Southwest Macon Campus Visited by Shelby County Health Department

By Diana Fedinec
September 14, 2020

Shelby County Health Department Impressed by Campus Safety

On September 9, 2020, Josephine Burks, public health coordinator with the Shelby County Health Department, visited the Macon Cove Campus to assess the College’s health and safety protocols and compliance with Shelby County Health Department guidelines. The College is sharing her findings emailed via a letter to Vice President of Finance and Administration Mike Neal. Southwest received outstanding favorable remarks. Congratulations to Director of Physical Plant Jonathan Welden, Police Services/Public Safety Director L.A. Webb, the COVID-19 Task Force and all the staff who contributed to the success of the assessment. 

Good Evening Gentlemen,

I wanted to send a follow up email regarding our visit to your campus today. Thank you so much for taking the time to show us around your campus, particularly the classrooms of the positive case. We appreciate your time and transparency in answering our questions.

We were very impressed with your Covid-19 reopening plan and protocols. Thank you for being in compliance with the Shelby County Health Department's Health Directive.

From the beginning, my team and I observed excellent standards with regards to adhering to Covid-19 protocols. Upon entering the campus, we were directed to take the health survey/questionnaire with Covid-19 appropriate questions as well as having our temperature checks. This process was smooth and one of the main challenges we have faced with our school facilities in implementing. Your school displayed to us, that this process can not only be implemented effectively, but also efficiently. Fantastic job.

Our observations of the classrooms were positive. We witnessed adequate signage around the school and classrooms as well as compliance with social distancing. Additionally, class sizes are small enough to adhere to social distancing within classroom settings. This is another aspect that we are finding other schools have been non-compliant with. So, this was pleasing to see. Excellent work.

Proper cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces was excellent as was your process of cleaning should a positive Covid-19 case occur. Again, this was terrific.

We also observed adequate sanitization stations throughout the buildings in use as well as the high-tech temperature machine in the other building. This was very good, we have yet to see a similar device in our county.

We were also pleasantly surprised with the socially distanced car park. The steps your team has taken for complete compliance is unlike other facilities we have visited. Again, this was excellent and thank you for going the extra mile to ensure your students and staff are safe from Covid-19.

I believe the only recommendations we had were targeting only the classrooms where a positive Covid-19 case are for deep cleaning and disinfecting, this is primarily to save on resources and time; and also for students to be facing in the same direction in a classroom setting to avoid shared droplets in the air. As coronavirus is an airborne disease, we want to avoid all possible instances of shared droplets occurring.

I have attached the latest Health Directive from our Health Department, which is Directive 11 (see below) and also isolation and quarantine guidance (see below) with close contacts and household contacts of cases with Covid-19.

Overall, we were very impressed and pleased with the efforts Southwest TN Community College has taken to be compliant with the health department's Directive as well as the steps you have all taken to ensure your students have the opportunity for in person learning in a safe environment.

Thank you again for your time and taking this virus seriously in these challenging times. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us. We are all in this together.

Kindest Regards 

Josephine Burks, MPH
Public Health Coordinator 
Shelby County Health Department 

Shelby County Health Department’s Directive No. 11

The Shelby County Health Department’s Directive No. 11, issued on Aug. 24, 2020, stipulates safety measures for services and businesses and incorporates the Face Mask Directive No. 2 requiring the use of face coverings or masks within Shelby County, Tennessee. Face masks must be worn by individuals three years of age and older while in public even during social distancing.

TN Department of Health Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines

The Tennessee Department of Health released guidelines Aug. 19, 2020, regarding how to self-isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19, or quarantine if you were exposed to someone who tested positive.  To view the guidelines and print a downloadable copy, click this link: Releasing Cases and Contacts from Isolation and Quarantine.

For more information on the College’s Coronavirus response, visit  To learn more about Southwest’s Back to Campus Plan, visit the Back to Campus Plan website.


Southwest Facebook   Southwest Twitter  Southwest Instagram  Southwest Youtube