July 17, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I am writing to update you on Villanova’s plans around COVID-19 testing in conjunction with on-campus arrival for the Fall 2020 semester.
Villanova’s Health and Safety Plan, which was sent to you in late June, indicated that the current plan was not to test those returning to campus for the fall semester. That plan is consistent with CDC guidelines, public health experts, The Pennsylvania Department of Health and many state guidelines for best practices.
However, as cases across the country increase, and with members of our community coming to Villanova from states presently suggested for a 14-day quarantine upon entering the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we have re-considered this plan and will now require that everyone returning to campus be tested for COVID-19 as a baseline test. The University will cover the cost of this testing initiative.
We request that you take the COVID-19 test as soon as it is sent to you so that you and Villanova will have your test results prior to the students’ return to campus. Details on the testing will be sent next week and will include information about registering, testing procedures, timelines and what to do if you test positive for COVID-19.
In addition to the testing, we ask students to quarantine at home—by staying home or by constantly wearing a mask when not at home—for the 14-days prior to their arrival on campus. The combination of testing and self-quarantining will serve to address the Pennsylvania suggested 14-day quarantine period; we will not need students from identified states to arrive 14-days early because of these measures.
Each of us must be vigilant in wearing a mask, washing our hands and keeping social distance – both before returning to campus and once we are back on campus. This is our commitment: Community First. Only by acting together in one another’s best interests will the semester be a success. Vigilance and strong compliance with health and safety guidelines is essential – without this, the spread of COVID-19 on campus may necessitate that Villanova once again conduct our classes completely on-line and all on-campus services and operations cease on short notice.
Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA