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COVID-19 in the Smith Community, August 27, 2020

COVID-19 in the Smith Community, August 27, 2020

Dear students, staff and faculty:

I write to share that, earlier today, an on-campus community member participating in Smith’s screening program received a positive result for COVID-19. We are following college protocols, which are:

  • In the case of a student, moving the individual to dedicated, on-campus isolation housing and providing appropriate care and support. In this case, the college would initiate on-campus contact tracing, notification and mandatory quarantine procedures for close contacts.
  • In the case of an employee, requiring that they remain off campus and receive appropriate care until cleared by their primary health-care provider to return to Smith. In this case, Smith College would initiate on-campus contact tracing and consult with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for off-campus contact tracing.

While we expect further positive test results in light of the college’s large-scale, frequent screening program, it is important to note that the college has planned for this scenario. Further positive cases will be reported through the college’s COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard to ensure transparency and provide an ongoing update on the status of testing and cases in the Smith community. Further positive cases will not be reported via email but rather through the dashboard.

In accordance with applicable privacy laws, the college will not release any personally identifying information regarding this or any future cases.

As a reminder, any member of the Smith College community with symptoms related to COVID-19 must immediately follow the college’s exposure response and protocol. Students approved to be in residence on or near campus must contact the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness immediately if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

I also urge you to continue following prevention guidelines:

  • Wear a mask or approved face covering.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched (such as doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Tara Dumont, M.D.
College Physician