Health and safety protocols for J-Term and spring term
As we start the week, the COVID-19 committee would like to reach out with new information to help get us through the peak expected this January, and then onto a safe and successful spring term. This will be one of several communications this semester to inform the community of current policies and practices as they may change given the internal and external environment.
As we have seen over the past year and a half, conditions surrounding COVID-19 can change quickly. The committee continues to meet weekly and is monitoring current circumstances. As cases of the omicron variant are expected to be prevalent and peak in the next few weeks we would like to implement additional precautions to help slow the spread.
Please note the information in the sections below:
“Fully vaccinated” refers to individuals who have had the full cycle of initial vaccinations and then also a booster if the appropriate amount of time has elapsed since the last dose. This will particularly be important in the new student-athlete guidelines outlined below. If you have exceeded the window for a booster for the respective brand of COVID-19 vaccination you have received, then you are no longer considered fully vaccinated.
While not required at the moment, we are strongly encouraging students, faculty, and staff to connect with a booster when it is the appropriate time. There are certain activities on campus that will require individuals to be fully vaccinated. A new booster submission form is in the works and will be available shortly. This form will allow individuals to calculate when they are due for a booster based on the type of vaccination and the date of their last dose. It will also allow individuals to submit documentation. More information will be shared on this tool when it is ready for the community.
- Pfizer-BioNTech: 5 months after primary vaccination series
- Moderna: 5 months after primary vaccination series
- J&J/Janssen: 2 months after primary vaccination
Provost Office Class Policy
The Provost’s Office would like to communicate that we are delivering all J-Term classes in-person unless ADA or temporary accommodations have been worked out with area deans. If faculty have special circumstances that may require temporary accommodations to in-person course delivery, please talk with divisional deans.
Please note all Carthage community members (students, faculty, and staff) must wear a mask in all indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. Masking is required in the residence halls as well until further notification. Read additional mask guidelines
Practice and play for indoor competitive sports do not require mask-wearing by the athletes while active. Please see the section on athletics for more on athlete requirements. Additionally, fully vaccinated participants in academic fine arts productions are exempt from the mask requirement while presenting during rehearsals and performances, provided 3’ distancing and room ventilation requirements are met.
All unvaccinated individuals (students, faculty, and staff) will need to continue to test as they have in the fall semester on a weekly basis. Asymptomatic testing during J-Term will take place in the Potente Chapel on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At the moment, if you have had your initial round of vaccinations you do not need to test. Those without boosters do not need to test at this time with the exception of student-athletes and coaching staff. Students exhibiting symptoms should go to the Health and Counseling Center for testing.
Anyone who tests positive — regardless if they are symptomatic, asymptomatic, vaccinated, or unvaccinated — will be required to go into isolation for five days from the date they tested positive with a tentative date of release to normal activities on Day 6. The date of testing is considered Day 0 and then we count forward.
Assuming the positive student in isolation is not experiencing symptoms or managing symptoms with medication at Day 5, they will be released to return to normal activity on Day 6 but will be required to wear a well-fitted mask at all times (campus, off-campus, and in their private room or home) through Day 10.
If on Day 5 the positive student is still experiencing symptoms managed by medication or not, they are required to continue isolation through Day 10 for return to normal activities on Day 11.
If the positive student was asymptomatic upon entry to isolation and later develops symptoms, the clock for isolation resets back to Day 0 for a new set of 5 days of isolation.
If a student-athlete in isolation is in season and can secure a test on their own on Day 6, they may submit it to the Athletic Training Office for review and consideration of mask removal during practice or competition between Days 6 and 10.
All symptomatic student-athletes that have been placed in isolation will need to be cleared by the Athletic Training Office in order to return to team practices and competitions.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated and is identified as a close contact (in the presence of a positive case, masked or unmasked in less than six feet for an accumulated 15 minutes or more) will be required to go into quarantine for five days from the date of contact with the positive case with a tentative date of release to normal activities on Day 6. The date of contact is considered Day 0 and then we count forward.
Assuming the close contact in quarantine is not experiencing symptoms at Day 5, they will be released to return to normal activity on Day 6 but will be required to wear a well-fitted mask at all times (campus, off-campus, and in their private room, or home) through Day 10.
If on Day 5 or earlier the close contact in quarantine begins to experience symptoms, they need to get tested. If the test is positive, they will move to the isolation protocols already outlined.
If an asymptomatic student-athlete in quarantine is in season and can secure a test on their own on Day 6, they may submit it to the Athletic Training Office for review and consideration of mask removal during practice or competition between Days 6 and 10.
Meetings and Gatherings
In order to help prevent the spread and remain in person this term, we would like to limit meetings and gatherings when possible. The regulations below will be in place until further notice. We are hopeful that we will be able to go back to less restrictive guidelines once we get past the peak.
We are not planning to remove furniture in common areas at this point as there are fewer individuals on campus during the month of January. Should we need to take this action as we move into the spring term we are prepared to do so.
- Meetings for faculty, staff, and students should be virtual whenever possible. Zoom accounts are available through OneLogin for all members of the Carthage community.
- If you have a virtual event that would benefit from access to campus facilities or the internet, facility space is able to be reserved for virtual events.
- Approved in-person events need to be limited to the COVID capacity of the facility or space being requested.
- Physical distancing of 3’ or more between individuals.
- Masks are required indoors.
- Organizations should specifically plan for addressing hygiene and sanitation, including access to hand sanitizer or hand washing stations, sanitization of individually used spaces (tabletops and chairs), and trash disposal.
- Equipment and supplies should not be shared.
- If an approved in-person event includes providing food and beverages, they should not be shared. Those wishing to offer food and beverages should work with Sodexo to offer pre-packaged options whenever possible.
New NCAA Athletic Guidelines
The NCAA has updated its definition of those who they considered fully vaccinated. These new regulations go into effect on Jan. 31, 2022. The new definition would require student-athletes to have received their initial vaccination and a booster based on the schedule below:
- Within two months of having completed the primary series of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (one dose).
- Within five months of having completed the primary series of the mRNA Pfizer vaccine or within six months of having completed the primary series of the mRNA Moderna vaccine (two doses for both).
Additionally, a person who has had a documented COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days is considered the equivalent of “fully vaccinated.”
Under this new definition, those who are not fully vaccinated (have not had a booster shot), will be subject to weekly testing (or 3x week testing if in season) and will have to quarantine if deemed a close contact.
Once a booster shot is received, that person is considered fully vaccinated. There is not a two-week waiting period. If a person has recently tested positive and is in the 90-day window, they will not need to be tested or quarantined if deemed a close contact.
Athletic Event Spectator Policies
Carthage athletics may alter spectator policies for indoor athletic events to reduce the risk of transmission between our student-athletes, visiting teams, and spectators. Changes to the spectator policy will be posted on the athletics website and social media pages. Spectator policies may vary amongst CCIW institutions, depending on the state, county, and institutional guidelines.