University alters COVID-19 quarantine policy
The University announced that its COVID-19 protocols will be updated again in an April 11 email to the Brandeis community. The University’s new policies have been revised to “more closely align with the CDC guidance for quarantine for community members who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, or recently COVID-recovered with a testing exemption, who are identified as close contacts,” the email said. These new policies were officially implemented on April 12. Protocols are the same for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
The email said that fully-vaccinated individuals identified as close contacts will need to “soft quarantine” for 10 days. Those placed in a soft quarantine will have orange passports for the duration of the quarantine, which will allow them to access campus facilities, events, and activities, as long as they are fully masked at all times.
The individuals must stay masked for a full 10 days when not in their individual residence. The new soft quarantine guidelines still require using takeout for all on-campus meals and continue to prohibit those in quarantine to eat in any dining room. Individuals in soft quarantine can order through the Bite app or take food from Lower Usdan or Sherman Dining Hall to-go by using the Reusable Container Program.
Individuals identified as close contacts must still monitor symptoms and complete the Daily Health Assessment every day prior to leaving their residences and accessing campus. Close contacts will receive their testing schedule via email from the Brandeis Case Tracing Program or Occupation Health and are expected to test according to their instructions.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol A. Fierke, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Stew Uretsky, and Vice President of Student Affairs Raymond Lu-Ming Ou wrote in their email to the community that the changes are a result of the recent reduction in positive test cases on campus. According to the Brandeis COVID-19 Dashboard, the current positivity rate at Brandeis is just under 1%.
The email emphasized the importance of masking, describing it as a “well-documented, simple way to protect yourself from the risk of contracting COVID.” The University also emphasized that students should continue to use common sense in making good individual decisions and to “use what we’ve learned in the past two years to keep ourselves and our community safe.”
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