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Testing, Isolation & Quarantine

Our goal is to reduce as much as possible the inflow of positive cases from the outside environment.

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.