Coronavirus causes a flu-like illness in people who are exposed and vulnerable to it. It is a mild-to-severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In some cases, it can be fatal. The disease has spread worldwide, becoming a global pandemic.
Henry Ford College closed its campuses to the public in March 2020. Most classes remain online for Summer 2020, though a few are taking place face-to-face with enhanced safety measures. Plans are taking shape for class formats in Fall 2020. HFC offices are open to serve you
Safety requirements and procedures on HFC campuses
These measures are continuing to be developed in Summer 2020. The information below includes current baseline requirements.
Face coverings (masks) are required on both campuses
Summer classes are under way, and while most are online, we have announced that we are resuming our postponed face-to-face Winter classes that could not be converted to online formats.
Everyone who comes to our campuses will be expected to wear face masks, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so.
We are asking everyone to provide their own facemasks wherever possible. Wearing face coverings is a way we can protect each other and share the responsibility to keep our community safe. We ask that every student and employee bring and wear a cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose when you are on campus.
If you forget your face mask, you may check with your dean’s office, which might have a limited quantity of disposable masks. But we cannot guarantee availability. If you do not have a face mask, you will not be able to attend your on-campus classes. Please make a note to bring a face mask whenever you come to campus.
Social distancing, sanitizing, and other safety measures
We will practice social distancing to the maximum extent possible on our campuses. Classrooms are set up to maximize social distancing wherever possible. Please do all you can to remain 6 feet (two arms’ lengths) from other people while on campus. When you are in hallways or entering restrooms, this may mean you need to wait for someone else to leave the area.
We will provide hand sanitizer in campus buildings that are open for classes.
Please wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
We will provide sanitizing spray in classrooms that are used frequently. We encourage you to spray and wipe down surfaces before you touch them.
Additional measures are being discussed, and will be added to this website when they are released.
Follow directions on signage where provided
You will see signs posted on doors, near elevators, and in other locations on campus. Everyone on our campuses is required to observe and comply with the notifications on these signs.
- Locations for standing 6 feet apart while awaiting screening
- Maximum number of elevator occupants per trip
- Face coverings required
- Observe social distancing
- Kitchenettes and shared spaces
- Use of shared copiers or other technology equipment
- Additional location-specific signage
Do not come to campus if you are sick
If you feel unwell, do not come to the HFC campuses. Anyone experiencing symptoms of any respiratory or other infectious illness should not be on campus, as you risk exposing others and possibly exacerbating your symptoms.
If your illness is serious, if you have a high fever or are experiencing shortness of breath, consult a health care professional immediately. Call before going to a hospital, if possible.
If your illness is not acute, call your doctor's office to request guidance. They may schedule an office visit, or they may use telemedicine to assist you.
General coronavirus information and resources
What you can do to avoid getting sick
While there is no way to guarantee you will not catch an infectious disease, you can take significant steps to increase your chances of staying healthy. This reminder of healthy habits and prevention emphasizes proven techniques that might be helpful to you. Winter, in particular, tends to be a time when respiratory and intestinal illnesses like cold and flu are prevalent.
NOTE: There are many online sources for information about avoiding infection with coronavirus. Some include:
- CDC "Stop the Spread of Germs" poster
- CDC "What to do if you are sick with COVID-19" poster
- CDC fact sheet
- CDC resource site
You will find many other sources that provide similar tips to the list below.
First, and most important, wash your hands regularly, and thoroughly with soap and water. This is especially important after you handle food, use the restroom, use public transportation, spend time in a public place, or find yourself in close proximity to people who are sick.
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. The preferred method is to use the crook of your elbow if you need to sneeze. Face away from others, and use a tissue if possible. Wash your hands afterward!
Some people keep a container of hand sanitizer near their desk or in their backpack or purse. If you do not have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol as a good option for killing germs.
Try to avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose when you are in public places. This will help you avoid transferring germs from surfaces and implements into your respiratory and digestive tract.
Wash sheets, towels, hats, scarves, and similar items regularly – and immediately if you’ve been sick.
Touching people and things:
Cell phones and germs: cell phones are notoriously covered with germs. Avoid picking up or handling someone else’s cell phone. Don’t let others handle your cell phone. And clean your cell phone’s surfaces frequently!
Clean and disinfect surfaces, such as countertops, desktops, and doorknobs, that are likely to be contaminated with germs.
Office and classroom implements like pens, pencils, staplers, tape dispensers, computer keyboards / mice, and phones are all items that carry germs. Wash your hands if you are sharing these items with others or using labs.
Avoid close contact with sick people. Do not shake hands with people if you or they are sick. If your intimate partner has a cold or flu, keep your distance until they have fully recovered.
Don’t put your backpack, coat, or other outerwear on your bed or pillow. These items can pick up all kinds of germs (and dirt) that you don’t want on your face.
Do not share toiletries or makeup with roommates.
If you are sick, you should stay home.
Avoid physical social contact, such as shaking hands or hugging people you don't know well. You can use a warm verbal greeting or a nod and smile as alternatives to touching.
Food and food implements:
Maintain a healthy diet if you can. Eat mostly fresh foods, and minimal processed or junk foods.
Do not partake of food items that others may have touched with bare hands. Bowls of unwrapped mints, candies, or chocolates are high risk spots for germs.
Do not eat perishable food that has been sitting out for a long period of time.
Do not share beverage containers, dishes, or utensils with others. Wash your dishes in hot, soapy water and rinse before re-using them.
If you are visiting a food buffet, consider using a napkin or wearing a glove so you are not touching the serving implements that others have touched with bare hands.
Do not place food or snacks directly on surfaces. Use a plate or napkin to protect yourself from transferring germs to your food before consuming it.
Other tips for staying healthy:
Get a flu shot when they are available.
If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. Notify your supervisor, instructor, or students if you can’t make it to class or work because you are sick.
Maintain a healthy diet.
Get enough sleep.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Spend time with people who care about you. This can help with physical, mental, and emotional health.
Keep your stress levels manageable (some of the above tips can help. Counseling is also available on campus if you need it.)
Wear a protective mask when you are in public places.
If you do get sick, especially if your symptoms are severe or you’re not recovering, seek immediate medical attention.
Masks and gloves: guidance for when you are not on campus
Medical-grade devices are used by health care providers to protect them and their patients. Members of the public should wear masks when in public places, to protect others. Masks are required on the HFC campuses (see above). Gloves are optional.
The best way to avoid contracting and spreading coronavirus is to stay away from other people. Staying home and maintaining social distancing practices will keep you safe.
You will probably need to go to food stores and other places to pick up essential food and supplies. You should wear a non-medical-grade face mask over your mouth and nose when in public places. Wearing a face mask or gloves is not a sure way to prevent transmission, and you must still practice care, hygiene, and social distancing. Be aware of cross-contamination.
Face masks or surgical masks
Medical grade or surgical masks should be reserved for health care professionals. Members of the public should wear a non-medical-grade face mask when in public places. Disposable masks should be used one time and then disposed of. Reusable masks should be washed regularly with soap and hot water.
Please follow standard safety measures (social distancing, hand washing, sanitization, and hygiene) even when you wear a face mask.
Rubber gloves or surgical gloves
Surgical gloves are best suited for one-time use in treating a single patient in a health care setting. If you wear gloves to protect yourself from touching surfaces doorknobs, keyboards, keypads, etc., be aware that you will be causing cross-contamination whenever you touch another surface. Your gloves can quickly become a concentrated source of contamination.
This is why you will observe health care professionals removing gloves inside-out, throwing them away, and washing their hands after every use.
We recommend you follow standard safety measures (social distancing, hand washing, sanitization, and hygiene) even if you choose to wear gloves.
Throw your gloves away or sanitize them after you wear them, and wash your hands with hot, soapy water immediately. Sanitize any surfaces you touched while wearing gloves, to reduce cross-contamination.
Remember: coronavirus cannot penetrate healthy skin. You do not need to wear gloves to protect your hands, unless you have cuts to your skin. Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly is sufficient to degrade the virus.
Video: what is Coronavirus and how does it spread?
The World Health Organization provides this 4-and-a-half-minute video that explains what Coronavirus is and what the risks are.
Recommended external coronavirus resources
The following resources are free and are reliable for information and assistance to our community.
If you believe you have been exposed to Coronavirus, or you or a family member are experiencing symptoms and would like to be tested for coronavirus, please refer to Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest to find a site near you that offers free testing.
To obtain this information by phone, Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 and select 1.
You may also contact your health care professional to discuss testing.