Testing, Health and Safety
Testing and Symptom Checking
Can you explain how student testing will work at the beginning of the semester?
- All students will be tested twice within their first week on campus unless they can provide proof that they were tested at home within four days prior to arrival in Geneva. Those students who can prove prior testing will only be tested once on campus in their first week.
- All students are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 within 4 days prior to arrival in Geneva for the Spring 2021 semester. Test results will be gathered by Hubbs Health Center staff and kept confidential.
- For those students who have not been tested, the Colleges will administer a test upon arrival. The Colleges will pay for and administer these tests through our health center.
- If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 on an earlier test and subsequently been cleared to leave isolation by a medical professional, we will take that evidence as sufficient to return to campus and forgo initial testing.
- The Colleges have contracted for testing with The Broad Institute, which will process the tests generally within 24 hours. Test results are conveyed directly to each student with negative results delivered via email and positive results via a phone call to determine next steps regarding isolation and contact tracing.
- While the test is being processed, students will need to self-quarantine in their residence hall rooms and with limited movement outside other than to acquire Grab-and-Go meals.
- The Colleges also have acquired the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test that will be used for students who present at the health center with symptoms. These tests return results in 15 minutes or less.
- All members of our community are required to fill out a daily, electronic symptoms report until otherwise notified.
Do students who live off campus need to be tested?
What documentation do students need to prove a negative COVID-19 test result?
Students should contact the Hubbs Health Center to discuss specifics of documentation regarding prior testing but generally, any test evaluated by a medical professional or laboratory is acceptable as long as the test was administered within 4 days of arrival.
Would the Colleges accept a test that is positive for Coronavirus antibodies?
The current antibody tests are not viewed as sufficiently reliable. However, if a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 on an earlier test and subsequently been cleared to leave isolation by a medical professional, we will take that evidence as sufficient to return to campus and forgo initial testing. The student may still be required to participate in subsequent campus random testing rounds.
What if a student previously had COVID-19?
If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19 on an earlier test and subsequently been cleared to leave isolation by a medical professional, we will take that evidence as sufficient to return to campus and forgo initial testing.
Will members of the HWS community need to take their own temperature every day?
One of the questions on the daily symptoms report references temperature. Students are asked to bring their own thermometers with them to campus so that they are comfortable with the thermometer type. Hubbs Health Center has a limited number of thermometers available for distribution to students who need one.
Do faculty and staff need to be tested before returning to work?
Faculty and staff are required to fill out a daily, electronic symptoms report and should not report to work if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they feel ill in any way.
Will students have to undergo surveillance testing?
Yes. The Colleges will continue to administer testing to 200 to 300 students each week. This testing intentionally selects students from every residence hall floor, theme house, apartment and off-campus house. In addition, students are selected from any team or group that meets on a regular basis. We know that one of the reasons why we were able to complete the fall semester in person was because of these interval testing protocols.
How will daily symptom screenings be monitored?
- All faculty, staff and students will need to participate in daily symptom screening. Staff from Hubbs Health Center will review student screenings daily while staff from the Office of Human Resources will review faculty and staff screenings daily.
- Should a person report that they have a symptom associated with COVID-19, someone from Hubbs (for students) or Human Resources (for faculty and staff) will reach out immediately to assess the situation.
- Students who do not fill out the daily screening will be referred to the Deans Offices.
Hubbs Health Center and the Counseling Center
Will there be an increase in staff at Hubbs Health Center?
Health care professionals have been increased at Hubbs through our provider, Finger Lakes Health.
Will Hubbs have extended hours?
How will Hubbs handle both COVID-19 and the normal health issues that emerge in a typical academic year?
We are prepared to add additional staff as circumstances dictate so that all students have access to the resources they need.
PPE and Accountability
Will students be required to wear face coverings or face shields in class?
Face coverings are required at all times when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. All students are required to wear face masks in class. Face shields can be worn as further protection but, per CDC guidelines, cannot substitute for face coverings.
Will faculty be required to wear face coverings or face shields in class?
Face coverings are required at all times when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. All faculty are required to wear face masks in class. Face shields can be worn as further protection but, per CDC guidelines, cannot substitute for face coverings.
Will students, faculty and staff be required to wear face coverings when walking around campus, in the library and other college buildings?
Everyone is asked to comply with the guidelines for wearing face coverings when they are not able to maintain social distancing protocols of six feet.
How will the use of face coverings be enforced on campus in public areas and in classrooms?
- Faculty, staff or students who notice that someone is not using a face covering can call Campus Safety. In addition, reports can be submitted anonymously online.
- Please keep in mind that it’s possible that someone has an accommodation that does not allow them to wear a face covering or that the person may have simply forgotten it.
- Flagrant and consistent lack of compliance with the use of face coverings could result in the person being asked to leave campus.
Will there be disinfectant stations on campus?
- Last summer, the Colleges added more than 300 additional hand sanitation stations across campus. Locations can be seen on the detailed maps of the Building Environmental Space Review.
- All student rooms, offices, classrooms and shared spaces are supplied with cleaning and disinfecting supplies for individual use.
Contact Tracing and Positive Results
Have you trained contact tracers?
The Ontario County Department of Public Health has asked to perform any necessary contact tracing. In addition, multiple professionals across campus have taken the Johns Hopkins contact tracing course and can assist Ontario County as necessary. The Colleges work very closely with Ontario County Public Health staff to ensure rapid contact tracing and testing.
If a student tests positive after being in class, will all of the students in that class as well as the faculty member need to quarantine for 14 days?
Not necessarily. Ontario County will be managing all contact tracing protocols. If everyone in the class maintained their face coverings and distancing, it may not be necessary for everyone to quarantine.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, can they return to their home to recover?
Yes, so long as the student does not use public transportation to get there. Students can also isolate on campus.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and they stay on campus, how will the Colleges see to their health and wellbeing?
The Colleges have developed plans with Ontario County Public Health Department and Finger Lakes Health for isolation of students testing positive for COVID-19 (both students living on and off campus in Geneva), including multiple daily symptom and well-being checks, delivery of meals and supplies, laundry pickup and delivery, and notification of family and/or emergency contacts.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and returns home to recuperate, would they be able to return to campus after they have recovered and been allowed to leave isolation by their home health provider?
How will the campus community and parents be made aware of a positive COVID-19 case on campus?
- During the academic year, members of the Colleges’ administration will send messages to campus as necessary updating the campus community on the Colleges’ progress regarding COVID-19 and other issues. In addition, during the academic year, the Colleges’ COVID-19 Dashboard is updated every day.
- Contact tracing protocols will determine who should be notified, and contact tracing will be performed by the County Health Department rather than by HWS directly. The County Health Department will let us know if we need to make a community-wide announcement regarding a case.
- Parents and families will be notified on the consent of the student.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Prevention
What is the coronavirus and what are the symptoms?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea that is not usual for you.
Emergency Warning Signs Include:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
- Experiencing confusion or trouble waking up
- Bluish lips or face
Call for medical attention immediately.
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Has Geneva or the surrounding area had many cases of COVID-19?
- Information about cases in New York can be found on the COVID-19 site of the State of New York. Information about cases in Ontario County can be found on the county’s COVID-19 webpage.
- Although Hobart and William Smith are located in a geographic area that has avoided significant infection, the health and wellbeing of our entire community and of Geneva is the Colleges’ top priority.
Are there ways to prevent contracting the virus?
Yes. The CDC has a number of recommendations and public health officials recommend the following steps:
- Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Practice healthy habits by getting plenty of sleep, managing stress and drinking plenty of fluids.