Guidance for Returning to Your Off-Campus Residence in January

Margaret Hazlett margaret.hazlett@fandm.edu

Fri, Dec 18, 11:20 AM

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to your return to your off-campus residence in College Row, College Hill or James Street Property for the start of spring term. We want to make sure you are aware of current conditions in Lancaster and expectations for your own health and safety. This is a continuously changing environment, and, as we did in the fall, we will have to adapt as necessary throughout the months ahead.

As you know, the rate of COVID-19 infection has increased dramatically over the last month, both across the country and specifically in Lancaster. All measures indicate that this trend will continue through the start of the new year. With that in mind, we strongly encourage students NOT to return to Lancaster until F&M starts testing during the last week of January in time for the start of the spring semester.  Between now and the start of spring term, F&M will continue to monitor national, state, and local directives, and will communicate all relevant guidance to the F&M community.

If you have a particular need to come back to Lancaster prior to the end of January, here are some guidelines for your return:

  • Before returning to campus, please quarantine if you can and monitor your symptoms daily per CDC guidance. If you return to Lancaster prior to the College’s entry testing regimen, please get tested within 72 hours of your return if at all possible. 
  • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health issues regular updates to their COVID-19 mitigation orders, including travel guidance for those returning to Lancaster from anywhere outside of Pennsylvania. Students are expected to comply with all Pennsylvania or applicable orders and travel as directly as possible to campus while exercising all appropriate precautions en route.
  • Lancaster has seen significant increases in COVID-19 cases since the beginning  of November. We urge you to follow all protocols for staying safe and healthy during and after you move in. Those protocols include the following:
    • Mask up per Pennsylvania’s strengthened masking order, and all college directives.
    • Keep your distance (minimum 6-foot distance from others, both indoors and outdoors).
    • Don’t host gatherings in your room or apartment. Non-residents are not allowed in the building.
    • Limit your interactions off-campus. The Governor’s orders have severely restricted the operation of restaurants, bars, and all social gatherings. 
    • Make sure you participate in regular COVID-19 testing. You are required to come for testing as scheduled. (We will inform everyone about testing dates closer to the beginning of spring term.)
    • Cooperate with contact tracing when asked.
    • Monitor your symptoms and contact the SWC if you experience any symptoms.
    • Be a Diplomat – help your peers remember the guidelines.
  • Testing will not be available on campus until the last week of January.  If you are experiencing symptoms, please follow the College’s protocol for students who think they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, COVID-19. Additional information will be sent to those living in College-approved off-campus housing regarding the College’s re-entry and ongoing testing.  
  • All students in College-approved housing are required to comply with the obligations listed in the F&M Pledge, including during the winter break. Students found in violation of our campus standards, as outlined in the F&M Pledge and the Student Code, will face sanctions that could include removal from College-owned or College-approved housing, suspension, or other appropriate measures.

We want you to be successful, and to enjoy your term! If you have any questions, we will do our best to respond so that you feel confident about your ability to meet all expectations. We are all in this together! Please commit to taking these important measures to help keep us all safe.  

Enjoy the holidays and have a restful break!  

–Dean Hazlett

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