May 14, 2021 (9:54 a.m. Central Time)
Dear Simpson College students, faculty and staff:
The CDC announced yesterday updated mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. The new guidance offers tremendous hope for a return to normal and also provides support for the CMT in our work to revise Simpson’s COVID operational phases.
It’s important to point out that the new CDC guidance pertains to fully vaccinated individuals. In its statement, the CDC acknowledged that communities must continue to work with specific protocols to ensure the welfare of all individuals within the community. The CMT is taking this exact approach in crafting updated campus protocols. We need to consider the vaccination level of our campus community.
Our goal is to reach an 80-percent vaccination rate as a campus. That is the level of community immunity which protects us all, including those unable to receive a vaccine. Until we reach the 80-percent threshold – or require individuals to publicly display their vaccination status – we must continue to exercise the practices proven to mitigate COVID spread: wearing masks and social distancing.
At this time, Simpson continues to follow the published COVID protocols for the Yellow operational phase, including the use of masks.
The CMT is working to revise our protocols and will share those with the campus community in the coming weeks. We are also hopeful to enact a process to assess our community vaccination rate as early as next week. And we will continue to make it as easy as possible for members of our community to get vaccinated.
Thanks to each and every one of you for all you’ve done to get us to this point. I know we’ll continue to be a community that cares for each other so we can move forward together. We are ONE Simpson.
Vice President for Student Development and Planning
Chair, Crisis Management Team