February 18, 2022
With nearly three weeks of the spring semester complete, we are seeing good success on campus and in the regional community — resulting in a revision to masking protocols next week.
Cases Trend Low on Campus
Since the start of the semester, there have only been 35 cases on campus, and most had either no or minor symptoms. Thank you, as this number is a measure of your continued cooperation and compliance with health and safety guidelines.
More Freedoms, Less Masks for Boosted
Now that most of the campus community has been boosted and hospitalizations in the region have subsided, the university has decided it is reasonable to lessen the masking protocols.
Effective Tuesday, Feb. 22, everyone on campus must still wear a medical-grade mask indoors in classrooms and labs, and at events that are open to the public.
Those who are up to date with boosters do not need to wear masks in hallways, residence halls, dining centers, library, offices or the fitness center for recreational activities. Also, there are now options for everyone to snack and drink in classrooms. See the specifics below in Revised Mask Protocols, which is also on our website.
Revised Mask Protocols
The updated Plan provisions take effect Tuesday, Feb. 22:
Everyone on campus must wear a multi-layer, medical-grade mask indoors in classrooms and labs. A layered cloth mask, or one with a filter or atop a disposable mask is also acceptable.
- Food and drinks are permitted in classrooms and labs. Masks can be temporarily moved aside for a bite of food or to sip a drink, and then replaced.
- Persons who are not up to date with boosters must continue to wear masks in all indoor spaces.
- Persons under quarantine for close contact or isolation with a positive test must continue to follow respective protocols.
- Persons traveling in vehicles with others on university business must wear masks.
- Student-athletes must continue to follow NCAA protocols.
- Anyone attending an on-campus event open to the public must wear masks (e.g., events in Houts Gym, Garrett Field House, Stretansky Hall, Deg Theater, Weber Chapel). Signs will be posted at entrances to let you know when masks are required.
- Visitors are strongly recommended to wear masks throughout other areas of campus.
- Everyone is free to mask up at any time and in any place.
Our hope is that after Spring Break, we are able to announce a further easing of masking restrictions. However, should the pandemic take a different course, the university is prepared to respond.
You are free to wear layered cloth masks again, or with a filter or atop a single disposable mask. Please remember to wash them and replace any disposable mask/filter that you wear underneath them.
The university provides medical-grade masks at stations across campus for anyone who forgets one. For students, faculty and staff with health concerns or immunocompromised, Susquehanna will provide high-quality masks through Facilities Management, Athletics, the Student Health Center and Residence Life.
Continue to get your booster shots as you become eligible. Not only will it allow you to have more freedom on campus, but it also could prevent severe or long-term illness and even save your life. If you have not submitted your up-to-date vaccine card, please do so immediately by sending a picture of the card to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water Fountains Reopening
You will see that we are reopening water fountains throughout campus. Please refrain from using them until the restriction signs are removed, indicating the lines have been flushed and are ready for use.
Continue To Smile — With or Without Masks
Never assume that someone wearing a mask is symptomatic, a close contact, Covid-positive, immunocompromised or not up to date with the vaccination requirements. During this transition, some of us will still feel more comfortable wearing a mask. That’s okay and, in fact, the university still recommends that everyone wear a mask when in close proximity to larger numbers of people.
Pandemic Implementation Group
Members of Susquehanna’s pandemic implementation group promise they will continue to:
- Monitor the global situation for the emergence of new Covid variants of concern.
- Emphasize the importance of vaccination, along with a requirement for unvaccinated people to maintain precautions.
- Maintain ventilation improvements in classrooms and other high-density settings.
- Provide high-quality masks on campus for those who want them and/or have symptoms or have been exposed. Also provide them for those with health concerns or immunocompromised.
- Test symptomatic individuals and continue with effective contact tracing.
- Conduct regular screening testing.
- Monitor CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation.
- Monitor local hospital resources.
- Maintain the requirement that all students and employees traveling overseas for GO programs be fully vaccinated and boosted.
- Be flexible in our responses.
As always, we welcome your feedback and questions, which can be sent to email@example.com or by calling the Covid-19 Hotline at 570-372-3333.
The SU Pandemic Implementation Group