Important Updates on Dining, Podding, and Testing

February 15, 2021

Dear all,

I am writing about COVID-19 on campus. As you likely know, we have more cases than we did last semester, and we must take immediate action to maintain campus health and safety. The numbers are as expected given the prevalence in the country, and we want to minimize spread. Each of the following actions is evidence-based, in that they were developed after examining our data on COVID-19 on campus and understanding the highest risks for infection and spread.

We will re-evaluate all of the below modifications on February 24 and provide an update based on campus conditions at that time:

  • DINING: Indoor dining will continue to be on pause. Students may pick up their meals and eat in their rooms or outside onlyPlease do not eat with anyone who is not your roommate. We are working on plans to offer some creative outdoor dining options. Please stay tuned.
  • PODDING: We do not have pods yet this semester, and we cannot start them until our case counts are lower. Your former pod is not safe. Please remember that, until podding is allowed, you may not be without a mask in the presence of anyone other than your roommate.
  • INDOOR GATHERINGS: Students may continue to gather in indoor public spaces that are open as long as masks are worn, six feet distance is maintained and capacity does not exceed 10 people or the posted COVID room limits for each location (whichever is lower). Please remember, there is no eating allowed in these spaces. For a full list of open spaces and protocols, please visit VassarTogether.
  • ADDITIONAL TESTING: We will be adding an additional PCR test that will be given 21 days after arrival to ensure we are keeping the presence of COVID-19 to minimal levels. Students should schedule this test via the WMC Portal or HealtheLife app.
  • CLASSES WILL PROCEED AS PLANNED: Classes will proceed as planned. Please be in touch with your professor if you will be attending class virtually. Also, our Dean of the Faculty has asked professors to be flexible as we navigate this initial period.

These are very serious expectations. Students found to be not adhering to these or other COVID-19 related expectations on VassarTogether may be asked to leave campus to study remotely for the rest of the semester.

Thank you all. I know this is difficult. In the fall, we overcame many obstacles, and we can and will do it again. This is a critical juncture. It is vitally important for all of us to adhere to these expectations, so we can remain on campus learning together.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604