Dear Saints,

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start.

As you continue to enjoy time away from campus, whether it be relaxing with family, working at a place of employment, on-going academic studies with a winter course, or a bit of all of the above, know that we here at Holy Cross continue to pray for your health and overall well-being and we very much look forward to having you back on campus for our Spring 2021 semester.  As you all know, classes begin Wednesday, February 3rd.  Included here is important information regarding our return to campus.

Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Testing

All students will be required to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.  The procedure will be very similar to the pre-arrival test that you all completed for the Fall semester.  Everyone will receive a lab order from Dr. Michelle Pearson that will be sent to your Holy Cross email.  Using this form will ensure that lab results are faxed or emailed to an appropriate contact, so please be sure to have the lab order with you when you go to be tested.  Please plan to complete your test 7-10 days prior to your arrival to campus.  Please be attentive to this testing window because as you may know some testing locations may take several days to process results, and you want to be sure your results are received by the College prior to move-in.

Please check with your own health insurance provider regarding coverage of the cost of the test. If at any point you have or develop any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to your return to campus, please contact your family physician. If you have any questions or concerns about the COVID-19 test, please direct them to Mr. Tom DeHorn, Director of Student Health Services.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 since November 1st or will have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from the pre-arrival test.  Please provide Mr. Tom DeHorn, Director of Student Health Services, with documentation.

In addition to completing the COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus, we ask everyone to be particularly attentive to physical distancing and health behaviors in the two weeks prior to coming to campus. Your efforts and the personal decisions about your activity that you make to limit the possibility of infection are extremely important for caring for the common good of our community.  The job for all of us is to look out for one another. Be smart in the two weeks prior to the semester’s start. We ask that you consider reducing or even avoiding unnecessary activities and travel. You do not want to contract the virus, nor do you want to expose your friends, classmates, and roommates when you get here.

Daily Campus Health Check

All members of the College community, administrators, faculty, staff, and students will once again be required to complete a daily health check.  This tool was instrumental in keeping our campus safe again this semester.  The daily health check, along with being mindful about physical distancing, wearing masks, and practicing good hygiene will again be the keys to keeping our campus healthy and safe.  The health check must be completed daily and will begin for most students on January 29th (some student groups required to report to campus earlier will begin to receive their daily health checks sooner than this date).

Arrival to Campus

The residential halls, including University Edge, open at 10:00 a.m. on February 2nd (the day before the 1st day of classes).  Meal plans will begin with lunch on this same day.  Keys for your dorm building and room will be located in your campus mailbox.  Please retrieve them from your mailbox upon your return to campus.  If for serious travel reasons you need to request an early move-in, please contact me directly for approval.

Students flying internationally to return to campus will be asked to undergo a 4-day quarantine upon arrival and will receive a COVID-19 test on the 4th day.  Students flying internationally are approved to arrive as early as January 29th but must inform me of their particular arrival time and date.

Mindful of the challenges and sufferings that are currently impacting our nation, our communities, our families, and our own individual lives, I share with you this prayer that was part of morning prayer in the Magnificat.  For me, these words are a reminder of the Christian vocation to live in hope as we strive to love our neighbor:  “If we love God, if we believe in Jesus Christ, if we trust in the glory revealed in the mystery of Christmas and Epiphany, then we in turn must love one another, so that our daily lives continue to manifest God in our day.”

I look forward to seeing you all again in a few weeks.

Spes Unica,

Dean Polaniecki