Plans for Fairfield’s Fall 2020 Return to Campus

Plans for Fairfield’s Fall 2020 Return to Campus

Beauty drone shot of Fairfield University campus

As Fairfield University plans to bring its Stags home for the fall 2020 semester, a safe return to campus life is our utmost priority. Whether you are a current student, an incoming student, a parent or guardian, a faculty or staff member, or in any way involved in the Fairfield University community, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to remain an integral part of our campus life — and do so as safely as possible.

Before the fall semester begins, all students, faculty, and staff of Fairfield University are encouraged to download the free LiveSafe mobile app from the Apple app store or Google Play store. This convenient mobile app will allow for the University’s daily health monitoring questionnaire to be filled out quickly prior to arrival on campus.

Any approved visitors to Fairfield should also download the app; otherwise they will be required to submit a Daily Health Questionnaire prior to entry. Upon successful completion of the questionnaire, a green check mark will appear, signaling that it is safe to come to campus. A green check on the questionnaire or LiveSafe app survey is required for admittance to campus.

Fairfield has also established an on-campus Covid-19 testing policy for the fall semester. InHouse Physicians (IHP) will be providing on-site testing clinics, using Abbott Laboratory rapid testing machines — a nasal swab test that will provide results within 15 minutes. The University has arranged to bring to campus 35 Abbot testing machines and the necessary medical personnel to support their use. Covid-19 testing will be conducted in the Field House of the RecPlex, which will be closed to members beginning Saturday, August 22 through Thursday, September 3 to allow for testing, and will reopen for regular use on September 4. 

Five days have been allotted for undergraduate students to complete their testing. Undergraduate students who wish to be tested upon arrival will have a testing time assigned to them.

Faculty, staff, and graduate students who wish to be tested on-campus may schedule a time for their pre-arrival testing on one of the following days: August 25, August 26, August 29, or September 1 by visiting September 2 will be an open date for all University community members to schedule a test if they have not done so already. For additional information on testing at Fairfield, please visit the Return to Campus Procedures section of the Stags Come Home webpage.

Faculty, staff, and graduate students may also get a Covid-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test prior to arriving to campus, but must provide proof of a negative test result with a date no more than 14 days prior to their arrival on campus.

Students will move into residence halls this year in a phased approach, starting on August 24, with staggered and previously appointed days and times to arrive on campus. All students will be directed to the Barone Campus Center parking lot upon arrival from the main campus entrance located at 1073 North Benson Road.

After parking, students (ONLY) will leave their vehicles wearing a mask and enter into the Field House of the Fairfield University RecPlex. Students who have not already provided a negative test result will sign in and be assigned one of 35 testing areas within the Field House. There, students will take a nasal swab test, which will provide results with 15 minutes. Students who test negative will receive paperwork verifying a negative test, which must then be shown at the Key Check-In tent. A negative Covid-19 PCR diagnostic test result must be produced in order to move into the residence halls.

Students who have obtained their own Covid-19 PCR test prior to their arrival on campus must submit results to 48 hours in advance of their move-in time, and can then come to campus for their move-in time only. Please note: Covid-19 antigen tests and Covid-19 antibody tests are not acceptable – only Covid-19 PCR test results will be accepted.

Any student who receives a positive test result at the on-campus testing and who lives within a 300-mile radius will be asked to return home if possible. Those students who test positive and are unable to return home will be isolated on campus in accordance with CDC and State of Connecticut guidelines.

Weekly surveillance testing of a random sample of the University population will continue throughout the semester, with 5 to 10 percent of the community asked to schedule a test upon receipt of an email request. Selected participants will be contacted each Thursday to schedule a test for the following Tuesday between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you are selected for a test but not on campus for that Tuesday’s testing, please indicate this in your response; you will be required to sign up for the Tuesday of the following week.

Classes will begin on September 1 and will conclude on December 21, with the Columbus Day weekend holiday omitted from this year’s academic calendar. Students will also have the option to either remain at home or return to campus following their Thanksgiving holiday break. For more information on the move-in process and academic schedule, please visit the Move-In/Fall Welcome section of the Stags Come Home webpage.

Throughout the semester, the University will engage in contact tracing by the Student Health Center, working with the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Doctor of Nursing Practice program and the Town of Fairfield Health Department. Those DNP students serving as contact tracers, along with professional staff members, will participate in three mandatory trainings prior to the start of their work: a five-hour Johns Hopkins method training, a State of Connecticut training for patient privacy, and a final training for usage of Connecticut Department of Public Health contact tracing software.

Contact tracing will commence with every positive case, with those individuals who may have been exposed entering quarantine for 14 days. Daily telemedicine calls and medical monitoring will be conducted by medical personnel of the Student Health Center.

While the fall at Fairfield is typically populated with events throughout the semester, there are some important updates to this year’s fall calendar: first, the Class of 2020 Commencement, originally slated for the weekend of October 9–11, has now been postponed until the spring of 2021, with a new date to be announced. Likewise, Alumni & Family Weekend, originally scheduled to be held the weekend of October 19–21, will not be hosted this year but Fairfield will continue planning for October 2021. However, some events for the families of the Class of 2024 — either in-person or in combination with a virtual component — are being planned to assist first-year students with their acclimation to campus life, and information will be forthcoming.

As the University works to develop further health and safety protocols and guidelines to best protect our community, please continue to visit frequently for the most up-to-date information on Fairfield’s reopening. Stay safe, Stags!


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