Information and Protocols for Faculty and Staff
Weekly Updates and Statistics
November 5, 2020 Update
Due to the DPCM of November 3rd, in effect until December 3rd, JCU has had to adapt as follows:
- Library will close at 8:45 pm
- Evening classes must end by 9:00 pm
- Guarini Campus will close at 9:00 pm to allow for faculty, staff, and students to return to their homes before the 10:00 pm curfew
- Only undergraduate first-year students can attend classes in person. All other students will be attending the class remotely.
- The library, cafeteria, and student lounges can be used by any student who is currently enrolled
October 22, 2020 Update
Dear Faculty and Staff,
We would like to provide you with an update on the health and safety situation of the University community. Over the past weeks, we have been working non-stop and carefully with students, staff, and faculty to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our community as the pandemic continues.
Please read our protocols for managing any health concerns raised by students, faculty, and staff, so that you are aware of all that is going on behind the scenes. We hope that this allows you to move along more calmly, and with good information.
Briefly, we have been strongly erring on the side of caution with any student, faculty, or staff that has indicated any health concerns – be it their own or in their household group. All have been instructed to remain off-campus, and contact their family doctor or JCU’s doctor to receive instructions before returning to campus. This has resulted in many students remaining in self-isolation or quarantine that goes beyond the requirements of the Italian health authorities.
Faculty have been instructed to not distinguish between students who attend classes on campus and those who attend remotely regarding participation, attendance, and formal assessment. This means that students do not have to officially notify their faculty if they are joining any class remotely for any health or safety reason they deem important to them. Students who will not be on campus for the whole semester have presented an academic petition so that we can note they are not allowed on campus. This is helpful for any contact tracing.
While faculty are expected to be on campus teaching, if a professor cannot be on campus for temporary periods, they must notify their students and our faculty support office, so we know who is on campus.
In sum, as the community errs on the side of caution, faculty and students are not on campus if they have any possibility of being exposed to COVID. If someone does test positive, then those who are close contacts are alerted. Again, if a student or faculty are COVID positive, the Italian health authorities have reviewed our health and safety protocols and determined that being in the same class as someone who may test positive for COVID does NOT classify as a close contact.
Everyone is wearing a mask in the classroom environment, distance is maintained, and sanitization occurs regularly. This means that we do not notify every person in a class if someone is found to be positive for COVID in the PCR test (or even in the quick test). Instead, our focus is on working with the individual to determine any JCU close contacts that occurred anywhere on campus as well as off-campus locations so that we may alert them. This is time-consuming, but important, and has caused an unintended delay in notification to faculty who are not at risk. However, we always instruct students to communicate to their professors that they will be out of class for urgent health reasons.
Since the beginning of the semester our student statistics are as follows:
- Resolved cases: 50
- completed quarantine/isolation (no positive result): 47
- tested negative after an initial positive PCR result: 3 (1 in JCU housing)
- Currently in quarantine/isolation (is a close contact or has symptoms but has NOT tested positive): 55
- Currently positive:
- rapid test positive (no PCR test yet): 13 total (11 are in JCU housing)
- PCR positive: 9 total (4 are in JCU housing)
Regarding Faculty and Staff, many have been or are in quarantine/isolation (due to close contacts outside of JCU, flu-like symptoms, etc.) at their residences. To date, to our knowledge, no one has tested positive.
Certainly, it can be alarming if you think someone in your class has COVID but, as we noted, if you are following the protocols, the classroom and university is not a situation of close contact. We encourage all of you to be aware of your off-campus activities both in public spaces and in your household where you may not be wearing masks, distancing, and washing hands.
For example, if you go to a restaurant and someone has COVID, the restaurant or ASL might contact you: that is because you could be considered a close contact, given people are not wearing masks and distance is not maintained. That is not the case in a JCU classroom or administrative office.
We hope this eases some of your concerns and we encourage you to read the attached document that details our on-going protocols.
The University will continue to hold classes on campus, following the directives of the Italian national authorities. We shall keep you posted on any changes in these directives.
If you have questions, please reach out to our Dean of Students, Carla Wiegers, or VP Jose B. Alvarez for health and safety questions, and Dean Mary Merva for academic concerns. We continue to be committed to our community’s wellbeing to ensure the most tranquil semester possible.
Jose B. Alvarez, Ph.D., VP for Strategic Initiatives & Operations
Carla Wiegers, Dean of Students