Thanksgiving testing, Thanksgiving meal updates

Chancellor Andy Leavitt | November 17, 2020

 

Dear University community, 

We know this is a time of year many of you would like to travel home to be with your family. The chance to reunite and share a meal with loved ones is a comfort. This year we crave that comfort even more. It’s a bright moment in bleak times. 

This week, my family connected, and we made the hard decision not to gather for Thanksgiving. I’m sad, but I’m also grateful to know my children and grandchildren will be safe where they are. It’s in this spirit of care that we encourage you to also carefully weigh your Thanksgiving decisions. I’m sorry that my previous emails on this topic may have felt cold when it’s compassion that motivates us. Traveling and getting together in small groups, particularly with people you have not been with in a while, are common ways COVID-19 is spreading through our communities. If you can stay on campus or in town, please consider staying. I know it’s no substitute for that feeling of family togetherness. 

Testing 

As noted last week, we are asking all students who are leaving campus for the Thanksgiving break to sign up for a COVID-19 test at Albee Hall before you leave and upon your return. One change: The reentry tests do not need to be completed before returning to face-to-face classes. 

Faculty and staff who travel over the holiday should receive one negative test when returning to teaching or working on campus. We have clarified our understanding of UW System policy: This test DOES NOT need to be completed prior to teaching or working on campus. 

Register at Albee using the Prevea App. Albee will be open:  

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23 and 24 
  • 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25  
  • 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29 
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 

Residence hall students who travel for the Thanksgiving break should sign up for two COVID-19 tests at least 48 hours apart at the Albee site upon their return. Again, these tests do not need to be completed before returning to face-to-face classes.  

Students who live off campus, have traveled over the holiday and have in-person classes should sign up for one test the week of Nov. 29. You do not need to complete this test before attending an in-person class.  

If you test positive for COVID-19 or you are experiencing symptoms, as before, do not attend your in-person classes. 

This increase in testing, even with negative results, does not reduce the need to practice safe behaviors: 

  • Wear a mask – this will protect you and your family 
  • Wash your hands 
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others 
  • Don’t attend large gatherings 
  • Practice these safety measures even in small gatherings  

Thanksgiving meal 

Oshkosh residence hall students and off-campus students who plan to stay here over Thanksgiving are invited to a complimentary Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, Nov. 26.  

To ensure we have enough food available, please RSVP if you plan to attend by noon, Thursday, Nov. 19: 

This traditional Thanksgiving meal will be to-go and available for pickup 1 to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, at Blackhawk Commons. It will include turkey, ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, salad, rolls and pies.  

We also will provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal to those students who find themselves in isolation or quarantine on the Oshkosh campus. 

Thanksgiving is a time of family and nothing has disrupted “family” more than COVID-19 in the last nine months. But the actions we take today will help preserve our families and help us move toward a time where we can be together again. 

Chancellor Andy Leavitt 

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