Covid-19 FAQs

General Questions

Q: Do you allow spectators at athletic events?
A: Spectators may watch outdoor events as long as they wear masks and adhere to social distancing. Spectators are not permitted at indoor events.

Q: Are students being required to remain on campus and not have any off-campus contacts?
A: Students are not required to stay on campus, but we do strongly recommend it. Students have received several messages from President Woo and Dean Garrett strongly encouraging them from engaging in off-campus contacts.

Q: I live in Virginia. How can I get my vaccine?
A: The state of Virginia’s new site for preregistration for the vaccination is now open. We encourage all Virginia residents to confirm that they are on the list to receive a vaccination.

Q: Can prospective students visit campus in-person?
A: Yes! We’re offering in-person tours of campus. We have all kinds of information about visiting campus available on our admissions website.

Q: What are planning to do to lessen the spread of the virus on campus?

A: We expect members of our community to wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing. In addition, we’ll be doing extra sanitization and have added signage to campus.

Q: Are students and faculty required to wear masks?
A: Yes, all students and faculty are required to wear facial coverings when they cannot maintain social distance.  

Q: In the daily health questionnaire, when it asks if a person has been around anyone with COVID-19 symptoms/positive test in the past 14 days, can you clarify what that means?
A: To help us with contact tracing, we want to know if you have been around anyone who, in the last 14 days, has experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or has received a positive test result.

Q: How many total individuals are in quarantine?
A: We will update the numbers daily on our COVID-19 Status page

Q: Why do the numbers of cases in quarantine go down as well as up?
A: As individuals test positive, the number of cases obviously goes up. However, the number may also go down as individuals recover and complete their isolation period.

Q: Under what circumstances might Sweet Briar switch to all virtual learning?
A: We will make the decision based on conversations with the Virginia Department of Health and assessment of our capacity to deliver our services.

Q: How do I keep my glasses from fogging up when wearing a mask in class?
A: The best way to do that is to use a mask that has a nose wire. You can also buy nose wires from Amazon and attach them to existing masks.

Q: Will there be barriers of any kind?
A: Barriers have been set up at reception areas that require close customer interaction like financial aid, student life, the post office and the registrar’s office. Faculty members may request barriers in the classroom.

Q: Are visitors allowed on campus right now?
A: Visitors may come to campus to take advantage of our outdoor recreational activities. They will be required to sign in and must have masks with them. Visitors are not allowed in the residence halls and are only allowed in common areas of campus.

Q: Are local residents allowed to walk or bicycle on campus this fall?
A: Yes. Local residents and other visitors may make use of our outdoor recreational activities. They will be required to sign in and must have masks with them. Visitors are not allowed in the residence halls and are only allowed in common areas of campus.

Q: Where can I go to get more detailed information about the virus?
A: To get the most up-to-date information about the virus, we recommend visiting the following sites:

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: Per the CDC: Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Q: How can I prevent myself from becoming sick?
A: It is always prudent to follow normal precautions to prevent becoming ill.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Academic Questions

Q: Is Sweet Briar offering in-person instruction right now?
A. Yes. We’re offering in-person instruction and each student can have a room of her own. We have adjusted classes, dining, and more to help keep everyone safe.

Q: Am I allowed to eat or drink during class?
A: In general, we would prefer students not eat or drink during class as it requires them to remove their masks. That said, hydration is important, as is healthy caloric intake. If you find that you need to take a bite or a sip during class, you may lower your mask briefly to do that. Note that some professors may have more strict requirements, so you should check with them about their specific rules in this regard.

Q: Will I get an F in a course if I miss one class because I don’t feel well?
A: The short answer is no. Of course, we encourage students (faculty and staff, too!) to stay home when they don’t feel well. You should talk to your professor if you don’t feel well and follow the rules set out in the course syllabus. If you have questions or concerns about a class or your specific circumstances, please reach out to Dean Garrett.

Q: How have classroom configurations changed?
A: Classroom capacities have been assessed for capacity and class assignments have been adjusted accordingly.

Student Life and Student Health Questions

Q: Will Sweet Briar students, faculty and staff get the vaccine when it becomes available?
A: At this time, Sweet Briar will not be a vaccination site, but we certainly hope that members of our community will be vaccinated as soon as it is made available to them. If you are a Virginia resident, you can determine what vaccination phase you are in by visiting the VDH website. You can also register for a vaccination on the VDH website and get other information about how to be vaccinated. If you’re a resident in another state, you should check your particular state’s health department website for information about vaccinations in your local area. You should also contact your primary care physician to see if they know of vaccination efforts in their practice.

Q: Are visitors allowed on campus right now?
A: Visitors may come to campus to take advantage of our outdoor recreational activities. They will be required to sign in and must have masks with them. Visitors are not be allowed in the residence halls and are only allowed in common areas of campus.

Q: Can students have overnight guests in their rooms?
No. Guests are not permitted in residence halls.

Q: Are students being encouraged to get tested for COVID 19 now that the number of students on campus testing positive has increased? And if so, what testing places are being recommended?
Students and other members of our community may get tested if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or if they’ve been informed that they have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed. As of the afternoon of Aug. 21, 2020, COVID testing is available in the campus health clinic. To receive a test in the clinic, you must be:

  • Symptomatic
  • Have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive
  • Have another appropriate reason for testing

Testing in the on-campus clinic is available for students, faculty and staff on campus. If an employee lives off campus, but is on campus when it is determined they need a test, they may have that test done on campus. If someone is already off campus, however, we ask that they not return to campus to have a test. For off campus testing, please visit the VDH website for a list of testing centers in the area.

Q: Are there be on-campus health services?
A: Yes. The on-site health clinic opened in October.

Q: Will students be notified if someone in their dorm has tested positive? 
A: We are not able to disclose the identity of those who test positive as that is protected health information according to federal law (HIPAA). However, those who are identified as being in close contact (less than 6 feet away for longer than 15 minutes) will be notified of their potential risk by the VDH and a determination will be made of whether they need to quarantine. 

Q: The re-opening plan says 2.5 people are allowed in the residence hall bathrooms. How does that work?
A: There should be no more than two people in the bathrooms.

Q: If you go into isolation or quarantine, are you allowed to bring personal items like books or electronics?
A: Yes. If you go into isolation or quarantine, you may bring a few personal items with you.

Q: How are we helping students manage their stress?
A: Students can reach out to Horizon Behavioral Health, Dean Garrett or Dean Marcia and they’ll do everything they can to help.

Q: Are you able to leave campus if you brought your own car?
A: Yes, but students are expected to check out using LiveSafe when they leave and check back in when they return.

Q: Will clubs and traditions be maintained?
A. Yes, but there will be modifications made in order to keep the community safe. Modifications may include more social distancing, changes of location and possibly virtual meetings.

Q: Who are the COVID Captains?
A: All class presidents, SGA President, ICC President, CEO president and a few other student leaders. Contact the Office of Student Life (studentlife@sbc.edu) for a full list.

Financial Questions

Q:  I have questions about my student account. Who do I contact?

Please email Jan Campbell at 434-381-6335 or jcampbell@sbc.edu.

Q:  I have questions about my financial aid. Who do I contact?

Please email Wanda Spradley at spradley@sbc.edu or call her at 434-381-6156.