As we approach the end of Module 2, I want to update the Transylvania community on both the progress we have made with our Healthy at Transy reopening plan and the challenges we face with fall and winter approaching, including:
- Coronavirus testing for all students prior to Module 3 beginning.
- Transitioning to fully remote learning after Thanksgiving break.
- Planning for return to campus after winter break.
Our return to campus has prioritized individual empowerment and community responsibility among our students, faculty and staff, giving each as much choice and flexibility as possible. Between adherence to our health and safety guidelines and the Transy Together social contract, the vast majority of our students, faculty and staff have helped us remain safely on campus in this most unusual of years. For that, we thank all of you.
Transylvania does not exist in a bubble, however, and we see the recent increases in positive results in Kentucky and in Fayette County mirrored in small increases in our community, information that is updated regularly on our COVID-19 dashboard. To that end, we are announcing the following updates to the Healthy at Transy plan for this semester.
Fall Module Break
The fall module break for Oct. 20-25 will take place as scheduled. Students are encouraged, however, to consider remaining on campus during the break. There will be opportunities for campus engagement and activities with appropriate physical distancing, as well as special menus in the dining facilities that week.
Testing will continue to play an important role in our ability to safely begin Module 3. All students who reside or attend classes on campus — whether they remain on campus or depart for the break — will be required to participate in university-provided coronavirus testing prior to beginning classes for Module 3 and will continue to use the Transylvania app’s Health Pass daily screening function. (Please be sure to update your app to the latest version.)
Information on scheduling your test will be the subject of a future message. As with initial move in, test results are expected within 24 hours, and students will be asked to limit exposure to others until they have been notified by campus health that they have a negative test result.
When the academic calendar was published earlier this year, it was our plan to have students return to campus following Thanksgiving break, which is Nov. 25-29. Upon further review, we have determined that the final 14 class days of Module 3 will be fully remote. Students with demonstrated need to remain on campus through the module may petition to remain; however any students who can return to their permanent residence are asked to do so following the Thanksgiving break.
Students who petition to remain on campus and are approved will be required to participate in university-provided coronavirus testing upon their return and will continue to use the Transylvania app’s Health Pass daily screening function.
The university is reviewing the feasibility of partial refunds for room and board for those who return to their permanent residence following the break. Additional information on that, the petition process for remaining on campus and scheduling a test for those approved to return will be the subjects of a future message.
Winter break is scheduled for Dec. 19 through Jan. 3, 2021. All students who reside or attend classes on campus for Module 4 will be required to participate in university-provided coronavirus testing upon their return to campus and will continue to use the Transylvania app’s Health Pass daily screening function. Information on scheduling your return to campus and coronavirus test will be included in a future message.
The cost of testing for those returning for Modules 3 and 4, as well as any students approved to remain on campus after Thanksgiving break, will be billed to the student’s insurance, or in the case of those without insurance will be covered under CARES Act funding provided to our testing partner. It is our understanding that no insurance provider should charge individuals for COVID testing.
If the first five weeks we have been on campus are indicative of the remainder of our academic year, I am optimistic that we will continue to successfully navigate the challenges we are facing together. I know the circumstances under which we are learning and living are different than what we’ve previously experienced, but I am hopeful that our individual and collective resilience will help us persevere. Our community has demonstrated its clear understanding for the need to remain adaptive in the face of changes necessitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for your continued support of our Healthy at Transy plan and for doing your part to keep our Transylvania community safe.