Info for Returning Students

Students at the University of Rochester School of Nursing may reference this page for updated information related to COVID-19 safety procedures, requirements, and resources specific to the School of Nursing.


HWH Building Access and Guidelines

Access to Helen Wood Hall is currently limited to staff, faculty, and students who are attending labs or clinical assignments. The building is secured, and entry is permitted for School of Nursing students and employees through any of the building’s swipe-enabled entrances with a School of Nursing ID badge. Entry through the front door facing Crittenden Blvd. is permitted by swipe access for anyone with a URMC ID badge Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We ask that students restrict their presence in the building to the minimum necessary for required lab coursework and clinical rotations. Meetings with instructors, advisors, program directors, and other classmates or colleagues should be conducted virtually rather than in-person.

The atrium, student lounge and kitchens, and Evarts Lounge will be closed. All classrooms, meeting rooms, and public spaces have new maximum capacities to ensure appropriate physical distancing.

Elevators are limited to single occupancy, and restroom capacity is limited to ensure appropriate physical distancing. We discourage use of student lockers, though the locker room may be accessed with a maximum capacity of two students at a time. Signage is posted within the building to help you understand changes made to wayfinding, building accessibility, and occupancy.

Every time you will be in Helen Wood Hall, you must:

  1. Complete the Dr. Chat Bot symptom survey before entering the building (or any University of Rochester facility), and receive a notification that you are clear to go into class that day. You will receive a daily reminder by email to complete this survey.
  2. Maintain safe physical distance of at least 6 feet wherever possible, observing occupancy guidelines for all public spaces within the building.
  3. Wear a surgical mask or cloth face covering at all times and in all settings within the building, including classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, stairwells, etc. Mask exemptions are limited to being outdoors with greater than 6 feet of separation from others. 
  4. Practice good hand hygiene by using hand sanitizer or washing hands frequently, and avoiding accidental contamination by not touching your face.
  5. Disinfect surfaces you need to interact with before and after using them.


COVID-19 Compliance and Protocols 


Students coming to the School of Nursing from areas outside of New York State may test out of mandatory 14-day quarantine upon their arrival to Rochester. All students coming from areas under New York State travel advisories must complete the New York State Traveler Health form upon arrival. 

Students must test within 24 hours and quarantine until they receive negative test results (see quarantine details below) and must social quarantine for the remaining 14-day period.

If a student will be unable to test within 24 hours of arrival in New York or before an on-campus activity, they should allow adequate time to quarantine before the start of campus activities (in a classroom or clinical setting), which means arriving in Rochester by: 

  • Sunday, Jan. 3, for returning APNN students starting in-person clinical on Jan. 17,
  • or Wednesday, Dec. 30 for all other students starting classes Jan. 13. (date may vary depending on first in-person clinical or lab. Allow for two-week quarantine before first in-person campus activity).

Please note: Nursing students are considered essential workers and therefore should follow New York’s guidelines for essential workers. See testing details below.

If you have symptoms or suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact University Health Service at (585) 275-2662 or

When UHS offices are closed, you may still reach an on-call UHS physician for urgent concerns. Check here for help deciding if your condition is urgent.

  • If your concern is urgent: call UHS at (585) 275-2662.
  • In an emergency, call Public Safety at (585) 275-3333 if on campus (911 if off campus).

Refer to the University’s policy on reporting symptoms or exposure.

There are varying degrees of distancing and social separation, depending on a student’s exposure, health status, testing status, and living arrangements.

Social distancing is the practice of staying home and away from others as much as possible. This practice encourages such strategies as grocery delivery instead of in-person shopping, and video or phone communication instead of in-person meetings.

Physical distancing is the practice of staying at least 6 feet from others when in public settings. The University endorses both social distancing and physical distancing as methods to reduce exposure and spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of asymptomatic people who were or may have been exposed to a contagious disease, for the purpose of monitoring symptoms and preventing potential spread. COVID-19 has a 14-day incubation period; during this time, students must remain in their housing without visitors and without leaving.

Social quarantine permits essential workers, such as nursing or medical students, to attend lab or clinical in-person, while eliminating all other social contact. This practice functions similarly to quarantine where students remain in their residence, except during social quarantine, they may attend lab or clinical.

  • Nursing students are considered essential health care workers. Therefore, students coming from a restricted state or international location who are either awaiting test results or have tested negative will be required to socially quarantine, refraining from social contact outside of attending lab or clinical for the entire 14 day period.
  • Students in social quarantine may utilize the following resources for:

Isolation separates symptomatic people who are infected with a contagious disease from people who are not infected or immune.

Nursing students are considered essential workers and therefore should follow New York's guidelines for essential workers. All students coming from areas under New York State travel advisories should contact University Health Service at 585-275-2662 as soon as possible (within 24 hours) after arriving in Rochester to schedule testing and avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Students may also be tested, free of charge, at a New York State-administered testing site. See Monroe County COVID-19 Testing for testing site locations and more information. 

If you choose to be tested at a site operated by a private company, such as a pharmacy, medical practice, or not-for-profit organization, you are advised to check with the testing site and your insurer to confirm you will not be responsible for any fees associated with your test.

See the University’s plan for surveillance, testing, and contact tracing.

If you have specific questions about your testing requirements or eligibility, please contact

Waiting for Results    

Depending on the testing site you use and the test used, your results may take several days.

While you wait for your results, if you do not have symptoms:

  • You may socially quarantine, avoiding social contact except for work or school
  • You should continue to monitor your health and follow protocols to reduce infection, including social and physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, and practicing good hand hygiene.

While you wait for your results, if you have symptoms:

  • You and any household contacts should stay home
  • You should separate yourself from household members to the extent it is possible


If you are tested at University Health Service, your results will be provided to you and the School of Nursing.

If you are tested at a state-administered or private site, your results are provided to you and reported to the Monroe County Department of Health, but are not automatically reported to University Health Service or the School of Nursing. You will need to provide your results by calling UHS at (585) 275-2662, or sending them to SON at or by fax to (585) 756-8299.


Review the CDC’s guidance on understanding and interpreting your COVID-19 test results here.

If you test negative:

And you do not have symptoms

  • You may return to class or work with approval from UHS and SON.
  • Continue to monitor your health and follow protocols to reduce infection, including social and physical distancing, wearing a mask in public, and practicing good hand hygiene.

And you have symptoms

If you test positive:

And you have symptoms

And you do not have symptoms

  • Stay home and isolate, except to receive medical care. Do not report to class or work.
  • Notify UHS at (585) 275-2662.
  • Notify SON Care Coordinator and Director of Student Affairs, Colleen Johnson, at (585) 576-9117 or 
  • Continue to monitor your health and follow protocols to reduce infection
  • You may return to class or work after 10 symptom-free days have passed since your positive test. Consult the CDC’s guide on ending isolation, and follow instructions from UHS and SON.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be required at various levels of protection, and will be provided for your use in research, lab, and clinical settings. If you have questions about PPE, please contact Students who have specific accessibility needs for PPE should contact the School of Nursing ADA Access Coordinator, Joseph Gomulak-Cavicchio at

  • Masks and Face Shields
    • In campus settings: Cloth or surgical masks are required when in public areas of all UR facilities, including lab rooms, classrooms, hallways, restrooms, stairwells, etc. Masks must remain on at all times, including outdoors when 6 feet of separation is not feasible.
    • In inpatient and outpatient care settings: Students in precepted or immersive clinical placements must wear a surgical mask while in patient rooms, care areas, and all other common or shared areas within the hospital or facility. One mask will be provided each day, though if it’s not soiled or damaged, students may use their mask for up to a week. Masks worn into an isolation room that is not protected by a face shield must be discarded when exiting the room. Please review URMC’s Universal Masking policy and guidelines for information on PPE in patient care settings. Review these guidelines on how to wear and care for your mask.
  • Disinfectants
    • Hand sanitizer is available for use in common areas within Helen Wood Hall and on campus. Disinfectant and cleaning supplies will be available for use within Helen Wood Hall. The University has enhanced cleaning and disinfecting efforts across campus. To learn more about the University’s plans to keep its facilities clean, visit the Rochester Restart site.

All students are expected to demonstrate compliance with the following:

  • Complete the Blackboard COVID-19 training module
  • Submit the Chat Bot symptom tracking tool every time you will be on campus, including for orientation or lab
  • Make the #URCommitment to act in the best interests of our community’s collective health and safety, in accordance with public health guidelines and directives from our state and local officials.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the conduct outlined in our Student Handbook.

If you have questions or concerns about something you have observed or are experiencing related to COVID-19, including gatherings, mask-wearing, social distancing, or any other issue that presents a risk to individual or communal health, please visit the University’s Community Concern page.

SON COVID-related violations will result in administrative review in line with the SON’s Policy on Academic and Professional Integrity in the Student Handbook. Accordingly, allegations of misconduct will be referred to the Committee on Academic and Professional Integrity.


Attending Class

The School of Nursing is poised to continue providing the adaptive, innovative education we always have. In recent years, we have intentionally and thoughtfully expanded our use of technology and experiential learning to shift the classroom experience toward more enriching and more active learning for our students; to enhance faculty-student and student-student interaction, support, and collaboration; to revitalize and redefine course development, delivery, assessment, and feedback; and to improve access for a more diverse student population.

Overall, our course designs and modalities have been adapted to meet the unique characteristics of our undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs, and to provide the value and quality that we and our students expect and deserve. The same collaborative tools and educational resources we utilize in the physical classroom translate easily to virtual applications, and promote immersive, active learning experiences that make our students better nurses.

Labs and Clinical Placements

At this time, we are not anticipating interruptions to clinical site access, so clinical immersion and precepted clinical experiences are expected to take place as usual. Additionally, we expect most labs to be conducted in a face-to-face format.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure that our skills, simulation, and health assessment labs can continue safely and effectively in-person. This means converting classroom space, reducing lab capacity, and increasing screening and sanitation in compliance with infection control and physical distancing guidelines.

To confirm the details of your individual schedule and on-campus requirements, we recommend that students reach out to their course instructor following spring registration.


We are continuing to plan student activities and events that can be accomplished virtually as well as in-person, safely and with appropriate physical distancing. View our Events Calendar to stay up to date. For questions about hosting SON-related student events, please email 


Resources and Support


Academic Support


Information Technology Services provides hardware and software support, email, account, access, and backup assistance, and project support for SON students, faculty, and staff. To contact the Helpdesk, call (585) 275-7500.

Each school has a designated access coordinator who requests and maintains disability-related documents, certifies eligibility for services, and determines and develops plans for reasonable academic accommodations. Contact the School of Nursing Access Coordinator, Joseph Gomulak-Cavicchio at

CERC facilitates educational media, equipment, and technology resources for students. Students may contact (585) 275-5913 or with requests.

CAPS serves as a free academic resource for students looking to improve their learning strategies, critical thinking skills, study habits, or receive academic assistance in a particular content area. Services include instruction, group and individual tutoring, mentorship, career planning, and resume writing. Students may submit a self-referral form to request assistance.

Edward G. Miner Library provides access to materials, technology, and other essential library services. Remote services are available, and main library spaces and printers are available by swipe access 24/7.

LIFT is a student-led initiative within SON designed to provide opportunities for students to engage in learning and discussions related to leadership, advocacy, and diversity.

Our Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CoDEI) serves as a resource and support for students, faculty, and staff within the SON community regarding issues of diversity, equity and inclusiveness within the School of Nursing community.

Personal Support


UHS provides primary care, counseling, and health promotion services to students and employees in the University community. For questions related to COVID-19 protocols and testing, contact UHS at (585) 275-2662 or

CARE Network provides connection to resources for all students. You may initiate a self-referral or express concern about a person, incident, or issue by submitting a CARE referral form.

UCC offers help for managing anxiety, stress, and depression. Any student experiencing a mental health concern can call the (585) 275-3113 to be connected to mental health support. 

Interfaith Chapel is a multi-faith community that provides spiritual and emotional support through dialogue, worship, and interfaith education. Leaders from Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions are ready to help. Contact The Rev. Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough at for more information or to schedule a time to speak with a chaplain. 

The Basic Needs Hub provides urgent, essential student necessities, such as food, clothing, housing, and access to academic tools for students who need financial assistance.

The Food Pantry is open to all Rochester graduate students.


Frequently Asked Questions


The School of Nursing will continue to offer student resources, including Student Affairs, CAPS, and CERC, some on a virtual basis. Miner Library is also open to students. Check the library website for information about hours, access, and remote library services, but main library spaces and printers are available by swipe access 24/7.

Your road to graduation will not be adversely affected by these outside events. We will continue to support and advance your continued academic progression and ensure that students have every opportunity to meet all necessary graduation requirements. Though we may make changes in course format, testing, or grading, the quality and depth of knowledge offered to students will be maintained and student services will continue.  


According to the University policy guide, tuition benefits for a staff member who has met service requirements prior to layoff can be claimed during layoff as though the individual were actively at work. UR employees should verify their eligibility through the Office of Total Rewards, as each person's situation may be different.