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Fall classes begin AUGUST 24; all in-person class meetings will end NOVEMBER 24, with the semester ending remotely on DECEMBER 8, 2020.
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Safe Start Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I’m coming from a state covered by New York’s travel advisory; do I have to quarantine for 14 days when I come to campus?

A: Yes, students from states that are part of NY’s travel advisory or who are coming to campus from outside the U.S. need to quarantine for 14 days after they arrive in New York. These students have two options:

  1. Make private quarantine arrangements at a hotel, short-term rental or with family/ friends who live in NY or in another state that is NOT under the NY travel advisory.
  2. Remain home and begin the semester remotely until the travel advisory for their state is lifted. If you live on campus, your room will be held for you until you are able to move in.

***The limited quarantine space on campus has been filled, and we are no longer taking applications for on-campus quarantine. If you applied to quarantine on campus, you will be notified directly by the Office of Residence Life in the coming days if you have been approved for this option.

Q: Do I have to quarantine in NY, or can I quarantine in any state not on the travel advisory list?

A: You may quarantine in any state that is not covered by the NYS travel advisory, but we recommend you quarantine in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. Keep in mind that the quarantine requirement is based on whether the state you are in is on the travel advisory list on the day that you are traveling to New York. Because the number of states on the travel advisory list changes often, there is a risk that the state you choose for quarantine could be added to the advisory list at some point during your quarantine period.

Q: My state just got put on the travel advisory list, and I already have my move-in day. What should I do? Do I still have to quarantine? Can I change my move-in date?

A: Yes, if you’re state is on the travel advisory list when you arrive in NY, you must quarantine for 14 days. We will change your move-in day to accommodate your quarantine period. Contact residence life to make those arrangements.

Q: I'm in a travel advisory state, but my home address is in NY (or another state that is not covered by the advisory). 

A: The quarantine requirement is based on where you were last living before you came to campus, not the home address you have on file with the University. If you are coming to campus from abroad, or from a state currently under the NYS travel advisory, you must quarantine for 14 days.

Q: If I opt to stay at home and take online classes until the travel restriction is lifted for my state, will I get a housing refund for the period I’m not living on campus?

A: All students with residential spaces already requested/assigned will have their space held for them until they can come to campus, so no housing refunds will be made.

Q: If I am quarantined on campus, will I be charged extra for housing?

A: There will be no charge for quarantine housing.

Q: If I’m quarantined on campus, how will I get my meals? Will I have to pay extra for them?

A: Students quarantined on campus will be provided three meals per day, delivered to their room. Those with a meal plan will have that food cost deducted from their plan.  For those without a meal plan, there will be a one-time charge of $250.

Q: Can my parents/family help me move in if I am coming from a travel advisory state?

A: Two parents/family members may drive you to campus but only one parent/family member at a time is permitted in the residence halls. Parents coming from states and areas covered by the NYS travel advisory must complete the 14-day quarantine prior to their arrival to be permitted in the residence halls. All individuals who enter any indoor space at Hofstra must follow University protocols, which includes being masked and practice physical distancing.


Q: I’m confused about testing. Do I have to get tested before I come to campus, even if I’m a commuter? Do I have to get tested once I get to campus? How many times are students going to be tested to start the semester?

A: ALL students will be asked to submit a negative viral (not antibody) test prior to arrival on campus if possible, one that has been taken within two weeks of the student’s first arrival on campus – either the start of the fall semester, or, for residential students, prior to the assigned move-in date. Test results will be submitted to the Student Health Center through the portal. This pre-test will help to reduce the chances of the arrival on campus of students who would otherwise have tested positive on-campus.

In addition, these groups of students will be tested upon arrival to campus:

  • Residential students will be tested on arrival during the move-in process, on the date of the student’s move-in. (For students arriving from states under the travel advisory, please see the New York Travel Advisory options we have for quarantine prior to move-in week).
  • All non-residential students from areas under a NYS travel advisory or from abroad must make an appointment for testing after completion of their quarantine. Appointments are available here:
  • All other non-residential students: We advise all non-residential students who were unable to get a pre-arrival test to make an appointment for testing on campus using the link above.
  • On campus, we will be following enhanced public health protocols, which build on the guidelines published by the CDC and the State Department of Health and include mask wearing and physical distancing in all indoor spaces, daily screening, temperature kiosks, and contact tracing. In addition to the initial testing and surveillance testing pursuant to our protocols, COVID-19 testing will also be available on campus through our Student Health Center during the semester.

Q: There so many places with testing shortages and delays. What should I do if I can’t get a COVID-19 test or get my results back in time for my first time on campus?

A: We recognize that due to changing circumstances testing is not available in a timely way in all areas of the country. Accordingly, we are requiring pre-testing for all students if possible. ALL students will be asked to submit a negative viral (not antibody) test prior to arrival on campus if possible, one that has been taken within two weeks of the student’s first arrival on campus – either the start of the fall semester, or, for residential students, prior to the assigned move-in date. Test results will be submitted to the Student Health Center through the portal. This pre-test will help to reduce the chances of the arrival on campus of students who would otherwise have tested positive on-campus.

Q:  What if my COVID-19 test is positive?

A:  If you get a positive result on a COVID-19 test, you should self-isolate immediately. Do NOT come to campus and contact your academic advisor so we can arrange for you to begin your classes remotely.

Q:  I already had COVID and can prove it, so do I really need to quarantine/get a pre-test/get tested on campus?

A:  All students, regardless of prior COVID infection, will need to follow all testing and quarantine protocols required by New York state and by Hofstra.

Q:  Isn’t requiring that I get a COVID-19 test on campus a violation of my privacy? Who’s going to know my results? Where will they be kept?

A:  The University is requiring viral testing and other health and safety precautions for all students returning to campus.  We have designed a series of steps and protocols to start the semester safely, in order to help prevent the transmission of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 among students who are coming to Hofstra from many different locations. Our testing program was developed after extensive consultation with public health and medical professionals at Northwell Health. Moreover, the testing and tracing protocols comply with New York State’s guidelines for the reopening of institutions of higher education and follow New York State Department of Health recommendations for best practices.  The privacy and confidentiality of test results will be maintained in compliance with all applicable federal and state confidentiality laws and regulations, and will be released only as necessary to respond to a positive test result and in compliance with requirements to disclose results to and cooperate with state and local health departments on contact tracing.  

Q: Will Hofstra be providing flu shots?

A: Yes. At the Student Health Center.

Q: Will Hofstra be providing COVID-19 testing on demand?

A: At the start of the semester, Hofstra will be providing free COVID-19 testing for students. Once the fall semester begins, COVID-19 tests will be available at the Student Health and Counseling Center, once a student goes through an initial health screening to determine if testing is the best course of action.

Q: What kind of tests will Hofstra accept for the pre-test result?

A: Results from any FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic/viral test (NOT ANTIBODY TEST) will be accepted.

Q: What kind of COVID-19 test will Hofstra offer? Will you be offering nasal swab and/or saliva tests?

A: On campus, Hofstra will only be offering the nasal swab-type test. We will offer both the anterior nasal swab PCR test (Lower Nose) test and the nasal pharyngeal swab PCR (Upper Nose) test, depending on the circumstances. However, the University will accept the results of any FDA-approved test for what we are calling the 'pre-test' -- which is the test we are requiring ALL students have done no more than 14 days before their first arrival on campus.


Q: Why are some dining locations closed?

A: The University has reduced density in the residence halls and dining facilities as a health and safety measure. As a result, we have closed some dining facilities for the Fall 2020 semester. The Main Student Center dining facility will be open for regular hours of operation, and a full list of which dining locations are open can be found in the Living Section of the Safe Start website.


Q: When Will Move-in Begin?

A: Move-in for residential students not traveling from the New York State Travel advisory states or international locations begin August 15th, nine days prior to the start of fall classes.  (The University has communicated separately with students coming from outside the US or from travel advisory states about their move-in protocols).  The Office of Residence Life will be sending specific check-in information to students' pride accounts in late July, once arrangements to manage density and social distancing are finalized. Each student will sign up for a specific time on a move-in date designated by the Office of Residence Life so we can manage density. Due to testing requirements, students must come to campus during move-in hours. No move-ins will be accommodated after official move-in hours.

Q: How many people can help me move in?

A: You may bring up to two people to campus, but only one at a time can enter the residence hall with you to assist with check-in. This is due to density and physical distancing requirements. All individuals who enter any indoor space at Hofstra must follow University protocols, which includes being masked and practicing physical distancing.

Q: What kind quarantine/isolation housing do you have set aside on campus for students who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to the virus?

A: There are six townhouses with up to 30 rooms in each, which can be arranged in various ways depending on need.


Q: How will you enforce the rules about masks and physical distance?

A: Safety protocols like mask-wearing and physical distancing are an important part of keeping our entire community healthy and safe. It is up to each of us to do our part to ensure we have a safe, rewarding semester. The University is engaging in a wide-ranging public education campaign, using videos, social media, signage, emails and community ambassadors to emphasize the importance of these measures. 

Q: I can’t breathe when I wear a mask, what should I do?

A: We understand that wearing a mask can be a challenge sometimes. Mask-wearing has been cited by the CDC and other public health agencies and experts as a critical part of stemming the spread of COVID-19. You must wear a mask at all times when you are indoors on campus, and outdoors when you cannot maintain six feet of physical distance. If you cannot wear a mask on campus as required, you may explore with your academic advisor or graduate program director the option of taking all your courses remotely.

Q: I'm worried. Is it really safe to re-open campus?

A: We understand your concerns. This is a challenging time with many uncertainties. The safety of our students, staff and faculty was the most important factor in developing our plan for reopening.  We have created a comprehensive plan, in consultation with Northwell Health and in accordance with local, state and federal public health guidelines, that addresses how we will live and learn on campus safely. We believe our health and safety protocols represent the best practices for keeping the members of our community safe, while preserving the essential core of the Hofstra experience. At the same time, we know that this is a quickly evolving public health situation, and we are prepared to adjust our policies and protocols as the circumstances require.


Q: I don’t understand my schedule and if my classes are in person or online? How do I know if my classes are online?

A: If a class has an online component, under the room information you will see “ONLINE”.  Some classes may be hybrid, meaning that on some days they will meet in the classroom and other days, they meet online. In this case, you may see both a building and room number in combination with the "ONLINE" designation. But if the only designation is "ONLINE", then you are probably correct to assume that the class is fully online. 

If class times are listed, the course is synchronous (the class meets together virtually). If no class times are listed, then it is an asynchronous class. Please check the “Learning” section of Hofstra’s Safe Start website for more information on the different types of class delivery methods.

If you are still not clear, contact the department or the professor directly to verify the status of the course. 

Q: What if I want to take all my classes online?

A: If this is an option you wish to explore, you should contact your academic advisor or graduate program director.

Q: Will I lose my financial aid or scholarship if I decide to take all my classes remotely this semester?

A: Tuition charges would not change if we go remote, so any financial aid will remain the same.