January 6, 2022 (3:32 p.m. Central Time)
Dear Simpson Students, Faculty and Staff:
Please read this entire email. It contains critical updates regarding revised COVID protocols and safeguards in light of new CDC guidelines and the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Warren County has reached its highest seven-day positivity rate since the beginning of the pandemic, and we are already working with a number of students and employees who have either tested positive or been exposed. We are also finalizing plans for compliance with new regulations from the Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); watch for a separate email tomorrow detailing those regulations.
Following is a summary of Simpson’s updated COVID protocols, effective Monday, Jan. 10, 2022:
- Universal indoor mask requirement: Masks will be required in all public, indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. Because of the way Omicron is transmitted we recommend you wear a paper mask under your cloth mask or use N95, KN95, KF94, or surgical masks.
- Isolation and Quarantine: We are adopting the new CDC recommended 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; if asymptomatic after five days you can return to work and/or class remaining masked whenever you are not alone for another five days. Because residential students share living space with others, they will remain in their temporary housing placement and dine alone for the full 10-day period.
- Following close exposure: Specific protocols are dependent on vaccination status.
- If you have been vaccinated within vaccine-specific timeframes or received a booster and are asymptomatic, no quarantine is required; you must use a mask whenever you are around others for ten days and should test 5-7 days following exposure.
- If you are not vaccinated or received your vaccination outside the vaccine-specific timeframes you must quarantine following the same protocol as described for those isolating following a positive COVID result.
- Detailed information can be found at simpson.edu/covid19/isolation-and-quarantine.
- Dining: We encourage everyone to get “grab & go” meals, from both Kent and Pfeiffer, as much as possible. We are maintaining limited seating in both venues for those who need a dine-in option.
- Testing: We are resuming on-campus rapid testing Monday-Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. More information can be found at simpson.edu/covid-19/covid-19-testing-options. We are suspending random testing to follow testing protocols under the pending new OSHA guidelines; information will be included in tomorrow’s email.
- We will update the campus COVID dashboard more frequently to allow our community to monitor status on campus.
- We will hold a COVID-19 booster clinic Wednesday, Jan. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You can sign up at: signupgenius.com/go/60B0A4FAFAA2DA6FD0-coivd19
- If you have already received a booster, please send a picture of your updated immunization card to email@example.com (students) or Human Resources (faculty/staff)
I know we are all disappointed by the need to roll back campus protocols. It’s important to keep in mind these changes are due to the rapidly evolving nature of this pandemic phase. As has been the case throughout, we are committed to basing actions on our shared obligation to safeguard our community, especially those at greatest risk.
We will closely monitor and re-evaluate our situation regularly. We hope cases on campus and in our surrounding community will fall and that our protocols can be correspondingly relaxed. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To our students, travel safely this weekend. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus.
Heidi Levine, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Development and Planning
Chair, Covid Management Team