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COVID-19 Update: Jan. 20, 2022

Simpson College REQUIRES MASK USE in all indoor public spaces

Latest Campus Update

January 20, 2022 (9:18 a.m. Central Time)

Dear Simpson College students, faculty, and staff: 

Quarantine Updates 
The Omicron variant has greatly thwarted our ability to effectively implement what have been our established quarantine protocols following COVID exposure. Data collected since the start of this semester show that fewer than 10% of students placed in quarantine went on to develop COVID.  

In light of these factors, we are discontinuing required quarantine following close contact; however, we will continue to conduct contact tracing and individual follow up with students identified as close contacts. We strongly encourage those students to follow CDC recommendations for quarantine and require anyone who chooses not to quarantine to be fully masked around others.

Students identified as close contacts and who choose to quarantine need to notify reslife@simpson.edu in order for us to inform instructors they are excused from face-to-face classes for the period of their quarantine. You can find more detailed information about quarantine and isolation at simpson.edu/covid19/isolation-and-quarantine.

The College has purchased a supply of KN95 masks for all students and employees. We expect to begin distributing these masks by the end of this week. Full-time students will receive their masks in their campus mailbox. If students don’t have a mailbox, masks can be picked up at the Student Development office in Kent. We strongly encourage you to use these, or other medical-grade, masks:

  • In the classroom
  • In other settings where you are near others for an extended period (such as athletic events) 

These masks are not washable. To effectively extend their use we recommend that you alternate use from one day to another to give the masks time to fully air dry between uses.

Vaccination & Boosters 
Our partners from Hy-Vee pharmacy administered over 100 COVID boosters or initial vaccinations at yesterday’s clinic. If you were boosted (or completely vaccinated) at this or another recent clinic, notify and send a copy of your vaccination card to healthservices@simpson.edu (students) or mimi.bartley@simpson.edu (employees). 

Late last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard which would have required unvaccinated employees to test weekly. At this time, the College is not reinstating random testing. 

Health Services continues to provide free COVID tests Monday through Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can find information about testing at simpson.edu/covid-19/covid-19-testing-options.

As always throughout this pandemic, thanks to everyone who has worked hard to care for our #ONESimpson community.  

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