We are wishing you well as we approach the holiday season and the home stretch of the fall semester. We are incredibly proud of the steps you have taken to keep COVID-19 infection low across the University of Texas at Austin community through vaccination, testing and masking.
Many of you may plan to travel or gather with family or friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. We recommend you get tested within 72 hours prior to traveling or gathering and again within 72 hours after you return to campus. This will help us finish out the semester with continued low rates of transmission and protect friends and family in other communities. Testing is free through the UT Proactive Community Testing program. Testing before or after the holiday weekend is not required and you do not need to upload results as we asked you to do at the beginning of the fall semester. Please note that PCT will be closed on Thanksgiving Day through the weekend, reopening on Monday, November 29.
If you are going to be around unvaccinated individuals, or individuals at higher risk for severe illness, be more vigilant about practicing preventive behaviors (masking, social distancing, hand hygiene) and consider limiting social interactions in the two weeks prior to the holiday to decrease their potential exposure to the virus.
If you test positive in the days before Thanksgiving, you will need to isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms (or test date if asymptomatic) to prevent spreading the virus. This may mean that you shouldn’t travel for Thanksgiving, or if you do, will need to isolate away from other members of your family (preferably in a private bedroom with a private bathroom). Please do not make exceptions for meals or other family activities, especially if members of your household are at higher risk of severe illness. The Behavior Concerns and COVID-19 Advice Line (BCCAL) can provide support for students who need to isolate over the holiday. Call 512-232-5050 and select option 2. Additionally, if you are unvaccinated and have been exposed as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to quarantine.
Finally, we want to encourage you to get a flu shot if you have not already done so. You can schedule an appointment through University Health Services. Cases of flu are quickly rising on campus and getting vaccinated is one way to prevent getting sick around the holidays or during finals. Like with COVID-19, masking and handwashing can also help prevent the spread of flu.