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Jan. 27, 2021 – Faculty Return to Campus Update

Posted by on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 in Community Messages.

As we begin another semester, we want to share the most relevant and recent updates with you to keep you informed of important changes, new offerings and other information to help you have a successful spring. 

Lessons learned from the fall semester  

In her Open Dore newsletter, Provost Wente shared lessons learned from the fall semester that we will carry forward as a community into the spring. 

Optional faculty testing program

Faculty can test up to once per week at the drive-thru testing center at the David Williams III Recreation and Wellness Center. More information about the optional faculty testing program, including how to sign up, is available on the Return to Campus website. 

Faculty who have symptoms related to COVID-19, have received a positive COVID-19 test result outside the VUMC system, or have been officially notified that they are a close contact to a COVID-19 positive person, should call Occupational Health at 615-936-0955 to receive guidance for their symptoms, possible testing, isolation/quarantine period and return to campus criteria. Those with symptoms should not go to the drive-thru testing center. 

COVID-19 public dashboard to launch for spring on Feb. 3   

We will launch the COVID-19 public dashboard on Wednesday, Feb. 3, with an update on the results of our arrival testing program, which ends on Jan. 28. We will continue to update the dashboard Wednesdays throughout the semester, with each week’s numbers spanning from Sunday to Saturday of the previous week.  

Cluster of positive cases among undergraduate students  

Undergraduate students received an email from the dean of students on Saturday alerting them of a cluster outbreak of COVID-19 cases due to undergraduate students not following the arrival shelter-in-place rules. The message reiterated the importance of following campus protocols at all times, but especially during the Commodores Care period. 

New outdoor tents to open for the spring semester  

In response to student and faculty feedback, the three large tents on campus have been replaced with five tents that are smaller in size, heated and lighted with several electrical outlets and Wi-Fi access.  

  • The new tents also include spaces specifically designated for nondining purposes, with a number of layouts available that are compliant with campus physical distancing requirements. 
  • Outdoor tents opened at half capacity on Jan. 25. We anticipate tents will open at full capacity beginning Thursday, Feb. 4.  
  • While the reservation system opened Jan. 25, the earliest available reservations will begin on Feb. 4.  

More information can be found on the Return to Campus website. 

WATCH: Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines  

Ask an Expert: Why is it still important to follow COVID-19 safety protocols after receiving the vaccine? 

Vanderbilt University Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Professor of Medicine Donald W. Brady discussed the importance of continuing to follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols even after receiving the vaccine during the Spring Return to Campus Town Hall on Jan. 13, 2021.  

Ask an Expert: How can you spot misinformation about COVID vaccines?  

Vanderbilt University Assistant Professor of Psychology Lisa Fazio discusses how to distinguish between valid and false information about the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Other News and Updates 

Jan. 23: Cluster outbreak due to shelter-in-place violation message to undergraduate students
Jan. 25: Shaping the outcome of this semester message to students
Jan. 27: Graduate and professional student Return to Campus Update
Jan. 27: Undergraduate Return to Campus Update
Jan. 27: Postdoc Return to Campus Update
Jan. 27: Staff Return to Campus Update

-The Return to Campus Team