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Webinar: Preparing for Students’ Return
Quinnipiac leadership held a webinar July 27 and July 28 with parents to review the details of the university’s fall reopening plan and the many health and safety measures being put in place to prepare for students’ return. If you were unable to join us for this event, a replay is now available. The webinar lasts approximately 75 minutes. QU leaders who presented included:
- Judy Olian, president
- Debra Liebowitz, provost
- Dr. David Hill, QU’s senior medical adviser on COVID-19 and director of the university’s Global Public Health Program
- Monique Drucker, vice president and dean of students
- Keith Woodward, associate vice president for facilities operations
Online Training Course
COVID-19 Return to Campus online training course
All students, faculty and staff are required to complete Quinnipiac's COVID-19 Return to Campus online training course by Monday, August 10. It contains important information about the many health and safety protocols we have put in place throughout our campuses to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The course is available on Blackboard and should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. To receive credit for completing the training, you must review all content and confirm your completion at the end. You will be able to print a certificate of completion upon finishing the full training video for your records.
COVID-19 testing for students
As part of our extensive health and safety guidelines for students, Quinnipiac has designed a comprehensive COVID-19 testing program for students. This program requires students be tested before returning to Quinnipiac, and again shortly after their arrival and regularly throughout the fall semester. The testing program we have designed is a key component of our plan to bring students back to, and sustain, a healthy QU community and to be able to keep our campuses and classrooms open.
1. “Pre-Arrival Testing” – Before returning to campus
All students – undergraduate and graduate – are required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning for the fall semester. This pre-arrival test is a condition of being able to engage in any in-person instruction or other campus activities. Students cannot return to Quinnipiac for the fall semester or move into their assigned housing if they are not tested prior to their return.
We have heard from many families with concerns about being able to locate and access testing in a timely manner and receiving the correct type of test. To make this process simpler for families, we are pleased to announce we have contracted with Rutgers University’s Infinity Biologics to administer these pre-arrival tests, relieving families of any burden of having to identify, schedule or travel for a COVID-19 test. This is a saliva-based test and Rutgers’ partner, Vault Health, will send the test kit directly to each student’s home address. An email communication will be sent to each student with detailed information on how and when to complete the test, including an opportunity to provide the student’s most current address location.
The cost of this one-time pre-arrival test will be covered by families; a $130 charge will be assessed to a student’s Bursar account. We recommend you contact your health plan about the terms and conditions of your insurance coverage and whether you may be reimbursed for this cost.
2. “Return Testing” – Upon return to campus
All students – undergraduate and graduate – will be tested again shortly upon returning to Quinnipiac. Regardless of whether a student lives in university-housing or off-campus housing, they are expected to limit their activities and movement outside their living unit upon return until they have received confirmation of a negative test result from this “return testing.” Students will receive more information after returning to campus about when they’ll be scheduled to be tested and where to go for testing. The university has partnered with the Broad Institute, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based genomic research center, to perform all of Quinnipiac’s on-campus testing. This will be a non-invasive nasal swab test.
3. “Ongoing Testing” – Throughout the fall semester
After the “return testing” is complete, the university will then use a sampling methodology to conduct weekly testing of approximately 15% of all residential and non-residential students. This sampling strategy is based upon scientific guidelines and will aid in the early detection of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infections. QU will also have the ability to conduct rapid testing within Student Health Services for symptomatic individuals or those feeling ill, which produces a test result within approximately one hour.
Academics: The Q-Flex model of learning
Quinnipiac is taking an innovative approach to teaching and learning this fall. We call it Q-Flex. Courses will be delivered using simultaneous in-person and online instruction, with students alternating between the two modes of course participation. While students will not be in the classroom as often as they’d traditionally be for classes, Q-Flex will create an experience that is still rich and engaging, allows students and faculty to stay closely connected, while prioritizing the health and safety of our community.
How it works
For as many classes as possible, subject to public health and safety guidelines, a professor will be physically present in the classroom, teaching as many students as possible during the regularly scheduled class time. Because physical distancing rules require us to put 6 feet between each person in the room and to limit room capacity, we won’t be able to fit the entire class in person for most sessions. As a result, students will take turns occasionally attending in person and other days joining the class online from their residence hall, suite, apartment or other study space as it is happening.
Q-Flex instructional method schedule codes
Within your course, you will find "Meeting Information" that indicates how your class will be taught. The codes mean the following:
- Lecture (LEC): Classes that appear as LEC (lecture) on students’ schedules are traditional lecture style classes where the professor leads the class in a discussion while delivering content related to the course of study. These classes will be delivered in a synchronous fashion, occurring at a scheduled time and location, with as many classes as possible occurring fully in-person. Based on the class size and space availability, some LEC courses will use a flipped class model where the class is divided into groups and portions of the class meet in person while the other portion joins online – with the groups alternating between in-person and online participation.
- Hybrid (HYB): Classes that appear as HYB (hybrid) on students’ schedules are traditional lecture style classes where the professor leads the class in a discussion while delivering content related to the course of study. These classes will be delivered in a synchronous fashion, occurring at a scheduled time and location, and will use a flipped class model where the class is divided into groups with portions of the class meeting in person while the other portion joins online – with the groups alternating between in-person and online participation. Additionally, with HYB, there may be instances where students are in class while the professor teaches remotely. Blackboard will also be used in HYB classes for additional synchronous classroom activities.
- Fitness, Leisure, Wellness (FLW): Classes that appear as FLW (fitness, leisure, wellness) on students’ schedules traditionally meet in person. The goal is to deliver as many FLW in person as possible but, where it makes sense, some FLW courses may be delivered online.
- Laboratory (LAB): Classes that appear as LAB (laboratory) on students’ schedules generally require specific lab space and equipment for course delivery. Since many LAB courses include a degree of hands-on learning, the university is expecting that most LAB courses will occur inside physical lab spaces. Some classes, at various levels, may be delivered online based on course content and the ability to deliver the same in-lab experience online. LAB classes will be delivered in a synchronous fashion, occurring at a scheduled time.
- Web-Based (WEB): Classes that appear as WEB (web-based) on students’ schedules will occur 100% online and will use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Synchronous classes will meet over Zoom at scheduled times as listed on each student’s schedule. Asynchronous activities will occur at non-scheduled times throughout the course where students will engage via Blackboard.
We’ll use Zoom again, but this time it will connect students and faculty who are on campus to students and, in some cases, faculty who must join the class remotely. We have invested a great deal in “Zoom carts,” which we have designed with multiple monitors and a camera to give out-of-classroom students real-time connectivity to their class. Students attending remotely will be able to see and hear what is happening, and they will be seen and heard by their teacher and fellow students so that they may ask questions and take part in class discussions. In some cases, for personal health reasons, professors will be teaching remotely while students are on campus, possibly even gathered together in a classroom. Our Zoom carts enable off-campus professors to meet with students as if they were there in person. Zoom carts also will support small group discussions, extra-help sessions or office hours.
Highly interactive "virtual classrooms"
More than 800 of our faculty participated this summer in training designed to make their asynchronous teaching (use of Blackboard, discussion boards, videos, online quizzes and problem sets, and other online materials) even stronger this fall. Faculty now have even more tools at their disposal to interact with students, regardless of whether COVID-19 permits students and faculty to be physically present together on campus.
Return to our traditional system of grading
We expect that the switch to Pass/Fail, enacted this past spring, will not be necessary in Fall 2020.
University-sponsored travel policy 2020–21
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on worldwide travel and global health risks, Quinnipiac is pausing student, faculty and staff participation in international and domestic university-sponsored travel for Fall 2020, Winter 2021 and Spring 2021. This includes travel for semester- and short-term study abroad, faculty-led trips, conferences, research, and domestic study away programs directly operated by Quinnipiac, partner institutions and third-party providers. If travel resumes for these terms, approval for travel will need to be evaluated by the Management Committee and COVID-19 Taskforce.
This decision is based primarily on the health and safety concerns associated with global travel and ongoing revisions to entry requirements, visa processes and travel advisories.
1. Required face coverings
Quinnipiac is requiring that all students, faculty and staff wear face coverings when in public. This means that anytime a person is outside their living unit or personal office, they must wear a face covering regardless of whether they are interacting with another person, or are outdoors.
Recent analysis shows the risk of acquiring COVID-19 from a person who is infected is substantially reduced to less than 5% when wearing face coverings.
The university will provide every student with one washable cloth QU face mask upon their return to campus. Students are asked to bring additional cloth face coverings of their own.
2. Phased drop-off of belongings to residence halls, and later move-in
As previously announced, we will offer a phased drop-off of belongings August 10-23 for those who are within range of driving to our campuses to minimize density during the official move-in dates to the residence halls. Families will be assigned dates/times for the drop-off.
On their designated drop-off day, families will also be permitted to spend time on campus to familiarize themselves with the facilities and resources, while observing all safety protocols.
The actual move-in process will be done quickly since belongings will be already dropped off for most students. Move-in dates will start August 21 and will be staggered depending on class year, residence hall and location.
Students coming from some states with higher rates of COVID-19 cases may be required to self-quarantine upon arrival, according to State of Connecticut guidelines
Physical Distancing and De-Densifying
3. Physical distancing and de-densifying shared spaces across our campuses
We are de-densifying classrooms, dining halls, libraries, common areas, offices and spaces throughout our campuses to a maximum of 50% capacity.
All dining spaces and classrooms have been reconfigured to reflect physical distancing of at least 6 feet; that is true also of all public and common spaces – indoors and outdoors.
All courses will be delivered in a dual mode – on-ground and online. Students will alternate between the two modes of course participation, allowing lower density in classrooms.
Faculty in higher health risk categories or situations may teach remotely to address their health vulnerabilities.
Residence Hall Guidelines
4. Reduced density of residence halls and treating roommates as a ‘family unit,’ with stricter residence hall guidelines
The State of Connecticut and its higher education reopening committee issued guidelines in May that treat roommates or suitemates as a “family unit,” and emphasized stricter cleaning protocols and preventive health measures.
Our residence hall occupancy will be lower relative to capacity, enabling removal of all triples and conversion of some doubles into singles.
We are instituting strict bathroom guidelines for all residential students. To minimize virus transmission, bathroom guidelines require that roommates/suitemates create and follow a strict schedule for alternating bathroom use; no personal items can be stored in the bathroom; no cell phones are allowed in bathrooms; bathrooms should be wiped down by each individual after their use.
Communal bathrooms (shared by all students on a floor) will be cleaned daily each weekday by the university’s facilities staff.
No visitors will be allowed into residence halls; only those who live in a specific residence hall can enter that building.
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
5. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols
Quinnipiac’s facilities team will perform regular intense cleaning of all public spaces to disinfect classrooms, common areas, workspaces and dining areas to minimize transmission.
Each of our facilities managers will be nationally certified through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, the leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The certification covers prevention, response and control measures for potential infectious disease outbreaks, with specific expertise related to the coronavirus.
Hand sanitizing stations will be installed throughout our campuses.
All HVAC systems have appropriate filters to cleanse air before it is recirculated. A recent review from Johns Hopkins University found that air conditioning and ventilation are considered effective control strategies for reducing infection risks in indoor spaces when a ventilation system is well maintained.
Daily Symptom Checking
6. Daily symptom checking
Quinnipiac is requiring that all students, faculty and staff conduct a daily, self-guided health check, which will screen for the standard COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the CDC.
A symptom-tracking mobile app will be made available to every member of the QU community to make it easy to perform a daily symptom check on an individual’s mobile device.
This symptom-checking app offers an early detection system to help identify possible COVID-19 cases. Anyone — students, faculty or staff — who is potentially ill will be directed to stay home or in their living unit and referred to the appropriate health care resources.
Baseline COVID-19 Testing and Recurrence
7. Baseline COVID-19 testing and recurring, sample-based testing of our residential students and other groups throughout the fall semester
All students — residential and non-residential — returning to Quinnipiac this fall for on-ground classes must be tested for COVID-19 at home before returning. This must be a PCR test (not an antibody test) with the cost of the test borne by the student/family. Further details on the pre-arrival testing requirements, including the timeframe during which the test must be performed before returning to QU, will be released in late July.
All undergraduate students will be tested for COVID-19 again, within 6-12 days of their return to campus, using a minimally invasive nasal swab PCR test for COVID-19.
The university will use a sampling methodology to conduct weekly testing of a portion of residential and non-residential students. This sampling strategy is based on scientific guidelines to aid with early detection of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infections.
All campus-based COVID-19 testing costs will be borne by the university.
Any student showing symptoms of COVID-19, or flagged by the mobile symptom-checking app, will be tested immediately and quarantined until test results are returned.
Separate Isolation and Quarantine Spaces
8. Designating separate isolation and quarantine spaces
As part of our plan to contain any outbreak, Quinnipiac has set aside specific residence halls designated as safe isolation and quarantine locations.
Quarantine housing is used when a person has been exposed to COVID-19 and needs to separate from other people as a safeguard in case symptoms develop over 14 days following the exposure.
Isolation housing is used when someone has observable symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19.
Students will also be given the option to quarantine or isolate at home, depending on their own and their family’s preference and circumstances.
While in quarantine or isolation, students will have full access to wireless internet in their rooms, can continue classes online, and Dining Services will provide regular delivery of prepared meals. Student Health Services will monitor the health and wellbeing of students in isolation through telemedicine.
In the case of extreme illness, and following consultation with Student Health Services, Yale New Haven Hospital is our primary partner if hospital care is needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Health & Safety Protocols
- COVID-19 Testing
- Student Experience
- Move-In Process
- Deferrals/Leaves of Absence
- Students Living Off Campus
- Higher Education Subcommittee to Reopen Connecticut report for colleges and universities
Assumption of Risk
Assumption of risk
The university has taken steps to implement substantial precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By entering onto the Quinnipiac University campus, the student agrees to abide by all university policies and procedures related to COVID-19. The student voluntarily and knowingly assumes the risk of exposure to or infection of COVID-19 by using the services or premises, and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury or illness. The student also acknowledges that it is impossible to fully mitigate the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 and that such exposure or infection may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of the student, university faculty and staff, and other students or visitors to campus. The university will follow all state guidelines and provide guidance on proper protection to alleviate and/or decrease the spread of viruses.