The Collegian
Friday, December 02, 2022

A guide for UR's updated COVID-19 protocols

<p>A vile of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.</p>

A vile of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

As spring break draws to a close — along with the most recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Richmond — the University of Richmond is relaxing most of its COVID-19 regulations. With only two current active cases of COVID-19 as of March 10, UR continues to operate within the Lime Stage of the Physical Distancing Framework. Here are the guidelines for the remainder of the spring semester:

Testing

UR plans to maintain its on-campus COVID-19 testing clinic for the remainder of the semester and will continue to provide self-test kits to students, faculty and staff members at no cost, according to an email sent to the campus community on March 11 by Steve Bisese, vice president for student development. 

Now, any student staff or faculty member who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, or is concerned about being a close contact to someone who tested positive, may obtain a free self-test kit, according to the email. Self-test kits can be picked up at the following locations:

  • The Special Programs Building, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m
  • Center for Student Involvement desk, located in Tyler Haynes Commons, Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. - 10 p.m

Anyone identified as a close contact will be notified and given instructions on how and when to get tested, according to the email.

Masks

Effective Feb. 21, masking is no longer required in all campus buildings, according to an email to the campus community sent out on Feb. 16. Faculty or staff members teaching on campus may require students to wear masks in their classrooms but must notify students in advance. Students are then required to comply, according to the campus mask policy website.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 must wear a mask until they receive a negative test or go into isolation for a positive test, according to the website. Those who test positive for COVID-19 and are released from isolation before the full 10-day isolation period must wear a surgical, KN95 or N95 mask for 10 full days. Close contacts must also wear a mask for 10 full days after notification of their exposure.

Masks are still required in the Student Health Center, on-campus testing clinic and Sports Medicine, according to the website. UR may also require universal mask wearing in work areas where it is deemed necessary to promote the health of employees.

Isolation and Quarantine

Students, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for five days after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result or after the onset of symptoms, according to UR’s isolation and quarantine protocol website. Students will be required to take a self-test on day five of isolation. 

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Release from isolation may be granted on day six if the following conditions are met:

  • Negative self-test taken on day five
  • No fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine; and
  • Other symptoms resolved or resolving

Students released on day six must wear a mask for five days after being released, according to the website. The mask should be an N95, KN95 or surgical mask and not a cloth mask.

Close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to get tested after being notified, according to the website. On days three to five of being notified, close contacts will also be required to go through testing. Depending on when the person was vaccinated, close contacts will be required to get tested, wear a mask for 10 days and monitor their symptoms.

If space is available and time permits, residential students will be moved to on-campus quarantine space for five full days, according to the website. If space is not available, residential students may quarantine in their on-campus residence and get grab-and-go meals from dining services. These students must wear an N95, KN95 or surgical mask at all times during the quarantine period.

Vaccines and Boosters

At the start of the spring semester, UR announced that it would continue to require vaccines for students, faculty and staff, according to an email sent to the campus community on Jan. 3. Exemptions may also be granted — including those on the basis of “personal convictions,” according to the vaccine requirement and reporting website.

UR is strongly encouraging booster shots for those who are vaccinated, according to the website. Those who got the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine five months ago and those who got Johnson and Johnson vaccine two months ago are eligible for the booster

Undergraduate and law students who have received a booster are required to upload a copy of their vaccination card to the health center’s portal.

To find COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, visit vaccines.gov.

Monitoring Symptoms

The warmer weather is a sign of spring, but it can also bring seasonal allergies and other illnesses, Bisese wrote in the March 11 email. He urged those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested before returning to classes.

“Symptoms of COVID-19 can be very similar to symptoms of allergies or other illnesses,” Bisese wrote. “Please carefully monitor your symptoms and err on the side of caution if you are not feeling well, especially following the ten days after the return to campus from spring break travel.”

Contact copy editor Madyson Fitzgerald at madyson.fitzgerald@richmond.edu.

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