August 21, 2020
As we wrap up the first week of classes, I wanted to provide you with some reminders and updates. First, I want to thank all of you who are doing your part to promote a safe and healthy campus. Your commitment to the community and to your classmates has not gone unnoticed. While we still have room for improvement, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how much I appreciate those of you who are stepping up in major ways. Thank you!
One area where there seems to be a lot of confusion is around self-isolation and quarantine. Hopefully these guidelines will help to clarify campus protocols:
- Self-isolation: If you test positive, you must self-isolate. Self-isolation can end 10 days after the first positive test if the individual has been symptom free without medication for 24 hours.
- Quarantine: A close contact will be asked to quarantine for 14 days and to monitor symptoms. Testing will not allow for an earlier release and is not currently recommended in these situations. However, if testing is conducted for a quarantined close contact, it cannot be done less than 5 days after exposure. A negative test during quarantine does not change or reduce the quarantine period, and you can still spread COVD-19 even if you have a negative test during the quarantine period.
Non-compliance with quarantine and isolation will have serious consequences, including suspension.
As we approach the first weekend of the new semester, I’d like to remind you each of the following health safety requirements:
- Wear your masks off-campus – people are watching. I have been inundated with reports of students, often walking in groups, not wearing masks. Wearing a mask is one of the easiest and most important ways to prevent the spread of this disease.
- Do not host parties and do not attend large gatherings. We have already had to suspend students because of their decisions to host gatherings of over 15 people. You have likely seen colleges across the country forced to reverse their opening decisions. In most cases, this can be tracked directly to an off-campus student party/super-spreader event.
- We have received many reports about students gathering at the Fly (with no masks, no social distancing). Many of these reports are accompanied by photos from social media supporting these accusations. I respect your desire to gather – and the Fly is a great place to do so – but you cannot do this in large groups, and you must wear masks and, where possible, be socially distanced.
- Please wear your masks properly. You have to cover your mouth and nose. Your peers shouldn’t have to remind you and, trust me, people notice when you aren’t wearing yours properly.
- If someone asks you to wear or fix your mask, you are expected to comply immediately. Reports of non-compliance, and especially inappropriate responses toward the person making the request, won’t be tolerated.
- I have been asked by a number of students about the need to wear masks in off-campus residences with close contacts (roommates, significant others). If you have created a family-type “pod” with a small group in your residence, masks are not required – however, we urge strong caution in these cases. If individuals in the pod are not exercising proper masking and distancing outside of your residence, this compromises the health of all in the residence.
We know that some of you think we are doing too much and being too harsh, while others think we aren’t doing enough. What I want you to know is that we are working very hard to find the balance so that we can continue to deliver an in-person education at Tulane. We know that this will take the full commitment of each individual in our community. Please make good decisions that consider the health and well-being of everyone in our community this weekend.
Dean of Students