Smith College A Culture of Care

January 10, 2022 Weekly CIRT Campus Update

Letters to the Community
January 10, 2022

Dear students, staff and faculty:

Please ensure that you are checking your email at least once per day in order to receive policy updates and respond to critical contact tracing inquiries.

Below, please find important campus, regional and national updates from the COVID-19 Incident Response Team (CIRT). 

Campus Status

Over the past seven days, there have been sixty one positive cases of COVID-19 reported through the on-campus campus screening program.

We continue to contact trace all positive cases in consultation with the Northampton Health Department. For more data on the screening program, please visit Coronavirus Screening.

Expected Increase in Caseload

Given the prevalence of the Omicron variant, we expect (and continue to see) a consistent stream of COVID-19 cases within our community. This is not surprising given the transmission of COVID-19 in the broader community. Hospitalization rates for the Omicron variant are lower than previous variants, and data has shown that vaccinated and boosted individuals have strong protections against severe illness. Our community’s vaccination rate is over 99%.

We continue to plan for an in-person spring semester with appropriate health and safety measures in place.

Positive Tests from Outside the Smith College Testing Program

Students and employees: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the Smith College testing program or believe you are a close contact to someone who has tested positive outside of the Smith College testing program, please contact testingandtracing@smith.edu.

Changes to our isolation and quarantine policies

Following CDC guidelines, campus isolation and quarantine policies have changed. Fully vaccinated students or employees who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for a minimum of six days. Exiting isolation will require two negative rapid antigen tests, improving symptoms and a lack of fever for 24 hours without the aid of medication.

Campus Center Café Closing after January 11

Due to staffing issues, the Campus Center Café will close after January 11, 2022, and reopen as soon as possible. 

Booster Reminders and Guidance

  • Boosters are now required for the Smith community. This is especially critical given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
  • The Schacht Center for Health and Wellness is offering a COVID-19 booster vaccine clinic to eligible Smith College students and employees. Please click here to sign up for a booster.
  • Students must upload a copy of their updated vaccination card, reporting the date on which they received their booster shot, to the Schacht Center’s confidential patient portal by Friday, January 21, 2022 (or 30 days after becoming eligible for a booster if eligibility is after December 21, 2021). Uploading instructions can be found on the Schacht Center’s website.
  • Employees must upload their booster information to Workday by Friday, January 21, 2022 (or 30 days after becoming eligible for a booster if eligibility is after December 21, 2021).
  • Individuals who have completed 10 days of isolation and are asymptomatic/fully recovered from COVID-19 can get their booster if they are two months out from the J&J shot or six months out from a mRNA vaccine (Moderna/Pfizer) or a WHO-approved vaccine.

Reminder: Next Community Meeting is January 12

The next all-community meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 12, at 12:30 p.m. at https://smith.zoom.us/j/93293837876.

covid19info@smith.edu