The University will reopen in-person education on campus on Jan. 31 with new masking, isolation, and various other COVID-19 policies according to a Jan. 26 email from the President’s Office. The updated guidelines followed a previous announcement of the Jan. 31 in-person decision.
The move to in-person schooling comes as hospitalizations and positive COVID-19 tests decrease across the county and nationwide. UR is trying to shift most aspects of university life back to campus, with a modified hybrid model requiring professors to accommodate students in isolation or quarantine, but prioritizing masked, in-person learning.
Students were expected to return to campus within a four-day window starting Jan. 27 and ending on Jan. 30. The most recent announcement doubled the move-in window to four days, including Thursday and Friday, citing the storm that affected travel in the northeast on Jan. 29. Students unable to arrive within this timeframe have been instructed to “contact their academic dean to discuss their specific situation.”
Before the announcement, roughly 1,800 undergraduate students had received approval to return to campus early. These students will not receive a room and board refund while those who arrived within the standard move-in window will see a refund of “pro-rated room and dining charges” posted to their UR account.
Similar to previous guidance, prior to arrival, students are required to upload proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before arrival, or 24 hours for a rapid test. Students are also required to upload proof of a booster shot before Feb. 1, or 30 days after they become eligible to receive it.
Cloth face masks alone are no longer acceptable; anyone entering University buildings must wear either a surgical, N95, or KN95 mask. Cloth face masks are only permitted when paired with any of these. UR will make surgical masks available for students across campus to help meet the new requirements.
Required surveillance testing will be conducted for unvaccinated students and staff with exemptions on file. Rapid tests will also be made available to the student body. Daily Dr. ChatBot completion is no longer required for students. Instead, Dr. ChatBot should only be used to report COVID-19 symptoms to UHS. Isolation guidelines have been modified to match CDC and state guidance. The new policy is outlined here.
The full President’s Office update can be found here.