Health and Safety
As ever, the well-being of our students, faculty and staff is the College’s top priority. The Office of Health Services and departments throughout the College are working closely with city and state agencies to safeguard the health and safety of the entire Manhattan community during these difficult times. Specific details are outlined below.
In keeping with New York State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, Manhattan College employees are required to complete a daily symptom checker when arriving on campus.
- If an employee reports any symptoms, develops illness or tests positive for COVID-19, they must remain home and contact their health provider immediately. Referrals to health providers and testing locations will be provided to all employees.
- The CDC requires isolation for 10 days after testing positive. In order to contain the spread of illness, a contact tracer will identify any Manhattan College contacts who should begin quarantine and will remain in contact with them for 14 days. Employees may return to work within 10 days if they have recovered from illness or if they test negative and have been fever-free for 72 hours.
- Employees who have been exposed at Manhattan or off-campus must quarantine will be required to complete a COVID-19 accommodation form. Employees who are exposed off-campus will be contacted and managed by the New York State Department of Health and their primary care doctor.
In keeping with New York State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, Manhattan College students are required to complete a daily symptom checker before arriving on campus.
- Students with symptoms should contact Health Services for a telehealth visit, to be directed to a testing partner.
- Students who test positive on a screening or who experience symptoms are required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Resident students will be directed to isolate at home if living within two hours of campus. Students who are unable to return home will be directed to isolate in a Manhattan College isolation room set aside by Residential Life.
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be directed to complete a student COVID-19 accommodation form. All positive student cases must be reported to Health Services.
- Students who test positive and isolate on campus will receive Health and Counseling telehealth visits daily.
- Positive student cases will be assigned to a contract tracer to identify any Manhattan College contacts who need to begin the process of quarantine and self-monitoring. These contacts will be quarantined for 14 days.
- Students requiring a transfer of care will be sent to our health care partner for evaluation and treatment. EMS will be notified of the particulars of the situation to prepare for safe transport.
All places where any positive students OR employees have spent significant amounts of time will undergo thorough cleaning and disinfection.
If the Manhattan College community reaches an outbreak level of positive cases, set by DOH standards, an E2 campus alert will go out to the community to PAUSE all on-campus activities, including in-person classes, library activities, lab research, etc., for 3-5 days until all contact tracing and quarantine directives are in place.
Manhattan has initiated a robust contact tracing program to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of the College community. This method of identifying those who have come into close contact with individuals who test positive for COVID-19 has proven reliable in slowing the spread of the virus.
In keeping with New York State Department of Health recommendations, a cohort of Manhattan College employees have completed training as contract tracers through Coursera in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Contact tracing will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through four key steps:
- The campus COVID-19 director and/or Health Services will report positive cases of COVID-19 immediately to contact tracers on a daily basis.
- A contact tracer will then interview the positive patient to identify people they may have been in contact with while contagious.
- The contact tracer will notify and interview contacts to alert them to their risk of infection and instruct those contacts to quarantine or isolate for 14 days to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others.
- The contact tracer will monitor those contacts by text throughout the duration of their quarantine or isolation to see if the contacts develop (show) any symptoms.
Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”)
In accordance with CDC and New York State guidelines, all members of the College community must wear face coverings/masks while on campus and when unable to properly social distance by six feet or more.
- Masks will be provided to students and employees free of charge. Additional health and safety accommodations will be put in place for employees who are required to be on campus and/or cannot perform their work remotely; those who are “high contact,” due to the numbers of visitors and/or students they must interact with on a daily basis; and those who regularly take mass transit.
- All students will be provided with a welcome bag containing a washable cloth face covering, hand sanitizer and COVID-19 educational and outreach materials.
- Employees will be provided with a washable mask.
- Disposable masks will be readily available to students and employees in high-traffic areas on campus.
- Employees and students may bring their own personal face coverings to campus, so long as they adhere to CDC and public health recommendations.
Employee Use of PPE
Employees are required to wear a face covering from the time they enter the campus, arrive at their office space, and whenever leaving their work space to move around common areas (e.g. hallways, stairwells, restroom, etc.). Any accommodation related to face masks MUST be applied and approved through Human Resources and the One Manhattan office.
- Employees who work in congregated sitting areas (i.e., open space, areas open to the public and shared offices) must wear a mask at all times.
- Employees who work alone in a segregated office space (i.e., cubicle with walls, private offices, etc.) may remove their masks when alone in these settings.
- Faculty members may remove their face coverings while teaching, provided they are able to socially distance by greater than six feet.
- When traveling to off-campus locations for official business as College representatives, employees must abide by local and state guidelines regarding the wearing of face coverings.
Student Use of PPE
Students are required to wear a face covering while on campus and any time resident students leave their dorm rooms to move around in common areas (i.e. hallways, stairwells, restroom, etc.). Any accommodation related to face masks MUST be applied and approved through the Specialized Resource Center.
- Suitemates and/or roommates are considered a family unit. Therefore, wearing a face covering is not required while occupying one’s own dorm room.
- Students working in segregated spaces (i.e., cubicles with walls, private library rooms, etc.) may remove their masks when alone in these settings.
- Due to health concerns, student-athletes will be required to remove their face masks while competing and/or strength and conditioning. While on competitive sidelines, and in the strength and conditioning facilities, student-athletes must maintain proper social distancing while not wearing a mask. Masks must be placed back on immediately after competition and training sessions have ended.
Types of PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of face coverings/masks, face shields, gloves and gowns. Cloth coverings, bandanas and scarves are nonmedical grade. Students, faculty, staff and administrators will be provided with non-medical grade face coverings.
Medical grade face coverings are as follows:
- Level 1 mask, ideal for procedures where low amounts of fluids, spray and/or aerosols are produced.
- Level 2 mask, ideal for procedures where moderate amounts of fluids, sprays and / or aerosols are produced.
- Level 3 mask, ideal for procedures where heavy to moderate amounts of fluid, spray and/or aerosols are produced. Maximum filtration is N95, indicated for use when treating patients with potential airborne diseases such as coronavirus.
Healthcare workers on campus (physicians, nurse practitioners and athletic trainers) will wear medical-grade Level 3 face masks for normal patient interactions, and N95 face masks when evaluating or treating patients potentially infected with coronavirus. Health Services office workers will wear Level 3 face masks.
- Per OSHA regulations, healthcare workers will be fit-tested for the N95 face mask.
- Public Safety employees responding to medical distress calls will wear Level 3 face masks.
- Healthcare workers and Public Safety employees will don full PPE (face mask, face shield, gown and gloves) when treating, evaluating and/or responding to a student or employee potentially infected with coronavirus.
- Public Safety officers will be equipped with PPE medical emergency response kits packed with full PPE supplies for medical distress calls on campus.
- Deans’ offices and the Counseling Center will be supplied with PPE emergency response kits packed with full PPE for crisis situations. College vehicles used to transport a potential COVID-19 positive patient will be fitted with a plexiglass partition to separate the driver from the rear passenger.
As part of an ongoing effort to identify individuals who have COVID-19 or were recently exposed, and reduce the risk of disease transmission, the New York City Department of Health has advised that all faculty, staff, administrators, and other members of the Manhattan College community will need to complete a COVID-19 test before returning to our campus in August, within two weeks of your return date. All students that commute or are living in off-campus housing in the neighborhoods near campus must also be tested within two weeks of the start of classes. All residential students will be required to have a COVID-19 test within their first four to seven days of arrival.
The College will require testing of all symptomatic individuals and all students, faculty or staff who are close contacts of positive test cases. Asymptomatic contacts will be quarantined and may be tested if requested. Manhattan College also will deploy routine, randomized and asymptomatic testing of our essential employees and other members of our community to proactively monitor for signs of community spread on campus.
Testing is available at a number of locations, including:
We are still working on an agreement that will allow COVID-19 testing on campus with a testing partner. You will be invited soon to complete a Manhattan Return to Campus COVID-19 survey that will assist us in the return to campus planning. In addition, you will receive an email notification for your specific testing requirements.
Essential employees who have been on campus will be offered serology testing for past infection through their primary provider, CityMD or Riverdale Family Practice. Serology testing is recommended for employees who return to campus at a later date.
All employees will undergo viral testing for COVID-19 prior to when students return. Testing will be offered through the College’s outside medical partners. This will allow any employee who tests positive to isolate and return to work before students arrive on campus.
All students are required to be tested prior to their return to campus and will complete a COVID-19 questionnaire that will be submitted electronically to Health Services. All students will be required to complete a symptom checker daily when on campus.
- Students that have already been diagnosed with or may have had illness will be directed to consider serology testing.
- Commuter students will undergo viral testing two weeks prior to the start of classes. This allows time to isolate at home in the event of a positive result. Test results must be submitted to Health Services.
- International students are required to undergo testing prior to entering the U.S. They will be tested on move-in (August 14) and must quarantine for 14 days.
- Athletes who return early to campus also will be tested on move-in day.
- All other resident students will be tested on their scheduled move-in day.
- Any students testing positive on move-in will be required to return home or move into quarantine housing for a minimum of 10 days.
- Students will be tested a second time 7-14 days after move-in.
Positive COVID-19 Test
Notifications and Support
In the event that an employee tests positive to COVID-19, their supervisor and HR should be notified, and the policy for sick leave and work accommodations will apply. All sick employees must isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days from their first symptoms or until three days after a fever, whichever is longest. The Manhattan College Employee Assistance Program offers emotional and counseling support services.
The College is developing a number of partnerships with area healthcare providers including Columbia Allen Pavilion, CityMD, Riverdale Family Practice and local pharmacies.
Health Services and Counseling Services are partners in caring for our students and provide referrals to students for services as needed. At this time, additional staffing will be added to meet the expanded healthcare needs of the College community, as follows.
- The One Manhattan: Campus Health and Safety office will work with campus offices to organize contact tracing, training employees on policy, direct communication between departments and monitor supply chains.
- The contact tracing team will continue to be expanded over the summer.
- Additional health care professionals will join Health Services to provide telehealth visits to students who test positive for COVID-19, or who have been exposed to COVID-19, as well as ongoing healthcare to well and sick students. They will also assist Human Resources with COVID-19-related mandates and maintaining employee testing records.