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COVID-19 Update: Jan. 31, 2022

Simpson College REQUIRES MASK USE in all indoor public spaces

Latest Campus Update

January 31, 2022 (8:03 a.m. Central Time)

Dear Simpson College students, faculty, and staff: 

As the pandemic continues to evolve, our Covid Management Team (CMT) has been evaluating the operational plan and phases we originally established. We have modified elements of the plan as the pandemic has unfolded, but the essential structure and approach were developed in the summer of 2020 – during a very different time and set of conditions. Since then, most of our campus community has been vaccinated (and many are now boosted), increasingly effective treatments have been developed, and guidance from public health experts has been modified.

The color-coded framework which helped us find our way during the earlier stages of the pandemic is no longer serving our community well. As the virus that causes COVID continues to mutate it is prudent to modify our approach accordingly. We are now moving away from a framework which, essentially, prepared us to shut down toward an approach focused on living responsibly with an illness which will, in some form, be part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

“Sunsetting” the color-coded operational phases does not mean we are pretending the pandemic is over and we can return to pre-COVID life. We will continue to provide testing, require a period of isolation for community members who test positive, and follow up with individuals who are exposed. Additionally, we will persist in monitoring COVID prevalence in the broader community, as well as its impacts on campus, and act accordingly. Diligence in following public health experts’ recommendations remains essential, such as requiring use of masks in public settings based on area community spread. As we recently did with campus dining, we will adjust where we need in order to address temporary COVID-related absences. And if future surges or mutations in the virus lead to our being unable to maintain essential services we will work together to adapt.

For now, continue to wear your masks (especially your new KN95s!), get boosted or vaccinated, and remember that we do this as part of a #ONESimpson community which values our individuality and our care for each other.

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