Our Safety Strategy - Spring 2022

Although the University’s coronavirus website will continue to be the primary source of information about the institution’s continued preparedness and response to the coronavirus, the following pages and resources are provided to give additional context for members of the Columbus School of Law community. These resources will be updated as new information becomes available. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions at the Law School. If you have a question that is not covered in this section or the University’s page, please submit it to Associate Dean Crowley at crowleykm@law.edu.

Spring 2022 Updates

  • Normal Academic Calendar
  • Virtual classes Jan. 10 to Jan. 15
  • Hybrid classes Jan. 18 to Jan. 22 (instructors will provide detailed instructions on course delivery and access) In person classes resume Jan. 24
  • Grab and go food service through Jan. 24
  • No campus events until after Jan. 24
  • January 4, 2022, letter to students

    Dear Students,

    We hope this email finds you safe, well rested, and having had a rejuvenating break over the holidays.   The semester begins with many new classes and learning opportunities for students and we in the Law School community are eager to welcome you back to a new semester. 

    As you know from the University’s January 4th announcement the University will begin the semester with online learning.  For the week of January 10-14 all classes will be online.  For the shortened week of January 18-21, classes will either be online or hybrid – meaning professors have the discretion of teaching in person but will allow any student who prefers to stay online for that week to attend class remotely.  Some professors will opt to teach entirely online.

    This email will share with you detailed academic and student life information regarding how we plan to begin the semester.  As we do so, we recognize the disruption and challenges these changes create in student life and assure you we continue to work closely with all our colleagues and the community to support students during this time.  Although not the preferred learning mode, we are fortunate to have in place the technology and experience from the Spring of 2020 and the previous academic year to smoothly transition to this mode of learning for this brief period before we return to in person classes.  While the University will continue to monitor the current health situation we expect to be back on campus, in person on Monday, January 24, 2022.

    Academics

    Classes will begin synchronous and online primarily through the Zoom platform as scheduled on Monday, January 10, 2022 – Friday, January 14, 2022.  Students should report to virtual classes fully prepared and able to participate starting on January 10, 2022 as class attendance begins then.  To that end, please be sure to take the following steps this week.

    1. If you have not already done so, set up two-factor authentication for the CUA Google Workspace. As you know, beginning today the University commences two-factor authentication for all Google accounts, please go here for information.
    2. Verify and login to your Catholic University Zoom account from the setup from which you will be taking your classes.
    3. Check your access to both TWEN and Panopto and regularly check the TWEN pages for your classes and your email for updates from your professors.

    During the week of January 18, 2022 – January 21, 2022 individual faculty members may continue to teach classes synchronously through the Zoom platform, but may also choose to teach in person.  Should they choose to teach in person, for that week only, students can attend either in person or remotely. 

    Faculty members will reach out to individual classes with the link to your class and any special instructions very shortly.

    Due to efforts to limit the spread of illness, staff will be limited on campus but available to students.  Should you need access to the Law Library, please be aware of the following:

    The law library will be physically open the first two weeks of the semester, but with the limited hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  In keeping with the University directive to decrease staff density, staff will be rotating in-person and working from home.  You may call staff (who will forward their campus phones when home) or use the group emails (Reference/Circulation:  csl-ref@cua.edu; Classroom Tech/Computing: csl-av@cua.edu).  These emails may place your question in front of the best person to answer most quickly - especially as we navigate through the uncertainty of potential illnesses. 

    If you absolutely need to meet with a Library staff member in-person, please contact that staff member directly to arrange for this, however, we strongly encourage everyone to remain remote  so that we can meet safety standards during this current period.

    Faculty are available to meet with students virtually and students should contact faculty directly to arrange appointments.

    To decrease staff density, all offices in the Law School will remain open, but with limited in person availability on a rotating basis. Regardless of in-person access, staff will be available to you remotely.  Should you need to contact any office you should email the relevant staff member directly.

    Additionally, please note that through January 24 the Pryz will be open to students, but no food or drink will be allowed and a face covering will be required at all times.

    Student Life & Health and Safety

    As always, student health remains a priority.  The University’s latest information on its response to Covid is here and the Law School specific information is here.  Please note that these pages will continue to be updated this week with more information regarding the Spring semester.  Please start with these resources if you have specific health and safety questions, but if your questions are not answered here, feel free to contact Dean Crowley directly.

    Student Events

    All Law School extracurricular events and meetings must be held virtually or outdoors until all in-person classes resume on Monday, January 24.  Please coordinate online student organization events with Emily Sobieski and Heather Doerr.

    Testing

    As noted by President Garvey all students should be tested for Covid three days before returning to campus, regardless of vaccination status or whether you traveled outside the DMV.  In an effort to prepare for that, we strongly encourage you to make testing arrangements now.  As you likely know, PCR test centers have long waits and often require advance appointments.  The University Dean of Students Office is in the process of finalizing on-campus testing options for asymptomatic students who have not been in close contact with a known positive commencing next week and will notify students directly with more information.  Student Health Services will also be open in the coming week for symptomatic students.

    Until additional staff can be hired, on-campus surveillance testing will be limited to a 9-5 schedule.  Students who are unable to test on campus during available hours, particularly our evening students, should consider making an appointment at one of the many free local testing sites.  As the semester gets underway additional testing hours will be added for evening students and evening students are welcome to test on campus during the day.  

    Questions regarding on-campus testing should be directed to cua-covidstudenttesting@cua.edu.  If you test positive, please notify Dean Crowley so that she can help to provide you support. 

    Masks & Vaccines

    Additionally, masks are still required in indoor spaces.  High-grade, well-fitted masks such as N95, KN95, or KF94 versions, are strongly encouraged for everyone once in-person classes resume.

    Finally, as noted by President Garvey, vaccinations, including boosters, are the single best strategy to get us off to a solid start once we are back on campus. If you are not yet vaccinated or boosted and are able to do so, we hope that you will consider doing so for your safety and those around you.  

    The Offices of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs remain available to you to assist in any way needed.  Please feel free to contact us by email or at 202-319-6478 with any questions or if you have any difficulty in reaching faculty or staff.

    Regards,

    Dean Mary Graw Leary, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research

    Dean Katherine G. Crowley, Associate Dean for Student Affairs

     

     

     

     

  1. Generally speaking, what health and safety strategies are in place this semester?
    The University’s first priority is the safety of our community. The following strategies are in place to mitigate the risk of either catching or communicating COVID-19.

    • Vaccination: This is the most effective protection against getting COVID-19 and against infecting others. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to get vaccinated. Vaccine mandates will follow District and U.S. government requirements.

    • Boosters: A booster shot is recommended six months after your initial vaccination. The University encourages all members of the University community to get a booster vaccination when eligible.

    Face Coverings: The indoor mask mandate on campus continues to be in effect and is a requirement under the Mayor’s emergency order. All faculty, staff, and students need to wear a mask in shared spaces indoors. People who work alone in an office don’t need to wear a mask unless someone enters for a conversation or a meeting. Students must wear masks in the public areas of residence halls, but not in their own assigned residential spaces.

    High-grade, well-fitted masks such as N95, KN95, or KF94 versions, are strongly encouraged for everyone once in-person classes resume.

    Students may only remove their masks when actively eating or drinking in the student cafe area. Students are not permitted to eat or drink in classrooms during classes. All community members will be expected to be particularly vigilant when it comes to proper mask wearing as the omicron variant is highly contagious. Failure to comply may result in an honor code violation.

    • Testing: We expect every student to get a COVID test before returning to campus for the spring semester. Positive results should be reported to the University’s Dean of Students office at cua-deanofstudents@cua.edu.

    Anyone who experiences COVID-19 symptoms should get a test or consult with a medical professional to determine whether testing is necessary. Students are eligible for symptomatic testing at the University Testing Center, and should contact Student Health Services to make an appointment.

    • Quarantine: We will continue to follow existing protocols to isolate and quarantine community members who are sick with COVID-19 or have come into close contact with someone who is infected.

    • Positive Case Notification: The University will follow established protocols to notify the various segments of our community (and emergency contacts, where appropriate) of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Case information that does not compromise confidentiality will be posted on the University’s COVID-19 Resources website. Students should submit positive COVID-19 test results to and be in touch with the University Dean of Students at cua-deanofstudents@cua.edu.

  2. What is required of students with regard to the COVID-19 vaccination?
    All students are required to submit a COVID-19 Vaccination Status form via the CUA Student Health Portal. If a student’s vaccination status changes during the semester, please update your records in the health portal.

  3. What do I do if I am exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
    A student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and get tested. In terms of accessing course materials, the policies are similar to those prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and students should consult their course syllabus or contact his or her professor(s) to determine how that professor will provide access to the class material. Professors will determine for each individual class the pedagogically appropriate way for a student to access material within the technological limitations of the assigned classroom. This can include audio recordings or obtaining notes from a classmate. Students are advised they should not expect remote (e.g. Zoom) access to class.

    During the academic year, Student Health Services (SHS) is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and most Saturdays from 9:00am until 1:00pm. Students should contact SHS upon feeling ill. For the health and safety of all patients and staff, students must call SHS at 202-319-5744 to speak with a staff member if you have a health-related concern. SHS will determine if you need to be scheduled for an appointment and will make the necessary arrangements. Students should call the office upon arrival and will only be permitted entry if wearing a face covering.

  4. What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
    Please contact the University Dean of Students Office at cua-deanofstudents@cua.edu if you test positive so that we may provide you support and perform contact outreach within the University Community.

    Whether you live on- or off-campus, you will need to isolate for a period of at least 5 full days. If you live on-campus, you will be moved to an isolation room in Reardon.

    If you live off-campus, you will isolate where you currently live. If you have a roommate(s), wipe down common areas and the bathroom after each use.

    Isolation Timelines for Positive COVID Cases:

    If the results are positive and you have symptoms, you will remain in isolation for:

    • 5 full days since your symptoms first started and
    • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

    *Some symptoms may last for weeks to months after recovery but should not extend your isolation (if you are getting better)

    If the results are positive and you have no symptoms, you will remain in isolation for:

    • 5 full days after the date of your positive test

    NOTE: After being released from isolation, you should continue to wear a mask for 5 full days while around others, both indoors and outdoors.

    If a Student Health Services clinician determines that a student with COVID-19 requires more advanced care or is unable to care for themselves, they will ensure that the student is safely transferred to a local health care facility.

    See here for details on isolating on or off campus.

  5. If I test positive for COVID-19, will someone from the University contact me to conduct contact tracing?
    Yes. Once the University Dean of Students Office (cua-deanofstudents@cua.edu) is made aware that you have tested positive, you will receive a Google form asking you information about your recent close contacts (individuals who have been within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes during a 24 hour period) with others at Catholic University. Law School staff will contact you via phone with any follow up questions regarding your responses. Additionally, since your positive result is also communicated to your local Dept. of Health, you should expect to receive more detailed communication from a health department contact tracer too.

  6. Will students be required to participate in screening testing during the Spring semester?
    Yes. The University will continue with its robust COVID screening testing program during the Spring semester with ShieldT3. All residential students will be tested within a few days of their return to the residence halls. Non-residential students will be randomly selected for testing during the first week of classes. All students will then be entered into our random screening testing program. When you receive an email that you have been selected to participate, please follow the instructions included to schedule your test. Evening hours will be added throughout the semester for evening students.

    NOTE: Individuals who have tested postive for COVID within the past 90 days are exempted from participing in the screening program. To that end, students should submit their test results to the Dean of Students.

    Please click here to review additional FAQs for students.