A Safe, Healthy Campus
All students, faculty, staff and authorized visitors on campus must abide by the following, as required by the University and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Signage is placed throughout campus to guide and remind members of the community of the following requirements:
Campus Access: Campus will remain closed to visitors and the general public except by appointment (e.g. admissions visitors), including the use of the Weinberg Memorial Library. Non-University guests are strictly prohibited in all residence halls.
Social Distancing: Maintain social distancing of at least six feet throughout campus whenever possible.
Pandemic Safety Ambassadors: In this program, employee and student volunteers assist the Pandemic Safety Officer in reminding students, faculty and staff of the safety requirements in the Royals Safe Together plan.
Read more about how we're keeping our campus safe and healthy:
Daily Wellness Self-Screening
The University has added a wellness self-screening application for use by students and employees that is available both through the My.Scranton portal and the University’s mobile application for iOS and Android mobile devices.
- Students and employees are required to use the 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.
- When symptoms are reported through the screening, the application will automatically notify the appropriate department for students or employees and provide additional instructions by email. The application does not store data from personal submissions.
- The University’s Pandemic Safety Officer maintains a comprehensive accounting of all active cases on campus in cooperation with Student Health Services and Human Resources.
Updated Information Regarding Masks
Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents: The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks if they have an exhalation valve or vent.
Gaiters, Scarves, Ski Masks and Balaclavas: The CDC recommends the following:
- Persons wearing gaiters should use gaiters with two layers, or fold one layer gaiters to make two layers.
- Scarves, ski masks and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks. Wear your scarf, ski mask or balaclava over your CDC recommended mask.
- An employee does not need to wear a mask if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition, or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
- Employees isolated in their personal office space, when unshared with any other colleagues, do not need to wear a mask. However, when the employee leaves their individual office or has invited a colleague into their office, they must wear a mask.
- Employees do not need to wear a mask while eating or drinking. At those times, social distancing techniques should be applied.
- Employees or supervisors with questions or concerns about the face covering requirement should contact Elizabeth Garcia, J.D., the University’s designated Pandemic Safety Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-941-6645.*
- While in their residence, on or off campus, with their roommates or apartmentmates. See “Face Coverings in Residence Halls” for additional information.
- If visitors are present in their residence, face coverings must be worn.
- Students do not need to wear a mask while eating or drinking. At those times, social distancing techniques should be applied.
- Students with questions or concerns about face covering requirements or in need of a mask should contact Student Life at email@example.com.
3. Visitors: As noted above, the campus is not open to visitors except by appointment (e.g. admissions) or for official reasons (e.g. campus deliveries). Authorized visitors must wear a mask at all times on campus.
Care of Cloth Face Coverings: Students, faculty and staff should follow CDC instructions about How to Wash Cloth Face Coverings.
Note: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the University to keep medical-related information confidential. In the event someone questions whether a community member has an approved accommodation, those questions should be directed to CTLE for students or OED for employees to report a concern.
*In compliance with a directive from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the University’s appointed Pandemic Safety Officer is available to address employee questions related to various required safety measures. Staff and faculty can read more in Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses.
While face coverings are helpful, they do not replace other safe practices, such as respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and social distancing.
- Hand Washing and Hygiene: Adhere to CDC hand washing and hygiene guidance, including the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home or in your residence hall when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, then wash your hands.
- Wellness Self-Screening: Students and employees are required to use the University's wellness self-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 requires the use of a personal thermometer.
- The application is available both through the My.Scranton portal and the University’s mobile application for iOS and Android mobile devices.
- Safety Requirements: The Royals Safe Together plan outlines a number of safety precautions that everyone on campus must follow. The University has developed procedures to address instances of non-compliance.
- Testing Guidance from the CDC: The latest guidance from the CDC recommends testing for colleges and universities in the following circumstances:
- Testing individuals with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Testing asymptomatic individuals with recent known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to control transmission.
- Testing Options for Students and Employees: The University will provide a testing option for students experiencing symptoms or with a known or suspected exposure through Student Health Services. University employees can secure testing in these circumstances through their personal healthcare provider.
- As an added safety measure, the University will continue COVID-19 surveillance testing beginning the week of February 8, 2021. Individual test results will usually be available within 24 - 48 hours of the lab receiving the sample. All students who will attend on campus classes, including on- and off-campus students and commuters, are required to be tested. Royal Card access will be curtailed for students and employees not being tested because they are remote or because they refuse to be tested. The University expects to collect 1,000 samples to be tested each week, meaning that students and employees on campus should expect to be tested at least three times during the spring semester.
- Contact Tracing: The University has identified and trained staff to undertake a confidential contact tracing process when a member of the University community tests positive for COVID-19, has COVID-19 related symptoms, or was exposed to another person suspected of or testing positive for COVID-19. Student Health Services, Human Resources and the Pandemic Safety Officer work collaboratively to manage contact tracing activity.
In addition to masks, the University maintains an inventory of other personal protective equipment appropriate to the variety of research, teaching and work that takes place on campus.
- Academic and Administrative Departments: The University will provide academic and administrative departments with a supply of PPE to meet unique teaching, research and work requirements.
- Basic supplies would include sanitizing wipes and paper masks for use should employees or students forget or misplace cloth masks.
- Other departments may require additional PPE, including gloves, face shields, gowns and foot coverings, depending on the nature of the work.
- In all cases, departments should monitor their use of PPE and request additional supplies 7-10 days before running out by contacting the Purchasing Department through an online ordering form.
- Replacement supplies will be delivered directly to departments by Mailing Services within three days of the request.
- Students in University Residence Halls: The University will provide students in residence halls with sanitizing wipes for use in their rooms. Students can request replacement sanitizing wipes for their rooms by contacting Residence Life at 570-941-6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Facilities Management team, in cooperation with the University’s Environmental Health and Safety Department have adopted cleaning and disinfection protocols that comply with guidelines from the CDC for preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
- Deep Cleaning Protocol: The custodial cleaning program follows the CDC’s cleaning and disinfection guidance to clean high touch-points such as door handles, banisters, elevator buttons, public areas and restrooms. Cleaning and custodial staff have also increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection activities (deep-cleaning) across campus as an additional preventive measure. This comprehensive deep-cleaning program includes the use of high-tech electrostatic sprayers in specific dense areas of campus.
- Academic Areas: Disinfection of academic areas will be increased in frequency for all bathrooms, elevators and major touch points throughout all shifts.
- Classroom cleaning will include the use of electrostatic cleaning and backpack sprayers after classes end for the day.
- Staff will follow a “deep-cleaning” spreadsheet of the cleaning tasks that supervisors will provide for the best cleaning practices for all classrooms. See “Instructional Space Health and Safety Protocol,” for additional information.
- Student Life Areas:
- DeNaples Center: Cleaning and sanitizing of the DeNaples Center will be increased in frequency for all bathrooms, elevators and major touch points throughout all shifts. Staff will follow the “deep-cleaning” protocol for cleaning and disinfection after any group activities are completed.
- Residence Halls: Disinfection will be increased in frequency for all bathrooms, elevators and major touch points throughout all shifts.
- Recreation Areas: All recreation areas will undergo enhanced cleaning protocols throughout the day. This may impact the hours of operation.
- University Offices: Disinfection will be increased in frequency for all bathrooms, elevators and major touch points throughout all shifts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Note this includes all University buildings including the Weinberg Memorial Library.
Non-University guests are strictly prohibited in all residence halls.
- The number of guests on tours is limited.
- Visitors will be required to wear masks while on campus and adhere to social distancing and other health and safety requirements.
- Tours can be scheduled by contacting the Admissions Office at email@example.com or by calling 888-727-2686.
- All students who have symptoms of COVID-19 or with known or suspected exposure to the virus should contact Student Health Services by phone at (570) 941-7667.
- For immediate medical assistance after hours or on weekends University Police will be available at 570-941-7777.
- Students will be required to isolate/quarantine depending on individual circumstances and in accordance with the guidelines established by the CDC and the PA DOH.
- The University will provide a testing option for students experiencing symptoms.
Faculty & Staff
- An employee who has been exposed, is experiencing symptoms, or has tested positive to COVID-19 should report this information to the employee’s supervisor (staff) or dean (faculty) and go home.
- The supervisor or dean should notify HR so that appropriate information can be shared with the employee and, if needed, contact tracing can take place.
Students and employees are required to use the University's wellness self-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 requires the use of a personal thermometer.
The application is available through the My.Scranton portal and the University’s mobile application for iOS and Android mobile devices.