Jen Lucas, Executive Director of Human Resources, updates employees about important COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
Welcome to the start of the 2021-22 academic year! I am writing today to share some important COVID-19 mitigation updates.
Weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing will begin on Monday, August 30, for employees who have not yet shared their vaccination information with Human Resources. Testing will be conducted through Mobile Health, the company we used for our testing program this past spring. We will offer testing Monday - Thursday at the building located at 53 West Stevens Street (the building to the right of Public Safety). Human Resources will be communicating with impacted employees shortly to review testing times and other pertinent information. If you are required to be tested, please stay tuned for more information.
Employees who experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home from work, isolate themselves from others, and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19.
Additionally, all employees are still required to contact the Human Resources Office as soon as possible if they are confirmed to have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who tests positive. This timely reporting will allow us to evaluate the situation to determine if the employee is required to quarantine or isolate.
Please note: according to the CDC, most fully vaccinated people without COVID-like symptoms do not need toquarantine or be restricted from work if they are a close contact to a positive case. Vaccinated employees who are a close contact must (1) wear a facemask in public indoor settings, including at work, and (2) be tested in 3-5 days after exposure. In contrast, unvaccinated employees will be required to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case.
FDA Approves the Pfizer Vaccine
In a critical step toward the fight against COVID-19, on Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine; therefore, it is no longer under emergency authorization. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., said the following, “The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product.”
If you were recently hired or you recently received your vaccination, please share your proof of vaccination with the Human Resources as soon as possible. You may send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or present your card in-person to the HR Office located on the ground floor of Penn Hall.
As a reminder, per the College’s latest COVID-19 announcement, all individuals—regardless of their vaccination status—are required to wear a mask while inside campus buildings, with the following exceptions:
- When a vaccinated student is inside a campus house or residence hall. Unvaccinated students are still required to mask in campus housing except while in their assigned room or apartment.
- When an employee is alone in their personal office or workspace.
- When an individual is eating or drinking.
Outdoor masking is not required. Likewise, no capacity limits will be imposed at this time on indoor or outdoor gatherings.
The College continues to keep a close watch on the COVID-19 pandemic, the emerging variants, and how they are impacting those with and without the vaccine. We will continue to monitor and update our plans and policies if conditions change.
Executive Director of Human Resources