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Return Home

Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding Fall 2020 and Cabrini’s COVID-19 Response

Cabrini University has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic closely, following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with state and local public health experts to ensure that the University community is protected. We’re recording active COVID-19 cases on our Case Tracker.

Decisions are always made with the health and well-being of the Cabrini community as top priority.

Cabrini University’s return-to-campus plan prioritizes the health and wellness of all members of the Cabrini community—students, faculty, staff, and visitors—with special thought to at-risk populations.

It is a matter of public health that the health and safety of all Cabrini University members, and subsequently that of all those with whom our community members interact, be protected and preserved.

All guidelines adhere to protocols issued by Governor Tom Wolf and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and will follow best practices as presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local health officials.

If you have questions that are not answered by the information presented at cabrini.edu/return2020 or this FAQs page, please reach out to return@cabrini.edu.

Face Masks and Personal Safety Practices

What type of mask do I need to have?

In general, masks must cover the mouth and nose and should be of a nonporous fabric, such as cotton, and without large holes or gaps in the fibers.

Knit masks and N95 masks with exhalation valves do not provide adequate filtration. We are awaiting further data on the efficacy of neck gaiters and bandanas.

Please visit our guidance on Face Mask Wear and Care for appropriate face masks and how to wear and care for them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not recommend face shields as an alternative to face masks, but has issued guidance for the use of face shields to address audibility and ADA-accessibility concerns.

My lecturer wears a face shield when lecturing/I wear a face shield when lecturing. Is this safe?

To address audibility and ADA-accessibility concerns, lecturers are permitted to wear face shields only while lecturing and while maintaining a six-foot distance. The Cabrini-provided face shields meet the CDC criteria of wrapping around both sides of the face and going below the chin and classrooms have been arranged to accommodate six feet of distance between students and lecturers.

Face masks should be worn up until lecturing and immediately following.

How will I get the mask Cabrini is providing?

Masks for resident students will be distributed during Move-In. Resident students who did not receive a mask will receive one from their Resident Assistant during the week of September 7.  Please contact reslife@cabrini.edu if you have not received a mask by September 11, 2020.  Commuter students should stop in to the SEaL office before September 11, 2020 to receive a mask.

Masks for employees have been distributed; if you did not receive one and should have, please contact Human Resources at humanresources@cabrini.edu.

How will the University will handle communal bathrooms?

Public restrooms (those in high-traffic areas) will be cleaned at minimum three times per day.

Private bathrooms (single bathrooms housed within a specific department/area) will be thoroughly disinfected to start each day.

The University will not be providing cleaning supplies for residence hall bathrooms, and the expectation is for students to bring their own cleaning supplies for their personal space. Students should follow a wipe in/wipe out approach to ensure that the bathrooms remain clean in the spirit of the common good. There are paper towel dispensers in all common bathrooms and our resident assistants will remind students to clean their hands often, socially distance, and wear a mask (except for showering and brushing teeth), as will prominent signage.

Class Modality and Scheduling

In what modality will fall 2020 instruction be offered?

On-campus instruction will resume on August 31, to be conducted with a mix of in-person, hybrid, hyflex, and remote modalities with intentional safeguards and mitigation measures.

Classes of 24 or more students will be offered online or in a hyflex modality, in which the class is divided into groups that alternate in-person attendance and attendance via synchronous livestream. Classes conducted in person will be designated a classroom/meeting space that can accommodate appropriate physical distancing.

Following the Thanksgiving break, classes and finals will be conducted in an online-only modality.

Has the academic calendar changed?

To accommodate the modified schedule, the fall 2020 academic calendar has been adjusted: Classes will not be held on Labor Day (September 7), but will be held during the originally scheduled Fall Break (October 12) and Cabrini Day (November 10). Classes will end on December 11, and finals will take place in an online format December 14-16.

If your classes follow the eight-week format, Fall Term I will end October 23; Fall Term II will end December 16.

How can I register for classes that are the modality I want?

The Term Master Schedule has been updated to reflect class modalities. You can work with your academic advisors to register for classes in the appropriate modalities. First-year students, your COL 101 instructor serves as your first-semester academic advisor. Contact information is available via the information sent to you for Orientation and can be found in the Cabrini Portal. Students who have declared a major are assigned a permanent faculty advisor within the appropriate academic department.

Are the online classes synchronous or asynchronous?

Many online classes combine both approaches. Students should check with their academic advisor or professor as it relates to their specific courses.

Will online classes be recorded so I can access it later (if I experience a lost connection or disruption)?

Whether or not a class will be recorded is determined by the individual instructor. Students should check with their professors regarding how specific courses will be conducted.

Do I have to take on-campus classes?

No. The return-to-campus plan and course modalities have been designed with flexibility in mind. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to find classes in the modalities they want. All-virtual academic instruction is an option for our students, as is all-in-person academic instruction.

As a commuter, where should I take an online class when it is followed immediately by an in-person class?

The University will post a list of available classrooms and study spaces for students who need an on-campus spaces in which to take online classes, such as in this situation. You will want to make sure you have headphones to ensure your class audio does not interfere with others’, and vice versa. The WiFi around campus has been strengthened both inside and outside, so accessibility should not be an issue.

My schedule is such that on certain days throughout the week, I don’t have on-campus classes. Do I still have to come to campus?

No. While you are invited to come to campus to utilize the library, study spaces, recreation and athletics facilities, or dining services, you do not have to come to campus to attend remote classes.

Tuition and Room and Board

Is tuition different for online modalities vs. in-person modalities? Will tuition be different because of the all-online modality mandate for classes after the Thanksgiving recess?

Cabrini remains committed to providing an affordable, high-quality educational experience, complete with a full support system, that maintains Cabrinian academic standards and requirements regardless of modality. The tuition rate for the 2020-2021 academic year, set and announced before the COVID-19 pandemic, was based on the cost of delivering a Cabrinian education. Although each modality requires different technology and has different costs associated, each is appropriately supported so that students can receive the same standard of Cabrinian education in whatever modality they are most comfortable.

As such, tuition rates for the 2020-2021 academic year will remain the same, regardless of modality or the additional costs incurred by the University to provide each modality.  

Will room and board costs be the same?

Yes, 2020-2021 room and board costs will be the same as previously identified. Cabrini has an obligation to provide safe housing and accommodations for students, and is responding to the call from a large portion of students that on-campus living is preferred. The room and board rate, set and announced before the COVID-19 pandemic, was based on the cost of delivering a safe and appropriate living and dining experience. As such, room and board rates for the 2020-2021 academic year will remain the same.

If I live on campus, will I get a refund if we have to leave campus early?

If mitigation measures mandate a campus closure and resident students are required to leave campus, Cabrini plans to provide prorated financial adjustments for impacted students.

Campus Life and Activities

Will I be allowed off-campus and/or to leave and return to campus?

For health reasons, we would encourage you to limit your travel off-campus as much as possible. However, you are allowed to leave and return. We expect that you will adhere to best practices and mitigation measures—such as mask wearing, handwashing, and maintaining at least six feet of physical distance from others—when you are off campus, not only when you are on campus.

Upon your return, you should be prepared to show your Cabrini ID at the Gate House to gain entry to campus as we are limiting visitors to campus.

Can I have visitors on campus?

No.  Visitors are prohibited in all residence halls.  Cabrini will extend its no visitor policy in residence halls (external and from other residence halls) to September 21 to encourage roommates to discuss comfort levels and expectations surrounding guests and to allow everyone to get comfortable with the guidelines in place. This protocol will be reassessed by mid-September.

Throughout the semester, visits by family members in the halls will be limited to assistance with pick up and drop off of items only. Family members will not be permitted to enter any campus buildings, including residence halls, except during Move-In and Move-Out.

Off-campus visitors, including delivery persons and ride-share drivers, must adhere to our updated Visitor Guidelines and are not permitted in buildings.

All visitors should wear masks and comply with the physical distancing and public health guidelines in place.

What will living on campus be like? Will I get to do anything? Will there be clubs and activities?

Living on campus will be different because of the need to wear a mask at all times except in the privacy of your room.  Things to do?  Yes! The Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL) Office is leading much of the activities and events that will keep our students engaged and active on campus.

Clubs and extracurricular activities will take place in accordance with mitigation measures. Gatherings and meetings should be conducted virtually whenever possible, and any face-to-face meeting or event must adhere to mitigation measures and must meet Governor Wolf’s mandates (fewer than 25 people indoors, distancing guidelines must be adhered to, etc.)

Additionally, for first-year students, Orientation will be a full mix of in-person (conducted with appropriate mitigation measures in place) and virtual events and get-togethers to help you get to know your classmates.

I work as a student worker in a Cabrini office. Am I still allowed to do that?

Yes, as long as campus offices can ensure that you can participate and perform your duties either working remotely or by providing you a workspace that adheres to appropriate mitigation measures (i.e., in accordance with mask wearing and distancing guidelines).  Sodexo/Dining Services and Public Safety are currently seeking to hire work-study students.

Testing and Mitigation Measures

Will I be required to get tested for COVID-19?

At this time, Cabrini University is not requiring asymptomatic students or employees to get tested. We do, however, require that everyone take their temperature and monitor symptoms daily, prior to leaving their residence hall room or to arriving for campus, and to stay home if they are demonstrating any symptoms, including having a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Should you demonstrate symptoms or are otherwise urged by a doctor to get tested, you can follow your doctor’s instructions on where to get tested. Our healthcare partner, Penn Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine (PAYAM), will also have testing available.

For more information on our partnership with PAYAM, please visit our Health Services pages.

What should I do if I voluntarily take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus and the results are positive?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should notify Health Services (healthservices@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8400) or Human Resources (humanresources@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8760). You will be given instructions for remaining in isolation. Students in this situation will be able to begin coursework online.

I’m following the rules, but my roommate/friend/classmate/coworker isn’t. What should I do?

A friendly reminder to your peers is warranted and can be very helpful in getting people to adhere. If that person continues to not adhere, we do have policies in place to report those who are knowingly going against the guidelines. Those reporting can choose to do so anonymously. If the transgressions are from a student, you would email deanofstudents@cabrini.edu; if they involve an employee, you would email Human Resources at humanresources@cabrini.edu.

I’m coming from a state where I have to quarantine for two weeks when coming to Pennsylvania. What should I do?

Residence Life has reached out to anyone coming from a state listed on the Pennsylvania Department of Health Travel Advisory page to assist with protocol, but if you are coming from a state requiring a 14-day quarantine, you must do so. Quarantining at home prior to your arrival is an option. Please coordinate with the Office of Residence Life (reslife@cabrini.edu).

How will I remember to take my temperature and monitor for any other COVID-19 symptoms every day?

Cabrini will send daily reminder emails to all students and employees to safeguard participation.

Quarantine and Isolation Procedures and On-Campus Cases

I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do?

First, stay home (or in your residence hall)! If you are a student, notify Health Services (healthservices@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8400) and alert your professors of your absence from class and arrange for alternate attendance and/or work completion. If you’re an employee, notify Human Resources (humanresources@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8760) and alert your supervisor of your absence and arrange for alternate work options (i.e., working remotely might be an option).

Contact your healthcare provider or Cabrini’s healthcare partner, Penn Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine (PAYAM), for further instruction regarding self-care and testing options.

For more information on our partnership with PAYAM, including how to make an appointment, please visit our Health Services pages.

For more information, see our PDFs on What to Do If You’re Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms (undergraduate student, graduate student, and employee).

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation is used for an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Quarantine is used for an individual who is demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been identified via contact tracing as having been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive.

What quarantine or isolation procedures are in place if someone gets sick?

Anyone who has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or is demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19, is required to quarantine at home or in a residence hall room provided by Residence Life. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 is required to isolate at home or in a Residence Life-provided room.

If a student cannot quarantine or isolate at home, Residence Life has identified and equipped separate areas specifically for these purposes, complete with procedures for checking in on students, dining services, limited laundering facilities, etc., as well as a means of obtaining additional medical/mental health support if warranted.

I have to quarantine/isolate, but I have class/work. How will I participate?

If you have to miss class/work for any reason, including a COVID-19 related reason, work with your instructor or supervisor to arrange for alternate attendance and/or work completion.

Anyone whose ability to participate in class/work is being altered due to quarantine or isolations procedures should notify Health Services (healthservices@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8400) or Human Resources (humanresources@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8760).

If the class is a hyflex or online-only course, you can continue participation utilizing the virtual format. All course instruction has been designed to accommodate an all-online format. As such, if the classroom is not equipped with a camera or other circumstances need to be considered, the professor is prepared to make provisions for you to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Employees can work remotely if they are able; if your job is such that remote work is not possible, you can work with Human Resources and your supervisor for guidance on appropriate paid leave options.

Anyone in quarantine or isolation should monitor symptoms and manage their health accordingly, including reaching out to a primary care physician or Cabrini’s healthcare partner, Penn Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine (PAYAM), for further instruction regarding self-care and testing options.

For more information on our partnership with PAYAM, including how to make an appointment, please visit our Health Services pages.

Will the Cabrini community be informed if a student, staff, or faculty member(s) is/are tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes. While Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines do not permit identification by name, Cabrini will be adhering to informing the community as per the Clery Act and in accordance with guidance from contact tracing officials.  An active case tracker can be found at cabrini.edu/COVIDTracker

What happens if a student tests positive during the semester?

Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 should immediately report that to Health Services (healthservices@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8400). If the positive student lives on campus, he or she will go home or be relocated to isolation on campus if needed. Health Services will provide information for remaining in isolation as well as provide means of obtaining additional medical/mental health support if warranted. Ordering of meals will be arranged.

What happens if a student has COVID-19 symptoms during the semester?

Any student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, should seek medical assistance. If urgent, call 911. If not urgent, the student should notify Health Services (healthservices@cabrini.edu, 610.902.8400), which will assist with instructions regarding quarantine procedures and further self-care options, including how to contact a physician.

Students should contact their own primary care physician, Penn Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (PAYAM) or an urgent care facility for a telehealth evaluation. Students who are advised by PAYAM to be seen at their facility should contact Public Safety to arrange transportation at 610.902.8111. Students should not go to PAYAM without doing a telehealth appointment first.

For more information on our partnership with PAYAM, including how to make an appointment, please visit our Health Services pages.

Residential students waiting on a COVID-19 test results will be placed in quarantine. Health Services will provide information for remaining in quarantine as well as provide means of obtaining additional medical/mental health support if warranted. Ordering of meals will be arranged.

What happens if a student is identified as needing to quarantine?

We encourage students who need to quarantine to go home. If they live on campus and cannot go home, we will provide them with a quarantine space on campus. If they quarantine on campus, we will deliver meals, which will be deducted from their meal plan. Health Services will provide students in quarantine, on or off campus, with instructions containing clear dates of their quarantine period.

Why are students encouraged to go home during quarantine?

Choosing to quarantine on campus for 14 days is challenging for students. In most cases, they will need to relocate, taking only essential items with them. The University recognizes that, while we can provide counseling support, many students would benefit from the support and comfort of their own home through quarantine.

How will meal deliveries work for students in quarantine/isolation?

Students in quarantine/isolation on campus will receive instructions on how to request meals and indicate any dietary needs or preferences. Meals will be delivered in the late morning for lunch, dinner, and the next day's breakfast (19-meal plan). There will be a microwave in every room, in addition to access to a refrigerator.  Meals will be deducted from the student’s meal plan.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, will their entire class or hall will need to quarantine?

There are many variables that determine whether individuals identified through contact tracing will need to quarantine. Contact tracing officials focus on identifying people who have had direct, prolonged contact with someone who is positive.

I live with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. How long do I have to remain in quarantine?

In the event you live with someone who tests positive, and you are not experiencing symptoms or getting tested:

    • Avoid close contact with the person who tested positive (the COVID-positive person isolates in a separate room and does not share a bathroom), you should remain in quarantine for 14 days from the start of that person’s isolation period.
    • If you are caring for the COVID-positive person or cannot avoid close contact, you should remain under quarantine while that person is in isolation and your quarantine period will extend 14 days after that person is cleared to leave isolation.

Continue to monitor your symptoms and manage your own health accordingly. Should you demonstrate symptoms, reach out to your healthcare provider and follow their guidance for self-care and testing.

Do international students need to quarantine before coming back to campus?

International students should follow the latest guidance and travel restrictions issued by the U.S. government. Those required to quarantine upon entering the U.S. are expected to do so off campus and prior to their arrival. If you have questions or concerns please contact Charlie Spencer, Director of International Student Services, at cspencer@cabrini.edu.

When will a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 be able to leave isolation?

Cabrini University is using a symptom-based strategy to clear those who have tested positive for COVID-19. Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 who have symptoms and are isolating at home or on-campus may cease isolation when symptoms have resolved (including 24 hours without a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications) and at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset.  

Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are asymptomatic and are isolating at home or on-campus may cease isolation 10 days after the positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

When will students exposed to COVID-19 be able to leave quarantine?

Exposed students must remain in quarantine for at least 14 days. Asymptomatic students will remain in quarantine until the end of day 14. If a student in quarantine becomes symptomatic and tests negative, they will remain in quarantine until the end of day 14. If a student tests positive, they will be placed in isolation and will follow the isolation plan.

If a student is identified in need of quarantine, will they be informed of how they were exposed to COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under this law, the University cannot disclose any personal information about how or why a student was identified through contact tracing.

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is the method for identifying individuals who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are at risk of contracting the virus from this contact. PA Department of Health officials (county) who are certified to contact trace will begin this process for each positive case connected to our University community.

How is contact tracing being conducted on campus?

Health officials from the Chester County Department of Health are conducting contact tracing for Delaware County and they will be reaching out to individuals according to their guidelines for exposure. Cabrini is working with those officials as appropriate.

Is there a finite number in mind for how many individuals need to test positive for the campus to close? 

This is a decision by the Department of Health. Cabrini will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation and has a number of pivot points that would trigger a move to all-remote instruction. These include, but are not limited to, a rate of infection on campus and in Delaware County, as well as exceeding capacity to properly quarantine or isolate infected or exposed students; closure or all-online instruction of daycares and K-12 schools; and local hospital capacity.

If a student needs to be hospitalized, which hospitals would they be sent to?

Bryn Mawr Hospital is the facility most often used when our students need elevated medical care.


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