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 email@example.com or 718-390-3187.
Students contact the Center for Health & Wellness at studenthealthservice@wagner.
edu 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.