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Faculty & Staff COVID-19 Guide

COVID-19 Testing Protocols - Spring 2021 Semester

  • Required Testing

    DeSales University, in accordance with Pennsylvania state mandates, is implementing mandatory COVID-19 return-to-campus testing for all full-time students in the Spring 2021Semester.

    • Additional mandatory surveillance testing will be performed weekly.
    • Ten percent of students in full-time programs, faculty, and staff will be randomly selected for testing.
    • Students are not permitted to opt out of this testing.
    • Students who fail to comply with the surveillance testing policy, in accordance with the COVID conduct policy, are not be permitted on campus and will be required to complete the spring semester in the online model of instruction, without a room and board refund. 

    Traditional Undergraduate Students, Testing 1/29-1/31

  • Resident Students

    Last update: 1/18/21

    Students living on-campus for the Spring 2021 semester are required to be tested at DeSales University.

    Testing will be performed over the course of two days, on Saturday, 1/30 and Sunday, 1/31. Students can sign-up to test between 9:00am and 3:00pm.

    Students will be split into two groups, Group A and Group B. Group A will move-in on Saturday, 1/30, and Group B will move-in on Sunday, 1/31. Both groups will be receiving a rapid COVID test and a confirmatory PCR test. Residents will wait for rapid results for up to an hour in their cars in the parking lot of their respective dormitory. Upon receiving a negative rapid test result, residents will proceed to move into their room. Students will need to monitor for their confirmatory PCR test, resulted within 24 hours, on the St. Luke’s MyChart app.

    In the event that students test positive for COVID-19, they will be required to isolate for 10 days at home from date of testing. Students experiencing symptoms will not be admitted to campus and must consult their family physician for an evaluation. Students experiencing symptoms who do come to campus will be immediately sent home without testing and will not be admitted to campus until a negative result is provided.

    Positive Test Results

    • In the event that students test positive for COVID-19, they will be required to isolate for 10 days at home from date of testing.
    • Students experiencing symptoms will not be admitted to campus and must consult their family physician for an evaluation.
    • Students experiencing symptoms who do come to campus will be immediately sent home without testing and will not be admitted to campus until a negative result is provided.
  • Non-resident Students (Commuters, living off-campus)

    Last update: 1/27/21 

    Students attending classes full-time on-campus, but who live off-campus for the spring 2020 semester, will be tested on-campus on Friday 1/29. Testing will be performed at Billera Hall. Students will receive a PCR test. Students will leave campus and return home or to their off-campus housing, where they will quarantine until the test is resulted within 24 hours. Students can monitor for their test results on the St. Luke’s MyChart app.

    Alternatively, students are welcome to arrange for their own testing off-campus, as long as the test is scheduled on or after Friday, 1/29.  Before being permitted to attend classes and events on-campus, students must wait until the test is resulted and provide proof of results.

  • Physician Assistant Students

    Students in the first year of the graduate phase of the physician assistant program are being tested upon return from winter break on Monday, 1/11, prior to beginning their spring semester courses on-campus. They are being tested using the rapid antigen testing machine on-campus and asked to wait approximately 30 minutes in their cars until results are received. Students who test positive are required to leave campus and isolate at home.

    Students in the second year of the graduate phase of the physician assistant program are not being tested upon return from winter break on Monday, 1/4. Due to the students in the second year spending the majority of their time in the clinical environment, and not on-campus, students’ return criteria is largely determined by their hosting clinical environment.

  • Physical Therapy Students

    Physical therapy students attending classes full-time on-campus are being tested upon return from winter break on Monday, 1/18, prior to beginning their spring semester courses on-campus. They are bring tested using the rapid antigen testing machine on-campus and asked to wait for approximately 30 minutes in their cars until results are received. Students who test positive are required to leave campus and isolate at home.

  • Accelerated Nursing Students

    Accelerated nursing program students attending classes full-time on-campus are being tested upon return from winter break on Monday, 1/4, prior to beginning their spring semester courses on-campus. They are being tested using the rapid antigen testing machine on-campus, and asked to wait for approximately 30 minutes in their cars until results are received. Students who test positive are required to leave campus and isolate at home.

  • All Other Graduate Students

    Students not present for classes on-campus full-time are not being tested upon return from winter break, nor will it be a requirement for entry. Due to the students spending the majority of their time off-campus, testing will have minimal effect in keeping campus open. If students wish to be tested prior to return, resources are available in the Lehigh Valley area for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreen’s.

  • Faculty

    Last update: 1/18/21

    Faculty teaching on-campus will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis.

  • Staff

    Last updated: 1/18/21

    Staff working on-campus will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis.

  • Surveillance Testing Protocols

    updated 2/24/21

    Surveillance testing is an important component to our COVID response leading into the spring semester. The fall semester demonstrated we as a university must seek out cases, as even symptomatic cases do not always seek out the University.

    We have partnered with St. Luke’s to test 10% of the campus population on a weekly basis. This 10% includes full-time undergraduate students, graduate students faculty, and staff.

    Surveillance testing will be done using the PCR method, the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. Individuals cannot request to have surveillance testing performed.

    Symptomatic students, staff, and faculty do not fall into this surveillance testing group.

    Anyone experiencing symptoms needs to call the DeSales COVID-19 Hotline at 610-282-1002, where dispatch will direct the call appropriately. 

    Traditional Day Undergraduate Students

    Traditional day undergraduate students attending at least one in-person course will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis.

    Graduates Students

    Full-time graduate students enrolled in a full-time graduate program (DPT and PA), and not learning completely remotely for the term, will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis.

    Accelerated BSN Students 

    Accelerated BSN students not learning completely remotely for the term, will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis. 

    Faculty

    Faculty who are teaching on-campus will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis.

    Staff

    Staff who are working on-campus will be included in the 10% surveillance testing group on a weekly basis. This includes Sodexo and bookstore employees. This does not include landscaping employees.

     
  • Protocol for Presumptive Positive Cases

    Last update: 1/18/21

    Symptomatic students tested at the Health Center may test negative for COVID, when this may not truly be the case. A number of factors can contribute to a false negative test.

    If a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID, but tests negative, the student may be told they are a presumptive positive.

    A presumptive positive student will be moved to isolation housing for 48 hours, and any contacts will be placed in quarantine at a hotel for 48 hours.

    After 48 hours, the student will be reassessed by the Health Center physician, at which point they may also be retested.

    A determination will be made by the physician as to the next step in the course of care based off the clinical picture and test results.

  • COVID-19 Tip Line & Hotline Policies

    📲COVID-19 Tip Line

     If you see someone without a face mask/covering or not practicing social distancing, please: 

    • call 610-282-1100 ext. 2683 (COVD)  - OR -
    • text keyword COVSAFE and your message to 79516

    Please make your message as detailed as possible. You’ll receive confirmation that your tip was received.

    ☎️COVID-19 Hotline

    If you are having any COVID-19 symptoms or a known COVID-19 exposure, please:

    • call the dispatch line at 610-282-1002

    An officer will take down your information and a member from the COVID-19 team will call you between the hours of 7 am —5 pm Monday-Friday or 9 am - 3 pm Saturday & Sunday.

    If you are experiencing emergent symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, do not wait. Go to an ER or call 911.

    If you are experiencing non-emergent COVID-19 symptoms or have had a confirmed COVID-19 exposure, please isolate in your room or stay off-campus until contacted by a COVID-19 team member.

Quarantine and Isolation Policy and Plan - Spring 2021 Semester

  • Definitions & Scope

    Quarantine is the term used for staying separate from others if a person may have been exposed to COVID-19 until that person can be sure they are not infected. 

    Isolation is the term used for staying separate from others because a person is known or strongly suspected to be infected with COVID-19.

    As a requirement to return to campus for the spring semester, DeSales University is asking students to develop a plan with their families in the event they are told to quarantine or isolate. 

    Please read the following carefully in developing your plan for a possible quarantine or isolation situation.

  • Quarantine

    The purpose of quarantine is to keep people at high risk of developing COVID-19 separate from others until they can be sure they do not have COVID-19. Quarantine is particularly important for COVID-19 because some people are able to transmit the virus to others before they show symptoms, test positive, or know they have COVID-19.

    DeSales University students, faculty, and staff will self-quarantine as directed by DeSales, the PA Department of Health, or relevant state and local public health authorities.

    A student will be told to quarantine by the DeSales COVID response team:

    • If he or she has had close contact with a COVID-19 infected person or person clinically presumed to have a positive COVID-19 infection
    • If recommended by a physician or care provider
    • After traveling to any state on the PA travel list 
      • Due to the high risk of spread from travel, the University is prohibiting students from traveling to the states on the PA quarantine list unless it is part of an academic program (internship, clinical location, etc.) or for students who live out of state and commute to campus daily for class. 
      • Students needing to travel for other purposes may only do so with advance permission form the COVID response team.  Students must consult with a team member prior to travel.
      • Students who travel out of state will be required to quarantine for 10 days.  The University will not provide accommodations for students who travel out of state. 
  • Quarantine Accommodations

    Last update: 1/18/21

    Students will be required to submit an isolation/quarantine plan prior to return to campus in the spring semester. Please submit your plan to desales.edu/springreturn

    Students who are required to quarantine have two options for accommodation:

    1. Students may return home to complete the 10-day quarantine.  Students who can safely return home to complete their quarantine will be required to do so.  Students who reside off-campus with other DeSales University students, though not in their family’s home, will not be permitted to quarantine in their off-campus residence under any circumstance. 
    2. Students who cannot safely return home, due to distance or due to living with a compromised individual, will be offered the option to quarantine at a nearby hotel.  The CDC defines high risk individuals as:

    According to the CDC, adults of any age are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19 with the following conditions outlined on the CDC website

    In the event you are told you need to quarantine, please keep in mind:

    • Quarantine is not optional; the COVID team response carefully identifies individuals who may have been exposed to a positive case of the virus.  If a student is contacted by the COVID response team and told to quarantine, he or she must follow the self-authored quarantine plan.
    • If a student is told to quarantine, he or she will be asked to leave campus as soon as possible and should be able to pack the items needed for up to 10 days. 

    Testing

    Students will be tested using a rapid antigen test machine after returning to campus on day 10 or after. Testing will be done at Dorothy Day, and tests will be resulted within 30 minutes. A negative test result, along with the completion of 10 days of non-symptomatic quarantine, will mean you are cleared to return to campus.

  • Policies while in Quarantine

    • While students are in quarantine, they may not leave the hotel room/house other than for COVID-19 testing and/or exercise on-site (outdoors only) so long as the student is alone, wears a mask/face covering, and practices social distancing.
    • Visitors are strictly prohibited, including other students also in quarantine. Any student found to be socializing/leaving the hotel/house or bringing visitors to the hotel/house will be moved to online learning for the remainder of the semester, will not be permitted on campus, and will not be reimbursed for any room and board costs.  
    • A member of the COVID team will notify the following departments of your quarantine: academic affairs, dining, health center, student life/residence life, and disabilities services.
    • While in quarantine, students are to call 610-282-1002 to report symptoms or for COVID-related questions.  A DeSales staff member will also be on call for students in quarantine to answer non-COVID-related questions and can be reached 24 hours a day at 610-573-3208. 
    • Food: DeSales University has partnered with Grubhub for food services for students at the hotel only.  Once placed into quarantine, students will receive an email with instructions on how to set up a new Grubhub account. The hotel will provide breakfast, all other meals are to be ordered through Grubhub. 
    • Belongings: If students forget something from their room on campus, they are to email covid19@desales.edu and arrangements will be made to have the item(s) brought to the hotel.  
    • Room cleaning: The hotel will provide instructions on how the room will be serviced during the quarantine period; please follow them carefully.  
    • Laundry: Dry cleaning services are available through the hotel but are not covered by the University.
    • Check-out: On the day students leave the hotel, they must stop by the desk and officially check out. 
  • Isolation

    Isolation is stricter than quarantine and is used to separate people who have tested positive or are sick with the virus from people who are not infected in order to curb the spread of the virus.

    DeSales University students, faculty and staff will isolate if they have confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, are otherwise symptomatic, under investigation for COVID-19, or diagnosed with COVID-19 by a health professional, even if a test result is negative.

    If students are placed into isolation, they must follow the pre-determined isolation plan.

    If students have no symptoms, but tested positive for COVID-19, they should remain in isolation until 10 days have passed since the date of the positive test. If students had symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain in isolation for at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours with no fever, without fever-reducing medication, and improved symptoms. The COVID response team will contact students throughout the isolation period to assess their symptoms and will provide them with a date to return to campus.

    Upon learning of your positive test result, students will be contacted by a COVID response team member to begin contact tracing.

    If students are in on-campus isolation:

    • They may not leave the isolation room under any circumstances until instructed to do so by the COVID response team.
    • They may have no visitors; under no circumstances should any visitor enter the isolation room, or socialize with the COVID-19-positive students in or outside of the isolation room until they are cleared by the COVID response team. 
    • Food services will deliver food to students in the cooler outside of their unit; a member of the COVID response team will contact students to review food options. 
    • Upon arriving in the isolation room, students will find an isolation package.
      • The entire bag is disposable.
      • When the isolation period has ended, students are to put all the items provided in the large trash bag and leave it on the porch outside.
      • Please leave the room clean for the next person. Cleaning supplies can be found in these locations:
        • Heights 11 and 12: Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are on the rack above the washer and dryer. Mop and bucket are next to the refrigerator in the kitchen.
        • Tucker House: Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are under the sink on the first floor.
        • Fromentin House: Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are in the kitchen.
      • In common areas, please pull the trash out via the trash can liner, knot the top of the bag, and leave it on the front porch.
      • Students’ packages contain sheets, pillow case, pillow, blanket, toiletries, toothbrush with toothpaste, tissues, and disposable cups.
      • Should you need any additional items please call Extension 2241; if there is no answer, please call Extension 1250.

     

  • Policy for Checking in on Students

    Last update: 1/18/21

    Students placed in quarantine or isolation will be monitored by our COVID-19 team throughout the duration of their quarantine or isolation via call, email, or text. Students who need to reach out with questions or concerns are welcome to do so through the COVID hotline, at 610-282-1002. If a student begins to have emergent symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe fever, they must call 911 immediately.

Academic Guidelines - Faculty Teaching Traditional Day Undergrad Courses - Spring 2021 Semester

  • Spring 2021 Calendar (Abridged)

    • Spring semester traditional undergraduate day classes start almost two weeks later, with the first day of class on Monday, February 1, 2021.
    • The last day to drop/add courses is Tuesday, February 9.
    • The last day for course withdrawals and pass/fail or credit/audit changes is Friday, April 23.
    • There will not be a spring break.
    • There are three class holidays spaced throughout the semester on a T, W, and F.
      • Tuesday, March 2, 2021
      • Friday, April 2, 2021 (Good Friday)
      • Wednesday, April 28, 2021
      On each of these holidays, internships and clinical experiences will remain as scheduled.
    • To make up the day lost on Good Friday, Monday May 10, will be run as a Friday.
    • The last day of class is Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
    • Thursday May 13, 2021 will be a Reading Day (no classes, no final exams).
    • Final exams are scheduled on May 14, May 15, May 17, May 18, May 19, and May 20.
    • Final grades are due by noon on Monday, May 24.
  • Course Instruction

    All classrooms remain physically distanced in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus. Similar to the fall semester, course instruction is being offered in the following formats:

    • In-Person: Classes with enrollment that does not exceed the physical distance seating capacity meet in-person, with accommodations for attendance via Zoom. In an In-Person class, all instructional hours are in the form of scheduled live class meetings.
    • In-Person/Connected: Classes with enrollment that exceed the physical distance seating capacity blend in-person classroom attendance with a live Zoom (connected) classroom presence. Students rotate from attending in-person to attending via live using Zoom. In this mode, all students (in-person and connected) are present in real time and attendance is taken, with a system that maximizes in-person attendance and minimizes connected attendance. Each instructor will inform students of the class rotation schedule on the syllabus which is posted on Blackboard prior to the start of the course.
    • Hybrid/In-Person: In general, classes meet with all students in-person half of the time in the classroom and half of the time online (asynchronously). For example, a hybrid course meets in class on Tuesday with online coursework and assignments that complete equivalency requirements for total in-class hours.
    • Hybrid/In-Person/Connected: The same as the previous, but due to room capacity, on days when class meets in-person, students are rotated from attending class in-person to attending via live Zoom.
    • Fully Online: Classes are conducted online, with a blend of synchronous and asynchronous online activities, as outlined by the instructor. When scheduling, classes should be designated as asynchronous, synchronous, or partially synchronous.
    • The assignment of instructional format / modality will be displayed in the WebAdvisor / Self-Service system. It can be found in the “Comments” on the My Class Schedule option. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the course instructional modality is subject to change.

    Instructors are required to run the class in the format in which it was scheduled, including all scheduled in-person class meetings, unless permission is granted in advance by the relevant Division Head and the Dean of Undergraduate Education.

  • Personal Computing Requirements for All Students

    To take courses at DeSales University, students need a laptop computer (PC or Mac) with the capabilities listed here. Tablets, mobile phones, and desktop computers can be used as supplemental technology but are not a substitute for a full-function laptop computer.

    Instructors may require students to bring their laptop to class for exam administration or other instructional purposes. If a student is experiencing a hardship in obtaining a laptop computer, the student should contact Brian MacDonald at Brian.MacDonald@desales.edu. The library maintains a limited supply of webcams and headsets for temporary loan to students.

  • Syllabus

    Starting from the base of the University model syllabus, each class syllabus should include a clear description of the class format/modality, participation and attendance requirements, technical requirements, and student behavior requirements for both in-person and online/connected students.

    If the instructor anticipates administering assessments online, the syllabus should document the technologies that may be used (e.g., Respondus LockDown Browser / Monitor) and any requirement for students to be recorded while taking the assessment.

  • Instructional Equivalencies

    Instructors of classes that include an online component (i.e., Hybrid or Fully Online) are required to document that their class provides the total hours of instruction required of a class with the assigned number of credit hours. The instructional equivalency documentation should be submitted to the instructor’s department or division along with their course syllabus. Guidance for calculating instructional equivalencies may be found on the MyDSU portal or in the CERT Faculty Community in Blackboard. See examples in “Instructions for Drafting a Course Syllabus.”

  • Class Recording

    Consistent with the University’s Class Recording Policy (https://www.desales.edu/policies), instructors are encouraged to record their classes and make the recordings available to students. Viewing a recording does not excuse a student from being absent from a live class.

  • Behavior Standards for Online/Connected Students

    Instructors have discretion to establish behavior standards for students, and grant limited exceptions, to create the atmosphere most conducive to learning in their class, which should be clearly documented in the course syllabus.

    Unless an exception is granted by the instructor, online students in live classes are expected to be visible on webcam video and prepared to interact with the class by voice during the entire duration of the live class. Instructors may record as absent students that do not meet these expectations.

    Online students are expected to exhibit professional / academic demeanor as if they were sitting in the classroom. Students should typically be sitting in a chair at a desk or table. They should be dressed appropriately. They should not be lounging on a couch or in bed. They should not be eating or otherwise behaving in a distracting manner.

    While a live class is in session, online students are expected to dedicate 100% of their attention to the class. Students should not be performing work or personal activities while class is in session.

    Persistence in violating instructor behavior standards may result in consequences as established in course attendance and participation policies.

  • Behavior Standards to Minimize Spread of COVID-19 Virus for In-Person Classes

    Faculty are required to wear a face mask at all times while in the classroom except when remaining behind the podium Plexiglas shield.

    Faculty are asked to wipe down appropriate surfaces before each class period begins.

    Students are required to wear a face mask at all times while in the classroom.

    Students who do not have a face mask must leave and are not permitted to return unless they are wearing a face mask.

    Students are asked to wipe down their desks before each class period begins.

  • Extended Classrooms and Other Study / Zooming Spaces

    Some classrooms on campus are not in use on certain days/times, and have been designated as “Extended Classrooms” where students can reserve a seat to attend class when it is their turn to attend class via live Zoom (connected), or to conduct other online course activities.

    Reservations for a seat in Extended Classrooms and spaces in the library can be made one week in advance via a web-based reservation system.

    In addition, study carrels have been placed around campus (first-come, first-served basis; no reservations required), that also serve as a location to attend remotely.

  • Accommodations for Connected/Remote Attendance

    Students requesting to attend all classes remotely for the semester must apply to the Director of Disabilities Services, Carolyn Tiger (carolyn.tiger@desales.edu). If approved, a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) will be issued to the student and each instructor.  Students may appeal a denial with the Dean for Undergraduate Education.

    Criteria for Approval

    • The student has an existing health condition such that COVID-19 could potentially cause serious complications
    • The student has a family member with an existing health condition such that COVID-19 could potentially cause serious complications
    • The student identifies a significant level of anxiety over COVID-19 exposure that would interfere with his or her learning
    • Coursework is compatible with remote learning
    • The student resides off campus or is willing to move off campus

    Criteria (not exhaustive) for Denial

    • The student wants to live in the residence halls and study remotely
    • The student desires remote learning to avoid the commute to school
  • Campus Closure

    In the event of a campus closure (e.g., a snow day), instructors are expected, whenever practical, to hold an online-only class at the regularly scheduled date and time. This intention should be documented in the syllabus. Online classes are not affected by campus closures and should be held as scheduled.

  • Support and Instructor Training

    A Center for Educational Resources and Technology (CERT) staff or student Classroom Support technician is available onsite when classes are in session.

    If an onsite CERT Classroom Support technician is not immediately available, instructors should contact the DSU Help Desk (x4357) for dispatching services and support.

    CERT offers group instructor training sessions regularly (see https://www.desales.edu/workshops). One-on-one training is also available. Appointments are available during the day, in the evening, and on Saturday morning in either in-person, video conference or phone format. Contact CERT at cert@desales.edu.

COVID-TipLine

COVID-19 Tip Line & Hotline

COVID-19 Tip Line

If you see someone without a face mask/covering or not practicing social distancing: 

  • call 610-282-1100 ext. 2683 (COVD)  - OR -
  • text keyword COVSAFE and your message to 79516

COVID-19 Hotline

If you are having any COVID-19 symptoms or a known COVID-19 exposure:

  • call the dispatch line at 610-282-1002

If you are experiencing emergent symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, do not wait. Go to an ER or call 911.

 

What happens after I call or text?