December 17, 2020
On November 16, 2020, we announced a new health and safety protocol for the Spring 2021 semester.
Specifically, we announced that all students living in a residence hall or taking at least one on-campus course during the Spring 2021 semester are required to obtain a test for COVID-19, and submit a test result before returning to campus in January. The University added this additional requirement to our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus in response to updated guidance from public health authorities. You can visit our website for more information about the pre-arrival testing requirement for students.
It is now more critical than ever for all faculty and staff to abide by the health and safety protocols in all settings, including interactions throughout the holiday season. These protocols include maintaining a very limited “bubble” for in-person interactions, always keeping physical distance (six feet or more) around those people not within that bubble, avoiding large gatherings, frequently washing your hands, and wearing masks.
At this time, we will encourage, but not require, employees to be tested before returning to campus in January. This decision is based on our review of the Fall 2020 semester, which shows a consistently low number of actively infected employees. We also know from contact tracing results that most reported infections in Fall 2020 were not related to work responsibilities on campus.
In order to make the testing as easily accessible as possible for our employees, Open Door Health Services will resume conducting tests at Worthen Arena several days a week, starting January 4, 2021. Dates and times will be posted on our website. Please bring a photo ID, mobile phone, and insurance card (if you have one) and enter Worthen Arena at Gate 1. We encourage employees to take advantage of this free testing opportunity. If you spend time around people who are not part of your "personal bubble" during the holiday, we strongly encourage you to get tested promptly after the holidays before returning to campus. Also, if you work in a highly-populated area, we especially encourage you to get tested before you return to work on campus.
In addition to testing at Worthen Arena, there are other ongoing testing options throughout our community and state. If you have questions, or need additional information about our COVID-related policies, please visit our COVID information webpage or talk with your supervisor.
We appreciate everything you have done to make it possible for our students to continue to learn and thrive on campus. We all look forward to the time when these measures will no longer be necessary.
Until then, we wish you and your families a safe holiday season.