Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
Yes. All students attending in-person classes or accessing campus for other reasons must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Aug. 27, 2021. Faculty and staff are also expected to be fully vaccinated by Aug. 27.
According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
- If you receive the Pfizer vaccine, then you must get your first shot on or before July 23 and your second shot on or before Aug. 13 to be compliant.
- For the Moderna vaccine, the first shot must be July 16, and the second shot by Aug. 13.
- For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you must receive your vaccine by Aug. 13.
- Note: Students coming to campus early (e.g. resident assistants and student-athletes) must be fully vaccinated before their arrival, which means these deadlines may be sooner.
Employees should be fully vaccinated no later than Aug. 27, which would mean receiving your second dose of Pfizer of Moderna vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on or before Aug. 13.
Students will upload their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card from the CDC to their secure Student Health Portal.
Employees will attest to their vaccination status through The Office of Human Resources.
The University will follow its Vaccination Policy for the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. As with other required vaccinations, student may reach out to University staff with questions and/or to request a waiver form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, vaccination exemption requests are considered in compliance with law. All student COVID-19 vaccine waiver requests submitted by Aug. 5 will be reviewed prior to the Aug. 13 deadline to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Employees may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement, in accordance with applicable law, by contacting Elizabeth Garcia, Esq., Special Assistant to the President, Executive Director for the Office of Equity and Diversity, and Title IX Coordinator at email@example.com.
As was shared in March 2021, the University plans to offer undergraduate and graduate classes fully in-person in fall 2021, excluding graduate programs that are traditionally online.
Vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the best way to ensure the health and safety of our communities. While most young adults do not experience symptoms that would require hospitalization, they can transmit the virus to others in our community. It is the shared responsibility of all community members to not only our campus safe but our surrounding Scranton community as well. Following guidance from the CDC, having a fully vaccinated campus will enable us to provide a fully in-person experience with less disruption from testing, isolation and quarantine.
Campus Health and Safety Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals
- Social distancing: Fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities as they did prior to the pandemic without staying six feet apart unless otherwise required.
- Indoors: Masks are required for all indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status for students, employees, visitors and guests (e.g. contractors, etc.).
- Employees isolated in their personal office space or work area, when unshared with any other colleagues, do not need to wear a mask. However, when employees leave their individual office or work areas or have invited colleagues into their office, they must wear a mask. Staff in shared office areas must wear masks.
- Masks are not required when students are alone in study rooms.
- Students in University residence halls must follow the guidance provided on the following webpage: Face Coverings in Residence Halls.
- Outdoors: Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks outside. Individuals may wear masks if they so choose.
- The CDC especially recommends mask wearing if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
- The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Mask mandates may be implemented and later relaxed depending on changes in community spread. The University continues to monitor community spread and health recommendations and guidelines. Current campus mask requirements are posted under "Mask Status" on the home page of this website and will be updated as needed during the semester.
Fully vaccinated individuals who have been around someone who has COVID-19 should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.
- Students will be tested through Student Health Services. Employees can secure testing through off-campus providers.
- They must also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a PCR test result is negative. They do not need to self isolate, however, they should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if they’ve been around someone who is sick. If fully-vaccinated students and employees experience COVID-19 symptoms and/or test positive they must contact Student Health Services (students) at 570-941-7667 or Human Resources (employees) at 570-941-7767.
- Fully vaccinated students who test positive for COVID-19 and are required to isolate must do so off-campus. The University will temporarily accommodate residential students who need to isolate as they solidify their off-campus isolation plan.
- Employees should isolate in their private residence.
- Faculty members are notified automatically when vaccinated students assisted through Student Health Services are unable to attend class due to isolation.
Fully-vaccinated individuals do not need to be tested regularly or use the daily health screening app. With that being said, they should still be alert for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if they’ve been in close contact with someone who is sick or who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Campus Health and Safety Guidelines for Unvaccinated Individuals with an Approved Exemption
Unvaccinated individuals must wear masks while indoors and in outdoor settings when social distancing is not possible. Masks are not required when students are alone in study rooms or for employees when isolated in their personal office space or work area, when unshared with any other colleagues. They should maintain social distance with others as much as possible.
- Individuals with symptoms should be tested immediately and follow established isolation protocols.
- Students can receive testing through Student Health Services. Employees can secure testing through off-campus providers.
- Unvaccinated students who test positive for COVID-19 or are required to quarantine must do so off-campus. The University will temporarily accommodate residential students who need to isolate/quarantine as they solidify their off-campus isolation/quarantine plan.
- Employees should isolate or quarantine in their private residence.
- Faculty members are notified automatically when unvaccinated students assisted through Student Health Services are unable to attend class due to isolation / quarantine.
Yes, unvaccinated students and employees must participate in frequent testing and complete a daily wellness screening application.
COVID-19 PCR testing for unvaccinated students and employees with approved exemptions will be scheduled at least once per week throughout the semester.
- Students will be tested on the same day each week through Student Health Services. Students will be notified of a test result by Student Health Services only if their test result is positive or they need to be retested.
- Employees will be tested on a weekly basis at the Office of Human Resources. Employees will be notified of a test result by Human Resources only if their test result is positive or they need to be retested.
- It is not necessary to isolate while awaiting test results, unless you have symptoms or a known exposure to someone with COVID-19.
The University wellness screening application is available both through the My.Scranton portal and the University’s mobile application for IOS and Android mobile devices.
Unvaccinated students and employees with an approved exemption are required to use the wellness screening application every day by responding to a series of simple questions regarding symptoms as recommended by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Completion of the questions each day will require use of a personal thermometer.
Practicing good health habits, such as cleaning your hands and avoiding touching your eyes nose and mouth, can help prevent the spread of stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like flu.
Generally, unvaccinated individuals with an approved exemption (i.e. students and employees) can participate in classes, events and activities so long as they follow the requirements for unvaccinated individuals. As an added safety precaution, unvaccinated individuals may be restricted from specific activities, events or programs.
According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms.
Students and employees who experience COVID-19 symptoms and / or test positive must contact Student Health Services (students) at 570-941-7667 or Human Resources (employees) at 570-941-7767. Individuals should isolate themselves from others as directed by the contact tracer.
Students who are required to quarantine or isolate must do so off-campus. The University will temporarily accommodate residential students who need to isolate / quarantine as they solidify their off-campus isolation / quarantine plan.
Employees should isolate or quarantine in their private residence.
Yes, Student Life (students) and Human Resources (employees) will undertake contact tracing as needed.
Campus Activities and Operations
A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.
High-touch areas of classrooms and laboratories are cleaned at an increased frequency, and hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are available should students or faculty wish to wipe down desks or tables before or after use.
Maintenance and cleaning procedures for offices will mostly return to normal, pre-COVID daily cleaning procedures. High-touch areas will continue to be wiped down regularly. Sanitizing wipes will remain available for department offices for those who wish to use them.
Yes, the campus will return to pre-pandemic conditions. All classrooms and study spaces will be restored to pre-pandemic configurations and capacities with no minimum social distancing requirements. In-person activities will resume following health guidelines as outlined in the Royals Back Together Plan.
The Fitness Center has returned to normal, pre-COVID operating procedures. Reservations are no longer required.
Fitness hours can be seen here.
Masks are required for all indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.
Current campus mask requirements are posted under "Mask Status" on the home page of this website and will be updated as needed.
In-person student internships are permitted on- and off-campus. Students must follow pandemic safety protocols as required by their internship host site.
Campus is closed to the general public with the following exceptions:
- Admissions tours and guests.
- Parents and family members
- Spectators at athletic events
- Invited speakers or guests for meetings and events.
- Contractors and other campus service providers.
- Fully vaccinated guests in University residence halls (registration required).
- Campus buildings will be accessed by Royal Card only.
Visitors, guests, contractors or other non-members of the University community must comply with the health and safety measures of the Royals Back Together plan as outlined in Public and Other Access to Campus. Individuals refusing to comply may be asked to leave campus by University Police.
Pandemic Protocol Reminder: Departments or groups planning events should direct invited guests to the Royals Back Together Plan for the latest safety requirements, especially those in place for the visitors and guests.
Yes, campus tours and Admissions events are being held on campus.
Yes, weekly updates will resume on Mondays beginning Aug. 30. The frequency of updates will be adjusted as needed throughout the semester.
Families in need of assistance should contact the Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (570) 941-7701.
- The Financial Aid staff will review and verify updated information to determine if any increases can be made to need-based federal, state and University of Scranton financial aid programs.
- If you have not already done so, families should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov.
- The University will offer financial counseling to families requesting special assistance to meet their financial educational expenses.
- Staff from the offices of Financial Aid and the Bursar will work with students and their families on the development of financing plans, which will include a combination of federal student and parent loans and may allow for the development of special payment plans outside of the University’s normal payment policy.
Information about University travel can be found on our travel guidelines page.
Study abroad travel must follow the restrictions as outlined in the University’s travel procedures in addition to the COVID-specific guidelines.