO employee and think that I am at an increased risk as defined by the CDC. What is the process to request workplace accommodations?

Employees who are believed to be at an increased risk (as defined by CDC) and that want to request a workplace modification related to COVID-19 must complete the Workplace Modification Request Form. Evidence of your condition must be submitted with the form. Turnaround time for decisions on how to best accommodate the workplace conditions for employees is not predictable, so please submit the form and documentation at least one week (5 business days) in advance of the time that you are expected to return to work.

Is an LSCO employee entitled to a workplace accommodation in order to avoid exposing a family member who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition?

No.  Although the ADA prohibits discrimination based on association with an individual with a disability, that protection is limited to disparate treatment or harassment. The ADA does not require that an employer accommodate an employee without a disability based on the disability-related needs of a family member or other person with whom she is associated. For example, an employee without a disability is not entitled under the ADA to telework as an accommodation in order to protect a family member with a disability from potential COVID-19 exposure.

What are examples of workplace accommodations that may be considered?

Workplace accommodations are intended to assist employees in performing the tasks associated with their job. While there is not a prescribed list of workplace accommodations, some that may be considered are:

  • Installation of plexiglass/protective transparent barrier between the employee and other individuals;
  • Relocation of office to a remote and more isolated area on campus;
  • Relocation of classroom to larger space to conduct classes;
  • Adjusted campus work schedule in order to be on campus during more limited traffic times (i.e. evenings, weekends);
  • Temporary transfer to a different position.

Are the circumstances of the pandemic relevant to whether a requested accommodation can be denied because it poses an undue hardship on LSCO?

Yes. As outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers do not have to provide a particular reasonable accommodation if it poses an "undue hardship," which means "significant difficulty or expense" to the institution. Because employees working from home creates an undue hardship on our institution, LSCO is striving to find reasonable accommodations (including the ones listed above) for our employees who are at increased risks, as defined by CDC while maintaining the safety of our Gator family.

What is LSCO’s policy regarding travel of employees?

All college-related travel will resume on September 1, 2021.  All travel should be approved by your supervisor prior to registering or making travel arrangements.

What if I or an immediate family member who I live with or have been around has been exposed to, has symptoms of, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

In order to protect our Gator community, if a student, faculty or staff member or an immediate family member has COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to COVID-19, they should complete the Coronavirus Reporting Form and notify the COVID Coordinator, Patty Collins (409.882.3922 or patty.collins@lsco.edu) and their instructor or immediate supervisor.

LSCO will require that they self-quarantine for 5 days following the date of exposure prior to returning to campus. They may return to campus following 5-days of self-quarantine, completion of the Request to Return to Campus form, and receiving an email notifying them that they have been released to return to campus.

LSCO has developed COVID-19 Guidelines for all faculty, staff, and students.  Anyone who has been exposed to or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to follow the above guidelines and complete the Request to Return to Campus Following Self-Quarantine Form and receive approval before returning to campus. Based on the response to the questionnaire, the person may be directed to a health care provider before being approved to return to campus.

What if I am up to date on my COVID-19 vaccinations as defined by the CDC, do I still have to self-quarantine?

Individuals who are up to date on their vaccinations as defined by CDC but were exposed to an individual with COVID should follow these self-monitoring guidelines and use the daily self-assessment tools provided on the website:

  • Take temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever.
  • Watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit activities in public.
  • Are strongly encouraged to wear a well-fitted face covering when around others for 10 days following exposure.
  • Keep distance from others, preferably 6 feet or more.
  • If symptoms develop, get tested for COVID.

Students, faculty, and staff who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required to self-quarantine unless they begin to have symptoms or test positive. 

What happens if LSCO has a suspected or positive case of COVID-19?

To protect medical privacy, LSCO legally cannot release personal information about any Gator community member who is being monitored or tested for COVID-19.  If there is a positive case, any individuals identified as having potential exposure to COVID-19 will be directly notified by public health officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services and/or our local county health department. In order to keep the Gator Community updated on positive cases of COVID-19 within our community, a statement indicating the number of positive cases since March 2020 has been placed on the website.  This statement also includes the number of active positive cases within the Gator Community.

What other resources are available to aid employees at this time?

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for LSCO faculty, staff, and family members has COVID-19 resources, articles, and webinars available for employees. The EAP is available 24/7 for support with personal issues, including those related to COVID-19.

More information about the EAP is available on the Human Resources webpage - Employee Assistance Program.

COVID-19 and Your Health Plan

The Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) has added a new link: COVID-19 and Your Health Plan which contains COVID-19 testing information, virtual visits, and contact information for insurance providers for emotional support, mental health benefits, and coverage questions. In addition, prescription drug plans have early-fill programs in place to assist at this time.

Optum has opened its Emotional Support Help Line–staffed by mental health professionals–to anyone who may be experiencing fear or stress because of COVID-19. Call (866) 342-6892 (TTY: 711), free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This helpline is available to anyone, so you can share it with family and friends. Caring professionals may also connect callers to additional resources.


About Covid-19

What is COVID-19?*

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.  The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.  

What happens to people who get COVID-19?*

Among those who develop symptoms, most (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. About 15% become seriously ill and require oxygen and 5% become critically ill and need intensive care.

Complications leading to death may include respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and/or multiorgan failure, including injury of the heart, liver or kidneys.

In rare situations, children can develop a severe inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after infection. 

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?*

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, sore throat, headache, muscle or joint pain, different types of skin rash, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and chills or dizziness. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.

When should I get a test for COVID-19? *

Anyone with symptoms should be tested, wherever possible.  People who do not have symptoms but have had close contact with someone who is, or may be, infected may also consider testing – contact your local health department and follow their guidance.

While a person is waiting for test results, they should remain isolated from others.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?*

YES! COVD-19 vaccines are available. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.  The CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.  For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the CDC website.

How do I track the COVID-19 outbreak?

There are a number of online resources for tracking the number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally, in the United States, and in Texas.

Johns Hopkins University Global Map
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Texas Department of State Health Services

*Information obtained from the World Health Organization.