Simpson College is currently in Phase Yellow
October 29, 2021 (9:26 a.m. Central Time)
Dear Simpson Students, Faculty and Staff:
The COVID Management Team, following a thorough assessment of the metrics we follow to guide our decisions, will remain in the Yellow operational phase. However, CMT is enacting modifications to our COVID-19 protocols, effective Monday, Nov. 1.
Thanks to increasingly strong vaccination rates and adherence to public health best-practices, the Simpson community has maintained steady and low levels of COVID-19 transmission on campus this semester. The stability of our low positivity rate – despite high community spread in Warren County and the surrounding area – speaks well to the mitigation strategies we have in place.
We are considering all available data – both on campus and in the surrounding area. And as a caring community we must be respectful of those members of our community who, for a variety of personal and family reasons, request that masks be used in any face-to-face interactions with them.
The following protocols remain the same:
- Indoor mask use is required in settings where people are within six feet of each other for more than 15 minutes, including: lectures, concerts, theatre and music performances, athletic events and meetings with more than six participants
- Mask use is required in all class and lab settings
- Testing for student-athletes and other groups will follow current NCAA weekly protocols
CMT is making the following protocol updates:
- Indoor mask use is not required in settings where it is possible to maintain social distancing and avoid close contact for extended periods, such as large public spaces
- Indoor mask use is recommended when in close contact with others due to the high positivity rates in the broader community
- Honor requests for mask use in face-to-face interactions with members of the community who ask that masks be worn
- Random testing will decrease from 35% to 20% of unvaccinated people (approximately 50) per week due to consistently low positivity rates in the current testing format
The one constant throughout the pandemic is that both the virus and our knowledge continuously evolve. CMT will continue to closely monitor campus and community transmission rates and updated CDC guidance. Our goal remains to achieve our 80% vaccination target of faculty/staff and students, allowing us to “go Green” as long as the broader community drops to low levels of community spread.
In the meantime, as always, thanks to everyone for demonstrating your care for the ONESimpson community.
Heidi Levine, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Development and Planning
Chair, Covid Management Team