I want to begin by expressing my deepest gratitude and appreciation to everyone for your commitment and dedication to making UVM safe and healthy for all members of our community. It has been great to see your participation in on-campus testing, practicing social distancing, and wearing facial coverings.

The following are important updates.

Quarantine, Isolation and Contact Tracing

First, a reminder. Isolation is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and quarantine is for those who have had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Students who test positive are immediately isolated. We work closely with students in insolation to explain exactly what is allowed and expected of them. I am extremely pleased that the few students who have needed to isolate have cooperated fully. Thank you! Most importantly, we are pleased to share that the students who have tested positive since the beginning of August have successfully completed their isolation requirements and all Catamunts are healthy and fully engaged in campus activities.

Some members of the campus community have asked to be notified if people they have interacted with test positive for COVID-19. However, a COVID-19 diagnosis is personal medical information that cannot be shared due to patient privacy legal protections. If, through contact tracing, public health officials determine you are considered a close contact of a person who has tested positive, you will be notified either by Student Health Services or the Vermont Department of Health and will be asked to quarantine.

Through contact tracing, several students were identified as close contacts of people who had tested positive. Based on the advice of our public health experts, no faculty or staff needed to be notified. These students have been successfully quarantined either on campus or off campus in their residence. I am pleased to report that most students have completed the quarantine period and have safely returned to campus life.

I urge everyone to be cautious about rumored outbreaks that are not based on fact. UVM’s testing results are posted every Thursday at 4 p.m. and will provide you with accurate information about positive test results. As of September 10, there has been a total of 15 positive cases in the UVM community since testing began more than a month ago on August 7. There have been no large outbreaks, and no significant positive clusters in any single campus location.

Campus Testing

Testing, along with personal hygiene, facial coverings, isolation and quarantining, and physical distancing, are key components of our strategy to succeed in keeping ourselves and our community healthy this semester.

As President Garimella announce earlier today, all students—undergraduate, graduate, medical, and non-degree students—are required to test every 7 days. Students can schedule their next test the same day they take a test. If, for some reason, students need to miss their next 7 day test, they can submit an extension request using this form. Students will be notified by email if the request is approved.

Last week we tested 10,300 students, faculty and staff. That’s an average of 2,575 each day. We have made the process as efficient as possible and minimized wait times. Thank you for meeting your testing responsibilities. We are currently working through compliance issues and notifying those not in compliance of the clear expectations and consequences, which include fines and other sanctions, including suspension.

All community members who are being tested should bring their CATcard or their smart phone with the CATcard mobile app installed. We ask everyone to use the touchless CATcard swipe at the testing center to help track who is testing.

The turn-around time for test results is typically well under 24 hours from the time the Broad Institute lab receives UVM’s samples. This is typically around 2 a.m. the day after your test, not 24 hours from the time you test.

If your normal testing day is Friday, and you are unable to make your Friday test, you should plan to test on Thursday of the same week. Waiting until the following Monday will result in a flag for non-compliance and potential discipline since the period between tests would exceed 7 days.

The Co-Verified app is working well. Please be sure to download the app. If you do not have a smart phone you can set up an account on the web-based Co-Verified platform. It is easy to schedule your tests using the app. Faculty and staff should use the app for scheduling routine tests. All negative results are communicated using the app. Please note that we are currently not using the contact tracing feature on the app; contact tracing happens in partnership with Student Health Services and the Vermont Department of Health.) Check out the attached helpful guide for using the app.

Daily Health Screening

All students—undergraduate, graduate, medical and non-degree students—are required to complete their daily health screening using the Co-Verified app. Use the report feature on the lower left side of the Co-Verified app home screen to complete this requirement. Only affirm symptoms that you have experienced that cannot be attributed to a pre-existing condition or other known cause.

Faculty and staff will need to report symptoms on the Co-Verified app to clear the restricted status in order to allow you to schedule testing. We hope to remove this requirement, but this may not be possible in the near term. In addition, faculty and staff still need to complete the complete the daily health screening.

Study/Dining Locations

We have recently opened several “open” locations for dining and studying, with more to come. All locations have UVM internet access and we are in the process of installing charging stations. All tents are heated. The tents are available for events and programs by contacting University Event Services:

·  Phone (802-656-5665) or

·  Email (eventservices@uvm.edu)

The following are locations and times:

Multipurpose Center/Indoor Tennis Court

Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (study space only, no food allowed)

 

Davis Center Green Tent

Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

Saturday & Sunday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. - Open or Scheduled Event

 

University Heights Oval Tent

Monday - Thursday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

Friday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

Saturday & Sunday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. - Open or Scheduled Event

 

Fleming Green Tent

Monday - Thursday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

Friday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Open for Dining

2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

Saturday & Sunday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

Trinity Campus and Redstone Green Tent (coming in early October)

Monday - Sunday

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Open or Scheduled Event

 

On behalf of UVM Strong, I again want to express my appreciation for the great efforts on the part of all members of the UVM community. Together, we can work to minimize the impact of the virus on our campus and make this year successful and safe.

PUBLISHED

09-16-2020
Gary Derr, UVM Strong Advisory Committee Chair