14 guidelines for a ‘Safe Start’ at Hofstra University

Hofstra University has developed its guidelines for reopening the campus this fall. 
The university says it has been working closely with Northwell Health, to develop protocols that align with local, state and federal public health guidelines and preserve the best of the Hofstra experience while protecting its entire community.
Because the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve locally and nationally, the plans are a work in progress. Fall classes are expected to begin Aug. 24 and end Nov. 24.
According to Hofstra University’s President Stuart Rabinowitz, the school has three priorities, the safety of the campus community, the reconfiguring of classes, and making the campus as vibrant as possible.
Below are 13 of the guidelines the institution will be following:
1. Masks
All students and employees must wear a mask in all campus buildings, including residence halls, except for your own room, suite, or office. Masks will also be required outdoors when six feet of physical distance is not possible.
2. Physical distance
Keep at least six feet between you and other people whenever possible. Classrooms and public spaces will be reconfigured to ensure distancing.
3. Daily health screenings
All students and employees must answer a three-question screening via portal or smartphone app before coming to campus or attending class. The questions are:
- Have you experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days? Symptoms include (but are not limited to): cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of taste or smell.
- Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Have you knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19?
4. Residence halls
The University has developed a detailed plan to ensure the health and safety of students living on campus, including reduced density in rooms and common spaces and enhanced cleaning protocols. Move-in is expected to begin nine days prior to the beginning of classes on Aug. 24, with staggered check-in days/times.
Density: There will be a limit of two people per room. No quads or triples will be permitted.
Family units: Roommates and suitemates will be considered ‘family units’, meaning they do not have to wear a mask when they are indoors with only one another.
Guests: No outside guests will be permitted in the residence halls, and no guests from your house or building can visit your suite or bedroom.
Bathrooms: In the Towers (Alliance, Bill of Rights, Enterprise, Estabrook, Constitution and Vander Poel), the number of people permitted to use shared restrooms on each floor will be limited. Students will be assigned to use only one sink, one shower and one bathroom throughout the semester to reduce the number of people sharing facilities. The Towers bathrooms will be cleaned at least twice daily, and cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided for students to clean after each use. In other residence halls, restrooms in suites will be deep cleaned before students arrive, and students will be provided with cleaning and disinfecting supplies to keep restrooms clean after each use.
Lounges, Kitchens: There will be a limit on the number of people using a common areas/lounges at one time, and furniture will be removed or rearranged to ensure social/physical distancing.
Laundry Rooms: There will be a limit of one person at a time in suite-style buildings and three people at a time in Tower laundry rooms. Students should use the laundry room app to see when machines are in use.
Exercise Rooms: Exercise Rooms in residence halls will be closed for the fall semester.
Room Access Between Semesters: Although the semester begins and ends early, it is the same length as in years past. All students in the residence halls should to return home after the end of the semester on Nov. 27, until the start of the spring semester. However, students will have access to their rooms between Thanksgiving and the spring semester if they need it.
5. Campus Activities
The school is taking steps so students can continue to spend time together safely, including adding tents across campus so students can socialize at an appropriate distance, investing in outdoor movie screens for movie nights and televised concerts, and outdoor fitness classes.
6. Learning
The fall academic calendar is changing, beginning a week early, on Aug. 24, and ending just before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 24. There will be no breaks except for Labor Day.
The semester will be the same length as in years past. Undergraduate students will have study/reading days and take final exams remotely after Thanksgiving. Graduate students will finish up classes online and take exams remotely.
Class schedules will also be adjusted to allow for more time between classes, as it will take longer to get from place to place on campus safely, given physical distancing requirements and elevator capacity limits.
7. Classrooms
Masks must be worn by all students and faculty in classrooms, labs, studios and rehearsal spaces. Classrooms, labs, studios and rehearsal spaces will be reconfigured to reduce capacity and allow for appropriate physical distancing. They will also be repurposing other indoor event spaces to create additional classroom space.
8. Remote learning
Students who choose to take their classes remotely due to health concerns (such as underlying conditions), illness, isolation requirements or travel restrictions will work with their faculty to ensure they can continue to fully participate.
9. Library and computer labs
Capacity in all public study spaces, such as library lounges and study areas and computer labs, will be reduced and marked off for physical distancing, and frequently cleaned. Axinn Library will only be open to members of the Hofstra community. They will also create more study spaces in tents and unused classrooms, so students can find space to do classes online.
10. Working at Hofstra
All employees must wear masks, social distance and complete a daily health screening. Click here for more information for employees, including information on health care and leave.
11. Campus cleaning and sanitizing procedures
Hofstra’s Facilities and Custodian Operations teams instituted enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols in March 2020 and is updating those and developing additional procedures to prepare for reopening in the fall, in accordance with the latest CDC and New York state guidelines.
12. Dining
Working with Compass Group, the school's food service vendor, campus dining services will be reimagined in several ways to ensure health and safety, including. Including, reducing seating, no buffet, salad bar, self-serve coffee, and condiment stations. There will also be more take-out and grab-and-go options.
13. Transportation
Passenger capacity on all shuttle vehicles will be reduced to whatever the local and state density limits are at the time. Vehicles will be sanitized at least daily.
14. Travel
University-supported international travel will not be permitted at least during the fall semester. University-support domestic travel will be limited to essential travel, and must be approved by the provost’s office.