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Fall 2021 Update for Aug. 25

Information on mask requirements, vaccination guidelines, testing, research protocols and more

 

Editor's note: Aug. 28, 2021--The walk-up testing and vaccination event scheduled on Aug. 28 at  Conover Apartments, 79 Amstel Ave., has been canceled. Those who preregistered have been notified.

Stay informed about recent decisions and guidelines by visiting www.udel.edu/coronavirus. This comprehensive site highlights the latest information about UD’s response, as well as frequently asked questions and a data dashboard on the current campus statistics. Have a specific question? Check the FAQs, which are updated regularly as questions come in to coronavirus@udel.edu.

This week at UD: Fall move-in is underway with early check-in happening today, Aug. 25, until 7 p.m. First-year move-in is scheduled from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Aug. 26-27, with upper division move-in set from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28. Expect extra activity and traffic near campus residence halls, as well as the Trabant and Perkins garages. Courtney Street will temporarily be closed to westbound traffic between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m on Aug. 26-27 to accommodate students moving into Harrington Hall. 1743 Welcome Days, beginning Aug. 27, will provide a variety of engaging ways for students to kick off the new academic year. This year, 1743 Welcome Days are open to both first-year students and returning students, with special activities for sophomores scheduled on Sunday, Aug. 29, dubbed Sophomore Sunday. On Monday, Aug. 30, the annual Twilight Induction ceremony for new students will be held at dusk on the north side of Memorial Hall. Fall classes begin on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Mask requirement: In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University announced Aug. 6 that masks are now required in all University indoor facilities, with limited exceptions, whether individuals are vaccinated or not.

Campus operations: As the semester begins, the ever-changing status of the coronavirus and the effects of the Delta variant demand that the University remain flexible and responsive. Currently, the University is returning to many campus-based operations, while some units continue to operate in remote or hybrid modes. Most faculty, academic support and student services, athletics and student life personnel have returned to campus, and leaders of administrative areas are working with Human Resources to implement plans for staged returns to campus, as well as hybrid plans for their respective teams. As these plans are finalized, supervisors will be providing employees with advance notice of any changes in their work protocols.

Building access: Over the past year, the UD Police Department (UDPD) has been assessing access to campus buildings to maximize the safety and security of the UD community. As part of a campus operations pilot project beginning with the fall semester, only select doors and ADA-approved entryways will be unlocked for most buildings on the campuses in Newark and Lewes. Most buildings will have multiple entry points. UDPD is working closely with building managers to identify the appropriate doors or sets of doors that will be open for standard business hours during the week. Every exterior door will have signage clearly indicating the doors that are open to that building. Individuals will still be able to exit buildings through any door. For questions and/or to assure access for special events, email buildingaccess-udpd@udel.edu or call 831-4154.

Don’t forget to check in: All members of the UD community must continue to complete the daily health screening at covidcheck.udel.edueach day that they are on campus.

Vaccination guidelines for students: All students are required to get a COVID-19 vaccination or request an exemption if there are medical or religious reasons that prevent vaccination. Students’ vaccination cards or exemption documentation must be submitted to Student Health Services. Detailed instructions to submit these items are at the top of udel.edu/studenthealth. Any students still out of compliance with this requirement on Sept. 14 will receive a hold on their academic account and have a notation added to their student record. This will prevent them from adjusting their schedules, registering for classes and engaging in other University opportunities. Students out of compliance are also being referred to the Office of Student Conduct and will face disciplinary sanctions.

Vaccination guidelines for faculty and staff:All UD employees accessing University facilities are required either to provide proof that they have been fully immunized against COVID-19 or continue to comply with weekly testing protocols. Those who are vaccinated must submit documentation through the UD Human Resources online portal.

Vaccination events on campus: A vaccination clinic for members of the UD community will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27, in Clayton Hall. The FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine will be used. All members of the campus community are welcome. Advance registration should be completed at https://mhealthsystem.com/udel-clayton.

In addition, the state will conduct two combination COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays, Aug. 28 and Sept. 4. Both events will be held at the Conover Apartments parking lot #16, at 97 Amstel Ave. Walk-ups are welcome at both. Parking is available at metered parking spaces on Amstel Avenue or at the Center for the Arts parking garage. To find additional vaccination locations, visit the state of Delaware vaccination site.

Research operations: Effective Aug. 18, only international research travel requests require Research Office approval using this application form. Domestic research travel continues to be permissible — Research Office approval is no longer required. However, given the increased incidence of COVID-19, UD employees and students are strongly encouraged to participate virtually in research activities/conferences, whether domestic or international, and postpone research travel whenever possible.

Virtual research town halls will be held once a month through fall semester—from 1–2 p.m. on Mondays, on these dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 13. Please register to attend. The town halls are being recorded and are archived on this webpage. Contact UDResearch@udel.edu with your research-related questions.

Ready for return: For the past several months, UD Facilities staff members have been working diligently to ensure that all campus buildings are safe and prepared. Water systems in buildings have been flushed and tested and are now ready for occupancy. HVAC systems have been inspected to ensure that they meet or exceed recommended CDC guidelines. Airflow in HVAC systems is optimized based on the age of the systems in the respective buildings. The Preventive Maintenance Program also has been optimized to conduct routine filter changes. For more details, check the Coronavirus FAQs about Health and Safety and Working at UD.

On-campus testing: Surveillance testing will resume for the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 30, with testing offered at two campus locations, Mondays through Thursdays. Testing will be available from 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at Harker ISE Lab (register at https://udel.edu/book/harker-ise-lab) and from 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m. at 115 Pencader Dining Hall (register at https://udel.edu/book/universityofdelaware600). Individuals must have an appointment; no walk-ups are permitted. All unvaccinated students, faculty and staff who are regularly accessing campus facilities must be tested weekly.

Community testing options: University faculty, staff and students may take advantage of the state of Delaware Curative testing options that are available both on-campus and in close proximity to campus. Free community-based testing is available through the state at two sites on the Newark campus: at 97 Amstel Ave., Lot #16, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., every Tuesday, and at Lot #6 on the Laird Campus, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., every Friday. Individuals may register for testing at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/.

In addition, the state now offers free, take-home rapid test kits in most public library locations in Delaware. Go to your nearest public library to obtain a free kit; a library card is not needed to receive a kit. In addition, the state offers free, take-home tests via mail. Individuals can request a free kit and obtain more information at the state’s COVID-19 response website.

For those needing assistance: Wellbeing services and support are available for all students and starting this fall will be operating out of the new ‘neighborhood of wellbeing’ on the South Green between Laurel Hall and the new Wellbeing Center at Warner Hall. All services are available by appointment, and many telehealth options remain available. Resources specifically for substance use and recovery assistance are also available, and individuals experiencing any concerns are encouraged to contact the UD Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC). Students also have access to 24/7 mental health and victim support on the UD Helpline at 302-831-1001, and to 24/7 medical advice on CareNet at 800-681-3957.

The Employee Assistance Program is now provided through ComPsych GuidanceResources. This is a free program available for State of Delaware Group Health Plan non-Medicare members and their dependents. As part of ComPsych’s commitment, EAP services are available through the end of the national COVID-19 public health emergency to all state of Delaware employees, including temporary, casual seasonal and benefit eligible employees who are not currently enrolled in a state of Delaware Highmark Delaware or Aetna health plan. In addition, Employee Health and Wellbeing has a variety of resources available to assist employees.

Questions? Send an email to coronavirus@udel.edu.

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