COVID-19 FAQs | University of Valley Forge

COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 FAQs

September 11, 2020 Update 

COVID-19 Campus Updates

How many people have tested positive? Will UVF be releasing names of anyone who tests positive so I can tell if I was exposed or not? 

At this point, there have been a very low number of positive cases within the campus community. For some, symptoms occurred after off-campus travel. For privacy reasons, the University is not releasing the identities of individuals who are in isolation or quarantine. 

 

How will I know if I’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive? 

Student Life and the Health Center have been meeting (virtually) with those who have reported symptoms. Student Life and the Health Center are identifying individuals who may have been exposed to the virus, according to the CDC guidelines (within 6 feet of a known case for more than 15 minutes). If you haven’t been contacted directly by Student Life or the Health Center as a follow-up in one of these cases, you were not affected. 

 

I’ve heard people are quarantining. Does this mean that the number of cases is increasing?

Student Life is reaching out to anyone who may have been exposed in order to place them in quarantine. This is out of an abundance of caution, and will help reduce the possibility of on-campus spread of illness. An increase in the number of quarantining students does not necessarily mean an increase in the number of cases, just that we are being aggressive about controlling any potential spread. 

 

Are people in quarantine sick? 

People who are in quarantine are not showing any symptoms, but we are watching to see if any symptoms will develop. 

 

My room/suite mate is in quarantine. Should I be in quarantine as well? 

A quarantining person is someone who was directly exposed to someone who is now showing symptoms or has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Individuals who’ve not been directly exposed to someone showing symptoms or confirmed to have COVID-19 are generally not recommended to quarantine. If you have any questions about whether or not you should be in quarantine, please contact the Health Center. Each individual’s situation will be considered independently. We encourage all students to self-monitor for symptoms.

 

Is someone in quarantine allowed outside of their room for any reason?

A student that is in quarantine is restricted from leaving their room except for very specific reasons, such as getting food to go directly from the Dining Commons, visiting the grocery store, or going to the doctor’s office. They are to go directly to such locations and back, and are not to visit other locations on campus. They are also not to visit with other students, staff, or faculty in person, nor should others visit them in person. 

 

Should I go home if I feel sick? Why are some people quarantining at home? 

The CDC recommends not traveling if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive. Some students who have felt sick or been identified as possible contacts were at home when notified. They chose to isolation or quarantine where they were and follow CDC guidelines, in order to protect others. In general, traveling is a risk factor to contracting COVID-19, and the CDC recommends limiting unnecessary travel. 

 

What if an employee or faculty member tests positive? 

Faculty and staff are following the same isolation and quarantine procedures, should they start to show an symptoms, test positive, or be exposed to someone who has been sick. 

 

Will on-campus events be cancelled? 

Campus events are already planned in ways that will follow physical distancing and limit the likelihood of spread. However, in some instances, it may be necessary to delay an event so that contact tracing can be completed to identify any individuals who may need to be quarantined.

 

Do commuters and resident students have similar risks?

Commuters and resident students live with and are exposed to familial units, as well as those that they work or interact with. It is important for all students, wherever they are living, to follow the guidelines related to physically distancing, wearing masks, and washing their hands frequently, both on and off campus. 

 

Are seated classes safe? 

UVF is following CDC and PA guidelines for institutions of higher education. Classrooms have been modified to promote physical distancing, and all students and professors are required to wear masks at all times. These measures reduce risk and in many cases are lower risk than other activities. 

 

Should I be worried about having to move home before the semester ends? 

We believe that the measures that we have taken and are continuing to take will allow us to remain on campus throughout the semester. We are being aggressive in mitigating risk, and have a large number of quarantine rooms available if needed. Experiencing some COVID-19 cases is to be expected and does not indicated that the University would need to complete the semester through online learning. However, we each have a responsibility to protect each other and lower risk by following all guidelines, including wearing a mask at all times, remaining physically distant, and washing our hands frequently. 

 

How frequently will we be updated on the COVID-19 situation on campus? 

UVF will provide regular COVID-19 updates through community emails. A this point, we are not planning on a schedule frequency, but will update as needed. This FAQs page will also be updated as needed. 

August 3, 2020 Update 

ARRIVING ON CAMPUS

Will I have to quarantine before coming to campus?

UVF asks all students to self-monitor (take your temperature/check for symptoms) before returning to campus. Pennsylvania recommends that if you have traveled, or plan to travel, to an area where there are high amounts of COVID-19, that you stay home 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania. A link to the most updated information on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 response may be found here.

 

For students coming from states on the Pennsylvania quarantine travel advisory , we recommend you self-quarantine 14 days before your return to campus (stay at home, self-monitor for fever or symptoms, and stay away from others as much as possible).

 

Is there anything special I should bring to campus?

Students are required to bring masks, a thermometer, and disinfectant and cleaning supplies for their room. Students are encouraged to bring several pairs of disposable gloves and hand sanitizer. A camp chair for outdoor activities is also recommended.

 

Will we be assigned an arrival time?

Yes. New students have been assigned an arrival time on Thursday, August 20 based on the first letter of their last name (A-E = 9-10 a.m; F-L = 10-11 a.m.; M-R = 11-noon.; S-Z = noon-1 p.m.).

 

Returning students can arrive either Saturday, August 22 or Sunday, August 23 and have a staggered arrival time on either of those days based on the first letter of their last name (A-I = 2-3 p.m.; J-R = 3-4 p.m.; S-Z = 4-5 p.m.).

 

Will there be any temperature checks or other screenings required when I come to campus?

Yes. You and those in your party will take a temperature check and short symptom screening survey before you check in.

 

How many people am I allowed to bring with me?

You may bring two people with you to help you check in and move in. Please ask them to bring and wear a mask and make sure everyone in your party is symptom- and fever-free.

 

What should I do if I start to show symptoms before I arrive?

If you have symptoms or a fever within 14 days of your return, contact the Health Center (healthcenter@valleyforge.edu) for next steps. The link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Symptoms of Coronavirus page and Self-Checker can be found here.

 

What if I don’t pass the screening when I arrive?

We will work with you to finish check-in and begin your classes. The Director of our Health Center and a member of our Student Life team will meet with you about your options and help you finish check-in through a separate process.

 

What will check-in look like?

Check-in will occur with social distancing measures in place. According to Pennsylvania mandate, everyone is required to wear a mask. Check-in will begin in Heritage Hallway. Students and their guests will take a temperature check and short symptom screening before they check in. Parties will be escorted to the Student Center/Anvil area where they can relax and remain socially distanced until escorted to Cardone Hall to finalize financial services, receive their room key, etc.

 

Do I have to sign a waiver related to COVID-19 when I arrive?

No, not specifically related to COVID-19. UVF students will, however, be asked to sign a covenant of commitment, called the Community Life Addendum, to support the health and wellbeing of our community. New students will be asked to sign a liability waiver related to New Student Orientation activities.

 

How long can those who are helping me to move in stay on campus?

New student guests are asked to vacate the residence halls after moving in their student; however, new student guests can remain on campus until after the Welcome Service Thursday evening. Returning students’ guests are asked to leave campus after moving in their student.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Will I have to wear a mask on campus?

Yes. Pennsylvania requires people wear a mask/face covering anytime they leave home. Masks should also be worn outdoors if a person is unable to consistently maintain social distancing from other individuals.

 

Will I have to wear a mask in my residence hall or in my dorm room/apartment/suite?

Pennsylvania requires people wear a mask/face covering anytime they leave home (see the link above). “Home” is a student’s dorm room/apartment/suite. When you are in your dorm room/apartment/suite, you do not need to wear a mask (you and your roommates may choose to do so, but it is not required). Once you leave your dorm room/apartment/suite, expect to wear your mask. That includes wearing a mask in hallways, lounges, laundry and floor kitchen areas.

 

Will there be COVID-19 testing available on campus?

No. COVID-19 testing is not available on campus. There are, however, several local sites that can provide testing for our students. Visit our Health Center page on MyValleyForge.

 

Will there be transportation to a testing site for students with COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes. If a student is advised to take a test and does not have their own transportation, UVF will provide transportation to a local testing site.

 

Will the Health Center have extended hours?

Yes. Updated hours will be posted on MyValleyForge and outside the Health Center office.

 

What if someone on campus has been exposed to COVID-19?

UVF will follow CDC and local health department guidelines to minimize further exposure which may include asking the exposed person to self-monitor or quarantine at home, in their dorm room or in a University-provided quarantine room, and contacting others who may have been exposed. All members of the UVF community are asked report possible exposure to COVID-19 to the Health Center at healthcenter@valleyforge.edu.

 

What happens if there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus?

Appropriate contact tracing and notification to those who may have been exposed will take place with guidance from local health authorities. The person testing positive will be asked to isolate per health department directives, and exposed persons may be asked to self-quarantine depending on their level of exposure.

 

What is the difference between self-quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine: separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Isolation: separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

 

If students test positive, where will they isolate?

Students may isolate at home or in university isolation housing. Isolation housing has been reserved off campus at the nearby, University-operated Hartwick House. Students who isolate at Hartwick House will be provided with instructions, sign a waiver, and receive pre-packaged meals from the Dining Commons. It is important to note that UVF is not a medical facility and cannot provide medical care for those in isolation, although regular check-ins by UVF staff will occur.

 

Will there be any regular temperature checks or screenings required?

Yes. Students are asked to self-monitor their symptoms every day and report any symptoms of illness or a temperature 100.4 F or greater to the Health Center at healthcenter@valleyforge.edu.

In addition, students will be asked to report their temperature and any symptoms on a screening survey administered throughout the semester.

Athletes will follow testing and temperature testing protocols required by their sport, the CSAC Conference, and the NCAA.

 

EVENTS/SOCIAL

 

Will events still take place on campus?

Yes. Events will still take place with appropriate social distancing measures reflective of state and local mandates and guidance.

 

Will the Anvil/Student Center be open?

Yes. The Anvil/Student Center will be open for students. Students are encouraged to clean recreational items before and after use, and wash hands frequently. Students are also encouraged to maintain social distancing when gathering in indoor and outdoor spaces.

 

Will there be other places available for students to gather?

Yes. Thanks to a generous donor, outdoor spaces are being created for students to gather in a safe and socially distanced manner. Students may also be given opportunity to reserve select classrooms and campus spaces for group meetings in order to have plenty of space for social distancing.

 

What kind of social distancing measures will be in place?

Members of the UVF community will be encouraged to remain 6 feet from one another in educational, social and group settings if at all possible. In some cases, tables, desks, or chairs will be spaced apart or marked to remind people to remain socially distant.

 

CHAPEL

 

What is chapel going to look like?

There will be a variety of chapel opportunities. Smaller groups may be in classrooms. Floor chapels and small groups may be held on residence hall floors. When larger groups are allowed, chapel may be held in the Flower Chapel, Krempels Theater, or other larger spaces. There are also options for live-streaming and chapel by Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

 

Will there be exemptions for students with high-risk health concerns?

No. In most cases, low-risk chapel options will be available so students can participate in chapel. Students with high-risk health concerns should contact the Health Center at healthcenter@valleyforge.edu.

 

Will there be exemptions for students who have a fever or any cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms?

Students who must quarantine or isolate due to fever, cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms often have virtual options for participating in chapel. If their symptoms are such they cannot participate in virtual options, they will receive a medical exemption. A student may submit a doctor’s note or request a medical exemption by contacting the Health Center at healthcenter@valleyforge.edu.

 

ATHLETICS

 

Will any sports be canceled?

The Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) has suspended fall sports competition with the possibility of moving their season to the spring. The sports impacted are men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s golf, and women’s volleyball. There are ongoing meetings that will continue to re-assess and adjust when needed in this area.

 

What will sport practices look like?

Practices will follow the NCAA return to play guidelines through a three phase process. The Department of Athletics will send further information to clarify these phases to the student-athletes directly.

 

Will the gym be open and accessible for use?

Yes. There will be guidelines in place to reduce risk.

 

HOUSING

 

Has UVF made any adjustment to student housing?

Yes. In Bongiorno Hall, rooms normally housing three students will only house two. In apartments, students housed in multiple rooms have been given options to live in single rooms. In other buildings, rooms that normally house multiple students are now singles.

 

Do I have the option of living in a single if I’m uncomfortable living with a roommate?

Single rooms may be available. Please contact the Housing Director at housing@valleyforge.edu.

 

Will room inspections continue to take place bi-weekly?

Yes. Room inspections are important for the health and safety of our community. RAs and ARAs will wear masks and minimize the time in the student’s room when possible.

 

Will there be higher expectations of cleanliness for room inspections?

Yes. Students will be asked to report that they are disinfecting high-use surfaces in their room daily. Room and white glove inspections will be held as usual. Students should communicate with room, suite, or apartment-mates about plans for disinfecting highly used areas and common spaces.

 

Will there be open lounges or open dorms?

UVF will postpone open lounge and open dorm for at least the first two weeks on campus. During this period, only residents of that building will be allowed inside the building. We will reassess this after the first two weeks.

 

Are off-campus guests allowed on campus or in the residence halls?

No, not unless they are on campus for official business purposes. If a student needs to have a parent, family member, or guest in the residence hall temporarily (for example, to bring a heavy item to a student’s room), the students should contact the Student Life Office or Security (after hours) to request authorization.

 

Will I be allowed to have overnight guests on campus?

No

 

DINING

 

What safety measures are in place for the Dining Commons?

Safety measures include Plexiglas at cashier and service stations, rearrangement of furniture to provide opportunity for social distancing, reduced dining room capacity, food served by dining staff rather than self-serve, meals available for take-out, hand sanitizer placed throughout the dining room, and daily health monitoring of staff.

 

Will pre-prepared meals be an option for pick up?

A selection of meals will be available to order through the BITE app at designated times in the Dining Commons. Pre orders can also be done at Jazzman’s through the BITE app.

 

Will Jazzman’s be open as normal?

The hours of operation will remain the same.

 

What else should I know about dining for the fall?

We will continue to prepare healthy and varied meals with quality and safety as our top concern. We are always available for feedback and welcome your input.

 

ACADEMICS

 

Will class sizes be adjusted?

The University will modify classroom assignments to support increased social distancing. In most cases there is sufficient classroom space to facilitate this adjustment for larger classes to allow for social distancing. If not possible, we will rotate attendance of the class between in-person and remote instruction.

 

Will seated classes be accessible remotely through Teams if I’m experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms?

Yes. If a student needs to self-isolate or quarantine, the student will be able to access the classroom instruction remotely via Microsoft Teams.

 

Will masks be required while attending seated classes?

Yes. Masks will be required per Pennsylvania mandate and until such time as it is deemed safe to remove masks in classrooms.

 

FINANCIAL

 

If UVF is forced to close during the fall semester, will I receive a refund of any kind?

If government directives require the University to move all of its fall coursework online before the end of the semester and to close the residence halls, UVF leadership will review and consider issuing an appropriate credit to resident students. Fall 2020 graduates will be taken care of by other means.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

Will faculty or staff office hours or meetings change?

Office hours will not change; however, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to make appointments and hold meetings on Microsoft Teams when at all possible.

 

Can I have a job off campus?

Yes; however, students are encouraged to explore on-campus jobs if at all possible. If working off-campus, students should comply with all safety protocols required by the business and local authorities, and practice good hygiene before returning to campus. Students are asked to have prior discussions with their supervisor about taking leave from work should the University request them to self-quarantine or isolate.

 

Will I be able to travel while living on campus?

UVF strongly recommends students restrict travel while attending classes on campus. If students choose to travel, they should carefully consider Pennsylvania travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in light of class attendance and job requirements and discuss their travel plans with room, suite, or apartment-mates. Students should follow the usual process of notifying their RA when leaving campus overnight.

 

What will change if Chester County goes back to the yellow or red phase?

UVF will adjust its plan for opening based on requirements of local and state authorities. Information on Pennsylvania’s plan to reopen may be found here.

 

May 22, 2020 Update

Check-out FAQs

Please read the FAQs as they will address most questions about the check-out process.

CARES Act Compliance Report

Click here to view the 5/22/2020 CARES Act Compliance Report.

Click here to view the 6/30/2020 CARES Act Compliance Report.

Click here to view the 8/14/2020 CARES Act Compliances Report.

April 24, 2020 Update

Spring 2020 Updates

Click here for the FAQs from the Spring 2020 online learning period.