Saint Mary’s maintains current masking policies
Observer Staff Report | Saturday, September 25, 2021
In an email to students Friday, COVID Response Team co-chairs Mona Bowe and Shari Rodriguez offered the College community an update regarding campus COVID-19 policies, ahead of the Sept. 30 recommendation revision.
The email began by praising the measures taken by students and employees to create a low number of positive cases.
“We are pleased to report that, as of September 23, over 95% of employees are vaccinated and over 91% of our students are vaccinated,” the email said. “In addition, weekly testing of our unvaccinated community members has successfully taken place for several weeks. Consistently we have tracked positive COVID instances to off-campus activities and/or exposure. This is all good news.”
The message said that due to the success of current policies, current masking procedures will continue to be upheld until Nov. 7, which would the College time to measure campus health after students return from fall break.
“That said, we feel strongly that we have been able to maintain a low number of positive cases by protecting each other, and in particular by following our current masking protocols,” the message said. “Therefore, the current masking protocols will remain in effect until November 7. With fall break ending on October 24, we will maintain the masking protocols and use the two weeks that follow to assess the health of our campus.”
Current masking policies include a requirement for all students — regardless of vaccination status — and for unvaccinated faculty to wear masks in classrooms. Visitors and guests, regardless of vaccination status, are also asked to continue wearing masks in all buildings.
The email also reminded the community to respond to the Daily Health Survey in the event of new or unusual symptoms and unvaccinated students and employees to continue reporting for screening testing until the end of the semester.
The message directed students to the College’s COVID Frequently Asked Questions page for more detail on protocols.
Expressing pride in the commitment of students, the email closed with encouragement about continuing to provide a sense of normalcy for life at Saint Mary’s.
“As we attend in-person meetings and events, as we watch hundreds of students go about their day, we can’t help but smile,” the email said. “We are so proud of how this community has rallied together to bring us a few steps closer to normal!”