The following information and policy updates are the result of guidance from the SMWC COVID-19 Taskforce and is intended to help SMWC continue to provide a safe and healthy environment as we continue in-person instruction during the current surge impacting our county, state and nation.
COVID-19 Policy Update – Mask up!
Beginning September 1, the SMWC COVID-19 Taskforce is recommending that masks be worn indoors in public settings by everyone regardless of vaccination status.
Beginning Tuesday, September 7, masks will be required indoors in public settings by everyone. These protocols are being added in response to the following factors:
- Low vaccination rate among the student population,
- Lack of adherence to the current masking policy for unvaccinated individuals,
- Increase in number of positive cases in Vigo and surrounding counties where many employees and commuter students reside,
- Increase in exposure and positive cases among students, especially athletic teams, and exposure among employees,
- And, finally, caution following the long Labor Day weekend, which will undoubtedly expose more people to individuals outside our community
Masks will be required in classrooms and in the dining hall while waiting in line, and should be removed only when seated and eating. Takeaway containers will be available.
Students and employees are still encouraged to have class normally and plan social activities with the use of masks, distancing or by meeting outdoors. Virtual meetings are suggested to minimize large gatherings in small spaces. The latest guidance from the CDC indicates that most transmission occurs in close contact (less than 3 feet) for a duration of 15 minutes or longer. Keeping that in mind, activities may be planned safely and continue across campus.
Daily Reporting Policy – CampusClear
Beginning Tuesday, September 7, students and employees will be required to check in daily (including weekends, vacation or holidays) with CampusClear. Supervisors will be asked to check with their employees. Instructors will be checking in class. Campus Life staff will be doing spot checks in public spaces throughout campus, especially in the dining hall.
The use of the CampusClear app to report your symptoms, positive results or exposure daily is very important for our community as it is the best way for the College to track the current status of students and employees, allowing us to be nimble in responding to any change in our population’s health.
Mask and Campus Clear violations will be tracked by supervisors and Campus Life. Individuals will be given verbal warnings first, followed by written warnings and may be sent home from work or suspended from class if the protocols continued to be ignored.
Vaccines are strongly encouraged as the best way for individuals to stay protected against contracting COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill even if testing positive for the Delta variant. Research shows that increasing vaccine rates across the community is the best way to slow and even stop the pandemic proportion of COVID infections. The SMWC Health Service Clinic is administering COVID-19 vaccines every Wednesday by appointment (812-535-5200).
We can do this!
The SMWC COVID-19 Taskforce asks that we each follow the increased protocols for the next few weeks, so that our community may be safe through the current surge and continue operations in-person and face to face classes.
The Taskforce will continue to monitor the health of our community and may adjust the protocols when we see the surge of infections decline, and if we see the documented vaccine rate dramatically increase across campus. We will reassess over the course of the next few weeks and communicate updates as they become available.