COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy


Policy Brief and Purpose

The American Academy of Art College places a high priority on the safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. In the current pandemic situation, it is paramount that the Academy institutes this temporary policy for students, faculty and staff to follow while on campus.


This new policy does not replace any pre-existing policies on community conduct. The requirements set forth in this policy are in addition to any other conduct policies already in place in the Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook and the Staff Handbook. This policy is effective immediately and remains in effect until the President determines it is no longer needed. This policy is subject to change at any time.


COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person when people are within close contact (6 feet or less for 15 minutes or more) of one another. It spreads through the release of small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets can land in the nose or mouth or possibly be inhaled by others.


COVID-19 can also spread when the droplets land on objects or surfaces and people touch the object or surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth or nose with their hands. However, studies show that this is not the dominant means of transmission.


In order to help mitigate the spread of the virus the CDC recommends the following:

  • Maintain social distance of 6 feet or greater at all times;Wash/sanitize hands often; Disinfect surfaces and high touch areas
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth at all times.


The Academy’s protocols take into consideration the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Chicago Department of Public Health. 



This coronavirus policy applies to all students, faculty and staff while on campus.  We strongly recommend that all members of the Academy community take the time to understand these guidelines.  We encourage anyone who has concerns or questions to contact Ione Fitzgerald, Vice President or Duncan Webb, Academic Dean.



Policy Elements

  • Daily symptom monitoring;
  • Procedures in the case of sickness;
  • Social distancing;
  • Face coverings;
  • General health hygiene practices; and
  • Healthy environments.


Daily Symptom Monitoring

Only individuals who are healthy and not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can report for in-person learning. Students and staff are encouraged to stay home whenever they do not feel well.


Daily temperature and symptom checks will be required for all students and staff prior to arriving at the Academy. Staff and students should self-assess to confirm that they are not experiencing any symptoms and do not have a fever each day.


Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • A fever of 100.4 degrees or greater;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Chills;
  • Nausea or vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Muscle aches;
  • Headache;
  • Sore throat;
  • New loss of taste or smell;
  • Congestion or runny nose; and
  • Fatigue.


Any student or staff member who is experiencing any of the following scenarios should not report to school:


  • Symptoms of COVID 19;
  • Tests positive for COVID 19, or
  • Has close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for the virus in the last 14 days.


Procedures in Case of Sickness

The Academy has a designated space (student advising office) where anyone showing symptoms will wait while undergoing evaluation or waiting to be picked up by a parent/guardian.

  • Individuals will be sent home with a recommendation to seek medical attention;
  • Students and staff may not return until they meet the return to school protocols outlined by the IDPH;
  • Any area used by the individual who is sick will be cleaned and disinfected per the CDC and IDPH guidelines.


Responding to Confirmed Cases

  • All confirmed cases will be immediately reported to the Chicago Department of Public Health;
  • Any individual who had contact, limited or close, will be notified of their exposure via email;
  • Individuals with close contact (less than 6 feet for greater than 15 mins) will be  required to self-isolate for 14 days;
  • Individuals with limited contact will NOT be required to self-isolate but will be asked to closely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19;
  • These procedures are based on the current guidelines provided by the health department and are subject to change.


Social Distancing

While working on campus, students, faculty and staff are required to practice social distancing whenever possible and wear face coverings. The Academy will provide you with a face covering upon request.

  • Physical distancing of 6 feet is to be maintained at all times;
  • Upon arrival, students will go directly to their classrooms;
  • Face coverings must be worn during entry and exit;
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at entry/exit points
  • Student seats and workstations will be physically distanced from one another;
  • Student seats will face the same direction;
  • When outside, students can remove masks when six-foot physical distancing is maintained;
  • Movement throughout the building should take place with face coverings at all times;
  • Bathroom breaks should be planned to limit the number of people using the facilities.


Lunch and Breaks

All students should plan to eat lunch at their desk at the conclusion of their 2nd session class.  Students should remain at their desk at the conclusion of each class until it is time to go to their next class. The student lounge will have limited capacity. You should plan to bring your own lunch.


Face Coverings

Face coverings will be required for all students, faculty and staff while on campus. It is required that face coverings be worn at all times when walking in the hallways and using the restrooms.  Classroom space will allow for 6 feet of distance between desks.  You will need to wear your mask in your classroom. Masks may be removed while actively eating and drinking as long as students or staff are stationary (seated at desk or table) and are maintaining appropriate social distance (6 feet). Staff may remove their face covering while working in an individual office.


How Face Coverings Work

Cloth face coverings may prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing, or coughing. Since people may spread the virus before symptoms start, or even if people never have symptoms, wearing a cloth face covering may protect others around you. Face coverings worn by others may protect you from getting the virus from people carrying the virus.


Face coverings must align with CDC guidelines:

  • The mouth and nose are fully covered;
  • There are multiple layers of fabric that can sustain daily washing and drying;
  • The covering fits snugly against the sides of the face so there are no gaps.
  • Allows you to breath without difficulty;
  • Can be tied or otherwise secured to prevent slipping;
  • Can sustain daily washing.


Face Covering Exemptions

In rare instances, students with a physical medical condition that may inhibit them from breathing when wearing a face covering can email Duncan Webb, Academic Dean, with your request.  You will also need medical verification.


General Health and Hygiene Practices

The Academy asks students, faculty and staff to observe proper hygiene and safety protocols, including the following:


1. Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially

  • Upon entering the building;
  • Upon entering and leaving a classroom;
  • After public exposure;
  • Contact with “high touch” surfaces frequently touched by others;
  • After coughing or blowing your nose;
  • Before preparing and/or eating food.


2. Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue and then throwing the tissue into the trash     



3. Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) will be readily available in all classrooms for 

   student and staff use.


4. Classroom routines will be developed for students and staff to regularly wash their hands or 

    use hand sanitizer both inside and outside the classroom.


5. Hand sanitizer will be placed in common areas throughout the campus.


6. Drinking fountains will be closed down. Students and staff may use the touch-less bottle filler 

    when necessary.


7. Signage will be posted in appropriate places that outline how to prevent the spread of the 

    virus, symptoms of the virus, and proper hand washing techniques.


8. Avoiding handshakes or any other type of greeting involving touching while on campus.


Healthy Environments

Thorough cleaning will continue daily throughout the Academy’s campus.


To keep yourself safe:

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces including your desk or workstation;
  • Avoid sharing electronic devices, phones, books, pens, etc.;
  • You should plan to wipe down your desk when entering your classroom with disinfectant wipes, provided in the classroom.  Please dispose of the used wipe in the garbage can.


Positive Case Update, 9/22/20

Positive Case Update, 9/18/20

Positive Case Update, 10/30/20

Positive Case Update, 11/7/20

Positive Case Update, 11/19/20

Positive Case Update, 11/20/20

Positive Case Update, 12/5/20

Positive Case Update, 1/25/21

Positive Case Update, 2/9/21

Positive Case Update, 2/22/21

Positive Case Update, 3/19/21

Positive Case Update, 9/20/21

Positive Case Update, 10/14/21

Positive Case Update, 12/2/21


Academy Workplace/ Campus Coordinator

Please contact Duncan Webb, Academic Dean, and/or Ione Fitzgerald, Vice President, with concerns regarding COVID-19 issues.

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