Touro College Student Travel During the 20-21 Academic Year Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Original Date: September 21, 2020
Last Reviewed: September 21, 2020
Effective Date: Immediately
Supersedes: None

Student Travel Request Form

I. Purpose:

It is the purpose of this policy to define Touro College’s (“College”) stance in regards to student travel outside the New York area and specifically to restricted states as defined by the New York State Department of Health. This policy is due to the rapidly changing rates of COVID-19 infection in states and countries, and our responsibility to protect students, faculty and staff on Touro campuses. Specifically, this policy will address student protocol for travel documentation, compliance with New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) regulations for entry from restricted states, compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) guidelines for entry from countries outside the United States, and repercussions in the event of non-compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

II. Policy:

It is the policy of the College that students must discuss in advance and receive a waiver for ANY travel outside of the tri-state area (NY, NJ and CT) by a school’s Travel Coordinator, as appointed by each school. This policy applies to all students participating in or attending in-person Touro classes or activities including, but not limited to, lectures, externships, labs and clinical rotations. Additionally, students coming on campus for any reason (i.e. library or meetings) shall also disclose such travel to the Travel Coordinator.

Any student who is not physically on-campus or attending in-person activities as of the effective date of this policy, or who resides outside the Tri-state area, does not need to obtain approval to travel outside of the tri-state area. Notwithstanding that fact, students who are planning to come on campus or participate in any in-person College activities must disclose their travel plans and receive approval from the school Travel Coordinator prior to arriving on the College campus for the first-time. During the semester, traveling student must provide the Travel Coordinator with a written plan for quarantine post-travel that is compliant with the NYSDOH quarantine guidance before such travel can be approved.

Students who fail to comply with this policy or procedure or who go on any travel that is not approved as Excused Travel by the school’s Travel Coordinator, are engaging in unprofessional conduct that will result in disciplinary action for the student including, but not limited to, temporary or permanent suspension from campus, and absences from any essential academic activities or courses during any applicable travel quarantine will be considered unexcused and any work missed will be treated as if it was not submitted.

Any College Dean may waive elements of this policy or procedure for good cause, in their sole and absolute discretion. Any such waiver must be in writing.

III. Definitions

  1. Authorized Access: Access granted by Travel Coordinators for College students to participate in Essential Academic Activities during any travel quarantine period. Authorized Access will only be granted to students who have complied fully with this policy and only following medical clearance.
  2. CDC Travel Guidelines: The country-by-country quarantine/restriction guidelines published at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
  3. Essential Academic Activities: Any mandatory in-person academic activity where attendance is taken (e.g. clinical patient care activities and class or laboratory activities that require in-person participation). Essential Academic Activities do not include access to indoor campus spaces solely for the purposes of studying or recreation.
  4. Excused Travel: Travel that is determined by a Travel Coordinator to be related to life cycle events for immediate family (grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling or child). Any missed Essential Academic Activities while a student is in travel quarantine due to Excused Travel will be considered excused Students should complete Essential Activities, such as in-person classes, remotely. The parameters of excused absences are provided within a particular Touro school’s student handbook.
  5. Unexcused Travel: Travel that is determined by a Travel Coordinator to be unnecessary or outside the parameters of ‘excused travel’. Any missed Essential Activities while a student is in travel quarantine due to travel not approved by the Travel Coordinator (unexcused travel) will be considered unexcused absences and may adversely affect their grades and timely progression in their program. The parameters of unexcused absences are provided within a particular Touro school’s student handbook.
  6. NYS Traveler Health Form: The online form at https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Welcome-to- New-York-State-Traveler-Health-Form or its paper counterpart.
  7. Restricted Country: A country designated by the CDC as a level 2, 3 or 4 travel advisory.
  8. Restricted States: States designated by New York State as subject to travel quarantine restrictions. Generally, states with a seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 positive diagnostic tests in excess of 10%, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents. List applicable to travelers at https://ny.gov/states. Note: The list is subject to change daily. Quarantine requirements are based on the states on the list as of the date of entry to the tri-state
  9. Travel Coordinators:
    Each dean shall designate a travel coordinator for their school.

IV. Background:

  1. The NYSDOH has mandated that anyone entering New York State from Restricted States must quarantine for 14 days upon entry. The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through Restricted States for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel. 
  2. The CDC Travel Guidelines also provides instructions for travelers related to quarantine and symptom monitoring, based on country-specific virus prevalance.
  3. Due to the rapidly changing rates of COVID-19 infection in states and countries, and in order to protect students, faculty and staff on Touro campuses, ANY travel outside of the tri-state will trigger the potential for travelers to have restrictions on in-person class attendance and participation upon their arrival/return to campus. For that reason, any individual traveling outside of the tri-state area must discuss such travel with the designated school Travel Coordinator prior to traveling. This discussion is intended to ensure that individuals have a plan and understand impact of travel on their studies.
  4. Travel-associated quarantines are for 14 days, with day 1 being the day of exit from the Restricted State or country and ending at midnight of day 14. Symptoms of COVID-19 infection must be self-monitored twice daily during this period. Fourteen days is the outer limit of the COVID-19 incubation period. Travelers with symptoms are subject to alternate quarantine/isolation proceedures. 
  5. Students enrolled in some health care programs in the state of New York may be classified as Essential Workers for purposes of participating in Essential Academic Activities, including clinical patient care, during a travel quarantine period. Each school and clinical location reserves the right to employ this exception at its own and sole discretion and may require a negative COVID test in order to attend in-person activities.

V. Procedures:

  1. Procedures and important information when considering travel:
    1. Students must contact the Travel Coordinator for their school before traveling. 
    2. School Travel Coordinators will help students to understand the impact of travel on their academic progress, will determine if such travel is Excused Travel under this policy, and will discuss the requirement for a written plan as to how the student will quarantine upon return including:
      1. Where the student will quarantine
      2. How the student will obtain food
      3. How the student will prepare food
      4. How any bathroom used by more than one person will be disinfected between use.
    3. Upon return to the tri-state area, students must inform the Travel Coordinator of date of arrival in NY, date of departure from a Restricted  State or Restricted Country, and location where student will quarantine.
    4. Students returning from a Restricted State or Restricted Country must comply with the procedures for students on travel quarantine and any other applicable NYS requirements.
    5. Students complying with travel quarantine procedures following Excused Travel will be permitted to resume Essential Academic Activities upon their return consistent with NYSDOH and College guidelines and
    6. Students who are traveling are not allowed to be on any Touro campus without the express written permission of the Travel Coordinator.
  2. Procedures for students on travel quarantine:
    1. Any students who arrive in New York State from a Restricted State or Restricted Country must quarantine for 14 days and are not permitted to attend any College activities in-person, including access to campus (other than apartments for residents) or participate in clinical activities, until their quarantine is complete or Authorized Access for Essential Academic Activities is granted by a Travel Coordinator pursuant to this
    2. Students arriving in New York State from a Restricted State must complete an electronic Traveler Health Form upon entering New
    3. Any symptoms of COVID-19 infection during the 14-day travel quarantine should be discussed with the student’s physician, and Travel Coordinator must be
    4. In limited instances Students in Medical or health-related programs receiving Authorized Access may participate in College activities remotely via Zoom (if available) and may resume Essential Academic Activities pursuant to the procedures of this policy (including testing requirements).
    5. Apart from approved Essential Academic Activities, the Medical or health-related program student who received authorization to travel is required to maintain quarantine outside of school and complete a 14-day symptom monitoring log. Quarantine ends at the end of the day (12 midnight) of day
    6. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) requirements to safely quarantine include:
      • The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine.
      • The individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water, and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be maintained in any shared bathroom. Students living in the same apartment constitute a family group.
      • The individual must have a way to self-quarantine from household members as soon as fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a separate door. Given that an exposed person might become ill while sleeping, the exposed person must sleep in a separate bedroom from household members.
      • Food must be delivered to the individual's quarters.
      • All individuals in a living unit must wear a face mask if they become symptomatic.
      • Garbage must be bagged and left outside for routine pick up. Special handling is not required.
      • A system for temperature and symptom monitoring must be implemented to provide assessment in-place for the quarantined individual in their separate quarters.
      • Nearby medical facilities must be notified, if the individual begins to experience more than mild symptoms and may require medical assistance.
  3. Requirements If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or A Positive COVID-19 Test Result 

    Symptoms may appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. People with these symptoms may have: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Seek Medical Attention Immediately for trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face.

    If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection or receive positive COVID-19 test results, immediately notify your physician and your school Travel Coordinator.

    1. If you receive positive test results or develop symptoms, you must self-isolate. The requirements for isolation are explained fully at https://coviddeterminationtree.westchestergov.com/covidDeterminationTree/
    2. On-campus or off-campus roommates of students with positive test results or COVID-19 symptoms must begin quarantine procedures and may not come to campus (or leave on-campus housing) without authorization.
  4. Procedures for students on travel quarantine to return to Essential Academic Activities prior to completion of the full quarantine period:
    Students on travel quarantine must:
    1. Inform Travel Coordinator of travel to receive the 14-day symptom monitoring log and instructions during quarantine.
    2. Obtain negative COVID-19 test before appearing on campus (for student in on-campus housing…test within 24 hours). Submit the test result to Travel Coordinator.
    3. The student may not engage in Essential Academic Activities until a negative result is available and reviewed and the student receives Authorized Access from their Travel Coordinator. The time frame from specimen collection to receipt of the COVID-19 diagnostic test result can span from 1 to 12 days.
    4. Students who enter the tri-state area from a Restricted State or Restricted Country and
      1. fail to receive prior approval for travel from their Travel Coordinator; or
      2. receive prior-approval for travel other than Excused Travel; will not receive Authorized Access for Essential Academic Activities until the completion of their full travel quarantine, regardless of test result.
  5. Sanction for Failure to Comply with this policy
    • Students who fail to comply with this policy or procedure or who go on any travel that is not approved as Excused Travel by the school’s Travel Coordinator, are engaging in unprofessional conduct that will result in disciplinary action for the student.
    • Such disciplinary action may include, but not limited to, temporary or permanent suspension from campus, suspension from the Program or expulsion, which shall be determined based on the severity of the offense.
    • If a student fails to report travel or does not get approval for such travel and does so anyway, any absences from any essential academic activities or courses during any required travel quarantine will be considered unexcused and any work missed will be treated as if it was not submitted.

Student Travel Request Form

VI. Reference Websites:

VII. Policy Management:

Responsible Executive: Chief Legal Counsel