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Jan. 27, 2021 – Undergraduate student Return to Campus Update

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

Welcome back to campus! As we begin another semester, we want to keep you informed of important changes, new offerings and other information to help you have a successful spring. 

Important reminders about the Commodores Care period  

You received an email from the dean of students on Saturday alerting you to a cluster outbreak of COVID-19 cases due to students not following the arrival shelter-in-place rules. The most important things to remember between now and Feb. 3 include: 

  • Through Feb. 3, all university programming (other than what is outlined below) and student organization activities must be virtual.  
  • Student interactions must also be virtual during this timeframe.  
  • You must not participate in gatherings or engage in in-person social interactions. 
  • During this time,  you CAN: 
    • leave your residences to attend in-person classes; 
    • pick up to-go food or supplies; 
    • seek medical attention; and 
    • engage in outdoor activities that do not involve close contact, such as walking, hiking or running. 
    • You are always required to follow safety protocols, including wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance. Some other important things to remember include:
    • The only time you should remove a mask around another person is when you are at least 6 feet apart while eating. During times you are not actively eating during a meal, you should put your mask back on. 
    • You shouldn’t gather in residence hall lounges during the Commodores Care period. 
    • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not go to the Testing Center. You should go to Student Health for symptomatic testing. 

Lessons learned from the fall semester  

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

Twice-weekly testing for undergraduate students launches Sunday 

Twice-weekly testing for undergraduate students begins Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Testing Center. More information about testing protocols can be found on the Return to Campus website. 

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 update the dashboard on Wednesdays throughout the semester, with each week’s numbers spanning from Sunday to Saturday of the previous week.  

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: Postdoc Return to Campus Update
Jan. 27: Faculty Return to Campus Update
Jan. 27: Staff Return to Campus Update

-The Return to Campus Team