Friendly faces from the Office of Student Life — and a handful of new health and safety protocols — greeted new and returning SJC Brooklyn students moving into the off-campus residence hall for the fall semester.
Students have gradually been returning to the EHS Housing at Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights since mid-August.
Administrators, faculty and staff are excited to welcome students back to campus, while keeping them safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are a few important things to know as dormers return to the St. George:
A New Way of Life
Roommates are considered as a “family unit” — meaning they are expected to behave in ways that protect each other’s health. Students don’t need to wear face masks or coverings inside their rooms, but must wear them in all other parts of the building, staying in compliance with New York state guidelines. This includes hallways, elevators, entrances and all common areas.
On a similar note, only three people should share an elevator at a time, and the use of stairs encouraged. The shared kitchen space has reduced hours (8-11 a.m., noon-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.) to ensure appropriate cleaning. Only three people should be in the kitchen at at time and they should stay at least six six feet apart from one another.
Common space furniture was arranged to allow for social distancing.
Daily Health Screenings
St. Joseph’s students residing in the off-campus residence hall were strongly encouraged to get a SARS-CoV-2 test at home no more than seven to 10 days prior to arriving for their move-in date to assess their own health and exposure to COVID-19. Students who came from states listed on New York State’s Travel Advisory quarantine list were required to self-quarantine within the residence hall upon their arrival. Likewise, all international students were subject to testing upon arrival to EHS housing.
Daily health screenings are a new part of everyday life at St. Joe’s. Besides the move-in health screening, the College requires students to take part in daily symptom monitoring on campus.
New Cleaning Protocols
EHS established new cleaning protocols for the residence halls to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. All common areas and frequent touch points — such as elevators, doors, lobby areas and security desks — are continuously cleaned. The kitchen area is also being cleaned three times a day.
Students will receive guidance for regular cleaning of private bathrooms and common spaces in rooms. The topic was part of orientation and each room has a laminated flyer with further instructions.
When There’s a Positive COVID-19 Test
Students who become ill during normal business hours will be directed to MedRite Urgent Care (504 Myrtle Ave., Brooklyn). Students who become ill overnight will be taken to Methodist Hospital (506 6th St., Brooklyn).
Those who have close proximate contact or exposure to someone with COVID-19 must inform the residence hall director, who will arrange for isolation and a test administered at MedRite Urgent Care Center. The student would need to remain in isolation until the results are available.
In most situations, per New York state guidelines, a student would go on medical leave and required to go home for recovery if tested positive. If a student cannot leave campus (in cases like international students), the student would remain in the quarantine room.
The College set aside 25 percent of its maximum bed-space for isolation and emergency purposes. Students who become ill — and live locally — will be sent home if it is safe to do so. To move back in with a roommate, the student must provide proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test.
The residence hall director and resident assistants have training to assist students in isolation.