Guiding Principles

The evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic requires that this Plan be a living document, subject to change in response to new developments and guidance that prioritizes the health and safety of our community members. This summer plan is not necessarily applicable to future semesters; it is specific to the summer operations of campus.

No amount of planning can eliminate the risk of Covid-19. This Plan is intended to aid in mitigating the risk of the virus spreading on campus. In order 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.


Personal Hygiene and Safety Practices

Face Masks

Face masks must be worn by all unvaccinated faculty, staff, students and visitors on campus. Appropriate use of face masks is critical for minimizing risks to others and slowing the spread of the virus. In following source control guidelines of the CDC:

  • Wear masks - if unvaccinated for summer 2021.
  • Acceptable face masks include KN95 masks, nonmedical 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.
  • Not acceptable face masks include single-layer gaiters (buffs), open-chin bandanas, face shields (when worn without masks), as well as masks with vents or exhalation valves.

Face masks must be worn by unvaccinated persons according to the guidelines below.

  • Indoors: Masks are required to be worn at all times indoors (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, residence hall common areas, hallways, doorways, restrooms); refer to list of exceptions.
  • Outdoors: Masks should be worn outdoors when physical distancing of at least 6 feet (at least 10 feet for physical activity) is difficult to maintain, including on sidewalks, under tents/covered areas with poor air circulation or other spaces when not alone, with some exceptions:
    • Without a mask, students can walk, run or bike outdoors with members of their “student family group”. Unvaccinated campus community members are required to wear a mask when attending small, outdoor gatherings with students, faculty, or staff..
    • To accommodate outdoor physical activity and social interaction without a mask, 10-foot circles were painted on the Degenstein Center and Science Building lawns.

Unvaccinated students, faculty, staff and visitors are asked to bring their own face masks for individual use; however, nonmedical disposable masks, which are encouraged to be used as a second layer under a cloth mask, will be provided at stations across campus.

Exceptions to wearing face masks include:

  • Fully vaccinated persons are exempt from any requirement to mask for all situations, unless required by their specific role. Fully vaccinated persons can continue to wear masks for their health and safety if they choose.
  • Unvaccinated students may remove face masks while in their residence hall with the room/suite door closed and whenthe only other persons present are “student family group” (roommates; suitemates, e.g., West Village, Seibert Hall; or housemates, e.g., University Avenue, Liberty Alley, 18th Street Commons); and as necessary in a shared bathroom (e.g., brushing teeth, shaving or showering).
  • Unvaccinated faculty and staff are able to remove face masks in the isolation of their offices with doors closed or in individual cubicles, provided that per AIHA guidance, workstations are configured with physical distancing or partitions, if needed.
  • Students and employees with medical conditions preventing their use of face masks should contact disabilityservices@susqu.edu (students) or Human Resources (employees) to request an accommodation.

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 others when possible, even if they are not experiencing symptoms. (Asymptomatic people, those who do not feel sick, can spread the virus.) Distancing is important for everyone, especially to help those who are at higher risk. Face masks are not a substitute for physical distancing. Unvaccinated faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus must follow these physical distancing practices:  

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance indoors and outdoors from other people at all times
    • Physical distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19, including wearing masks.
    • Students: Stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your “student family group” (roommates; suitemates, e.g., West Village, Seibert Hall; or housemates, e.g., University Avenue, Liberty Alley, 18th Street Commons) in both indoor and outdoor spaces. 
  • Avoid crowded places (see Gatherings and meetings defined below)

Handwashing

Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is encouraged, especially after being in a public place or after blowing one’s nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching one’s face. Individuals should avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Sneeze into an elbow, do not shake hands and avoid sharing items with others.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, Susquehannans should use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol alcohol, applying the sanitizer over all surfaces of the hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Nonmedical sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided at stations across campus.

Safety Measures for In-Person Instruction and Campus Operations

Hygiene and Sanitation Protocols

  • Facilities Management staff will clean high-touch areas daily in addition to the overnight cleaning of offices, classrooms, and workspaces as per CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfectionAll common area and semi-private restrooms on campus will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular schedule with supplemental cleaning wipes 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.
  • Supplies, such as disinfectant wipes, tissues, paper towels, and disposable gloves will be available for faculty, staff, and students to wipe down desks, lab equipment, and other shared objects and surfaces.
  • Faculty, staff, and students should bring their own water when possible to minimize use of water fountains and water coolers.

Capacity

As a general rule for meetings and classrooms, indoor person-to-person contact for unvaccinated persons needs to be as minimal as possible. Face masks are required for unvaccinated persons (see exceptions defined above in Face Masks).

As unvaccinated attendees must maintain 6-foot social distancing, this could limit capacity for unvaccinated persons.

Events

  • All on-campus events for summer 2021 must be approved by Risk Management, should be virtual unless specifically approved by Risk Management, and shall be open only to currently enrolled Susquehanna students, faculty and staff.
  • As regulated by the Commonwealth, an event or gathering is defined as a temporary grouping of individuals for defined purposes that takes place over a limited timeframe, such as hours or days, including concerts, shows or receptions. Conversely, groups of people who share a space within a building in the ordinary course of operations, such as in a classroom or an office building, are not events or gatherings.
  • Limited community events will be hosted on campus for summer 2021.
  • Limited university events will be permitted to be held off campus for summer 2021.
  • Regardless of capacity, campus events must follow these measures:

Common Spaces

    • Additional outdoor spaces for physically-distanced gatherings have been designated across campus to maximize the use of outdoor areas.
      • Individuals should use the stairs whenever possible, rather than elevators.
      • Only one unvaccinated person may enter an elevator at a time and keep their face mask on. This restriction does not apply to individuals requiring special assistance or vaccinated persons.

    Restrooms

    • Masks are to be worn by unvaccinated persons in restrooms. The number of unvaccinated people in restrooms will be limited to ensure at least 6 feet of physical distance between individuals. Individuals are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly after using the restroom to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

    Additional Student Health and Safety Expectations

    • Students must adhere to the Summer 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.
    • The Student Health Center has limited summer hours. Students should call the nurse hotline 844-936-1731 if needing medical assistance during the summer.

    Residential Living Expectations

    • Move In — Students are to complete the Summer Housing Registration under Apps and Forms on the Housing Self Service
    • Vaccinations are required for students requesting to live on campus this summer. Students choosing to live on campus who are requesting exemption should request a limited exception form from the Student Health Center healthctrnurse@susqu.edu. Any students receiving an exemption from vaccination will need to be tested. 
    • Students should send a copy of their vaccination form to covidtesting@susqu.edu.

    Expectations for Residence Halls, Guests, Random Testing and COVID Preparedness

    • 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 Department 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.

    For summer 2021, residential students are permitted to leave campus without registering travel unless it qualifies as university travel (see University Travel and Quarantine guidelines 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 register their off-campus employment.


    University Travel and Quarantine Guidelines

    All students who will be traveling overnight this summer as part of university programs, including study-away programs and athletic competitions are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. Even if vaccinated, international travel as part of university programs remains subject to CDC Warning Level 3 to avoid nonessential travel to certain destinations.

    • All university related student-resident overnight travel must be registered 48 hours in advance. See the Dashboard for latest travel advisories. 
    • Quarantine for 10 days or until a negative test result, whichever comes first, consistent with Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations for colleges, for all students, faculty and staff arriving from an affected area or a CDC Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) — even if asymptomatic.

    See more at COVID-Related Travel Advisories.


    Work Arrangements

    Faculty & Staff Accommodation Requests

    • 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.

    Flexible Work Options

    • Staff who have been working remotely have been asked to return to campus effective June 1, 2021.

    Faculty and staff may work with their supervisor or department head to create alternative work schedules so long as essential functions of the job are completed.

    • Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to work on site but may request 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.

    Strategy for Health Conditions of the Campus Community

    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:

    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 humanresources@susqu.edu, 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.

    COVID-19 Testing

    Effective Monday, June 14, 2021, the following persons at SU will be required to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19, which is defined as at least two weeks after the final dose.

    • All students living on campus this summer.
      • Guests of student-residents will be permitted on campus if they are registered and fully vaccinated.
      • Students who are fully vaccinated can gather in their campus home without masks as long as everyone in the group is vaccinated.
      • Domestic travel restrictions are lifted for anyone fully vaccinated.
    • All students working on campus this summer.
    • All students ages 16 and over attending camps or pre-college programs on campus this summer. All students under 16 attending day camps must be tested upon arrival and throughout their camp, depending on the number of days they are on campus.
    • All Admission visitors this summer will be required to be vaccinated, otherwise they will be tested upon arrival to campus (as was the protocol this spring).

    All students residing or working on campus for the summer who have been fully vaccinated and have submitted a copy of their vaccination card are exempt from campus testing. Otherwise, all students with approved vaccination exemptions will participate in the nasal-swab antigen testing program once a week throughout the summer.

    There will be subsequent testing as appropriate for students, faculty and staff, based on surveillance and/or symptoms of Covid-19.

    Faculty and staff who have submitted a copy of their vaccination card are exempt from campus testing. All other faculty and staff must participate in the nasal-swab antigen testing program weekly throughout the summer.

    See more information about Vaccinations

    Self-reporting and Monitoring for Symptoms

    Students:

    • Students are required to remain home/in their residence hall room when sick. Students should contact the Student Health Center if experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, including but not limited to a fever over 100.4° F, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste and/or smell.

    Faculty and Staff:

    • The University is requesting all employees perform a daily, well-being self-check before coming to work.
    • Faculty and staff experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, including but not limited to a fever over 100.4° F, cough, sore throat, muscle aches or shortness of breath 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 completing this form and follow CDC Guidelines regarding self-monitoring, isolation, quarantine or any other restrictions or required actions. They may return to campus after being fever-free for 24 hours and free of respiratory symptoms.

    Protocol for Confirmed Case or Close Contact

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

    • If a student tests positive for Covid-19, or has close exposure to another who is symptomatic or positive, the university will require the student to quarantine, isolate, or go home to reduce the spread to other community members. Students should contact the Student Health Center immediately.
    • If an employee tests positive for Covid-19, or has close exposure to another who is symptomatic or positive, the university will require the employee to follow CDC Guidelines regarding self-monitoring, isolation, quarantine or any other restrictions or required actions and must notify Human Resources by emailing humanresources@susqu.edu.
    • Susquehanna will close off areas used by a symptomatic person, and possible persons with close contact, until cleaning and disinfecting is completed.
    • Students, faculty, and staff should be prepared to provide information about physical contact with other Susquehanna community members for contact tracing.

    Mental Health

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

    Students

    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.

    Strategy to Coordinate with Local Health Officials

    The university will maintain regular communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and regional healthcare organizations to report cases on campus, follow health developments within the region, and coordinate contact tracing and mitigation efforts as appropriate.


    Strategy to Communicate Accurate and Timely Information

    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.