Fordham University Sets Contact Tracing and Testing Guidelines

Hasna Ceran, Assistant News Editor

In preparation for the return to campus for the fall semester, Fordham students received multiple notifications from the university regarding the new health-screening processes that will be in use to ensure the safety of students who choose to return to campus. 

As a preventative measure, all students that are returning to campus must submit a negative test for COVID-19 in less than 14 days before they arrive on campus, according to the Fordham Forward FAQs. Students will be tested again during the first two weeks of the semester. After that, students will be chosen randomly to be tested. 

The university elected to place Public Safety in charge of contact tracing. This means they are responsible for identifying the chain of people that have been in contact with a person who has contracted COVID-19 and monitoring the VitalCheck daily health screening.

VitalCheck describes itself on its website,, as “physician preventative health services for the office.”  On the VitalCheck Health Screening page under Human Resources on Fordham University’s website, the university explains that students will receive a daily screening questionnaire over text or email and will continue on to an online screening appointment with one of VitalCheck’s physicians or a personal physician. 

While the daily screening will be at no cost to the screened person, the appointment with a physician will be charged to the person’s insurance. VitalCheck is also the current telehealth screening provider for COVID-19 testing at other universities, including Princeton University

The Fordham Forward FAQs for Student Testing and Quarantine, a section of the university’s website dedicated to providing information on the return to campus and the continuation of the school year, explains that “Fordham University will conduct random surveillance testing of members of the community who are on campus throughout the year.”

Fordham University will cooperate with state authorities to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 in the case of a positive test result. Robert Fitzer, director of Rose Hill Public Safety, explained that if a person tests positive for COVID-19, Public Safety will contact them and ask who they had contact with over the four days before the positive test result.

 “New York City mandates only going back two days, but the University is taking extra steps to ensure the wellbeing of the Fordham community,” said Fitzer. 

Public Safety would then check whether those that had been in contact with the individual over the last four days were showing any symptoms and whether quarantining would be necessary. 

“We will decide the parameters of the contact tracing on a case-by-case basis, depending largely on the proximity and duration of contact,” Fitzer stated. “We will strictly follow New York City, New York state, and CDC guidance regarding those variables.”

If a person on campus, student or employee, is required to quarantine, they will be instructed to stay home if their home is an appropriate distance from campus. According to Fitzer, if a student’s permanent address is too far from campus for the student to return home, the university will provide on-campus housing for quarantine.