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Q&A

We know you have questions, and we’re working to get you answers as soon as we can. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available.

Updated 10/21/20

How many positive cases have there been on campus?

Please refer to the Campus Cases page.

Health and safety measures

What kind of face covering can I wear?

Cloth face coverings that fully cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the sides of the face are acceptable for use in most situations. The standards and guidelines for face coverings have been updated and now require face coverings at all times, unless in a private office or residence.  Masks also need to be worn under face shields at all times. If a specific type of mask or PPE is required, such as in a laboratory setting, those directions will be communicated by your instructor or supervisor. Find answers to frequently asked questions about face coverings.

Will masks be provided to everyone?

Masks will be provided to anyone who does not have one.

Will students have to wear masks in the residence halls?

Students will be expected to wear masks in the residence hall common areas, such as hallways and elevators. However, they will not be required to wear masks in their own room.

If one student in a suite tests positive, are all of their suitemates or roommates treated as a family unit and quarantined?

Yes. Students in a suite, apartment, or wing -- depending on building style -- will be treated as family unit. If a student tests positive, they will be isolated in a different location. The students in their family unit will be required to quarantine in place in the suite/apartment/wing for 14 days.

Will professors wear their masks while teaching?

Yes. They will wear masks in the classroom while they are interacting with students and in meetings with students, faculty and staff.

Will students need to wear masks in class, even when they speak?

Yes. Students will wear masks for the duration of class.

What will happen if a student, faculty or staff member doesn’t wear a mask on campus?

Our goal is to provide an excellent and inclusive educational experience while also adhering to guidelines to protect the health and safety of the entire Pitt-Bradford community. Therefore, we are setting the clear expectation that everyone will wear masks and practice social distancing. Health and safety interventions will be handled respectfully and as discretely as possible for those individuals who are not wearing a mask.

Do I always have to stay six feet apart from other people?

You must always stay six feet away from others, wherever possible, and this applies whether you are indoors or outdoors. Only in situations where six feet of physical distance is not possible – such as with dorm or apartment roommates or with others in a lab setting – are you exempt from staying six feet apart. Additional guidance on these situations will be provided in the coming weeks.     

Do I have to wear a mask and stay six feet apart when outside? What If I am going for a job or playing sports with friends?

The standards and guidelines for face coverings have been updated and now require face coverings at all times, unless in a private office or residence. 

What changes will be made to ensure social distancing across campus?

In the coming weeks, we’ll announce how we’re going to de-densify campus, including residence halls, dining halls and classrooms and to modify and restrict these spaces and other campus facilities. De-densifying the campus means that at any given point in time, fewer people will be sharing the same space; people will be more spread out.

We will have sufficient spaces on campus to quarantine and isolate ill students.

We will notify whoever the student identified as an emergency contact. Therefore, it is important that the student’s emergency contact information is accurate and up to date. It is also helpful for the student to sign a FERPA waiver form. In an emergency, a signed form allows us to share a student’s personally identifiable information, without prior written consent, to those who need to know to protect the health and safety of the student and others.

Yes. Students in a suite, apartment, or wing -- depending on building style -- will be treated as a family unit. If a student tests positive, they will be isolated in a different location. The students in their family unit will be required to quarantine in place in the suite/apartment/wing for 14 days.

Housing

So many things are different this year. With that in mind, we’ve put together a Q&A specifically for housing this fall. More information about dining, isolation and quarantine and other general safety measures will follow.

By what date must students check out of campus housing?

All students must be checked out by 5 p.m. Nov. 25.

Do students need to get a COVID-19 test before coming to campus? Will they be tested when they get there?

Students do not have to get a test in advance. Once students have arrived, the university will test a random sample of students to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus. The university’s COVID-19 Medical Response Office prepared this testing plan after consulting with epidemiologists and statisticians.

How does shelter-in-place work?

Students need to shelter-in-place for a week prior to arriving and a week after moving into their room. Read a full explanation of shelter-in-place guidelines.

Do students have to wear masks all the time? Do they have to supply their own?

The standards and guidelines for face coverings have been updated and now require face coverings at all times, unless in a private office or residence.  It is recommended that students bring several cloth face coverings. One will be provided.

What other extra things do students have to bring this year?

A thermometer, facemasks that cover mouth and nose, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, something for an upset stomach or allergies, and first-aid supplies. They might also want to pack a small COVID-19 isolation bag in case they need to move to isolation. Include face coverings, pajamas, Tylenol or ibuprofen, phone charger, etc., that a friend or RA can quickly grab and arrange to have delivered to them.

Once a student is moved into his or her dorm are parents allowed back on campus if they need to go buy something for him or her?

Yes. During the shelter-in-place period, parents may visit if they are following rules about masks, and social distancing. The student should make his or her resident assistant or resident director aware of the visit.

What if a student feels ill?

If a student feels sick, he or she should stay in his or her room and call health services, which will tell them how to manage symptoms and receive testing. Student services will arrange for support, such as food delivery and cleaning for the suite or hall.

What happens if a student is ill? What happens if another student in a pod becomes ill?

Students suspected of having or testing positive for COVID will be moved into an isolated housing unit, where they will communicate daily with health services staff. He or she will also be contacted by a contact tracer. Other members of the ill student’s “pod” (suite or hallway) will quarantine in pace with food delivered. More information on dining services and quarantine procedures is forthcoming.

Will you contact parents if a student is ill?

We will notify whoever the student identified as an emergency contact. Therefore, it is important that the student’s emergency contact information is accurate and up to date. It is also helpful for the student to sign a FERPA waiver form. In an emergency, a signed form allows us to share a student’s personally identifiable information, without prior written consent, to those who need to know to protect the health and safety of the student and others.

Can a student go home if he/she is ill? 

Yes. For the comfort of the student and the safety of others, it is optimal if a student can return home.

If a student leaves housing before the end of the semester, will he or she receive a refund for room and board?

Yes. Students who decide to leave campus housing up to and including Oct. 30 will have their room and board prorated. 

What kind of cleaning protocol will be followed?

In suites, students will be responsible for cleaning within their apartments.  All residence hall common areas, including entrances, exits, elevators, stairwells, lobby areas, seating areas and common restrooms will be cleaned three times a day between 8 a.m. and midnight.

How many rooms do you have to accommodate positive cases?

18 beds have been set aside for the isolation of positive students on campus. 

What if a student is suspected to have COVID, but has not received a positive test yet? Is he or she housed with positive students?

For as long as we have the housing capacity, the two groups will be kept separate.
 

Academics

If students have been exposed or are sick, how will they access classes during quarantine?

Our professors are working to provide instruction in different ways – in person, remotely and a hybrid – which will accommodate students in these circumstances.

What happens if a professor gets sick? Will someone else take over the class?

Plans are in place for each academic division to make sure classes are covered if any professor gets sick.

Will students have the option of attending class remotely if they have a health risk, live with someone who does or prefer not to physically come to campus?

A: Yes. The Office of Academic Affairs is working closely with professors to provide instruction in different ways – face-to-face, remotely and a hybrid – to accommodate students.

Will students be able to meet privately and confidentially with a professor, advisor, tutor or counselor?

Yes. However, those meetings will not take place in small office spaces that do not enable social distancing. Larger meeting spaces are being identified and will be used that will enable both confidentiality and healthy communication.

Activities

How will students be educated and encouraged to maintain social distancing when they’re not attending class and on the weekends?

We’ll be sharing important health and safety information in a variety of ways. We’ll distribute standards and expectations to students, who will be required to sign an agreement that they will honors them. There will be signs on campus. We’ll provide educational programming – both online and in small groups. Additionally, our staff will provide regular updates.

What is the status of fall and winter sports? 

We hope it will be possible to have varsity and recreational sports. We’re currently working on a “Return to Sports” plan to determine what the fall, winter and spring sports seasons may look like. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we develop a plan we hope will allow our athletes to compete safely.

Fall 2020 Varsity Sports FAQ

Will all activities be virtual or will some be held in person?

We are planning to offer both. Any in-person activity will be in small groups with appropriate mitigation measures in place. When planning in-person events, we will adhere to the guidance and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state and the university.