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Winterim 2022 Update

January 6, 2022

Updates to our mitigation, isolation and quarantine policies

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Happy New Year,

Now that Winterim is underway, we are busy preparing to welcome students back to campus for in-person living and learning together in the Spring 2022 semester. We have adopted the revised CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation that came out on December 27, 2021. This means that quarantine and isolation times have changed. We are also closely monitoring the developments of a federal mandate that may significantly impact our COVID-19 policies, should it go into effect.

Therefore, the President’s COVID-19 task force is focusing on two primary strategies to keep our campuses open and vibrant for the rest of the academic year: mitigation and compliance.

Mitigation

Thanks to solid guidance by the CDC and state and local health officials and YOUR efforts, we were able to successfully manage the viral spread of COVID-19 on campus last semester. Barring any added federal mandates and in alignment with current guidelines, Spring 2022 campus policies will include:

  • Face coverings – We will continue to require masks in classrooms, labs, and gathering spaces (including Chapel, library, sporting events, and in-person meetings), and strongly encourage masks in all indoor public spaces.  Please remember to bring appropriate face coverings with you when you return to campus!
  • Vaccination – We will continue to encourage all students, faculty, and staff to get fully vaccinated (including the booster). The vaccine is free and available right here on campus.
  • Daily Symptom Tracker – We will continue to require all Concordians to complete their daily symptom tracker. Please note that isolation and quarantine protocols have been adjusted in accordance with revised CDC guidelines.

Isolation

People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status.

  • Stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of the day of the positive test for asymptomatic persons).
  • You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, you can end isolation after 5 days.
  • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until day 10. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days.

Quarantine

If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are in one of the following groups, you DO NOT NEED to quarantine:

  • You have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters
  • You had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days

Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19. If possible, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you WILL NEED TO quarantine if you are in one of the following groups:

  • You have completed the primary series of recommended vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • You are not vaccinated.

Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home, if possible, and continue to monitor yourself for symptoms. If you do not develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact.

Compliance

While Concordia’s COVID mitigation strategy is closely aligned with the recommendations of the CDC and state and local officials, we are also obligated to prepare for the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), should it go into effect. Concordia will not implement these policies until we are required to do so by law.

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

On Friday, Dec. 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). Barring any further injunctions, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will move ahead with implementing the ETS, which mandates that all employers with more than 100 employees require every employee to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or wear face covers while at work and be tested for COVID-19 at least one time per week.

It is unclear if the law will be implemented or not. The President’s COVID-19 task force is closely monitoring the situation and making plans for implementation should we be mandated to do so. Please continue to check your email for any updates.

During this quieter month, we hope you stay healthy and that you are able to enjoy some peace and restoration. We look forward to seeing you very soon.

Steve Taylor