January 4, 2022
There is an energy building around campus as we prepare for the start of classes and your gradual return to campus. Fortunately, for those of you who don’t live locally, the heavy rain we experienced for a week or more, has subsided (admittedly, we needed the rain!), the blue skies are back, and the sun is too!
The purpose of today’s message is to make good on the commitment I made to you yesterday; to share the enhanced student protocols that we hope are temporary, and subject to review in about three weeks.
Here is the guiding principle that informed our decisions:
Close, indoor, and prolonged interactions with others creates the greatest risk of transmitting COVID-19 from one person to another. All members of our community must minimize their risk of exposure to avoid jeopardizing not just physical and emotional well-being, but also the educational experience of others. This means gatherings beyond U of R educational or co-curricular obligations, all of which are subject to COVID-19 protocols, must not and cannot happen. Making the short-sighted decision to do otherwise could not just lead to COVID-19 spread, but also the quarantining of everyone who is a close contact.
So what specifically does this mean to you as an undergraduate student? At least through January 21, it means the following:
Only enrolled students or University personnel are permitted inside residential communities.
Student organizations will pause indoor meetings/gatherings.
Indoor social gatherings of more than four people are not permitted (this applies to gatherings that occur on and off campus).
Large outdoor gatherings are only permitted if attendees maintain physical distance throughout the event. If any student organization wishes to host outdoor in-person gatherings, those must be approved by Student Involvement and Success, at least 72 hours in advance, and must include physical distancing of attendees throughout the event.
We are confident alignment with what is shared above will have a positive impact. Thank you in advance for your commitment to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Finally, I want to share an expectation for some, and an “ask” of others. I noted yesterday that CDC guidance has changed, and while San Bernardino County has not yet adopted this new guidance, we will fully adopt it at the start of the semester which means, as I noted yesterday: vaccinated, non-boosted, asymptomatic, close contacts will be required to quarantine. This is a significant shift from last semester (Thank you omicron variant!) as vaccinated, asymptomatic, close contacts, regardless of booster status, did not have to quarantine during the Fall semester. To effectively manage our quarantine and isolation (Q and I) bed inventory, we will expect students whose permanent address is within 80 miles of campus to quarantine and/or isolate at home, whenever possible, and will ask the same of others who reside at a distance greater than 80 miles, whenever possible. We know this is not ideal, but we also know that adding an entirely new category to those needing Q or I locations will likely put a strain on some of our campus resources; therefore, we are asking you to support this collaboration, and extend our thanks and appreciation in advance. Until tomorrow...
Be safe. Be well.
Donna M. Eddleman
University Dean of Student Affairs