Updated COVID-19 Policies
January 21, 2022
Dear Albion College Community:
We are excited for the return of students to campus and the start of classes on Monday, January 24, 2022. As we continue preparations for the Spring Semester, we must address ways to keep the College campus safe and healthy. The Omicron variant unfortunately will require us to shift how we maneuver through this highly contagious stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the symptoms produced by the Omicron variant prove to be mild, infection rates are at all-time highs. In discussions with the Calhoun County Health Department, we believe that caseloads will peak and begin to decline the first week of February. As a result, the college will need to implement a few short-term policies to help mitigate the spread on campus. The policies that will be implemented have proven to be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on our campus while causing the least amount of disruption to our ability to provide our students with residential, in-person learning.
We anticipate the peak in COVID-19 cases associated with the Omicron variant to happen the first week of February. Thus, the policies below will be in place until Feb. 11, 2022. It is our hope that data from the Calhoun County Health Department and cases on campus will allow us to suspend all of these policies after that date. If that is not the case, we will evaluate each policy weekly and suspend them as appropriate and as quickly as possible.
COVID-19 Mitigation Policies for Spring 2022 Effective January 22 to February 11
- Masking will be required in all indoor spaces. The CDC has updated masking recommendations and encourages the use of KN95 masks. As a result, the College has purchased enough KN95 masks for each student, faculty, and staff member to receive four. Each mask can be worn for 5 days and then should be replaced.
- All large Institutional Advancement and Admission events will be virtual, moved off campus, or rescheduled for after Feb. 11.
- Changes to Dining Operations:
- The number of grab-and-go/to-go options will be increased.
- Where possible, chairs will be removed in lower Baldwin to de-densify the space.
- Upper Baldwin will be open for student dining only Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner.
- Dining in Baldwin will be restricted to students, faculty, and staff only.
- In-person social gatherings in campus buildings, including residence halls, fraternity houses, sorority lodges, College-owned apartments, etc. will be prohibited. This includes pausing all Campus Life gatherings.
- The capacity in all indoor campus recreational and workout spaces will be reduced to 50% (except when being used for academic purposes).
- No outside visitors will be allowed in residential buildings. This means access to residential buildings will be limited to Albion College students and appropriate staff only.
- Capacity/attendance will be limited at co-curricular events:
- Athletics – A spectator policy will be released in the coming days. Information about the policy will be located at gobrits.com.
- Theater/Music/Lectures – Limited to 50% capacity of the venue or 250 depending on which is smaller.
These policies are TEMPORARY and critical to a successful start of the Spring Semester. In addition to these temporary policies, we will continue to conduct wastewater testing twice per week and surveillance testing of students on campus throughout the semester.
Our Together Safely page will be updated to reflect these new policies.
As you prepare for your return to campus, please remember that if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and do not come to campus. Please contact Melissa Sommers (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further instructions. Students that return to campus and test positive for COVID-19 at check-in will be asked to return home for isolation.
Associate Dean of Wellness/Athletic Director/COVID-19 Coordinator
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students