Wittenberg’s Covid Response Team, which is responsible for the communication of protocols, advice, and plans regarding COVID-19, has been hard at work this spring.
On March 10, upon return from Spring Break and Wittenberg’s first-ever FIRE week, the university’s Response Team announced a campus-wide mask policy update.
The update outlining the new policy was sent via email to all Wittenberg students, faculty and staff. The new face-covering policy gives students, faculty and staff the freedom to choose whether or not they would like to wear a mask indoors.
The update was issued in response to Clark County’s CDC community risk level, which currently sits at “medium”. At a medium risk level, those who are at-risk are advised to wear a mask.
For all others, a general sense of caution and awareness was suggested. The response team also attributed their decision to the high vaccination rates and low case rates observed among Wittenberg students, faculty and staff.
The email included a note to all concerning the social outcomes of the decision. Wittenberg affiliates were encouraged to support one another regardless of the personal decision made regarding face-coverings. Excluding situations where face-coverings are set as a requirement, such as at the request of a professor or event organizer, the team urged that everyone should be allowed to make a self-informed decision without harmful backlash.
The update was signed with an inspiring note to the university, “We have been in this together from the start of the pandemic. We now ask that our community continue to show that same Tiger spirit as we finish out the semester.”
Since the announcement of this change in policy, the team has remained consistent in its efforts to maintain safety on campus.
Shortly after the change, all students, faculty and staff were reminded of the continued mandatory submission of weekly tests for those who remained unvaccinated. However, near the end of March and only one week later, this mandate was turned over as well.
The cautionary practices on campus continue to decline, with voluntary testing at Wittenberg also being paused. Due to the recent limited use of the university’s program, anyone seeking testing is urged to utilize the testing available at the University Health Center or the Mercy Health Red Clinic.
Though cases are low here, the team suggests that those on campus remain in a cautionary state. In the most recent communication, the team highlighted the rise of cases elsewhere and hinted at the possibility of reinstating protocols.
In this last and most recent note, the team wished students a joyful end of the semester. All were encouraged to report any at-home positive tests, but as for now, the team is looking forward to a “perfect” Commencement for the class of 2022 in May.
All updates and resources regarding COVID-19 on campus can be found here: https://www.wittenberg.edu/together/updates-resources