January 3, 2022

Dear Sewanee Students and Families,

Happy New Year! We hope your winter break has been restful and restorative.

Many colleges and universities are delaying their start of the spring semester or starting with remote instruction. Sewanee will begin classes on Jan. 11, as scheduled and in person. Residence halls will open on Jan. 9 at 9 a.m.

As was the approach last semester, our community must learn to live with some presence of COVID-19 on campus. Our existing mitigation efforts—the University’s vaccination mandate and masking requirement—along with recommending pre-arrival testing and boosters, give us confidence we will navigate the next phase of the pandemic successfully together.

As you prepare to return to campus, please review the following announcements and reminders.

  • Students may move into their residence halls starting on Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. Classes begin on Jan. 11 as scheduled.
  • Recent studies in the U.K. indicate that booster shots prove 80% to 85% effective against the omicron variant and 95% effective against delta; boosters also reduce the severity of COVID among those infected. Therefore, the University strongly encourages all vaccinated students to receive a booster shot. You can find more information about locating a provider or pharmacy here. We also encourage you to upload your booster information at vaccine.sewanee.edu. An on-campus booster clinic is scheduled for Jan. 17. Flu shots will also be available.

    NOTE: The CDC has announced that those with boosters do not need to quarantine after an exposure to COVID-19. This will greatly simplify our management of COVID-19 on campus for all who are boosted.
  • The University asks that all Sewanee students, even if vaccinated, take a COVID-19 test 24 to 72 hours prior to returning to campus. If you test positive, please use the Tennessee Quarantine and Isolation Calculator to calculate your delayed arrival date, inform the Dean of Students Office, and contact your faculty to arrange for studies while away.
  • Upon returning to campus, students are encouraged to take a rapid test. The University has a limited supply that will allow each student to test once. Tests are available at McClurg Dining Hall or University Health Service (UHS). Students who test positive should inform the University Health Service at 931.598.1270, and will need to isolate themselves in their rooms if they cannot return home.
  • UHS will continue to provide COVID-19 testing for symptomatic students or students who have been a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Students who test positive should inform the University Health Service at 931.598.1270, and will need to isolate themselves in their rooms if they cannot return home.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services will continue providing individual and group therapy and psychiatry services, and will offer both in-person and virtual services, depending upon student preferences and needs. The pandemic has heightened stress and has led to mental health concerns for many people; the CDC offers recommendations for managing stress and seeking support.

These health and safety protocols are only a part of the University’s efforts. We are able to offer an on-campus experience in large part because of your commitment to the health and safety of our community. Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you on campus!

Erica Howard
Dean of Students

Nicole Noffsinger-Frazier
Associate Dean of Flourishing and Wellness