Covid-19 Plans: Florence Architecture (Spring 2021)

NOTE: Subject to changes/modifications in accordance with Italian policies and best practices.

Italy currently uses a color-coding scheme to establish restrictions among the various regions within Italy.  This coding changes to reflect shifts in infection rates within a region.

As of April 17, 2021, the region of Tuscany is considered an “orange” zone. 

An explanation of color coding follows:

WHITE ZONE:

White Zones outline the following expectations:

  • Correct wearing of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Adherence to social distancing.
  • No events that lead to gatherings (fairs, discos, or events in stadiums).

YELLOW ZONE:

Yellow Zones outline the following expectations:

  • A curfew is in effect from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am local time.
  • Traveling allowed only within your region of residence (Tuscany).
  • Travel going outside of a YellowZone is only permitted to another Yellow Zone.
    • Travel to an Orange or Red zone is only permitted if due to urgency and with the proper self-certification form. The self-certification form can be found here.
  • Swimming pools, gyms and ski resorts are closed. Non-contact outdoor sporting events are open.
  • Theaters and cinemas may open as of March 27, 2021 with an audience of no more than 25% of typical capacity (max 200 inside, max 400 outside).
  • Museum reservations are highly recommended.
    • Museums are open from Monday to Friday with the exception of public holidays.
    • As of March 27, 2021 museums may open on Saturdays and holidays.
  • Commercial shopping areas are closed on weekends. Grocery stores are open.
  • Restaurants and bars remain open for in-person dining until 6:00 pm local time.
    • Take-away, or take-out, permitted until 10:00 pm local time
    • Consumption at the table is allowed for a maximum of four people per table.

ORANGE ZONE:

Orange Zones outline the following expectations:

  • A curfew is in effect from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am.
  • Travel going outside of an OrangeZone is not permitted.
    • However, travel outside of an OrangeZone is permitted, if due to urgency and with the proper self-certification form. The self-certification form can be found here.
  • Museums, theaters, cinemas, swimming pools, gyms and ski resorts are closed.
  • Non-contact outdoor sporting events are open.
  • Commercial shopping areas are closed on weekends. Grocery stores remain open.
  • Restaurants and bars are only open for take-away (take-out) and delivery.

RED ZONE:

Red Zones outline the following expectations:

  • A 24-hour curfew remains in effect: leaving home is not permitted unless for work, health or other first necessity reasons (grocery shopping).
    • Walking and running close to home is permitted.
  • Travel going outside of a Red Zone is not permitted.
  • Public venues such as museums, theaters, cinemas, swimming pools, and sports centers are closed.
  • Hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons are closed.
  • Commercial shopping areas are closed, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies and other first necessity stores, which remain open.
  • Restaurants and bars are only open for take-away (take-out) and delivery.

Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

Complete disinfection of facilities prior to opening in March 2021 following local guidelines and protocols.

Daily cleaning of facilities throughout program duration.

Periodic cleaning and disinfection of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) in addition to air purification.

Frequent daily cleaning of bathrooms, door handles, light switches, and HVAC.

Mandatory airing out of classrooms before and after each class.

Personal cleaning supplies for staff offices, for faculty rooms, in studio areas, and on each instructor’s desk in class spaces.

Dedicated garbage containers for disposal of waste used to clean desk areas and used single-use masks.

Anti-bacterial hand gel available in all offices, classrooms, studio spaces, and outside bathrooms.

Masks must always be worn in the buildings and during on-site visits/field trips (unless eating with social distancing).

NOTE: Syracuse Florence will have masks available in case a student forgets to bring one, however, students are responsible for bringing their own masks.


Social Distancing

Registration of all individuals (name/contact information) entering the building including their time of entry and exit will be required in the case that contact tracing is necessary.

Set up of the following rooms/areas to respect normative distance in Italy, considering obligatory use of face masks.  Indications of distancing are located on floors, furniture, and walls to regulate direction of flow in the case of hallways, stairs, entrance/exit.

  • Classrooms
  • Architecture studio spaces (panels inserted between each workspace)
  • Faculty room and staff offices
  • Library
  • Hallways and stairways
  • Field trips
    • Limiting of transportation to private bus companies. Transportation supplier’s guarantee of ability to implement social distancing and disinfection according to the provisions of Italian law.
    • Possible overnight trips will include single rooms with a private bathroom.

Policies/Student Behavior

Use of Syracuse University’s Stay Safe Pledge, adapted to Syracuse Florence to incorporate housing and travel.

Possible expulsion from program for flagrant and/or repeated disregard of policies.


Medical Care

Syracuse Florence on-site doctor is available by appointment for medical concerns on a regular basis and will advise accordingly if symptoms possibly indicate Covid or other illness and can provide specialist referral, if needed.

Syracuse Florence doctor will follow national ordinance directive of triage in the event of a suspected Covid case. Consultation with physician will occur first by phone. Physician will then decide whether to see patient in person or to send them directly to the hospital/testing site for a swab test, while providing direction for quarantine until results of test are available. In serious cases, direct hospitalization will occur.

Misericordia Firenze, a volunteer team of medical professionals, provides a dedicated phone number to study abroad programs which will follow the same steps outlined above for the on-site doctor, available 24 hours a day.

Continued availability of the Syracuse Florence emergency phone for student calls. E-team member on duty will address student needs.

Continued availability of The Student Hotel 24/7 front desk assistance with direct access to medical team which will follow the same procedures as stated above for Syracuse Florence doctor.

In the case of any student who becomes ill with Covid, Syracuse Florence staff will keep in direct and continual contact with them, assisting in navigating this triage process.


Quarantine and Isolation

Current Italian national ordinance requires travelers coming into Italy to quarantine for 14 days (unless traveling on a Covid-tested flight). Individuals testing positive are required to isolate until issued a certificate in order to attest they are negative. In addition, close contacts identified through the contact tracing process are required to quarantine for 14 days.

Upon arrival, students will quarantine directly in their assigned rooms for the semester. The Student Hotel will provide single rooms with private bathrooms. All rooms are fully equipped with individual wi-fi hot spots and 3 meals a day will be delivered to each student’s door during the quarantine period.

The hotel has an isolation floor dedicated to suspected cases with full PPE equipment for initial diagnosis and follow up health directives. This will be the case for students at any time during the semester who may be identified in contact tracing. Similarly, Syracuse Florence buildings also have an isolation area dedicated to suspected or symptomatic individuals while awaiting initial health directives.

Quarantine is required for close contacts of an individual testing positive. Self-isolation is required of individuals who are ill but do not require hospitalization.

If a student tests positive, but does not require hospitalization, local health authorities determine whether they may isolate in their room or are required to temporarily relocate to a local hotel deemed as a “Covid Residence.” In this case, students will still be provided 3 meals a day and a wi-fi connection so as not to interrupt their access to academic and extracurricular content.

All students, staff, and faculty are required to self-declare they are not sick and do not have a fever to be able to enter the Syracuse Florence buildings and/or participate in extracurricular offerings.

Employees who have any symptoms/are ill are required to stay at home and contact their doctor for further directives until approval to return to work.


On-site Testing

Routine on-site surveillance testing will be conducted for the entire program duration. In the event of a suspected case of Covid, on-site testing of student(s) with internal contact tracing will be enacted while waiting for test results/contact tracing from the Italian medical system.


Contact Tracing

A Syracuse Florence staff member trained in contact tracing will proceed to trace close contacts effective immediately in the event of a suspected Covid case, further working in conjunction with the national health service and on-site doctor for follow-up medical assistance, isolation, and quarantine.

Daily log of all people entering or physically on Syracuse premises is required by Italian ordinance (see above for “Social Distancing”). All school trips, field studies, and in-person extracurricular activities require attendance lists, as do professors with their classes. External visitors to the center are required to complete a self-declaration form stating they do not have symptoms nor have come into contact with a positive case, which will also be used for contact tracing purposes, when necessary.

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that students install the contact tracing Immuniapp on their phones upon arrival. Explanation of this app and use will be provided during Orientation.


Existing Health, Safety, other Policies which must be Revised due to Covid

Due to Italian national ordinance, emergency team staff are not currently able to accompany students to the hospital or doctor’s office for any reason, including providing translation. The emergency team member will, however, assist in translation of medical care where possible.

In general, staff members will be in contact with students by appointment, and via telephone and/or Zoom.

Benches, sofas, fabric chairs, and any other surface that cannot be easily sanitized are removed from common areas. Replacement signage clearly indicates seating to reflect social distancing measures.

Online, rather than in-person, employee meetings will be encouraged internally.

Syracuse Florence student activities will be offered virtually this semester along with various extra-curricular activities sponsored by the hotel.


Student Arrivals & Transit to Housing

Current directives indicate students must directly, and in the shortest time possible, reach the address indicated in their self-certification documentation as the place where they will carry out the mandatory 14-day period of health surveillance and fiduciary isolation (see “Quarantine/Isolation”), privately or by their own means (unless taking Covid-tested flight). Given the Florence airport is currently closed, bus transfers will be available for students who take the suggested group flights. If traveling independently, students should reserve a private (taxis, hired cars) transport to The Student Hotel.

Students are housed in single rooms with a private bathroom for the entire duration of both mandatory quarantine and the duration of the semester. Students are permitted to carry out any additional isolation or quarantine periods in their assigned rooms, unless otherwise instructed by medical professionals. In the event of Covid positive case, it is possible that the Italian health authorities will require student to transfer to a “Covid Residence”. Covid Residences are hotels of the same quality as The Student Hotel and meals will be provided for full time of isolation.