The evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, including variants, requires Susquehanna University to adjust in response to new developments and guidance that prioritizes the health and safety of our community members.

This Plan is intended to aid in mitigating the risk of the virus spreading on campus. 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 Sept. 10, 2021


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Green prepared a brief video message to clarify some of pandemic protocols as we start the fall semester.


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, especially of those who are unable to get a vaccine themselves. Robust levels of vaccination on campus will help Susquehanna University conduct to normal activity for fall 2021.


Testing

Start of Semester for Everyone

  • All students are required to provide proof of a negative Covid test result prior to arrival. The test should be administered within 72 hours (about 3 days) prior to their arrival (regardless of vaccination status) and submitted before moving in.
    • The PCR test is preferred; however, an antigen test will be accepted.
    • At-home, do-it-yourself tests are acceptable by sending a picture of the test with the student’s name and date written on it showing the result. 
    • Before arriving to campus, students should upload results to bit.ly/prearrival-test-result.
    • Students with financial hardships should contact the Student Health Center for assistance in securing a test.
    • If a student has a positive result within the 72-hour window before arrival but had previously tested positive in the last 90 days and is not symptomatic, they may move in and attend classes on campus after they provide a copy of the positive diagnosis within the prior 90 days. If they have not tested in the last 90 days, they need to quarantine before coming to campus.
    • For students approved to commute to campus, the prior 72-hour window applies to their first day of classes or participating in any activity or meeting on campus.
  • All faculty and staff members will be tested at the start of the semester (regardless of vaccination status).

Weekly Testing for Persons Not Vaccinated

  • Unvaccinated students (including those not yet fully vaccinated or those with medical and religious exemptions) are required to participate in on-campus weekly testing at the Student Health Center Annex during a scheduled time. 
  • Vaccinated students, those often at a higher risk due to their curricular or co-curricular activities, should watch their email for any additional testing requirements.
  • Faculty and staff who have not submitted vaccination cards or are not yet fully vaccinated are required to complete a weekly status form and provide a weekly negative Covid test result to Human Resources in order to be on campus. Test results must be submitted even when you are on vacation to ensure that you are negative before returning to campus. See Resources

Personal Hygiene and Safety Practices

Face Masks

Masking against Covid.

  • Everyone on campus must wear a mask indoors (regardless of vaccination status and including all visitors). There are a few exceptions such as within a residence hall with a family unit, while eating or drinking in the dining areas, or within a personal office space or university vehicle alone. Eating and drinking are not permitted in classrooms or labs in order to keep an individual’s mask fully covering one’s mouth and nose.
  • Students can request medical exemptions from the Student Health Center. Employees can make a medical exemption request through Human Resources.
  • Masks are required outdoors for unvaccinated persons unable to maintain six feet of distance from other persons wearing masks.
  • Depending on the state of the pandemic, indoor mask requirements could be extended further into to the fall semester.

In following source control guidelines of the CDC:

  • Acceptable face masks include KN95 masks, non-medical disposable masks and snugly fitting cloth masks with at least two layers of washable, breathable fabric, and must cover nose and mouth and fit snugly around the face and chin.

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. Unvaccinated individuals should remain physically distant from other persons, even if they are not experiencing symptoms. Face masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.

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 fully vaccinated 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 fall 2021 plan and the university code of conduct. All students are required to be vaccinated and must send a copy of their vaccination card to covidtesting@susqu.edu.


Residential Living Expectations

Move In — Students are to complete the Fall Housing Registration under Apps and Forms on the Housing Self Service.

Expectations for Residence Halls and Guests

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. Unvaccinated guests 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.

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.


Strategy for Health Conditions

Attendance and Absentee Policies

Under no circumstances should somebody who is sick or has been exposed to Covid-19 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 stay home (i.e., telework if possible or take leave), notify Human Resources by emailing HRWellness@susqu.edu or calling 570-372-4024, and follow CDC Guidelines 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 and free of respiratory symptoms.

Employees who become ill because of a Covid infection or need to quarantine as a close contact should use their regular sick leave.

Positive Covid Test Protocols  

Any student, faculty or staff member who tests positive will be required to follow CDC recommended health and safety guidelines including social isolation, quarantine and enhanced personal safety behaviors.

Students — with a positive Covid-19 test

  • Stay masked and in your room, and call the Student Health Center immediately for guidance. Do not report to class. This applies to residential and commuter students.
  • Isolate at home to reduce the spread to other community members.
  • Isolate for 10 days with a tentative return to campus on Day 11. Final confirmation of this date will be done by the Student Health Center.

Faculty and Staff — with a positive Covid-19 test

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.

Close contacts must fulfill all required protocols as follows:

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (less than two weeks after final dose) close contact must move off campus

  • Immediate negative test
  • Negative test on Day 5
  • Negative test on Day 10
  • Wear a KN95 mask for 14 days in all situations.
  • Off-campus quarantine for 10 days with probable return to campus on Day 11
  • Students report any symptoms to the Student Health Center immediately.
  • Students need final approval of Student Health Center for return to campus.
  • Positive test at any time during the 10-day period will require the student to follow the “Positive Covid Test Protocols” above.

Fully vaccinated close contactcan stay on campus

  • Immediate negative test
  • Negative test on Day 5
  • Wear a KN95 mask for 14 days in all situations.
  • Students report any symptoms to the Student Health Center immediately.
  • Student 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 10-day period will require the student to follow the “Positive Covid Test Protocols” above.

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 will only 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.