Rome with Purpose COVID Policy & Procedures
Updated June 3, 2021
Rome with Purpose affirms biblical truth and looks to God’s Word for guidance on creating policy and procedures.
In light of Scripture, the heart and purpose providing the foundation for these policies and procedures is to love God and love our neighbor. Scripture also exhorts us to obey those authorities that God has put over us for our well-being.
Matthew 7:12 – “So whatever you wish others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Mark 12:29-31 – “The most important one,” Jesus answered, “is this:’ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ there is no commandments greater than these.”
Romans 13:1-4 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenge who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Romans 13:8-10 – “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Rome with Purpose is committed to loving our neighbor, honoring God given authorities, and striving for the well-being of the staff and students entrusted to our care.
Rome with Purpose is confidently planning to offer the Fall 2021 semester in Rome, Italy with adjusted operating procedures in light of the pandemic, being informed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Italian Ministero della Salute, the Italian Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologia, and the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI). Rome with Purpose continues to monitor the status of United States students being able to study abroad in Italy. At the time of this writing the country of Italy is closed to tourists traveling from the USA. However, travel is currently allowed for students studying in Italy and is considered essential travel. As of May 2021, restrictions in Italy for travel continue to loosen and the opening of public venues such as museums and other cultural institutions continues. Should strict restrictions be renewed, such closures would not be conducive to the operation of an educational program currently envisioned by Rome with Purpose. However, with the release of a COVID vaccine, the expectation is that restrictions will continue to be lifted so that the full educational program of Rome with Purpose can be implemented with minimal restrictions, and therefore allowing accessibility to historical, educational, religious, and cultural venues. Rome with Purpose will closely monitor the conditions in Italy and will conduct a program only in the event that students can safely travel to Italy and access museums, public venues, ministry sites, and other cultural and educational benefits of Italy and greater Europe with reasonable safety precautions.
Factors that could lead to Rome with Purpose canceling the Fall 2021 semester in Italy:
- The country of Italy is not open to foreign students
- Student mobility around Rome and the country/region is significantly limited due to quarantine measures by the Italian government
- Student access to museums, educational facilities, historic sites, ministry sites, and other cultural assets important to the offering of a program in Italy is significantly limited or closed due to COVID restrictions
Risk Free Enrollment
Currently, Rome with Purpose has a 30-day cancellation policy where there is no financial penalty for withdrawing 30+ days prior to the semester start date (the day students arrive in Italy). For the 2021-2022 school year, Rome with Purpose will adjust this to a 14-day policy. Students and institutions will have the flexibility to make a withdrawal decision, with no financial penalty, up until the 14th day prior to the program start date. This will allow students and institutions to make informed decisions with the most up to date information as it relates to COVID-19 and Italy.
Policy & Procedures
Rome with Purpose functions as a single community with students living together on the same floor of a convent building. This small Rome with Purpose “family” allows for minimal exposure, and the staff to student ratio ensures that students are very well cared for.
Adjusted Operating Procedures
- During Orientation, students will have a specific session in regard to timely information and steps to prevent infections and spread. This session will specifically cover hand washing before and after each entry and exit of a new location, education on symptoms to be looking for, social distancing, etc.
- Paper towels will be placed in each common-area bathroom and kitchen as well as antibacterial stations at each entry/exit point
- Rome with Purpose will provide the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the local Italian government and require the students to follow the guidelines regarding the use of the PPE. Students can also provide their preferred mask.
- Thermometers will be available to the students to monitor themselves daily
- Convent cleaning staff will follow procedures for daily cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and high touch zones
- Students will be required to do a daily screening and report to the Rome with Purpose personnel any YES answers to the daily screening questions
- It is possible that symptomatic or positive students would not be able to attend trips and/or events
- In the event that multiple symptoms arise (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell), the student will be moved to a designated quarantine room and tested. A staff member will provide care until the student recovers.
- If a student tests positive, he/she will be expected to remain in isolation for 10 days post symptom start date
- In the event that symptoms progress to the point of hospitalization, the student will be taken to a hospital for additional care
In the Event of a Nation wide or Continent Wide Pandemic Spike
- Should pandemic infection levels rise to the point of severe restrictions limiting the exercise of the Rome with Purpose program in Italy, Rome with Purpose will limit travel to and from our residence and follow governmental guidelines for international travel. We experienced this during our Spring 2020 semester when it was necessary to return the students to the USA and complete remaining courses online. Rome with Purpose has proven to be an adaptive program in crisis, specifically in regard to distance learning, and will do so again, if necessary
All medical costs and expenses incurred, including emergency room visits and testing, would be the responsibility of the student and his/her insurance. In the case that a student is required to return home early, it would be the responsibility of the student to cover the cost of flight changes and/or fees.
Waiver of Liability
To be communicated pre-arrival and during orientation
I acknowledge the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and that the CDC and many other health authorities still recommend practicing social distancing. I further acknowledge that Rome with Purpose has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I promise to abide by the guidelines required of me such as the following governmental guidelines regarding wearing of masks, frequent temperature checks, regular hand washing and sanitation, abiding by local laws and adhering to community cleaning and sanitizing procedures. I also acknowledge that Rome with Purpose cannot guarantee that I will not become infected with the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to, Rome with Purpose staff, Rome with Purpose programs partners, and other study abroad participants. I further understand should I develop symptoms of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, I hereby willfully comply with testing and/or hospitalization at my own expense. And as required will self-quarantine for the necessary time period in a designated room to prevent further exposure to other Rome with Purpose employees, partners, and study abroad students. I voluntarily seek services provided by Rome with Purpose and acknowledge that I am increasing my risk to exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I acknowledge that I must comply with all set procedures to reduce the spread while attending any Rome with Purpose program both domestic and international.
I attest that:
- I am not experiencing any symptoms of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell), as articulated by the CDC and WHO.
- I have not traveled internationally to another country within the last 14 days.
- I do not believe I have been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case for the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
- I have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus/COVID-19.
- If I have been diagnosed with Coronavirus in the past, I have been declared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities.
- I am following all CDC recommended guidelines as much as possible and limiting my exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19
I hereby release and agree to hold Rome with Purpose harmless from, and waive, on behalf of myself and any personal representative, any and all causes of actions, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for damage or loss to myself and/or property that may be caused by any act or failure to act of Rome with Purpose, or that may otherwise arise in any way in connections with any services received from Rome with Purpose. I understand that this release discharges Rome with Purpose from any liability or claim that I, or any personal representatives may have against Rome with Purpose with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, medical treatment, or property damage that may arise from, or in connection to, any services received from Rome with Purpose. This liability waiver and release extends to all Rome with Purpose employees and partners.
Daily Screening Questionnaire Students and Staff:
- Do you have a fever or have you had a temperature over 100 F in the last 24 hours?
- 2. Do you have a new onset of a cough?
- Do you have a new onset of a sore throat?
- Do you have a new onset of shortness of breath?
- Do you have a new onset of chills or shaking chills?
- Do you have a new onset of muscle or body aches?
- Do you have a new onset of loss of sense of smell or loss of taste?
- Do you have a new onset of a headache?
- Do you have a new onset of congestion or runny nose?
- Do you have a new onset of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
- Have you been in contact, lived with, or had a possible or known exposure with anyone who is currently positive for COVID-19 or has tested positive within the last 14 days?
- I am agreeing that
- I will quarantine myself and pursue COVID testing if I have answered “Yes” for any of the above questions.
- I also agree that all of the questions on this form have been answered honestly and accurately.
- I am giving the relevant Rome with Purpose personnel permission to view my answers submitted on this form.