Dear Faculty and Staff,
As the Fall 2022 semester nears, it is an appropriate time to review Union’s COVID related policies and protocols in order to continue promoting the overall health of our community. At Union, we are committed to creating a learning and living environment that is safe for all and particularly for the most vulnerable among us, and we greatly appreciate the overwhelmingly positive response the community has had to these policies. Thank you for all you do to keep Union healthy!
The key policies and protocols remain in force:
- Union is a vaccinated campus. All Faculty, Staff and Students must be fully vaccinated (including at least one booster.) We are proud to share that we have full community compliance!
- Our current mask policy remains in effect, i.e., masks are required to be worn in all indoor public spaces such as classrooms, offices, and chapel, with the exception being in the Burke library which is “masking optional” in accordance with Columbia’s policy. We will review this policy throughout the semester and announce changes as the situation evolves. Note that faculty and others may remove masks to teach and for other public speaking events, as long as an appropriate distance from others is maintained.
- Union’s visitor and guest policy remains in force as currently presented on the Union website which can be found here: https://uniontheo.wpengine.com/covid-19-visitor-policy/
Union continues to closely monitor CDC recommendations and safety protocols:
For those who test positive for COVID-19, you must immediately notify the Chief Human Resources Officer. Here is the link regarding CDC updated guidelines for isolating if tested positive for COVID: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html The highlights of the updated guidelines are:
- If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.
- Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
- Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask.
- Do not travel.
- Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
- End isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were.
- If you had no symptoms -You may end isolation after day 5.
- If you had symptoms – You may end isolation after day 5 if:
- You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Your symptoms are improving
- If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
- If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
- If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.
- If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
- After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving), wear your mask through day 10 OR If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.
For those who have been in contact with individuals who have or may have COVID-19, you must immediately notify the Chief Human Resources Officer. Here is the link regarding the updated CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/if-you-were-exposed.html
The highlights are:
- Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed for 10 full days
- Start counting from Day 1
- Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19
- Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure
- You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed
- Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel and public transportation settings.
- Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are vulnerable.
- Watch for symptoms
- fever (100.4°F or greater)
- shortness of breath
- other COVID-19 symptoms
- If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, get tested, and stay home until you know result
- Day 6, get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure; test even if you don’t develop symptoms.
- If you test negative, continue taking precautions through day 10
- You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.
Thank you for taking time to review these protocols. Union maintains its ongoing commitment to a safe and healthy community, but achieving this depends on you and on all of us working together!
Please contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.
And, of course, stay safe and healthy!
Chief Human Resources Officer