University announces exit testing plans, asks for cooperation
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, November 5, 2020
The University announced its plans for end of semester exit testing as COVID cases continue to rise in the campus community and beyond, in a Thursday email to students.
Students may schedule an appointment between Nov. 9 and 21, or will be subject to mandatory surveillance testing during an assigned two-day window.
Students are exempt from the process if they tested positive within the last three months, are in quarantine or isolation when they receive a surveillance testing notification, are tested as a student athlete or have approval for remote study, the email said.
Forty-four new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, and 36 positive tests were reported yesterday. The seven-day moving average is 22.6 cases, and there are an estimated 189 active cases.
University President Fr. John Jenkins addressed the rise of cases across the community in a video message.
“The most effective steps, however, will come not from us in the administration, but from you and every individual in our campus community,“ he said.
Effective Friday, indoor dining will be discontinued at North and South Dining Halls. Indoor dining at LaFortune Student Center, Duncan Student Center and other campus buildings is still prohibited. University leaders cited contact tracing efforts in the making of this decision.
“Contact tracing continues to reveal that dining is one of the highest risk activities for transmission, especially when meals are shared indoors,” the email said.
Vice president of student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding and vice president for campus safety and University operations Mike Seamon, who signed off the email, also urged students to avoid dining and drinking indoors at restaurants and bars.
In light of the upcoming football game against Clemson, Hoffmann Harding and Seamon urged students to adhere to the University’s informal gathering policy of 10 people or less outdoors.
“Failing to adhere to these health precautions — even for a short time and in a seemingly safe environment — can spread the virus,” Jenkins said. “We have come so far [this semester] but we must not let our guard down.”