Health and Safety FAQs

HEALTH FAQs

Villanova is taking many steps to protect our community from COVID-19. This website provides a comprehensive look at these steps, as well as the many resources available to members of the community. 

Yes, the University will be posting information about the number of COVID-19 cases on its website.

During the semester, students with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should consult the Student Health Center, which has several testing capabilities. COVID-19 testing capabilities for students through the Student Health Center include: molecular testing for active infection and serum antibody testing via Quest labs, on-site rapid point-of-care molecular testing and rapid point-of-care antigen testing.

Faculty and staff members should contact their primary care provider about the need for testing and how they can get a COVID-19 test.

Please call the Student Health Center at 610-519-4070 if you’re concerned or would like to consult with our health practitioners. Additionally, continue to self-monitor for symptoms, wear a mask and practice social distancing. 

As part of Villanova’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our campus community, the University has implemented a COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing program. There is a team of Villanova contact tracers who will operate out of the Student Health Center, in partnership with the Office of Human Resources and the colleges. The mission of the VU contact tracers is to promptly communicate with patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19, and rapidly identify and communicate with their close contacts.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as close contacts of an individual who has tested positive will be required to isolate or quarantine as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students who live within 300 miles of campus will be sent home for the isolation/quarantine period. Beds are located in designated on-campus residence halls, the Student Health Center, off-campus houses, the Inn at Villanova and other local hotels. Prior to the Fall 2020 semester, Villanova proactively reserved 250 beds in a local hotel in case of a surge of cases on campus; on Sunday, January 31, a rise in the number of positive tests prompted the University to activate additional beds, both on and off campus. Currently, a total of 430 beds are available to students for isolation and quarantine purposes.

Here is some advice for traveling home safely:
  1. Use of public transportation is not advised in any circumstance.
  2. Drive home with a family member. Sit in the back seat, have both parties in the car wear double masks, and leave your windows cracked or open for ventilation.
  3. If you are feeling well and have a car on campus, drive yourself home alone.
  4. Ask two family members come with two cars. Family drives home in one, you drive home in the other.
  5. Pack beverages/snacks for the drive home to limit your need to stop at rest stops. Double mask, keep your distance, and make only quick stops for restroom use.

If you are sent home to isolate after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Villanova recommends that you follow isolation guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Faculty and staff should notify their supervisor and contact the Office of Human Resources, as well as their primary care providers, to assess requirements regarding quarantine at home and self-monitoring for symptoms.

Villanova is defined as a "congregate setting." Currently, the Chester County Department of Health, which oversees COVID-19 procedures in Delaware County, recommends a 14-day quarantine for such settings. 

 

The decision to move fully online and close campus operations would be based on many factors and not some pre-determined number of cases. Villanova’s capacity to manage positive cases, which includes bed capacity for isolation and quarantine students; rate of increase or spread; local medical resources; and any relevant CDC, state, or local public health guidance are all factors that Villanova and its medical team are constantly monitoring and evaluating. 

From a public health perspective, the CDC recommends vaccines as a safe and effective way to protect you and those around you from serious illnesses. While Villanova has registered with the state to be a vaccine distribution site for the Villanova community, it is too soon to know a timetable for when vaccines will be available for our campus community. As such, we recommend that members of our community seek out any opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

Yes. Faculty, students and staff who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine will still be required to undergo testing and follow Villanova's Caritas Commitment. Detailed instructions regarding surveillance testing for undergraduate, graduate, adult education and Law students, as well as faculty and staff, are available here

Faculty and staff have been asked to limit non-essential travel during the Spring semester. Employees who travel out of state must, upon returning to Pennsylvania, have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to PA, or quarantine for 14 days. Employees considering University-related travel should consult with their supervisor and are asked to travel only if it is deemed “essential.”

While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recently relaxed its restrictions regarding travel, the Chester County Health Department defines Villanova as a “congregate setting,” which necessitates stricter mitigation measures. Therefore, we are asking all faculty and staff to continue to limit non-essential travel, including over Easter weekend. We continue to require either a 14-day quarantine or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel prior to returning to campus. 

Significant time and care was put into planning for the academic year with the health and safety of our campus community as the priority. Villanova has relied on federal, state and local guidance in developing its plans, policies and procedures for a safe reopening. This will require the commitment of all Villanovans to do their part. Members of the University community must exercise care and caution in their daily activities by adhering to protocols around wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), practicing social distancing and engaging in self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.

The University Counseling Center will continue to be open to serve students. Appointments will occur via telehealth on the Zoom platform. Appointments will be scheduled by phone by calling 610-519-4050. One counselor will also be physically present on campus on weekdays to address any psychological crisis or emergency situations that may arise. The location for the counseling center presence on campus is still being determined.

In addition, nearby Bryn Mawr Hospital offers a psychiatric unit that serves as an excellent 24/7 resource for students in crisis. In addition to counseling services and resources, the office of Health Promotion will continue to offer an online Mental Health Well-Being course for students that highlights possible daily or regular practices for students to help them manage their stress or anxiety. Resident Assistants and Residence Life staff will continue to serve as a support and resource for students who are struggling to cope or manage, along with other offices on campus that support students, including Intercultural Affairs, International Students, Services for Students with Disabilities, Learning Support Services and Campus Ministry.

If someone is not observing Villanova’s health and safety guidelines, they should be given the opportunity to comply (i.e. by putting on a mask, etc.). If someone does not comply after being given the opportunity, they can be refused service.

Any community member returning to campus must conduct symptom monitoring—including temperature checks—every day prior to arriving at Villanova. We all need to do our part to keep community members healthy and safe. This shared responsibility—to be considerate of others and to comply with health and safety requirements—is at the heart of our CARITAS Commitment. If a community member comes to campus displaying symptoms, managers and faculty members can ask that they go home.



SAFETY FAQs

Villanova is taking many steps to protect our community from COVID-19. This website provides a comprehensive look at these steps, as well as the many resources available to members of the community. 

Public restrooms and common areas will be thoroughly cleaned daily by the University’s Custodial Services team—with high-touch points in these spaces cleaned twice a day. Custodial Services will monitor all restrooms to ensure that hand soap is available. Hand sanitizer stations have been provided in all classrooms, at the entrances to all buildings and all dining locations, and in other areas where people congregate. Students, faculty and staff are instructed to clean their classroom areas and workspaces before and after use, with particular attention to high-touch surfaces.

All dining operations will be open and staffed and locations will still serve a variety of menu options, including salads, sandwiches, pizza, hot entrees and grill specials. Most items will be packaged individually and prepackaged grab-and-go items will be offered as well to help expedite service.

Modifications have been made in all the dining halls, such as one point of entry and exit, and signage to guide customers while in the halls. These modifications and additional information about dining services can be found in the University’s Health and Safety Plan and on the website.

All of Villanova’s dining halls will serve a variety of food items as they normally do for each meal. Students will be able to choose what they want and whether they are eating in the dining hall or taking their food to-go.

There are ways to dine safely indoors, including:

  • Only removing your mask when actively eating or drinking
  • Only sitting in designated areas
  • Not moving tables or chairs
  • Not having more than the specified number of individuals seated at or gathered around tables
  • Not eating in classrooms—no exceptions

Villanova recommends following masking guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include choosing masks that have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric and fit snugly against the face. For tips on mask-wearing, see "Your Guide to Masks." 

Many academic offices and departments, including Falvey Library, the Office of Student Activities and Public Safety, are stocking extra masks. We encourage each student to keep a disposable mask in her/his backpack in order to be prepared. Students should be wearing masks at all times, other than when in their own rooms with only their roommates, or when eating or drinking. 

In accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, neck gaiters are considered an acceptable form of masking at this time. New research has shown that doubling up the gaiters and making sure the material is layered or strong helps protect particles from passing through. We do understand that recent studies have shown fleece gaiters to be ineffective. 

Villanova will continue to follow CDC recommendations regarding mask wearing. 

Faculty, staff and students will be supplied with personal wipes and hand sanitizer on arrival. Wipes and hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms. Additional cleaning supplies will be available in labs and can be ordered by office areas.

Wipes Buckets

Wipes have been provided in classrooms and other areas in reusable buckets. Do NOT discard the buckets when empty. 

Wipes buckets are labeled with contacts for refills. The following individuals will be monitoring the status of the buckets:

  • College of Business: Nancy Panepinto – 610-519-8022
  • Fitzpatrick College of Nursing: Maria Pavelsky – 610-519-5903
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Antoinette Donovan – 610-519-4814
  • College of Engineering:  Helen Tursi – 610-519-5960
  • Widger School of Law:   Joe Mariani – 610-519-3111
  • Falvey Library:   Margaret Duffy – 610-519-7087

If none of these contacts are appropriate, contact Custodial Services at 610-519-4460.

Refill wipes and solution will be stocked in the above areas. To purchase your own refills or additional buckets, use the Procurement PPE punchout in NovaBuy (see details below). 

A new bucket containing 300 pre-moistened wipes can be purchased for areas not already supplied (Catalog Item #NPS94400/NCL025236).

There are two ways to refill the buckets:

  1. Insert a roll of pre-moistened wipes into the bucket (Catalog Item # NPS74491/NPS4400 for 6 rolls of pre-moistened wipes) OR
  2. Place a roll of dry wipes in the bucket and pour a bottle of disinfectant over the wipes to saturate them.   
    Refill packs of 6 rolls of dry wipes (Catalog Item # NPS74491) PLUS
    Single bottle of Avistat-D disinfectant (Catalog Item # NCL025236). A bottle of disinfectant is required for each roll of dry wipes.

Hand Sanitizer Dispensers

Custodial Services will regularly check dispensers and can refill. Individual areas are encouraged to order refill hand sanitizer liquid and refill their own units.

Hand sanitizer units are battery operated. Submit a work request to Maintenance for battery replacement.

Paper placemats

Paper placements can be re-stocked through NovaDocs (iPrint)

Questions: Contact Environmental Health & Safety or by phone 610-519-3801.

All students, faculty and staff will be provided with a personal wellness kit of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and one cloth face covering. Distribution will take place as follows:

  • Faculty and staff will receive their Wellness Kits at their work location. A designated distribution staff member assigned to each building will communicate the distribution details and facilitate pick up of the kits.
  • Portable chairs and Wellness Kits will be distributed to undergraduate students residing on campus. These will be placed in their assigned residence hall rooms for their campus arrival. 
  • Off-campus students and graduate students can pick up the Wellness Kits from Parliament coffee shop in The Commons. Please have your Wildcard available when picking up. 
  • Charles Widger School of Law students will receive information about distribution times in their building.  

The Nova Nook, located in Dougherty Rm. 217, provides supplemental personal necessities to students who may struggle to manage these costs on their own. The Nook is stocked with essential items such as toiletries, non-perishable food items and other necessities.

The self-assessment idea came directly from our students. Right now, anyone can use it on a micro-level: professors for their classes, student organizations for their meetings, etc. There are no plans currently to use it on a University-wide level. 

Since many meeting spaces will be used as classrooms, campus events will be significantly reduced to include only those essential for academic, athletic or student service purposes. Due to COVID-19 concerns, Villanova’s Event Management Committee (EMC) is now reviewing both on-campus and virtual calendar/event requests for approval.

Non-instructional spaces—including dining locations, libraries, meeting rooms and administrative offices—were evaluated by University Facilities Management/Environmental Health and Safety Staff for social distancing options, based on space available and the nature of usage. Appropriate action steps were taken as needed for compliance with social distancing guidelines, including removing, covering or taping seats as unavailable, and posting room capacities and social distance reminder signage.

Each departmental office area was reviewed by an area representative and Facilities Management to understand operational requirements, while also ensuring social distancing practices were being followed. Moving forward, each area should continue to work with Facilities Management to best ensure social distancing in their offices.

Members of Villanova’s leadership team have been meeting regularly to make plans and decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so. Throughout the 2020–21 academic year, the University will continue to work closely on its COVID-19 health and safety protocols with the Chester County Department of Health, which is responsible for public health services in Delaware County during this crisis.

Visitors to campus will be required to wear a mask at all times and follow the guidelines stated in the University’s Health and Safety Plan. They also will be asked to complete the CDC self-check for symptoms before coming to campus and may have their temperature checked on arrival.

Non-student visitors to campus will not be permitted to visit with Villanova students in the residence halls, with the exception of visits by family members, who are limited to pickup and drop-off of items. If family members visit at other times, they are requested to visit outside or in larger spaces.