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Fordham Forward FAQs for Faculty

Skip to Quarantine and Contact Tracing Procedures

How is the academic calendar affected for the spring semester?
In anticipation of a national resurgence of the COVID pandemic this winter, Fordham has decided to modify its academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester. 

  • The first day of class for FCRH, FCLC, GSB, and GSAS students will be Feb. 1, 2021 – thirteen days later than previously scheduled, so as to reduce the risk of viral spread during the winter season.  
  • Spring break will be cancelled out of concern for the heightened risk of viral transmission concomitant with out-of-state travel, as well as to make up for the lost class days due to the delayed start of the semester. 
  • Fordham will observe only three University holidays during the spring semester: 
    • Presidents’ Day (Feb. 15)
    • A mid-semester break day (March 10)
    • Good Friday (April 2) 
  • Reading Days (May 6-7), Finals (May 10-17), and Commencement (May 22) are unchanged on the calendar.

Will my classes be held in person?
Students will continue to have the option this spring to live on or near campus and take courses offered in person or through online or hybrid modalities. Alternatively, students can choose to live in a remote location and take all their classes virtually.

Faculty will be asked to specify the modality in which they prefer to teach each of their courses this fall--in-person, online, or a hybrid of the two. Chairs and program directors will work with deans to determine which courses should be prioritized for in-person teaching in order to best serve our students. Classrooms will be assigned to support those course sections that will make maximum use of on-ground facilities. Academic Records will post the modality of all courses so that students can consider changing their registration to better align with their own plans and preferences.

In order to be prepared for whatever the semester may hold, nearly every course at Fordham will adopt a flexible hybrid learning environment. This means that courses will have both synchronous and asynchronous elements. If a resurgence of the virus necessitates that Fordham suspend all face-to-face instruction for a period, the asynchronous portions of courses would be unaffected, while the synchronous portions would continue via videoconferencing technology with minimal disruption.

Learn more about flexible hybrid learning.

Does this mean the University will be closed before February 1? Can I come on to campus?
The University will be open on January 4.  

Will the Library be open before February 1?
Yes, Quinn and Walsh Libraries will open before February 1st.  

If I am in a high-risk category or I care for someone that is in a high-risk category, must I hold my class in-person?Employees whose age or health condition falls within one of the CDC High Risk Categories and People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions or who have other personal circumstances may seek a workplace adjustment through the COVID-19 Temporary Accommodation process. 

Learn about requesting an accommodation.

How is Fordham enacting social distancing measures in classrooms?
The judicious and safe use of learning spaces (classrooms, studios, teaching labs, etc.) requires attention to social distancing standards and other health and safety policies and protocols. The flexible hybrid learning environment plays a critical role in de-densifying classroom occupancy on campus. Other measures to reduce the density in classrooms include:

  • Reducing seating capacity within each classroom to approximately one-third of its original value, as dictated by the 6-foot social distance standard
  • Identify and assess non-academic space and possible off-campus space for repurposing as temporary classrooms to support the academic mission
  • Adjust the quantity and placement of furniture (desks, podia, etc.) to achieve social distancing standard in each classroom
  • Upgrade, as needed, the technology in classrooms and learning spaces to ensure academic readiness for flexible hybrid pedagogy

Learn more about reducing density in learning spaces.

Will my students and I be required to wear face coverings?
Yes, all University staff, faculty, students, and visitors are required to wear a face-covering when in public spaces which includes hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounge areas, dining spaces, event spaces, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, shared offices, and conference rooms.

Will I be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
The University will distribute reusable/washable face coverings to all employees and students on Fordham campuses. Visitors should bring their own face coverings when visiting Fordham campuses, but Public Safety will have a supply of disposable face coverings for anyone in need. Other PPE will be provided as needed for specific areas and modes of work. Gloves are being supplied to public safety, custodial services, library services, and health services. Hand sanitizer stations and wipes dispensers will be deployed around campus. 

Learn more about the distribution of PPE.

Where can I find assistance in developing hybrid courses?
Some departments have already begun to lay plans for developing the asynchronous portions of multi-section courses collaboratively so that students enrolled in all sections of these courses will benefit from high-quality, team-taught content. Because creating videos and presentations, designing digital interactive experiences, and moderating online discussions are unfamiliar practices for many instructors, Fordham will provide substantially expanded pedagogical and technical support to all who teach.

Learn more about available teaching resources.

What should I do when an undergraduate student who isn’t attending class or completing assignments doesn’t respond to repeated outreach?
Please share that information with the relevant class dean and Dean of Student Support and Success. In some cases, these are students with whom we have worked and we may be aware of the larger context, or other faculty may have shared similar information. The deans will follow up with the student by email and/or by phone. They may also contact other faculty who have the student in class, to see if there’s a larger pattern. As needed, they will work with the Office of the Dean of Students on further outreach (which may include contacting family members) and referrals to CPS or other offices at the university.

What should I do upon learning of a student's financial, housing, or other needs?
A variety of funds are available for students who are experiencing emergency financial hardship. Please reach out to the dean's office of the student’s school about the need who will serve as the liaison with the Financial Aid office and/or with the committee managing Student Emergency Funding.

Quarantine and Contact Tracing Procedures

What should I do upon learning that a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for an amount of time prescribed by the NYS Department of Health or their physician. In coordination with the NYC and NYS contact tracing programs, Fordham will implement its contact tracing program to assist personnel in the notification of members of the Fordham community who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive while on campus. Close contacts to the infected individual will be directed to quarantine themselves so as to prevent further spread.

What do I tell my students?
You may tell your students that a student in the class has tested positive for COVID-19; that the student is isolated; and that University staff are following up to do contact tracing and inform others. The isolation is necessary to ensure the infection is contained as much as possible.
Should I tell students to get another COVID-19 test?
Yes, but they should contact University Health Services (UHS) by phone or email, rather than going directly to the testing tent (at Rose Hill) or testing rooms (at Lincoln Center). UHS will advise the student where they should get the test.
Should I be tested?
Yes, out of an abundance of caution, you should be tested, either through your private physician or through VitalCheck. We ask that you not go for testing to the testing tent (Rose Hill) or testing rooms (Lincoln Center).
Will I have to be quarantined?
Yes: Fordham requires anyone who was within 6 feet of the infected person for more than 10 minutes in any 24-hour period, with or without face coverings, to be quarantined for 10 days, even if you test negative for COVID-19 during the quarantine period. (Being in the same classroom with a person who tests positive does not automatically require an individual to be quarantined.)
Does Fordham now have instant point of care tests?
Yes, although a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test via VitalCheck or your personal healthcare provider is required to confirm negative results—the PCR test detects virus DNA and is more accurate than antigen tests in detecting a current infection.
Will contact tracers from both Fordham and New York City Contact Tracing reach out to students and myself?
Fordham contact tracers will certainly contact you and your students; New York City contact tracers may also follow up with you and you students.
Does Fordham report names of COVID-19 positive individuals to the New York state Department of Health dashboard?
No. The University only provides the state with numbers of tests and positive cases in various categories.
Does Fordham report names of COVID-19 positive individuals to the New York City Department of Health?
Yes, the University is required by law to provide the names of students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19. Fordham is also required to report the names of anyone who was within 6 feet of the infected person for more than 10 minutes (or in an enclosed classroom for more than 60 minutes), with or without face coverings, and to notify the city that these individuals are quarantining.
Will my access to campus be blocked while I am subject to quarantine?
Yes: you will be blocked from entering campus. The restriction will be removed from your Fordham ID when you reach the 14th day of the quarantine period.
Are people who are COVID-19 positive and/or quarantined all restricted for the same period of time?
No. The COVID-19 positive isolation period is 10 days, and the person must be without a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications before being released. The quarantine period is 14 days after interactions (described above) with any COVID-19 patient. (Quarantine is a precautionary period to determine whether someone who was potentially exposed to the virus becomes infected; isolation is for people with active COVID-19 infections.)
What if the COVID-19 positive student reveals their identity to me and other students in the class?
It is the student’s prerogative to speak about their COVID-19 positive status. The University is still obligated to ensure that the student’s medical information is protected, and so you may not share the identity of the student with colleagues or other students, or refer to the student’s medical status except to University or public health officials who need the information for contact tracing and quarantine protocols.
What if I have further questions?
If you can’t find the answer on the COVID-19 Guidelines pages, you may contact your department chair or associate chair, supervisor, or dean. You may also request a visit with a health provider through VitalCheck.