I hope you are staying safe, warm, and healthy. The start of any semester brings a flurry of excitement and activity, especially in these exceptional times. I deeply appreciate your efforts to make the spring semester a meaningful and engaging experience for all students.
I want to remind you that we’ll be hosting a virtual information session this afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m. EST with a focus on our ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts. If you’re interested in attending, please be sure to register in advance. The event will be recorded and made available to the campus community in the days ahead.
As we prepare for the start of the semester, I also want to remind you of our collective commitment to the Garnet Pledge for Faculty and Staff and to share an important update on faculty and staff testing protocols for the spring term. Please review this message carefully and continue to regularly check the College’s COVID-19 page and your email for the most up-to-date information about the College’s protocols and policies.
Our Commitment to the Garnet Pledge
The Garnet Pledge for Faculty and Staff outlines our shared responsibility for keeping ourselves and our fellow community members healthy. All staff and faculty members are required to read, sign, and adhere to this pledge, joining our students, who sign their own similar version of the Garnet Pledge.
We ask that you carefully review and sign the Garnet Pledge by 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Updated Faculty and Staff Testing Protocols
The testing protocol changes outlined below are specific to individuals whose work requires them to come to campus; those who are able to work remotely must continue to do so. Facilities, Dining, Athletics, and Public Safety will have their own decentralized testing process; staff members in those departments should reach out directly to their supervisor for guidance or questions.
We will continue to monitor the current surge in cases and consult with public health experts as we refine our testing protocols, and we will communicate those plans whenever a change is necessary.
Testing During the Spring Semester
During the spring term, faculty and staff members whose work requires them to come to campus and who are likely to interact with other people for 15 minutes or more during their time on campus will be required to continue performing weekly testing.
If your work requires you to come to campus but you have no expectation of interacting with others, you will not need to perform weekly testing during the spring term. We understand that unplanned, chance encounters may occur. In keeping with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employees must limit such interactions to less than 15 minutes and continue to follow proper safety protocols such as masking and maintaining physical distance.
During the spring term, test kits will continue to be available for pickup and drop-off at the campus Post Office; you can view the Post Office’s normal operating hours here. Employees must bring their OneCard to receive a kit.
The Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall will be open Monday through Thursday so that employees can use the space to self-administer their tests. For new staff members, or those who may need a refresher in the testing process, the Scheuer Room will be staffed by volunteers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, and 25.
You can find detailed information on testing protocols on our Faculty & Staff Testing, Contact Tracing, and Monitoring Process page; future Scheuer Room staffing dates will also be shared on that webpage. You may also contact our COVID-19 Employee Test Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I want to reiterate what I shared with you last week: We are in regular communication with local health officials about when and how much of a vaccine supply we might receive, and we hope to be able to administer it to the campus community sometime this spring. We will share additional details as they become available. In the meantime, based on recommendations from public health officials, we encourage anyone who has access to the vaccine through other avenues to pursue those options. You can find more information about the vaccine, including information from regional health departments, on our COVID-19 Vaccine page.
Thank you once again for your dedication to our community and your continued efforts.