Health and Safety FAQs
Villanova University’s Health and Safety Plan and Guide for Returning to Campus provide in extensive detail the myriad steps being taken to protect our community from the virus. Many frequently asked questions are answered in these documents. The information below represents additional questions not addressed in the Health and Safety Plan or Guide for Returning to Campus.
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.
Yes, the University will be posting information about the number of COVID-19 cases on its website.
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.”
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.
The University has asked students to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to returning to campus for the fall semester. With regard to travel, Villanova is following the recommendations from the CDC and the PA Department of Health. The University has asked our community to notify either the Office of Human Resources (for faculty or staff) or the Student Health Center (for students) if they have visited an area of high prevalence (domestic or international) in the past 14 days, and continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Employees considering University-related travel should consult with their supervisor and are asked to travel only if it is deemed “essential.”
Students who are able to will be asked to return home if they live within 300 miles of Villanova for the 14-day quarantine period. The Inn at Villanova is being taken offline in Fall 2020 so the rooms can be used as quarantine space. Two residence halls and two University-owned houses near campus will also be held open and available for use as quarantine space.
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 requiring that everyone who will be physically on campus this fall be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning. The University is covering the cost of this testing initiative. Specific details on testing procedures and timeline were sent to students, faculty and staff on July 27.
For other questions pertaining to testing, symptom monitoring, contact tracing and quarantine procedures, visit the University’s Health and Safety Plan.
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.
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 weekdays on campus 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 resource for students in crisis 24/7. 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 who support students including: Intercultural Affairs, International Students, Services for Students with Disabilities, Learning Support Services, and Campus Ministry.
Significant time and care was put into planning for the fall semester 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 fall. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Many academic offices and departments are stocking extra masks should the need arise, including Falvey Library, the Office of Student Activities and Public Safety. 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. Villanova will continue to evaluate the various types of masks for effectiveness based on guidance from local and state public health officials. **We understand the Duke study found one type of fabric gaiters (fleece) to be ineffective.
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 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; these 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:
- Insert a roll of pre-moistened wipes into the bucket (Catalog Item # NPS74491/NPS4400 for 6 rolls of pre-moistened wipes) OR
- 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 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 to their work location. A designated distribution staff member assigned to each building will communicate the distribution details and facilitate pick up of the kits the week of August 17.
- 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) on August 17, 18 or 19. Pick up times will be from 9am-1pm and 4pm-7pm each day. 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, posting room capacities and social distance reminder signage, etc.
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 fall semester—and 2020–21 academic year if necessary—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, which are limited to pick up and drop off of items. If family members visit at other times, they are requested to visit outside or in larger spaces. The University is currently in the process of finalizing a plan for campus tours and admission presentations in some format for Fall 2020, and updates can be found under Health and Safety.