Fall 2022 Student Life FAQ

Student Affairs staff continue to update these FAQs regarding the Fall 2022 semester.  Students and their families should visit this resource when they have questions.  Any questions related to student life that have not been answered should be directed to: deanofstudents@cua.edu.   Please find answers to some common questions under the following subject headings:

Updated August 19, 2022

COVID-19 Testing

  • Am I supposed to get tested if I come into "close contact" with a person infected with COVID?

    Yes.  Regardless of your vaccination status, if you were exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with an infected person, you should get tested for COVID-19 at least 5 full days after exposure.  You can calculate the earliest date at which you may be tested by taking the date of your last exposure and adding 5 days (Exposure 8/1 should be tested no earlier than 8/6).  You should also wear a mask when around others for 10 full days after exposure.  If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, you should take a COVID-19 test immediately and isolate until you get your test results.

    The Dean of Students can connect students with available testing resources in Student Health Services.  Students living on campus or in the local area are free to contact Student Health Services directly with any health-related questions or concerns.

  • What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

    Whether you live on- or off-campus, you will need to isolate for a period of at least 5 full days, as detailed below.  If you live on-campus, you will be moved to an isolation room in McDonald.  You should pack enough supplies for your isolation period including clothes, your books, laptop, and chargers.  A staff member from Residence Life or the Dean of Students will contact you to arrange for your relocation.  Food will be delivered to you in your isolation space.  You should not leave your isolation space unless you need medical attention.  You should continue to self-monitor your health status and contact the RA on Call if you develop symptoms, symptoms worsen, or need any assistance.  Staff will check in with you on a regular basis.

    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-19 Cases:

    If you test positive for COVID-19, you will remain in isolation for at least 5 full days since your symptoms first started or, if asymptomatic, from the date of your test.  On the morning of day 6, you should administer a rapid antigen test.  If the results are positive, you will remain in isolation and administer another rapid antigen test on day 7 and so on until you test negative.  If you do not test out via an antigen test, you will isolate for a full 10 days.

    For students isolating on campus, staff will deliver antigen tests to you; students living locally can contact Student Health Services to arrange to have a friend pick up an antigen test.  Dean of Students staff will provide more detailed instruction to both on and off campus students.  Antigen test results will need to be submitted to the Dean of Students in order to officially end isolation.  Students will receive further instructions from the Dean of Students staff.

    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.

  • Who can use the campus testing center? 

    All students — undergraduate or graduate, residential or living off-campus — can use the on-campus testing facilities. Students should call Student Health Services at 202-319-5744 and talk to a healthcare professional who will discuss their symptoms or exposure and determine if the student needs to be scheduled for a COVID-19 testing appointment and make the necessary arrangements.  
  • Does the on-campus center offer walk-in testing?

    No.  To ensure the highest levels of safety for our students using the testing facilities and the staff who work there, on-campus health facilities do not offer walk in hours. Students should call Student Health Services at 202-319-5744 and talk to a healthcare professional who will discuss their symptoms or exposure and determine if the student needs to be scheduled for a COVID-19 testing appointment and make the necessary arrangements. When arriving for a scheduled appointment, students will need to call the office when they arrive and wear a face covering.
  • If I use a non-campus testing center or at-home antigen test and test positive, should I tell someone at Catholic?

    Yes.  Students who receive a positive COVID-19 test result from an off-campus testing center or an at-home antigen test should inform the Dean of Students of so that we can provide support and guidance.  Students should also contact Student Health Services for additional medical guidance if symptoms develop or if your condition is worsening.  It is also important that you notify your close contacts (individuals who have been within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes during a 24 hour period), so that individuals who are unvaccinated can monitor for symptoms, quarantine, and be tested if necessary.  You should also follow the advice of medical professions related to isolation.

    After business hours if you are an on-campus student you should call Residence Life at 202-774-0782 to inform them of your positive test results.

  • If I test positive for COVID-19, will someone from the University contact me to conduct contact tracing?

    Yes.  Once the University 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.  University staff will contact you via phone with any follow up questions regarding your responses.  Additionally, since your positive result is also communicated to the DC Dept. of Health, you may receive more detailed communication from a DC Health contact tracer.
  • Will my professors be notified of my positive test results?

    The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) conducts follow up with and provides support to all known COVID-19 positive student cases.  DOS does not disclose that a student has tested positive for COVID-19.  DOS informs faculty that a student will not be able to attend in-person classes due to medical reasons.  This notification occurs for positive cases.  

    We encourage students, if they so choose, to let instructors know of their status.  

  • Do I need to disclose to my classmates or professors if I’ve tested positive?

    Faculty have been instructed to maintain students’ privacy throughout this process. If a student contacts an instructor about test results, it is improper to share that information with the class. The student, however, may share that information and may have done so with friends in the class. Instructors should not discuss students’ positive test results as part of class instruction.

    Students who test positive should tell their close contacts (individuals who have been within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes during a 24 hour period), so that those individuals can evaluate to determine whether or not quarantining and COVID-19 testing is necessary, based on their vaccination status.

  • Will classes move online if a student tests positive?

    If a student in a class tests positive, the class should continue to meet unless advised otherwise by the Dean of Students (DOS) or Office of the Provost.

    DOS analyzes test result data and data on students in a timely manner to see if there are any classes where there are a number of COVID-19 cases and additional measures are necessary. Determinations regarding additional measures will be made in consultation with the Office of the Provost. They will inform instructors if there are any special considerations for the class.

  • If a students tests positive for COVID-19, instead of isolating in DC, will they permitted to go home?

    Yes; any student who tests positive and requires isolation may return home if they could do so safely, such as by having a family member or guardian pick them up from campus. However, a person who tests positive for COVID-19 should not use public transportation to travel home.

Isolation

  • What does it mean to isolate?

    Isolation is used to separate people who are infected with COVID-19 (with or without symptoms), from people who are not infected.  Ideally, individuals who are in isolation should stay in a separate specified room and use a separate bathroom until safe to be around others.  Campus residents under isolation may not leave their suite except to seek medical attention.

  • What is the general timeframe for isolation?

    If you test positive for COVID-19, you will remain in isolation for at least 5 full days since your symptoms first started or, if asymptomatic, from the date of your test.   On the morning of day 6, you should administer a rapid antigen test.  If the results are positive, you will remain in isolation and administer another rapid antigen test on day 7 and so on until you test negative. If you do not test out via an antigen test, you will isolate for a full 10 days.

    For students isolating on campus, staff will deliver antigen tests to you; students living locally can contact Student Health Services to arrange to have a friend pick up an antigen test.  Dean of Students staff will provide more detailed instruction to both on and off campus students.  Antigen test results will need to be submitted to the Dean of Students in order to officially end isolation.  Students will receive further instructions from the Dean of Students staff.

  • How is the University managing isolation on campus?

    The University has designated a specific residential facility to serve as isolation spaces for on-campus residential students who test positive for COVID-19. Our Residence Life and Dean of Students staff will provide daily outreach to students in isolation to provide support.  Additionally, Student Health Services staff are available for consultation and advice for students. 

    Students who test positive will remain in an isolation space until testing negative via a rapid antigen test and they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, they may end isolation.  However, they should continue to wear a mask whenever theyare around others for a full 10 days after symptoms started.  This means that they should not eat with others or go to places where they can not wear a mask.

    The Office of the Dean of Students provides detailed information to students who need to isolate and maintains regular contact with them throughout their period of isolation.

  • Who counts as a "close contact" in term so exposure to COVID?

    An individual is exposed to COVID-19 by being in “close contact” with someone with COVID-19 .  Close contact generally means within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.  Additionally, an individual is a close contact regardless of the length of time exposed to a person with COVID-19 if the individual:  

    • Had physical contact (such as hugging or kissing), 
    • Shared eating or drinking utensils, 
    • Were sneezed or coughed on by an infected person, or 
    • Provided care to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • What do I do if I am exposed to COVID-19 through "close contact?"

    Regardless of vaccination status, if you were exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with an infected person, you should get tested for COVID-19 at least 5 full days after exposure.  You should also wear a mask when around others for 10 full days after exposure.  If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, you should take a COVID-19 test immediately and isolate until you get your test results.

    The Dean of Students can connect students with available testing resources in Student Health Services.  Students living on campus or in the local area are free to contact Student Health Services directly with any health-related questions or concerns.

  • How will students in isolation housing get food?

    University staff will deliver food to on-campus residential students who are in isolation.  In most cases, an initial care package of items will be delivered at the start of the isolation period and will be followed with regular food deliveries.      

    Students in these situations will received detailed instructions regarding food delivery from Residence Life.  

Health and Safety

  • What are the current University masking requirements?

    In accordance with revised guidance from the CDC and DC, the mask mandate for most of campus has been lifted.  On our campus, those health facilities include the Student Health Center, the training room in DuFour where athletes receive medical attention, the COVID-19 testing center, and the counseling center.

  • Are students expected to complete a daily health checker during the Spring term?

    No, however one of the most important things that we should all be doing each day is paying attention to and monitoring our health, including conducting symptom checks and taking our temperature before coming to campus.  

    Symptoms associated with COVID-19 include the following:

    • Fever (100.4° or higher) or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue, muscle aches or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

    All students should bring their own thermometers upon return to D.C. to help conduct self-checks. Additionally, students should ensure that they have awareness of the symptoms of COVID-19.  A good point of reference is the CDC Coronavirus site.

    During the academic year, Student Health Services (SHS) is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and most Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.  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.

  • What should I do if I start to feel ill?

    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. 

    Residential students may also contact the RA on call for their residence halls if they need assistance after regular business hours.

  • What other precautions should students take to help stay healthy?

    Proper handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.  Always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Follow these steps to ensure that you have effectively washed your hands:

    • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.   
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.  
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. 
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

    Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Vaccines

  • What is the University's position on vaccinations and boosters?

    Vaccination is the most effective protection against the more serious side effects of COVID-19. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to get vaccinated.  Additionally, the University encourages all members of the University community to get a booster vaccination when they are eligible.

  • Are students required to report and update their COVID Vaccination status?

    No, but we encourage students to maintain updated immunization records with Student Health Services and to upload copies of their COVID-19 immunizations and boosters on the Student Health Portal.

  • If I am vaccinated, is it safe for me to live with someone who is not vaccinated?

    According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting individuals from getting severe illness. At the same time, vaccinated individuals have a breakthrough COVID-19 infection as new variants emerge; however in most such cases, their overall symptoms and health impact was less severe. 

    Unvaccinated individuals should consider the COVID-19 health risks they remain exposed to and continue active preventative measures.

  • What additionally can I do to help keep our CUA community safe and healthy?

    All individuals are encouraged to keep up personal hygiene habits including frequent handwashing, disinfecting common/shared items and surfaces, active monitoring of one’s health status, and staying home when feeling sick.  

Housing

  • Are there any visitation changes due to the pandemic?

    Yes.  The University will not permit external (non-student) visitors in the residence halls during the start of the Fall 2022 semester.  Students will be permitted to visit within the residence halls.  We will evaluate external visitation privileges starting later in the semester.  

  • What protocols are in place for cleaning in the residence halls?

    Students will continue to be responsible for cleaning all aspects of their living spaces.  To that end, students should bring cleaning items to campus upon move-in.  Common areas outside of student living spaces (i.e. community bathrooms, kitchens, lounges, etc.) will continue to be cleaned by University personnel. 

  • Will residence hall lounges and kitchens be available for student use?

    Yes, the residence hall lounges and kitchens are available for use.  Students are welcome to gather appropriately outside as well.