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Guidance on spring semester guests and visitors

The Coronavirus University Restart Team (CURT) is providing guidance on the policies for visitors and guests on campus for this spring semester. These updates align with current health directives from New York State and will stay in effect until further notice.

At this point, University leadership cannot predict the trajectory of the virus and what the status of it will be through summer 2021. While some summer programs have already been cancelled or moved online, many University campus programs fill important academic, research, and community needs. Therefore, the Committee on Academic Practices (CAP) will assess conditions on February 15 and again on March 15 and make recommendations regarding summer programs on an individual basis.

Campus visitors

River Campus and the Eastman School of Music campuses continue to be closed to visitors and guests for the spring semester. This decision aligns with current New York State safety precautions to help limit infection exposures to those individuals who live and work on our residential campuses.

Students may not host visitors, including family members, on-campus during the spring semester. And at this time, no admissions offices will host on-campus visitors; this guidance will be reviewed as needed throughout the spring semester.

Only approved visitors and guests who are essential to the academic and/or research missions of the University will be permitted to enter University campuses with residential populations during spring 2021. These approved academic or research visitors or guests should have an obvious and documented relationship that clearly furthers the University’s academic and/or research mission.

Formal visitors in spring semester

Formal visitors are essential academic and research visitors who have or will have formal academic or research appointments (e.g., visiting research scientist, visiting professor) in their host University department. Departments and units hosting formal visitors should use the standard appointment processes through their schools and, if international, Global Engagement and the International Services Office (ISO).  Additionally, departments hosting academic and research visitors must register any organized programs of visitors with the Committee on Academic Practices (CAP); these registrations can be started by emailing maggie.graham@rochester.edu.

Departments must ensure that all formal visitors receive appropriate training relevant to their visiting role (e.g. safety) in addition to the COVID-specific requirements outlined below.

Informal visitors in spring semester

Informal visitors are essential academic and research guests whose purpose for being physically present on campus relates to the University’s academic and/or research mission.  Unlike formal visitors, these individuals do not have a formal appointment in a hosting department or unit, which is usually due to the short time period (usually three weeks or less) they will be physically present at the University. Departments and units hosting informal visitors should obtain written approval from a department chair or unit leader in addition to a dean or other Cabinet-level official. The following information should be captured and kept on file:

  • Name of informal visitor and the location of their permanent employment organization
  • Role/function/purpose at University, including all locations the person will access during visit
  • Dates present on campus and location on campus
  • Confirmation that they have completed COVID-19 training
  • Mechanism for daily symptom tracking (e.g. Dr. Chat Bot), as well as name of person who will oversee COVID symptom tracking and training.

Hosts must develop a mechanism to track their visitor’s arrival at the University and ensure all general required trainings are conducted (e.g., safety) in addition to the COVID-specific requirements below.

COVID-specific requirements for all visitors

  • Formal and informal visitors shall follow all federal, state, local, and University protocols as outlined here, including but not limited to social distancing parameters, masking, and group size limits.
  • Departments and units hosting visitors during spring 2021 need to ensure that they receive and comply with all University guidance for COVID-19, including the University’s COVID-19 training and daily symptom tracking via Dr. Chat Bot. The University’s COVID-19 training is available here for visitors with a formal appointment.
  • For those who visit the campus for a research study visit, principal investigators and research teams are responsible for complying with the Guidance for Human Subject Research.
  • Visitors and guests arriving from locations requiring quarantine by New York State or other health agencies must adhere to these quarantine requirements before coming onto campus.

Individuals who must briefly visit campus for the purpose of supporting University operations—for example vendors, service personnel, contractors—have additional guidance.

  • Requirements for non-Medical Center service providers can be found in this PDF.
  • Information for service providers going to the Medical Center may be found in this PDF.
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