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Identifying positive cases and mitigating spread

The goal of identifying positive cases and mitigating spread is based on guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (May, 2020) “to balance the goal of reducing the number of people who may become seriously ill or die from COVID-19 with the goal of minimizing educational and social disruption.”  The primary responsibility for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 resides with each individual member of the La Salle University campus community. However to be successful, it will require a joint effort from everyone in our community.

Testing
  • The University’s COVID-19 testing strategy, outlined below, represents a critically important component of our spring semester Return to Campus La Salle’s testing protocol, which will continue to be refined as we draw closer to our return, can be framed in three main approaches:
    • Entry Testing: Upon returning to campus in January, every student, employee, and Christian Brother who plans to live, learn and/or work on campus will be required to take a COVID-19 entry test. Those students and employees who will be fully remote this spring will not require an entry test. Testing will be provided by the University, at no cost to you, at the start of the semester and will take place on campus. Full testing of our population may be implemented, if deemed necessary, at other points in the semester. Further details and instructions will be provided as we get closer to the start of the spring semester.
    • Surveillance Testing: The University will administer surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals throughout the semester. Each week, a portion of our on-campus community will be selected for testing. Any member of our community who is living, learning, and/or working on campus is eligible for selection for surveillance testing. This branch of testing will have additional protocols for our student-athletes, who are training and competing in the spring.
    • Symptomatic and Exposure Testing: Students who experience COVID-19 symptoms will be directed to symptomatic testing on campus. Given the similarity of symptoms, symptomatic students will also be tested for the flu. Similarly, students who have been informed by University contact tracing representatives that they have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be tested on campus. Employees who are symptomatic or have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive will be directed to access testing through their personal health care provider.
  • Several testing locations are located within a 5-mile radius of campus. Philadelphia Department of Public Health sites provide testing for the uninsured. Transportation to the off-campus sites is the responsibility of the individual being tested.
    • Most health insurance carriers will cover the cost of the test. Consult with yours for more information.
Self-reporting

All students, faculty, and staff are required to self-report to the University if any of the following three scenarios are true:

  • You have tested positive for COVID-19, and/or
  • You have been exposed (close contact of 6 feet or less for at least 15 minutes) to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and/or
  • You are showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms and your health care provider has referred you for a COVID-19 test.

In these cases, students and employees are asked to complete the COVID-19 Disclosure Form, consult with their personal health care providers, and stay at home until you have met the criteria to return.

As always, we encourage faculty, students, and staff to continue to work closely with their personal health care providers when addressing their own unique and personal health care needs and concerns.

Faculty/staff

  • An employee must provide notification immediately by completing the COVID-19 Disclosure Form. However, a return to work clearance will be requested from the employee’s health care provider. If you have difficulty reaching your personal physician, you may be able to get assistance through Doctor on Demand, at 1-800-997-6196.
  • HR will notify the employee’s supervisor without disclosing medical information.
  • Any employee health information reported to HR will be shared only with those who need to know to assist with contact tracing requirements and/or accommodation requests.

Students

  • Students must complete the the COVID-19 Disclosure Form
  • Students will be contacted by a member of the Contact Tracing team and be interviewed following public health contact tracing guidelines to determine possible community transmission.
  • Student health information reported pursuant to the policy will be shared only with those who need to assist with contact tracing.
  • To protect privacy, student identifying information will not be disclosed in the contact tracing and notification process to the people who have been exposed. Health information reported to the University will be shared only with those who need to know to assist with contact tracing requirements and/or accommodation requests.
  • As with any health issue, students are responsible for notifying their faculty to make arrangements to continue their academic coursework.

Faculty/staff second-hand reporting

  • If a student self-reports COVID-19-related exposure, symptoms, or diagnosis to a faculty or staff member, that information can be forwarded to covid19@lasalle.edu and should be kept confidential beyond that.
  • If an employee self-reports COVID-19-related exposure, symptoms, or diagnosis to a supervisor, that information can be forwarded to hr@lasalle.edu and should be kept confidential beyond that. As with any health issues, faculty and staff should treat any notification from a student or employee as confidential. This information should not be shared with any other faculty, staff, or students.
Quarantine and isolation

Quarantine

  • Quarantine is required for individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms (asymptomatic). Quarantine helps reduce the spread of infection, especially before individuals know they are sick. Individuals in quarantine should:
    • Stay home and avoid close contact with other people.
    • Monitor their health closely.
    • Follow directives of the local health department and their personal healthcare provider.
    • Any member of the University community with exposure (as defined by the CDC) to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days from their last-known exposure.
  • Students
    • Commuter students
      • Students should stay home and not come to campus while they are quarantining.
      • Students in quarantine will continue to have access to their course materials and should continue to complete their academic studies remotely, as their health permits.
      • It is the student’s responsibility to notify faculty that they are in quarantine.
      • For information on academic and non-academic leaves of absence, please review the Academic Pandemic Response Policy (link to follow).
    • Off-campus students
      • Students who live alone should stay at home and self-monitor.
      • Students who share apartments or houses should consult the CDC guidelines on managing quarantine and discuss options with housemates.
      • If students live within driving distance, can be transported safely (e.g. in a vehicle alone or with one other person, both wearing a mask and windows open), and will not be exposing any at-risk family members, quarantining at home is highly encouraged.
      • Students in quarantine will continue to have access to their course materials and should continue to complete their academic studies remotely, as their health permits.
      • It is the student’s responsibility to notify faculty that they are in quarantine.
      • For information on leaves of absence, please review the Academic Pandemic Response Policy (link to follow).
    • Residential students
      • The University will maintain a limited number of designated quarantine facilities for residential students.
      • If students live within driving distance, can be transported safely (e.g. in a vehicle alone or with one other person, both wearing a mask and windows open), and will not be exposing any at-risk family members, quarantining at home is highly encouraged.
      • Students are encouraged to consider which option they prefer before they return to campus and discuss logistics with family members.
      • Students in on-campus quarantine will continue to have access to their course materials and should continue to complete their academic studies remotely, as their health permits.
      • It is the student’s responsibility to notify faculty that they are in quarantine.
      • Arrangements will be made for meals to be delivered to students in on-campus quarantine who have a Dining Services meal plan.
      • For information on leaves of absence, please review the Academic Pandemic Response Policy (link to follow).
  • Faculty and staff
    • Faculty and staff are required to quarantine off-campus at home. Staff who reside on campus are required to quarantine within their campus residence.
    • Faculty and staff in quarantine will work with their supervisors to discuss remote work opportunities, as their health and role permit.
    • Employees who are unable to work due to personal illness should use available sick time. If an employee’s available sick time has already been exhausted, they should contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss available leave options.
  • Travel
    • All University-sponsored travel is suspended. Very limited exceptions will require the approval of the area Vice President.
    • Traveling from or to out-of-state
      • Currently, individuals who are entering Pennsylvania from other states and countries, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering or after arrival into Pennsylvania or quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Pennsylvania. Individuals who are traveling to and from Pennsylvania for work or school are exempt.
    • International travel
    • Domestic travel
      • The CDC cautions that all travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick is to avoid all non-essential travel.

Isolation

  • According to the CDC, isolation is used in order to separate those who have (or likely have) contracted the virus from those who have not. Those in isolation should remain home and separate themselves from others until it is safe for them to be around other people.
  • Any member of the University community who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms will be required to isolate until they meet the criteria to end isolation.
  • Students
    • The University will maintain a limited number of designated isolation facilities for residential students.
    • If students live within driving distance, can be transported safely (e.g. in a vehicle alone or with one other person, both wearing a mask and windows open), and will not be exposing any at-risk family members, isolating at home is highly encouraged.
    • Students are encouraged to consider which option they prefer before they return to campus and discuss logistics with family members.
    • Students in on-campus isolation will continue to have access to their course materials and should continue to complete their academic studies remotely, as their health permits.
    • Arrangements will be made for meal delivery to students in on-campus isolation who have a Dining Services meal plan.
    • Students who have tested positive and need to be relocated to an on-campus isolation unit should contact studenthealth@lasalle.edu or call 215-951-1565.
    • Commuter students should discuss how the need for isolation will be managed with family members.
    • Off-Campus students should review and discuss isolation guidelines with housemates.
  • Faculty and staff
    • Faculty and staff are required to isolate off-campus.
    • Faculty and staff in isolation will work with their supervisors to discuss remote work opportunities, as their health and role permit.
    • Employees who are unable to work due to personal illness should use available sick time. If available sick time has already been exhausted, the employee should contact HR to discuss available leave options.
      • HR will contact the appropriate chair or program director (faculty) or vice president (staff), as appropriate.
Contact tracing
  • Contact tracing refers to the process by which close contacts of an individual who tests positive or is suspected of testing positive with COVID-19 are warned of their exposure in order to stop chains of transmission.
  • Contact tracing is critical in stopping the spread of the virus. The University has developed a contact tracing and notification protocol for students and employees adhering to CDC guidance and best practices for confidentiality, HIPAA protections, and pandemic exceptions for the public good.
  • Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 will be notified through contact tracing, however identifying information about the source of the exposure will not be shared to protect privacy.
Communication
  • lasalle.edu/covid19 will continue to serve as the hub of information relating to COVID-19 and its impact on campus operations. This will include the number of positive cases that have been identified on campus.
  • Students, faculty, and staff will continue to be updated via email announcements in their lasalle.edu email account.