Health and Safety First

Protecting Gallaudet Starts With Each of Us.

While all instruction for the academic year will be delivered remotely, a small group of students and essential workers will be on campus.  Gallaudet University is committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Will You Do Your Part?

Students will be asked to sign a pledge, acknowledging their role as a Gallaudet community member and that they must do their part to keep the university and their fellow community members healthy and safe.

Essential Health and Safety Measures

  • Masks and face coverings. Everyone on campus will be required to wear face coverings in public spaces and where physical distancing is not possible. View more details
  • Cleaning and hygiene. All cleaning and hygiene guidelines will be followed.
  • Supplies and equipment.  Supplies and PPE equipment such as face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizer and other equipment will be provided to university students and employees in accordance with CDC guidelines and the District of Columbia.
  • Daily self-monitoring and temperature checks.  Students and others on campus, including employees, vendors and visitors will be required to complete daily self-assessments and temperature checks.  This will be done through either an online questionnaire or mobile phone or tablet app.
  • COVID-19 test pre-arrival.  Any student accepted to live on campus will be required to have a COVID-19 test within seven days of campus arrival and must provide documentation of a negative test. For any student not tested prior to campus arrival, Gallaudet will assist the student in getting tested. 
  • Testing access on campus.  COVID-19 tests will be provided on a limited basis to students through Student Health Services.
  • 14-day arrival isolation.  Students arriving on campus will be subject to an initial period where they will be expected to isolate themselves and all shared spaces will be closed during this time.
  • Signage.  Signage will be posted throughout campus reminding people of the need to wear PPE, recommended health, safety and hygiene practices, and to maintain physical distancing requirements. 
  •  Physical distancing. Physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet will be required for all individuals on campus inside buildings and in all public spaces.
  • Contact Tracing. The university is coordinating contact tracing with the D.C. Department of Health for any suspected cases of COVID-19 among students and employees on campus, this includes the possible training and contracting with contact tracers fluent in American Sign Language.
  • Training and education. Prior to arriving on campus, students will receive information on campus living, maintaining their health and safety and COVID-19 risk and prevention.  COVID-19 health and safety training will be required for all employees.
  • Travel. Any student or employee returning from domestic or international travel, especially hot spots, will be required to quarantine 14 days. Students leaving campus for Thanksgiving will not be permitted to return to campus due to the limited time period before the end of the semester.

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Gallaudet will undertake a number of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

  • Prior to returning to campus, students will receive information about campus living, maintaining their health and safety, and COVID-19 risk and prevention. Students will then be asked to sign a pledge that acknowledges their role as a member of the Gallaudet community, and that they must do their part to keep the university and their fellow community members healthy and safe. This includes adhering to health and safety requirements as well as expectations for being a part of the Gallaudet and larger Washington, D.C., communities. ​Once students are on campus, they will participate in training that will review general COVID-19 information, ways to stay healthy, and strategies to keep their community safe. The orientation will reiterate guidelines for physical distancing, use of face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene and cleaning protocols, daily self-monitoring protocols, and an opportunity to answer student questions. This training will be arranged in a way that reflects the 14-day isolation period at the start of the semester.

  • Gallaudet’s goal is to create a model where students lead the way forward for the campus and broader community. Approximately 30 students will become peer health ambassadors and will complete an intensive online training program that includes becoming a certified peer educator. Because Gallaudet will be conducting virtual learning, the peer student health ambassadors will provide support and training to all of our students virtually and for those peer student health ambassadors who are located in the DMV area. They also will provide support and training to the small cohort of students who will reside on campus this fall. When Gallaudet moves to a hybrid or face-to-face model for learning in the future, these student health ambassadors will orient future cohorts of returning students and will serve as leaders to further a culture that reflects a collective commitment to health and safety, as well as one that is equitable and free of racism.

Masks and other PPE will be provided to university students and employees in accordance with the following guidelines: ​Face Coverings – Rules Persons who wish to request additional supplies of non-medical grade face coverings and other PPE for faculty and staff can contact DPS or Residence Life. Employees in need of N95 masks, surgical masks currently reserved for health care professionals, first responders, and other critical workers, or other PPE will be coordinated through the office of the Chief Operating Officer.

Out of an abundance of caution, all campus plans and protocols for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 are designed as if all students on campus are in the high-risk category and from hot-spot locations. We will note which students are coming from “hot spot” locations but will require all students to adhere to a14 days isolation period once they arrive on campus. During this time movement on campus will be limited and all shared spaces will be closed.​ All on-campus students will reside in single room suites with a private bathroom. They will be required to complete daily self-assessment and temperature checks and campus food service will operate on a take-out basis only.

Access to Gallaudet’s campus will continue to be limited during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. For the health and safety of on-campus students, visitors will not be permitted in the residence halls. Visitors, including students residing off campus, will only be permitted on campus for specific, pre-approved reasons. Anyone entering campus will be required to complete a health self-assessment and temperature check, and individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted on campus. Anyone moving about on campus will be required to use face coverings and, as necessary, other PPE where required, adhere to physical distancing protocols, and follow other campus health and safety guidelines and requirements.

Gallaudet will undertake a number of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Any student accepted to live in the residence halls will be required to have a COVID-19 test within seven days of coming to campus and must provide documentation of a negative test result. If a student has not been tested prior to arriving on campus, Gallaudet will assist the student in getting tested. Initial test results will be used to establish a baseline rate for ongoing monitoring.

Anyone residing on campus as well as those wishing to enter the campus will be required to complete daily self-assessments and temperature checks. This includes employees, vendors and visitors. Monitoring will be done through either an online questionnaire or mobile phone/tablet app.

Those with a fever and/or other symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to come to campus. They will then be required to go for testing if they are required to be on campus. Otherwise, they should quarantine at home following those procedures. Potential positive COVID-19 cases will be tracked and the District of Columbia Department of Health will be notified of confirmed cases. All information will be tracked and securely maintained. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to consult with a health care provider and isolate themselves. All persons residing on or wishing to enter campus must follow Gallaudet’s protocols for temperature or symptom monitoring.

In addition to monitoring measures, students arriving on campus will be subject to an initial 14-day period where their movements are limited. Shared spaces will be closed during this period and students will be expected to isolate themselves.

If a member of the Gallaudet University community tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and a health care provider determines that they do not need to be hospitalized, the following steps will be taken to prevent the disease from spreading on-campus:
  •  The COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) will contact the D.C. Department of Health point of contact to ensure results have been reported and to initiate contact tracing.
  •  A student or staff member living in the residence halls testing positive will be required to immediately report positive test results to the COVID-19 Response Team and to their resident assistant. The Student Health Center will also report any positive results they receive to the CRT.
  •  Students and on-campus staff will be provided a room in a separate building for isolation, as well as services that include daily check-ins for health and wellness, and meal delivery.
  •  Visitors will not be permitted into isolation rooms
  •  Students who are confirmed to have COVID-19 will be required to stay in their isolation rooms on campus until:
– At least three days (72 hours) after their fever resolves (without medication) and respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) improve; AND

– At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first started, whichever occurs later.

Student Health Services (SHS) will be available to students residing on campus to meet their health and medical needs by appointment only. Both in-person and telehealth services will be available. They also will be able to provide limited services to students suspected of coming in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as students demonstrating symptoms of or testing positive for COVID-19. This includes limited on-site testing. SHS also will complete an assessment of students to determine the best course of action in the event a student tests positive. This could range from returning to their residence hall room with symptom monitoring, moving to a room designated for isolation, recovering at home or another off-campus setting, or referring the student to the emergency room if the student’s health warrants it. SHS also will provide virtual check-in services for any students living in an isolation room. While Gallaudet is exploring expanded on-campus medical services, SHS does not currently have the capacity to care for students with moderate or severe symptoms, or on an around-the-clock basis. Staff are expected to receive care from their health care provider and cannot be seen at SHS except on an emergency basis.

Containment and Mitigation

Since March 2020, the Gallaudet COVID-19 Response Team has tracked all potential and all confirmed cases on campus and within the campus community. The university will continue to maintain this information and use self-monitoring and population surveillance methods to set a baseline and track infection rates on campus.

A team of Gallaudet faculty and staff has completed an online contact tracing course (John’s Hopkins or the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials’ Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers) and will serve as on campus supervisors for interim Gallaudet contact tracers. Additionally, Gallaudet is in discussions with the Washington, D.C., Department of Health to train and contract with contact tracers fluent in American Sign Language for the Gallaudet and greater Washington, D.C., deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

When someone on campus believes they have been directly exposed to a COVID-19-positive individual, they should immediately contact the COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) through a dedicated email at contact.tracing@gallaudet.edu. The CRT will guide the person through next steps, including testing and isolation. They will assist with access to testing for on-campus students. Gallaudet will also provide an isolation room for students and staff residing on campus until test results are known.

While waiting for test results, internal contact tracing will begin so that the team is aware of potential cases. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, a member of the CRT will immediately contact the D.C. Department of Health. The university’s contact tracing team will work with the D.C. Department of Health to notify the individual’s close personal contacts and advise on testing and quarantine. All cases will be followed for 14 days. Potential cases and confirmed cases will be tracked and monitored through CRT reporting systems.

Gallaudet has identified a residence hall on campus for isolation purposes. Ten rooms have been reserved for isolation in a separate building from where other students and staff will be housed. The building will be secure and only essential employees will have access. The residence hall will be monitored and visitors will not be permitted to have in-person interactions with infected individuals, though virtual engagement will be encouraged.

Each room identified for isolation has a private bathroom and has no shared spaces. Cleaning supplies will be provided in each room with directions on cleaning protocol. Daily virtual check-ins of the person will take place that include a health and wellness check including communication interaction for mental health wellness. Students will be provided counseling support, if requested, through the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department during the duration of isolation. Individuals will also be provided in-room delivery of all meals as well as any needed hygiene support. Quarantined students and/or staff will not be permitted in any public spaces. A quarantine period will begin whenever there has been a known close exposure to an individual with confirmed COVID-19 or if a person becomes symptomatic. If a person then tests negative and has not had a fever for at least 3 days, they will be permitted to return to their residence hall room.

Students or employees with confirmed COVID-19 will be required to stay at-home or, if residing on campus, in a university provided room until:

  •  At least three days (72 hours) after their fever resolves (without medication) and respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) improve; and
  •  At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first started, whichever occurs later.
 

If an individual tested positive, but never had any symptoms, they must wait until at least 10 days have passed since they tested positive before returning to the community.

At this time, Gallaudet can only quarantine students in need of symptom management and who do not require medical attention. Students requiring more significant care will be referred to their primary care physician and for more severe symptoms, they will be sent to a local hospital.

The Gallaudet COVID-19 Leadership Team will actively monitor ongoing COVID-19 developments within the Gallaudet community and the District of Columbia, especially in the northeast quadrant. Should the emergence of an outbreak on campus be suspected, the COVID-19 Response Team will work in close coordination with the District of Columbia Department of Health to take any necessary actions. Gallaudet will also review and adjust, as needed, the university’s surveillance testing, and monitoring protocols.

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus or within the District of Columbia, students who are living on campus will be given the option to move off campus or remain and be required to follow all District of Columbia and university stay-at-home orders. All on-campus events or gatherings will be cancelled. All shared spaces will be closed. As with Fall 2020, only essential personnel or those with a specific purpose will be permitted access to campus.

Should the university have shifted to Phase two hybrid operations, in some areas, there are several conditions that could necessitate a move back to Phase One. These include a lack of available quarantine space, inability to care for infected persons, and insufficient PPE supplies. If these conditions exist, or if there are high rates of community spread within the District of Columbia, and Gallaudet believes that the university is contributing to that spread, they would also trigger the university to move back to Phase One, which involves fully remote working.

Gallaudet will strictly adhere to any stay-at-home orders issued by the District of Columbia as was the case during Spring 2020. If such an order is issued again, access to campus will be restricted to only essential personnel. Only students with no alternate living options will be permitted to remain on campus. Students remaining will be required to adhere to the stay-at-home order.

Should Washington, D.C., declare a stay-at-home order, any individual currently in isolation on campus will remain in their designated room until such a time when they can return to their residence hall (see section on Quarantine Preparations and Procedures above). Necessary essential supports including medical and wellness checks will continue to be provided.

Should an individual’s symptoms worsen, they will be referred to their primary care physician or sent to a local hospital in accordance with guidance from the District of Columbia Department of Health.

Should Washington, D.C., declare a stay-at-home order, any individual in isolation on campus will remain in their designated room until such a time when they can return to their residence hall. Necessary essential supports including medical and wellness checks will continue to be provided. Should an individual’s symptoms worsen, they will be referred to their primary care physician or sent to a local hospital in accordance with guidance from the District of Columbia Department of Health.

DeafBlind students who use manual or protactile communication as well as individuals communicating with them will require close, physical contact. As such they will not be able to maintain the six-foot physical distancing requirement. To address this, Gallaudet will establish a protocol that requires the DeafBlind student and anyone interacting with them to use university provided clear masks and full body PPE.

Gallaudet will continue to monitor communications and briefings from the mayor’s office and will work with the District of Columbia Office of Planning to support any required changes to the opening status of the university. Further, as a member of the Consortium of Universities in the Washington Metropolitan Area, Gallaudet will work with the District in regard to the health and safety of university and local communities. To support deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students and individuals residing in the District, Gallaudet aims to partner with the D.C. Department of Health to provide accessible testing. The primary focus of this testing partnership would be to provide a testing experience free of communication barriers. This can be done through testers fluent in American Sign Language, the support of sign language interpreters, the use of clear masks and related PPE, and professionals trained to work with DeafBlind individuals.

The university will work closely with the District of Columbia Department of Health in the reporting of COVID-19 positive cases and related contact tracing through the District of Columbia Department of Health systems including recommendations to hire Gallaudet community and/or contact tracers fluent in American Sign Language.

Gallaudet will remain in Phase One for Spring 2021, which is a continuation of virtual learning for most of its students and remote work for many of its employees, while continuing to plan ahead for shifting to Phase Two when it is safe to do so. Phase Two, including a hybrid approach to instruction and expanded student on-campus living, is in discussion for Gallaudet as well as for the Clerc Center’s demonstration schools but will only occur when it is safe to do so. Any shift to Phase Two will be based on the local and national health landscape and will reflect guidance from the District of Columbia.

Request Campus Access

If you are not on the pre-approved Restricted Access list for the semester but still need to gain access to campus for an impromptu visit, please follow the below  procedures.

In order to request a reservation time to come to campus during Phase 1, please:

1. Send an email to covid.access@gallaudet.edu

  • State the date you would like to come to campus.
  • State the time you would like to come to campus (2 hour window).
  • State your office building location and room number.

2. The access assistant will respond regarding the request, following the below guidelines:

  • Ensuring reservations times and locations allow for a staggered schedule to allow for social distancing.
  • If there is already a reservation for the same building area, date and time, we’ll work with the faculty or staff member for an alternate appointment time.

3. Appointments will be scheduled on the covid.access@gallaudet.edu Google calendar under “HOLD – (NAME)”. The reservation details, location and room number will be listed in the body of the Google Calendar reservation. The reservation will be shared with the below community members to ensure staff and DPS are aware of the your incoming visit to campus as well as the possible need to support with any cleaning that needs to occur. Please keep in mind that if any surfaces have been untouched for more than 7 days, COVID-19 virus is not active.

  • Custodial Service
  • DPS
  • DPS Parking & ID

4. On the day of the reservation, the faculty or staff member must complete the interim self-assessment survey here , prior to coming on campus. Upon receipt of the completed self assessment, the appointment will be switched to “PASSED-(NAME)”

5. Please remember that we’re still conducting a 100% ID check at the Florida Avenue gate.

6. Further updates and developments for accessing campus during Phase 1 will be communicated when the reservation is confirmed.

Contact

For more information on Gallaudet’s health and safety measures and resources please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Update | August 19, 2020

The university is planning to have up to 100 students reside on campus this fall, and priority will be given to students who have no or unsafe housing situations and who need campus-based support for learning, prioritizing DeafBlind students.  DeafBlind students who use manual or protactile communication as well as individuals communicating with them will require close, physical contact. To address this, Gallaudet will establish a protocol that requires the DeafBlind student and anyone interacting with them to use university provided clear masks and full body PPE.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Medical records are confidential and privileged and may not be reviewed or seen by anyone except as provided by applicable law of the District of Columbia and the federal government.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

A team of GU faculty and staff has completed an online contact tracing course (John’s Hopkins or the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials’ ​Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers​) and will serve as on campus supervisors for interim Gallaudet contact tracers. Additionally, Gallaudet is in discussions with the Washington, D.C., Department of Health to train and contract with one to two contact tracers fluent in American Sign Language for the Gallaudet and greater Washington, D.C., deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Student Health Services will offer limited on-site testing.  We are also working to expand our testing access.  Testing for antibody levels will not be done through Gallaudet. Due to limited research on length of natural immunity in individuals, antibody testing will not be measured. Should antibody testing become more reliable and peer-reviewed, antibody level tracking could be implemented at a later date.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Yes.  However, any students who has had a negative COVID-19 test within five days of arriving on campus will be required to remain on campus for further testing at Student Health Services.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Anyone residing on campus as well as those wishing to enter the campus will be required to complete daily self-assessments and temperature checks. This includes employees, vendors and visitors. Monitoring will be done through either an online questionnaire or mobile phone/tablet app.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Student Health Services will provide limited on-site testing by appointment only. SHS also will complete an assessment of students to determine the best course of action in the event a student tests positive.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Any student accepted to live in the residence halls will be required to have a COVID-19 test within seven days of coming to campus and must provide documentation of a negative test result. If a student has not been tested prior to arriving on campus, Gallaudet will assist the student in getting tested.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

The Gallaudet COVID-19 Leadership Team will actively monitor ongoing COVID-19 developments within the Gallaudet community and the District of Columbia, especially in the northeast quadrant. Should the emergence of an outbreak on campus be suspected, the COVID-19 Response Team will work in close coordination with the District of Columbia Department of Health to take any necessary actions. Gallaudet will also review and adjust, as needed, the university’s surveillance, testing, and monitoring protocols.

 

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus or within the District of Columbia, students who are living on campus will be given the option to move off campus or remain and be required to follow all District of Columbia and university stay-at-home orders. All on-campus events or gatherings will be cancelled. All shared spaces will be closed. As with Spring 2020, only essential personnel or those with a specific purpose will be permitted access to campus.

 

If quarantines are necessary, Gallaudet has identified a residence hall on campus for isolation purposes. Ten rooms have been reserved for isolation in a separate building from where other students and staff will be housed. The building will be secure and only essential employees will have access. The residence hall will be monitored and visitors will not be permitted to have in-person interactions with infected individuals, though virtual engagement will be encouraged.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Access to Gallaudet’s campus will continue to be limited during the Fall 2020 semester. Visitors, including students residing off campus, will only be permitted on campus for specific, pre-approved reasons.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Access to Gallaudet’s campus will continue to be limited during the Fall 2020 semester. Visitors, including students residing off campus, will only be permitted on campus for specific, pre-approved reasons. Anyone entering campus will be required to complete a health self-assessment and temperature check, and individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted on campus. Anyone moving about on campus will be required to use face coverings and, as necessary, other PPE where required, adhere to physical distancing protocols, and follow other campus health and safety guidelines and requirements. For the health and safety of on-campus students, visitors will not be permitted in the residence halls.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Masks and other PPE will be provided to university students and employees in accordance with our face covering rules.  Students will be provided with clear masks to facilitate communication. Persons who wish to request additional supplies of non-medical grade face coverings and other PPE for faculty and staff can contact DPS or Residence Life. Employees in need of N95 masks will be coordinated through the office of the Chief Operating Officer

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution, all campus plans and protocols for Fall 2020 are designed as if all students on campus are in the high-risk category and from hot-spot locations. We will note which students are coming from “hot spot” locations but will require all students to adhere to a​ 14 days isolation period once they arrive on campus. DeafBlind students who use manual or protactile communication as well as individuals communicating with them will require close, physical contact. To address this, Gallaudet will establish a protocol that requires the DeafBlind student and anyone interacting with them to use university provided clear masks and full body PPE.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

If a member of the Gallaudet University community tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and a health care provider determines that they do not need to be hospitalized, the following steps will be taken to prevent the disease from spreading on-campus:

  • The COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) will contact the D.C. Department of Health point of contact to ensure results have been reported and to initiate contact tracing.
  • A student or staff member living in the residence halls testing positive will be required to immediately report positive test results to the COVID-19 Response Team and to their resident assistant. The Student Health Center will also report any positive results they receive to the CRT.
  • Students and on-campus staff will be provided a room in a separate building for isolation, as well as services that include daily check-ins for health and wellness, and meal delivery.
  • Visitors will not be permitted into isolation rooms
  • Students who are confirmed to have COVID-19 will be required to stay in their isolation rooms on campus until:
    • At least three days (72 hours) after their fever resolves (without medication) and respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) improve; AND
    • At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first started, whichever occurs later.
Last Update | August 19, 2020

Our website will remain the main source of information for Fall 2020 and on our work toward the eventual safe reopening of campus.  Overcommunicating will continue to be a priority to ensure our students, faculty and staff have critical information.  We will continue regular online Town Hall meetings for important discussions, and we will use all existing University Communications Office channels including University social media and email.  We will also maintain the email coronavirus@gallaudet.edu, which is monitored by members of the COVID-19 response team.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Any student accepted to live in the residence halls will be required to have a COVID-19 test within seven days of coming to campus and must provide documentation of a negative test result. If a student has not been tested prior to arriving on campus, Gallaudet will assist the student in getting tested. Initial test results will be used to establish a baseline rate for ongoing monitoring.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

We all are responsible for helping to maintain the safety and health of our community. Any mask issues will first be addressed by student and residence leaders or our public health staff.

Last Update | August 19, 2020

Yes.  All individuals on campus will be required to use face coverings or face masks on campus any time a person is in the presence of others in public settings or where physical distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g. meeting rooms, labs, common indoor workspaces).

Last Update | August 19, 2020

All on-campus health and safety procedures and protocols will meet or exceed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for college and universities ​and will reflect other, evolving professional guidance.

 

All individuals on campus will be required to adhere to the following physical distance guidelines:

  • Maintain at least a distance of 6 feet between individuals inside buildings and in all public spaces;
  • Avoid close contact with other people;
  • Use face coverings or face masks on campus any time a person is in the

presence of others in public settings or where physical distancing is difficult to

maintain (e.g. meeting rooms, labs, common indoor workspace);

  • Remain at home, or in a residence hall room, if they have a fever or other

symptoms associated with COVID-19; and

  • Operate at a maximum of 25% building capacity in office spaces in accordance

with DC’s Phase Two guidance.