facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

MASK USE is Optional 

Latest Campus Update

September 9, 2022 (1:40 p.m. Central Time)

Dear Campus Community, 

We are completing the first two weeks of the semester with new COVID cases remaining below our 3% prevalence threshold. That means EFFECTIVE MONDAY, SEPT. 12 we are lifting the classroom masking requirement with which we started the academic year. Mask use will be optional. 

Even though our current COVID prevalence has leveled off it’s important to remember that COVID continues to circulate and still poses a real threat to some members of our community. 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. 

Health Services continues to offer on-campus testing Mondays through Fridays. You can find information about both on-campus and off-campus testing options at https://simpson.edu/covid-19/covid-19-testing-options.  

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. 
  • You can find more information by reviewing the CDC’s recommendations for isolation.  

Those exposed to COVID-19 are not required to quarantine but are asked to mask around others for 10 days and take a COVID test five days post-exposure. Please review the CDC’s recommendations for COVID-19 exposure for more information.  

We will continue to monitor COVID prevalence on campus and in the broader community, update our campus COVID dashboard weekly, and keep the campus community updated on any necessary protocol changes.  

Watch for information about an on-campus COVID-19 vaccination/booster clinic later this semester. 

Recommendations
 
Get vaccinated.
Having up to date COVID-19 vaccinations is the greatest defense against the virus. Simpson will be collaborating with HyVee to offer a COVID and flu vaccination clinic early in the fall semester – watch for details!

Submit vaccination information.
All students should visit simpson.medicatconnect.com to provide COVID-19 vaccine and other health information, even if it was submitted last year. To login, use your Simpson username and password.

For any questions related to Medicat, please contact Health Services.

Use a high-quality mask when necessary.
The CDC’s Mask Use and Care guidance can help you decide when a mask may be the best choice for you and those around you. If you or someone you know is in need of a mask, please visit Health Services to receive a KN95 mask.

Respect your community members.
Members of our community will continue to wear a mask for a variety of reasons. Please demonstrate respect for the choices individuals are making to protect themselves and others. 

Prevention protocol

The CMT and Health Services will continue to track COVID-19 cases across campus. If the number of positive cases exceeds 3 percent in one week, mask-use will be required in classes and recommended in other indoor spaces for 2 weeks, or until case counts drop below 3 percent. The campus COVID-19 dashboard, available on SC Connect, will continue to be updated weekly.

Please visit simpson.edu/covid19-plan for the current Simpson COVID-19 plan and to access other COVID-related information.

If you have any questions please email, covidresponse@simpson.edu.

 



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.