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Faculty/staff message: Update after first week of classes

September 10, 2021

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This message covers:

  • Update on COVID-19 activity
  • Campus health requirements
  • How to protect yourself and others
  • How to get support
  • How to stay informed


Dear faculty and staff,

With the first week of classes drawing to a close, we’re reaching out to update you about COVID-19 activity on campus. As expected, the campus testing program is identifying some positive cases – view the dashboard. Campus contact tracers are connecting with employees and students who test positive to provide health guidance and notify close contacts. In addition, University Housing is working to quickly move any residence hall students who test positive or are close contacts into isolation and quarantine.

Our 90 percent campus vaccination rate and masking and testing requirements continue to protect our community, although we can expect to see additional positive cases as the more contagious delta variant moves through the broader community. Vaccinated individuals have the strongest possible protection and if they do contract COVID-19, it is likely to be a mild case, similar to a cold.

The rest of this message contains reminders about campus requirements, resources and how you can protect yourself and others.

Thank you for all you are doing to help our community start the academic year successfully!

Campus health requirements

  • Masks are required to be worn indoors – learn more. We’re seeing good compliance with this requirement. However, if you see someone not wearing a mask where one is required, you may respond directly if you wish. Instructors should ask students who can wear masks but refuse to do so to leave the building. If you are reminded to wear a mask, please comply with the request. In addition, if you observe a student violating masking or other health requirements, you can report the incident using this form; for an employee, you may notify their supervisor. Please note that only supervisors, managers, and HR representatives can direct employees to leave the workplace.
  • The university is enforcing the weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated students and employees – if you’re subject to this requirement, you are receiving emails about it. Those who do not follow the requirement are subject to disciplinary action.
  • Continue to wash/sanitize your hands frequently and avoid touching your face – hand sanitizer stations can be found in many places around campus.

How to protect yourself and others

  • Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if you are vaccinated. Use the coronavirus self-checker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Use no-cost campus testing (by appointment through the MyUHS app or web portal) if you are required to test, you are having symptoms or you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Be sure to check all testing sites for availability as some sites are busier than others.
  • If you or someone you live with tests positive or if you have been identified as a close contact, follow these instructions for isolation/quarantine.
  • Consult these resources on the Office of Human Resources website if you need to take leave or request workplace flexibilities due to the impact of COVID-19 on yourself or your family.

How to stay informed