Good Afternoon, Wagner College:
Here is the latest information from Wagner’s on-campus COVID-19 testing regime.
The college has received data from tests conducted on Thursday and Friday of last week. There are no new positive cases on campus. Over the past two weeks Wagner has conducted 2,517 tests. 2,497 have been negative, 1 has been positive (reported 9/11/20), and 19 required reprocessing. There are no new positive tests, exposures, or mitigation steps to report.
The campus approximate transmission rate is 0.0. For more information, please review the COVID-19 case tracker.
Remember that Wagner’s success in containing the virus is the result of your continued observation of campus health policies. Thank you very much for doing your part: keep it up! Wear appropriate face coverings, complete daily CoVerified screenings, get tested as requested, maintain social distancing requirements when appropriate, and continue holding peers and colleagues accountable.
Joel W. Martin
Good Afternoon, Wagner College:
I’m writing to share a testing update and answer some testing questions that have come up this week.
The college has received data from tests conducted on Monday through Wednesday of this week. There are no new positive cases on campus. Over the past two weeks Wagner has conducted 2,934 tests. 2,930 have been negative, 2 have been positive (reported last week), and 12 required reprocessing (below is a description of what this means). There are no new positive tests, exposures, or additional mitigatory steps to report.
The campus approximate transmission rate remains below 1.0. We’ve expanded the COVID-19 case tracker on our website, which you can find at this link or at the top of the page at wagner.edu/covid19.
Observation of Campus Health Policies
We continue to see high compliance with campus health policies, which is a major contributing factor in keeping the campus safe and mitigating the spread of the virus. Keep it up over homecoming weekend!
Q: How effective is the college’s testing regime?
A: Very effective. Wagner’s testing protocol is provided through the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The Broad Institute has conducted over 1.8 million tests using its shallow nasal swab technology. Wagner is one of over 100 colleges and universities including Yale, Tufts, Boston College, Harvard, MIT, Boston College, and Northeastern that are using the Broad test. Learn more about the Broad test on their website and check out their global COVID-19 testing dashboard here.
Q: What does “x tests required reprocessing” mean?
A: Tests required reprocessing means that either (1) there was a problem with the testing sample provided to the lab, such as the label couldn’t be read or (2) the sample was processed but didn’t contain sufficient cells to test properly after two attempts. In either case, the college retests individuals whose tests come back with these designations. Very few tests (0.61%) have required reprocessing.
Q: Governor Cuomo issued a new executive order about how colleges report COVID-19 data. How does this affect Wagner?
A: New York State is establishing a comprehensive data dashboard for New York colleges and universities. Wagner views this as an important step for public health and accountability and we will report our data daily via their dashboard. We’ll continue to share data with the community via these emails, the Friday Wagner Weekly Reports, and the COVID-19 case tracker on our website.
Have a great homecoming weekend!
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner College:
I hope you had a pleasant weekend. I am writing with the next update on our COVID-19 testing on campus.
Over the weekend, the college received the most recent assay of campus COVID-19 tests. Of the 577 tests results received, 572 were negative and 5 required reprocessing.There were NO new positive tests.
Over the past two weeks Wagner has conducted 2,385 tests. 2,374 have been negative, 2 have been positive (both of which were reported last week), and 9 required reprocessing. There are no new cases, exposures, or additional mitigatory steps to report. The campus approximate transmission rate (R0) remains below 1.0. The COVID-19 data dashboard on our website will be updated accordingly.
Observation of Campus Health Policies
Our community continues to demonstrate excellence in observing campus health policies. As such, we continue to prevent the spread of the virus. The choices we make and habits we set are setting are making the difference: thank you! Keep it up!
Have a good week,
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner College:
I write to share the next update on our COVID-19 testing on campus.
As I shared in the Wagner Weekly Report today, one new positive test was identified from our Tuesday and Wednesday’s assays of testing data which the college received late last night. Over the past two weeks, Wagner has conducted 1,988 tests. Of these tests 1,978 have been negative, 8 have required reprocessing, and 2 have been positive.
The individual who tested positive is a residential student who was asymptomatic. The student has left the campus to isolate at home and receive appropriate care. One additional residential student was identified as exposed to the individual who tested positive. The exposed student has also left the campus to quarantine at home.
If you have not been notified, you were not exposed to the individual under the exposure guidelines set forth by the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
Additionally, our Crisis Response Team has recommended, and the college has taken, some highly targeted actions to mitigate viral spread. Anyone affected by those additional actions has already been notified. If you have not been notified, you are not affected. We will continuously monitor our community for infection or exposure trends. As with the first case last weekend, our Crisis Response Team acted swiftly and appropriately.
Observation of Campus Health Policies
I continue to be very grateful to the community for upholding health policies, which has made possible the mitigation and containment of viral spread on campus. Please continue completing your daily self-screenings, taking COVID-19 tests when asked to do so, wearing face coverings, and observing social distance.
We MUST continue to be extremely vigilant and uphold our community health policies.
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner Community,
I’m writing to provide an update on the College’s COVID-19 testing and response. Today we received 443 test results from Thursday and Friday of last week. 441 were negative; one test was not processed, and one test came back positive. This is the first positive test result out of 2,273 tests.
The individual who tested positive is a residential student who was asymptomatic. The individual is in good spirits, safely isolated on campus in Guild Hall, and receiving appropriate care. Wagner’s COVID-19 coordinator Dean Kathy Oberfeldt and the Wagner Crisis Response Team, guided by Vice President Ruta Shah-Gordon, have acted swiftly and appropriately.
Any community member who was exposed to the individual who tested positive has already been notified by the college. One additional residential student is being quarantined on campus as a result of exposure to the individual who tested positive. If you have not been notified, you were not exposed to the individual under the exposure guidelines set forth by the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
In reviewing the circumstances of this positive test, our Crisis Response Team has determined that the college does not need to take additional mitigatory steps at this time. However, we will continuously monitor our community for infection or exposure trends. In our next campus testing data update, the R0 approximate campus transmission rate and other metrics will reflect this positive result.
As I have shared before, Wagner has anticipated and planned for positive cases on campus. This first positive case is not a cause for panic.
Still, it reinforces how critical it is that we continue to be vigilant and observe campus health policies. Please continue completing your daily self-screenings, taking COVID-19 tests when asked to do so, wearing face coverings, and observing social distance to keep our community safe in the days and weeks ahead.
Thank you very much,
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner College:
As we head into Labor Day Weekend, I write to provide another update on campus testing data.
Now that we are nearing two full weeks of on-campus testing data, we will begin to report two-week rolling totals of tests completed on campus in each update.
Wagner has submitted 1,829 tests for processing by the Broad Institute. Of these, 11 have come back invalid or not processed and therefore needed retesting. The remaining 1,818 tests have been negative. None of these tests have been positive.
The continued trend of no positive results is encouraging. It reflects the care and caution our community members are taking. It reflects students refraining from risky behaviors and colleagues holding one another accountable. Our campus is rising to the challenge. Still, we know that even if everyone does their part, positive cases are inevitable. We are ready when they do arise, and the continued vigilance of our community will reduce the virus’s spread throughout the community.
Starting today, we will share a snapshot of campus data on our website at wagner.edu/covid19 and during the Weekly Report each Friday.
Observation of Campus Health Policies
Thanks to all of the community members who have held themselves and one another for our community health policies.
Remember that the precautions we’re taking are the BEST way to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. While our number is zero for now, based on statistical modeling, there will be COVID-19 cases on campus. We MUST continue to be extremely vigilant and uphold our community health policies.
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner College:
I am writing to share the next update on Wagner’s COVID-19 testing data and other key measures.
The most recent assay from which Wagner has received data comprised 148 tests of students and employees. In this assay, 147 tests were negative and 1 was invalid and will be retested. None of these tests came back positive for COVID-19. Currently there are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. Our campus approximated transmission rate (R0) remains less than 1.0.
Remember that the precautions we’re taking are the BEST way to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. While we still have no known cases, there will be positive cases on campus: we stand ready to address them when they arise. Our community’s continued vigilance and the precautions we are taking are what will prevent these eventual positive cases from spreading.
Observation of Campus Health Policies
I am very pleased that there have been very few community health policy infractions and no major breaches over the course of the first weeks, including last weekend, the first of the semester. I am witnessing a continuing commitment from students, faculty, and staff to hold themselves and one another accountable for the health of the whole community. Please keep up the vigilance. Uphold the social contract. Remember that you can report incidents of non-compliance using our confidential reporting tool.
In response to questions about our face covering policy, we want to clarify the College’s policy about face coverings.
If an employee is alone in a college-owned vehicle with the windows open (e.g. an employee in a golf cart or driving a shuttle van) they may temporarily remove their face covering. Whenever more than one person is in a vehicle, face coverings must be worn by all occupants, including the driver and any passengers. Shuttle vans and golf carts will be sprayed and wiped down to ensure cleanliness after each shuttle run or cart use.
Reminders & Updates
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner College:
Congratulations on a successful week one of the fall semester! I am writing to share an update on campus COVID-19 testing, health policies, and some relevant reminders. (NOTE: This update includes new data that was not available at the time of this afternoon’s Wagner Weekly Update.)
Wagner has now conducted approximately 800 tests on campus using the Broad Institute test over the past 10 days. The most recent assay from which Wagner has received data comprised 414 tests of students and employees. In this assay, 408 tests were negative, 3 were invalid and will be retested, and 3 are still forthcoming. None of these tests came back positive for COVID-19.
Currently there are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, so our campus approximated transmission rate (R0) remains less than 1.0. Having collected a sufficiently large sample of tests, beginning in our next communication I will share the calculated R0 value. As a reminder, the R0 value is the approximate number of individuals likely to be infected by each person who tests positive for COVID-19. An R0 value of 1.0 or below suggests effective containment of the virus (i.e. an infected individual on campus is only likely to infect one other person).
Observation of Campus Health Policies
I hear it from faculty, staff, and students loud and clear: we want to stay on campus! I am proud of the commitment I have witnessed to upholding our campus health policies. To date there have been no serious breaches of community health policy and relatively few minor incidents. Thank you. The precautions that we are taking are the BEST way to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
While our number is zero for now, based on statistical modeling, there will be COVID-19 cases on campus. We MUST continue to be extremely vigilant and uphold our community health policies.
Weekly testing: remember that until otherwise announced, testing will be conducted weekly for all students and employees who come to campus at least one day per week.
Appointments only: To reduce density and traffic flow within our buildings, all office visits must be by appointment only. If your office has allowed walk-in visitors, you must migrate to an appointment only process.
Face coverings: appropriate face coverings must be worn at all times on campus when in public. For faculty and staff this means any time you are outside your office. For students this means any time you are outside of your bedroom.
Joel W. Martin
Dear Wagner College,
I am writing to share the first update on campus-based COVID-19 testing of students and some employees. This round was conducted last week. I also want to provide updates on baseline off-campus testing numbers I shared on Friday and on compliance with campus health policies. We will be following up with another update later this week when we will have additional data and our first holistic analysis available from our Health Analytics consulting group.
The first full-scale batch of on-campus Broad Institute COVID-19 tests were administered to first-year students and some employees late last week. 149 tests were administered and of these tests 148 came back negative for COVID-19 and 1 had a processing error. This individual will be retested today. None of these tests came back positive for COVID-19.
While this news is encouraging, we know there will be COVID-19 cases on campus in the weeks ahead. This is inevitable, even though we have a well-designed mitigation plan (robust testing, rapid contract tracing, socially distanced classrooms, no indoor dining, daily symptom reporting, dedicated quarantine space and much more), a superb Health Analytics team helping us interpret data and refine interventions, strongly supportive staff, a caring community ethos, and a great majority of students committed to doing the right thing. Even though conditions in NY remain very good compared to most other states, we reside in a nation undergoing a novel pandemic, not a perfect bubble free from risks. We are trying mightily to manage these risks wisely and part of doing so is not dropping our guard.
In that regard, I note that a study published last week found that pre-arrival testing like Wagner’s is likely to miss up to 1/6th of positive cases. This finding is neither surprising nor alarming, however it does remind us that continued testing and compliance with health policies is vital if we are to ensure the campus approximated transmission rate (R0) remains less than 1.0.
R0, “r-naught,” is the transmission rate, meaning it is the approximate number of individuals likely to be infected by each person testing positive. Wagner is tracking our campus’s approximate R0 based on a number of factors from research on viral spread. An R0 rate at or below 1.0 suggests effective containment of the virus (i.e. an infected individual on campus is only likely to infect one other person).
On Friday, I shared that 3 of the approximately 1,200 students and employees who completed tests prior to coming to campus were positive, that none of these community members experienced symptoms, and that all were safely isolated at home. During further off-campus baseline testing last week, 4 additional off-campus positives emerged bringing the total positive cases in the baseline to 7 and the percentage of positive cases to approximate 0.5%. These positive students had not arrived to campus. They were asymptomatic and are now safely isolated at home.
The students who tested positive did the right thing by reporting their tests, cooperating with contact tracers, and taking appropriate action. They identified a couple of additional students who may have been exposed off-campus. These two students were notified of the possible exposure before they could complete their move-in. They are also safely quarantined off-campus for the required 14 day period and subsequent required clearance checks.
Campus Health Policies & Compliance
We are pleased that there have been very few incidents of community members failing to uphold our community health policies and no serious breaches. Thank you very much for your continued partnership and vigilance: Wear your face coverings at all times in public. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain 6’ of social distance whenever inside and when possible outside. Abide by campus event restrictions. Complete your daily self-screening fully and honestly. Get tested when scheduled to do so. Hold fellow members of the Wagner community accountable and report incidents of non-compliance using our confidential reporting tool. It is all of the precautionary steps, taken together, that yield the best reduction of infection (or viral) transmission.
As a reminder, any student or employee who is identified as having come into contact with someone who tested positive will be notified. Any member of the community who is quarantined because of potential exposure should directly let their supervisor and HR know if they are an employee and let their faculty instructors know if they are a student.
Research & Best Practices
Through the Higher Education Health Analytics Team, the Broad Institute partner resources, the Council for Independent Colleges & Universities (CICU), and higher education news, the College is constantly reviewing and evaluating emerging research on COVID-19 and practices from peer institutions. We have learned that some of the key reasons some institutions have failed to contain the spread of the virus on campus were lack of transparent reporting of positive case information and testing being performed only on individuals experiencing symptoms. Wagner’s commitments to keeping the community informed of cases and sharing updates regarding interventions the college is taking, and our robust, randomized testing regime aim to help us avoid these pitfalls and sustain an R0 below 1. Again, we will continue to scan the educational landscape for best practices and adjust our actions accordingly.
As soon as we have sufficient data to do so, our Health Analytics team will be calculating our initial empirically-derived approximated R0 for Wagner College. I will be sharing that all-important measure in future updates. We anticipate doing this on a twice-weekly basis initially to ensure everyone understands what we are finding and what we are doing. With this foundation of understanding established, we will continue to assess conditions and adjust our communication cadence to advance best outcomes. As always, the safety and well-being of our community—as determined by science, evidence, and data—will guide our communications, actions, and interventions.
Joel W. Martin
Walking across campus this week, I observed many examples of outstanding work done to prepare for the fall semester in these challenging times: tents across the green to allow for outdoor convening and dining, classrooms rearranged and outfitted with new technologies, a refurbished entryway to the Harborview Residence Hall, signage posted to promote safety, testing stations ready, and many more improvements and alterations. These physical examples complement the immeasurable efforts of faculty and staff to plan for teaching in-person and online in a challenging context we’ve never experienced. Thank you for all of your transformative efforts, seen and unseen. It has been an epic lift by Wagner College and we could not have done it without each and everyone of you doing your part, and then some. You should be proud.
May 2020-21 be a good year for all of us and for Wagner College.
Given the novel challenges we face, it is key that we be in constant communication throughout the semester. We will hold a brief Wagner Weekly Report every Friday at 12:50pm via Zoom open to all faculty and staff beginning next Friday, August 28th. During these sessions, I will share information about the college’s ongoing response to the virus and answer pressing questions. We may introduce additional timely topics later as we continue to engage a wide range of important issues affecting everyone’s well-being and the College’s role in engaging these challenges productively. The web link will be shared each week in the Daily Bulletin.
We will also regularly communicate updates on the college’s testing regimen and other key interventions via community emails.
As I shared a few weeks ago, and as highlighted by Borough President James Oddo this morning, Wagner’s efforts on campus are informed by a Higher Education Health Analytics Team (HEHAT), chaired by Professor Chris Corbo, Ph.D., and Dean Kathy Oberfeldt, DNP, and comprising representatives from Wagner, College of Staten Island, St. John’s University, Richmond University Medical Center, Northwell Health, and the Borough President’s Office. This team, which has been convening regularly over the past month, has already allowed for effective coordination among our institutions and generated ideas to align our efforts to best practices. The HEHAT will review campus, community, borough, city, and state data regularly and integrate evolving scientific and epidemiological research to inform our practice and our decisions.
The College has established a set of key external and internal metrics that the HEHAT and Senior Team will monitor. These include rates of infection in New York City and New Jersey, as well as internal factors such as number of COVID-19 cases among residential students and commuter students and number of campus quarantine beds in use. The most important campus metric is our approximate R0 (“R-naught”) value or rate of transmission. The R0 is the approximate number of people to whom an infected individual is likely to transmit the disease. We will share an approximate R0 value in our updates each week. Wagner is prepared to make specific, appropriate interventions based upon changes in these data.
Baseline & On-Campus Testing
As you know, Wagner required all students and employees who will be present on campus this fall to take and submit a negative test for COVID-19 prior to their arrival. I can now report that over the past two weeks, more than 1,200 students and employees completed these tests. Out of approximately 1,200 campus community members tested only 3 (equating to 0.25%) came back positive. None of the individuals who tested positive have come to campus. Each was asymptomatic. Because they learned of their condition thanks to testing, they have taken steps to protect others. They are doing well at home. Please keep them in your thoughts.
Let’s not make too much of this small number. Other campuses have started in-person semesters only to see numbers of positive cases quickly mushroom. For this reason, we have made ongoing testing a key component of our strategy for mitigating viral spread.
Our on-campus testing regime is up and running. The Broad Institute tests we are using are both extremely accurate and very easy to administer. All students and employees who spend time on campus will complete tests multiple times this semester. Soon the CoVerified app will be up and running as well to support daily self-screening, testing, and contact tracing. We will keep the community updated on the outcomes of our on-campus testing regime. The first report will come next week when we have accumulated our next robust sample size. Given the ambient rate of infection in our region, which hovers around 1% of those tested, it would be shocking if the results were as favorable as the baseline test; we should prepare ourselves to see a higher percentage of positive results and be ready to reinforce observance of proper hygiene on and off campus.
Vigilance is Vital
The virus still poses a threat. Even though our city and our state is doing far better than most places in the country, it is nearly certain that there will be COVID-19 cases on campus. This is a statistical reality, but it is one that we can influence by detecting cases through testing and responding rapidly to mitigate further spread. It is vital for each community member to make the choice to uphold our campus health and wellness policies: wearing face coverings at all times while in public, maintaining 6’ of physical distance when possible, meeting virtually when at all possible, and visiting other offices in-person by appointment only. In town halls, meetings with athletic teams and many campus clubs and organizations, emails, and in the social contract, we have reminded each student that their decisions will have a direct effect upon our ability to remain on campus. We have established a confidential reporting tool that anyone can use to report incidents of non-compliance.
It’s very simple: we all want Wagner to stay open. Let’s make choices that support that outcome.
This week, as we noted the transformative changes on campus, some of us also had the privilege to witness the arrival of new students and the return of established students to our campus. Their arrival highlights the value of our labors.
Our students and their families have studied our reopening plan, asked questions and received answers from our dedicated staff, and assessed the risks of resuming residential or commuter liberal arts and professional education during the fall of 2020 in NYC. Aware of the risks that exist everywhere in the U.S., they have determined that they want to be present here with us on Grymes Hill, because they want to connect with our faculty, coaches, staff and each other, contribute to the renewal and growth of the special community that is Wagner College, and transform themselves into people who can make this world a better place for all.
On Wednesday, a parent outside of Harborview shared lovingly, “We are dropping our son off now and hope we do not see him until Thanksgiving.” I said, I share your hope and we will do all we can to fulfill this hope.
Everyone connected to Wagner wants to see our campus stay open safely and I trust that there are many other people who are less familiar with Wagner now who will take heart if we succeed. Who couldn’t use an example of a community doing the right things the right way? Let’s be that community.
Because of what you have done to ready our campus for the new year, because of what you are doing now to welcome students back to campuses in-person or online, and because of what we will do together as a community protecting each other as best we can, Wagner College can and will Emerge Stronger.
We were recently informed that Richmond University Medical Center unfortunately is not able to offer the rapid testing to our Wagner students and employees next week as scheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. They have apologized for the inconvenience and we have alternative options for you to take your required test.
Employees and students have reported the following testing sites as successful with fairly good turn around times.
- Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19
- CVS Minute Testing (https://cvshealth.com/covid-19/testing-locations)
- NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Jonathan Williams Houses
Brooklyn, New York 11211
COVID-19 Testing Offered Here
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Drive-up option outside Staten Island University Hospital. 1-888-364-3065. It is free.
Please remember in order to come to campus, you must have a baseline negative COVID Test Result.
Regular and ongoing testing of students and employees for COVID-19 is one of the most important steps colleges are taking to protect the health and safety of their students, faculty, and staff when they reopen their campuses this fall. Wagner College will be using the Broad Institute’s asymptomatic testing program, which includes an observed, self-administered swab in the front of the nostrils for specimen collection. Specimens are then tested by viral (PCR) analysis.
The College has increased supplemental staffing for the Health Center to support this effort. Human Resources staff, and staff in Residential Education, will be trained to assist with contact tracing and care management on an as-needed basis. We have also developed a testing plan that includes the following:
All students and employees will be required to download a new app called CoVerified, which will be Wagner’s platform for all COVID-19 testing and public-health protocols. This app will serve a number of functions, including:
Allowing individuals to input daily health self-monitoring checks and schedule on-campus testing appointments. Both students and employees will be required to complete daily self-monitoring checks on the app;
Offering daily reminders about common public health measures we should all be taking, such as washing hands frequently and wearing facial coverings;
Providing the opportunity to collect and provide data for contact tracing, should that be needed; and
Providing confidential negative test results directly from Wagner’s dedicated testing provider. (Positive results will be communicated to students by the Center for Health and Wellness, and to employees by Human Resources.)
Baseline testing of all students and employees upon a return to campus in August
The College is requiring that all students and employees must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test prior to their arrival on campus for the start of the Fall 2020 term. The testing/quarantine requirements are as follows:
All students and employees returning to campus in any capacity must have a COVID-19 test administered 7-14 days prior to the student/employee’s arrival date on campus. The test may not be administered earlier than 7 days nor later than 14 days before the student/employee’s arrival date. This time frame has been chosen to honor testing result delays present in many areas of the world.
The COVID-19 test may be any of the current FDA-approved virus modalities. Positive antibody tests will not be accepted.
If a student/employee is unable to acquire a test result by their expected return to campus, the student/employee must remain at home and quarantine until the test result is received. The academic needs of students who remain at home, and students in quarantine on campus, will be accommodated. Students should contact their academic advisor and course instructors for assistance.
Students must provide all written documentation by mail, fax or email of the test result to the Health and Wellness Center; employees must provide documentation to Human Resources. Eventually all students/employees will be able to upload written results in the CoVerified app.
If an individual has a positive COVID-19 test, he/she/they may only return to campus under the following conditions:
at least 14 days after receipt of positive results, AND
at least 72 hours with no fever, without using fever-reducing medications (including ibuprofen, paracetamol, acetaminophen, aspirin, or any of their brand-name products), AND
all other symptoms have improved
All three conditions must be met for a return to campus
On campus testing: Beginning August 17
Please note that,for the safety of our community, no baseline (initial reporting) testing will be performed on campus. Employees or students unable to obtain baseline testing prior to coming to campus can get tested with same-day results at Richmond University Medical Center from August 17-21 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Routine and random testing will continue throughout the fall semester for students and employees. This testing plan will be supplemented by self-screening (using the CoVerified app for all students and employees). The on-campus testing plan includes the following:
All employees, including faculty and staff, who report to campus on a regular weekly basis (at least one day a week, every week), will participate in the testing program. Appointments will be scheduled via the CoVerified app and staggered through the work week (from Monday through Friday). If test results are positive, individuals will be contacted immediately and if on campus sent home to isolate and follow New York City Department of Health (or local health department) guidance for clearance to return to in-person work.
Individuals can schedule an individual appointment based upon their last name (please note this schedule is subject to change):
Mondays – A through E
Tuesdays – F through J
Wednesdays – K through O
Thursdays – P through T
Fridays – U through Z
(If you have a scheduling issue please contact Health and Wellness or Human Resources to reschedule)
Students living on campus: When students arrive on campus, they will be required to undergo regularly scheduled COVID-19 testing. Students will be provided with instructions on where and how to schedule their individual test. If a student tests positive, he/she/they will be relocated into isolation for 14 days and will be retested at the end of his/her/their quarantine/isolation period. The positive student’s roommate will also remain quarantined for 14 days and will be re-tested at the conclusion of the 14-day quarantine. Residential students living on campus will also participate in the routine and random testing program. Appointments will be scheduled via the CoVerified app and staggered through the week by last name (Monday – Friday).
Commuting students: Students reporting to campus on a regular weekly basis (at least one day a week, every week) will participate in the testing program. Appointments will be scheduled via the CoVerified app and staggered through the week by last name (Monday – Friday). If test results are positive, they will be contacted immediately and if on campus sent home to isolate and follow New York City Department of Health (or local health department) guidance for clearance to return to in-person classes.
Contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation
Students who have a positive COVID-19 test and/or symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to activate their Emergency Preparedness Plan. For those staying on campus, students will be moved to an isolation room with its own bathroom on campus and will be required to stay in that room until all of the following conditions are met: (1) at least 14 days have passed since the positive test, (2) the student has not had fever for 72 hours (3 days), and (3) the student no longer has symptoms. During isolation, students may not leave their rooms except if directed to do so by a member of the College staff. As with quarantine, the College will deliver food and provide for continued participation in online coursework for students in isolation. In addition, staff from the Student Health Service will perform medical checks as often as necessary. If symptoms worsen, the College will make sure the student has appropriate medical attention including, if necessary, hospitalization.
If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing will begin. The contact tracer (either a Wagner College employee or a public health contact tracing officer) will interview the individual who tested positive and find out who that person has been in close contact with in the fourteen days prior to the positive test. The list of contacts will include students and employees who have been within six feet of the positive individual for more than 15 minutes. All “close contacts” of positive cases will be notified about their close contact and referred to their personal healthcare provider for assessment. Close contacts of positive cases will also be instructed to leave campus (when possible) and quarantine at home for 14 days. Residential students living on campus who have close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine as directed by the College.
The College will assess each report of a COVID-19 case individually, based on the circumstances at the time, and decide whether the positive case represents a broader health and safety threat to the campus community. In that case, a notification will be sent alerting students who are currently on campus and all employees. Additionally, the community will be informed of any significant updates or changes in cases, such as multiple reported cases, signs of community spread, etc. The College will communicate with local health authorities regarding signs of community spread and warning signs of a potential outbreak.
All personal health data will be managed in a HIPAA-compliant manner. Specifically, Wagner College and any Service Provider receiving data that contains protected health information (“PHI”) from students or employees will: (a) comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations relating to the maintenance of the PHI, the safeguarding of the confidentiality of the PHI, and the use and disclosure of the PHI; (b) use and disclose the PHI only for the purpose(s) identified by the College, as otherwise required by law, and for no other purpose; (c) use appropriate safeguards to prevent the use and disclosure of the PHI, other than for a use or disclosure expressly, unless written permission of the student or employee is obtained. Students and employees will be provided with HIPAA disclosures and Informed Consent documentation on participation.
Baseline Testing Options (including but not limited to):
Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) – 355 Bard Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301
August 17 to August 21 (Please note this will be billed to the individual’s insurance)
Testing will be conducted at RUMC in conference room A, Monday-Friday, 6 AM to 6 PM the week of August 17 to 21.
The Abbott test will be used for faster results.
Anyone from Wagner will need to present their Wagner ID to be tested and will be asked to come alone. Only Wagner employees and students will be tested.
They will be directed (signage, front desk staff) to the conference room A to complete required paperwork.
Once the test is completed, students/employees will be directed to wait outside the hospital and instructed to wait 30 minutes before checking to see if results are in to avoid crowding.
Copies of test results will be provided.
We have confirmed this written result meets our requirement for students and employees to report to campus.
If you have any questions about anything in this message, please contact us.
Employees (staff, administration and faculty) contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-390-3187.
Students contact the Center for Health & Wellness at email@example.com or 718-390-3158.
Kathleen Oberfeldt DNP, FNP
Dean Center for Health and Wellness
Dear Students and Families
We hope that this email finds you all well. As you have seen with the Wagner Restart Plan, our campus experience will look different this fall. As we continue to prepare for a return to in-person instruction, there will be many new procedures that we must initiate in order to keep us safe. We will have to remain apart to stay together and emerge stronger. We need your help. We are asking you to take time to review this letter and make decisions that are best for your family.
- New York instituted a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming from abroad or from states with significant community spread of COVID-19. All students must review the quarantine information below and complete the form linked below. [Due August 7]
- Read and sign the Social Contract and ensure that you will be able to adhere to the rules and regulations. [Due by August 7]
- Fill out the Emergency Preparedness Plan. [Due by August 7]
- If you are a residential student, please respond to an email you will receive shortly from Residential Education. [Due August 3]
- Review the updated testing and monitoring requirements.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those traveling to the United States from other countries.
The State of New York has also mandated 14-day quarantine rules for those traveling to the State of New York.
The list of restricted states changes as cases surge in different areas around the country. As of July 30, restrictions are in place for travelers from 34 states, D.C. and two U.S. territories, and more may be added. The quarantine requirements are strict. Among other restrictions, those in quarantine must:
- not be in public or otherwise leave their quarters for the full two weeks
- be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group
- have their food delivered
As of 7/30, this includes over 300 members of our community. Wagner simply does not have the facilities to make safe accommodations for all of our affected students.
Therefore, we ask that students from the restricted states refrain from returning campus until their state is delisted. Until that time, students will be able to study remotely. Our intention is to bring all members of our campus community back safely.
We understand that some of you have already begun quarantine plans in New York and others have made arrangements with families and friends. All students must complete the Quarantine Response Form by August 7.
In order for Wagner to remain a strong community this fall, we are asking each student to sign a social contract that is a commitment to the health of our community. This contract was designed with your peers and an eye toward health, safety and equity for everyone in our community. Adherence to this contract is critical to maintain in-person instruction for the fall semester. If you do not believe that you will be able to commit fully after you review this contract, we will support your decision to remain home for the fall semester and take courses remotely. Please note that, if you sign the contract, subsequent noncompliance may be considered a forfeiture of your right to be on campus or take in-person classes, and you may not be subject to a refund.
Emergency Preparedness Plan
We are working with our community to ensure everyone’s safety and we want to be prepared if a student contracts the virus while on campus. Therefore, we are asking all students and families to discuss an emergency preparedness plan that can be activated if necessary. The College has set aside Guild Hall for quarantine and isolation purposes and to be able to meet the Department of Health’s standards. To manage limited space, our preference is that students within driving distance from campus quarantine or isolate from home. Please sign into your Wagner email address and fill out this emergency preparedness plan by August 7.
We will continue to work actively on a phased plan to bring students back to residential living if they choose. Residential Education will be sending communication outlining the full process to students later today. Here are some important highlights of the residential plan:
- Students living in non-restricted states and those who have made arrangements to quarantine will receive a housing assignment on August 10.
- Students living in restricted states who plan on arriving after their state is delisted will be contacted by Residential Education for housing assignments available at that time.
- Housing assignments will be for the fall 2020 semester only. We feel this is the most fair and equitable option as some people may not be able to join us on campus for the fall semester. Residential Education will conduct a new lottery process during the winter term for spring 2021. Additionally, we will be doing a deep cleaning at the conclusion of the fall term.
- We are limiting the number of items a student will be allowed to bring with them to campus to the following: no more than three suitcases and three additional items (e.g. tvs, personal storage tote, etc.).
- We will not be able to allow students to have assistance during move-in. We know this is disappointing and we hope that the spring move-in will allow for a more typical and family friendly move in
- ALL students will be expected to fully move out of their fall 2020 residential assignment at the end of the fall 2020 semester. There will be no storage permitted during the winter session.
Testing and Monitoring
Students will not be allowed onto campus until they present proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test. More information will be provided shortly on where to upload your results. In addition, all students who choose to return to campus this fall, whether residential or commuter, will be screened and tested for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival to campus. There will be regular testing as a follow up to ensure the safety of our community. Students will self-monitor and report the presence or absence of symptoms of COVID-19 beginning on the first day of their return to campus. If students are not comfortable with regular testing and monitoring, we will support their decision to stay home and study remotely.
We invite you to attend one of the town halls next week, and you can submit your questions through this form.
- Family Town Hall – For parents, guardians, and family members of current and incoming Wagner students
- Wednesday, August 5, 12:30 p.m.
- Register for and join the Family Town Hall. Registration is required, but you can register immediately before the session.
- Student Town Hall – For all current and incoming Wagner students
- Wednesday, August 5, 2 p.m.
- Register for and join the Student Town Hall. Registration is required, but you can register immediately before the session.
We understand that this has been a stressful time and that the situation is changing rapidly across our country and around the world. Wagner’s plan remains contingent on N.Y. State guidance and national and regional trends. We plan on communicating necessary updates promptly so that you can plan accordingly.
We know that the Wagner community is caring and looks out for each other. We believe this culture and commitment to our community will be the keys to reopening and staying open successfully. Thank you in advance for your commitment and patience as we continue to navigate these challenging times.
Joel W. Martin, Ph.D.
Ruta Shah-Gordon, Ph.D.
Internationalization, Intercultural Affairs & Campus Life
Dear Wagner College,
On Wednesday, the Northeast Conference (NEC) Council of Presidents voted to postpone fall 2020 conference competition and championships. This was a difficult but necessary decision made in the best interest of our students.
Our student-athletes, coaches, and staff members are passionate about their craft. Their commitment on the field develops the leaders we need off the field, and Wagner remains steadfast in our support of their pursuits in sports and education. We are working closely with the NEC, the NCAA, and our coaches to determine what a fall athletics experience will look like.
Restricting athletic competition will eliminate the risk of having visiting teams or athletes on campus, and limiting practice will decrease exposure among our athletes. Wagner will be enforcing a comprehensive testing program for all students and employees, and this will support our athletes as well in their continued training.
The trajectory of COVID-19 is difficult to predict, and we do not know what kinds of breakthroughs we may see in the coming months. We are carefully monitoring progress related to the pandemic, and we will be in constant communications with the entire Wagner community as plans develop. We look forward to returning to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.
The NEC Council of Presidents agreed to reconvene again on October 1 to evaluate the public health crisis and competitive options moving forward.
Our student-athletes know best what it means to overcome adversity. We are confident they will turn this challenge into opportunity, and we look forward to their continued leadership within our community. Seahawks always find a way to win.
Joel W. Martin, President
Walt Hameline, Director of Athletics
Dear Wagner Students and Families:
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized New York City to enter Phase IV in the state’s reopening process. This exciting update speaks to the outstanding progress New York has made in containing COVID-19 to date. It formally allows institutions of higher education to return to on-campus operation.
Now, I am pleased to share Wagner’s comprehensive Restart Plan, which we submitted to the State of New York earlier this week. You can find the report and other relevant information about the fall semester on our website at wagner.edu/restart.
This plan represents the College’s current planning for a return to on-campus education this fall, with our fall semester starting on Monday, August 24th. We will continue to adjust our planning based upon updated guidance from government and health authorities, local and national health conditions, and other factors, and will update you if our plan changes. For students who need or wish to continue their Wagner education remotely through online classes, we have created that option also.
I also invite you to join for a Student or Family Town Hall taking place on Wednesday, August 5th to discuss the plan and answer your questions. If you have questions about the plan, please share them using this quick form.
I want to thank all of the staff, faculty, trustees and friends who have supported this important and innovative work on behalf of our students.
Family Town Hall – For parents, guardians, and family members of current and incoming Wagner students
Wednesday, August 5, 12:30pm
- Register for and join the Family Town Hall. Registration is required, however you can register immediately before the session.
Student Town Hall – For all current and incoming Wagner students
Wednesday, August 5, 2:00pm
- Register for and join the Student Town Hall. Registration is required, however you can register immediately before the session.
I join our faculty and staff in gratitude for your patience, partnership, and perseverance in this challenging time. Thank you very much.
Joel W. Martin
I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. I am pleased to share important updates on the College’s academic plan for the 2020-2021 school year from the Office of the Provost. Please note that the College will be releasing our full Restart Plan to the community next Wednesday, July 22nd. That plan will include extensive detail about the College’s efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of the campus community in the year ahead to complement the academic information shared below.
OUR ACADEMIC PLAN
These plans are based on federal, state, and local regulations and guidance that we have at this time, as well as public health recommendations. As the situation with COVID-19 is fluid, they are subject to change by the time our community returns to campus in August. Additional details will be provided in the weeks to come from the Office of the Provost.
The delivery of graduate and undergraduate classes will happen in a variety of ways to reduce the density in classrooms – in-person, remote, or a hybrid approach. By late July, student schedules will indicate how each class will be presented (in-person, remote, or hybrid), and the faculty teaching each class will follow-up with their students to explain the details of the course schedule further. Some examples of the hybrid approach are a Tuesday/Thursday class in which half the class meets in-person on Tuesday and the other half meets in-person on Thursday or a one-week in-person, two weeks remote approach. Some faculty may have less frequent face-to-face meetings than normal, focusing only on aspects of their curriculum in which in-person interaction is needed to be effective.
Classes will end at the Thanksgiving break. Final examinations will be given remotely during the week of November 30, 2020. Classes will be held on Labor Day and Columbus Day, as well as the day after Columbus Day. Students will have an opportunity to review their schedules, see the planned delivery methods, and make changes prior to the start of the semester or before the add/drop deadline at 4:30 p.m. September 1. You should check “MyWagner” for your schedules.
For students who do not wish to attend courses that have an in-person component, there will be online and remote options. The student will have the option to change their schedule to exclusively remote courses if the desired courses are available; however, not all courses will be available remotely. Students should consult with their advisors to be sure that any schedule changes keep them on track for graduation.
Faculty have been engaging in additional training for remote and online course delivery. That training will continue throughout the summer.
Wagner College students will continue to be offered the same quality faculty, classes, and support either virtually or in person. The College has been and is continuing to conduct additional training to faculty and has invested in new resources in order to meet students’ needs while mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our community.
CHANGES TO THE ACADEMIC CALENDAR
We have developed a 2020–2021 academic calendar that allows us to maintain a robust residential learning environment, while keeping the health and safety of our community front and center. Further information on the academic calendar can be found on the Registrar’s webpage.
To do this, we will modify our typical calendar. For the fall semester, we will start classes on August 24, eliminate breaks, finish on-campus instruction by Thanksgiving, and hold finals remotely. These changes enable us to have a full 15-week semester, to ensure we maintain a rigorous academic experience. By adapting the calendar in this way, we eliminate the need for students to leave and return to campus after Thanksgiving Break. Back-and-forth travel of this kind would unnecessarily create an opportunity of spreading the coronavirus on our campus.
WINTER TERM AND SPRING SEMESTER
There will be an optional online Winter Term that will start in mid-December and end in mid-January. Students will be able to take 1-2 courses during this term. This will allow students to reduce their spring semester workload or accelerate their progress towards their degrees.
The spring calendar will include 14 weeks of on-campus instruction and one week of off-campus finals, with no Spring Break, but may be altered depending on the path of the virus.
We understand that some students may need to remain home for a variety of reasons, particularly international students whose visas are delayed. If you are interested in learning remotely for the fall semester, please contact the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, July 24. We are working to ensure that students who want to learn remotely will be able to take a full course load and make progress toward the completion of their degree requirements. Please note that the online curriculum will likely not be as comprehensive as that available to the residential students. The deadline for notifying the Registrar is July 24.
CLASSROOMS, LABORATORIES AND STUDIOS
Our Campus Operations Department is re-configuring each classroom, laboratory and studio to ensure that students and faculty can work together while maintaining at least six feet of physical distancing.
The College is investing in enhanced computer and audio-visual technology to facilitate communication in the classroom even while students and faculty are wearing face coverings.
Desks will be spaced at 6-foot intervals to maintain physical distance. This will restrict the number of people in any one classroom, based on classroom size. The College will utilize the largest classrooms available whenever possible.
OFFICE HOURS AND ADVISING
Faculty will continue to hold regular office hours to work with students one on one and in small groups. These meetings will take place via Zoom to maintain physical distancing. Advising and other appointments with academic offices will be shifted to virtual meetings.
STUDENTS WHO NEED TO MISS CLASS DUE TO ILLNESS
Because the College is asking anyone who is feeling ill to stay home, students who miss class due to illness will be able to work with their faculty so their absence does not interfere with their progress or standing in the course. A student should plan to communicate immediately with their faculty should they need to stay home due to illness or because they’ve been instructed to self-isolate and are unable to attend remotely.
We know that it might not be possible for our international first-year students and returning students to come to campus this fall. We strongly encourage these students to enroll in Wagner courses remotely. Many courses will be available remotely this fall. We are working on issues related to time-zone scheduling so that students will have the opportunity to study remotely, no matter where they are.
ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC EXPERIENCES
Academic spaces such as computer labs and the library will follow physical-distancing protocol with details to be determined. Many library resources will continue to be available digitally.
It is still to be determined how musical ensembles and courses that require group singing or instrument playing will be conducted. Virtual options are being explored, but no decisions have been made at this time.
How student-teaching, internships, observations, and clinical experiences will be conducted will be determined by state guidelines and the College’s partners in those placements. The College is exploring virtual opportunities enabling students to fulfill those requirements in the event in-person placements are not available.
Again, please look out for a further message next Wednesday about the College’s comprehensive restart plan.