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10 Quick Facts About Returning to Campus

As Tulane University and the School of Social Work prepare to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus for the start of the Fall 2020 semester, understanding our shared plans is helpful to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and keeping us all safe and healthy.

The School of Social Work is following all University protocols and plans outlined on the Return to Campus website. Within that, here are 10 Quick Facts about Returning to Campus, along with some School-specific plans. 

We are here to listen and support our faculty, staff, students, and visitors in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. If you see furniture moved, signage that needs repair, depletion of personal hygiene products, or inadequate cleaning, please notify a TSSW staff member. For support in classrooms and coursework, please reach out to members of our Academic Affairs Team

Information is current as of January 11, 2021.

1. Face Coverings & Masks

large_COVID - Wear Face Coverings_0.pngOther than when in a residence hall room or alone in a private office, we require faculty, staff, students, visitors, and contractors to wear a face covering when on campus. This includes wearing them in classrooms.

The University will provide all faculty and staff with two cloth face coverings, and we’ll have disposable masks on hand if anyone forgets. Disposable masks will be available for anyone who does not have a face covering upon entering the building, and staff and faculty will have a small supply in each of their offices. 

2. Personal Hygiene and Cleaning Protocols

large_COVID - Wash Your Hands.pngEveryone is personally responsible for proper hygiene practices to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19. To support this, we’ll have ample supply of approved antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer for general use. Please let us know if a supply is low or out. 

To further personal hygiene, the University has instituted enhanced cleaning and disinfection of campus facilities. Campus Services, in consultation with an external certified industrial hygienist, epidemiologists, and Tulane’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety, has developed detailed protocols for cleaning and disinfection. Campus Services and its contractors will utilize products approved by the EPA as effective against COVID-19.

3. Physical Distancing

large_COVID - Practice Social Distancing.pngPhysical distancing means keeping a minimum of 6 feet between yourself and other people. Signage and furniture placement in our building support this, and we can all do our part to maintain physical distancing with the following:

  • Decrease in-person contact by utilizing phone or video conferencing instead of in-person meetings.  
  • Eliminate contact with others (handshakes, hugs, fist bumps, elbow taps, etc.).
  • Refrain from moving furniture placement in classrooms and common areas.
  • Ride in elevators based upon posted capacity or take stairs when possible.
  • Avoid standing in lines. 
  • Observe signage in bathrooms to avoid crowding.  

If you do need to have an in-person meeting, wear your face covering, follow physical distancing protocols, and adhere to posted occupancy signs in classrooms and offices.

4. Posted Signage

large_Posted Signage.pngVisuals throughout the building will be supporting all policies. Signage will:

  • Remind us about wearing our masks, washing our hands, and practicing physical distancing. 
  • Guide us in knowing when we might be standing or sitting too close to another person and where to keep desks and furniture placed to ensure physical distancing. 
  • Advise on how many people can be permitted on an elevator, how to use stairwells (e.g. right side up), and how many people can be in a space.
  • Label equipment not permitted for use. 

5. Symptom Checking

large_COVID - Symptom Checking.png

Each of us needs to be familiar with symptoms of COVID-19 and should self-monitor to help protect one another from possible COVID-19 exposure. 

Employees and students will receive a text each morning with a reminder to do a “daily COVID-19 symptom check” and a link to answer the screening questions. The questionnaire asks a few basic questions about COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure based on information published by the CDC. The questionnaire is brief, should take only a few minutes to complete, and must be completed before going to work or class. 

While more information is forthcoming about this process and what to do if you are experiencing symptoms, you can preview the questions here.

6. Testing & Contact Tracing

large_Covid Swab.pngOne of the integral components of mitigating the risk of COVID-19 is testing faculty, staff, and students. Employees must undergo testing and have a negative result prior to return to campus. Students must undergo testing and must have a negative result before moving in to on-campus housing or attending class.

COVID-19 testing can be done at the Campus Health Center, the Living Well Clinic, or a Tulane Testing Center. The TSSW community will most likely access the Downtown Testing Center.

Graduate, Professional and School of Professional Advancement Students are required to complete one test prior to the start of classes and then one test per month. For return to campus testing, you shoul have received an email when it is your time to schedule a test. You do not need to call or email to schedule testing until you've received a notification email. 

The TSSW community will access the Downtown Testing Center located next to the exit of Tulane Hospital's La Salle Garage exit at 226 South Villere Street, New Orleans 70112. Do not visit this location if you do not have an appointment. The center will only administer tests to individuals with appointments. Please remember to arrive on time while wearing a mask and have your Splash ID card or number readily availble. If you do not have your Splash ID card, you will need to have a picture ID for verification of identity. If you feel sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come for your test and contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

The Tulane School of Medicine Laboratory is processing the tests, and their projected turnaround time is within 24-36 hours. When your results are ready, you will receive an email letting you know to log back into the same portal where you scheduled your appointment to read the secure message with the result and any follow-up instructions. If you do not receive your test results within 48 hours of the test being perfomed, email with your Splash ID and the date of your test.

Throughout the semester, the University is providing free COVID-19 tests for students living on and off campus, as well as faculty, staff, and other employees and contract workers. 

Mandatory testing will take place monthly and will proceed as follows: 

  • You will receive an email from Campus Health ( with a QR code and information on how to select a testing time.
  • You will receive an email within 24 to 36 hours with your result.
  • If your test is positive, the Tulane Contact Tracing Team will contact you and guide you on notifications and any necessary actions. Employees and students are expected to cooperate with the Tulane Contact Tracing Team.
  • The University will not accept outside COVID-19 testing results in lieu of participating in this program.

This testing program is for asymptomatic individuals (people without symptoms of COVID-19). If you are feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider for evaluation.

he University is working collaboratively with the Louisiana Department of Health to effectively trace contacts of anyone who contracts the virus. If a member of the Tulane community tests positive for COVID-19 at the Campus Health Center, the Living Well Clinic, or a Tulane Testing Center, they will complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form and will be contacted by a Tulane Contact Tracer. Tulane Contact Tracers will 

  • interview the COVID-19 positive person to identify close contacts.
  • help the COVID-19 positive person to monitor their symptoms and connect them to resources to help support self-isolation.
  • collaborate with Human Resources and Campus Services to assure other personnel resources are made available to the individual and cleaning of the workspace is performed.
  • contact members of the Tulane Community who may have closely interacted with the person who tested positive and link them to the appropriate testing resource.

Campus Health will coordinate notification for the non-Tulane community with the Louisiana Department of Health.

Specific criteria based on CDC guidance are in place to guide determinations regarding individuals to be notified through contact tracing. Please do not take actions (i.e., cancel classes, send entire groups of people home) that impact a wide array of people. Tulane Contact Tracers will advise HR and departments regarding necessary actions. Except as required by state or federal regulations, all information related to COVID-19 testing will be kept confidential.

7. Quarantine or Self-Isolation

large_work from home.pngThose who are experiencing symptoms, have been exposed, or have tested positive for COVID-19 will need to quarantine or self-isolate. Requirements for both quarantine and isolation will vary depending on whether the individual is a student or a University employee.

  • Quarantine is used when a person has potentially been exposed to an illness and needs to separate from other people to see if they develop symptoms.
  • Isolation is used when someone has symptoms or is confirmed to have an illness.

To help understand when you should be in isolation or quarantine, visit the CDC website.

Tulane has set aside student housing that will serve as quarantine and isolation accommodations for residential students (required) and available to students who live off-campus. These accommodations will be located in Paterson House and are available to TSSW students who live in Deming, other Tulane housing, or off-campus. Alternative off-site isolation and quarantine situations can be arranged and managed by the individual and/or their family.

Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms, have been exposed, or have tested positive for COVID-19 will need to quarantine or self-isolate off campus. 

Discussions with the student’s or employee’s health care provider, in accordance with local and state health department regulations, will determine when returning to campus or being in the company of others is safe. Faculty, staff, or students that have tested positive for COVID-19 will need to provide documentation of two (2) negative test results before they can return to on-site class or work. Their healthcare provider or Campus Health can complete testing and provide the negative test results.

8. Classroom Configuration & Technology

large_Classroom Square.pngTSSW has configured its classrooms to support the health and safety of our community and ensure a quality educational experience. This includes

  • Moving furniture to ensure physical distancing
  • Adjusting class sizes to ensure physical distancing 
  • Placing plexiglass protection at podiums for faculty and other individuals who may be providing instruction
  • Installing cameras, microphones, and other technology to allow students to Zoom into their on-campus class in case of illness or self-isolation
  • Adjusting class start times as well as the time between classes to facilitate physical distancing practices

When in classrooms, please remember to maintain physical distance, keeping a minimum of 6 feet between yourself and other people.

More information on class times and how to access academic resources are forthcoming.

9. Lunch Breaks


We ask that faculty, staff, and students eat-in-place (classroom, offices, or shared spaces) or leave the building for outside food options in the area. In all instances, please remember to maintain physical distancing, and sanitize eating areas before and after use.

  • Eating during class is not permitted as it requires mask removal. 
  • Refrigerators in the building are for medical use only. 
  • Microwaves will be in use. Using sanitizing wipes provided next to the microwaves, please remember to wipe down handles, keypads, and countertops after each use.
  • When waiting for microwaves, using sink areas, or dining in areas with others, please remember to maintain physical distance, keeping a minimum of 6 feet between yourself and other people.
  • TSSW has provided fresh food vending machine options on the third floor.

10. Field Education Protocols

For Master of Social Work students currently engaged in field education, please review the Interruption of Practicum Protocol revised in June 2020. Field education is continuing, and many options exist for you to complete this important part of your program. 

Please also follow the established health and safety protocols at your field sites.

As always, please direct questions and concerns about placement and policies to the Field Education Department.