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Nov. 15, 2021

Dear Students,

Next week, many of you will return home for a well-deserved Thanksgiving break. We hope that you’re able to take this time with family and friends to rest and recharge before the final push to the end of the fall semester. This has been a busy few months, but we hope you’ll join us in sharing thanks for the chance to be together again on campus as one community.

As we approach next week’s Thanksgiving break, we wanted to share some best practices and tips for enjoying your time away from campus in the safest possible way. Much has changed since last fall, but there are still things we can do to ensure we return to campus after the break in the safest and healthiest possible way. We all know the sprint towards final exams is busy and difficult—the last thing anyone wants to add is a trip to isolation.

Screening Testing
The last day to get tested in the screening testing program prior to the Thanksgiving break will be Monday, Nov. 22. Students who wish to be tested prior to returning home should schedule an appointment for that day. Additional testing is available off campus, including resources detailed here, for students who are unable to schedule a test on Nov. 22.

All undergraduate and residential students should keep their testing appointment for the current week of Nov. 15 and must resume testing after the break the week of Nov. 29. Failure to resume weekly testing after the break or to continue testing every week through the remainder of the term may result in referral to the conduct system. 

Isolation, Quarantine and Thanksgiving
With Thanksgiving approaching next week, it’s important that students on campus recognize the quarantine and isolation timeline and remain responsible in this final stretch. Testing positive for COVID-19 could impact your travel plans and disrupt your holiday break. Being smart with your social interactions and following all on-campus face covering protocols can help you reduce such risks. In addition to coming back from the break healthy, it’s equally important to us that you return home to your family in the safest possible way. Keeping your test for this week is an important part of the pre-holiday preparation.

For those who are traveling, be sure to review the CDC’s COVID-19 travel website for best practices and requirements prior to taking any domestic or international trips.

Stay Home if you are Sick
If you begin to feel ill or display any symptoms of COVID-19 while home for the break, do not return to campus until you are tested. Like with any illness, it’s important to not return to a community until you are feeling well or have ruled out the possibility of a contagious illness like COVID-19.

Be Smart with your Social Interactions
Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect with family and friends, but it’s important that you continue to be smart with your social interactions. Please be mindful of face covering requirements in crowded indoor public spaces and do your best to put yourself in the right situation while enjoying the break. Best practices from the CDC include avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces, wearing a face covering in certain situations, and monitoring your health on a daily basis.

COVID-19 Testing Dashboard
Since ­August 22­­, ­167 positive cases have been reported on the dashboard. With 34,458 total tests administered, that leaves us at a 0.49% positivity rate.

Whether you’re returning home, traveling elsewhere or staying on campus this break, we hope that you are all able to take a moment to recharge and enjoy some well-deserved down time next week. All of us on campus are looking forward to finishing the semester strong, and being safe this Thanksgiving break is one way that we can help ensure we do just that.

Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director, Emergency Management

Julia Matthews, MSN, MPH
Director, Health Center