Updated March 11: Explore FAQs about this program
The University of Rochester Students Association (SA) and the Eastman Students’ Association have been advocating since the beginning of the academic year for new ways that undergraduates living on River Campus and at the Eastman School of Music can safely interact with one another amidst COVID protocols, in order to stay connected with friends, classmates, and meet new people. The number of COVID cases on campus has fluctuated at different points throughout the fall and spring semesters, making it difficult to consider relaxing any of the protocols designed to prevent COVID transmission. However, if the positive cases stabilize through students’ continued adherence to the UR Community Commitment, SA—in collaboration with University leaders and CURT members—plans to launch a pilot program that allows residential undergraduates on either campus to have one other individual visit their room, as long as both individuals are masked and both are current University residential undergraduates.
This new visitation pilot is targeted to begin on March 15 and will continue until the end of the spring semester if two criteria are continuously met.
First, University Health Service (UHS) needs a minimum of 1,000 undergraduate residential students to be tested each week as part of surveillance testing. Currently, this minimum is not consistently being met on a weekly basis, so all undergraduate students are asked to encourage one another to fulfill their commitment to the surveillance testing program. As a reminder, the surveillance testing program includes all students, including off-campus students, who regularly access campus. It is based on testing 2,000 students per week using the quick, rapid test; surveillance testing takes place at the Goergen Athletic Center and on the ESM campus. In addition to Dr. Chat Bot, it has been a very effective way to monitor and contain the spread of the virus throughout this academic year.
Second, the total number of positive cases among undergraduate students on River Campus and at ESM must stay at 40 or below over a 14-day period. UHS will monitor these case numbers.
If positive cases among undergraduate residential students exceeds 40 in the two-week period, or UHS reports that they did not have 1,000 residential undergraduate surveillance test participants in a week, CURT will then need to re-evaluate the status of the pilot program.
“This is a much needed, much asked for, and much deserved for students living on campus this semester,” said Connor Sandagata, SA ACJC Chief Justice. “While we shouldn’t let our guard down, changes like this show that there is a clear path to a more vibrant campus life as we deal with this pandemic.”