Smith College A Culture of Care

April 26 Weekly CIRT Campus Update

Letters to the Community
April 26, 2021

Dear students, staff and faculty:

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

Campus Status

The campus is currently operating in GREEN mode. For an explanation of the college’s color-coded operating modes, please visit Status & Operating Modes.

Over the past seven days, there have been two positive cases of COVID-19 reported through the on-campus campus screening program. For more data on the screening program, please visit Coronavirus Screening.

Community Forum

We look forward to seeing you in our bi-weekly community update meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday at https://smith.zoom.us/j/93293837876 (Smith login required). Importantly, this meeting will preview the timeline for the fall return-to-campus policy.

Vaccine Clinic

This weekend, Smith was able to provide vaccines to 673 students and employees and 629 members of the local community. We would like to extend a special thanks to the 83 students and employees who volunteered to staff the clinic and the dozens of employees who worked to set the clinic up on short notice.

As a reminder, those who received first doses this weekend will receive an email later this week regarding scheduling their second on-campus dose.

Student and Employee Vaccines

All Massachusetts residents age 16 and up are eligible for vaccination. We urge everyone who is able to be vaccinated as soon as they are able.

As a reminder, Smith College will require all undergraduate and graduate students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester. Students should verify that they are fully vaccinated prior to their fall 2021 arrival by uploading vaccine records to the Schacht Center’s confidential patient portal. Instructions can be found on the center’s website. As with other required vaccinations, requests for medical or religious exemptions will be reviewed and accommodated on a case-by-case basis. The college will help international students or others who cannot get a US-approved full vaccination prior to arrival navigate the process to meet this requirement. We will have additional details about the overall return to campus process, including the vaccination requirement, by mid-June.

As a reminder, vaccination status does not change any Culture of Care health and safety guidelines for students or employees. This includes mandatory screening frequency.

Important Information about End-Of-Year Celebrations and Commencement Activities

In order to prioritize Commencement and maintain the ability to hold an in-person ceremony for our graduating students under pandemic conditions, green mode operational requirements will remain in place through senior week and graduation weekend (unless conditions require a more restrictive mode).

This means that other gatherings and activities will be limited and must abide by mode-dependent restrictions.

Specifically:

  • End of year celebrations should take place via Zoom wherever possible. This will allow for the inclusion of students who are not in the testing program as well as family and friends.
  • Indoor events may not exceed 10 people
  • Outdoor events may not exceed 25 people
  • All events must take place on campus.
  • Food may not be served at events

Please note that violations of operating mode restrictions or other pandemic conditions may require the campus to enter a more restrictive operating mode, up to and including a move to a fully-remote Commencement ceremony.

Technology support may be available for indoor events. Requests should be submitted via Request Help on the digital support site, at least three weeks in advance, to allow time for review and a decision about what support is possible, if any. Please note that technology support is not available for outdoor events beyond Commencement and Illumination.

State and Federal Guidance Changes

While the CDC and Commonwealth may release updated guidance that relaxes some health and safety guidelines, it is important to note that Smith College is not changing any of its guidelines at this time. For the foreseeable future, the following restrictions remain in place to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty:

  • Vaccination status does not change any of the Culture of Care guidelines for individuals or groups (including masking, testing, etc.)
  • Social event restrictions and gathering size restrictions remain unchanged.

Please send any questions to covid19info@smith.edu.

COVID-19 Incident Response Team (CIRT)

covid19info@smith.edu