One of the best ways to protect yourself, the campus community, and the Chequamegon Bay area is to be vaccinated against COVID-19. There are several vaccines that are safe and effective, even against variants of the virus. While not required, Northland College strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to become vaccinated. It is because of increased vaccination rates that it is possible to ease COVID-19 policies. Students are encouraged to submit their vaccination status to firstname.lastname@example.org, and faculty and staff are encouraged to submit their vaccination status to email@example.com.
- July 29: Indoor Masking
- July 16: Fall Arrival Dates & Vaccinations
- July 1: Looking to Fall
- June 15: New Summer Protocols
- Read the COVID Communication Archive
Posted: July 29, 2021
Dear Campus Community,
Effective Friday, July 30, Northland College will require masks indoors for everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status. The College is following the lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which recently issued new guidance for masking in response to increased spread of COVID-19.
Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing in Ashland and Bayfield Counties, as well as neighboring counties. Wisconsin’s seven-day average of new cases is seven times what it was a month ago, and more than 80% of recent infections are due to the delta variant.
The delta variant is more infectious than the original variant of the virus. While vaccines are still effective against this variant, breakthrough infections are still possible, as well as transmitting the virus while vaccinated. Levels of vaccination are not yet high enough to prevent spread alone. The College is still highly encouraging vaccinations to reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19.
Masks are not required while in your residence hall room or while alone in a private office. People who are vaccinated do not need to wear masks outdoors, though six feet of physical distance is still recommended. People who are unvaccinated are still expected to wear masks outdoors when it isn’t possible to maintain six feet of physical distance.
Please read our campus plan to know what to expect on campus. Northland College will continue to make decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of the campus community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Posted: July 16, 2021
Fall Arrival Dates & Vaccinations
The fall arrival dates for Northland students depend on their vaccination status. Messaging with details about arrival dates and vaccinations was sent by the Northland College COVID Team to returning students on July 15 and new students on July 16. All students should refer to this email, regardless of if they live on campus or not. All students who do not submit documentation of a COVID vaccination will need to sign up for a COVID test before the start of classes—this also applies to students who live off campus. Students who live on campus also received details about move-in dates. It is important that all students check their Northland College emails as the start of the academic year approaches.
In considering the complexities of risk assessment, mitigation, and management associated with keeping our campus community safe, the College is strongly encouraging all students to get a COVID vaccination prior to arriving on campus.
We will continue to monitor pandemic conditions and make decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of the campus community.
Any questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Posted: July 1, 2021
Looking to Fall
At their meeting on June 25, the Board of Trustees affirmed the benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations and committed to making COVID-19 vaccinations readily available to all members of the Northland College community, but ultimately voted not to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of returning to campus this fall.
The Trustees’ decision is grounded in (1) the understanding that, regardless of whether or not the College mandated vaccinations, Wisconsin law would allow waivers that would require the College to function with a mixed population of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals; (2) an assessment by our Chief Medical Officer demonstrating that a vaccination mandate would not, in the context of number one above, increase the College’s ability to provide a safe campus this fall; and (3) recognition of the continued diversity of feelings about the COVID-19 vaccinations.
Following the Board’s decision, the COVID-19 Planning & Response Team reviewed the College’s current protocols and recommended continuation or adoption of the following protocols for the fall (unless future changes in understandings or circumstances relevant to the pandemic lead to revisions).
For individuals who provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated
- Testing for COVID-19 is not required upon arrival to campus or as part of routine screenings.
- Masks are no longer required in campus buildings or while outdoors, except during class sessions or while traveling, as specified below.
- Quarantines are not required after exposure to individuals with COVID-19 or after travel outside of the region.
For individuals who have not provided documentation that they are vaccinated
- Masks are required while inside campus buildings and anytime 6-feet of physical distance from other individuals cannot be maintained outdoors.
- Contact tracing, testing, and quarantines for exposure to the COVID-19 virus will continue.
- Pre-registration for travel outside of the region will be required, and quarantines may be required upon return.
- Students who are not vaccinated will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus in the fall, podded or self-quarantined for 7 days, and tested again at the end of their quarantine period before classes begin.
- Athletes who are not vaccinated will be subject to regular surveillance and testing as mandated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
For all individuals, regardless of vaccination status
- In classrooms, labs, and other teaching locations, seating will be spaced to maintain 3-feet of distance between individuals; everyone will be required to wear masks during class sessions.
- In campus vehicles, or campus-sponsored vehicles, travel will be allowed at full capacity, but all individuals will be required to wear KN-95 or double masks, unless there is documented verification that all individuals traveling in the vehicle are fully vaccinated.
All of the protocols above are consistent with current CDC guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been reviewed by the College’s Chief Medical Officer. The COVID-19 Planning and Response Team will continue to monitor circumstances, research, and information relevant to the pandemic and will adjust protocols accordingly.
Additional and more detailed protocols relevant to specific Northland College activities will be communicated as needed.
If you have questions about the Board of Trustees’ decision or the protocols above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: June 15, 2021
New Summer Protocols
Due to changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that at least 91% of faculty and staff have been vaccinated, the College has revised its COVID-19 protocols. These new protocols are effective Tuesday, June 15.
Here are the updates:
- If you are fully vaccinated, you are no longer required to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors. Same goes for visitors. You may continue to wear face coverings if you choose to do so; however, they are no longer required.
- If you are NOT fully vaccinated, you are still expected to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces and when you cannot maintain six feet of physical distancing from others.
- Visitors in groups of five or fewer are now permitted on campus without prior registration. To register groups of six or more, email email@example.com.
- Faculty, staff, and students are no longer expected to register their travel.
- Large gatherings and events on campus continue to be discouraged. All events expected to include 30 or more people require pre-approval and are encouraged to be held outdoors whenever possible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for pre-approval or with any questions.
The College continues to encourage physical distancing and checking for COVID-19 symptoms. Do not come to campus unless you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. While not required, Northland College strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to become vaccinated. It is because of increased vaccination rates that it is possible to ease COVID-19 policies.