August 23: Welcome Back Health and Safety Reminders

TO: SJU Community
FROM: Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President of Student Life and Associate Provost; Zenobia Hargust, M.S., SPHR, Chief Human Resources Officer
RE: Welcome Back Health and Safety Reminders
DATE: August 23, 2021 at 4:30 P.M. 

We wish to echo Dr. Reed’s message of excitement and hope as we begin a new academic year. It is truly gratifying to welcome everyone back to Hawk Hill.  
 
Below are the answers to a number of questions the community has been asking. Please take a moment to review the information.  
 
Thank you in advance for your flexibility, patience and cooperation with our COVID-19 mitigation efforts.  
 
What if I am a close contact, test positive or experience symptoms?

All members of the Saint Joseph's community are required to immediately complete the COVID-19 Self-Disclosure Form when:

  • experiencing symptoms regardless of vaccination status or past positive result;
  • upon receipt of a positive test result; or,
  • when identified as a close contact of a non-campus or unknown individual who has COVID-19.

The CDC still considers a close contact to be an individual who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 or more minutes over a 24 hour period. Other criteria include: had direct physical contact with the infected person (e.g., hug); shared eating or drinking utensils with the infected person; the infected person sneezed, coughed or somehow got respiratory droplets on you; or provided care in the infected person’s home.  
 
Do not submit a self-disclosure form if you were exposed through an SJU student or employee. You will be identified through their disclosure as a close contact. This prevents duplicate records from being created in the contact tracing database.
 
After you submit a self-disclosure form, you will be connected with a contact tracer who will provide details on next steps. It is important to answer calls from contact tracers as their work helps slow the spread of the virus.

What are the COVID-19 testing protocols?
Those individuals not fully vaccinated (14 days after final dose) are subject to arrival testing and weekly surveillance testing. If they do not comply, they receive a series of warnings or strikes. After three strikes, students are suspended and employees are subject to increasing disciplinary action, which includes unpaid leave or termination.
 
Anyone who is required to test receives a weekly email and reminder. If you do not receive these testing notifications, you are not expected to test.  
 
At this point, based on health guidance, we are not testing fully vaccinated individuals unless they are symptomatic or have been a close contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19. Students should make an appointment with the Student Health Center if they are symptomatic and employees should contact their health care provider. Contact tracers will inform close contacts of the need to test.  
 
Will there be an on-campus vaccination clinic?
Yes. Rite Aid will conduct a COVID-19 vaccine clinic with the fully FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday, August 25; Thursday, September 16 and Thursday, October 7 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Maguire Wolfington Welcome Center tent. This is for initial vaccination, not boosters. To register click here (the zip code is 19131).  
 
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, Rite Aid will be administering the flu vaccine on Thursday, September 16, and Thursday, October 7. A copy of your driver’s license and insurance card are required. It is helpful if a short sleeve shirt is worn.
 
You may also find out about vaccination opportunities near you by visiting vaccine.gov.
 
What is the policy on events (social, educational) and meetings? Can we do them or are there limits?
We want campus to be vibrant and encourage students to get involved and participate in University events and activities. The only current specific limit to meetings and events relates to outdoor gatherings greater than 1,000 people without individual seating. In general, outdoor programming and events are preferable if the event lends itself to an outdoor venue.
 
We will continue to use our best judgment for social and educational events and activities based on our experience. At this point, we have approved events and performances for the fall semester, knowing that we are a highly vaccinated population with good safety practices. We will continue to evaluate this as time passes.
 
Where can I find more information on the University’s health and safety plans?
You can find more information on the Hawk Hill Ahead website including a breakdown of masking and testing procedures as they relate to individual vaccination status.
 
 

QUARANTINE AND MASKING PROCEDURES

FALL 2021

Individual Identified as a Close Contact

FULLY VACCINATED (TWO WEEKS AFTER FINAL DOSE)

Need to quarantine?

No. Be sure to mask at all times as you continue to work and/or attend classes.

Need to test?

Obtain a test 3-5 days after date of exposure. Students can obtain the COVID-19 test from Student Health. Employees can obtain a free or insurance-covered COVID-19 test from any community location or their health care provider.

Need to mask?

Continue to mask indoors both on and off campus for a full 14 days or until you receive a negative test result.

UNVACCINATED OR NOT FULLY VACCINATED

Need to quarantine?

Yes. Contact tracers will let individuals know their quarantine timeline.

Need to test?

Obtain a COVID-19 test immediately and again 5-7 days from the date of exposure.

Need to mask?

Continue to mask both on and off campus (and adhere to other mitigation strategies) for a full 14 days.

Individual Who May Be Exposed, but is NOT Identified as a Close Contact

FULLY VACCINATED/UNVACCINATED/NOT FULLY VACCINATED

Need to quarantine?

No. Continue to work and/or attend classes.

Need to test?

No.

Need to mask?

Indoor on campus, off campus if you choose.