My Iona

COVID-19

Information and Updates for the Iona Community on Coronavirus

Student Life

This plan was established by the Iona College Task Force, with input from faculty, staff, students and parents. The plan was developed in accordance with New York State public health guidelines and founded in concern for fulfilling the educational mission of Iona College and the academic integrity of Iona’s educational offerings. Policies and procedures are subject to change as the situation evolves.

Residence halls have been set up to reduce density. 

Residence halls have been set up to reduce density so that there are no more than two people per room.  Housing assignments were sent via Iona email on July 10. Multiple residential spaces have been reserved for students who need to quarantine or isolate. 

  • Loftus Hall will consist of mostly four-person suites with two double rooms and a shared suite bathroom.
  • East Hall will consist of double rooms with two occupants and traditional common bathrooms shared by about 12 students each.
  • Conese Hall will consist of six- and eight-person suites with double rooms and two shared suite bathrooms (four people per bathroom).
  • Rice Hall will consist of single and double rooms with traditional common bathrooms shared by 14 to 20 students each.
  • Honors students will be housed on two floors in Loftus Hall.

Residence halls, including lounges and common spaces, will be restricted to use by residential students and occupancy will be reduced. Masks must be worn outside of student rooms/suites. Spaces will be cleaned regularly and disinfecting will take place throughout the day. An electrostatic sprayer will be utilized to disinfect spaces. In addition, a starter pack of disinfectant spray and/or sanitizing wipes will be provided for occupants with private bathrooms. Instructions on occupancy, distancing and wearing masks will be posted.

Common restrooms shared by all students in a residence hall floor will be cleaned regularly and disinfecting will take place throughout the day. An electrostatic sprayer will be utilized to disinfect spaces.  

By the start of the semester, all students will need to have prepared a short safety plan that details what they will do should they need to quarantine or isolate, or in the event of a campus closure.  Resident Assistants (RAs) will receive special training on safety protocols. 

Move-in will be conducted in staggered slots from August 4 to August 9.

To promote social distancing and minimize exposure, Residential Life will carefully conduct “move-in” from Tuesday, August 4 through Sunday, August 9. Based on their building, floor, and travel distance, students will be assigned a specific date and a 2.5-hour move-in assignment. Move-in times will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 7:30 p.m. 

Those students assigned to August 4, 5, and 6 will be asked to utilize the move-in window to drop off their belongings and set up their rooms, returning to take up residency on Friday, August 7 after 1 p.m. Those travelling from farther distances will be assigned to August 7, 8 and 9 and be allowed to fully move in. All new students can return to the halls on August 7 after 1 p.m. 

During move-in, residents can be accompanied by two guests. These two guests are not required to have a COVID-19 test, but facial coverings and social distancing must be practiced at all times. Failure to comply with these protocols will result in removal from the campus.

Residents who require special assistance moving in should contact the Office of Residential Life. Move-in assignments have been distributed along with resident housing assignments and clear instructions for where to go and park to facilitate a smooth move-in process. Requests to move these assignments will be granted under extraordinary circumstances. All students and guests assisting with move-in processes will be required to wear face coverings at all times during the move-in process, including in the buildings and parking lots.

Dining facilities will open with plans to minimize risk and prevent exposure.

Students, faculty and staff will be able to enjoy Iona’s dining facilities, which have been spaced out to allow for social distancing. Chartwells, Iona’s food service provider, has a plan to ensure safety, minimize risk and prevent exposure. The plans include:

  • Reducing the number of touchpoints between people. 
  • Face coverings and gloves will be worn by all associates. 
  • Plexi health shield barriers will be used at all registers and points of service.
  • Offering wrapped foods and bottled beverages. There will be no fountain drinks, and they have eliminated all self-service.
  • Individuals can order ahead via a remote app and pick up to reduce touchpoints. 
  • Number of customers allowed in the Vitanza serving area will be reduced to ensure social distancing with the floor marked for queuing of lines. 
  • Limited seating will be available with tables arranged for effective social distancing.
  • Shutting down for 30-minute periods to sanitize twice a day.
  • Regular cleaning of seating area throughout the day
  • Entrances and exits will be separated. Directional signs will be posted.
  • Masks will need to be worn when walking through dining locations. Masks may be removed when seated and eating. 
  • Starbucks will allow a maximum occupancy of 6 students at a time for ordering and pick-up only. Seating will not be available. Mobile ordering is encouraged.
  • Food service employees will follow all the same health and hygiene protocols as Iona employees. They will be required to complete daily symptom checks. 
  • In addition to following Iona College protocols, the College will require each vendor with a regular presence on campus to have instituted its own policies and protocols for reopening and to present the plan to Iona for approval.  
  • The meal plan also includes some restaurants on North Avenue near campus, and some have outdoor seating. Iona’s contract with restaurants participating in Iona’s meal plan have included in their contracts that they will follow all New York State health and safety guidelines.

Plans have been adjusted to support a vibrant student life outside of class.

Iona is looking forward to having students back on campus, and we acknowledge that things will feel different. We will continue to provide programming, both in-person and virtually, and will maintain the daily “activity hour” where no classes are scheduled to allow students to engage in extracurricular activities. Iona will host activities in larger spaces with occupancy limits and use its beautiful outdoor spaces as much as possible. Programming examples include outdoor movies, trivia and virtual performers. An array of masses and service projects both in-person and virtually will be offered. Iona’s annual Involvement Fair will be held in a new format throughout a whole week to allow students to learn more about the clubs, organizations and leadership opportunities.

We recognize that part of the college experience is interacting with other members of the Iona community, in both scheduled and informal gatherings. We look forward to these interactions. It is the expectation of all Gaels to adhere to College policies and commit to a shared responsibility of creating a safe, supportive and engaging environment for all members of the Iona community. Individuals may gather in small groups on campus, though everyone is expected to maintain appropriate social distancing and wear masks. Common spaces have been redesigned to reduce occupancy and maximize social distancing. The campus has been re-examined to offer additional outdoor seating and tented spaces.

Events will be limited to small gatherings. Guests must be pre-registered. 

There will be a robust events calendar of virtual programs. Where approved with appropriate safety regulations, in-person events will be offered and will be limited to small gatherings of Iona College students and employees. 

  • Events held on campus will be limited to 50 people and held in spaces that can accommodate physical distancing. Food available at events will be grab-and-go rather than platters of food that require shared serving pieces or self-service.  
  • Visitors to campus will be limited to essential invited guests and must be pre-registered following guest procedures through the Invited Guest Registration Form. Guests will be required to display temporary ID passes at all times on campus. Iona community members who are hosting visitors will be required to make guests aware of guidelines and expectations for maintaining community safety while on Iona’s campus. 
  • A campus host must register a guest a minimum of 72 hours in advance of visiting using the Invited Guest Registration Form.
  • Visitors to campus must enter via Iona’s main entrance on North Avenue. All visitors must check in with Campus Safety and must be COVID-symptom free to enter campus.  
  • All visitors will be required to wear face coverings in accordance with campus policy. Guest hosts are responsible for ensuring their guests follow the safety protocols expected of Gaels on Iona’s campus. 
  • Residence halls and campus facilities will be limited to the Iona community. The library will be restricted to members of the Iona community, plus guests of Admissions who are participating in campus tours. 

Offices providing Student Support Services such as tutoring, counseling, advising, student development, mission and ministry, and career services will offer both virtual and in-person support. Some offices will take appointments to help avoid unplanned gatherings. Spaces marked on the floor will indicate safe social distancing practices.  

It is recommended for all students to contact offices in advance to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be held virtually when possible. Same day appointments will be available in most offices. Some offices will have drop-in hours available and advertised.  

Transportation will be available via GAEL Express with safety modifications. 

Van shuttle service will continue with modifications made to address coronavirus. The driver and all passengers must wear face coverings at all times in the van. Health and safety procedures will include: 

  • The shuttle will be thoroughly cleaned with the start of each driver’s shift using EPA-registered disinfectant. 
  • Facilities will do a full vehicle disinfection using the electrostatic sprayer nightly. 
  • Drivers will wear gloves and will open and close passenger doors to minimize contamination from door handles. 
  • Drivers will be responsible for wiping down arm rests in between shuttle runs. 
  • Shuttles will be operated with the windows cracked open regardless of outside temperature. Heat/AC systems will be set to fresh air when in use.
  • Shuttle vans will have a clear plastic barrier between the driver and passengers, and between rows of seats.
  • Seating will be reduced to every other seat in rows, lowering capacity by approximately 50 percent. 
  • Disinfecting gel dispensers will be available at shuttle stops and inside the shuttle.
  • The on-campus shuttle stop will have markings to indicate where passengers will wait in line to board the shuttle. The markings will be 6 feet apart, the line will form by the shuttle schedule sign, continue up the stairs, and to the left towards Cornelia Hall.
  • As a reminder, the Gael Shuttle was instituted to transport students commuting from Metro-North; priority will be given to students using the shuttle to get to class.

Athletics will follow NYS and NCAA regulations.

  • Iona will be following New York State guidelines, NCAA regulations, and is working with leaders from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to refine details for 2020-21 athletics events. At this time, Iona and its MAAC counterparts will not hold fall sport athletic competitions in volleyball, soccer or cross country as well as competition in sports that conduct non-traditional season segments in the fall (rowing and golf). Iona's varsity men's water polo and club rugby programs will also not compete this fall.
  • Iona is working on a plan to open its workout facilities while adhering to the NYS regulations. The goal is to keep our campus a safe, healthy, vibrant place, and we plan to space equipment and sanitize regularly so that students can enjoy the facilities.
  • Iona is planning to open the Hynes Athletics Center this fall for exercise and recreational use pending NYS regulations. The Hynes Athletics Center is currently undergoing exciting renovations to improve the student weight room and cardio room. These renovations will cause a delay to our fall opening of the athletics facilities. Updates will be provided to students, faculty and staff in the coming weeks.
  • Once open, rooms (including locker rooms) will operate at limited capacity to ensure proper social distancing. Signage and traffic patterns will be adjusted to ensure (whenever appropriate) 6 feet of distancing can be attained. 
  • The main entrance of the Hynes Athletics Center will serve as the sole entry point. Exits will be marked throughout the building. 
  • Mulcahy Gym will be closed to students in order to accommodate social distancing protocols in support of other areas.
  • Should traditional intramurals not be available due to state guidelines, we are planning alternative activities for students. More information will follow. 
  • Plans to safely utilize Iona’s pool are in progress as we finalize internal protocols and adhere to NYS regulations. We aim to have a modified schedule that will allow for some recreational swim hours for the College community. Access to Iona’s pool and athletic facilities are restricted to use by Iona students, faculty and staff only.