We know that fall 2020 has been a different and in many ways difficult and exhausting semester. COVID-19 changed the way we live, the way we socialize and the way we learn.
As many of you prepare to head home or visit family and friends for the holidays, we encourage you to take steps to protect both them and yourself. Here are a few important tips:
- Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth at all times when around people who don’t live in your household.
- Wait 6 feet apart to maintain physical distance and limit close contact. Avoid close contact with people you don’t live or stay with over the holiday break. And be particularly mindful in areas where it is harder to keep this distance, such as restrooms and eating areas.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid high-risk settings, including places where people cannot socially distance and locations where people remove their masks to eat or drink in one place, such as restaurants and bars.
- Remember that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. If you choose to attend an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated or fully enclosed indoor spaces.
- Limit contact with high-touch surfaces or shared items. Use cashless payment options when possible. Avoid any self-serve food or drink options such as buffets, salad bars and drink stations. Do not share mobile phones or tablets.
- Remember, if you attend any gatherings, no handshakes or hugs — be creative, from a distance, in how you greet others.
- And finally, please be extra cautious around individuals at higher risk for severe illness, such as people over the age of 65 or who have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, etc.
You can find more helpful information about how to have safer holiday breaks from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. You can also review guidelines for get-togethers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for travel during COVID-19. And please review the university’s COVID-19 testing requirements for spring 2021 so you can plan ahead for the spring semester.
We hope you have a wonderful, refreshing and healthy break.
Thank you, and go Pack.