Daily symptom checking
Students, as well as faculty and staff who are returning to campus, will be required to perform daily symptom checks to help keep our community safe. Quinnipiac is working with MyOwnMed and will be introducing a new mobile app in August that will make it easy to perform this daily symptom check on your mobile device. This will give us an early detection system to help identify possible COVID cases and keep ill students and faculty out of the classroom and directed to the appropriate health care. In addition, students are asked to bring a thermometer to school this fall and to monitor for fever daily as part of the symptom check. A temperature of 100.4℉ or higher is considered a fever.
An update with more information and directions to download the mobile app will be provided shortly.
Symptoms to look for
Currently, COVID-19 symptoms include one or more of the following:
- Fever (100.4℉ or higher)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Runny nose or new sinus congestion
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Gastrointestinal symptoms that you haven’t experienced before
- Loss of taste or smell that you haven’t experienced before
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, we will implement our contact tracing protocol, which includes deploying our on-campus team of trained contact tracers. Contact tracing protocols are mandated by the state of Connecticut as a condition of reopening this fall for colleges and universities. In addition to partnering with the Quinnipiack Valley Health District to support our contact tracing efforts, we are assembling a team of on-campus contact tracers composed of faculty, staff and student volunteers, including individuals from our Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. These volunteers are participating in contact tracing training from both the state of Connecticut and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The team will help identify locations and possible contacts of an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Once the location data and contacts have been identified, they will be assessed for risk of acquisition of COVID-19 based on proximity (within 6 feet), duration (less than 15 minutes) and whether face coverings were worn, and those criteria will help determine who may need to self-quarantine and monitor to see if symptoms develop.
Student testing overview
As part of our extensive health and safety guidelines for students, Quinnipiac has designed a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program for students. This program requires students be tested before returning to Quinnipiac, again shortly after their arrival, and regularly throughout the fall semester. The testing program we have designed is a key component of our plan to bring students back to, and sustain, a healthy QU community and to be able to keep our campuses and classrooms open.
Before returning to campus
All students — undergraduate and graduate — are required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning for the fall semester. Testing is not required for students who are enrolled in degree programs that were structured to be fully online or always online or who have applied for and been approved for 100% remote study this semester. Students in the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine will use a separate testing protocol that has been detailed in a separate communication. Pre-arrival testing is required before a student can engage in any in-person instruction or other on-campus activities. Students cannot return to Quinnipiac for the fall semester or move into their assigned housing if they are not tested prior to their return.
We have heard from many families with concerns about locating and accessing the correct COVID-19 test and getting results in a timely manner. To make this process simpler for families, we are pleased to announce we have contracted with Rutgers University’s Infinite Biologics to administer these pre-arrival tests, relieving families of any burden of having to identify, schedule or travel for a COVID-19 test. This is a non-invasive, saliva-based test. Rutgers’ partner, Vault Health, will arrange to have the test kit sent directly to each student’s location within 24 to 48 hours of requesting the kit. The saliva test is self-administered while being monitored via a telehealth visit with a trained test supervisor.
As previously communicated, the cost of this one-time, pre-arrival test will be covered by families. The $130.22 pass-through charge will be assessed to your Bursar account. We recommend you contact your health plan about the terms and conditions of your insurance coverage, and whether you may be reimbursed for this cost.
Receiving your home test kit – Each student will receive an email from Quinnipiac. This email will have instructions about testing and give you a link (a test code) to begin the process. You will click on the test code link and be taken to Vault’s website, where you will provide information about yourself, including the address where the test kit should be sent. Once you initiate this process, the kit will arrive at the address you provided within the next one to two days.
Completing your test – The test kit package will include a set of instructions for how to collect a saliva specimen at home. You will schedule a Zoom video call with a test supervisor, collect the saliva sample, and then send the kit to Rutgers’ Infinite Biologics in the prepaid UPS envelope provided.
Receiving your test results – Test results should be available within 24 to a maximum of 72 hours of receipt of your saliva sample by Rutgers’ Infinite Biologics. You will be notified by email. Quinnipiac Student Health Services also will be notified of your result to streamline your “cleared-to-return” process.
- If your test result is negative, you will be cleared to return to campus.
- If your test result is positive, you must stay home or where you are, even if you do not have symptoms. QU Student Health Services will follow up with you to discuss a care plan and how to receive clearance to return to campus.
Using your own provider for pre-testing
Quinnipiac is encouraging students to use the Rutgers’ test rather than seeking their own testing. Using Rutgers’ service assures that the correct test will be done, and that it will be completed within the specified time before your return. The capacity of commercial laboratories to provide test results in a timely fashion may be difficult given the huge current demand nationwide. Nevertheless, if a student can provide documentation of a negative test that meets QU’s requirements (a PCR test — not an antibody or antigen test — taken within up to 10 days of arrival to campus), this will be accepted in lieu of the test provided through Rutgers. Please note: Using an alternate test comes with the risk of not meeting the required turnaround time or compliance with the appropriate test type. Test results should be uploaded via the Patient Portal for review and approval. Students will not be permitted to move back to campus — or if living off campus, will not be allowed to enter campus or attend on-ground classes — without a negative test result meeting these requirements.
After taking your test, please continue to monitor your health and follow all of the safety and social distancing guidelines, including wearing face coverings, to assure that you do not risk becoming COVID positive in the interim. Contact your local health care provider if you develop any symptoms. If possible, restrict your activities as much as you can for the 14 days before your return to Quinnipiac to help ensure a low risk of your bringing COVID-19 to Quinnipiac when you come to campus.
Upon returning to campus
All students — undergraduate and graduate — will be tested again shortly upon returning to Quinnipiac. Regardless of whether students live in university housing or off-campus housing, they are expected to limit their activities and movement outside their living units until they have received confirmation of a negative test result from this return testing. Upon returning to campus, students should closely monitor their email for more information about when they will be scheduled for testing and where to go for testing. Failure to complete testing as described in the email to students will likely result in a delay for their clearance to move more freely through our campuses. The university has partnered with the Broad Institute, a genomic research center based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to perform all of Quinnipiac’s on-campus testing. This will be a non-invasive nasal swab test. The cost of all on-campus testing will be covered by the university.
Throughout the fall semester
After the return testing is complete, the university will use a statistical sampling methodology developed by our medical experts to conduct weekly testing of approximately 15% of all undergraduate residential and non-residential students. The cost of these tests will be covered by the university. The sampling strategy is based upon scientific guidelines and will aid in the early detection of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infections. QU will have the ability to conduct rapid testing within Student Health Services for symptomatic individuals or those feeling ill. These test results are generated in about one hour.
The importance of testing
The university has invested substantial expertise and resources into our testing program. This comprehensive testing program is fundamental to a healthy and safe Quinnipiac community and our goal of keeping our campuses and classrooms open throughout the fall semester. We greatly appreciate your understanding, patience and care in adhering to both the pre-arrival testing requirement and the ongoing fall semester testing plans. We are all eager to get back to Bobcat Nation. When we each do our part, we can enjoy a fall semester back on campus.
Questions about the student testing plan should be emailed to our online Support Center at COVID19SupportCenter@qu.edu
Quarantine and isolation housing
Quinnipiac has designated specific apartments and suites in residence halls as isolation and quarantine locations for its residential students living in university-owned housing. Students also will be given the option to isolate or quarantine at home, depending on their own and their family’s preference and circumstances and availability of on-campus locations. Quarantine housing is used when a person has potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and needs to separate from other people to see if they develop symptoms and become sick. Isolation housing is used when someone has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19.
If a student needs to quarantine, Student Health Services will work with Residential Life to arrange for the student to move to a private room or semi-private room until the period of quarantine is over. If a student needs to isolate, Student Health Services will work with Residential Life to arrange for the student to move to a private room or semi-private room with another student who is also in isolation.
While in quarantine or isolation, students will have full access to wireless internet so they can attend classes remotely and participate in virtual student activities. Our Dining Services will provide regular delivery of prepared meals.
Student Health Services personnel will remotely monitor the progress of the student in isolation and will determine when the quarantine or isolation period has concluded, and the student may return to their academic year room assignment. Additional guidance on who must quarantine, including temporary residence assignments and protocols, will be provided to students who are going into quarantine or isolation housing.
Students must maintain 6 feet of physical distance at all times whenever they are outside their living unit. This includes time spent in classrooms, labs, dining facilities and all other common areas in the residence halls and on campus, as well as outdoors. Visual distancing markers will encourage students, faculty and employees to remain 6 feet apart in workspaces, hallways and other common use areas.
Clear signage will reinforce policies on wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, personal protection and personal hygiene.
The use of shared equipment will be minimized. If equipment must be shared, the students, faculty and staff members using that equipment will be required to wipe it down after each use. Wipes and disinfecting supplies will be available in classrooms, offices and other shared spaces.
Office, laboratory, teaching and workspaces have been structured to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between faculty, students and staff. Spaces typically used for communal purposes have been segmented into discrete zones or have been closed to use as needed.
All students, faculty and staff are required to wear face coverings whenever they are in a public space. Anytime you are outside your living unit or personal office or workspace, you must wear a face covering. This includes public spaces such as classrooms, the library, cafeterias, outdoors on the quad, sidewalks, parking lots and garages, elevators, stairways and bathrooms. This rule applies to all individuals on campus as well as students living off campus. Those who live off campus should still be wearing a face covering whenever they are outside their living unit and around others.
Masks and face coverings reduce community transmission of the virus by providing a physical barrier that can help to contain the spread of respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Recent research shows that the risk of acquiring COVID-19 is substantially reduced to less than 5% when everyone in the room is wearing a face covering.
Every student, faculty and staff member at Quinnipiac will be given a cloth face mask. Students and employees are encouraged to also bring their own personal face coverings to wear to ensure they have a sufficient supply, given that masks should be washed after each wearing. Cloth face masks and coverings are preferred; gaiters and bandanas are not acceptable as alternative face coverings as they tend to be more porous.
Receiving your mask
All residential students with an assigned post office box will have a face mask waiting for them in their post office box. For all other students, we will be announcing distribution dates and locations on both the North Haven and Mount Carmel campuses after students have returned.
The masks should be machine-washed in cold water. You can tumble dry them on low, if possible, or hang them to dry. Additional masks and face coverings are available through several sources, including the campus bookstore.
Facilities workers have been given the appropriate PPE, and they use cleaning and disinfecting products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19. In addition, all facilities managers have earned a national “Microbial Warrior” certification through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide. The certification provides our team with preventive, responsive infection and contamination control measures for potential infectious disease outbreaks, and more specifically the novel coronavirus.
Prior to reopening, Facilities will complete a thorough cleaning of spaces including, but not limited to: entrances/lobbies, bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, elevators, high-traffic area touchpoints (e.g., door handles/door knobs), shared equipment (e.g., printers, scanners, phones, vending machines), desks, chairs, computers and monitors.
Quinnipiac’s facilities team will perform daily cleanings and disinfection each weekday of public bathrooms as well as communal bathrooms in residence halls; classrooms; common areas and workspaces around our campuses. Hand sanitizer will be made available at entrance points and common areas, where possible.
Cleaning and disinfectant products will be made available near commonly used surfaces, such as desks, bathrooms, shared equipment (e.g., printers, phones, monitors, keyboards), and shared appliances (microwave, coffee machine, etc.). Additional products will be available for ordering through the existing work order system.
Appropriate signage will encourage best practices, such as handwashing and use of PPE.
Students can contact Public Safety 24/7 at 203-582-6200 or 911 for emergency safety concerns.