8-31-21: Campus Community Message
Dear Students, Colleagues, and Families,
I hope you have had a good start to the new year. Our hearts go out to those on the Gulf Coast who have been affected by Hurricane Ida.
This is a brief update on campus public health and COVID. My tremendous thanks to all the staff, faculty and students who have been part of a great move-in, orientation and start to the year. As we have shared before, our intention this year is to use all of the tools we have – vaccines, testing, masks and expert guidance – to provide a strong, safe and inclusive campus learning experience.
We are delighted to announce that, as of yesterday, over 90% of our campus community (including students, staff and faculty) are fully vaccinated. This is an exceptional accomplishment that will play an important role in keeping our campus health this year. That number will continue increase in the coming weeks.
We are also happy to share the results of our initial rounds of student testing. In the pre-arrival tests, we have 4 positives out of 1215 students. These students isolated at home before coming to campus. In on-campus testing so far, we had 477 tests with three positive results between 8/8-8/22, and 194 tests with 0 positive results last week. Our overall positivity rate is 0.3% thus far, and 0% in last week’s testing. Students who test positive on campus are moved to isolation, and also have the option of returning home for that time. Our contact tracing team conducts interviews to determine which individuals may be close contacts and contacts those individuals to arrange quarantine and testing where necessary, per the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We will continue to test all students and employees who are not vaccinated on a weekly basis. We also anticipate some testing of vaccinated students, as needed depending on the local and campus public health situation.
Our mandate to wear masks indoors, except when in private offices or residence hall rooms, continues. (There are also some spaces in the Scot Center where vaccinated individuals may be unmasked if engaged in intense exercise.)
It is wonderful to have our campus community working, living and learning together again. My tremendous thanks to everyone whose work, dedication and care is making it possible!
Posted in Community Message.