SAINT SOPHIA UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
An Institution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Seminary’s Plan to Resume In-Person Instruction
June 29, 2020
Beloved brethren: dear members of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary family: CHRIST IS AMONG US!
I write with important updates regarding St. Sophia Seminary’s Campus Reopening Plan. In assembling the guidelines below, the Seminary’s leadership team has continued to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and the recommendations from local, state and federal public health agencies – all to ensure that we are making the right decisions for the health and safety of all those within our community. Based on New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education reopening guidelines for all educational institutions, we will be opening many areas of our campus effective September 1, 2020.
Please read the following information carefully. All of these steps are effective Monday, August 31, 2020, unless otherwise stated:
Masks and social distancing: As described in the CDC’s guidelines, we will continue to adhere to social distancing and mask requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For those who need them, masks are available in our main Seminary office.
This is important: If you are feeling sick or are part of a vulnerable population, you should remain at home and report any symptoms to the Dean of Students, at 732-356-0090 or StSophiaSeminary@aol.com
Campus offices: All Seminary offices will be open. Faculty and staff should watch for an email from Office of the Academic Dean and Human Resources with more information about returning to campus.
Visitors: The campus will be reopened to visitors, but they will be required to adhere to social distancing and mask requirements.
Occupancy of campus classrooms and meeting spaces: The current guidelines of the Seminary will allow for up to 10 students in a class for indoor meeting spaces with masks and social distancing required remain in effect until further notice.
Metropolitan John Theodorovich Seminary Library: Due to low traffic during this time of year and the requirements for use of these facilities, the library will remain closed until the start of fall classes as of September 1, 2020. Faculty and students can still request materials, which will be pulled and provided for pick-up at an arranged time. Please contact Oksana Pasakas, Seminary Librarian, at 732-356-0090.
Seminary events: We will continue to make case by case decisions relative to events based on social distancing and occupancy restrictions. Visit the Seminary’s website and search the calendar to find up-to-date notices about public events.
Food Service: Meals will be provided by the Seminary twice a day for Full-Time students, adhering to social distancing and masks requirements for the staff and students. General Protocols for Cleaning & Sanitation of the Seminary will be followed.
Cleaning & Sanitation: We are committed to the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff, as we prepare to return to the Seminary campus in the fall. We have implemented additional safety processes and protocols to help ensure the safety of Seminary’s operations, following the CDC’s cleaning protocols.
- Cleaning and sanitization – done twice a day
- Requiring face coverings
- Adequate supplies, such as personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies will be provided by the Seminary Main office
- All staff, faculty and students required to engage in social distancing practices at all times
- All staff, faculty and students required to engage in a training of social distancing practices and protocols.
CLEANING: Each location maintains a variety of tools and processes designed to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness are maintained at all times.
HIGH TOUCH CLEANING: Extra and frequent cleaning of all surfaces and items that are at higher risk of contamination (door handles, light switches, condiment stations, etc.).
GUESTS: Increased availability of hand wash stations, hand sanitizer, ‘no-touch’ service options and targeted signage and communication to promote hand hygiene.
EMPLOYEES: Substantial and ongoing hand hygiene training, an increased schedule of mandatory hand washing (every 20 minutes) and appropriate use of PPE (gloves).
Chemicals, Equipment & PPE:
CHEMICALS: Specified chemicals are designed specifically for food service environments. Every location will also maintain an inventory of Sanitizing Wipes, a CDC approved disinfectant for the pathogen treatment of spaces that have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
EQUIPMENT: All equipment utilized in cleaning and sanitation, including dishwashers, glass cleaners, chemical dispensers, etc. are checked multiple times per day for correct temperatures, concentrations and functionality.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE): Seminary Kitchen facility ensures that all locations are properly equipped with the necessary PPE to ensure guest and employee safety - including gloves, masks (where required), eye protection, thermometers, aprons/gowns, etc.
SUPPLIERS: All suppliers must pass stringent safety and sanitation requirements to gain and maintain approval. Additional controls will be placed on vendor deliveries to ensure the safe transfer of all products.
FOOD SAFETY: Standards for food receipt, storage, handling and preparation are very detailed and specific. Each step of the process is monitored and documented so that quality, temperature control, and contamination risks are managed at all times.
Testing/Tracing/Quarantine Isolation: The Seminary will work with the local Medical institutions in order to establish testing opportunities. The focus of this effort will be in testing symptomatic students and those who have come into direct contact with positive cases of COVID-19. Direct contacts are those individuals who have come into direct contact (at least 10 minutes of contact within 6 feet) of a positive or presumed positive case. Seminary staff will conduct an initial trace of possible direct contacts with the student in question. Residential students who test positive or are presumed positive based on symptoms will be required to relocate to a self-isolation room on-campus and their close contacts will be required to quarantine.
Travel registration: Students, faculty and staff who are traveling should continue to complete Seminary’s travel form before traveling and must check-in with the Main Seminary Office upon returning to campus.
Disease FAQs and prevention guidelines: Please read and follow the guidelines prepared by the CDC.
As mentioned above, if you are sick, please stay home and away from others until you are feeling better. Use handwashing and cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of disease. If you have any COVID-19-related questions, please reach out to 732-356-0090 or StSophiaSeminary@aol.com
These decisions have been informed by expert advice and relevant information. Our Seminary team is continually monitoring the situation and working through plans for managing our operations moving forward. We will continue to provide you with updates as new information becomes available and make updates to our webpage as appropriate.
Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Daniel, Provost
St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ