In a message sent to undergraduate residential students on April 15, details were shared about temporary additional isolation measures to supplement the University’s existing isolation plans. Current isolation protocols can be found on the Student Isolation Guidelines page. The full text of the original message is included below.
As you know, the number of positive COVID cases among students is trending high right now, and the isolation space available in Whipple Park and off campus is being maxed out from day to day. Given these circumstances, the University needs to implement an additional plan for student isolation, in accordance with isolation guidance from the CDC and our Isolation Plan submitted as required to the Monroe County Health Department. We are hopeful that re-implementing the indoor face mask policy on campus will bring down the number of positive cases to a more manageable level, but until then, the following plan is necessary to accommodate the number of students who need to go into isolation when isolation space is maxed out:
- If a residential student tests positive and needs to isolate, the first option remains for the student to go to Whipple Park or an available hotel space, and this assignment will be automatically given to the student.
- If there is no available isolation space in Whipple Park or off-campus hotels, the positive student will need to isolate in their on-campus room if their residence hall/building has a separate bathroom available that can be dedicated to only COVID positive students. Of note, this option is not possible in Tiernan, Hoeing, Lovejoy, DKE or Alpha Delta Phi, but is expected to be an option for other residential locations. In the case of multi-person suites, the shared suite bathroom will be marked to indicate that only one person at a time can be in it.
- According to the CDC, the principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. It is possible for people to be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), but the risk is generally considered to be low. Therefore, as long as more than one person isn’t in the suite bathroom at the same time, the risk of spreading the infection is similarly considered to be very low. University Facilities will provide disinfecting wipes for all suite and COVID designated bathrooms.
- If a student tests positive and is asked to isolate in their room, the healthy roommate will have the option of being moved to a local hotel for the isolation period (5 days). There is no additional charge for this hotel option. This is done because most local hotels will not accept students who have tested positive. This hotel space will most likely be at the Staybridge Suites across the river from River Campus. The Hyatt will be used for Eastman School of Music students and, if needed, for River Campus students if the Staybridge reaches capacity. A University shuttle stop has been added near the Hyatt to transport students to and from the Eastman School of Music and River Campus via the Red Line route during the day (weekdays), and the Orange Line on the weekend and afterhours on weekdays. The Gold Line is available for transportation in between Staybridge and River Campus.
- Any healthy residential student whose roommate tests positive and who wishes to talk about their health concerns with UHS can call (585) 275-2662.
- Dining Services will deliver meals to the front door of the residence hall for positive students isolating in their room. Students in isolation are only permitted to leave their room for the purposes of using the bathroom or picking up their meal from the front door, and must be masked when outside of their room. Students will receive an email outlining the ordering process. After they place an order, they will receive a text confirming the delivery location. Upon delivery, the student will receive a text and Dining Services will wait by the door to assure that the student (or their designee) receives their meal.
This is intended as only a temporary plan to be used only as long as it is needed. We thank you for your patience as we continue to address the many challenges COVID presents us with.