Residential Life Restart Guide
Over 400 Hunter students have expressed an interest in living in our residence facilities this fall in order to better support them and their academic success. To accommodate the needs of these students, Hunter intends to open its Brookdale Campus Residence Hall at East 25th Street. Of utmost importance is offering and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for residents. The Brookdale dorm has a number of features that will allow Hunter to open and manage this facility safely, specifically it has a capacity of 600 beds in single occupancy rooms and there are both outside spaces and large indoor spaces.
The following plan outlines strategies and considerations for reopening of the Brookdale Residence Hall based on a review of information, resources, guidelines, and recommendations available through multiple sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NYS Dept of Health, NY.gov, the American College Health Association (ACHA), and the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I).
The following broad community mitigation strategies are essential for limiting the risk of spread of COVID-19:
Promote Behaviors that Reduce Spread
- Teach and reinforce proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Teach and reinforce use of face coverings
- Offer supplies: soap, sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes to support proper hygiene
- Post signage that promotes the prevention of the spread of COVID-19
Maintain a Healthy Environment
- Increase cleaning and disinfection of common and high-touch surfaces and areas
- Ensure bathrooms are fully stocked with cleaning supplies
- Ensure proper ventilation/circulation of outdoor air
- Provide physical guides on 6-foot distancing, capacity of elevators, traffic flow
- Close shared spaces or limit capacity (kitchen/laundry/lounges)
- Ensure that social distancing can be maintained in shared rooms – modify layouts as needed/possible
Maintain Healthy Operations
- Offer community support through virtual options
- Hold virtual meetings among staff
- Conduct virtual RA/student check-ins
- Prohibit non-essential visitors
- Prepare communication system for individuals to self-report:
- a positive test
- exposure to someone else who may be infected
When a Student Becomes Sick
- Students will be encouraged to seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider to determine appropriate medical intervention
- If staff receive information that a student tests COVID-19 positive, campus designated COVID-19 contact will be alerted to work with the NYS Department of Health to notify anyone in the building who may have been exposed
- Initiate isolation/quarantine as necessary
- Students who require quarantine will be given the option of returning to their permanent or alternate residence, or to remain on property. If they remain, they will need to move to a designated quarantine room at Brookdale (11) or 79th Street (9) (a room with a private bathroom). Quarantined students must monitor their health and call their healthcare provider if they develop symptoms. See Isolation and Quarantine for more details.
- Students who must isolate at their permanent residence must obtain medical clearance to return to Brookdale
- We will establish a transportation plan for those students with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 for testing or non-urgent medical care, since public transportation and taxis should be avoided.
Hunter College is taking extensive measure to ensure that students who move into rooms in the Brookdale Campus dormitory remain healthy and safe – and that those with whom they interact are equally protected. The requirements cover every aspect of the process, from proof of a negative COVID test before students arrive on campus, to strict requirements if they become infected as students, to procedures if an evacuation of the dormitory becomes necessary.
The Brookdale Residence Hall occupies eleven floors of the North Building and five floors of the East. In total the building has capacity for 700 beds in a combination of mostly singles and a few doubles.
For the purpose of our planning, Hunter will only be offering 600 single beds. Each bed will have its own room with a window, wi-fi, study space, and refrigerator. Students will be restricted to not have visitors, including other residential students, in their rooms.
To minimize the potential for students to be in close contact with one another, twenty rooms on each floor will be designated as a cohort. Each cohort will share one bathroom, which will be used following all physical distancing guidelines and will be made available on a scheduled basis for showering and morning/bedtime hygiene.
Study lounges will be restricted to only students living on the floor and physically distanced furniture locations with behavior monitoring by onsite staff.
North Building residents will be limited to their single room, assigned bathroom, and common areas that are accessible and have capacity limits.
East Building residents will be limited to their single room, assigned bathroom, and common areas that are accessible and have capacity limits.
North Building residents will be restricted from entering the East Building residential floors and vice versa.
The total occupancy of the Brookdale campus will be limited to a select group of in-person classes and additional space will be made in the academic buildings for students to eat and study. In total, the occupancy of the campus shall not exceed the General Safety Guidelines capacities in Stage 2 and 3.
Self-identified students who qualify for reasonable accommodation due to being immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, can be assigned to the ADA single-use bathroom and nearby room. Such bathrooms are located on each floor of the North Building (11 in total)
All students moving into Brookdale from states on the New York State mandatory quarantine list and international students will be required to provide proof of testing and clearance (an FDA EUA authorized PCR saliva or nasal swab test and a negative result) and are required by NYS to quarantine for 14 days. This quarantine must be done off campus (see below section “Isolation & Quarantine”)
Students will be required to agree to:
- An assumption of risk clause
- Any additions to expectations for conduct
- A requirement that they move to a quarantine room if required either on- or off-campus
- A requirement that they will return to their permanent or alternate residence in the event that isolation is required
- A requirement that they will return to their permanent residence or an alternate residence in the event that evacuation is required
Common areas will have capacity limits with signage indicating reduced occupant load, require wearing PPE, and increased cleaning frequency in high-touch areas. See the General Guidelines for more detail.
- Kitchens are located in the North Building on every floor and the East Building on every floor.
- They will be open for microwave and stove use only.. Nothing will be stored in the kitchen itself and students will be responsible for providing their own pots and pans, dishes and utensils.
- Capacities for each space are 1-2 people and will be scheduled.
- Elevators will have a maximum occupancy of 4 users at a time
- Floor Lounges are located on every floor in the North Building and the East Building
- Couches will be replaced with chairs and furniture will be placed at physically distanced locations with signage markers.
- In the North Building, each lounge space will accommodate only 2 students at a time, with 2 tables and 2 chairs in the space; In the East Building, each lounge space will accommodate only one student at a time, with one table and chair in the space.
- There is one laundry room that serves all of Brookdale, and is equipped with a camera monitored by Public Safety – 2-student maximum at a time, maintaining physical distancing.
- Game room will be closed
- Cafeteria will be open as a study space for residential students only. Furniture will be located at physically distanced locations with signage markers.
- Rotunda in a windowed space will be used as a naturally ventilated space for eating. Furniture will be located at physically distanced locations with signage markers.
- The Courtyard is an open outdoor space with a patio for eating. Furniture will be located at physically distanced locations with signage markers.
- To decrease traffic in buildings, check-ins will take place online. All documentation will be sent home for completion and move-ins will be spread over a week or more and will be conducted only by appointment
- No more than 20 students a day for check-in, and students will be allowed 2 helpers during their time slot
- Keys/Resident Sticker: student will be given room key/sticker in a pre-labeled envelope by their RA
- Carts will be put in a cleaning rotation every time they are used. With limited check-in slots per day, Facilities will have increased time to disinfect carts between use. Carts will be locked up at the end of each day
- Elevators: During move-in no more than 3 people per elevator (resident and helpers)
- Face Covering – all residents and staff must have a face covering when they are outside of their personal room (bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, elevators, staircases) on the Brookdale Campus
- Office Visits – a minimum number of residents will be allowed to enter the ORL office at any particular time
- Meetings – staff, and other meetings, if in-person, will follow social distancing guidelines or will remain online
- Visitors/Building Access – only residential students will have access to the residential buildings (North/East). Daytime and overnight visitation will be suspended indefinitely. When residents enter the building, they will show Public Safety their ID with their sticker
- Community Gatherings – no in-person programming/gatherings will be held. Measures will be taken to collaborate with outside partners to host virtual workshops and programs (SAVI, Hunter CWS, etc.). All residential related material will be emailed to residents
- Education – training will be provided on signs/screens of COVID-19 for residents
- Student Engagement – offer virtual community and educational programs and activities, with an enhanced focus on wellbeing, mental health, health promotion, safety, and education
Messaging designed to broadcast social distancing guidelines, and information on preventative measures, with an emphasis on individual responsibility for adopting recommended persona-level actions, will be posted throughout the property
Procedural changes and precautionary measures will be communicated to all residents prior to their arrival
- Brookdale cannot serve as an isolation site – students who require isolation will be required to return to their permanent residence or alternate location until they receive clearance from an appropriate medical professional to return to Brookdale
- Brookdale has the capacity to accommodate a limited number of quarantine spaces:
- Students on quarantine will be required to do a symptom screening daily and should use the CDC’s self-screening symptom tool. If the screening responses suggest a possible COVID-19 infection, the student should consult with a medical provider for further guidance on evaluation and/or testing as indicated
- Students from states on the New York State mandatory quarantine list and international students are required by NYS to quarantine for 14 days. This quarantine must be done off campus prior to entering Brookdale.
- Documentation of quarantine is required:
- If quarantine is completed in a hotel, the invoice/receipt for the stay will serve as documentation of quarantine
- If students choose to quarantine with a friend or family member, they will be asked to provide the following information: name and address of person with whom they stayed, and the arrival date for the quarantine period
- Students will also need to submit a negative test result before moving into Brookdale – ostensibly, this would mean that students would actually have to remain in the alternate space pre-Brookdale move-in for longer than 14 days, as they shouldn’t break quarantine for the purpose of testing
- Hunter has identified (20) on-site quarantine rooms at Brookdale and 79th Street Residence Halls for students who are quarantined on site. This number aligns with the maximum number of students in a cohort sharing a bathroom.
- Students will be provided with PPE, and safe physically distanced transport if traveling between floors or buildings to arrive safely in quarantine location.
- Students will be provided with a thermometer, sanitizing wipes or disinfectant, tissues, soap, hand sanitizer, and toiletries.
- Signage will be provided stating restricted access as “Private Quarters”
Residence Life staff will coordinate existing and supplemental student services (such as routine medications/supplies, referral to mental health counseling, academic advising, etc.) for students who quarantine on site.
Students will be required to identify to where they will move in the event that evacuation from Brookdale is required. Information regarding emergency preparation in the case of a campus closure will be shared with students via routine informational emails. Where possible, students will be given sufficient notice such that they have the opportunity to plan departure and pack. Students will receive notice via email
- PPE will be available for all activity
- Procedures for leaving keys, packing belongings (where applicable), etc will be communicated to students
- To decrease traffic in buildings, move-out scheduling will take place online by appointment
- No more than 20 students a day for check-out will be permitted, unless a more rapid pace of evacuation is required, in which case this would be closely monitored by Public Safety
- Carts will be put in a cleaning rotation every time they are used. Elevators: Maximum elevator capacities will be maintained throughout move-out