We are excited to welcome you back to campus this weekend for the start of in-person classes on Jan. 10.
In preparation for our return, here are 10 things you need to know as you prepare to return for winter term. More details about our COVID-19 protocols can be found on our COVID-19 website, which is regularly updated.
- Stay home if you are sick. If you tested positive or if you have ANY symptoms consistent with COVID-19, delay your return to campus until you have a negative test.
- Test within 72 hours prior to your arrival on campus. PCR or rapid tests are acceptable. Students are expected to have proof of a negative test result in hand when they return to campus.
- Test upon return to campus. All students must test twice on campus the first week they are back – Once either Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (Jan. 9-11) and again Thursday or Friday (Jan. 13-14). Testing will be held at Old Chapel/Hale House from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9 and from 9 a.m. - noon and 1 – 4 p.m. the remaining days that week. It also is important that the College have a current cellphone number for students and that students answer their phones in the days following each COVID test. You can update your phone number here.
- Soft quarantine. Please limit your interactions with others until you receive your first notification of a negative on-campus test result upon your return.
- Have a plan for if you test positive. Discuss with your family a plan to isolate at home if at all possible. Have a bag prepared to be ready for a quick departure home or to a Union-provided hotel room if you test positive.
- Isolation and quarantine guidelines have changed. In some cases, COVID-19 positive individuals will only need to isolate for five days if certain conditions are met. Likewise, fully vaccinated students who have received a booster at least two weeks ago or who are not yet eligible for a booster do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, if certain conditions are met. Student Health Services will provide details about isolation and quarantine release conditions to affected students.
- Speaking of boosters, you should get one ASAP. All members of the Union community are required to be boosted by Jan. 16 or within two weeks of becoming eligible for a booster. To help facilitate this, the College is offering booster clinics from 1-4 p.m. tomorrow and Jan. 13-14 at Memorial Chapel. You can sign up for an appointment here.
- Cloth masks are not considered effective in stopping the spread of the omicron variant and are no longer recommended. Surgical or medical masks such as N95, KN95 and KF94 provide much greater protection against the spread of COVID-19 than cloth masks. We recommend wearing cloth masks only in tandem with disposable surgical-style masks or wearing two surgical masks at a time if you don’t have access to a medical mask. As a reminder, masks continue to be required in indoor public spaces on campus – as well as in most public indoor settings in the community.
- Speaking of masks, how you wear them matters. Masks should fit snugly against your face and cover the mouth and nose at all times.
- Packing suggestions for your return: We encourage all students to stock up on disposable surgical or medical style masks, if possible. The College is in the process of securing masks, but having them on hand will make your life easier. Likewise, COVID-19 rapid tests are in short supply in our area now, so bringing a few with you might provide peace of mind should you begin to feel ill after your return.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students