As a community, Shenandoah has worked hard to stay safe all semester so we can continue with in-person operations. We face another challenge as many of us prepare to travel for Thanksgiving. Now is the time to make plans and take action to reduce the chances of getting infected or infecting family members and friends, and to help keep the Shenandoah community safe.
Start Laying Low
While no one is being asked to quarantine before leaving or returning to campus, it’s advisable to lay low and limit social interactions in size and duration (risks increase with the number of people and the length of the gathering).
- Avoid parties, large gatherings, and eating in large groups
- Wear a mask at all times, stay at least 6 feet apart, and wash your hands frequently
- Engage in outdoor activities whenever possible
- When indoors, open windows or ensure there is good air circulation
Getting Tested Before And After Break
Regular surveillance testing of the Shenandoah University community will help to identify people with COVID-19 early and isolate them so they can better care for themselves and protect others. Shenandoah is offering COVID-19 surveillance testing to students the week of Nov. 16-20 prior to returning home for Thanksgiving break. This testing will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to request a COVID-19 test, please complete the SU COVID-19 Test Student Request Form by Nov. 12, no later than noon. We will begin a waitlist should we reach testing capacity. Any presumptive positives found will be referred for diagnostic testing.
The university is also making plans to test residential students upon their return to campus and will continue with surveillance testing of the Shenandoah community during the week of Nov. 30 through Dec. 4. Residential students will soon receive additional information regarding the plan to do a required COVID-19 test on campus immediately upon their return from Thanksgiving break. Commuter students will also have the opportunity to obtain a test.
As a reminder, getting a negative COVID-19 test result does not ensure you don’t have the virus. The incubation period for COVID-19 can extend as long as 14 days after exposure and many positive cases are asymptomatic. You can also become exposed soon after your test. So please remain safe and cautious.
Thanksgiving Break Reminders
The university is providing a number of options for the upcoming weeks so that students and families can make their own decisions about how to handle the holidays:
- Residential students may stay on campus for the Thanksgiving break, but they must go through the process outlined by Residence Life
- Students will have the choice of returning to campus after Thanksgiving break, or completing the semester online via ShenFlex
- If residential students choose not to return after Thanksgiving break, they must contact firstname.lastname@example.org; they do not have to completely move out if they plan to return in the spring but should take all belongings they might need over the break
- Just as refunds are not provided when a student takes a long weekend away, departs in the middle of finals week or is gone over break, the university will not provide refunds for housing or meal plans if students choose not to return to campus after Thanksgiving break as the university is still open and in session
- Please remember to make good decisions over break — you have done a great job this semester! Help your friends and family at home to understand the importance of masks and social distancing.