Skip to main content

OVERVIEW

The School understands the value-added learning opportunities afforded through co-curricular community and clinic engagement. As such, and given CV-19 and related community standards, the School has developed a guidance document and standard for any student or student organization participating in community or clinic environments.

INTRODUCTION

The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of civilians within and beyond North Carolina. As of July 8, 2020, there have been more than 75,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in the state of North Carolina, accounting for an estimated 994 hospitalizations. At the time of this document’s writing, North Carolina is projected to witness at least 1,800—and as many as 3,400 cases—by the end of October 2020. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 2.9 million total COVID-19 cases across the United States; this count is expected to increase amidst concerns of a “second wave” in the late fall of 2020.

In recognizing the ongoing nature of the pandemic, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has implemented a number of measures to control the spread of COVID-19. These measures include transitioning from in-person to virtual educational exercises, mandating physical distancing and the wearing of masks on university premises, and proactively cancelling or rescheduling extracurricular activities which, if held in person, could present risks of disease transmission and acquisition.

For the Fall 2020 semester, there is a need to re-examine our current protocols for student pharmacist engagement. This re-examination should occur in a manner that continues to prioritize the well being of our students, faculty and staff members, while also validating the opportunities that our student-led organizations have to promote community within the School and serve patients in the Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham areas. As future healthcare providers and advocates, our students should be encouraged to remain steadfast in the delivery of community outreach services—such as blood pressure and blood glucose screenings, immunization drives and medication counseling initiatives—through the medium of student organizations, provided that our students take steps to promote public safety during this unprecedented time. In addition, in recognizing that student organizations provide a unique avenue for student pharmacists to build positive relationships with one another, this document also includes guidance for student pharmacists to participate in “non-clinical” educational endeavors.

GUIDELINES

Section1: Defining Co-Curricular Engagement

  • These guidelines address any in-person events that are held through or by student organizations at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at an off-campus location (outside of the Beard/Kerr/Karpen halls and buildings). In-person events include both clinical and non-clinical (socialization, fraternity recruitment, etc.) events.
  • There are some instances in which this document specifically refers to “Outreach events.” For the purpose of this guidance, Outreach events are synonymous with any event in which a student pharmacist is providing a medical education to others (medication education workshops, naloxone demonstrations, etc) and/or delivering a medical service (immunization drives, patient counseling sessions, health screenings, food kitchens, etc.)

Section 2: Student Symptom Reporting and Assumption of Risk

  1. Pre-Reporting Survey
    • Student Organizations will require all students participating in any in-person, off-campus events to fill out a Pre-Reporting Survey. This survey must be completed electronically within the 24 hours leading to the event.
      • Student organizations leaders have been given access to copy and utilize the pre-reporting form template: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dolv0LCjM0JtSjr
      • Student leaders should use this template to design their own pre-reporting surveys for their specific organizations. This survey will require students to self-report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, which if active could pose a health hazard to other student pharmacists as well as the general community.
    • Student organization leadership is tasked with ensuring that students complete their organization-specific pre-reporting survey prior to each event that takes place in an off-campus location.
    • Students who do not complete the pre-reporting survey will not be eligible to participate in the off-campus event.
  2. Waiver/Assumption of Risk
    • Within the pre-reporting survey, students will also be required to confirm that they have agreed to and submitted the Student Attestations for Curricular and Co-Curricular Experiences During COVID-19, indicating their understanding of the potential risk for exposure to COVID-19 through participation in extracurricular off-campus events.

Section 3: CPE Requirements and Sanitation

  1. Masks
    • During any in-person, off-campus event, student pharmacists, along with any pharmacists, clinicians, faculty members or School of Pharmacy personnel present at the event, will be required to wear a face mask at all times, in alignment with UNC Community Standards.
      • Wearing a mask is not a substitute for appropriate physical distancing. All event attendees should maintain physical distancing of 6 feet whenever feasible.
    • For Outreach events, student organization leadership must communicate with the community partner prior to the event to ensure that all community members attending the event are also expected to wear a mask.
  2. Gloves
    • All events must be equipped with hand sanitizer, masks, and proper materials to sanitize all surfaces.
    • In addition to promoting physical distancing (see Section 4c [Physical Distancing]), student organizations are tasked with enforcing the sanitization of any surfaces, instruments, and shared spaces between successive interactions with individual patients.
  3. Process for Requesting CPE
    • Student organization leaders will have the opportunity to request and obtain a bulk supply of CPE products (masks, face shields, gloves, sanitizer) from the School of Pharmacy. This supply can then be distributed to student pharmacists participating in off-campus events.
      • For Outreach events, masks may also be obtained on behalf of community members who may need them. This provision is in place to ensure that no community member is denied the opportunity to participate in a student pharmacist-led patient care event because they do not have a mask.
    • To best estimate the number of masks needed, student organization leadership may find it helpful to rely on the following benchmarks:
      • Student pharmacists/volunteers: 1 mask/student/event
      • Community members and patient (as applicable): 20 masks/ Outreach event
    • Students organization leaders can submit up to 3 requests for CPE supplies following directions that can be accessed through this link:
    • CPE Request Timelines: Student_Org_CPE_Orderform
      • September 1 order deadline (September 11 pick up)
      • September 16 order deadline (September 25 pick up)
      • October 14 order deadline (October 23 pick up)

Section 4: Limiting CV-19 Exposure Risk

  1. Educational Resources
    • Student organization leaders are encouraged to connect student pharmacists with educational resources related to limiting COVID-19 exposure and the appropriate usage of masks and personal hygiene techniques. Student organizations will not be required to create or enforce the use of these educational resources.
  2. CV-19 Symptom Screening
    • For Outreach events (specifically events that require student pharmacists to be within 6 feet of community members), student organization leaders will be required to provide COVD-19 symptom screening checklists to these community members, prior to these community members interacting with student volunteers.
    • These screening processes can occur over the phone, via a paper checklist, or electronically, as within the means of the organization. Volunteers will not be required to perform any hands-on screening processes on community members (i.e. temperature checks with a thermometer)
    • The symptom screening checklists must include CDC recommended screening questions. For simplicity, student organizations may use the checklist below for purposes of symptom screening: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
    • If a community member reports a positive symptom during screening, student leaders should inform this community member that they cannot attend the outreach event and direct them to call their local health department
      • Orange county health department: (919) 245-2400
      • Buncombe county health department: (828) 250-5109
  3. Physical Distancing
    • Student organizations are tasked with enforcing that at all in-person, off-campus events, students, faculty members, community members, etc. practice physical distancing of 6 feet and wearing a mask at all times when feasible.
      • Exceptions include:
        • There are certain patient-care activities, (i.e. immunizations, blood pressure screenings, blood glucose screenings) that may require students and community members to be within 6 feet of each other. Students and community members should maintain wearing masks for these activities, and are also encouraged to wear gloves and gowns for additional precaution.

Section 5: Location and Engagement Restrictions 

  1. Determination of Maximum Event Attendance
    • Every in-person, off-campus event must have an associated sign up page (such as, but not limited to, HeelLife, SignUp Genius, etc) with active RSVP functionality. Only individuals who have signed up for the event in advance will be permitted to attend. The RSVP count must account for all student and volunteer (i.e. pharmacist/faculty) attendees.
    • The “allowed” attendance for any off-campus event must not exceed the maximum gathering size outlined in UNC Community Standards. Additionally, as discussed in Section 4c, the “allowed” attendance must take into account the requirement that all students, faculty members and School of Pharmacy affiliates maintain a 6 foot distance from one another during the event.
      • There may be cases in which it is not possible to pre-determine the number of individuals that a specific venue or location can accommodate while adhering to physical distancing requirements. In these cases, student organizations should consult the most up to date local, state, or CDC mandated gathering sizes to inform attendance counts.
    • For Outreach events, except where State or local law or regulations require a cap, student organizations will not be expected to cap the total number of community members that attend the event, as long as all individuals present at the event screen negative for COVID-19 per the screening checklist, wear masks/are provided masks when necessary, and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from one another when possible. This provision is in place to ensure that no organization within the School of Pharmacy prohibits a community member from accessing a clinical service (immunization drives, patient counseling sessions, health screenings, etc).
    • Prior to hosting an in-person event, student organizations may be asked to provide information about a particular venue, at the request of the Student Senate, the Office of Curricular and Student Affairs, and/or administrative leaders within the School of Pharmacy. This is to ensure that all venues are able to follow the most updated guidance(s) regarding mandated gathering sizes, and that student organizations have action plans in place to adhere to these guidelines during the event.
    • References for local, state, and CDC mandated gathering sizes:
  2. Location Restrictions
    • Off-campus events will not be restricted by location, with the expectation that organizations and student leadership will take the steps outlined above to limit exposure risk and abide by UNC ESOP Community Standards for travel restrictions.
    • As in previous academic years, student organization leaders are free to identify community partners and opportunities for Outreach events as they see fit.
  3. Hours and Days of Week
    • Off-campus events may be held on any day of the week, as well as at any hour of the day, so long as they are in compliance with these guidelines and UNC Community Standards.
      • With limitations surrounding public transportation, it is recommended that student organizations take into consideration the extended amount of time that may be required to travel from campus or residence to an event taking place off-campus.
  4. Distribution of Food, Drink and Other Items
    • For outdoor off-campus events, individually packaged food and drink may be distributed and consumed so long as 6 feet physical distancing is maintained at all times and packages are disinfected prior to distribution.
      • Student organization leaders should note that community organizations may have more stringent requirements for distributing packaged food and drink, even if the event takes place outdoors.
    • For indoor off-campus events, food and drink distribution and consumption is prohibited.
      • Eating requires removal of masks, which violates UNC Community Standards for indoor settings.
      • Outreach events in which distribution of food is integral to the event’s purpose (i.e. students volunteering with a meal center or food kitchen) are exempt from this requirement.
    • While student organizations may distribute non-food or drink items (such as educational resources, fliers, fundraised items, etc), it is recommended that organizations utilize virtual options and avenues when possible, to decrease the need for physical contact during an event and the subsequent risk of disease transmission.

Section 6: Contingency Plan in the Case of Full Remote Requirements by UNC

  1. Transition to Remote Engagement:
    • Transition to a fully remote community engagement may occur at the discretion of either the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as an institution, or at the level of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, depending on future COVID-19 case trends.
    • Should this requirement be implemented, student organizations will no longer be able to host in-person activities.
  2. Opportunities for Student Organizations: 
    • Virtual student education/engagement:
      • For organizations that provide clinically focused trainings for student pharmacists (i.e. blood pressure, blood glucose and/or immunization trainings), it may be beneficial to “pre-record” training exercises and disseminate these videos, such that learning takes place virtually.
      • For “non-Outreach” events, organizations should utilize virtual platforms, such as Zoom, Skype, and/or Google Hangout, should remote engagement be required.
    • Virtual patient education/engagement
      • In lieu of in-person patient care exercises, organizations may benefit from utilizing social media (or other virtual platforms) to disseminate educational resources across campus and/or throughout the community.
        • For instance, instead of providing immunizations to community members, organizations operating in a “remote-only” environment may choose to create flyers or videos describing the importance of vaccination, to then be disseminated throughout the community.
        • In place of blood pressure and/or blood glucose screenings, organizations may wish to create educational resources instructing patients on how to take their blood pressure/blood glucose at home, the differences between various self-measurement devices/techniques, and recommendations for risk reduction and/or lifestyle changes.

Section 7: Reporting, Questions, Concerns, and Violations

  1. Reports of violations of the Community Standards will be submitted through the Eshelman Care Team referral system (https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bax2evk5c1e0K33), and should be categorized under the “Professionalism” category. OCSA will review reports of non-compliance in conjunction with Senate leadership to determine if the penalty of cancellation of room reservations is appropriate.
  2. If an area of concern is not covered in this document, please reach out to Neel Swamy and/or Emily Vanerian on the Chapel Hill campus or Caroline Childs on the Asheville campus, in addition to Colleen Wernoski.
  3. If you believe an exception to a guidance provided in this document is warranted, please consult Neel Swamy and Colleen Wernoski for consideration.

Section 8: Student Organizations that Fail to Comply

  1. Student organizations that fail to follow these guidelines risk losing their Student Senate funding and recognized status by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy