COVID-19 Update

January 11, 2022

To:  University Community
From:  Vice President for Administration Michelle Rogers and the COVID Task Force
Subject:  COVID-19 Update

On Jan. 2, we announced that all courses would be taught online Monday, Jan. 10 through Monday, Jan. 17 in recognition of the challenges of meeting the testing conditions for return to campus, the rise in positivity rates driven predominantly by Omicron, and expected surge following holiday celebrations and travel.

We write today to address the University’s plans for learning modality in the coming weeks by following the most reliable data and asking for everyone to plan flexibly. To maximize the amount of data we have to inform the decision about the College’s teaching and learning modality for the week of Jan. 18, we will announce a decision at the latest by Friday, Jan. 14.

The COVID Task Force, in consultation with President Krista Newkirk, has reached the following decisions on how to proceed:

  1. We will continue to monitor student, faculty, and staff positivity rates, including results of post-holiday return testing.
    • Please complete your post-holiday attestation form as previously directed.
    • We will assess the percentage of community members who require quarantine or isolation (Q/I) based on receiving a positive test result, reporting a known exposure, or displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If we reach a Q/I rate above our threshold to return to campus, we will continue instruction online through Friday, Jan. 21 to preserve the integrity of the learning experience and protect the health and safety of our community.
  1. College of Arts and Sciences students (undergraduate and graduate) should continue to plan to return to campus by Tuesday, Jan. 18 for the start of in-person instruction. To position the University to be able to respond to up-to-date Q/I data, CAS faculty should make contingency plans for online and in-person modality for week two of the semester.
  2. The Schools of Business & Society, Education, Theology, and Continuing Studies will proceed with plans as previously communicated directly by the respective deans and directors.
  3. Employees should continue to report to work in person if they are not in isolation or quarantine.

We remain committed to preserving the health and well-being of our communities, and we are hopeful we can soon return to in-person operations. As always, thank you for your flexibility in the face of changing conditions.