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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

MASK USE is Optional 

Latest Campus Update

March 28, 2022 (12:07 p.m. Central Time)

Dear Simpson College students, faculty, and staff: 

Please take care to review the following updates and reminders regarding Simpson’s COVID protocols, which includes a change in classroom requirements. 

On-Campus COVID Testing 
Health Services is moving testing from the Campus Service Building to the Health Services clinic, located on the 2nd floor of Kent. Walk-ins are welcome Monday – Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you need testing outside this time frame, please email healthservices@simpson.edu to make an appointment. Additional testing information can be found at https://simpson.edu/covid-19/covid-19-testing-options . 

Mask Use in Classes is No Longer Required 
At the recommendation of the Faculty Liaison Committee (FLC), effective tomorrow, Tuesday 3/29/22, mask use will no longer be required in classrooms. The FLC decision was based on CDC metrics, which indicate that Simpson College is currently low risk (given very low COVID cases in the county and on campus) and that one-way masking with a high-quality mask is protective against infection.  

Faculty are encouraged to discuss this change in each of their classes and may request that students continue to mask in their classes. Whether in classes or other settings, show respect and care by honoring requests for mask use. Remember that some members of our community are immunocompromised or have a family member too young to be vaccinated, and using masks is still a good way to keep those who are most vulnerable safe. 

Isolation & Quarantine 
Even as some campus protocols have changed, it remains critical that you follow public health guidelines— especially if you test positive or are exposed to someone who is COVID-positive.  

If you test positive for COVID: 

  • Isolate for 5 days following your positive test or the onset of symptoms
  • Notify healthservices@simpson.edu (students) or mimi.bartley@simpson.edu (faculty and staff)
  • If you are asymptomatic or symptoms have improved after 5 days, you may leave your living space but you must remain masked around others for an additional 5 days.

If you are exposed: 
We strongly encourage you to quarantine for 5 days following your last exposure and to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days, particularly if:

  • You are unvaccinated
  • You have not received a booster dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and are more than 5 (Moderna) or 6 (Pfizer) months out from having received your second dose
  • You have not received a booster and are more than two months out from your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

You can find more information about isolation and quarantine at https://simpson.edu/covid19/isolation-and-quarantine

As we head into the last part of this academic year, it is heartening that our campus and the surrounding community are continuing to see lower numbers of COVID cases. We know this virus and disease will continue to mutate; if we see significant spikes on campus (including 15 or more members of the Simpson community testing positive within a 7-day period) or in the surrounding community we will put back in place more cautious protocols regarding mask use.  

Thank you, as always, for doing your part to help care for our #ONESimpson community. 

Best,
Heidi Levine, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Development & Planning
Chair, COVID Management Team 

 



Resources for Students & Campus Community

Frequently Asked Questions

Previous Updates

To read previous updates, please click on the links below.

Parent and Student Town Hall Recordings

Healthy Practices

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has changed its quarantine guidance to advise against quarantine following exposure if both parties were properly wearing masks. While this is not consistent with CDC guidelines, there are a number of emerging studies that back this up as the right decision and adopted in other states. To that end, Simpson College will adopt the IDPH standards for exposure and quarantine. 

  • Allow the option for people to choose to quarantine 
    • Employees due to campus workplace exposure
    • Occurring in a classroom, using socially distanced seating
  • Continue to quarantine if the exposure occurred outside classrooms.
  • We still need faculty seating/attendance information for contact tracing and if we need to revert to Orange Phase. 

As the new protocols and procedures around quarantine are contingent upon proper face-mask use, please see the following CDC criteria for appropriate mask use on the Simpson campus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html.

  • Masks need to be correctly worn, completely covering the mouth AND nose.
  • Face shields and vented masks are not recommended and will result in quarantine if identified as a close contact.
  • Gaiters are not permitted and will result in quarantine if identified as a close contact.