Fall 2020 Opening

Testing, Health and Safety

Testing and Symptom Checking

Can you explain how student testing will work at the beginning of the semester?

  • All students are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 within 5 days before arrival in Geneva for the Fall 2020 semester. Test results will be gathered by Hubbs Health Center and kept confidential.
  • For those students who have not been tested, we will administer a test upon arrival. The Colleges will pay for and administer these tests through our health center.
  • The Colleges have contracted for testing with The Broad Institute, which will process the tests generally within 24 hours. While the test is being processed, students will need to self-quarantine in their residence hall rooms and with limited movement outside.
  • If a student has been living on campus, either in or out of quarantine, and been symptom-free for 14 days prior to start of classes, the student need not be tested.
  • All members of our community are required to fill out a daily, electronic symptoms report. Faculty and staff are already performing this task if they are working on campus; details on the student symptoms check will be communicated later this summer.

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.

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.

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 this fall so that they are comfortable with the thermometer type. Hubbs Health Center will have a limited number of thermometers available for distribution to students who need one.

Beyond temperature checks, have the Colleges considered other methods to monitor the virus and detect potential outbreaks earlier? For example, conducting “smell” tests, thought to be more specific for COVID-19 than fever checks, or monitoring of wastewater as a means of identifying viral spikes (in advance) around campus?

Yes, we have researched and considered other testing methods and will continue to reassess based on current best-practices. The Colleges have contracted with The Broad Institute, which will process tests within 24 hours.We also considered wastewater monitoring and after research and consultation, determined that is not a viable solution with our particular campus setup.

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 random testing?

We will implement a system of random testing at intervals throughout the semester. We ask that students cooperate with the testing plan for everyone’s safety.

Will students be tested for COVID-19 before leaving campus before Thanksgiving?

No, but if a student wants to get a test before leaving we can arrange for that through Hubbs, as available, or through the state testing facility.

Are the Colleges keeping up with new testing technologies? Are there plans for pool or batch testing?

  • The Colleges are keeping up with new testing technologies and have contracted with The Broad Institute, which will process tests within 24 hours.
  • We currently have no plans for pool or batch testing but this may change.

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?

Hours can be expanded if needed. In addition, students have access to FLH urgent care at times when the Hubbs Health Center is closed.

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.

Will the Colleges add staff to the counseling center?

Yes, the Colleges added staff during the spring semester and will continue to be staffed at the increased level.

PPE and Accountability

What are the Colleges going to do to ensure that students understand expectations of behavior related to PPE and social distancing?

Students will be required to sign-off on having read the addendum to the Community Standards Handbook. In addition, we will be holding a number of sessions in residence halls to make sure that students understand the importance of their own behavior in keeping the entire community safe.

How will the Colleges educate students concerning the virus, its transmission and its prevention?

Training will be required for all students using video presentations and on-going education programs throughout the semester.

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?

  • Any faculty, staff or student who notices that someone is not using a face covering can call Campus Safety.
  • 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 face masks be distributed to students?

The Colleges will provide each student with a set of five fabric, washable masks. We also encourage everyone to bring their own masks that they’ve been using at home. The Colleges also have a supply of disposable masks at Campus Safety should someone forget one in their residence hall, home or office.

Will there be disinfectant stations on campus?

  • The Colleges have added more than 300 additional hand sanitation stations across campus. Locations can be seen on the detailed maps of the Building Environmental Space Review.
  • The Colleges have secured hand sanitizer to distribute in individual quantities to all students and to all offices and classrooms. The Colleges will distribute instructions for use of and storage of hand sanitizer to all students.
  • All student rooms, offices, classrooms and shared spaces will be 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.

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, 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?

  • 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.
Return to Opening Plan Main Page