IMPORTANT: Return to Campus Dates and COVID-19 Testing Information
July 27, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I am writing with two important updates to Villanova University’s reopening plans, including a new opening date for University offices and mass testing protocols. As the spread of COVID-19 continues to be a statewide, national, and global concern, the University has enhanced its efforts to mitigate the risks we all are facing.
Return to Campus Dates for Faculty and Staff
As previously communicated, the fall semester will begin on Monday, August 17, with an on-campus residential experience as well as online and hybrid learning models. Given this, all University offices that require on-campus operations were originally scheduled to reopen by Monday, August 3.
However, since that time, Governor Wolf has announced that, effective Thursday, July 16, unless not possible, businesses must conduct their operations in whole—or in part—through telework until further notice. Where telework is not feasible, including where the University’s operational needs dictate an on-campus presence, faculty and staff may come to campus for work as long as all safety measures identified in both the Health and Safety Plan and the Faculty and Staff Guide for Returning to Campus are followed.
Accordingly, Villanova will proceed as follows, given that students will begin to return on Tuesday, August 11, and classes will start on Monday, August 17:
- All offices that require on-campus operations are expected to be open by Monday, August 17, to ensure that student and operational needs are met.
- Individuals whose role and function can be carried out through telework will continue to do so until Monday, August 17, or when the Governor’s order is lifted (if later), at which time individuals will pivot back to work on campus, keeping in mind any needs related to decreased density, staggered schedules, and other health and safety concerns.
- Individuals whose presence on campus is required to meet operational needs prior to student move-in and the start of the fall semester will be expected to return to work on campus before Monday, August 17. Should the Governor’s order on telework extend beyond Monday, August 17, all individuals whose role and function must be on campus to meet student and operational needs will be required to return to campus at that time.
- Individuals may engage in a hybrid working model while the Governor’s order is in place, with some time on campus and some time working remotely, to meet operational needs and as determined by the supervisor and/or department head.
- Should you require a workplace accommodation or telework arrangement beginning on Monday, August 17, you should ensure that your request has been submitted to the Office of Human Resources. All requests (including those already received) will be reviewed in consultation with the individual and the manager prior to a determination being made.
Mass COVID-19 Testing Protocols
As communicated in Father Peter’s previous message, Villanova will require all faculty, staff, and students to complete a COVID-19 test if they plan to be on campus at any point during the semester. This testing will be accomplished in partnership with Quest Diagnostics and paid for by the University.
Faculty and staff are required to complete this test as soon as they receive it from Quest to ensure the results are received prior to the start of the semester. Individuals who cannot undergo testing due to health or religious reasons may request accommodations through the Office of Human Resources.
Any faculty or staff member who will be on campus this semester MUST be tested. (If you are an adjunct faculty member not teaching this semester, you will not have access to the Quest link below and you will not need to be tested.) This is part of the University’s Community First: The Caritas Commitment, which calls for each of us to do our part to keep community members healthy and safe.
Procedure for Testing
- Visit Quest Health. On the landing page, go directly to the right side, and enter the registration key, which is: Villanova. You will then be asked to enter your Villanova email address and your date of birth. Leave the “relationship” field as “Employee.” Next, you’ll be prompted to create an account. IMPORTANT NOTE: Use as your username your Villanova-issued email address, which ends in “villanova.edu” or “law.villanova.edu” for those members of the Law School. Be sure to save the password you create to check your results. Registration includes confirming your current address to which the test will be sent and your current phone number. You will also need to update your gender from the default designation.
- Click on the Quest link as soon as possible to help ensure that you receive your test promptly. Once you register, you should receive the test from Quest in three days.
- The test will provide directions and everything you need to collect your sample. The test will be a nasal swab that is easy to accomplish. If you have questions, call Quest at 1-855-332-2533 (M-F, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CST, and Sat. 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. CST).
- Tests cannot be shipped on the weekends and must be shipped the same day they are collected. Mail YOUR TEST AT THE NEAREST FEDEX LOCATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to get your test result before the semester begins.
- Test results will take five to 10 days.
- Time is of the essence. Tests must be mailed by Quest and individuals must immediately submit their samples to receive test results before the semester begins.
- Quest will communicate test results directly to the individual.
- Quest will also notify Villanova of any positive test results. The University will be monitoring registration and test completion.
COVID-19 Test Results
If your COVID-19 test result is negative, you may return to work on campus.
If your COVID-19 test result is positive, you will need to stay home and not come to campus, even if you are asymptomatic. Faculty and staff with positive test results may not come to campus until:
- 10 days have passed since the test sample was taken and
- 24 hours have passed without a fever and without taking a fever-reducing medication.
Once 10 days have passed since the date the test sample was taken and you have been fever-free for the last 24 hours, you may come to campus provided you have communicated with the Office of Human Resources about your planned return and have been cleared by HR to return to work.
As outlined by CDC guidance, those who test positive do not need to take a second COVID-19 test before coming to campus once they are recovered (i.e., 10 days have passed since the test sample was taken and 24 hours without a fever).
It’s imperative to remember that testing does not negate or diminish the need for all of us to be vigilant in wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining social distance, staying home if sick, and following all other measures outlined in the University’s Health and Safety Plan.
Whether on or off campus, we must each take precautionary measures at all times in order to perform COVID-19 risk mitigation. That vigilance will keep our community healthy and keep the number of COVID-19 cases to a manageable level. As Father Peter has said, only by acting together in one another’s best interests will we have a successful semester. This is our commitment: Community First.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Human Resources or 610-519-7900.
Ray Duffy, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CBP
Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer