Personal Prevention: Key Practices for a Healthy Semester

Every member of the Harding community is expected to assume personal responsibility for protecting oneself and others. The University considers violations of directives of any COVID-19 campus directives as misconduct that will be addressed according to the procedures found in the University handbooks for students and employees.

This is an icon to represent handwashing guidelines on campus.

Hand Washing

This is an icon to represent face covering guidelines on campus.

Face Coverings

This is an icon to represent social distancing guidelines on campus.

Social Distancing


It is important to wash your hands often and properly, for at least 20 seconds, especially: before, during and after preparing food as well as before eating food; before touching your eyes, nose or mouth; after using the restroom; after leaving a public place where you touched an item or surface frequently touched by other people; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after touching your face; after handling your cloth face mask; and after touching animals or pets.

How to Properly Wash your Hands

Use soap and water, washing for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and wash hands immediately after touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.

How to wash your hands properly: Obtain access to a towel before starting the process of washing your hands so you won’t need to touch a towel dispenser with freshly washed hands. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse hands well under clean running water. Dry hands using a clean paper towel or air dry them. Turn off the water with your elbow or paper towel and use the paper towel to open the door on your way out.

Using Hand Sanitizer

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Review the product label to determine if it contains at least 60% alcohol. Apply the sanitizer to the palm of one hand. Rub your hands together over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until they feel dry (around 20 seconds). Hand sanitizer may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. Hand sanitizer should not replace the use of soap and water when they are available.

Other Hygiene Measures

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands afterward. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces daily. Limit the number of entrances and exits used to reduce areas that need to be disinfected. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces daily. These surfaces include: electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.), shared laboratory items, tables, countertops, desks, doorknobs, handles, light switches, toilets, faucets, sinks, and use cleaners that kill COVID.

Face Coverings

Students must wear a multilayer cloth face mask to attend class. Wear a mask whenever in the presence of others — we must hold one another accountable for wearing multilayer cloth face masks when together. Guests are expected to wear face masks when inside campus buildings.

Bring and wear multilayer cloth or surgical face masks in all indoor common areas, in enclosed spaces when others are present and 6 feet of distancing cannot be accomplished and or consistently maintained, in outdoor settings with others when 6 feet of distancing cannot be maintained, during classes and meetings regardless of distance.

A meeting includes being in someone else’s workspace or someone else being in yours. If you remove your mask to eat or drink, replace your mask as soon as you are no longer actively eating or drinking as well as in between actively eating and drinking. Ensure your entire mouth and nose are covered and do not put the mask around your neck or on your forehead. Do not touch the mask, except by the ties or ear loops; if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Face masks should be made of multiple layers of fabric, be cleaned regularly, and not be exchanged for face shields. Face shields are not a substitute for masks but may be worn in addition to masks for added protection, especially in labs.

Governor’s Face Mask Executive Order

Every person in Arkansas must wear a face mask covering the mouth and nose in all indoor environments where they are exposed to non-household members and distancing of six feet or more cannot be assured and in all outdoor settings where there is exposure to non-household members, unless ample space of six feet or more exists to practice physical distancing.

Requesting an Accommodation to Face Masks

Harding accommodates students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law in keeping with ADA guidelines. If you believe your health or safety may be compromised by wearing a multilayer, cloth face mask, you may request an accommodation other than the use of face masks.

Students should contact the Office of Disability Services and Educational Access. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources.


Social distancing, also known as physical distancing, means keeping yourself a safe distance from others.

What does this look like? Keeping at least six feet, or about two arms lengths, between individuals.

Even when practicing distancing, still practice healthy habits, wash/sanitize hands, disinfect surfaces, and wear a multi-layer cloth face mask.

Ways to Practice Social Distancing

Avoid gathering in groups. Avoid eating with others; be sure to re-mask anytime you are not actively eating or drinking. Minimize the use of common areas like lobby and reception areas, common dining areas, kitchens and meeting rooms. Enjoy the great outdoors — study, eat and meet outside. Space chairs, desks and other furniture farther apart, when possible. Students and employees should only travel when necessary and may be asked not to travel to certain areas with increased risk for COVID-19 exposure. Nonessential business travel for employees must be approved by the supervisor and appropriate vice president. Limit guests inside campus facilities, including family members, friends and vendors

Daily Self-Screening

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: fever > 100.4° or chills, cough, congestion, runny nose, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

Please keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, as each individual with COVID-19 presents differently.

Tips for Self Screening

Know the common symptoms of COVID-19. Purchase and regularly use a reliable home thermometer. Self-monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19 before leaving your residence. Keep a written log of any suspected symptoms.

Quarantine yourself and contact school officials if you feel sick, have a fever, or have been in close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more, with or without a cloth face mask, over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset until the time the person who tests positive is isolated) with someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Campus Prevention

We have made significant changes in our daily routines on campus, from rigorous health and safety measures to directives to reduce direct contact, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. By everyone doing their part to adhere to these directives, we successfully completed the fall 2020 semester. It is our prayer that we will be able to successfully complete the spring 2021 semester on ground at Harding!

Aramark Cleaning and Sanitizing

Aramark Facility Services will provide thorough ongoing cleaning throughout all facilities, including classrooms, following a top to bottom cleaning approach, using EPA-registered hospital disinfectants, and focusing on high-touch surfaces. To further reduce the risk of spreading germs, schedules will be adjusted to increase the frequency of cleaning high-touch areas in public areas and restrooms to two times per shift. High-touch areas include but are not limited to: all door knobs and push bars in occupied areas; light switches; touch screens; countertops and high-top tables in entrances, lobbies and conference rooms; elevator buttons; handrails; all armrests and backs of chairs; phones and teleconference devices in conference rooms; and sinks, hardware and dispensers in public restrooms.

COVID-19 Testing

Several local provider options for COVID-19 testing are available, and locations and contact information will be posted on the Student Health Services webpage. During Monday through Friday normal operating hours, students who desire assistance and would like to speak with a nurse regarding issues related to COVID-19 testing are asked to contact SHS by completing the online COVID-19 Screening Form. Following completion of the online screening form, students will receive a phone call from an SHS registered nurse who can answer questions and help facilitate health care connections as desired by the student. Students awaiting results of a pending COVID-19 test are to quarantine.

Listed below are some local clinics that offer after-hour care and COVID testing:

1. PrimeCare Urgent Care: open 8am-8pm M-F, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm | contact 501-279-9000

2. Unity Health After-Hours Clinic: open 4pm-10pm M-Th, Friday 1pm-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm,
Sunday 12pm-10pm | contact 501-268-5433

3. Unity Health Emergency Room for medical emergencies: open 24 hours, 7 days a week | 3214 E. Race Ave, Searcy

Contact Tracing

An employee testing positive for COVID-19 must notify their immediate supervisor and Human Resources (501-279-4380 or For faculty, HR will notify the Provost. A student testing positive for COVID-19 must notify the Office of Student Life at or 501-279-4332. Student Life and Student Health Services will work closely with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in following state protocols regarding contact tracing. Officials at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will lead contact tracing for institutions of higher education in the state.

Lowering the risk of quarantine

Avoiding close contact with others is the best way to avoid spending 7-14 days in quarantine. Classrooms and workspaces are set up to minimize the number of close contacts. It’s your responsibility to avoid behaviors outside of work and the classroom that put yourself and others at risk of being quarantined.

Behaviors that create close contact risk include: hugging, shaking hands, or physically touching in any way; being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more, with or without a cloth face mask, over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset until the time the person who tests positive is isolated; riding in a car together; sharing a meal with someone; or visiting in close quarters (e.g. conference room, residence hall room, private home).

Extra items to have with you

To be ready to follow the COVID-19 campus guidelines, you’ll need to have the following few extra items with you on campus this semester:

Multilayer cloth face masks — at least two, multilayer cloth masks are suggested so you’ll have one to wear while the other one is being cleaned

Hand sanitizer — a sufficient quantity to carry with you throughout the day for those occasions where soap and water may not be readily available or time does not allow for a visit to a sink between classes; stations are in place at the entrance and exit to all buildings

Sanitizing wipes — a sufficient quantity for any extra cleaning you wish to do in your residence hall, classrooms, laboratory spaces, and of personal electronic devices; supplies will be provided in classrooms, too, for use by all in the classroom

Personal thermometer — to take your temperature each day and if you feel sick