Dear students, faculty and staff,
It’s been wonderful to see students beginning to return to main campus as we look forward to Welcome Week and the start of the academic year.
We’re in a very different, and more advantageous place, compared to last fall — and compared to most other universities. At Shenandoah, 96% of all benefited employees and 87% of full-time graduate and undergraduate students have submitted proof of vaccination. (If you haven’t uploaded your vaccine card, even if it is your first shot, please do so today!) By the time classes start, we expect our numbers to be higher. The vaccination rate for SU students in high-contact or mandatory groups — such as those living on campus and student-athletes — is approaching 100%.
However, we’ve learned that things change rapidly during a pandemic and the situation is changing even more rapidly right now as the delta variant spreads. All of us at SU are excited about moving forward with our opening plan for this new academic year, but we need to implement some temporary protocols to protect our community given the increasing prevalence and contagious nature of the delta variant. Being part of a community that is so highly vaccinated gives us an extraordinary advantage and we hope that we’ll be able to lift these precautionary measures early this fall.
Masking for In-Person Classes (held indoors)
From Aug. 18 through Sept. 15:
Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks whenever they are in any public indoor spaces
Everyone will be required to wear masks when attending in-person classes held indoors — regardless of vaccination status
Masks will be required for anyone using campus transportation and anyone in the Wilkins Wellness Center — regardless of vaccination status
Masks are required for all guests and family members — regardless of vaccination status — visiting the main campus during move-in days
Masks are required for meetings/events of 50+ individuals in an indoor setting where social distancing isn’t possible (therefore, masks will be required for New Student Convocation)
Faculty or staff meeting with students, colleagues or visitors in private offices or conference rooms may ask the attendees to wear masks
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is welcome and encouraged to wear a mask whenever indoors and in close proximity to others.
Entry testing is required for all students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated and are studying and/or working in person this semester. This includes those who were approved for exemptions
There will be weekly surveillance testing for all in-person students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated
Voluntary testing is available for vaccinated community members. If you’d like to be tested for COVID-19, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shenandoah Go App
We’ve simplified the use of the Shenandoah Go app for this fall. The symptom check does not need to be completed every day — it only needs to be completed if you have symptoms that could be related to COVID-19. For yellow and red statuses, you will get passes noting important information and if, in rare cases, a quarantine needs to occur.
Use the app to:
Fill out the symptom checker, not daily, but only if you experience symptoms that could be related to COVID-19
Report a positive COVID-19 test or possible exposure
Receive important updates and notifications
Demonstrate your status if fully vaccinated with an “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” icon badge; faculty and staff members may ask to see the badge
If you deleted or haven’t yet downloaded the Shenandoah Go app, please add it to your phone today. When creating a new account, please use your SU email address to register.
These are all precautionary measures to keep our university community safe and healthy. We will continue to evaluate these protocols throughout the semester. This fall will not look the same as last fall. With so many in our community vaccinated, we can look forward to a more traditional year, with all of the excitement that comes with new classes, new friends and new goals.
I look forward to seeing you all!