December 10, 2021
Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,
I write regarding the increased presence of COVID-19 on campus and in the region, and the steps we are now taking to keep our community as safe as possible. We will raise our operating status to Level 2: Enhanced Covid-19 Precautions, effective immediately, and implement the changes below beginning tomorrow, December 11, and through the end of December.
The number of cases across all constituencies on campus and in the local community has risen over the past several weeks. UMass, for example, has reported 98 new cases between December 1-7 and cases are high throughout Hampshire County. Also, the FDA reports increasing evidence of the waning effectiveness of the vaccine against COVID-19 infection.
We expect, with the protocol changes, to limit, if not avoid, student cases requiring isolation that would affect exams or plans to leave campus. A positive test result, which requires 10 days of isolation, will not only affect students’ plans, but it also places additional burdens on staff across the College who care for them.