August 4, 2021
A Message from Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD, President
Effective Thursday morning, August 5, we are going back to mandatory masking indoors on Ursuline’s campus. With a recent increase in COVID prevalence, Cuyahoga County this past weekend met the CDC’s benchmark for “substantial transmission,” or its second-to-worst threat category. COVID hospitalization rates continue to rise. As the CDC states under the heading, “When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated:”
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health concurs, issuing this statement today.
To protect ourselves and others, we will all wear masks inside Ursuline buildings, unless we are alone in a room (office, or residence hall room). This article on Cleveland.com explains the rationale succinctly. In short, “The more-transmissible delta variant has increased the odds that someone who is fully vaccinated can pass on the virus; a face mask offers additional protection for everyone else.”
Respect for others is, of course, a Core Value at Ursuline.
In addition to this new mask mandate, here are the steps (announced last week) that we are taking to limit the spread of COVID on campus.
For the start of the regular Fall 2021 semester:
All students on campus, both undergraduate and graduate: before you arrive, you must email one of the following to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Picture of your vaccination card (both sides)
- Proof of a negative COVID test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival on campus
- Proof of a positive COVID test, no more than 90 days prior. If you have tested positive, follow the instructions of your healthcare provider about length of isolation.
Faculty and staff, if you have not already done so, you may email an image of your vaccination card to email@example.com. To date, 89% of full-time faculty and staff have submitted proof of vaccination.
Can’t find your vaccination card? Contact your local health department for directions regarding obtaining a replacement.
All athletes (residents and commuters) and non-athlete resident students, including those who have already had COVID, must submit one of the above before your arrival to campus in order to move into a residence hall or practice with a team. If you have not submitted one of these documents, you will not be allowed to move into a residence hall or attend a sports practice.
If you are not yet vaccinated, we encourage you to begin that process as soon as possible.
Ongoing surveillance testing:
With the start of the regular semester, we will resume weekly surveillance testing for unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff. As before, anyone who submits a copy of a vaccination card is exempt from testing. We will test 3-5% of our unvaccinated population, chosen at random, every week.
Athletes will continue to be tested during practice and competition seasons. Watch for information from the Athletics Department for details.
Unvaccinated members of our community should maintain social distance from others on campus, whether in a classroom, lab, prep area, studio, fitness center, or dining hall.
Finally, we expect all students, faculty and staff to continue assessing their health daily before coming to campus and to monitor for any symptoms of COVID. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, stay at home, rest, and contact your health care provider.
We will continue to monitor the level of community spread locally and revise our policies accordingly. Thank you for staying on top of this fast-changing situation by reading your emails. We remain committed to caring for one another and look forward to the year ahead.