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JFRC COVID-19 Preparedness Info Page

JFRC COVID-19 Preparedness Info Page

Last updated: January 6, 2022.

SPRING 2022 FAQs:

In the event you are not able to arrive as scheduled on January 12 please immediately contact Dr. Elisa Ascione, Assistant Director of Student Life (eascione@luc.edu) and clearly indicate your reason for a late arrival and the day you will arrive at the John Felice Rome Center. 

Am I required to have the COVID-19 booster?
Please note that all students, faculty, and staff arerequiredto receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as eligible.  If you have already received a booster and have not uploaded the information, upload now to Loyola Health through the Loyola mobile app or at LUC.edu/vaxupload 

On the top left hand side, select “Upload Health Records”, from the drop-down menu, select “Upload Vaccine Records”, the select “COVID Vaccine - Booster”. Updated information on booster eligibility is listed below. 

What happens if I test positive before my flight? What are my next steps with orientation/courses? 
Italian law requires a negative test to enter the country.  You cannot come to Rome without a negative PCR (NAAT) or Antigen test. We can accommodate a delayed arrival up to January 17 when classes begin. If you are still testing positive and thus cannot arrive by January 17, you must contact Dr. Ascione (eascione@luc.edu) immediately in order to determine how the JFRC can accommodate youOrientation information will be provided to you virtually if your arrival is delayed.  

If I have recovered from COVID, but still test positive, would a doctor's note of recovery suffice or would I still need to quarantine? 
NO – You must present a negative test before you depart the US for the Rome campus If you are testing positive and have acquired a note from your doctor indicating you are “allowed to travel”; this notification will not be recognized in Italy.  Once you have tested negative, you will be asked to bring your notice of recovery in order to secure an Italian Green Pass– see below.   

What happens if I get Covid during my stay at the JFRC?  What does quarantine looks like at the JFRC?
Students who test positive will be asked to move to the JFRC quarantine wing if they are in a double room, or stay in their own room if they are in a single room, until they test negative.  If the number of positive students exceeds the availability of quarantine rooms, students will remain in their own rooms.  The JFRC medical doctor will decide on a case-by-case basis if roommates of positive students will also have to quarantine. 

Students in quarantine will be assisted by the Student Life Team for meal provisions. They will also receive support from the JFRC doctor, nurse, and counselor.  

Students who have had close contact with a positive case will no longer have to enter a precautionary quarantine if: 

  • They do not experience COVID symptoms 
  • They are still within 120 days from the completion of the primary vaccination course 
  • They have received the booster dose (please note that all students must show proof of having received the booster dose) 
  • They are still within the 120-day recovery phase after testing positive for COVID  

 The aforementioned subjects are obliged to wear FFP2 respiratory protection devices until the tenth day following the last exposure to a positive case.  They must also undergo a rapid antigen or molecular test if symptomatic on the fifth day following the last exposure.  Individuals who test positive will be required to quarantine. 

 

I am not eligible to get the booster and unable to get one in the US.  Am I able to get one in Italy?  If not, how can I participate in cultural activities that require the Green Pass?  

You need to get your booster before coming to Italy.  You will not be able to travel around Italy, enter restaurants or museums, take public transportation, etc. once your vaccination status lapses (six months after receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, five months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).  

 If you have recently recovered from COVID and cannot yet get a booster now, you can remain eligible for travel and cultural activities if you can show proof of the following:  

  • An attestation from your doctor or a clinic on official letterhead, ideally indicating the Center for Disease Control logo. 
  • Records of both your positive test and the negative test indicating both the infection and the recovery.
  • Your vaccination card 

My flight has been significantly delayed / cancelled. Whom do I contact?  
Send a message on Signal or call: 

Elisa Ascione: (+39) 349 9361032 
Simone Marcolongo: (+39) 345 567 5866 
Fiammetta Giulia Pio (+39) 338 304 3043  

OR send an email to one of the following student life personnel: eascione@luc.edu, smarcolongo@luc.edu, fpio@luc.edu 


Where can I find the most current COVID information regarding restrictions and regulations in Rome? 
 

 The most up-to-date information in English can be found by clicking on these links to the Italian Ministry of Health website:  

Ministero della Salute Information for Travellers  
Ministero della Salute COVID 19 Situation in Italy 

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NOTE: This page is based on information provided by Italian governmental and medical authorities and serves to summarize health and safety data in a concise manner. The situation is continuously evolving, and the information in this document will continue to be updated.

All students are required to be vaccinated in order to participate in study abroad at the John Felice Rome Center. In order to work or teach at the JFRC, the Italian government requires that a Green Pass vaccine passport is obligatory for faculty and staff. 

BACKGROUND

The John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) will reopen for the academic year 2021–2022. Plans are to return to a traditional learning environment, allowing students to attend classes with faculty and peers and to participate in the broad range of off-campus activities coordinated by the JFRC faculty and staff.

We are constantly monitoring the CDC, WHO, and Italian health and safety professionals to help us make informed decisions for programming at the JFRC. The JFRC has adopted new health measures for social distancing and enhanced safety. The health, safety, and wellbeing of students will remain our highest priority. The information provided below is subject to change based on Italian and US regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note, this guide is a working document and, as such, it will be updated as knowledge and understanding of the novel coronavirus and its spread continue to evolve and as University policies and procedures change. If you have any questions not covered in this guide, please email Rome@LUC.edu

PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION

Although vaccinated, health guidelines encourage ongoing safety measures to protect against possible variants of COVID-19. We ask that students bring the following items with them:

  • Certified masks: N95 (US) FFP2 (Europe) or a medical mask.

  • Personal hand sanitizer(s).

  • Personal medical thermometer.

Health and medical supplies can also be purchased at the Piazza Igea Pharmacy which is a fifteen minute walk from campus. 

Loyola University Chicago students are to work directly with the Office of International Programs prior to their arrival in Rome.  Students attending the JFRC arriving from our partners schools are required to work with their study abroad office and the Loyola University Chicago Office of Global and Community Engagement prior to their arrival in Rome.  In the event a student is required to obtain a study visa for entry into Italy the study abroad office will guide the students through the visa process. If you are United States citizen, no visa will be required for participation in the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 sessions.

The John Felice Rome Center requires that students arrive in Rome having received a pre-approved COVID-19 vaccine.  Students are required to register their vaccine certificate on the Loyola Health App, which can be downloaded for free. Details on the Loyola Health App can be found at https://www.luc.edu/mobileapp/index.shtml.

ARRIVAL TO ITALY  

Students are responsible for monitoring the website of the airline they have chosen for travel to Rome. The airlines are a reliable source for information pertaining to travel requirements, masking, pre-departure PCR test requirements and deadlines, and transit requirements en-route to Rome.  

Upon arrival at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (Fiumicino – FCO), all passengers will be required to undergo a temperature check.  If a student has a fever upon landing at the Rome airport, they will be allowed to transfer to campus and will then meet with the JFRC medical doctor or nurse.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 after already having arrived to the JFRC, the student will be moved to an isolation room until the isolation period is completed. The JFRC doctor or nurse will monitor the student’s symptoms daily and will follow the COVID-19 protocols. Food will be brought to the student’s room. Faculty members will work with the student who has been placed in isolation so that they may continue to make progress in classes. All residential facilties are equipped with Wi-Fi and internet connections.

MOBILITY AND ITALIAN DECREES

The Italian Government issued a decree on July 30, 2021 clarifying that vaccine certifications coming from non-EU countries will be deemed equivalent to the European “Green Pass.” A COVID-19 Green Pass, allows entry to restaurants, museums and other public venues. American passport holders do not need a European Green Pass, which instead can be replaced by the “White Card” with CDC logo issued in the United States. This can be shown either in a digital or paper format for entry into various public spaces.

According to the latest decree signed by the Italian Prime Minister, restrictions of movement within Italy are regulated according to the health threat levels of the specific region. Lazio (the region of Rome) is currently a “white” zone and is no longer a restricted area. Minimal restrictions exist within the City of Rome. Italy has divided COVID related health security risks into four main categories:

  • White (RT index is below 1 / less than 50/ 100,000 weekly COVID cases for three weeks in a row).

  • Yellow (RT Index is below 1) night curfew, restaurants are open with outdoors eating only, museums remain open).

  • Orange (RT index is between 1 and 1.25) night curfew, travel is not allowed outside of the Lazio region, restaurants available for take-out dining only.

  • Red (RT index is 1.25 or higher) travel restricted, visiting private homes not allowed, schools remain closed.

The Italian Government issued a decree on September 23, 2021 Officially confirming that “foreign citizens who stay in Italy for study or work purposes can receive the Green Pass,” provided that they have been vaccinated with one of the accepted vaccines and even if they do not have the Italian Tessera Sanitaria. While a Tessera Sanitaria is not needed, a Fiscal Code (codice fiscale) is mandatory. Since the Italian government recognizes the USA’s CDC White Card, Loyola does not deem it necessary for its students to posess an Italian EU Green pass and therefore JFRC students will not need to obtain a Fiscal Code.

SELF-MONITORING, QUARANTINE & ISOLATION AT THE JFRC

Students Self-Monitoring

Students must monitor and report their symptoms daily by filling out the “self-declaration form” via the QR code which is distributed throughout the residence hall and campus. Students will be asked to check their temperature, submit their details each day, and wear a certified face mask N95 (US) FFP2 (Europe) covering nose, mouth and chin when in public spaces at the JFRC (including the dining room, hallways, offices, classrooms, library and gym), unless eating a meal.

Should the student feel ill, they must remain in the their room and report to an Assistant Resident Director (ARD). If the ARD is unavailable, the student is to contact the JFRC Reception desk (+39 06 355 88 1) who will locate the ARD or the Assistant Director of Student Life. JFRC staff will assist the student in getting tested.

Quarantine and Isolation

If a program participant comes into contact with someone who tests positive or shows symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately report to an Assistant Resident Director (ARD) or the Assistant Director of Student Life. Contact tracing will be required and facilitated by the JFRC doctor. Medical professionals will determine who within the community may need to self-isolate.

For each student’s own comfort and the protection of other participants and the JFRC Staff, the exposed individual will be tested and moved to a private room to self-quarantine until test results are made available. A negative test result will allow the students to return to normal activity. A positive result will require isolation until they test negative. If two participants of the same gender have been exposed to the same source, they may be placed in a private room together, each having a separate twin-size bed. During this time the individual will be asked to quarantine in the private room and not interact with others at the JFRC. The room will have either a private bathroom, or private access to a community bathroom, and Wi-Fi access. Meals will be brought to the individual during this time so they do not interact with others at group mealtimes. JFRC Staff will be checking in daily with any individual placed in a private room to self-quarantine. Medical attention will be given as needed by bringing medical personnel to the JFRC. All COVID-19 health and safety decisions will be made in conjunction with Dr. Andrea Guerriero.

Faculty will work with student in quarantine or isolation to help them to stay up to date with lecture material through Sakai, readings, and group work over Zoom as well as any make up testing once the student is no longer in isolation.

FACULTY, STAFF AND VISITORS TO THE JFRC

Access to campus will be granted by green pass, or green pass equivalent, holders only. Once on campus, faculty, staff and visitors must check-in at the reception desk located at the main entrance to:

  • Check their temperature. The person will not be able allowed to interact with the JFRC community if they have a temperature of of 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius) or higher.

  • Complete and sign a daily self-declaration form. Forms will be provided at the JFRC reception desk.

Additionally, faculty, staff and visitors must also:

  • Wear a certified mask N95 (US) FFP2 (Europe) or a medical mask in all public spaces at the JFRC (including the dining room, hallways, offices, classrooms, and library), unless eating a meal.

  • Follow social and physical distancing guidelines to the greatest extent possible – maintaining a space of at least six feet from the nearest person.

  • Practice good/frequent hand hygiene.

EMERGENCY AND NON-EMERGENCY PROTOCOL

If a student is experiencing severe COVID symptoms – mainly fever, persistent dry cough and, especially, difficulty breathing, then they should contact Dr. Andrea Guerriero. If the JFRC doctor is not readily available, then they are to call the emergency number. The JFRC Assistant Resident Director (ARD) who lives in the Residence Hall, in consultation with the Assistant Director for Student Life, will consult with the individual to secure medical attention.

You are NOT to go to the hospital on your own. Italian protocol asks its citizens to stay at home and request that they coordinate a house call with their GP.

Testing

Students can get tested at a nearby pharmacy, Farmacia Igea located at Largo Cervinia, 22-23, a 15 minute walk from campus. Their COVID testing walk-in is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., and again from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For non-residents, they will accept your passport as your valid ID. You will get your results within 15 minutes. Cost of the test is €15.00. Self testing will not be accepted.

PROTECTIVE SUPPLIES & JFRC CLEANING PROTOCOL

In addition to asking participants to wash their hands before meals, after using the bathroom or touching public surfaces, hand sanitizer will be available all over campus and in common areas, such as the dining room, classrooms, lounge spaces, and computer labs.

The Residence Hall staff will be cleaning the dining hall tables, chairs, doorknobs, handbars and the landing place where plates are set after each meal. Similarly, the public restrooms at the JFRC will be cleaned daily.

The cleaning staff will enter your rooms twice a month to clean your bathrooms, however we recommend that students clean their rooms at least once a week. We recommend that studetns also clean their bathrooms every other week, on those weeks when the cleaning staff is not scheduled to do so.

Cleaning supplies and disinfectants are available in the main building in the Cleaning Closet which is located in the main building.

SOCIAL DISTANCING AT THE JFRC

Accommodations

Students will share a room with a fellow JFRC student

  • Each participant will have a twin-size bed.

  • Laundry Facility is available in the residence hall.

  • Wi-Fi is available throughout the residence hall.

  • Private or community bathrooms.

Dining Room and Mealtimes

Each student will be provided a meal card upon arrival at the JFRC Orientation. Meal cards allow for breakfast and lunch and dinner at the cafeteria (full board). In accordance with Italian law on on-site dining, food services are required to follow specific protocols. Diners are asked to:

  • Check their temperature before entering the dining room with the standing temperature scanner made available at the entrance of the dining hall;

  • Sanitize their hands before they enter the main dining hall;

  • Pick up a meal tray, which already has been set with glass, cutlery and napkin to minimize contact;

  • Chose their meal items in one transaction, to limit potential interactions and crowding;

  • Sit where the tables and chairs have been placed. Please do not move tables and chairs, as they have been placed in accordance with Italian law on social distancing;

  • Wear a mask until you are seated, and reposition mask when you are ready to leave;

  • Leave when you have finished with your meal. We kindly ask that you do not lounge. Given the indoor seating capacity has been reduced to accommodate social distancing, this will limit the wait time for other diners and also allow the staff to sanitize the space for the next person.

Individuals should practice physical distancing during mealtimes and remain six feet from the nearest person while standing in line and sitting at tables in the dining room to eat. Meals will be served at the usual set times, unless otherwise communicated. Dining tables will be disinfected after each meal.

Public Restrooms 

Individuals should use the restroom in their dorm room and avoid using the public restroom facilities when at all possible, and wash hands thoroughly after using the restroom

Public Areas & Gatherings

Everyone at the JFRC should follow these physical distancing guidelines:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) away from other people.

  • Do not gather in groups.

  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid gathering.

  • Wear your face mask/covering while in public spaces (that is everywhere except for your residence room).

Even when physical distancing is possible, face masks/coverings must be worn by all individuals at the JFRC and in public settings (e.g., campus outdoor spaces, dining room, classrooms, common gathering areas, stairwells, meeting rooms, etc.). Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risk to the wearer and those around them.

A face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.

JFRC gym 

Located at level “0” of the main building.

Currently the gym is operating on a student volunteer program.  The projected operating hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Students will need to sign up via the Whatsapp LUC Rome Center Fall 2021 group. 

Participants are required to wear a certified mask at all times, and no more than two people can use the gym at one time. Cleaning supplies will be made available so that participants can clean the equipment after each use.

TRANSPORTATION & ACTIVITIES OFF CAMPUS

Use of public transportation is allowed during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. All JFRC sponsored travel outside of Rome will utilize pre-arranged private transportation (taxis or private group busses) and vehicle density will be assessed depending on the type of vehicle. Additionally, participants will only share vehicles with other participants from their same program.

Service sites and all trips outside of the JFRC will be continually assessed to determine if they remain reasonably safe locations for program participants. Overnight stays anywhere where social distancing cannot be followed will not be included in program schedules for the time being.

Participants and guests traveling outside of the JFRC for personal reasons (socializing, nightlife, weekend trips, etc.) must first inform the JFRC Staff. All travelers should follow strict hygiene precautions when traveling – wear a mask/face covering and bring personal hand sanitizer. As a reminder, the Community Standards that all students, faculty and staff signed indicate that it is an expectation that all follow common safety protocols off campus and in their personal lives, which would also apply to all activities outside of the JFRC.

CLASSROOM PROTOCOLS

  • All classrooms have been set up for social distancing. Please do not move the furniture. Group work can still be assigned, but groups should maintain the recommended social distancing, indoor mask requirement, etc.

  • Attendance will be taken at every class to facilitate contact tracing. Ideally students will sit in the same place throughout the semester.

  • Masks must be worn properly at all times. They can be moved to allow for drinking, but must be repositioned afterward.

  • Approved cleaning materials will be provided in each classroom. Please sanitize your workspace before leaving class.

Classess off campus

  • Students and instructors must conform to Health Ministry regulations for the Lazio region and of course to the rules in place for any sites they visit.

Feeling unwell

  • Students should complete the self-certification via the QR code every day before coming to class. If students do not feel well, including having cold or flu symptoms of any kind, they should not go to class. 

  • A student in quarantine or isolation, will need to reach out to their professors to stay up to date with their courses. Faculty will work with students in quarantine or isolation to help them to stay up to date with lecture material through Sakai, readings, and group work over Zoom as wells as any make up testing once the student is no longer in isolation.

  • No medical information will be released to faculty without a signed written consent from the student.

  • Before returning to class, students will need to provide a negative test to the Student Life team: to the Assistant Director of Student Life and the ARD.

TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF ITALY

All students are required to fill out the weekend log every Wednesday before the weekend departure.

For students who wish to travel, you will be responsible for monitoring the travel restrictions and potential quarantine requirements for the countries you wish to visit as well as Italy’s re-entry policy for those entering/returning from that specific country. Missing class due to complications incurred by travel restrictions will not excuse any absences.

For those who travel, you are required to get tested (not self-test) within two days of your arrival and submit your tests results to the Assistant Director of Student Life and the ARD. Self testing will not be accepted.

Students can get tested at a nearby pharmacy, Farmacia Igea located at Largo Cervinia, 22-23, a 15 minute walk from campus. The COVID testing walk-in is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., and again from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For non-residents, they will accept your passport as your valid ID. You will get your results within 15 minutes. Cost of the test is €15.00.