Dear WC Community,
In March 2020, everything nearly stopped in our world with the introduction of the novel COVID-19 virus that became a global pandemic, affecting the lives of all of our students, faculty and staff in some way. We have seen spots of progress where life has normalized in minor ways, but we have been successful as an institution through our consistent lens of following scientific information and public health guidance to ensure the health and safety of our campus. We have been challenged to be nimble as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and our Quaker core value of Community highlights the personal responsibility each of us has to care for one another.
The latest variant appears to have peaked and here on campus our reported cases are significantly less than the start of the year. Our latest COVID-19 Dashboard shows our current campus cases are at zero and we are unaware of any current hospitalizations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance and developed a new tool, COVID-19 by County | CDC, to inform prevention and mitigation strategies. The new county levels can be low, medium or high and are determined by assessing the local hospital beds being used, hospital admissions by COVID-19 patients and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in local areas.
Recommended precautions are now tied to these risk levels. At the low and medium levels, universal indoor masking is no longer recommended as a public health practice. Clinton County is at a low (green) risk level and Hamilton County is at a medium (yellow) risk level. Neither of our campuses are at a high (red) risk level. Based on these updated federal and local health official recommendations and our current campus environment, we have updated our COVID-19 Protocols beginning today, April 6, 2022.
A few highlights that are effective immediately:
The change in our masking practices does not signal the end of this global pandemic, but we can certainly take this moment to appreciate the opportunity to take a step in a positive direction as it relates to the pandemic.
Over the past few years, we have heard from every side of every argument, from current students, faculty, staff, parents and families, alumni and community members. All perspectives have been included in our focus on the health and safety of our community. I thank you for your input and we ask you to remain flexible, understanding that things can and do change quickly at times. Most of all, I ask each of you to model our Quaker core values each day through your words and actions by being respectful and kind to one another. It is time to share smiles again!
We will continue to monitor the impact COVID-19 has on our community, and we will continue to adjust our campus protocols as needed moving forward. We have KN95 masks available, along with access to vaccines and testing for those who need them. After reading the updated protocols thoroughly, if you have any questions, you may reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org and the COVID-19 Task Force will respond accordingly.
President, Wilmington College