Please read this email in its entirety.
- Booster shots are required; upload your documentation by Jan. 3
- KN95 or similar filtration masks must always be worn in indoor public spaces
- Twice weekly testing is encouraged for all staff and faculty
- Limit indoor social interactions
- No food or drink in classes, meetings, or at events
- Public events will continue, with no food/drink, and KN95 masks required
Dear Staff and Faculty,
As we prepare to welcome you back to campus, we also are prepared for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is affecting communities across the world.
Our priority is to continue in-person, on-campus living, teaching, learning, and working at CC, because we know that’s so important to our students’ learning and well-being. Thanks to you and those serving on our COVID policy and implementation team, we’ve been successful doing that this year, even as county transmission rates remained at an all-time high. We’ve always known there will be challenging times with the pandemic, and this is one of them. With your help, we expect we can preserve in-person experiences and activities through the academic year.
Omicron is likely to be prevalent during January and February. Fortunately, reports show that most people who are fully vaccinated and boosted will not experience severe illness or hospitalization. That’s good news for our highly vaccinated CC campus community.
Booster shots are required for all fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students who are eligible. There are no exemptions for booster shots. We urge all unvaccinated individuals to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
KN95 masks, which will be provided by CC, must be worn at all times in public spaces indoors. If you have your own KN95 masks (or similar high-filtration masks, such as N95, KF94, or FFP2), you may wear them.
- Staff and faculty may pick up masks at the Worner Desk next week. Availability information will be posted to the Today at CC digest.
- Additional BinaxNow or FlowFlex at-home test kits (two tests per week per employee) will be available to faculty and staff from the Worner Desk. We will share information on a Qualtrics form for tracking test inventory early next week.
- We will share quarantine and isolation guidance for employees, based on recommendations from El Paso County Public Health, early next week.
Reduce your risk
- COVID-19 is an airborne virus. We can get sick if we inhale air that contains viral particles. Mitigate accordingly, including at home when non-household members are present, by: indoor masking (use masks that act as a filter such as KN95 masks or similar); increasing ventilation of indoor spaces by opening windows and doors; and filtration using portable filters. The key idea is to avoid sharing unfiltered indoor air with non-household members. You can also create your own filtration with these DIY plans.
- We encourage all members of the campus community to limit indoor social interactions during the Omicron wave. Case numbers in El Paso County are now growing exponentially, and the positivity rate is 20%.
Food at Campus Events/Meetings
- No food or drink is allowed indoors in classes, meetings, and at campus events. All dining will be takeout only through J Block and Half Block (Jan. 21), when we will revisit this policy. It is OK to take sips of water, but there should be no prolonged unmasking.
Public Events and Visitors
Public events may continue, and visitors are allowed on campus with these stipulations:
- No food or drink is allowed at events. Concessions will be suspended at Ed Robson Arena and the Fine Arts Center until further notice.
- KN95 masks or similar must always be worn in indoor public spaces including at events.
Take Action Now
Words cannot express our gratitude to the many members of our campus community who have been working during Winter Break to develop policy and procedures, implement plans, and prepare the campus for being in-person in the coming weeks. Please help us honor their work by participating in public health practices in the coming weeks. Thank you for your partnership as we navigate this phase of the pandemic.
Chief Public Health Advisor to the President
Chair, COVID-19 Policy and Implementation Committee