03/08/2022

“Mask Policy update following spring break” letter to the Beloit community

Dear Beloiters,

We hope you’re in the victory stretch before spring break. You’ve got this, Beloiters.

Update to on-campus masking policy begins after spring break

Thank you for your patience as the Task Force continues to assess the COVID situation on our campus and in the surrounding stateline area. We are encouraged by the progress we’re seeing at the college and in the greater Beloit community, and we remain focused on minimizing transmission on campus to ensure the continuation of in-person classes and activities.

After much consideration, taking into account current conditions and the recommendations of the CDC, we have decided that following spring break, effective the week of March 28, masks will be optional in indoor spaces on campus for students, faculty, staff and emeriti faculty and staff.

Planned timeline

  • March 21-23: The on-campus Testing Center is open to all students who desire to test following spring break. Testing is not a requirement for returning to campus.
    • Students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) will continue to be required to complete weekly testing.
  • March 21-26: The Task Force will evaluate our local situation, available test results and current CDC guidelines.
  • March 28: The updated Mask Policy listed below goes into effect:

Updated Mask Policy

  • Students, faculty, staff and emeriti faculty and staff will not be required to wear masks indoors. We will respect the right of any individual who wishes to wear a mask to do so in any setting.

  • All campus visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask while in indoor spaces on campus, except when eating or drinking.

  • Occupants or users of offices, meeting rooms, department spaces, or classrooms may require that masks be worn by all in attendance while they are using that space.

  • Everyone on campus is required to carry a mask that can be put on when necessary or requested. A limited supply of masks will be available in several locations across campus including the Security Office and academic building coordinator offices.

We must remain vigilant 

While we adjust to a campus environment that is more open and flexible at this phase of the pandemic, please continue to be especially aware of and responsive to your own health, and continue to show respect to your fellow Beloit community members. This includes:

  • Staying home when you don’t feel well.

  • Masking up and getting tested if at any time you experience symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Respecting masking expectations in classrooms and labs, and in individual, department and office workspaces.

  • Ensuring your guests adhere to our expectations for visitors.

  • Continuing to respect and follow all campus guidelines regarding COVID-19 exposure, quarantine, and isolation.

As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the overall COVID rates on campus, throughout the local community, and nationally, and we will continue to adjust guidelines as needed. Remember to go to our Beloit COVID-19 Plan page for more details.

Question of the Week

Question

Why are we waiting until March 28th to make this change to the Mask Policy?

Answer

Spring break provides most of our Beloit College community with a physical break from campus. We need to be cautious and deliberate as everyone returns to campus from across the state, country, and the world.

In keeping with our guiding principle, self-care is community care, the Task Force will continue to assess COVID-19 in our area, testing, and potential numbers on campus in our first week back, from March 21-27. Testing on-campus will be available to students by request.

Photo of the week

The last of the winter snow melts away as the sun sets on an early spring evening on the Beloit C...

Closing

We hope you have a great spring break. While you are on break, please continue to follow good health practices, including avoiding high-risk situations and following protective practices in order to keep yourself and others around you safe. Self-Care is Community Care.

Be Well,
The COVID-19 Task Force

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