COVID-19 Residence Hall Health Guidelines

August 11, 2020: Residential Policies have been temporarily modified to comply with guidance from Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) until further notice. Securing the health of our students, staff, faculty, and surrounding community is our goal. We will follow these guidelines to ensure that we can continue learning, working and living safely. Failure to follow guidelines outlined by USF will result in a referral to the student conduct process for students.

Please note that these guidelines reflect current guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). If these guidelines loosen, USF and SHaRE will examine these policies and notify residents of appropriate changes in a timely manner. 

Symptom Reporting is Required

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you must remain in your residence room, limit your traffic outside of the room, and report your condition by emailing covidtracing@usfca.edu.

Currently, the COVID-19 symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficult breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills 
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue 
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms that you haven’t experienced before 
  • New loss of taste or smell that you haven’t experienced before

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Face Coverings Requirements

The City and County of San Francisco issued an order to require all to wear a face covering while in public spaces and conducting essential business. Residents must wear a face covering anytime they are out of their assigned room or unit. This includes common areas in your residence hall, such as: lobbies, restrooms, laundry rooms, stairwells, hallways, main entries.

All persons on campus — visitors, employees, and students alike — must wear a face covering. A reusable face covering will be provided to all residents living on-campus. The university will not provide these face coverings to visitors. Visitors will not be allowed on campus if they do not have a face covering. Please refer to resources from the CDC  and USFCA Human Resources Website  from the CDC about how to create a mask of your own should you need more.

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Guest and Visitation Policy

Guests will not be permitted into your assigned building. This includes those who live in different residence halls on campus, USF students who reside off campus, and family members.

Residents are allowed one guest per resident to support residents during the move-in process. 

Residents are not allowed to enter other residents' rooms, even if the residents reside in the same hall or on the same floor.

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Physical Distancing

Practicing strict physical distancing, when and where possible, is part of safety measures that must be in place in the residence halls for an extended period of time. Per current San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines, individuals are required to stand 6 ft apart at all times unless residing in the same residential hall room.

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No Gatherings are Permitted

All public and private gatherings in the residence halls are prohibited, including but not limited to: residential rooms, lobbies, hall and floor lounges, bathrooms, community kitchens, laundry rooms, stairways, and hallways.

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Public Lounge Space and Kitchens

All community lounges and kitchens inside the residence halls are temporarily closed and not available for use. SHaRE is preventing gatherings of any number of people to promote and secure the practice of physical distancing.

Exceptions to this include community kitchens in St. Anne’s and Fulton House that will remain open. Community and study lounges in these buildings will remain temporarily closed. 

Until further notice, no common dishware/utensils/appliances will be provided or available for checkout at these front desks. Students are expected to bring all of their own dishware/utensils/appliances, clean the space immediately after each use, and keep all dishware/utensils/appliances in their own personal room. Any personal utensils/appliances left in communal spaces will be removed and discarded during ABLE routine cleaning.

St. Anne’s kitchens will be temporarily closed during regular cleanings by ABLE staff. Residents must wait until the kitchen is clean and available to enter the space. 

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Items Available at the Front Desk

Until further notice, the front desks will not provide any recreation equipment, kitchen supplies, face coverings, and personal hand sanitizers. The only resources that will be provided at the desk during this time will be temp cards checkouts (if you are locked out of your room), room cards, mail and packages (see below bullet for more information).  

Please Note: Mail and package services will not begin at the front desks until September 1, 2020 with the exception of Loyola Village.  Loyola Village will not see interruptions in mail services due to the United States Postal Services managing mail in this building.

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Maintenance Request and Custodial Services

  • For all non-emergency Facilities work orders, please submit requests online.
  • For urgent Facilities issues, please call (415) 422-6464 during business hours and Public Safety at (415) 422-4201 after hours.
  • For routine maintenance and repairs, the work may either be deferred until the room is unoccupied (winter or summer break), or it may be done by contacting the occupant and informing them of the available time window for work to be performed.
  • Facilities personnel will respond as quickly as possible for emergencies and problems requiring rapid response to minimize the potential of injury or damage to buildings and property. In such cases, Facilities personnel will respond wearing PPE and may enter rooms (including residences) without scheduling their arrival. Facilities personnel will knock and introduce themselves in these cases.
  • Restrooms will be temporarily closed during regular cleanings by ABLE staff. Residents must wait until the restroom is clean and available to enter the space. 

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ESA and Service Animals

As part of the approved animal policy, students must designate a non-student or a student off campus as an emergency contact in case of illness, hospitalization, or other emergency that would impact a student’s ability to provide care for their approved animal. If a student cannot care for their animal (i.e. a student is placed in isolation and cannot walk the dog or go outside to clean a cat box litter), the emergency contact should be within a 3-hour radius and they will keep the animal until the student is able to regain care of it. The emergency contact is expected to retrieve the animal within 5 hours. 

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Water Stations

Public drinking water supplies are safe to drink, however the surfaces around the fountains including the spout, button/leaver and nozzles could pose a risk for the transmission of COVID-19 and other germs.  Please be mindful of not placing your water bottle directly on the devices when using the water bottle fillers that are attached to the water fountains.  

Please refrain from pouring anything into the machines.

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Vending Machines

Until further notice, vending machines (snack and soda) will be offline in all residence halls. 

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Room Change Request

The room change process has been suspended for the fall 2020 semester.

Room changes will only be approved on an emergency basis. Submission of the room change request is only a request and is not guaranteed. It is based on availability and we reserve the right to deny any request. 

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Laundry Facilities

Laundry facilities will be open and available for usage. While all units can be used, room/space occupancy limits will be clearly stated at the entry of each laundry room and students are expected to adhere to these guidelines. Please follow the occupancy guidelines outlined at the entrance of each laundry room.

All students should be mindful of occupancy as others are entering and exiting the laundry rooms. At times students may be required to wait outside of the laundry rooms while others are using the facilities. Students will self-regulate occupancy limit usage.  Again, please follow all occupancy guidelines outlined at the entrance of each laundry room.

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Restrooms

Floor densities have been adjusted to support less dense spaces and will result in less students using common restroom facilities and bathroom fixtures. Room/space occupancy limits will be clearly stated at the entry of each restroom and students are expected to adhere to these guidelines. 

Students are not permitted to linger or socialize in restrooms. Students should limit their time in these spaces as much as possible and promptly leave when they are finished using the restroom to allow others to enter it. Students should keep within the posted occupancy limits. 

Students will self-regulate occupancy limit usage and students found in violation of these limits may be processed through the student conduct process. 

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General Fire Evacuation Procedures

In the event of a fire alarm and need to evacuate the residence hall, all residents will evacuate via the nearest stairwell trying to maintain appropriate physical distance during the evacuation to the hall’s relocation site. Residents shall wear their face coverings during evacuation unless physically unable to do so.

Once at the relocation site, residents will ensure that they are remaining six feet apart from one another in keeping with physical distancing guidelines.

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Elevators and Stairways 

The number of individuals allowed in elevators will be dictated by the physical distancing rule. If six feet apart is not practical, then one person will ride at a time. Facilities inserted markers on the ground in the elevators to remind riders where to stand to promote optimal physical distancing. 

All elevators will be designated as up only, with the exception of during move-in days. 

All stairwells will be designated as down only, with the exception of during move-in days. 

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Lobbies and Hallways

Building entrances and lobbies will have directional signage to inform residents which doors are inbound and which doors are outbound as well as paths to follow to promote physical distancing.

Hallways will not have directional signage but residents will be encouraged to stay to the right when navigating a hallway.   

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Emotional Support Resources 

Crisis Text Line: 

CAPS All Hours: Mental Health Consultation 

  • 24 hours daily, including weekends and holidays  (855) 531- 0761
  • Anxiety Toolkit:
  • 10 research- based strategies to navigate anxiety USF Anxiety Toolkit: https://myusf.usfca.edu/caps/anxiety

myCompass: Personalized self-help program for use on your mobile phone or computer

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Personal Preparedness

  • Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, and after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. Wash your hands often (for 20 seconds) with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid shaking people’s hands.
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cough or sneeze into your face covering, elbow or a tissue.
  • Face: Do not touch your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cleaning: Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces and items like cellphones, door knobs, desk, light switches, keyboards, wallet, USF OneCard or keyroom card (if applicable).
  • Face covering: Have your own face covering. Make sure to not share any face covering with other people. 
  • Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed in a washing machine, depending on the frequency of use.
  • Hand sanitizer: Have hand sanitizer with you at all times, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • For travel and health monitoring and quarantine guidelines, please visit the USFCA Travel Guidelines and COVID-19 FAQs for international students

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How to Make Your Own Face Masks

There are several options for making your own face masks. Some are as simple as using a bandana or cutting up a tee-shirt. Other options require a sewing machine and a little sewing experience. Below are several different patterns to choose from. Questions about any of these patterns or resources? Contact Mara Krasts for tips.

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Thank you for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19!