I hope your semester is off to a great start! I write today to provide updates and information about our COVID-19 policies on campus and other important public health information. Topics include:
- COVID Testing
- Protocols for Positive COVID Results for Students, Staff, and Faculty
- Preventative Health Practices | Vaccinations
Our campus masking policy will end on Friday, Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. Although we still have COVID-19 transmission of on campus, symptoms remain mild, and SHAW is able to manage care. Over the past few weeks, we have been monitoring the COVID cases reported to SHAW and have seen 95 positive cases so far this semester; we have 32 students currently in isolation. While the current omicron variant is highly transmissible, it has been shown to cause less severe illness. In addition, vaccines help prevent severe illness and hospitalization. The decision to let the mask policy expire on Sept. 2 was made in consultation and with the support of representatives from the offices of the Dean and President, as well as the Executive Council, Staff Council, Office of Student Affairs, and SGA.
Please remember that anyone is welcome to wear a mask at any time. Please respect each other’s choices. High-risk individuals should mask as appropriate and can use the accommodation process if needed. High-quality masks will continue to be made available to students and employees.
Free Test Iowa PCR Test Kits are available on campus. The courier is running daily through Sept. 17 (except for Labor Day and Sundays). Pick-up times are Mon.–Fri. at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. Same-day results will be available for tests deposited before the courier pick-up time. Beginning on Sept. 19, the courier will pick up on Mon., Wed., and Fri. at 10 a.m.
Protocols for Positive COVID Results
Students – If you test positive, contact SHAW at 641-269-3230 or email email@example.com. Please refer to this quick guide on isolation and quarantine; additional guidance on COVID exposure can be found here.
Staff – If you test positive, do not come to work and report your absence to your supervisor. For more information, please refer to the staff protocols and quick guide on isolation and quarantine.
Faculty – If you test positive, do not come to work and report your absence to the dean. For more information, please refer to the faculty protocols and quick guide on isolation and quarantine.
Preventative Health Practices | Vaccinations
In addition to basic health and hygiene practices such as careful handwashing, the CDC recommends some prevention actions which include staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines/boosters. Vaccinations are available through your local pharmacy. Students can contact SHAW for a ride to appointments during business hours.
The fall and winter bring more opportunities for illnesses such as strep throat and the seasonal flu. Please continue to take preventative actions every day to stop the spread of germs and illness.
Thank you for your continued support and care for one another. The latest updates and information on testing and protocols can be found on the COVID-19 Planning and Resources Website. If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.