The evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, including variants, requires Susquehanna University to adjust in response to new developments and guidance that prioritize the health and safety of our community members. For this Plan to achieve its full potential toward that goal, every member of the Susquehanna community – faculty, staff, and students – must play an active role, as well as visitors.


Updated May 17, 2022


Keys to Spring Success

Susquehanna has provided successful semesters for its students throughout the varying stages of the pandemic, and anticipates spring 2022 to be another successful in-person semester with the support from everyone. Recognizing that this is a different time with nuances for managing Covid’s impact, as the pandemic has shifted so has our health and safety protocols. For spring 2022, effective measures in place include a:

  • Booster requirement for students as they become eligible to be up to date, with campus at least fully vaccinated initial doses above 95%.
  • Move to more appropriate medical-grade masking (N95, KN95 or surgical), including emphasis for KN95-type masks to be worn for the first two weeks of the semester by all.
  • Jan. 31 class start date that offers advantages based on pandemic trends to kick off our semester in-person.

Overview Summary for Students

This overview summary provides a grid of protocols at a quick glance. The full details are in the plan below.

Spring 2022 Plan

Students

Vaccine Booster

All students must be vaccinated for Covid-19 and, if eligible, have received a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech booster by Feb. 11. All other students must obtain the booster within two (2) weeks of their eligibility date. Students who have tested positive for COVID and are eligible to receive a booster have 90 days from the date of that positive diagnosis to receive their booster.

Pre-Testing

All students not up to date with vaccines, those with symptoms or those in close contact with a Covid-positive person within 5 days are required to test within 5 days prior to arrival to campus. All student-athletes are required to test prior to arrival. All others are encouraged to pre-test. Upload results to bit.ly/prearrival-test-result.

Symptomatic and Other Testing

Symptomatic testing for students is required through the Student Health Center. Other testing can be required for students often at a higher risk due to their curricular or co-curricular activities; email notifications will be sent to those students. Required weekly testing for unvaccinated students, faculty and staff is paused as of April 8.

Quarantine
(for Close Contacts)

Students who have had close contact can quarantine on campus, details of restrictions are specified in the Plan. 

Isolation
(for Covid-positive Students)

Students who test positive are required to isolate for a minimum of 5 days. They can isolate in their room or away from campus. Details of restrictions are specified in the Plan.

Student-athletes

Student-athletes will need to follow NCAA Covid protocols.

Guests in Residence Halls

Only up to date vaccinated registered guests are permitted in residence areas.


Vaccination Protocols

See SU’s latest Vaccination Protocols

Vaccines support everyone’s safety. Covid-19 vaccinations offer effective safeguards from individual infection and protection of the community’s health. Robust levels of vaccination and boosters on campus will help Susquehanna University conduct normal activity for spring 2022.


Testing

Symptomatic and Other Testing

  • Symptomatic testing for students is required through the Student Health Center. 
  • Students at a higher risk due to their curricular or co-curricular activities should continue to watch their email for any additional testing requirements. If you are chosen for additional testing, this must be done to be compliant and remain on campus. Please continue to watch your email for notifications. 
  • Test kits are available in the Student Health Center and Human Resources for anyone interested in testing.

Personal Hygiene and Safety Practices

Face Masks

Everyone is encouraged to mask up at any time and in any place.

Masking protocols:

  • Classroom protocols.
    • Instructors have discretion to require masks in classrooms regardless of class participants’ vaccination/booster status.
    • Food and drinks are permitted in classrooms. When required, masks can be temporarily moved aside for a bite of food or to sip a drink, and then replaced.
  • Persons who are not up to date with boosters should wear masks in all indoor spaces.
  • Persons under quarantine for close contact or isolation with a positive test must follow respective protocols.
  • Persons traveling in vehicles with others on university business must wear masks.
  • Student-athletes must follow NCAA protocols.
  • Everyone attending public events on campus is encouraged to wear a medical-grade or layered cloth mask (e.g., events in Houts Gym, Garrett Field House, Stretansky Hall, Deg Theater, Weber Chapel). Signs will be posted at entrances to let you know when masks are required.

Acceptable Masks

When required, acceptable face masks include medical-grade masks and multi-layered masks (e.g., KN95, N95, disposable surgical-type without ventilators), and must be worn to cover nose and mouth and fit snugly around the face and chin. A layered cloth mask, or one with a filter or atop a disposable mask is also acceptable. The university provides medical-grade masks at stations across campus. For students, faculty and staff with health concerns or immunocompromised, Susquehanna will provide high-quality masks through Facilities Management, Athletics, the Student Health Center, and Residence Life.

Exemptions

When masks are required, students can request medical exemptions from the Student Health Center. Employees can make a medical exemption request through Human Resources.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing between people is one of the best methods to avoid exposure to and minimize the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Handwashing

Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is encouraged, especially after blowing one’s nose, coughing, sneezing or touching one’s face. Hand sanitizer is provided at stations across campus.


Safety Measures

Hygiene and Sanitation Protocols

All common areas, as well as semi-private restrooms, on campus will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular schedule. Supplemental cleaning wipes will be provided for personal use to disinfect surfaces as needed. Please DO NOT flush any disinfectant wipes down the toilet; they should be disposed of in a trash can after use.

Water bottle filling stations will be open, but drinking fountains will be closed. As a reminder, student-athletes should not share water bottles.

Capacity

As a general rule for meetings and classrooms, unvaccinated persons should maintain 6-foot social distancing from others.

Use of the Fitness Center requires online registration and is available to students and employees.

Students studying music will have to follow safety protocols for their specific classes.

Additional Student Health and Safety Expectations

Students must adhere to the spring 2022 plan and the university code of conduct. All students who are eligible are required to be vaccinated with a booster by Feb. 4, 2022 and must send a copy of their updated vaccination card to covidtesting@susqu.edu. All other students must obtain the booster within two (2) weeks of their eligibility date and submit the card to the address above. Students who have tested positive for COVID and are eligible to receive a booster have 90 days from the date of that diagnosis to receive their booster.


Residential Living Expectations

Expectations for Residence Halls and Guests

Up to date vaccinated registered guests are permitted in any residence halls, townhouses, apartments, suites and small houses. This includes parents and other family members. Students should register their guests through the Campus Safety Office by completing the online registered student guest forms. A copy of the guest’s vaccination card will need to be uploaded to that form. Guests not up to date vaccinated are not permitted in residence halls.

Residential students are permitted to leave campus without registering travel unless it qualifies as university travel (see University Travel below). Students needing to work are encouraged to work on campus. Additional work opportunities are available by contacting studentemployment@susqu.edu. Students are permitted to work off campus, but are asked to register their off-campus employment.


University Travel Guidelines

See Covid-Related Travel Advisories


Work Arrangements

Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to work on site, but may request from their supervisor to work remotely in some instances (independent of any approved disability accommodations), where essential functions of the jobs are fulfilled and the student experience is not compromised, by following the Telework Policy. Remote time may be more flexible during periods of time when students are on break.

Faculty and staff with disabilities (which may include those with serious health conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid-19) may request accommodations by contacting Human Resources via email


Vaccines for Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff are encouraged to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, including the booster shot, and may schedule vaccine and booster appointments during the workday without using vacation or sick time. Faculty and staff who need time to recover from the vaccine or booster shot must notify their supervisor and may enter the time as regular pay on their timesheets.


Strategy for Health Conditions

Attendance and Absentee Policies

Under no circumstances should somebody who is sick with Covid-19 symptoms attend classes, meetings, events, or report to work.

Students

If a student becomes sick or is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, they are to immediately mask, return to their room and call the Student Health Center for an appointment at 570-372-4385. You can refer to this CDC fact sheet for more information.

Student employees must notify a supervisor if they are experiencing symptoms. If students become symptomatic, test positive for Covid-19 or are exposed to another who is symptomatic or positive, the university will require them to quarantine, isolate or go home to reduce the spread to other Susquehanna community members.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or who have reason to believe they have been exposed to Covid-19 must telework if possible or take leave, and notify Human Resources by emailing HRWellness@susqu.edu or calling 570-372-4024. Follow university protocols regarding self-monitoring, isolation, quarantine, or any other restrictions or required actions. Supervisors and department heads may send faculty or staff home if employees are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. Employees may return to campus after being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, free of respiratory symptoms and other symptoms improving.

Employees who become ill because of a Covid infection or need to quarantine as a close contact should use their regular sick leave. An employee may go into a negative sick leave balance under these circumstances so there is no loss of pay.

Positive Covid Test Protocols  

Any student who tests positive will be required to isolate for at least five full days in their room or away from campus.

Have a plan either way. For on campus isolation, have a self-isolation kit ready with: acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), thermometer, snacks, prescription medications, personal care items (cough drops, contact lens fluid, tissues), etc. Have a discussion with your roommate to plan ahead. For isolating off campus, have a plan of where you will go and what you need to bring with you.

Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected.

Students can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your other symptoms are improving. These students must wear a well-fitted KN95-type mask for 10 full days any time you are around others and in public. Avoid being around people who are at high risk.

Students who are still experiencing symptoms need to consult the Student Health Center. Students will be required to produce a negative test between Day 6-9 to request an early release from isolation. If a student continues to test positive, they will need to complete the 10-day isolation period before they are evaluated by the Health Center before release from isolation.

Student-athletes are required to follow any additional NCAA protocols.

Students — with a positive Covid-19 test
 

  • From your room (home for commuters), call the Student Health Center immediately for guidance.
  • Do NOT report to class. The Center for Academic Success will notify your professors of your excused absence. Make arrangements with other students to exchange notes if you have to miss class. Notify your instructor to coordinate coursework while away from class.
  • Isolate in your room or move off campus (home for commuters). Disclose to your roommates/suitemates and household members that you are positive.
  • For students isolating on campus, only leave your room for the bathroom, pre-approved medical appointments or for to-go food only, preferably to-go food from Evert Dining Hall. Do NOT dine in. Do NOT spend more than 15 minutes collecting food to go and keep physical distance from others as much as possible. Wear a KN95 mask.
  • Do NOT do laundry.
  • Do NOT pick up mail or packages.

For a shorter isolation period, the student will need to meet all following criteria:

  • Five days have passed from the first day of symptoms and/or the first day a student tested positive.
  • The student has not had a fever for a minimum of 24 hours and has not used fever reducers like Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • The symptoms are resolved or the student has remained asymptomatic
  • If the student met the above criteria on Day 5, then on Day 6 they can call to make an appointment with the Student Health Center if isolating on campus, or for off-campus isolation be seen by a medical provider. 
    • The Health Center will give the final approval for early return so that appropriate paperwork can be filed.
    • The student can return to classes and/or campus, once cleared by the Health Center on Day 6.

    Faculty and Staff — with a positive Covid-19 test

    • Isolate at home for at least 5 days and be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and other symptoms are improving.
    • Notify Human Resources by calling Human Resources at 570-372-4024.

     

    Close Contact Protocols

    Students (and anyone on campus) should be prepared to provide information about physical contact with other Susquehanna community members for contact tracing.

    The date of your exposure is considered Day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with a person who has had Covid-19.

    A “soft quarantine” allows a student to leave their room to pick up to-go food and for class while wearing a KN95 mask. All high-risk activities will be paused while a student is in soft quarantine. The student is required to follow strict masking protocols during this time.

    In a case where the close contact is a roommate/suitemate of a student who tested positive, they are considered an “assumed exposure” close contact, and can choose to stay in their current room, or relocate on their own off campus. Assumed-exposure students who are immunocompromised should contact the Student Health Center. In cases when the immunocompromised student remains negative, and depending on availability, Susquehanna will work to potentially host those students temporarily with an alternate accommodation.

    Student-athletes are required to follow any additional NCAA protocols.

    Close contacts must fulfill all required protocols as follows:

    Not up to date vaccinated close contact students — can “soft quarantine” on campus

    • Immediate testing.
    • For soft quarantine, cannot eat at dine-in venues and not use indoor recreation facilities. They are permitted to pick up meals to go and return to their room to eat. Students should avoid high-risk activities.
    • Negative test between Day 5-7
    • Wear a KN95 mask for at least 10 days in all situations.
    • Students report any symptoms to the Student Health Center immediately.
    • Students may remain on campus as long as the mask is worn as instructed and they remain symptom-free.
    • Positive test at any time during the quarantine period will require the student to follow the “Positive Covid Test Protocols” above.

    Up to date vaccinated close contact students — can stay on campus with KN95 mask

    • Immediate testing
    • Negative test between Day 5-7
    • Wear a KN95 mask for at least 10 days in all situations.
    • Students report any symptoms to the Student Health Center immediately.
    • Students may remain on campus as long as the mask is worn as instructed and they remain symptom-free.
    • Positive test at any time during the quarantine period will require the student to follow the “Positive Covid Test Protocols” above.

    Faculty and staff close contacts

    • If someone in your household tests positive for Covid, employees are required to quarantine at home for five days (regardless of vaccination/booster status) and may return to work with a negative test result on Day 6.
    • If employees are named a close contact to someone outside your household:
      • If you experience symptoms, stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, free of respiratory symptoms and your other symptoms are improving, before returning to campus.
      • If you are not up to date vaccinated, employees can stay on campus, and should get tested between Day 5-7.
      • If you are up to date vaccinated, employees may continue to be on campus so long as you are symptom-free and follow campus masking protocols.

    Mental Health Resources

    Understandably, some Susquehanna community members may feel anxious about the pandemic and its impacts.

    Students

    Students are encouraged to ask for help when needed for physical health, mental health and emotional well-being. Available support services for students include:

    Please also visit cdc.gov for helpful tips to manage stress and anxiety.

    Faculty and Staff

    For faculty and staff, SU offers two Employee Assistance Programs to all faculty and staff:

    • New Direction — Visit the website and enter login code: Susquehanna. For telephone counseling and consultations, call 800-624-5544.
    • The Standard — Visit the website or call 888-293-6948 for counseling and consultations.

    Please also visit cdc.gov for helpful tips to manage stress and anxiety.


    Sharing of Information

    Student and employee information related to Covid is considered confidential and will be shared with the Covid Response Team as needed to ensure the safety of the campus community.


    Strategy to Communicate

    The university will regularly update its webpages to reflect the most current information. Should significant changes in practices or protocols take place, these will be announced by email to all campus constituents.