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Surveillance, testing, and tracing

The University has developed a plan for surveillance, testing, and contact tracing which involves a combination of symptom tracking of all students, faculty, and staff; initial testing of all students living on campus, using an established priority order based upon departure location/point of origin and of any symptomatic individuals; and contact tracing of all positive cases.

Plan for students

The University plans to test all students living in campus housing upon arrival using a priority testing order which accounts for travel means, duration, and point of origin, and together with daily symptom tracking, conduct tests of symptomatic individuals thereafter. Students living off campus can request testing. Where not covered by a student’s health insurance, the University will cover the cost of testing for students.

Updated 8/4
The University plans to enact a staggered arrival of all students living on campus so as to allow them to be tested when they arrive to campus. We plan to use the University of Rochester Medical Center testing lab to conduct standard COVID-19 RT-PCR viral test, and, should demand exceed that lab’s ability, we will plan to send tests out to other labs. Students traveling to campus from nearby regional locations that are within one-day’s drive of campus are encouraged to get a COVID-19 RT-PCR viral test within 72 hours of arrival on campus. Those students whose travel is more than one day, or who are traveling by air, will be tested upon arrival in Rochester. Testing priority will be for students in doubles and students arriving via air from domestic “hot-spots” or international locations, and student move-in to doubles will be spaced out to ensure we have a negative result back from the both students before moving the second student into the shared room.

The University plans to deploy daily symptom checks using the Dr. Chat Bot tool for all University students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Chat Bot is an online tool that was implemented by the University’s Medical Center to screen Medical Center faculty, staff, and trainees for COVID-19 symptoms before reporting to work. It is currently in use by the medical center and University research labs that have restarted. The back-end feeds to University Health Services (UHS), and UHS staff follows-up with anyone who reports symptoms each morning to assess whether testing is needed.

The University will reserve some quarantine and isolation space for suspected or confirmed virus carriers in its campus housing stock, as has been the practice since mid-March 2020. Our department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) is in the process of modeling scenarios of possible campus transmission, and these models will inform the number of isolation spaces reserved on campus. We are also working with hotels adjacent to campus for possible flex space to expand quarantine/isolation capacity.  Students housed on campus in single rooms with no shared bathroom facilities will be expected to quarantine or isolate within their campus housing as needed.

Students arriving from other states and countries will be required to quarantine on arrival if government restrictions apply to the location that the student is arriving from.

UHS will continue to support students in quarantine and isolation through the process developed this past spring semester. This will include having a nurse or physician make initial contact with the student as they are identified, and a plan will be arranged for routine follow-up phone calls. Telehealth visits can be arranged with our Campus Counseling Center. Students who require higher level health care will be referred to Strong Memorial Hospital.

When a student enters quarantine or isolation, relevant stakeholders including the Care Network and Dining Services, among others, are notified through a listserv. University Climate and Care team members notify the appropriate Care and Support representative to begin the outreach process for support. Dining will share all options for food which will be delivered to the student’s room. Care and Support Coordinators in each of the schools will coordinate support and services for students.

Plan for workforce (faculty, staff, and postdocs)

All employees are required to take a daily Dr. Chat Bot symptom screening survey before reporting to work at the university or medical center. Employees should log in with their UR Active Directory credentials and report their results to their supervisors daily.

All individuals who are symptomatic will be tested and isolated until their test result is returned. Isolation will continue for individuals with positive test results in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The University continues to require employees to work remotely when possible; on-campus work locations are re-opening in a staged manner with approval from Cabinet-level leadership and school-based operations directors. Individuals who wish to return to their offices must receive approval to return and undertake training prior to return. As more offices open and employees return to work under physical distancing requirements, those individuals who have concerns should discuss these with their supervisors and/or their HR Business Partner. Supervisors who are asked for exceptions or accommodations, or who are otherwise aware of the need for them, should immediately contact their HR Business Partner for assistance with responding to such requests. Employees should not provide personal medical information to their supervisor in connection with an accommodation request.

Plan for response and notification to state and local health authorities of positive cases

The University will continue to notify local health officials upon confirmation of any positive case.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing after any confirmed positive cases of students, faculty, or staff will be done in coordination with Monroe County health officials. University Health Service (UHS) will conduct contact tracing for on-campus students, Monroe County will conduct contact tracing for students off-campus as well as for employees, and the two units will coordinate. Contact tracers will follow tracing protocols and utilize tools developed by NYS as well as complete an online training course.

Plan for tracking and responding to infection surge

The University will follow state and county guidance if an infection surge is present in Monroe County. The university will track the numbers of symptomatic cases among students, faculty and staff, track the use and availability of isolation and quarantine rooms, and confer with local and state public health authorities. As warnings of an infection surge in Monroe County or among the University community become apparent, the Coronavirus University Response Team (CURT) and the University Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) would reengage in regular meetings if not already underway to coordinate University planning. We will respond to significant changes with consideration of additional control interventions (e.g., limitations on gatherings, limitation on in-person instruction, shutdown certain operations or areas) and/or enhanced surveillance (e.g. asymptomatic testing).

Shutdown plan

If necessitated by widespread COVID-19 transmission and limited availability of open isolation and quarantine rooms, the University would begin a mandatory move-out process. This process would be coordinated by residence hall staff to accommodate a physically-distanced staggered departure of all students living on campus, with an accommodation process for domestic and international students unable to depart campus.

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