Associate News Editor
On Thursday, Dec. 30, the university announced that all students, faculty and staff who will be on campus during winter session are required to test for COVID-19 at a university testing site for the first week of January. In addition, the majority of winter session classes will shift to an online format for the first week.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic almost two years ago, the University of Delaware has prioritized the health and safety of the University community,” an email sent by the university stated. “As the highly transmissible Omicron variant surges across the nation and COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations are soaring to unprecedented, record levels, we consulted with medical and public health experts on how to best address the emerging situation.”
All members of the university community who are accessing any university facility at any time during winter session, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to complete surveillance testing at university testing sites during the week of Jan. 3, 2022. From Jan. 3 through Jan. 6, surveillance testing will be available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Harker ISE Lab and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pencader Hall.
Those unable to test at Harker or Pencader may schedule a testing appointment at the Student Health Services Annex, Monday through Wednesday, Jan. 3-5. Students, faculty and staff at the Wilmington, Georgetown, Dover or Lewes campus locations may schedule a test at the sites noted above or submit results from a community PCR test or home PCR test to the university’s Health Portal during the week of Jan. 3.
University students, faculty and staff are exempt from the testing requirement if they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 30 days and have submitted positive test results to the Health Portal.
All winter session classes commenced on Jan. 3, as scheduled. At the conclusion of the first week of classes, the situation on campus will be re-evaluated with the intention to revert to in-person learning as soon as it is determined safe to do so. Although classes will be virtual during the first week of January, residence halls reopened for winter session on Sunday, Jan. 2.
In addition, Dining Services will move to a grab-and-go only model in the Pencader and Russell dining halls, as well as in the dining areas in the Perkins Student Center and the Trabant University Center. All students, faculty and staff will continue to be required to wear masks in all settings, including research laboratories. All additional measures are effective immediately.
“It is essential that every member of the UD community remain vigilant against COVID-19 by taking the necessary steps to mitigate its spread,” the email stated. “In the coming week, the University will continue to closely monitor the situation on campus, as well as any new recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal and state officials and other experts.”
While the previously announced deadline is Jan. 24, the university also encouraged everyone without an existing COVID-19 vaccine exemption, including all faculty and staff, to get the booster as soon as possible.