Covid-19 Plans: Strasbourg

Note: Subject to changes/modifications in accordance with local regulations and best practices

The Syracuse Strasbourg Center adheres to French government guidelines as established by the following government agencies:

The Syracuse Strasbourg Center also works with Syracuse University main campus to establish best practices.


Center Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

Daily cleaning

  • Daily cleaning and disinfection of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center by a professional cleaning company in accordance with French sanitation guidelines.
  • Covered trash bins with foot pedal (doubled-bagged) in every room; garbage emptied at least once a day.

Air filtration and air renewal

Syracuse Strasbourg Center maintains a daily aeration schedule.

  • Class schedule allows for air renewal between classes, for at least 10 minutes. Restrooms are aired out a minimum of 3 times a day.
  • HEPA filter air purifiers installed in the student lounge and other high-traffic areas.

Sanitizing

  • Hand sanitizer provided at the entrance and at strategic points throughout the building.
  • Sanitizer wipes available in classrooms, restrooms, library, computer lab, and eating areas.  Everyone is required to sanitize their seating area and/or work space before and after each use.

Masks

Students are responsible for providing their own masks and following guidelines for mask-wearing in public and at the Syracuse Strasbourg Center.

  • Students should have an adequate supply of cloth masks (double layer) OR paper masks that are approved for daily use in France.  Students can easily procure additional masks when they arrive in France (available in almost all shops).
  • If a student should develop symptoms or fever, the student will need to wear a surgical mask.  Students may purchase these in any pharmacy in Strasbourg.
  • Masks are required in all areas of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center and on all program sponsored activities/travel, with the exception of established student-dining areas while students are eating.
  • Syracuse Strasbourg staff will have disposable masks available in case an emergency replacement is needed.

Note: Bandanas, scarfs and neck gaiters are not appropriate face coverings in France. Face shields are not an accepted substitute for a mask.


Social Distancing

  • Masks are required in all areas of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center, with the exception of established student-dining areas while students are eating.
  • Classrooms will be adjusted to allow for proper social distancing including reduced seating capacity and additional space between tables in classrooms and common areas.
  • The class schedule has been modified to allow for extra time between classes.
  • Individual tables, one student per table, in student dining areas.

Field Trips

  • Students and accompanying staff will wear masks at all times during site visits, study tours, and program travel.
  • Student hotel room occupancy will be minimized according to availability.
  • During group meals, seating will be limited as per current French government guidelines.

Policies Regarding Student Behavior

  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Students will agree to and sign the Syracuse Strasbourg Student Covid Pledge.
  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Students will adhere to French (national and local) social distancing and Covid-19 safety policies. The Syracuse Strasbourg Center will communicate these safety policies and will keep students up to date on any developments.
  • Students are limited to travel within an established geographic perimeter, which will be determined according to government safety advisories. The perimeter may change over the course of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to remain informed and check with the Syracuse Strasbourg Center Staff before leaving Strasbourg.
  • Students are required to avoid travel to high-risk areas as established by French and European governments e.g. “Alerte Maximale” in France, etc.
  • Students should alert the Syracuse Strasbourg Staff to any health concerns:
    • If they feel ill
    • If they develop symptoms of Covid-19
    • If they are identified as a contact case

Housing

  • Students will be housed in private rooms with host families in Strasbourg and the surrounding areas.
  • Host families will be asked to test for Covid-19 prior to student arrival.
  • Host families will receive and agree to Covid policies, including cleaning protocols and how to proceed in the event of a contact case or a positive Covid-19 test within the household.
  • Students are responsible for cleaning and airing out their rooms in their host family’s home.
  • Students will remain in their host families if they are identified as a contact case and will follow French government regulations regarding quarantine protocols.
  • Students will remain in their host family’s home if they test positive for Covid-19 and will follow French government regulations regarding isolation protocols.
  • If a member of the host family tests positive for Covid-19, the entire household will be considered as a “close contact case” and be required to quarantine and will follow French government regulations regarding quarantine protocols

Pre-Testing

  • French government and airlines require a negative PCR test to board flights to France. The test must be administered 72 hours before departure, be sure to check with your airline for complete testing policies.

Medical Care

  • Strasbourg is home to the largest University hospital in Eastern France and has five hospitals in the city (public and private). Access to medical care is readily available in Strasbourg. Students have access to all French public hospitals where there is a dedicated space for Covid patients.
  • All members of the Syracuse Strasbourg community will keep the Syracuse Strasbourg staff apprised of any health issues, so staff may support them in accessing medical care.
  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Center will have a dedicated Covid-19 Case Manager among its staff. The Covid-19 Case Manager will coordinate and liaise with local medical professionals.  The Case Manager is not a healthcare professional but will provide contract tracing and continued support within the Syracuse Strasbourg community.
  • Students may contact the Syracuse Strasbourg center staff for help making doctor’s/laboratory appointments and/or to accompany them on medical visits (when possible).
  • Virtual consultations and in-person appointments with general practitioners are readily available with little wait time. Web-based platforms and apps such as “Doctolib” allow students to book medical appointments with ease.
  • Same day house-calls are also available in Strasbourg and most other French cities (through services such as SOS Médecins).
  • Syracuse Strasbourg works directly with a local doctor’s office to facilitate appointments for students. Students are of course free to use any local health care provider should they need to seek medical attention.
  • Students with Covid symptoms or who have been identified as contact cases will be able to make a priority appointment for PCR test. Two laboratories are within walking-distance from the Syracuse Center, and there are at least 25 testing sites in the greater Strasbourg area.
  • Students, faculty/staff, and host families will receive clear protocols for actions to take for suspected and/or confirmed Covid-19 cases. This document is continuously updated to reflect both French Government health requirements and Syracuse University best practices.
  • France provides a Covid Hotline (0 800 130 000) available 24/7 for all COVID related questions (French only).
  • Please note: if a student is experiencing extreme respiratory distress or any medical emergency, they should call emergency medical services by dialing 15 or 112 (France and Europe’s equivalents of 911) immediately.

Note: Students may be required to pay up-front costs for medical care abroad (e.g. doctor’s visits, laboratory tests, medical transportation and hospital visits). All students are required to have medical insurance and may submit receipts for reimbursement to their insurance provider.


Quarantine

  • Currently, France does not require international travelers to quarantine upon arrival in France.

If a student has been identified as a “Close Contact Case”, they will be required to complete a 7-day (minimum) quarantine according to French government health guidelines before testing for COVID-19. Testing too early can lead to false test results.

In the case of “Close Contact Case”:

  • Students will quarantine in their French family bubble.
  • Meal plan arrangements may be modified to facilitate quarantine needs.
  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Center Case Manager will help students coordinate their quarantine at their host family’s home.
  • At the end of the 7-day period students will take a PCR test at a medical laboratory near their host family’s home.
    • With a negative PCR test, students will be able to return to classes and regular activities.
    • If a student tests positive, they will work closely the Syracuse Strasbourg Center Case Manager to coordinate their isolation period.

Isolation

Students may be required to observe an isolation period according to French government health guidelines if they present Covid-19 symptoms and/or have positive test results.

In case of illness and/or positive test results for Covid-19 (Student and/or Host Family member):

  • Student/Host Family will isolate in their French family bubble.
  • Meal plan arrangements may be modified to facilitate isolation needs.
  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Center Case Manager will help students to coordinate their isolation at their host family’s home.
  • Students will contact the Strasbourg Case Manager for help making appointments and/or to accompany them on medical visits (when possible).

On-Site Testing

  • Surveillance testing will be required throughout the semester. The exact schedule will be determined in conjunction with Syracuse Abroad and Syracuse University main campus medical specialists.
  • Students with Covid symptoms or who have been identified as contact cases will be able to make an appointment for PCR test.
  • PCR nasopharyngeal swab tests are available in France without a doctor’s prescription. Priority testing is given to patients with symptoms (and accompanying doctor’s prescription) and those officially identified as a contact case (after the 7-day waiting period).

Contact Tracing

  • French health agencies (Agence Régionale de Santé and Sécurité Sociale) may also be in contact with students if they are identified as a contact case or test positive for Covid-19.
  • A Syracuse Strasbourg Center staff member, trained in Covid-19 tracing, will be responsible for contact tracing within the Syracuse Strasbourg community.
  • Students will be asked to download and use the French Government contact-tracing app on their phone.

Revised Health, Safety, and Other Policies

  • Syracuse Strasbourg Center Covid Pledge.