JCU Responds to Covid-19

Fall 2020 Covid Updates and Alerts for the JCU Community

This webpage provides information for the John Cabot community, parents, and university partners on JCU's evolving response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The University is working hard to ensure the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff in accordance with directives from the Italian government. The information presented below is based on our current knowledge of Italian regulations. Should any changes be mandated by the Italian government, we will update this webpage accordingly, so please check it frequently.

October 22 Update: New Government Decree - Mandatory Curfew

The Region of Lazio has issued a new ordinance this morning and JCU is in full compliance with these regulations. However, we would like to inform you that this new decree implements a mandatory curfew of 12 midnight to 5 am. Starting tonight, and for the next 30 days (until November 21), you must be at your personal place of residence between 12 midnight and 5 am daily. JCU expects all students living in a JCU residence to be scanned into their residence by 12midnight from now on. Any exception to this rule must first be cleared by the Dean of Students' office. 

Exiting your residence between 12 midnight and 5 am is permissible only for urgent work or medical reasons. If you must leave your residence for an essential work or medical need, you must fill-out and carry with you an auto-certificazione (Self-Declaration) form at all times, which you can find in the original decree. Municipal officials may ask to see the form if you are out past curfew. Breaking this curfew rule may result in legal penalties, including monetary fines. Please see the original decree.

Please see complete details in the latest message from the Dean of Students on the New Government Decree: Mandatory Curfew.

October 15 COVID Case Update: Campus to Remain Open as Normal

JCU was made aware yesterday, October 14, that two additional JCU students resulted COVID-positive under a PCR diagnostic test. JCU has already done its contact tracing due diligence as requested by the Italian health authorities so as to determine the relevant impact on the JCU community. As of end of day yesterday, all close contact individuals had been contacted and are now isolating. It is to be noted that the two students in question have not been on campus for the past 9 days. They are currently under the supervision of their local doctor and ASL. Given our internal protocols and the high level of safety and security enforced in all JCU campuses we are authorized to continue operating as planned. Please read complete details in the latest message from the Dean of Students, COVID Case Update October 15.

October 13 Update: Randomized Testing, Guidelines, and Regulations

We will be conducting randomized testing on a sample of the JCU Community at regular intervals. On October 13, the Italian Government published a new decree, which reaffirms the use of masks at all times (including when outside) and current social distancing measures. On October 12, the Italian Ministry of Health published new guidelines regarding isolation and quarantine. Please read complete details in the latest message from the Dean of Students regarding Randomized Testing, Guidelines, and Regulations.

October 9 COVID Case Update: In-person classes will resume on Monday, October 12

As you were made aware earlier this week, we had one PCR diagnostic test positive student on campus. JCU has now confirmed two additional COVID-positive students. JCU has engaged with contact tracing with the ASL – 1 (Local Italian Public Health Authority for the neighborhood of John Cabot) to review these cases, including any and all possible risks to the greater JCU community. The ASL has made the following conclusions:

  • Only those individuals who have been identified as having close contact with the three COVID positive students will be informed about their exposure. As of now, all close contact individuals have been contacted, are isolating, and are under the supervision of their local doctor, following instructions on testing and isolation from the ASL.
  • The ASL determined that the high level of safety and security enforced on all JCU campuses (mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, temperature taking, and sanitation) means that JCU is authorized to recommence normal operating hours, services, and procedures starting tomorrow Saturday, October 10, this includes Guarini campus over the weekend. All students, staff, and faculty who are not under instruction from the ASL to isolate may come to campus and attend classes as normal.
  • All persons at JCU must continue to commit to following stipulated policies and protocols regarding ubiquitous mask-wearing, hand washing/use of sanitizer, social distancing, and temperature taking.

Please see the message from the Dean of Students regarding COVID Case Update: Campus Reopening

October 7 Update: All Classes Moved Online For Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9

We have a student who has tested positive for COVID. As we are initiating contact tracing with the Italian Public Health Authorities (ASL) we will hold all classes remotely on Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9, so that we may follow up with the protocols. No students should come to any JCU academic campus (Critelli, Guarini, Tiber, Garibaldi, and Largo Fiorentini). The Tiber Cafe and JCU Gym will be closed as well.

We shall communicate directly with those individuals who have been identified as close contacts by ASL. A general communication regarding the resumption of classes on campus will follow. Thank you for your patience as we work to implement the required protocols. Any additional questions can be directed to [email protected] 

October 2 Update: Lazio Government Ordinance - Masks Must Be Worn When Outside

Today, Lazio Municipal Authorities issued a decree that all persons outside must wear a mask at all times. The mask ordinance is not applicable 1) for children under the age of six, and 2) when engaging in physical exercise as long as social distancing can be maintained. Lack of compliance with the mask ordinance could result in a €400 fine or other penalties issued by the Italian State. Please see the message from the Dean of Students regarding the Lazio Government Ordinance Regarding Masks.

September 24 Update: JCU Travel Message from the Dean of Students

As a policy for this semester, JCU discourages travel outside of Italy during this period and strongly recommends that all students who travel outside of Rome take great care to understand the terms and conditions of their transportation and itinerary. Please see the message from the Dean of Students regarding travel during the Fall 2020 semester.

September 19 Update: Welcome Back Reminders from the Dean of Students

Our community members' safety is our priority, so we've made some changes to our normal operating procedures. Below you will find information on health and safety policies, events and activities sign-up, testing opportunities, and general expectations for behavior this Fall 2020. All of these new protocols have been implemented to ensure you can continue safely in your studies and extra-curricular activities. Everyone will have their part to play in keeping one another safe, so please familiarize yourself with the changes and follow all JCU guidelines as stipulated in the JCU Student Handbook and on signs around the JCU campuses. 

Personal Responsibility: Individual action impacts community wellbeing. The JCU Code of Conduct is a shared set of principles that reflect our commitment to mutual respect and the creation of a safe and healthy educational and living environment. To that end, all members of the JCU community must commit to following the guidelines of behavior articulated in the Student Handbook, published in informational signs around campus, as directed by JCU staff and faculty, and as mandated by public health experts and state agencies. The JCU Code of Conduct makes clear our responsibility to enforce these rules and regulations so as to safeguard community wellbeing.   

Finish Online Orientation Before the Start of Classes: All students are obliged to complete their online student orientation as published on the JCU Online Orientation Portal. Students who do not complete and submit their self-certification on-time will not be permitted entry to the JCU campus until they do. Please be aware that it takes one to two days processing time to register the completion of your orientation.  

Reporting Health Concerns: Students that exhibit flu-like symptoms (temperature over 37.5 Celsius, coughing, body aches, loss of smell, sore throat) must immediately call the JCU Emergency Number to report their health concerns to the Dean of Students (+39 331 656 1907). Any student who feels ill for reasons not related to COVID can email [email protected]. For emergencies, you can always call the JCU Emergency Number.  

COVID-19 Testing: testing is currently taking place on the JCU campuses up until September 23. Students can sign up for testing appointments here

This rapid test screening will provide results in 30 minutes. The test is offered by JCU, free of charge, to all students. Through this testing, we will be able to obtain updated information about the state of our community’s health, substantially increasing our ability to identify infected individuals at the outset of the semester. Students with concerns or questions about testing should contact the Dean of Students for more information. Please know that all the results are kept confidential.  

Masks: Students must wear masks at all times when in the JCU building, including the JCU residence. Masks can be surgical or cloth (double layer). Masks must fully cover the mouth and nose of the wearer at all times when being used. JCU will be distributing four masks to all students upon their first re-entry to campus.  

Acceptable masks are: 

  • Surgical masks (single use) 
  • Surgical masks (multiple use/washable). JCU is distributing these masks to students on the first days of class. These masks can be washed up to 5 times if needed. They can be sterilized many more times, without washing, by ironing them.  
  • FFP2 
  • K95 
  • N99 
  • Any masks that have 3 layers of silk or 3 layers of 100 percent cotton.   

Not acceptable masks:    

  • Masks that have a valve. These masks protect the person who wears them but may expose others to droplets.  
  • Single-layer cotton or cloth masks.    

Social Distancing: Students must maintain a 1.5-meter distance at all times when in JCU buildings. Campus spaces have been marked accordingly to identify appropriate places to sit, stand, and walk. Students must enter and exit buildings and classrooms as directed by JCU staff.  

Thermoscanning: All persons who enter any JCU building will have their temperature taken by a thermoscanning machine (at smaller JCU buildings by a JCU staff with a hand-held thermoscanner) at entry and exit. Those with a temperature higher than 37.5 Celsius will not be permitted entry and will be immediately referred to the Dean of Students to receive guidance and support.  

Hand Sanitizing: Students must commit to washing their hands regularly and/or using hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer stations are at every JCU building entrance, outside every classroom, and at many other locations for easy accessibility.  

Campus and Classroom Cleaning: Campus spaces will be sanitized on a regular schedule. Classrooms will be cleaned and sterilized after every class. Students must enter and exit class in a single file and leave the room precisely when the lesson ends so that cleaning staff can enter and conduct the necessary cleaning in a timely fashion. 

Virtual Meetings with Staff/In-Person Meetings By Appointment Only: Face to face meetings with all JCU staff are now by appointment only. The Student Services offices have switched to Virtual Online Meeting using Microsoft Teams. You can schedule an online appointment with a Student Services office during business working days. If you need to make an in-person appointment with any JCU office, you must write that office and schedule an appointment date and time.  

EasyDesk App Booking System: To access the Gym, Tiber Cafe, and Library, you need to book in advance your slot through the EasyDesk app. EasyDesk is an internet booking platform that will allow you to enter certain spaces inside the University. To use the platform, copy the following link onto your phone’s URL search tab. If you are reading this email on your phone just click the following link: https://easydeskwebstudents.web.app/#/ You can also reach the same link by going to https://easydeskweb.com, and then selecting ‘students’ on the menu. Check your email for more information on EasyDesk as the DOS sent out a detailed communication on September 18.

JCU ID Card Replacement By Appointment Only: JCU ID cards can be replaced by scheduling an appointment with the JCU Front Office ([email protected]). This semester, there is no facilitated entry on JCU academic campuses. You must always have your ID with you to scan in and out of JCU buildings every time you enter and exit. If you lose your JCU ID you must schedule an appointment with the Front Office to replace your ID as soon as possible. Students who come to campus without an ID and without an appointment to get a new one may be denied entry to the campus.  

Gym: The Gym will re-open on September 28. To use the gym facilities, you need to book your slot in advance through the Easydesk App. A valid Physical note is still a requirement for all gym-users. Write to [email protected] for more information.  

Student Events: Many of our student extra-curricular events will take place online! We will be using different platforms to connect with you. We encourage you to join all our social media channels, as well as to check the Student Life Virtual Page to find out what is happening weekly. Sign-ups for online and in-person events will be posted on the JCU Student Activities website.

MANDATORY COVID-19 TESTING: SEPTEMBER 8 UPDATE

In order to ensure the maximum public health safety and protection for our community as the new academic year begins, and in addition to all other established rigorous health precautions, John Cabot University has arranged for mandatory Covid-19 rapid testing for all staff, faculty, and students. 

Staff and faculty testing shall take place before the start of the Fall semester, while student testing will be concluded by the first week of classes. The rapid test will provide results in 30 minutes and will be free of charge. Through this universal testing, we will be able to obtain updated information about the state of our community’s health with regard to Covid-19, substantially increasing our ability to identify infected individuals right at the outset of the new semester.  

Testing is expected to begin the week of September 14. The procedure for online scheduling of appointments will be communicated as soon as possible.

TRAVELING TO JCU: AUGUST 26 UPDATE

JCU is aware that the news of an E.U. "ban" for those traveling to Italy, coming from outside the Schengen area, has created some concern for our students and their families. However, please know that JCU continues to collaborate with immigration and medical authorities to ascertain clear direction on how JCU students will be affected, both now and later this Fall. Based on our conversations with experts, and our understanding of previous government directives, most JCU students will be allowed to enter Italy for their studies after meeting certain criteria depending on the country of origin. However, there may be some cases where students are unable to return. Please see below for further details on immigration and travel requirements for entering Italy at this time, as well as clarification on how JCU has adapted policies and protocols to support current and incoming students.

NEW & RETURNING STUDENTS STARTING FALL 2020: UPDATE AUGUST 26

***It is important to remain updated about travel and immigration decrees issued by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please refer to the Ministry website for regular updates.***

New American-Citizen Students Coming from the U.S. (Paesi E)

  • American-citizen students traveling to Italy from the United States are required to fill out a self-certification stating that they are coming to Italy to study.
  • Students who are entering without a student visa must show their JCU acceptance letter and letter they received from JCU immigration. American-citizen students may stay in Italy for up to 90 days without a visa. For questions, contact [email protected] or [email protected].
  • If the student plans to stay in Italy (or another Schengen country) longer than 90 days, the student must, prior to their arrival in Italy, obtain an entry visa from an Italian consulate located near their U.S. residence.
  • All students coming from the U.S. will be required to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival in Italy.
  • Returning American-citizen students coming from the U.S. must travel with and present their permesso di soggiorno (permit of stay) when requested by immigration authorities. Any students traveling with permesso renewal receipts must show their original permesso, renewal receipts, and letter from JCU immigration. For questions, please contact [email protected]

Students Who Are Citizens of Schengen Countries and are Coming From Inside the Schengen Area and the E.U. (Paesi B)

  • Students who are citizens of EU COUNTRIES, SCHENGEN, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Andorra, and Principality of Monaco: students may freely enter into Italy, without the need of justification. All those entering must fill in a self-declaration upon arrival unless they are arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria
  • Students coming from Croatia, Greece, Malta, Spain must:
    a. present a statement that they have undergone a molecular or antigenic test carried out by means of a swab and a negative result within 72 hours before entering Italy or alternatively,
    b. undergo a molecular or antigenic test; to be swabbed upon arrival at the airport, port, or border location (where possible) or within 48 hours of entering the national territory at the reference local health unit. COVID testing under these circumstances is free of charge in Italy. The student must isolate until a negative test result is achieved.
  • Students coming from Bulgaria and Romania: upon entry to Italy, students must fill in a self-declaration, and immediately quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Transportation from the airport to their intended destination can only be done by private vehicle.

Students Who Are Citizens of Non-Schengen Countries and Are Coming From Outside the Schengen Area (Paesi D)

  • Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay: students coming from these countries are allowed provided that they meet standard expectations for immigration requirements. However, upon return to Italy, it is necessary to undergo fiduciary isolation and health surveillance, meaning they must fill-out a self-declaration upon entry into Italy and immediately quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Transportation from the airport to their intended destination can only be done by private vehicle.

New and Returning Students Coming From Countries on the Banned List (Paesi F)

  • For Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic: new and returning students coming from these countries cannot enter Italy UNLESS they have both EU citizenship (including Italian citizens) and they have been resident in Italy since before 9 July 2020. Those students who meet this criteria must still undergo fiduciary isolation and health surveillance meaning they must fill-out a self-declaration upon entry into Italy and immediately quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Transportation from the airport to their intended destination can only be done by private vehicle. Being in possession of a permesso di soggiorno does not meet the necessary criteria for entry into Italy if traveling from these countries.
  • For Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia: new and returning students from these countries cannot enter Italy UNLESS they also have E.U. citizenship (including Italian citizens) and have been resident in Italy since before 16 July 2020. Those students who meet this criteria must still undergo fiduciary isolation and health surveillance meaning they must fill-out a self-declaration upon entry into Italy and immediately quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Transportation from the airport to their intended destination can only be done by private vehicle. Being in possession of a permesso di soggiorno does not meet the necessary criteria for entry into Italy if traveling from these countries.
  • For Colombia: new and returning students coming from this country cannot enter Italy UNLESS they have E.U. citizenship (including Italian citizens) and have been a resident in Italy before 13 August 2020. The same restrictions apply as for the countries of the two previous paragraphs. Those students who meet this criteria must still undergo fiduciary isolation and health surveillance meaning they must fill-out a self-declaration upon entry into Italy and immediately quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Transportation from the airport to their intended destination can only be done by private vehicle. Being in possession of a permesso di soggiorno does not meet the necessary criteria for entry into Italy if traveling from these countries.
  • Students should not transit through the above countries (Paesi F) when on route to Italy. A layover in one of the above countries could disqualify the student from entry to Italy unless they also have EU citizenship and Italian residency.

Rest of the world (Paesi E): students coming from these countries:

  • Are required to fill out a self-certification stating that they are coming to Italy to study.
  • New students must show their JCU acceptance letter and letter from immigration. For questions, contact [email protected]
  • Returning students must show their valid permesso di soggiorno. If students have an expired permesso, they must show the renewal receipts and immigration letter they received earlier this summer explaining the renewal process. For questions, contact [email protected]
  • Will be required to spend a period of 14 days in quarantine if they have not been residing in a Schengen country (excluding Malta, Croatia, Greece, Spain, and E.U. countries Bulgaria and Romania) for at least the past 14 days.
  • Depending on the country of citizenship, these students might be required to have a valid student visa or a permit of stay regardless of time spent in Italy. Students from visa waiver countries residing in Italy for fewer than 90 days do not need a visa.
  • Transportation from the airport to their intended destination can only be done by private vehicle.

For Returning JCU Degree Seeking Students

  • The Italian Government has extended the validity of all study permits expiring between January 31st and April 15th, 2020, until August 31st, 2020 (Legislative Decree n. 18 of 17 March 2020). This validity is applicable only to Italy.
  • Students renewing their permit of stay have the right to remain in Italy until they can complete their fingerprinting appointment and obtain their new card.
  • Pending Covid-related travel restrictions, you have the right to come back to Italy with direct flights from a non-Schengen country (e.g. US, Morocco, Turkey, Russia,etc.) with your expired Permit and the renewal receipt from the Post Office.
    ***ONLY ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS CAN BE USED TO TRAVEL. COPIES OF YOUR PERMIT OR RECEIPT ARE NOT VALID TRAVEL DOCUMENTS ***
  • If you need to travel to any country other than Italy, you MUST contact the nearest Embassy/Consulate of that country first. Each country is currently applying different rules, so the JCU Immigration Office is unable to provide you with specific information.
  • The Questura CANNOT move your finger-printing appointment to an earlier date. Their offices are operating with reduced staff and have restrictions on how many people can access their premises, so they can only consider exceptions for very few urgent cases, mainly involving family deaths or serious illnesses.
  • Students who are unable to return to JCU for the Fall 2020 semester may need to reapply for a study visa for Spring 2021 if their permesso is expired. The JCU immigration office will clarify expectations when the Italian authorities have made a decision about lapsed permesso renewals during 2020. This decision is expected later this year.

FOR ANY FURTHER INFORMATION OR CLARIFICATION ON ENTERING ITALY PLEASE CONTACT THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE QUARANTINED?

Should students be mandated to quarantine upon arrival, they will have to remain in their residence (personal off-campus apartment or on-campus apartment) for 14 days. Those in quarantine are not allowed to leave their apartment for these 14 days for any reason.

ALL JCU students entering Italy, who must quarantine for 14 days, can begin their classes via a remote learning platform until they have been cleared by the JCU medical consultant to attend classes in-person. Individual student transition to remote learning must be first recommended by the JCU medical consultant or mandated by the Italian government and then approved by JCU academic personnel.

JCU will fully support students in quarantine who are living in the JCU Residences in the following ways:

  • JCU will provide private transportation from the airport to the residence upon arrival to Italy
  • On-site residence life staff will check-in with students daily to monitor their wellbeing, including body-temperature checks.
  • JCU will assist students to receive food and supplies while in quarantine.
  • Students will receive 24/7 health care assistance should they need it, including help navigating public health resources, if necessary.
  • If our medical consultant recommends that a student be required to self-isolate from a shared apartment due to display of symptoms, we will comply.

LIFE AT JCU

Key Dates:
JCU Housing Move-in: Saturday, September 19
Orientation: Saturday and Sunday: September 19, 20
Classes Begin: Monday, September 21
Classes End: Thursday, December 10
Final Exams: Friday-Monday: December 11-14
JCU Housing Move-out: Tuesday, December 15

See the complete Academic Calendar.

General Health And Safety Protocols

  • We have already established specific protocols such as: before entering any university premises, all students, faculty or staff must have their temperature taken; masks are mandatory for use inside JCU premises; there are clearly delineated transit areas; social distancing rules will be respected; alcohol-based sanitizers will be readily available in all premises, etc.
  • JCU uses the services of a medical consultant who advises the university on health-related matters and consult with students as needed.
  • We have partnered with International SOS—a specialist medical and travel security services firm—who is providing additional recommendation to our policies and procedures.
  • Symptomatic students, whether living in a JCU residence or independently on their own, will be monitored by designated JCU administrators and the JCU medical consultant to ensure their access to resources.

JCU Housing Protocols

We will monitor any student entering and exiting any housing premises. A doorman and/or security guard will be stationed at the entrance of each building. They will be responsible for enforcing established protocols such as:

  • Measuring body temperature of anyone entering and exiting the buildings
  • Ensuring that only residents are allowed to enter the premises
  • Requiring that all students entering the building are wearing appropriate mouth covering
  • Reporting any protocol violations to the Office of the Dean of Students
  • Reporting students who are found in violation of safety and security protocols. They may be dismissed from the building and may face consequences according to the Italian legal system.

Additional Measures

  • We will place only one student per bedroom or a maximum of two students in larger bedrooms formerly used as triple or quadruple bedrooms in order to provide additional social distancing measures. 
  • All apartments will be supplied with appropriate cleaning products. Students will be instructed on best practices regarding the sanitation of the apartment's common areas. Additionally, JCU will provide weekly cleaning services of said spaces.
  • Residences' common areas have been adapted in order to comply with social distancing mandates and are undergoing daily cleaning.
  • Refunds: Fall 2020, students unable to attend John Cabot University for matters related to Covid-19 will be eligible to receive a full refund for the housing fee before the end of the first week of classes—by September 24—as long as the unit has not been occupied. No refunds will be given after the student occupies the unit.

STUDYING AT JCU

  • Classroom capacity has been adapted in order to follow social distancing protocols between students and the professor teaching.
  • Entrances and exits to all buildings have been outfitted to mitigate cross traffic.
  • Students must provide their own masks, which are required to be worn inside any JCU building.
  • All courses have been created in order to allow flexibility to transition to remote learning at any point during the semester. Students who exhibit any symptoms as assessed by JCU's medical staff will be able to continue their studies remotely from their place of residence.
  • Transition to a remote learning modality will be allowed only if recommended by the JCU medical consultant or as mandated by the Italian government and then approved by JCU academic personnel.
  • Tuition Refund: Due to Covid-19 related matters, Fall 2020 students who are unable to attend John Cabot University are eligible to receive a full tuition refund (including the deposit fee) if they withdraw from the university prior to the end of the second week of classes—by October 1st. See the full tuition refund schedule.