Dear Faculty and Staff Members,
I hope you’re enjoying the winter break and finding time for rest and rejuvenation. With apologies for interrupting your time off, I write with a few important updates concerning our response to the current local and national surge in COVID-19 cases.
The COVID-19 Planning Group and other staff members instrumental to our COVID-19 response have remained in regular contact during the break. While we continue to evaluate possible changes to the start of the academic semester, I want to share the following information with you now, before staff members return to work next week. As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, our decisions continue to prioritize the health and safety of our campus community members.
One precaution we can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep all of our community members safe is to limit the number of people on campus. With that in mind, all employees who are able to work remotely must do so for at least the first two weeks of January. If you are unsure whether your job responsibilities are conducive to remote work, or if you are able to work remotely but have extenuating circumstances that you believe require you to come to campus, you must contact your supervisor prior to returning to work on campus. I have asked all members of President’s Staff to exercise appropriate flexibility with regard to remote work while also ensuring that College operations continue with minimal disruption. Some of you who are able to work remotely may need to come to campus to pick up certain items, such as a laptop. Please do so in coordination with your supervisor.
I appreciate that for many of you, your job responsibilities require you to be on campus. Please remember that you must continue to follow all campus safety protocols, such as indoor masking and required testing. More information on our testing protocols is below.
As a reminder, if you are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you must not report to work on campus and must contact your supervisor. If you test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you must follow our Faculty & Staff Contact Tracing, Quarantine, and Isolation protocols and immediately notify the COVID-19 Employee Test Team at CETT@swarthmore.edu and Terri Maguire in Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this point and until further notice, all employees who are working on campus are required to perform weekly COVID-19 tests via the Everlywell testing kits we’ve used throughout the pandemic. You must take your first test on the day you return to work on campus. You may pick up a test kit at the following locations:
- The campus Post Office — We encourage you to pick up test kits in the morning between 8:30 and 11 a.m. or in the afternoon between 2 and 3:45 p.m. to avoid the Post Office’s busiest times.
- 101 South Chester Road, Finance and Administration Suite — Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- The OneCard Office, Parrish 131A — Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1—3 p.m.
- Public Safety, located at Benjamin West House. This location should only be used after hours and if you are unable to pick up a kit at a location listed above.
You must have your OneCard to pick up a COVID-19 test kit. Employees who work in Athletics, Dining Services, EVS, Facilities, and Public Safety will be able to pick up a test kit at a local testing area near their offices, as they did in the fall.
We are evaluating updates to our testing protocols, including the possibility of moving to regular rapid tests for students, faculty, and staff members. Some of our decisions will depend on the availability of testing supplies. We will keep you updated on any changes to or testing protocols.
COVID-19 Vaccination Booster Requirement
The data show we can significantly minimize the impact of COVID-19 on ourselves and each other by being fully vaccinated and receiving a booster shot. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, more than 85% of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have occurred among those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. In keeping with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and consistent with our COVID-19 vaccine requirements that are already in place, we will require all eligible students, faculty, and staff members to receive a booster shot by either Jan. 31, 2022, or, if you’re not yet eligible by Jan. 31, within 30 days of becoming eligible for the booster. The CDC recommends boosters six months after completing your initial Moderna or Pfizer vaccination or two months after receiving the J&J vaccine. Please refer to the CDC website for further information.
If you have already received an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination approved by the College, you will continue to be exempt from this requirement.
We are planning to hold booster clinics on campus starting in the second half of January, and we will share those details as soon as they’re available. However, we strongly encourage those of you who are eligible to be boosted to do so as quickly as possible by scheduling appointments at area pharmacies or another location.
Once you receive your booster, or if you have already done so, you must update your vaccination status in MySwarthmore. Below are instructions for completing the process (you will need a photo of your completed CDC vaccination card to complete this):
- Log in to MySwarthmore at myswat.swarthmore.edu.
- Select the Employee Main Menu.
- Select the COVID-19 Vaccination Record page.
- Select Record Booster and enter the date of your booster.
- Select Browse to locate the image or picture file to upload your vaccine card, then select Submit.
Individuals who are unwilling to comply with this requirement and who do not have a College-approved medical or religious exemption will be placed on unpaid leave for up to two weeks. If by that time you have not received your booster, your employment will be terminated.
At this time and until further notice, we are prohibiting spectators — including students, faculty, and staff members — from attending campus events, such as basketball games. We also strongly encourage those of you organizing in-person meetings, such as staff training sessions, retreats, and other purposes, to move to remote meetings whenever possible.
Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to keeping our community safe. If you have any questions, please contact the COVID-19 Planning Group at email@example.com. Please enjoy the rest of your time away, and my best for a happy New Year.