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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

MASK USE is Optional 

Latest Campus Update

May 23, 2022 (1:07 p.m. Central Time)

Dear Simpson College students, faculty, and staff: 

As you are probably aware, the state of Iowa is experiencing an uptick in new COVID cases, primarily of the most recent (and highly infectious) Omicron variant. As such, this is an important time for all who will be on campus throughout the summer to refamiliarize themselves with current campus guidelines and protocols. 

Isolation and Quarantine: Simpson continues to follow the CDC’s 5+5 guidelines for individuals who test positive or have close exposure to someone who is COVID-positive.  

  • Following positive COVID result: Five days of isolation.  End isolation on Day 6 if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving. Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public and at work. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. Employees who test positive should notify mimi.bartley@simpson.edu . 
  • Following close exposure: If you are within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over the course of 24 hours with someone who has tested positive for COVID you should 
    • Quarantine for 5 days and then wear a well-fitting mask any time you are around others for an additional 5 days.  
    • If you are up-to-date with COVID vaccination and are asymptomatic, no quarantine is required; you must use a well-fitting mask whenever you are around others for 10 days.  
    • Test 5 days following exposure.  
  • More detailed information can be found at simpson.edu/covid19/isolation-and-quarantine, as well as at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html . 

Testing: Health Services is not routinely open or providing COVID testing over the summer. To order free COVID test kits visit https://www.covid.gov/tests. You can also find information about local, off-campus COVID testing options at https://simpson.edu/covid-19/covid-19-testing-options

Monitoring: We continue to monitor prevalence among employees and students who are on campus for the summer. We will be updating the COVID dashboard to show campus prevalence rates. Additionally, we will follow our guidelines based on community spread and on campus prevalence rates to determine any change in campus protocols for mask use; you can find those guidelines at https://simpson.edu/covid19-plan.  

As always, please reach out with any questions. 

Best,
Heidi Levine, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Development & Planning
Chair, COVID Management Team 

 



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Previous Updates

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Healthy Practices

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has changed its quarantine guidance to advise against quarantine following exposure if both parties were properly wearing masks. While this is not consistent with CDC guidelines, there are a number of emerging studies that back this up as the right decision and adopted in other states. To that end, Simpson College will adopt the IDPH standards for exposure and quarantine. 

  • Allow the option for people to choose to quarantine 
    • Employees due to campus workplace exposure
    • Occurring in a classroom, using socially distanced seating
  • Continue to quarantine if the exposure occurred outside classrooms.
  • We still need faculty seating/attendance information for contact tracing and if we need to revert to Orange Phase. 

As the new protocols and procedures around quarantine are contingent upon proper face-mask use, please see the following CDC criteria for appropriate mask use on the Simpson campus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html.

  • Masks need to be correctly worn, completely covering the mouth AND nose.
  • Face shields and vented masks are not recommended and will result in quarantine if identified as a close contact.
  • Gaiters are not permitted and will result in quarantine if identified as a close contact.