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Important Update on Dining, Podding, and Other Protocols

Dear all,

I am writing to share a memo that I sent to our students earlier today. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Betsy

***Start***

Dear Students,

I am writing to update you on our decision about podding and indoor dining. After the initial expected COVID-19 cases upon move-in, the number of students and employees with COVID-19 has stabilized. Given the very real need for social interaction to promote well-being, we will begin podding and indoor dining as of tomorrow, Thursday, February 25. Please see below for expectations and reminders.

Podding

We are ready to begin student podding! To form a pod, you submit the pod application using your Residence account. Please do not gather as a pod until the pod has been approved.

Pods may include up to six total students, and pods may include students who live in other dormitories or apartments as long as the entire room or apartment is within a single pod. Off-campus students are not permitted to join pods with on-campus students. Within a pod, students may remove masks and be within six feet of each other. If anyone in the pod tests positive for COVID-19, all others will most likely need to self-quarantine as close contacts.

Students may be asked to confirm members of their pods. This is an important safety measure for minimizing campus spread; please confirm the members of your pod if asked.

Dining

The second and third floors of Gordon Commons will be open for indoor dining beginning Thursday, February 25. Students must dine either alone or with members of your pod at the table, and occupancy will be set for 25% capacity at all times. To schedule a time to eat in Gordon Commons, use your Vassar app.

Filling out Symptom Reports every day on CoVerified

Please complete your symptom report using CoVerified every day. Faculty, administrators, and staff who work on campus also complete a daily health assessment, and this is an important part of our health and safety measures. Missing a daily symptom report will first result in email reminders. Multiple missed symptom reports may result in loss of eligibility to participate in activities with your pod and/or being referred to student conduct.

Indoor Activities

Informal gatherings in common spaces can continue with groups up to 10 students and must adhere to the posted room capacity and PPE requirements. If your pod is alone in a common space with the door closed, everyone in the pod may be unmasked. If anyone outside the pod enters the space, everyone must be masked.

Starting February 25, VSA Organizations and academic and administrative department in-person events may be registered via eSARC for student organizations and via EMS/Campus Activities for departments. Space capacities will be given at the time of confirmation.

Other expectations

Please abide by all COVID-19 room capacities, which are posted in each public room. Remember students may not eat indoors in any public room with other students, other than within the Gordon Commons where health and safety measures are in place. Indoor dining is a high-risk activity, and we want to minimize such risks.

All other expectations, such as not leaving campus except when running or biking within five miles, are still in place. We have received reports of students traveling off campus. This runs counter to the VassarTogether expectations and puts members of our community at risk. If this continues, we may require students with registered vehicles to turn in their keys to Safety and Security, or we may take other measures. Cars may only be used for approved and emergency situations.

We are at a critical juncture. The actions we take today will determine how successful we are in having a full, on-campus experience this semester. You have done a wonderful job to get the campus to where it is today, and I know we can continue this together.

Thank you again for your vigilance in keeping your friends and the whole community healthy and safe.