Safe Start



Q:  Will I have to be tested before I return for the Spring 2021 semester.

A: Yes, there will be a testing protocol. Please go to Spring 2021 Protocols for more information.

Q: Do I need to be tested on campus if I have previously been positive?

A: NO. If a student has had a positive test result for COVID-19 within the last 90 days prior to arrival on campus, they do not need to be tested on campus. This includes residential students. To indicate that you have tested positive within the last 90 days, please follow the instructions through the COVID-19 Protocol form on the portal to upload the test result.

Q: I am from a non-contiguous state and have tested positive in the last 90 days. Do I still need to quarantine or get tested?

A: You still need to quarantine, but you do not need to be tested. If you have been diagnosed within the last 90 days (and are not currently in quarantine), you do still need to quarantine, according to guidance from the State of New York. However, a positive test result from within the last 90 days exempts a student from needing to schedule a test. When asked to provide documentation on the COVID-19 Protocol Form, upload the initial positive test result.
If you have recently (within two weeks) been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms, do not come to campus. Contact Student Health Services to identify the best course of action.

Q: Is Hofstra using Rapid testing for entrance testing?

A: YES. The health and safety of our students is paramount, especially those returning to campus. To effectively and efficiently bring our students back to campus, initial testing will be done using the Abbott “BinaxNOW” Rapid COVID-19 test. This test provides results in less than an hour, allowing quicker check-in for those who test negative and more timely action on those testing positive. If a student receives a positive test result on their initial COVID-19 test, they will immediately be retested using a PCR test and given directions to quarantine in accordance with university policies.

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

A: On-campus testing is available to all students at Student Health Services. Any student who seeks an on-campus COVID-19 test must call Student Health Services first and undergo telephone triage by a clinician. Based on that conversation, the clinician will determine if a test is warranted. If SHS determines a test is necessary, they will make an appointment for the student to get one on campus.

Q: Can commuter students get COVID-19 tests on campus?

A: Yes, all students are eligible to get COVID-19 diagnostic testing on campus, once a clinician does a telephone triage session to determine if a test is warranted for an individual student.

Q: I just got an email ordering me to the Physical Education Building for a COVID-19 test. I don't have symptoms and I don't think I've been exposed. Why am I being tested and do I have to go?

A: This means you've been chosen to be tested as part of Hofstra's weekly surveillance testing program.

Surveillance testing is considered a best practice in limiting the spread of COVID-19. It involves testing a sample of the student population and is designed to identify and isolate students who test positive at a very early stage. Students will be notified approximately 48-72 hours prior via text or email, and students who are notified are required to report for a test. Students are selected randomly, or because of their location on or off-campus, so there is no individual cause for concern if you are called in for surveillance testing. Participation in surveillance testing is mandatory, as outlined in the student Guide to Pride’s Health and Safety Community Standards. Get more information in the testing and tracing protocols section of this website.

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. Go to the Isolation/Quarantine section for more information about what happens next.

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: 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. You can get more information about these efforts, including updates to the University’s disciplinary code related to COVID-19, on the Health and Safety Protocol Education and Enforcement page.

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: Students who want to pursue remote learning for COVID-19- related reasons during the fall semester must officially communicate their intent by filling out the Attendance Selection form.  You can also access it through the Hofstra Portal. Go to the MyApps icon and click on Attendance Selection. Once submitted, students will be contacted to arrange the best way to accommodate their request.

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.


Q: How many people can help me move in?

A: Only one person may assist you with your move on the day of your move. All non-students arriving on campus must fill out the visitor health questionnaire. Face masks must be worn at all times. 

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: 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: 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.