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COVID-19 Updates: Contact Tracing, Res-Life Changes, Thoughts on Emergency Travel

Contributed by Dan DeCaria on 03/02/21 

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Welcome to the month of March IC! I know it is hard to believe, but we already have one month of the semester in the books. Let’s build on our great start to the spring and be sure to keep reading for some recent public health updates as we continue to be #ICinThisTogether.

Tracing Your Contacts

While surveillance testing and daily health screening are effective ways to mitigate rapid spread of COVID-19, they are just two pieces of a larger puzzle. Contact tracing if you are a positive case is a key piece that goes hand-in-hand with testing and is extremely crucial to stop viral invaders in their tracks.

Contact tracing, also referred to as contact investigation, is the identification, monitoring, and support of the individuals (contacts) who have been exposed to a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and possibly infected themselves. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who do not.

It is highly important that you participate in contact tracing and provide accurate and honest answers if contacted by a member of the health department or Ithaca College’s contact tracers. This helps us quarantine potentially infected people before they can spread the virus to others. Remember that keeping our case count low is critical to maintaining our operational status with New York State.

Residence Life Policy Update

Beginning Monday, March 1, IC’s Office of Residence Life announced a small change to the guest policy for on-campus residence halls. Students living in these spaces will now have the opportunity to host ONE guest inside their residence hall room, as long as the guest is also a resident on that particular floor of the residence hall.

It is important to have a conversation with your roommate(s) around consent before inviting a guest into your residence space. Please be mindful that everyone has different levels of comfortability and that consent from all parties is needed before welcoming a guest into your room.

Keep in mind that all visits of this nature will require that you maintain at minimum six-feet of physical distance and that face coverings are worn by all individuals occupying the space.

Thoughts on Emergency Travel

Travel continues to be the preeminent driver of COVID-19 spread and students must remain in Tompkins County to minimize the possibility of spread. If you have an emergency that requires that you travel, you must complete the Emergency Travel Request form prior to travel.

Please be mindful to not request an exemption unless it is absolutely necessary that you have to leave the Tompkins County area. Let’s not pop the Bomber Bubble we have worked so hard to build over this first month!

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