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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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Testing and Tracing Protocols

Testing and screening are the foundation of the successful launch of the fall semester. We have designed a series of steps and protocols that go beyond what the CDC has recommended for college campuses to start the semester safely.

We are fortunate to be partnered with Northwell Health, a national leader in the testing, treatment and research for the novel coronavirus. The founding dean of the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, Kathleen Gallo, has also long served as Chief Learning Officer of Northwell Health, and has taken over the leadership of our Student Health Center and is implementing and overseeing our testing protocol.

Pre-test – prior to arrival on campus

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Students who receive a positive outcome on their test MUST NOT come to campus and will remain home to receive medical care and start the semester remotely. Advisement deans will facilitate distance learning arrangements for these students with faculty, the Student Health Center and the Division of Student Affairs.

Student Testing Upon Arrival to Campus

Three categories of students require testing upon arrival: residential students, all students traveling from states under travel advisories and all students traveling from abroad.

  •  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:  https://calendly.com/hofstra-commuters/commuter-covid-19-testing .
  • 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.

Ongoing testing and monitoring

We are taking several steps during the semester to monitor the health of our community. Screening - Every member of the Hofstra community will be asked to answer an online health screening survey each day that they are on campus. Student answers will be monitored by the Student Health Center, and Human Resources will monitor the screening of faculty and staff. In addition, there will be temperature kiosks throughout campus, with posted instructions about what to do if the user has a temperature.

Surveillance - Through Northwell Health, we will have a robust surveillance testing program, considered a best practice in limiting the spread of Covid-19. Surveillance testing typically involves testing a sample of the student population and is designed to identify and isolate at an early stage any student testing positive. Surveillance testing will include residential students and may, if determined necessary by health experts managing the program, expand to include all students, and/or a spectrum of campus locations.

Testing – All students, residential or non-residential, may be tested on-site by appointment. Testing for students who exhibit symptoms will always be available, on campus, and be processed at Northwell labs.

In addition, Hofstra University has invested significant time, effort and resources into retrofitting and modifying our campus and our Student Health capabilities. We have done this with the health and safety of our entire community in mind.

Tracing

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is a process run by the Department of Health. At Hofstra, we work with the Nassau County Department of Health. Contact tracing is the process of contacting all people who’ve had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID—19. Notifying people who have been exposed so they can quarantine is an important tool for controlling the spread of the virus.

What is close contact?

Close contact is defined as spending at least 15 minutes at a distance of less than six feet with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

What happens during contact tracing?

A contact tracer trained by the New York State Department of Health will call the person who tested positive and interview them about everyone with whom the patient has recently been in close contact. Then, the contact tracer will contact those people and help them get tested for COVID-19. All information is kept confidential; the contact tracers do not share the name of the person who tested positive with any of the close contacts they notify.

Contact tracers will never ask you for financial information, a social security or credit card number.

How will contact tracing work at Hofstra?

If a student living on campus tests positive for COVID-19:

  • The student is immediately isolated (either off-campus or in campus housing set aside for this purpose) and, as per CDC guidelines, will only discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
  • At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved.
  • For persons who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA
  • In coordination with the Department of Health, the University Student Health Center will notify their roommates and suitemates to determine if they have been in close contact, and if so they will be quarantined for 14 days.  Students will be encouraged to quarantine at home if possible and continue taking classes remotely.
  • The Nassau County Health Department will work with the students involved to notify all other people, including faculty, staff, and other students, deemed to have had close contact, as appropriate.
  • Unless students choose to do so, health information should not be shared publicly with others.

What if I was in close contact with people at a party with underage drinking, or where people were not wearing masks? If I tell you about it for contact tracing, will my friends and me get into trouble?

The health and safety of every student at Hofstra is our top priority, including full cooperation with contact tracing. Students will not be subject to the University’s code of conduct for disclosing violations of alcohol and/or drug use policies, or of mask-wearing policies, during the contact tracing process.