Dear Immaculata Community,
It’s hard to believe that the summer is winding down. Over the past few months, we have been actively planning for what we hope and expect will be a much more normal fall semester. The purpose of this note is to supply you with some details about the expectations for every member of our campus community for the upcoming fall semester. Despite our hopes for complete normalcy, current alerts from national and local health officials are concerning. Chester County is now classified by the CDC as a substantial infectious zone. As a result, the following campus protocols for fall 2021 will be effective immediately:
Masking: Masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public and common spaces on campus including classrooms, laboratories, and other meeting spaces. Masks are not required in individual offices or when outdoors on campus; unvaccinated persons are required to wear masks outdoors when attending a gathering or where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This practice is effective immediately.
Indoor facilities and Dining: Indoor spaces will return to full occupancy. Dining will resume full indoor operations and all students, faculty and staff are welcome to dine indoors. Plexiglass will remain in place in the dining hall as an additional precaution.
Visitors: Visitors must enter buildings with masks. Contractors, vendors, or other visitors essential to university business who work indoors on campus must wear masks and should maintain physical distancing where possible.
Testing and Quarantine: We will not conduct surveillance testing for vaccinated students or employees. Community members who are not considered fully vaccinated or have received an exemption must continue to do a COVID-19 health check daily. Testing for community members with exemptions will not be required; however, if there is an outbreak on campus, we may need to move to required surveillance testing of unvaccinated community members.
Vaccination Guidelines: COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students and employees. Individuals can apply for exemptions for medical reasons or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Booster vaccinations may be required if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds them necessary.
Students and employees who do not provide their vaccination status or complete the exemption process will not be able to come to campus. Students who are not compliant will be subject to university code of conduct procedures. Employees who are not compliant will be placed on an unpaid leave and should not report to campus. The grace period for this policy ends August 12, 2021.
Any individual who tests positive (regardless of vaccination status) must isolate for 10 days. Any unvaccinated individual who is identified as a close contact (longer than 15 minutes of contact at less than 6 feet) of a COVID positive individual will need to quarantine for 10 days. This quarantine may be shortened to a minimum of 7 days, if the exposed individual receives a negative PCR test administered on Day 5 from exposure or later.
As has been our practice from the very beginning, we continue to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19, including all variants, and follow guidance from the CDC, and state and local health officials. We will not hesitate to implement more stringent measures if warranted due to future conditions. I know the above-mentioned practices may not be what we had hoped for, but it is imperative that we all continue to do our part to keep our campus safe and healthy. We are all in this battle against COVID-19 and its variants together and I firmly believe the actions we are taking today are necessary measures.
Stay safe and enjoy these remaining weeks of summer.