Salisbury University has seen a flurry of recent changes in preparation for welcoming students back to campus after Thanksgiving break as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on.
All university members intending to return to campus are required to participate in a mandatory round of coronavirus testing from Dec. 1 through Dec. 4 after the holiday break or risk losing access to campus facilities at the end of the day Dec. 4.
Students, faculty and staff may now schedule their post-Thanksgiving tests here.
All mandatory COVID-19 tests administered the week of Nov. 30 will be given in Maggs Physical Activities Center.
SU will also be offering coronavirus testing on Dec. 7, Dec. 8, Dec. 14 and Dec. 16, expected to be administered in the Great Hall inside Holloway Hall.
Free masks will be given out to campus members who need them after the break and will be available for pickup at the Guerrieri Student Union Information Desk, the Guerrieri Academic Commons Circulation Desk and in the Great Hall, according to a recent email from The President’s Office.
All SU residence halls will be closed during the holiday break, with students who have elected to remain on campus during Thanksgiving being moved into individual rooms in Dogwood Village or Sea Gull Square, per Vice President of Student Affairs Dane Foust.
Students, faculty and staff are advised to continue adhering to coronavirus prevention guidelines while away from campus, including frequent handwashing, social distancing, mask-wearing and avoiding large social gatherings.
Campus members are also advised to adhere to Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent tightening of coronavirus restrictions during the break.
The new state restrictions announced by the governor include a public health advisory strongly warning against any indoor gatherings of 25 people or more, a decreased indoor capacity for restaurants and bars from 75% back down to 50% and an expanded advisory for out-of-state travel, according to WBAL-TV.
Delaware and Virginia do not currently meet the positivity rate criteria to fall under the travel advisory.
SU is scheduled to continue offering its current combination of in-person, fully online and hybrid-formatted instruction after the holiday, beginning Monday, Nov. 30.
“[Remaining open] is a testament to your hard work and dedication in following these precautions, which have helped keep our COVID-19 positivity rates under one percent for much of the semester,” read the email.
SU President Charles Wight previously said the university does have contingency plans in place to convert into a fully online format if the risk becomes too great to welcome students back to campus after Thanksgiving.
For more information on SU’s monthly testing protocols or to view the latest university COVID-19 test results, visit https://www.salisbury.edu/coronavirus/testing-info.aspx.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of Ben Lausch.