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Health and Safety

Established health and safety protocols that strive to protect all members of our campus community. 



In accordance with CDC guidelines, state requirements, county authorities and our own COVID-19 public-health experts, we continue our phased return to campus this winter, with a limited number of in-person undergraduate classes and limited-capacity on-campus housing for students.

To reduce the spread of the virus in our community, we have implemented a number of health and safety protocols. All of these actions are part of the Bronco COVID-19 Pact, our commitment to each other to all do our part in stopping the spread of the virus. All students, faculty, and staff will be expected to:

  • Complete daily symptom screenings via our online form or with the SCU mobile app
  • Report positive COVID-19 test results at 408-554-5100, if the test was administered at an off-campus facility
  • Not come to campus if you are sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Participate in SCU’s COVID-19 contact tracing program
  • Wear face coverings at all times on campus—indoors and outdoors (Remember: face coverings do not eliminate the need to follow social-distancing practices—face coverings and social distancing complement each other)
  • Maintain six feet of social distance at all times—indoors and outdoors
  • Wash or sanitize hands frequently throughout the day
  • Practice good cough and sneeze hygiene

Health and Safety Protocols

Campus Facilities

Face coverings and social distancing are required at all times on campus, and many buildings and offices will be closed entirely during the winter quarter. The following implementations are designed to reduce density, promote social distancing, and reduce exposure time to others: 

  • One-way directional signs indicating paths of travel
  • Reduced occupancies in various spaces
  • Floors marked where classroom desks go
  • Limited number of staff working on campus
  • Sneeze guards installed at reception desks and cashier areas
  • Hand sanitizer stations installed in high-traffic areas

COVID-19 Reporting

Santa Clara University has established a COVID-19 reporting line at 408-554-5100. Students who receive a positive test result from an off-campus testing facility must report their positive test through the reporting line, whether experiencing symptoms or not. 

COVID-19 Testing 

Testing for COVID-19 will take place at three testing centers on campus: Benson Memorial Center (Williman Room), Locatelli Student Activity Center, and Lucas Hall Room 125. Testing comes at no cost, and is available every week of winter quarter, Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Please view our new Testing Dashboard for more information on the results of our weekly on-campus testing program.

Students will self-administer saliva tests under supervision of a trained medical aide. Samples will then be sent to a contracted laboratory. Most results will be returned within one day.

Students coming to campus for classes or any other purpose—utilizing study areas in the Benson Memorial Center or Learning Commons; taking in-person labs or performance classes; or ROTC—are expected to participate in our weekly testing program.

Students living in the neighborhoods adjacent to the campus are strongly encouraged to take part in weekly testing, and are expected to do so if they need to come on campus for any reason. There is no cost for testing. 

Any student who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may call the Cowell Health Center at 408-554-4501 to make a telemedicine appointment to speak with a healthcare provider. 

The University will reach out to SCU community members identified as close contacts of a student (symptomatic or not) who has tested positive for COVID-19 to encourage them to quarantine and seek testing. If the close contacts are University students, testing will be available at our three testing centers on campus. All other SCU community members identified as close contacts will be directed to reach out to their personal physician or public testing sites to conduct testing.

Depending on the spread of COVID-19 during the quarter, SCU may request that specific groups of students undergo testing for purposes of viral surveillance. Unless indicated by a known exposure, such testing will not be mandatory, but we expect all students to take seriously their responsibility to protect the campus community, including non-students, from COVID-19. 

We do not expect serological (antibody) testing to be available on campus during winter quarter. Serological testing can indicate past infection, and potential future immunity, but it does not demonstrate a current, active infection. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 testing methods as they develop, and make new options available when feasible and beneficial to the campus community. 

Isolation and Quarantine for Positive or Suspected Cases

If a student lives on campus and is suspected of having COVID-19, they will be tested and required to quarantine in their residence hall for 14 days pending test results. Suitemate(s) must also take a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days pending test results.

If the student lives on campus and tests positive, he or she will be required to isolate at St. Clare Hall for 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of symptoms for at least 1 day without use of fever-reducing medicine. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can return to their campus residence 10 days after their positive test results. Suitemate(s) must be tested and may be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Off-campus students who are suspected of having COVID-19 will be required to quarantine until their test results come in, and to follow protocols for staying isolated in the event the test is positive. It is important for students living in off-campus housing for winter 2021 to have a plan for quarantine or self-isolation away from roommates, should that become necessary. On-campus quarantine/isolation space will be reserved for students who live in campus housing. Students who experience a positive test from an off-campus facility—with or without symptoms, no matter where they live—are asked to report their situation to 408-554-5100. 

For more information on Student Health and Counseling Services, please visit the Cowell Center.

Campus Spaces

See below for the health and safety precautions taken across campus spaces. More campus spaces may be added here, as protocols are updated per state and county guidance.

Classrooms Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet at all times Reconfigure all rooms to achieve 6 foot separation between desks or workstations Remove or block desks and/or chairs if necessary to maintain physical distancing. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols (using EPA approved products for COVID-19)
Student Common Areas Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet at all times Reconfigure common areas to maintain 6 feet between seating or workstations Restrict available seating in lobbies and lounges to reinforce social distancing. Remove pens, magazines, newspapers, and other commonly touched materials in lobbies and waiting areas. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols (using EPA approved products for COVID-19)
Research Labs Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet at all times One laboratory occupant per 250 sq. ft of lab space; 10 feet of bench space between occupants; Rotating shift schedules Tape or signs to mark out separation space between workstations; Access logs track lab traffic  Cleaning and disinfecting of lab surfaces conducted between each lab shift 
Elevators 1-2 occupants only per elevator car with both cloth face covering Post signage in elevator cars outlining one or two person limit, cloth face coverings required. Signs on elevators to indicate max occupancy (1 or 2)   Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols (using EPA approved products for COVID-19) 
Customer Service and Reception Desks Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing for each staff position when there are multiple staff present Provide floor markings and signage where visitors should stand Install “sneeze” guards/barriers at reception and transaction desks where close-contact interactions occur Disinfectant wipes to clean any material being exchanged
Office individual One person per office Office should only be occupied by one person Break rooms used for food storage and preparation rather than as communal eating spaces Routine cleaning daily; high-touch surfaces and horizontal work surfaces daily; provide disinfection wipes (if available)
Office shared Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet at all times Reconfigure to achieve 6 feet of separation between workstations Restrict visitors and guests into work areas; Continue remote meetings even when on-campus Rotating work schedules and/or staggered shifts to reduce work area densities and minimize in-person interactions to the extent feasible. Rotating employee break schedules to maintain physical separation and reduce break room density