Updated 7/8/2021

RETURN TO CAMPUS

AUC returned to Sint Maarten and Preston for the January and May 2021 semesters using a hybrid approach to our academics related to medical sciences. We are committed to providing a safe and meaningful experience and will follow comprehensive safety protocols to protect against COVID-19. 

 

SINT MAARTEN

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHEN WILL THE SEPTEMBER 2021 SEMESTER START?

The semester starts on August 30, 2021. A full academic calendar is available here.

WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR THE SEPTEMBER 2021 SEMESTER?

AUC medical sciences students and faculty returned to Sint Maarten for the January and May 2021 semesters, using a hybrid approach to our academics. This community’s collective diligence in adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols has been essential to our successful return to campus and will continue to be important as we move forward.  

We are still on track to expand in-person learning activities next semester, which is supported by our new policy policy requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Mandatory mask-wearing on campus will continue, regardless of vaccination status, and our random surveillance testing program will now test vaccinated individuals as well. These measures will help AUC do its part to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

We are closely monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 in Sint Maarten and our AUC community, and we will continue to evaluate our plans to ensure we are in alignment with government policies and CDC and WHO guidance. Your faculty and I are looking forward to the resumption of more in-person learning activities, but we are ready to adapt and will do so if needed.  Again, our ability to offer in-person learning experiences is dependent on our community’s continued adherence to health and safety guidelines.

WHAT DOES ‘HYBRID APPROACH’ MEAN?

Hybrid approach means that some courses will be delivered online while others will either be in-person or have in-person components. 

AUC’s medical sciences curriculum will be delivered primarily in person for the September 2021 semester. While some lectures will continue to be delivered online via the flipped classroom approach that you have become accustomed to, our plan is to offer many live in-classroom lectures, along with in-person clinical skills training, Anatomy Lab, and other small group sessions and activities.  

 

WHICH CAMPUS FACILITIES WILL BE OPEN?

We know that public campus spaces including the gym, cafeteria, testing center, and study rooms are an important part of your medical school experience—and important to your academic preparation and wellbeing. These spaces will be open but may operate with safety procedures, reduced occupancies, and potentially different hours to enable physical distancing and more stringent cleaning protocols. Exams and office hours will be conducted in person, and campus facilities including the gym, cafeteria, and library will be open for use.

 

WHAT IS OPEN VS. CLOSED ON SINT MAARTEN?

Most businesses and public spaces in Sint Maarten are open, including grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, parks, beaches, etc. Please monitor the Sint Maarten government website for the latest news in businesses and  other establishments' current schedules.

WILL WE BE ABLE TO SOCIALIZE AND GET TOGETHER?

Yes. We are continuing to expand in-person opportunities for student organizations and clubs, under safety protocols.

WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE TRAVELING TO SINT MAARTEN?

AUC understands the COVID-19 pandemic has created increased anxiety and uncertainty that affects our entire community. There is currently no definitive end in sight to the pandemic, and it is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Please note that clinical students are currently working in hospitals, and as future medical professionals you will soon be expected to join your colleagues in clinical settings. Each of us as individuals, and together as a society, will need to come to our own terms with COVID-19.

If you would like to discuss your concerns about traveling or returning to Sint Maarten, please contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu to arrange a meeting and discuss your situation.

TRAVEL

WHAT IS THE GUIDANCE FOR BOOKING A FLIGHT? DO I NEED A ROUND-TRIP TICKET?

If you have previously studied on Sint Maarten, please bring your residency documents. If you had received a residency permit but misplaced it, please email SEllis-Singh@aucmed.edu for an electronic copy. 

If you have not yet been to Sint Maarten and do not have a resident permit, make sure you have proof of a return flight (e.g., roundtrip ticket), have submitted all relevant documents to Admissions (admissions@aucmed.edu) and have a copy of your AUC acceptance letter. Please email Admissions if you need an electronic copy of your letter. 
 
If you received a resident permit but misplaced it, please email SEllis-Singh@aucmed.edu for an electronic copy.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY TO SINT MAARTEN?

All travelers to Sint Maarten are required to complete a health authorization application via the Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS). Please continue to regularly monitor the government website at https://stmaartenehas.com/travel-requirements/.and familiarize yourself with the forms you will need to fill out, the types of COVID-19 tests accepted, and the information required when uploading. We urge you to pay close and regular attention to the entry requirements as they may continue to change.  

I’M WORRIED ABOUT TRAVELLING ON AN AIRPLANE. WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO TRAVEL SAFELY?

The CDC provides a comprehensive list of travel guidelines with best practices and recommendations.

WHAT IF I’M IN A LOCATION WHERE FLIGHTS/TRAVEL IS RESTRICTED?

Please reach out to Dr.  Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at srinker@aucmed.edu to discuss how AUC can best troubleshoot your situation. 

HEALTH & SAFETY

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), commonly known as a coronavirus, is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. For additional information visit the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

According to the World Health Organization, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A HEALTH CONCERN OR PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION?

Students who are immunosuppressed or have a pre-existing medical condition should contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD ALL STUDENTS TAKE TO UNDERSTAND THEIR RISK OF EXPOSURE?

Precautions can be taken to minimize your risk and prevent exposure and spread of the disease. 

Personal Hygiene 

It is important that we work together to take common sense precautions that can reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.  

Per CDC guidelines 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.
  • Practice social distancing with people outside of your home. Stay at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean and frequently disinfect common work surfaces. 
  • If you or a family member develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, or are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms, work with to alert appropriate contacts and practice social distancing.   
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF COVID-19 ON SINT MAARTEN?
HOW WILL AUC ENSURE THE SAFETY OF STUDENTS AND PREVENT A COVID-19 OUTBREAK ON CAMPUS?

AUC’s plans continue to be guided by two principles: protecting the health and safety of our community and supporting students' goals to become globally minded and socially accountable physicians. We have a shared responsibility to each other and ourselves to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in the communities where we live and work, especially as Sint Maarten is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases. 

In addition to our policy requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 28, 2021, we will continue to require all campus community members to follow COVID-19 mitigation procedures, regardless of vaccination status: 

  • Regularly monitor your health and any onset of symptoms 

  • Remain home if you feel unwell 

  • Wearing a facemask and social distancing when on campus  

 

AUC also began including vaccinated individuals in our random surveillance testing program as of Monday, August 9. With the Delta variant on the rise, these protective measures are increasingly important to help prevent an outbreak. 

WILL AUC PROVIDE PPE FOR STUDENTS?

Yes, both surgical and cloth masks will be available for students and faculty; although be aware you will need masks for travel to and from Sint Maarten and should have your own available.

WHAT HAPPENS TO A STUDENT FOUND TO NOT BE FOLLOWING COVID-19 POLICIES (MASK-WEARING, ETC.)?

All AUC students sign a code of conduct agreeing to abide by our policies and as future medical professionals are expected to adhere to them. Individuals found to be non-compliant will have a meeting with Dr. Rinker, Dean of Student Affairs. Each situation is different/unique and will be handled individually on a case by case basis.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE THAT SAFETY PROTOCOLS (SUCH AS WEARING MASKS) ARE NOT BEING FOLLOWED ON CAMPUS?

We all share the responsibility of keeping our campus community safe. If you see something, please say something. We encourage you to kindly remind your peers and fellow campus community members of the safety protocols if you see that they are not being followed. If you continue to see concerning incidents, please use this form to report violations of the community standards for COVID-19-related health and safety protocols to the Office of Student Affairs. Situations may be addressed using the existing AUC’s Professional Conduct Policy. Particularly egregious, willfully dangerous, or repeated incidents may be deemed misconduct and handled through the administrative review process per the Student Handbook

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

If you experience any flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1721-542-1570 and do not come onto campus. We also ask that you inform AUC by contacting Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu and AUC’s Office of Safety & Security at security@aucmed.edu, and also email COVIDMitigation@aucmed.edu.

IF I RECEIVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT, WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL FOR KEEPING THE SCHOOL ADVISED?

Prior to being on campus: Please contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu

 

While on Sint Maarten: Please call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1721-542-1570 and do not come onto campus. Please contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu and AUC’s Office of Safety & Security at security@aucmed.edu, and COVIDMitigation@aucmed.edu.

HOW CAN STUDENTS KEEP UP WITH COURSEWORK IF THEY RECEIVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT AND NEED TO QUARANTINE?

Each situation will be considered on an individual basis through conversation with Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. In order to be approved a Leave of Absence (LOA), students will need to provide documentation of their illness from their healthcare provider to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at studentsaffairs@aucmed.edu. Once approved for a LOA related to illness, AUC will work with you and your faculty to determine a makeup date for any mandatory activities that you may have missed.  

WHO IS COVERING THE COST OF COVID-19 TESTING?

Students are responsible for any costs associated with COVID-19 testing that is part of a government requirement for entry to Sint Maarten. We encourage you to work with your insurance provider to see what coverage they offer for COVID-19 testing.  

 

Costs for campus-administrated COVID-19 testing will be managed by AUC. 

ACADEMICS/CLASSES

WILL CLASSES BE CONDUCTED LIVE AND IN-PERSON? IF NOT, WHICH ACTIVITIES WILL BE CONDUCTED IN-PERSON?

AUC’s medical sciences curriculum will be delivered primarily in person for the September 2021 semester. While some lectures will continue to be delivered online via the flipped classroom approach that you have become accustomed to, our plan is to offer many live in-classroom lectures, along with in-person clinical skills training, Anatomy Lab, and other small group sessions and activities.  

Exams and office hours will be conducted in person, and campus facilities including the gym, cafeteria, and library will be open for use. We are also planning to resume campus events, including the White Coat Ceremony and Celebration of Academic Excellence, under a modified in-person approach with limited capacity, and continuing to expand in-person opportunities for student organizations and clubs. 

UK TRACK

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHEN WILL THE SEPTEMBER 2021 SEMESTER START?

The semester starts on 30 August 2021. A full academic calendar is available here

WHAT DOES ‘HYBRID APPROACH’ MEAN?

Hybrid approach means that some courses will be delivered online while others will either be in-person or have in-person components. 

ARE UCLAN CAMPUS FACILIITIES CURRENTLY OPEN?

Yes, UCLan is currently open and operating seven days a week but with some restrictions and comprehensive safety measures in place. At this time, students can access the Library (24/7), Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, the Students’ Union, and The Atrium and Source Bar. 

We know that public campus spaces are an important part of your medical school experience—and important to your academic preparation and wellbeing. Please visit UCLan’s COVID-19 News page for information on facilities and services that are open.  

WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE TRAVELING TO PRESTON, UK?

AUC understands the COVID-19 pandemic has created increased anxiety and uncertainty that affects our entire community. There is currently no definitive end in sight to the pandemic, and it is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Please note that clinical students are currently working in hospitals, oftentimes directly caring for COVID-19 patients.    

If you would like to discuss your individual situation, please reach out to Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu

TRAVEL - UKT

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY TO PRESTON?

Given the changing nature of COVID-19 and each government’s response, travelers should regularly monitor the UK government website. We also ask that you monitor your local government’s travel restrictions and any impact they may have on your ability to return to Preston for the January 2021 semester.

I’M WORRIED ABOUT TRAVELLING ON AN AIRPLANE. WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO TRAVEL SAFELY?

The UK government provides a comprehensive list of travel guidelines with best practices and recommendations. 

WHAT IF I’M IN A LOCATION WHERE FLIGHTS/TRAVEL IS RESTRICTED?

Please reach out to Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu to discuss your situation. 

HEALTH & SAFETY - UKT

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), commonly known as a coronavirus, is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. For additional information visit the UK government’s COVID-19 page.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

According to the World Health Organization, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE AUC AND UCLAN TAKING TO PREVENT MEMBERS OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY FROM EXPOSURE?

As always, your safety and security remain our top priority. AUC and UCLan are taking precautions to lower the risk of exposure and do our part to curb the spread of the virus.  

UCLan has implemented numerous safety measures and procedures across campus to keep our community safe, and we urge all students to do their part in supporting and protecting each other. You can expect to see handwashing and sanitizing stations established around campus; Perspex screens installed at on-campus food and drink outlets; and signage posted throughout to promote social and physical distancing.  Additional measures such as building restrictions and identity badges are required on campus.  

All community members will be expected to follow safety measures and protocols, including the use of face masks in shared spaces, social distancing, and increased cleaning and disinfecting of campus facilities and common spaces. Students will also need to complete a mandatory COVID-19 precaution training on Blackboard prior to accessing campus. 

For more details on UCLan safety procedures, visit UCLan’s Coronavirus Advice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).  

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A HEALTH CONCERN OR PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION?

Students who are immunosuppressed or have a pre-existing medical condition should contact Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu to discuss their unique case prior to arranging travel to Preston. 

WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD ALL STUDENTS TAKE TO UNDERSTAND THEIR RISK OF EXPOSURE?

It is important that we work together to take common sense precautions that can reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.  

Per CDC guidelines 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.
  • Practice social distancing with people outside of your home. Stay at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean and frequently disinfect common work surfaces. 
  • If you or a family member develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, or are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms, work with to alert appropriate contacts and practice social distancing.   
PUBLIC HEALTH RESOURCES

Learn more about COVID-19 from the CDC: