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

Original Date: September 21, 2020
Last Reviewed: April 2021
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 New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut 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. Contiguous States: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Restricted States: All states other than Contiguous States.
    9. Tri-State: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
    10. Travel Coordinators: Each dean shall designate a travel coordinator for their school.

IV. Background:

The NYSDOH had previously mandated that anyone entering New York State from Restricted States must quarantine for 14 days upon entry. As of April 2021, Governor Cuomo announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York have limited barriers for re-entry into the state. For the safety of the campus community, portions of this policy may be intentionally stricter than NYSDOH standards.

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 (if necessary) 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 out of state, and location where student will quarantine, if applicable.
    4. Students 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.
    6. Students who are traveling are not allowed to be on any Touro campus without the express written permission of the Travel Coordinator.
  2. Pre/Post Travel Disclosure Requirements
    1. All students traveling out of the state are requirement to register their dates of travel and return to NY with Health_Services@nymc.edu so that appropriate guidance can be provided.

      Please note that completed COVID-19 vaccination may not change the requirement to quarantine post travel when entering New York from a non-contiguous state or from international travel. 

  • Travel Standards Pursuant to New York State Requirements
    1. All domestic travelers entering New York must:
      • Complete the Traveler Health Form.
      • Monitor symptoms daily from day of arrival in New York through day 14.
    2. Upon arrival in New York, asymptomatic travelers are no longer required to test or quarantine. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.
      • Vaccination status does not alter quarantine and resting requirements for individuals classified as healthcare workers.
        • Consistent with CDC guidance from February 13, 2021, asymptomatic individuals who have previously been diagnosed with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and have since recovered, are not required to retest and quarantine within 3 months after the date of symptom onset from the initial COVID-19 infection or date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness.
        • Travelers from Canada crossing at land borders subject to the agreement between the governments of the United States and Canada are permitted to travel in accordance with said agreement and do not need to quarantine.
        • Exceptions to the travel advisory are permitted for essential workers traveling from non-contiguous U.S. states or territories and are limited based on the duration of time in New York and subject to more specific industry guidance for a particular industry.

      All travelers must complete the NYS traveler form upon arrival into New York.

      The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well.

      The travel guidelines require all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out-of-state, to take personal responsibility for compliance in the best interest of public health and safety.

    3. Travelers from outside the United States must:
      1. Obtain a COVID-19 diagnostic test no more than 3 days before travel by air into the United States and show a negative result to the airline before boarding the flight or be prepared to show documentation of recovery within the previous three months  (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from the healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you are cleared to travel).
      2.  Upon entry into New York, asymptomatic travelers must quarantine for a minimum of 7 days and may request Health Services permission to exit quarantine after:
        1. A negative COVID-19 diagnostic test 3-5 days after entry into New York and completion of 7 days of quarantine; or
        2. Completion of 10 days of quarantine without a test.
      3. Travelers must continue symptom monitoring for the full 14 days post arrival into New York.

D. Procedures for students on travel quarantine:

  1. All students arriving in New York State must complete an electronic Traveler Health Form upon entering New York State.
  2. Any symptoms of COVID-19 infection should be discussed with the student’s physician. The Travel Coordinator must also be notified.
  3. 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 below (including testing requirements) upon receipt of a negative test.
  4. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) requirements to safely quarantine include:
    1. The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Food must be delivered to the individual's quarters.
    5. All individuals in a living unit must wear a face mask if they become symptomatic.
    6. Garbage must be bagged and left outside for routine pick up. Special handling is not required.
    7. A system for temperature and symptom monitoring must be implemented to provide assessment in-place for the quarantined individual in their separate quarters.
    8. Nearby medical facilities must be notified, if the individual begins to experience more than mild symptoms and may require medical assistance.

E. Requirements If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or A Positive COVID-19 Test Result 

    1. 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.
        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.

    F. 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.