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Spring 2021: Quarantine options for undergraduates living in University housing

Quarantine will be required for all River Campus and Eastman School of Music undergraduate students living in residence halls who are returning to campus in spring 2021 and who are coming from any non-contiguous state or from any CDC Level 2 or 3 country.  The contiguous states (excluded from quarantine) are Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Below is the current guidance from the New York State Governor’s office at this time and is subject to change.

What does the spring 2021 quarantine entail?

Students will be required to get a COVID-19 test within the three days prior to arriving in New York State. The three days prior to departing are considered part of the quarantine and students should take precautions to quarantine themselves at home before traveling. Once in New York State or in Rochester, students will quarantine for three days and on the fourth day students will have a second COVID test. If both tests are negative, the student will be allowed to return to their residence hall room.

Alternatively, in lieu of the taking a COVID-19 test three days prior to departure and then the follow-up test on day four, students may instead do an independent 14-day quarantine in New York State or one of the contiguous states and then report to campus to be tested.

Where will students quarantine?

The University has contracted with several area hotels in order for students to quarantine there for the three nights.

Again, it is also possible to quarantine in a place of personal choosing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont or Massachusetts for the three nights.

What happens at the end of the three-day quarantine?

Once a student has completed their three days in quarantine, on the fourth day the University will assist with transportation from the hotel back to campus for testing. Testing will occur at the Goergen Athletic Center Field House.  We are anticipating having the rapid tests available. Students will wait for their result. If negative, the student will be able to move into their residence hall room.  If positive, the student will be administered a PCR test to confirm the positive rapid test result and will be moved to Whipple Park until the results are returned. If negative, the student is able to move in. If positive, the student will remain in isolation for 10 days.

Is there an option to quarantine in student rooms on campus?

No. All quarantines must be done at one of the hotels or independently in within one of the states noted above.

Who pays for the quarantine?

Residential Life will make the hotel reservations for quarantine and manage the billing to take advantage of the University’s tax exempt status. Residential Life will then bill students for the quarantine stay through their term bills sometime early spring term 2021. Students will be billed for three nights at $99/night. Those students with financial need will be reviewed and will have their bills credited with financial aid at the rate of 30%, 60% or 95% depending on level of need.

Are meals covered as part of the quarantine fee?

Yes. Hotel quarantine includes three meals a day. Students will be asked to indicate any special dietary needs when they sign up for quarantine so that the hotel can accommodate.

Where can a student get the first test done and what test should be requested?

Different states and countries vary on how and where to secure a test. Check with your local physician or health department to see if there is a requirement that a doctor’s order is needed to have the test. Many pharmacies provide tests—some requiring appointments and doctor’s orders and others walk-in. It is best to plan in advance and make the necessary appointment to be sure that the test is performed three days prior to your departure. In many countries, the government takes care of testing. If you are unfamiliar with this, a local public health agency may be able to assist.

At this time, New York State has not specified the test needed so any test for infection with the COVID virus (PCR or antigen test, nasal swab or oral/throat sample, self-collected or provider-collected) will be acceptable. University officials will need to see that you have a record of having the test, even if you do not yet have results. You must have results by the time of the second test here. If no local testing option is available, several labs offer mail-in tests for COVID.  We will be providing more information about this option in December. If you cannot schedule a test prior to arrival, contact University Health Service for assistance.

Do students have options for quarantine dates?

Yes. There will be a series of quarantine start-dates beginning January 20 from which students may select their preferred date. These are fixed date quarantines meaning students must arrive on the day of the quarantine start. With these fixed date quarantines, there is no exception for late arrival as we are juggling the number of hotel rooms with the anticipated large number of students needing to quarantine with back-to-back reservations. For the fixed date quarantines, most will be completed prior to the start of class. We do recognize that some delays are beyond your control, such as weather-related delays or flight cancellations. If these occur you should contact: winterstayhousing@reslife.rochester.edu and Residential Life will work with you to schedule an alternative option.

We will also have a flexible date quarantine option where students can define their arrival dates. The flexible quarantine option will begin around the first day of classes and students selecting this option will need to begin classes remotely.

What are the fixed date quarantine start dates?

January 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31.

Where do I sign up for quarantine?

The signup for all on-campus students is available on the Residential Life website: rochester.edu/reslife.

Will transportation be provided to the hotel? Is parking covered at the hotel?

No, students should plan on taking an Uber, Lyft, taxi or car to the hotel.  Students may have to pay for parking if they drive their own cars.

Questions?

Email housing@reslife.rochester.edu, or Eastman School of Music Residential Life at studentaffairs@esm.rochester.edu.

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