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SLOW THE SPREAD Student Directives: Effective Immediately

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January 25, 2021

Dear Students,

The number of COVID-19 positive cases on campus among the student population over the past week warrants significant action to slow the spread. As a result, and effective immediately, I am implementing a two-week directive for all students to slow the spread. The spread is happening in many settings, and while no one source is responsible, it is clear that social gatherings, both on and off campus, have caused our current situation. As a result, these measures are a call to action that will impact all parts of life on campus. We want to stay on campus. To do that, we must work together and follow these directives.

During this two-week period, students should continue to attend in-person classes and may utilize certain campus facilities and resources. Outside of instruction and essential purposes, students must stay in their own residence to the greatest extent possible and curtail in-person interactions with others outside their own room, apartment or household. Students are permitted outdoors to eat, exercise and get fresh air while remaining physically distant from others. More detailed guidance can be found on the chart below and on Villanova’s COVID-19 Campus Information website.

SLOW THE SPREAD Student Directives

 

On-Campus Resident Students

  • Students must stay on campus and are only permitted off campus for emergency or essential purposes such as employment, medical care, religious services or to purchase groceries or other essential items. On-campus resident students are not permitted off campus for social, recreational, dining or entertainment purposes.
  • On-campus students are only permitted in their own hall; Wildcard access to other residence halls will temporarily be suspended. Visitors per room will be restricted. Please see the website for more details about these restrictions.

Students Living Off Campus

  • Students are permitted on campus to attend in-person classes, labs, research, employment or to utilize campus resources or facilities. Off-campus students are not permitted in any campus residence hall buildings.

Co-Curricular Activities

  • All in-person co-curricular student organizations and activities may function only in a virtual or remote setting, consistent with student organization guidelines. NCAA programs may continue under NCAA and Villanova-regulated guidelines.

Groups and Gatherings

  • Students may continue to utilize on-campus services including fitness centers (by appointment only), health-related services and academic support services as necessary. 
  • All Sunday Evening Masses in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church will be limited to only 50 in-person attendees and registration is required. All Masses will also be available via livestream. Additional details will be posted on the Campus Ministry website
  • Students need to limit the number of people with whom they gather. It is recommended that students always have at least six feet of distance when with another person, regardless of the setting, and that masks are worn 100% of the time when outside of their own personal room or household. This measure applies inside and outside, in all common areas, academic spaces and campus facilities. Please see the website for more details about these restrictions.
  • Student study spaces, with the exception of classrooms, will remain open; however, no eating or drinking is permitted.

Dining

  • Seating within dining halls will be more limited. As a reminder, masks should only be down when actively eating and/or drinking and six-feet physical distancing should be maintained even when eating. Dining Services will continue to offer numerous grab-and-go options.
  • Students are NOT permitted to eat in classrooms at any time. 

Masks and Physical Distancing

  • Maintaining six feet of physical distancing when wearing a mask is your best protection against being a close contact. Therefore, when interacting with anyone, wear a mask and maintain six-feet physical distancing.
  • Proper physical distancing and mask wearing is also why we are not seeing any spread related to in-person instruction.

 

Quarantine and Isolation
A critical component of our COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan is that any student who lives within 300 miles of campus must return home to isolate or quarantine. We need everyone’s cooperation with this policy to remain open. We do not have unlimited resources or space, and there will come a point when we could have too many cases to remain open on campus regardless of resources. Prior to choosing to return to campus all students, and their families, committed to this policy and our community depends on compliance with these protocols.

The Student Health Center’s Contact Tracing Team provides detailed instructions for families to protect themselves and live safely with their isolating or quarantining student. In the Fall semester, more than 900 students returned home to isolate or quarantine. Without this, Villanova would not have been able to remain open. The single biggest threat to Villanova’s ability to continue our on-campus Spring semester is running out of isolation beds for our COVID-19 positive students. It is imperative, especially now as we face rising numbers of cases, that students who live within 300 miles return home without exception.

Finally, I pray that all of our students who are currently sick will recover quickly. I pray that everyone takes my warnings and these new directives seriously, and I pray that, together, we will soon emerge from this current situation.

I want you to stay on campus, so I hope you take my personal plea* to heart. It’s up to all of us.

V’s up. Masks on. Community First.


Sincerely, 

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Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA
President