Updated guidelines ban in-person college vacation gatherings

The University Coronavirus Reboot Team (CURT) and university senior management have decided that for the safety and well-being of members of the University community and in an effort to prevent a wave of COVID-19 cases after the holidays, the university has organized or sponsored holiday gatherings among students, faculty or staff, whether on campus or off, are not expected to continue at this time .

The decision to ban these college-wide vacation gatherings was made based on the growing rate of COVID-19 cases locally and the ease of transmission of the virus – regardless of size or vaccination status group – when individuals eat, drink, and socialize together. The ban takes effect immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.

Students, faculty, and staff are urged to consider alternatives to in-person vacation meetings, such as virtual celebrations, until such time as we can meet again with less risk of transmission. This new directive does not apply to courses or events. such as campus sports competitions, theatrical performances, college meetings, or other activities that are not social gatherings or parties.

In October, University guidelines explained how holiday gatherings could be planned safely, but also noted that any party planning should be carefully considered given current concerns over COVID. This new guideline replaces what was released in October and aligns with a recent announcement from the medical center. CURT will revisit this issue periodically as infection rates change, with the intention of relaxing these constraints when it is safe to do so.

Sara H. Byrd