COVID-19 Information

Health

If you test positive for COVID-19

Students

Students who test positive for COVID-19 should stay in their rooms and email studentlife@harding.edu for further instructions regarding the isolation process. Students should refrain from interacting with others, attending classes or visiting any other populated areas on campus such as the library, cafeteria, student center, gym, Chapel, etc.

Students should communicate with their professors regarding isolation status and follow their instructions regarding class work.

Student athletes should follow campus guidelines and those of the athletic department and should contact their athletic trainer and coach.

Students may contact their primary care provider or a healthcare professional for further instructions regarding treatment and management of COVID-19. Student Health Services is also available to provide healthcare advice, answer any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 infection, and facilitate health care connections as desired by the student.

Isolation

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status:
Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected.

  • Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others
  • If you had symptoms, end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving. Wear a mask through day 10 when around others.
  • If you did not have symptoms, end isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive test. Wear a mask through day 10 when around others.
  • If you were severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.

Employees

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status:

Employees must notify their supervisor and Human Resources, and if faculty, the Provost. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected.

  • Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others
  • If you had symptoms, end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving. Wear a mask through day 10 when around others.
  • If you did not have symptoms, end isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive test. Wear a mask through day 10 when around others.
  • If you were severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.

If you develop symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19

Students

Quarantine if Exposed to COVID-19

Who does not need to quarantine:

You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0). Get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Who should quarantine:

  • You are symptomatic
  • You are ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • You received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • You are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.

What to do for quarantine:

  • Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home, if possible.
  • Take precautions by wearing a mask when around others through day 10.
  • For 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19, watch for fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate until you receive your test results. If you test positive, follow isolation recommendations.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

All students, vaccinated or unvaccinated, with symptoms of COVID-19 should quarantine in their rooms, email studentlife@harding.edu, and complete a COVID-19 Screening Form to receive a phone call with further advice from SHS.


Students may be tested on campus at Student Health Services or at a health clinic of their choosing; some local health clinics providing tests include:

  • Unity Health / Searcy Medical Center — 501-278-2800
  • One Life Wellness — 501-203-0801
  • AR Care Clinic — 501-279-7979
  • AR Dept. of Health, Searcy Unit (testing only, no physician) — 501-268-6102
  • PrimeCare Urgent Care — 501-279-9000 (offers after-hours care)
  • Unity Health After-Hours Clinic — 501-268-5433 (offers after-hours care)
  • Unity Health Emergency Room for medical emergencies (offers care 24/7)

Students who suspect they may have COVID-19 should not come to the Student Health Services office in person unless instructed to do so via a phone call from SHS.

If you are in immediate distress, call Public Safety at 501-279-5000 to assist with transport for emergency care. If you are not in immediate distress, treat your symptoms if needed (such as acetaminophen/ibuprofen for fever) while awaiting further advice from Student Health Services.

Students with health circumstances occurring after hours that require immediate assistance are encouraged to seek medical attention in the urgent care or emergency setting. If immediate assistance is not required, students with symptoms of COVID-19 should quarantine immediately and seek medical evaluation when normal operating hours resume.

Employees

Quarantine if exposed to COVID-19

Who does not need to quarantine:

Employees must notify their supervisor and Human Resources, and if faculty, the Provost. You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0). Get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Who should quarantine:

  • You are ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • You received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • You are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.
  • You are symptomatic.

What to do for quarantine:

  • Notify your supervisor and Human Resources, and if faculty, the Provost.
  • Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home, if possible.
  • Take precautions by wearing a mask when around others through day 10.
  • For 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19, watch for fever (100.4◦F or greater), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate until you receive your test results. If you test positive, follow isolation recommendations.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

In addition, employees will assist in identifying members of the Harding community with whom they have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more cumulative minutes) within 48 hours prior to symptoms or the collection of a positive test specimen.


Quarantine and Isolation

Isolation is a minimum of 5 full days for everyone. Quarantine is a minimum of 5 full days for those who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines including boosters. Students who are severely ill with COVID-19 and or have a compromised immune system might need to isolate longer. For details see quarantine and isolation.

Shared housing (for example, dormitories) in institutions of higher education is considered a lower risk congregate setting due to the lower risk of severe health outcomes associated with young adults. Therefore, institutions of higher education follow the general public guidance for quarantine and isolation.

Students must notify the Office of Student Life at studentlife@harding.edu or 501-279-4331 in order to facilitate alternative housing and meal delivery as deemed necessary in each situation. A Student Life administrator and/or a registered nurse in Health Services will maintain ongoing communication with all students who are quarantined or isolated.

On-campus quarantine will be in a student’s own room or in a designated room on campus. On-campus isolation will be in Heritage Inn or a designated room/floor on campus. Off-campus quarantine and isolation will be at the student’s off-campus dwelling. Students under quarantine or in isolation who have a meal plan will order meals from Chartwells to arrange delivery in cooperation with the Office of Student Life.

Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you from getting a severe case of COVID-19 that requires hospitalization or causes death. This video may be helpful in explaining how mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines, work to prevent infection with COVID-19.

To be considered fully vaccinated, it must have been at least 14 days since your one dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. A booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for those ages 12 and older to be administered 2 months after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine or 5 months after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series. Those who are immunocompromised should receive this booster dose as a fourth dose following three doses of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Flu Vaccines

It is important that in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine you also receive your annual flu shot.
Because of the high use of masks as well as intensified efforts at hand washing and using hand sanitizer, the 2020 flu season was very mild. We were exposed to fewer flu viruses and had fewer infections last year, which was good news. This year’s flu season is turning out to be worse than last year as fewer people are wearing masks and we all have lower natural immunity to flu viruses. This makes it even more imperative that you get your flu shot!

Although earlier on in the pandemic it was advised that there be a 14-day separation between the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccines, this guidance was revised a few months ago. That means that you can get your flu shot anytime without regard for when you may have received a COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, you can even get the two vaccinations on the same day. Most local pharmacies are providing flu vaccines on a walk-in basis. Flu shots are also available at the White County Local Health Unit which is open daily until 4:30 pm at 112 Brantley Road, 501-268-6102.

Vaccine Clinics

We are no longer holding routine COVID-19 vaccination clinics on campus. Most local Searcy pharmacies are offering COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots either by appointment or walk-in.
  • Harps Pharmacy, 2525 West Beebe Capps Expressway, 501-268-4171
  • Joe’s Pharmacy Express, 2412 East Race Street, 501-268-9400
  • Lowery Drug Mart Pharmacy, 123 Central Avenue, 501-268-1900
  • Medical Center Pharmacy, 2900 Hawkins Drive, 501-268-3311
  • Medic Sav-On Drug, 2806 East Race Street, 501-268-4121
  • Stanley Pharmacy, 200 West Beebe Capps Expressway, 501-305-1000
  • Stanley Pharmacy Compounding Center, 2413 West Beebe Capps Expressway, 501-305-4108
  • Stotts Drug Store, 103 West Arch Avenue, 501-268-2536
  • Walgreens, 200 East Race Street, 501-279-1125
  • Walmart Neighborhood Market, 1330 West Beebe Capps Expressway, 501-203-2013

First, second, third, and booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been offered on campus to anyone 12 years old or above, regardless of affiliation with Harding (i.e., children, parents, grandparents). If you need a replacement vaccination card for any dose received on campus, please contact Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace in the College of Pharmacy (jahixson@harding.edu).

As a general reminder, the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is due 21 days following the first dose. There is a “grace period” that allows the dose to be given as early as 17 days after the second dose. Preferably, the second dose should be given no later than within 42 days of the first dose. However, if this 42-day window is missed, the second dose may be given at any time following the first dose..

There is a technical difference between third doses and booster doses. Third doses are considered part of the primary vaccination series for individuals who are immunocompromised. In other words, all three doses are required to achieve initial full protection against COVID-19 for people who have conditions that moderately or severely impair their immune system (e.g. cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, are taking biologic medications). Third doses should be administered 28 days following the second dose.

Booster doses, on the other hand, boost the immune response of those who are not immunocompromised. Full vaccination with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine confers protection for several months. Providing a booster dose prompts the body’s immune system to increase antibody production that may have decreased over time. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may be given as a booster dose following initial doses of any other U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccine product.

The CDC recommends booster shots at five months after the completion of the primary series of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 years and older or the three-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those who are immunocompromised.

Those who are 18 years and older who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine two-dose series or the three-dose series for those who are immunocompromised should receive either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster five months after the completion of the primary series.

Those who are 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen one-dose COVID-19 vaccine should receive either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster two months after the first Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Student Health Services

The Office of Student Health Services is committed to the safety of every student. In addition to robust cleaning practices and PPE requirements, students can expect to find physically-distanced waiting spaces and contact-free check-in for visits.

Mask wearing and physical distancing are required in Student Health Services.

SHS will reopen for the fall semester on Aug. 16, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are located at 115 Dr. Jimmy Carr St., diagonally across from Starbucks on campus. SHS contact information is as follows:

COVID-19 screening and testing will continue on campus for Fall 2021. Following CDC guidelines, we will utilize the PCR test through Unity Health and the rapid BinaxNow Antigen Card test through the Arkansas Department of Health.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Aramark Facility Services will provide thorough cleaning throughout all facilities, including classrooms, 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 tables in entrances, lobbies and conference rooms
  • Elevator buttons
  • Handrails
  • All armrests and backs of chairs
  • Phones and teleconference devices in conference rooms
  • Sinks, hardware and dispensers in public restrooms

Mental Health and Counseling Center

The Counseling Center will be open and provide mental health resources and services to students and employees. The Counseling Center reception and waiting area are arranged to provide adequate spacing, and traffic flow is one-way by utilizing a side exit following sessions. Masks may be required of students and employees in common areas.

Students and employees seeking counseling services may be required to complete COVID-19 screening prior to entering the Counseling Center. Personal and specific screening responses will be submitted to the Counseling Center on appointment day via the screening link on the Counseling Center website. Signage is in place in the Counseling Center identifying this requirement and the process of non-touch temperature screening. Students and employees who do not feel well, have a fever, or have symptoms of COVID-19 based on their screen will not be served and will be encouraged to contact Student Health Services or their primary care physician.

To promote safety and reduce the amount of contact, telehealth may be utilized in situations that pose a health concern and/or require multiple sessions. The use of telehealth will be determined by the counselor and adhere to applicable ethical and legal standards for the use of distance delivery. Telehealth will not be utilized in the event a student is enrolled and living in another state other than Arkansas due to professional licensure regulations.