October 9: COVID-19 Reminders for End-of-Semester Transition

TO: Students and Parents
FROM: Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost
RE: COVID-19 Reminders for End-of-Semester Transition
DATE: October 9, 2020 at 12 P.M.

What You Need To Know:

  • Instruction will shift to virtual modalities after Thanksgiving for the remainder of the semester.
  • Students are highly encouraged to remain home during this time.
  • Consider the many mitigation measures available to minimize your risk of COVID-19 transmission before you move home.
  • Free, asymptomatic testing is available through the City of Philadelphia.

As we approach the first holiday season within a COVID-19 environment, each person and family will need to evaluate their individual circumstances and define their own approach to managing the risk of COVID-19 while celebrating with family and friends. Uniquely, some students must do so with the added complexity of temporarily moving home. This is part of our society’s continued process of adapting long-term to a new way of life.
 
Pre-Thanksgiving Guidance
If you are moving home at Thanksgiving, start planning now for your transition. Consider enhanced mitigation strategies beyond current guidelines, especially if you are returning to a household that includes someone with higher risk of severe illness.

  • Remember health guidance: wash your hands, monitor for symptoms, clean and disinfect.
  • Limit time spent with others and errands to the essentials (attending class, grab-and-go meal pick up, medical care, etc.)
  • Wear a mask whenever in the presence of others for 14 days prior to your move home to avoid contracting coronavirus.
  • Wear a mask whenever you are in the presence of others for the first 14 days you are at home to avoid transmitting coronavirus to your household.

Testing Guidance
While testing can only provide information for a snapshot in time, you may choose to use it to supplement your transition plan. The University will continue to offer testing for students experiencing symptoms and require testing as part of the surveillance program. If you would like to be tested, many off-campus sites offer rapid testing for a fee. Free COVID-19 testing, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, is available through the City of Philadelphia.
 
Guidance for Student Workers
Work-study students are encouraged to plan ahead and speak with their supervisors about projects that can be completed virtually for the last two weeks of the semester, if you are unable to commute to campus. If virtual projects are unavailable, work-study arrangements and compensation will end with the student’s on-campus availability, according to usual operating standards. Remember that work-study funding is awarded on an annual basis; students are not required to use half of their award in the first semester.
 
In Closing
Please consider your health, your family members, your friends, and our entire community when deciding whether to take additional precautions during your transition home and return to campus. Further instructions for the return to campus will be provided closer to the start of the spring semester.
 
Your St. Joe’s community is wishing you a successful end to the semester, a restful break and joyful holiday season.