In an email sent to students and their families earlier this month, Rollins College President Grant Cornwell presented the school’s plans to carry on minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19 to ensure the safest possible continuation of the 2020-2021 academic year. He explained that the school is “sharing the following plans so we can all concentrate on having the best Rollins experience for our community.”
Under the newly announced mitigation plans, the Wellness Center will increase weekly testing capacity to 250 tests for symptomatic, potentially exposed, and asymptomatic individuals, and will also add Saturday testing. Students will still be expected to utilize the #CampusClear app and abide by the Tars Promise.
Cornwell’s email also announced precautions that the school will take surrounding breaks and holidays during which students typically travel home or elsewhere on vacation. For Thanksgiving break, students engaging in in-person learning are asked to spend the four-day holiday either on-campus or at their off-campus residence as opposed to traveling. Students who choose to leave will not be permitted to continue in-person learning for the remainder of the fall semester. An on-campus Thanksgiving meal and celebration will be held for students to attend. If students are ill or quarantined at the end of the fall semester, the college will extend their on-campus housing so they do not need to travel home during Winter Break. Spring Break is cancelled altogether.
Intersession courses, which are held the final week of Winter Break as an opportunity for students to catch up on credit hours, will be completely virtual this academic year. The spring semester, set to start on Tuesday, Jan. 19, will offer multiple modalities and maintain the single occupancy housing model. All study abroad and field study programs are canceled for Spring 2021 and plans for Winter and Spring NCAA sports are still in development.
Due to the revised academic calendar for spring, graduation has been moved to Saturday, May 8 for both College of Liberal Arts students and Holt School students. Whether the event will be in-person or virtual is to be determined. Maymester will begin shortly after on May 10, offering multiple modalities.
Rollins’ approach to testing, social distancing, contact tracing, quarantining, and isolation will continue, as will wastewater effluent testing of residence halls to give the college an advance notice of possible spikes in cases.
Currently, the Rollins COVID-19 Dashboard reports that the overall COVID risk is “low moderate.” On-campus, 10 students are isolated and 26 are quarantined, while off-campus 12 students are isolated and 30 are quarantined. The school has reported zero COVID-related hospitalizations thus far.