UT Students Prepare for Pandemic-Related Thanksgiving Changes
By Stephanie Witt
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas — Thanksgiving break will be different this year as the University of Texas will not have any in-person classes after the holiday.
Administrators decided in May that students will not return to campus and will instead finish the semester remotely.
University Health Services advises students to take precautions before they pack up and leave.
“Prior to going home for Thanksgiving we would encourage students to get tested through the proactive community testing program between really the window of November 9 and November 20,” said Susan Hochman, the Associate Director for Assessment, Communications, and Health Information Technology for UHS.
Students can get a Proactive Covid Test for free on campus by scheduling an appointment at healthyhorns.utexas.edu.
Harris Howard, a junior English major, plans to spend Thanksgiving with family in San Antonio.
“I am going to get tested about a few days before I go home to make sure I don’t have it, that way I don’t get anybody sick,” Howard said.
Some UT parents are comforted by students being able to get tested.
“That’s good,” Katherine Martinez said. “It allows [my daughter] to do her academics and it also lets me know that she is safe. And it is all about safety.
Students will have to adjust to the new normal of social distancing for the holidays.
“I don’t know if I am going to see my grandparents,” Howard said.
“I don’t know if they will come over. I’m not sure if my aunts or cousins will come either to be honest with you. It might just be my immediate family,” said Howard.
UT President Jay Hartzell told students in an email that the reason for going remote after Thanksgiving break is to avoid the possibility of spreading the virus to classmates when they return.
“This is temporary. It’s not going to be this way forever,” Hochman said.
“In order for us to continue to have the Thanksgivings we remember and want to have thatthis year we do need to make those modifications.”
Remote classes will be Nov. 30 through Dec. 7. Residence halls will close at 9 a.m. on Dec. 17.