Fall 2020 Florence Rinascita: Reopening the LdM Campus

LdM is very excited to welcome students to Florence this Fall 2020 semester. After the interruption of the school operation last March, LdM has worked very hard to create a safe environment to allow students to come back to Florence and study here in compliance with the guidance from the Italian government and the local health authorities. Living in Florence is a unique experience and the LdM staff is committed to assisting and guiding students through it. The health and personal safety of our student population comes first, and all LdM community members must do their part to guard their health and the health of others.

The following information is current as of September 12, 2020. LdM will continue to monitor the development of the pandemic and will update its safety and health protocols according to the guidance of the Italian (national, regional, and local) and global health authorities. All members of the LdM community will be advised of any such changes.

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PRE-ARRIVAL/ARRIVAL

  • Students will receive via email relevant arrival information, including instructions to fill out any forms required by the Italian government/authorities.
  • In order to protect the safety and the health of the LdM community, LdM strongly recommends its students, faculty, and staff to get the COVID-19 serologic test (antibody test) performed prior to the beginning of the semester. LdM will schedule dates for students to get the serologic test upon arrival in Florence. Dates will be assigned based on non-quarantine/quarantine requirements and will be communicated to students via email.
  • Students who are required to quarantine will receive specific written information before they arrive in Italy from LdM staff that will assist them on-site during the self-isolation period and the LdM emergency line will be available 24/7 should the students need any help.
  • Health authorities have authorized airports to offer Covid-19 tests and, if needed, lodgings for quarantine to individuals upon arrival. Please note that this option is not for LdM students who already have the apartment assigned, both for quarantine and for the semester, and the Covid-19 test organized by LdM .

LdM HOUSING

  • In order to limit the number of students sharing common areas (i.e., bathrooms, kitchen, living room, etc.), students will be housed in single rooms within 2 up to 4 bed apartments.
  • All LdM students will receive guidelines about safety and health measures to follow in their apartments from the LdM Housing Office prior to their arrival.
  • Apartments will be professionally cleaned on a weekly basis. Additionally, apartments will be furnished with sanitizing products and students will be instructed on best practices regarding the sanitizing of the apartment, with particular attention to the common areas.

LdM CAMPUS FACILITIES

  • At the entrance of all premises, check-points will:
    • require all students, faculty, and staff members to have their body temperature taken;
    • provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • and distribute face masks as needed.
  • Face masks are mandatory to wear inside all LdM premises.
  • Students may access the LdM building where their courses are held no earlier than 15 minutes prior to the start of the class.
  • Classroom capacity has been adapted in order to follow social distancing protocols among students and the professor.
  • Classroom layouts have been modified. Seating/desks are set according to social distancing regulations. Physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, have been installed where the social distancing rules cannot be guaranteed.
  • LdM will manage the use of space and will provide physical guides and signs to ensure that social distancing rules are respected when entering and exiting the LdM premises and accessing the common areas.
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer stations will be continuously available inside all LdM premises.
  • In addition to constant ventilation and aeration, routine cleaning and sanitization will be conducted.
  • The LdM cafeteria located at the first floor of Via Faenza 43 will operate Monday through Friday. Its capacity has been modified in compliance with the social distancing regulations.

ACADEMICS

  • Online courses begin September 14 and will continue until students attend classes in-person beginning September 28.
  • Students must have a laptop or other suitable technological device (i.e., tablet) to access and complete coursework as assigned.
  • Students experiencing flu-like symptoms (i.e., sore throat, cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain, etc.) should stay home and not go to school or to other places. Students should inform the school by calling and/or emailing their advisor during office hours (Mon-Thu 8:30am-5pm and Fri 9am-1pm) or calling the LdM emergency line outside of the advisor’s hours and/or when the school is closed. Students should seek immediate medical attention through their LdM advisor and maintain consistent communication with LdM, informing the school of any development regarding their health which may require assistance and support. See also Student Health and Wellbeing.
  • Shared lab course equipment/materials will be sanitized before, during, and after the lesson.
  • All LdM courses will move to Distance Learning in the event of a rebound of COVID-19 wherein the Italian government decrees the interruption of on-site program delivery.
  • As far as possible do not use the material that come into contact with other people, unless otherwise specified.

STUDENT SERVICES

  • The LdM Advising Team is located in the LdM Advising Office located on Via Faenza 71red (2 doors to the right of Via Faenza 43). Students who wish to meet with their advisor should book an appointment during their office hours (Mon-Thu 8:30am-5pm, Fri 9am-1pm). During their office hours, advisors can be reached via email, telephone, and chat. Outside of the advisors’ office hours, students who need assistance can call the LdM emergency line available 24/7.
  • The LdM Advising Team will send weekly COVID-19 updates to the students via email.
  • LdM will offer extra-curricular activities throughout the semester, such as thematic walking tours, museum visits, culinary labs, etc. The number of available spots will comply with social distancing protocols and the use of public transport will be limited. Students will receive further details via email regarding the schedule of activities and instructions for sign-up.
  • Students must wear face masks during LdM sponsored activities.

STUDENT HEALTH AND WELLBEING

  • Should a student test positive for COVID-19, LdM will facilitate their quarantine/self-isolation and comply with the protocols recommended by local health authorities.
  • During the quarantine/self-isolation, LdM staff will assist the student by:
    • delivering prepared meals to their location;
    • purchasing medications on behalf of the student;
    • facilitating the laundry service;
    • and reinforcing guidelines for cleaning/sanitizing procedures.
  • LdM will accommodate the recommendation of a medical professional should it be advised to remove a student with COVID-like symptoms from a shared apartment to self-isolation.
  • LdM recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic might impact and affect the students’ mental health and wellbeing. Counseling services and a psychiatrist are regularly available on campus.

FLORENCE

Florence has adopted the following measures to safely cohabitate in the city:
  • Crowds in both public and private places are banned, and it is required to keep a social distance of at least 1 meter (~3.3 feet) of space between yourself and others (who are not from your household) at all times.
  • It is permissible to exercise and practice sports while respecting the social distance of at least 2 meters (~6.5 feet).
  • While utilizing transportation, it is necessary to respect the regulation of each bus/taxi/tram company regarding service access and to maintain a social distance of at least one meter (~3.3 feet) and wear a face mask.
  • It is recommended to buy tickets online or through the appropriate app. Purchasing tickets on board is no longer an option.
  • When possible, it is advisable to move about the city by foot.
  • In some circumstances/locations, the measurement of body temperature could be required for entrance (e.g. in some shops, hotels, public offices, museums etc.).

Face masks must be used in the community setting in closed places that can be accessed by public, including public transport, and all the time when it is not possible to guarantee social distancing. Starting August 17, it is also mandatory to wear face masks even outdoors, from 6pm to 6am, in all areas where there is a risk of gatherings and assembly. Fines may apply to those who fail to observe the face mask regulations.

Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 1 meter (~3.3 feet) apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 1 meter (~3.3 feet) of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.

(Single-use face masks must be disposed of in the “indifferenziata” trash cans.)

It is mandatory to wear face masks:

  • in indoor public or private open to public spaces when multiple people are present;
  • in outdoor public or private (open to public) spaces, when multiple people are present, if it is not possible to keep a social distance;
  • on local means of transportation, taxis, and private driver service.

Further information is available on the Comune di Firenze website https://www.comune.fi.it/coronavirus?language_content_entity=it

TRAVEL

Travelling in a pandemic context requires particular planning and careful consideration of the current status of the virus in the destination. Students should educate themselves on precautions to be taken and measures in place at all points of travel.

Accordingly, this semester presents a great opportunity for students to explore Italy and all its unique regions. As of June 3, it is permissible to travel within Italy throughout its regions. Travelling by train, bus, and plane, as well as using local public means of transportation such as buses, metro or tram, is possible throughout the country.

To use public transport correctly, it is fundamental to follow some important rules:

  • Buy your ticket online whenever possible.
  • When travelling, maintain 1 meter (~3.3 feet) physical distance from other people.
  • Sit only in the places allowed and indicated by appropriate signs.
  • Wear face masks to cover nose and mouth.

During travel, everyone should clean hands frequently, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and try to maintain a physical distance of at least one meter (~3.3 feet) from others. Travelers should follow the recommendations of the travel authorities regarding policies in the airport, as well as those of the airline/s.

Please note that it is strongly recommended to avoid travelling outside of Italy in these uncertain times due to the possibility of new pandemic outbreaks and unanticipated travel restrictions/quarantine protocols imposed by individual European countries. LdM will send weekly updates to all students on the COVID-19 spreading in the various Italian regions.

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