Dear Barnard Community Members:
With the Thanksgiving break approaching, it is time to express our gratitude for our community’s continued diligence and attention to Barnard’s COVID-19 preventive measures. Our collective efforts have maintained low rates of COVID-19 in our Barnard community. Many of us have decided to travel to be present with families and friends in the coming days. We ask you to continue to be mindful of measures that prevent COVID-19 and other common infections this time of year and to make decisions that will continue to keep our communities and our loved ones safe.
Here is our top ten list to keep our community Feeling Well and Doing Well as we close the semester.
1. Test before travel. Time your testing so that you know your COVID-19 status before traveling to see loved ones. The testing center will be closed from Wed 11/24 through Friday 11/26.
2. Mask during travel. Whether by bus, train or plane, masking while waiting for travel in stations or airports is important. Remember to cover your nose and wear a mask that fits well. It also helps to bring your own hand sanitizer in case it is hard to get to a place to wash your hands well.
3. Communicate expectations. Let your friends and families know what your expectations are in terms of numbers of attendees, indoor and outdoor gatherings, vaccination status and masking. It can help to be clear ahead of time so that everyone can follow your agreed-upon guidelines. While many 5 to 11 year olds have started to get vaccinated, they will not be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving break and children under 5 are not eligible and therefore even more vulnerable. No one should come to gatherings if they are sick.
4. Indoor gatherings. You and your family and friends may decide to unmask for small gatherings. We strongly recommend masking for larger indoor gatherings, lowering masks for bites and sips.
5. Outdoor gatherings. If outdoor gatherings are crowded you may want to consider masking. Consider having gatherings take place partially indoors and partially outdoors to ensure that unmasked indoor activities are short.
6. Testing after travel. As per our current recommendation, we recommend that all members of our community increase their testing to two times a week for 14 days after returning to campus following travel, whether you live on or off campus. This will ensure that we detect any new cases early and can isolate cases and stop transmission. Please note that you do not need a green screen to test at the testing center (now located at the Lefrak Center in Barnard Hall).
7. If you are staying on campus, here is information about the hours of operations of services and buildings on campus. We’re committed to making sure that food is available for everyone. If you have concerns about meals during the Thanksgiving break, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ResLife is facilitating resident connections via this Google Form. Residents who are staying local for the long weekend and are interested in connecting with other Barnard students should complete the form by Monday, November 22 at 12PM.
If you are leaving campus, and you live in Barnard housing, please remember to do the following in your residence: shut windows; turn off lights, fans, air filters, and faucets; unplug power cords for devices; remove garbage; empty refrigerators; and remember to bring your room key with you.
8. Get boosted. While all of our on-campus booster slots are filled for the remainder of the semester there are several other options available in the area. Off-campus appointments and walk-up opportunities for students, faculty, and staff (as well as their families), can be found on these sites:
- NYC’s COVID-19 and Flu Vaccine Finder
- New York State’s vaccine listing
- New Jersey’s Vaccine Appointment Finder
- Connecticut’s Vaccine Portal
9. Don’t forget your flu shot. Please don’t forget to get your flu shot, which is required for all members of the Barnard community. It’s ok to get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 booster. Students must hold onto their flu vaccine documentation so that they can upload it to comply with the College’s requirement (instructions to be sent in the coming weeks).
10. Rest and recharge. Everyone’s wellness looks different—take time to rest and recharge in the way that works best for you. Since everyone is on their screens a lot, don’t forget the 20/20/20 rule outlined here.
Finally, the CDC website has additional information you might also find helpful.
Wishing you all good health,
Marina Catallozzi, MD, MSCE
Vice President for Health and Wellness and Chief Health Officer