Winter Break and COVID-19: Protect Yourself, Your Family, and the Nest

Posted November 11, 2020, 9:57AM

Dear Eagles,   

 As we wind down the fall 2020 semester, we hope each of you has had great experiences despite the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. We recognize this semester has been a new endeavor for many of us as we face unprecedented challenges and learn to adapt to a virus that has disrupted many parts of our lives.   

As we go into winter break, the holidays present a unique set of challenges due to COVID-19. Whether due to increased travel, in-person festivities, or weather changes, many of us may be at increased risk of coronavirus spread and serious complications.   

All Eagles should recognize the high risk of infection posed by travel and take necessary steps to reduce your risk. We strongly encourage you to limit travel to what is deemed necessary during this time to protect yourself and others. Many individuals infected with COVID-19 may not have any noticeable symptoms but can still spread the virus to others who may develop severe symptoms.   

If you plan to travel this break, we implore each of you to sign up for free COVID-19 testing through Student Health before you depart, especially if you plan to travel to family or friends who are part of the vulnerable populations. We strongly encourage you to get tested and receive a negative result no more than 72 hours before your departure. Per CDC guidelines, the following individuals should be tested for COVID-19 regardless of if they are showing symptoms:   

  • People who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age or people of any age with underlying health conditions)  
  • People who come from historically marginalized populations  
  • Health care workers or first responders (such as EMS, law enforcement, fire department, or military personnel)   
  • Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is challenging to maintain   
  • People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings at which they could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could expose others

You can sign up for free testing by appointment with Student Health using the Medicat link on myEOL.   

COVID-19 has reached an all-time high nationally, with just 104,000 cases reported on November 8. The United States leads the world in infections, with over 10 million confirmed cases. Please continue to practice safety measures, including avoiding large gatherings, wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, washing your hands to protect our Eagle family, and ensuring our spring semester runs as smoothly as this fall.   

We are grateful for the steadfast efforts of each of you to stay safe despite these challenging times. This pandemic has required us to act in ways that are not conducive to the typical Eagle family atmosphere. While the upcoming holidays will bring us each some much-needed rest, we recognize that many of us will not be able to spend the holidays with loved ones in traditional spaces or ways. Despite the difficulty of our current circumstance, the Eagle family has shown extraordinary resilience this year. Without a doubt, we know that the Eagle family will continue to display resiliency and care for each of our members.  

We hope you each enjoy the upcoming holidays and remember that our collective actions will impact our entire community's health and well-being upon return this January.  

Thank you for your continued commitment to protecting the Nest.   

In Truth and Service,   

The Division of Student Affairs  

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