Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Congratulations on a successful start to the full Fall semester. The faculty and staff worked diligently preparing for this moment, laying the groundwork for a full and vibrant return to an in-person academic year despite the numerous challenges of the last 18 months. The Executive Transition Team wishes to again express our sincere gratitude and thanks to them. If you have a moment, we hope that you will consider doing the same.
The following message contains important information on COVID-19 campus operations – Face Coverings, Student Testing, Isolation/Quarantine Guidelines, Contact Tracing, Vaccinations, and the COVID-19 Dashboard.
For the health and safety of our campus community, SNU continues to adhere to CDC COVID-19 guidelines related to isolation/quarantine, and to follow all state and local mandates. All individuals on our campus must wear a face-covering indoors regardless of vaccination status. Also, all individuals who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to wear a face-covering both indoors and outdoors.
Sierra Nevada University requires mandatory PCR weekly testing for all unvaccinated students every Wednesday 11:30am – 1:00pm in Patterson 211. We offer PCR testing for any symptomatic student, or any student that has been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone who has COVID-19. In addition, due to the nature of their training and competition, our athletes test weekly regardless of vaccination status.
With the number of cases in Washoe County and our surrounding communities, it is inevitable that there will be some cases that occur on our campus. Our aggressive approach to frequent testing is to catch cases before they lead to outbreaks on campus. We have set aside dorm rooms for isolation/quarantine of students living in the dorm to avoid such an outbreak.
Isolation keeps someone who is sick, or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms, away from others.
Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who was COVID-19 away from others.
We have set aside isolation/quarantine dorm rooms for students living on campus to avoid an outbreak.
Unvaccinated individuals who had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone with COVID-19 need to test 3-5 days after the exposure and MUST quarantine for 10 days after the exposure even if the test result is negative. If they develop symptoms while in quarantine they must isolate 10 days from the date symptoms started.
Vaccinated individuals who had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone with COVID-19 should also consider testing 3-5 days after the exposure. However, they do not need to quarantine unless they become symptomatic. If their test comes back positive they must quarantine for 10 days regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not. Vaccinated individuals with symptoms must quarantine pending test results – they may leave quarantine upon receiving a negative PCR test, but must isolate for 10 days from the date the symptoms started if they receive a positive result.
Any individual who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be tested regardless of vaccination status, and should quarantine until they receive their test results. A positive test requires isolation, regardless of vaccination status.
Contract tracing within the University campus community will be conducted by designated members of the University’s Risk Management Committee. They will handle all communications with individuals, and provide additional quarantine guidelines to any potentially exposed individuals. Current health recommendations do not require a “contact of a close contact” to quarantine.
In addition, we are providing notice to students and faculty if there is a positive case in their classroom. However, having a student test positive or be symptom-positive in the classroom does not mean the class needs to be canceled or taught remotely. Close contacts (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) of a positive case in the classroom will be provided additional instructions depending on their vaccination status. We will assess the situation in each classroom on a case-by-case basis.
Although we have made significant progress in the fight against COVID-19, the Delta variant remains a concern for our University and community. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that vaccination, face coverings, and personal responsibility continue to be our best lines of defense in fighting the spread of COVID-19. We strongly encourage vaccinations for all students who are able to receive one. In the event of a COVID-19 breakthrough infection, vaccination significantly reduces the severity of the infection. The imperative here is clear: vaccination is not only for you, but also for the health and well-being of those you love, those you live and study with, and those you work with. Immunize Nevada provides easy access to vaccination appointments.
We have designated October 11, 2021 as Healthy Balance Day, and are working with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District to host an on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic for faculty, staff, and students on that date. We have also been in touch with the Tahoe Forest Hospital District and hope to be able to provide additional wellness programming that day. Stay tuned for details.
We have developed an SNU COVID-19 Dashboard as an informational resource for our campus community. The dashboard is provided as an attachment. We will continue to provide the information in this format until such time as we can build out a webpage.
We can keep our campus safe by adhering to CDC, state and local health policies and guidelines, and by caring for one another. We are a small and intimate campus – there are no strangers here. This is what distinguishes us from other institutions. We care about each other and our community, not simply as fellow humans but as friends, neighbors, classmates, and family.
We wish you all a healthy, productive, and academically challenging – yet rewarding – semester.
The team at firstname.lastname@example.org