Sep. 18: Message to Davidson Students Regarding New Rule for Visitors

We’re grateful for your help and leadership as we live through this pandemic together. We know that we’re asking a lot of you. Please understand that everything we’re asking is in the interest of our community’s health and our desire to remain on campus. We’re literally in this together. What we do as individuals affects everyone.

Here is a simple experiment. Ask yourself these two questions: If I test positive for COVID, how many people will be at risk? How many people will go into quarantine (if you are within 6 feet of another person for 15 minutes, that person goes into quarantine)? This number needs to be low: your roommate(s) and one other person. This way, we contain the spread of the virus and all of us can stay on campus.

We want you to see your friends (wear a mask, six feet apart)--sit outside, play spike ball or frisbee (in a mask) or volleyball (masked up and only three per side please), take a walk, or meet at Summit on campus.  Athletics is sponsoring wellness classes and Davidson Outdoors is leading some short trips. Union Board is sponsoring activities each week. We’re inspired by the theatre productions and ensemble practice sessions that are taking place outside. Thank you.

We (the Core COVID response team) hear you that you’d like us to reconsider the no visitor policy.  We want to explain why this policy exists. Many residence hall rooms are too small for physical distancing. Once the door closes, it is very tempting to take off masks. And students were having three, six, eight people in one room.

Say six people are in a room for more than 15 minutes and one person is asymptomatic but positive. That person infects two other people, and then the next day, those two people spend time with three other people each, and then those three people do the same the next day. Even though we’re testing weekly, we might not find out about the positive case for a few days. In this situation,  a lot of people could test positive and get sick.  And no matter what, a number of people would be in quarantine for two weeks.  One person who is asymptomatic (and therefore does not know they have this virus) and  gets close to six people can lead to 15 or more people going into quarantine.

So, even though we are testing every week, we can’t relax. We have several examples of people contracting the virus and exposing others in between tests. The rules really are there for a reason.

All of this said, we’re willing to experiment with a modification of the visitor rule but we need you to understand that this is an experiment and we need you to stick to the letter of the rule. PLEASE help to make this work.

The new rule for visitors:

  • Each space (single room, double room, suite, or entire apartment) may have up to one visitor total at a time. 
  • Regardless of the number of students assigned to a space, only one non-assigned person is allowed in the space (single room, double room, suite, or entire apartment) at a time. 
  • The visitor must be a Davidson student.  No visitors who are not Davidson students. 
  • No overnight visitors. 
  • Unless the visitor is your close contact, then everyone should wear masks and stay six feet apart. 

If you have questions, ASK US. Don’t guess.

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Sep. 14: Spring Semester

We want to let you know about plans that were just settled for the spring semester in hopes they will help you prepare. We appreciate the stress everyone is enduring and your commitment to our safety protocols that are helping keep campus safe. It’s critical that we keep up the hard work on these safety steps next semester so that we all can all enjoy the experience that we seek.

The spring calendar has been posted, and it was designed with help from the academic calendar team, which includes students, faculty and staff. Here are the important highlights:

  • Classes will begin two weeks later than originally planned, on January 25. (Athletes will return earlier, given the shift of fall sports to spring.)
  • Two midweek breaks will be provided – March 3rd and 4th and April 7th and 8th, though we continue to urge students not to travel from campus due to the risk of exposure.
  • Classes end on April 29, followed by the Verna Miller Case Research & Creative Works Symposium on April 30. Non-seniors are expected to depart campus after that.
  • Exams are May 7 to 10 for seniors and May 7 to 12 for others. Professors will arrange exams and they will not be conducted through the Self-Scheduled Exam Center.   
  • Commencement is scheduled for May 16.
  • Classes will be delivered in the mode chosen by the professor (Flex, Hybrid or Remote), as they were this semester.
  • Students will still live where they choose (On campus, Off campus or Remote), but students who were off campus or remote this semester and want to return to campus will need to speak with the Residence Life Office.
  • Students who took leave this semester and plan to attend in the spring should check their Davidson e-mail accounts and follow normal protocols for class registration.

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