COVID Guidelines - Residence Halls

As we welcome back our students to our CavNation residence hall neighborhoods, we recognize that the guidance provided by federal, state and local health officials continues to evolve daily. In order to best help our residential community remain safe and healthy, limit the exposure and spread of COVID-19, and continue to deliver an engaging academic and student life experience, we are providing detailed guidelines for residential living at Walsh University. 

It is required that all students adhere to all our residential policies as well as any new University policies specific to COVID-19. Doing so is important not only for your own wellbeing, but for the safety and wellbeing of those around you—other students, faculty, staff, and our community neighbors, especially those who are elderly, immune-compromised, or otherwise vulnerable to COVID-19. Failure to comply with these policies may result in a referral to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. (Download the Student COVID-19 Student Conduct and Community Standards Response Grid here).  Walsh University reserves the right to take interim measures—including immediate removal from university housing—to protect the campus and surrounding community members. 

In addition to these COVID-19 policies, the Walsh University Student Handbook is a guide for student conduct and behavior. The handbook contains standards, guidelines, regulations, and procedures pertaining to academic integrity and non-academic behavior, and policies for all undergraduate and graduate students. In the event of any inconsistency between the Walsh University Student Handbook and expressed COVID-19 policies, the COVID-19 policies govern.

General Residence Hall Guidelines

We are taking the necessary precautions to reduce risk for spread and ensure the residence hall environment is as safe as possible. These include the following:

  • Guests will be restricted to the residence halls. A guest is defined as any individual who is not a residential student of that building or authorized university personnel (RA, Peacemaker, Facilities, etc.). Residence Hall guests are expected to meet with their hosts outside.
  • Residents will be required to wear face coverings at all times when they are outside of the family group (see “Family Group Guidelines” below), or when members of another family group enter their space, except in outdoor situations where the individual can maintain 6 feet of distance.
  • Room Capacity by Type For each room type, the capacity has been set as double the TOTAL number of occupants of that room type. For example, if a person lives in Seanor Hall, because their housing assignment is double occupancy (2 students), the occupants would be permitted to have up to two additional residents of that building in their room at the same time.
  • Computer Labs Computer Lab capacity is set by the number of computers in each location. No additional students can be added or move furniture inside of any given computer lab.
  • Laundry Facilities Residential Laundry will be available by sign up only. Student will use the online laundry time slot sign-up system (signup.com) for their building to access the facilities.
  • Study Lounges/Common Area All study lounges and common areas will follow CDC guidelines, and will require the wearing of face coverings and physical distancing of at least six feet at all times.
  • On Campus Delivery Protocols Whenever possible, all deliveries to the residence halls must be “no contact”. In the event that no contact is not possible, residents must meet the meeting the deliverer outside. No in-hall entry permitted from off-campus deliverers for food, supplies etc.
  • Providing Sanitation & Protective Items Supplies for sanitizing will be available to be checked out from each hall duty office. Residents are expected to return the supplies to the office after use. 

Residential Neighborhoods and Family Group Guidelines
Each residence hall is considered its own “neighborhood community”. Furthermore, all housing assignments (singles, doubles, suites, and apartments) have been designated as “housing assignment family groups”. See below for neighborhood community designations for 2020-2021: 

  • Seanor Hall
  • Menard Hall/Betzler Towers
  • Wilkof Towers
  • Olivieri Towers
  • Lemmon Hall/Commons
  • University Apartments (Brauchler, Meier, Stein Hall) 

Residential students are only permitted to visit other residential students who live in the same neighborhood community. Failure to adhere to these expectations will result in a referral to the conduct process. 

Accordingly, the following guidelines must be met for each “housing assignment family group”:

  • We highly encourage your housing assignment family group to continue to physically distance and wear face coverings to reduce risk of spread while in your shared housing assignment. It is important to develop a plan with your housing assignment family group for face covering usage and physical distancing while in your shared space. Please be aware that wearing face coverings and physically distancing are still required in all other areas on campus. If anyone outside a resident’s housing assignment family group enters the room/suite, face coverings must be worn.
  • All housing assignment family group will be required to develop a cleaning schedule as part of the completion of the Roommate/Suitemate Agreement Form. 

Residence Hall Room Furniture
Furniture inside dorm rooms will be configured for health and safety. Students may bring outside furniture – but it must be approved by the Residence Life office. Bunking will not be permitted, and all furniture will be set at six feet distance from the second set of furniture in the space. Special housing accommodations will be allowed where possible for those with pre-existing conditions. 

Stay On Campus Order

As students arrive in the residence halls, the University strongly recommends students remain on campus for the first two weeks to minimize chance of spread of the virus and risk to the community. Throughout the semester, students will receive regular campus updates to alert them to health advisories and reinforce best practices to minimize risk. 

Informal Gatherings
Walsh University is committed to encouraging safe and responsible socializing and engagement both on and off campus. Students are expected to adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines as outlined by the university. Students are encouraged to create “family groups” (10 or less) with people they routinely engage with. If students choose to gather with others, these gatherings should follow the established safety guidelines (10 people or less*, maintaining six-feet of distance, use of face coverings). 

  • This expectation prohibits parties, informal gatherings or events at on and off-campus location.
  • Gatherings held by student club/organizations must adhere to all safety guidelines established by Walsh University and the Office of Student Activities.
  • These expectations are specific to non-residential areas, as residential students are still expected to abide by the Capacity by Room Type guidelines for their neighborhood communities.
  • Students who intentionally place themselves in situations that increases the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 will be referred to the Student Conduct & Community Standards Office. This includes participating in events that do not adhere to university guidelines. 

Quarantine/Isolation Residences

Isolation Protocol
The term “isolation,” as defined by the CDC, is used in reference to the separation of sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Thus, in the case of COVID-19, isolation will be required for those who have tested positive for the illness. 

When a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, they will be directed to 1) return home to recover or, 2) if they cannot return home seek approval from the Dean of Students to be assigned to a university residence reserved specifically for isolation. Academic and Student Life support services staff will work to ensure meals are delivered to those students and support continued learning. 

Quarantine Protocol
The term “quarantine,” as defined by the CDC, is used in reference to the separation and restriction of the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Thus, in the case of COVID-19, quarantine will be required for those who have been in close contact (six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) two days before illness onset or, for asymptomatic individuals, two days prior to the date on which they received their test for COVID-19. 

If a campus community member is identified in this way, they will be directed to 1) return home to complete the quarantine or, 2) if they cannot return home seek approval from the Dean of Students to be assigned to a university residence or designated local hotel reserved specifically for quarantine cases. Academic and Student Life support services staff will work to ensure meals are delivered to those students and support continued learning.