Officials use travel form to monitor students living on campus during pandemic

Media Credit: File Photo by Sophia Young | Contributing Photo Editor

Students living on campus this semester must fill out a Student Travel Notification form if they leave the DMV.

Officials are using a form to monitor how students living on campus travel outside the D.C.-area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University spokesperson Crystal Nosal said Campus Living and Residential Education staff have contacted students living on campus “on multiple occasions” to remind them to fill out the Student Travel Notification Form, a portal officials use to track where students, faculty and staff members travel during the pandemic. She said students must fill out the form if they travel to anywhere outside D.C., Maryland or Virginia.

Students who travel to one of the 31 states the District classifies as high-risk must self-isolate for 14 days under city guidelines upon return, she said. Although the form seeks to monitor student travel, Nosal said it is not intended to regulate travel plans.

“This form is not a document seeking permission to travel,” Nosal said in an email. “Every member of our on-campus community has the ability to make their own informed decisions as to what is best for their situation.”

The travel form includes questions that ask whether the traveler is a student, faculty or staff member, the campus where students may reside, their expected transportation method, the length of absence and their travel destinations. Students, faculty and staff must also specify whether they will travel outside D.C., Maryland and Virginia, whether they will miss one of their required COVID-19 tests and whether they will be unable to complete their symptom survey.

Nosal said officials hope the form will allow students to continue updating their health status even if they’re not on campus, so officials are aware if students exhibit any coronavirus-related symptoms.

“One of the main purposes of the form is to provide a secure way for individuals who do need to travel during the semester to communicate directly to campus support team monitoring that each individual member of the approved campus cohort is continuing to fill out their daily symptom check in the medical portal and adhering to regular COVID testing,” she said.

Nosal said most of the 500 students who live on campus remained isolated in their respective residence halls during Fall Break, which benefited the University’s COVID-19-related precautions.

“We realize that this time of year during mid-terms can be a stressful time, and we appreciate that almost all of our on-campus residents remained on campus during the break,” she said. “This helps demonstrate their commitment to following the University’s and District’s health and safety protocols.”

She declined to say how many students have used the form so far this semester and how many students left campus during Fall Break using the form.

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