UPDATE: Guidance and Options on Quarantine and Testing, Pre-Arrival Housing Options

Today we are providing additional details regarding quarantine and testing for students as we draw closer to our first day of classes, August 19. We know COVID-19 has added significant stress to what is normally a time of anticipation and excitement leading up to a new academic year. Thank you for your patience.

RIT is requiring everyone who will be on campus for the fall semester to get a COVID-19 test and provide proof of a negative result prior to coming to campus (see below for more requirements and resources).

RIT is requiring all students to complete a mandatory travel form. If you have not done so already, please go to https://mylife.rit.edu to provide us with this important information.

For students who are required to adhere to the 14-day quarantine mandated by the New York State Travel Advisory or the CDC and reside in university housing, RIT has put together a bundled solution for students to meet the quarantine requirement. These options include:

Option A: Independent Quarantine

Students from areas on the New York or CDC advisory list may quarantine on their own in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut), or in any state not currently on the NYS list of “Restricted States,” for 14 days prior to their scheduled move-in date. The quarantine could be done through independent housing, hotel arrangements, or through a friend or relative. Students who choose this option will be asked to provide information about the location of their stay and agreement to follow the quarantine requirements prior to arrival on campus.

Option B: Arrive August 12 and participate in University-sponsored quarantine with hotel accommodations

Students with current university housing assignments from the affected areas will be contacted by RIT Housing to determine interest in the university-sponsored quarantine option outlined below.

RIT has secured 600+ rooms at local brand-name hotels within 15 miles of the RIT campus. The cost for the 14-day package is $780, which includes a room and 3 meals per day. For those partner hotels not providing meals, RIT will provide a $420 meal debit card for use at local restaurants of all varieties and grocery delivery. You will not have to pay at the hotel. The charge will be posted to your student account this fall.

RIT is applying the unused room and board costs during this time period to support the expenses associated with creating this option and negotiating below-market hotel rates. For students with financial hardship, please work with the Financial Aid Office and email Ian Mortimer at ijmoem@rit.edu.

These rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. We are asking for students who select this option to arrive ideally on August 12, but no later than August 18. A scheduled arrival time and hotel assignment will be sent to students in early August. Parents/guardians may stay in the room if they wish, but they would also be required to adhere to quarantine requirements. Once the 14-day quarantine is complete, students will make arrangements with RIT Housing to transition into their regular-year assignment.

  • Students selecting this option would begin their classes remotely. Faculty will provide access to the course materials necessary to meet the course learning outcomes to ensure academic progress.
  • New first-year students will be able to participate in new student orientation online.
  • All students with this option will be assigned an RIT staff member to serve as a point of contact.
  • Students will complete their Daily Health Screen and any concerns will be reported to the Student Health Center.

This solution is created so that students do not have to navigate hotel accommodations and to ensure family schedules/work commitments are not disrupted. Completion of the mandatory travel form is required to start this process.

Testing Requirements and Resources

It starts with getting tested. All students are responsible for taking a COVID-19 test and submitting their test results to Student Health via the RIT Wellness Portal within two weeks prior to arrival in order to circulate on campus for any reason. Anyone who tests positive will be required to remain at home until they are cleared to return to campus by their local health department.

Students from states listed on the New York State Travel Advisory will have to quarantine in a state not designated as high risk. These students will still be required to submit a pre-arrival negative COVID-19. This can be obtained in their home state or the state in which they quarantine. If there are extenuating financial circumstances and a student is having difficulties getting a test prior to arrival, you may contact our Case Management team at casemanagement@rit.edu.

Testing Resources

We know there are challenges to obtaining tests in some areas. Below are some resources to help identify testing options available to you. Students must get a test and submit your results before coming to campus. We suggest:

  • Contact your local county or state health department for a list of testing resources in your area. Or check the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Search your current location to find a COVID-19 test location anywhere in the United States on the New York State Find a Test webpage.
  • There are a variety of mail-order tests available that meet our standard of molecular-based PCR tests. Look for FDA-EUA approval to ensure their quality. These tests can be obtained by ordering online or through local pharmacies.

In the Greater Rochester area:

We know you will have further questions based on today’s announcement. Please continue to look for updates on the RIT Ready website, and specifically the page dedicated to testing, quarantine, and contact tracing and the page on New York State Travel Advisory Information. We will continue to provide frequent updates as new information and options become available through our weekly RIT Ready newsletter and our RIT Ready website.

RIT leadership is closely monitoring the landscape, and while many safety elements have been added to the campus, we will continue to adapt and make changes that are needed to protect our students. We believe we are RIT Ready, and are looking forward to a successful, engaging semester.

Fall Planning Task Force

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