Fall 2022 COVID Mitigation Guidelines
A preview of what to expect at the start of the 2022–23 academic year.
I hope your summer is unfolding in ways that are both restorative and inspiring. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Our preparations for the fall semester include updating campus COVID-19 policy in light of ever-evolving conditions. I’d like to offer a preview of what to expect at the start of our 2022–23 academic year. As always, the details and links to full COVID-19 policies and resources will reside on our Be-Safe COVID website.
The guiding principle is 'Prepare to Pivot':
Our COVID-19 journey has taught us that most every policy or guideline eventually gets modified. Our Haverford and Bi-Co communities have been responsive and flexible in adapting to changing conditions, so please bear in mind that circumstances can compel a change in our COVID-19 mitigation practices at any time. Thank you!
After almost two and one-half years of living with COVID-19, Haverford and all of us are learning to coexist with a persistent, mutating COVID virus. Living, learning, and working well together at Haverford means committing to each other within a community of care, one in which we value others’ well-being alongside our own. As we plan for the coming year, several foundational notions guide us:
- Vaccines work. While current vaccines do not eliminate spread, they do reduce the severity of illness and the need for hospitalization. Our vaccine-plus-booster requirement for students and employees remains in place this year. With guidance from infectious disease and public health experts, we continue to track the development of new vaccines and their potential to benefit our learning community.
- Masking works. A well-fitting, quality mask offers the wearer significant protection in their daily campus life.
- Because of our understanding of the virus and how we can mitigate its risks for ourselves, we are able to shift toward more individual choice in COVID-19 risk mitigation.
- Our campus will continue to be a mask-friendly place to live and work. With a few exceptions (outlined below) masking will be an individual’s choice, and individuals will never be asked or expected to unmask.
- All students, faculty, and staff are expected to stay home if they feel sick or experience COVID symptoms. We must not put each other at risk for any respiratory illness by ‘toughing it out.’
- In COVID-19's path toward becoming endemic, data are quickly out of date. We accept that we will not know with certainty the extent of COVID-19 infection on campus or any given location. We will not attempt to identify asymptomatic cases through regular surveillance testing, and we will not be maintaining a dashboard.
- We will seek to support a robust and seamless Bi-Co experience. Wherever possible, we will align our COVID policies with those at Bryn Mawr.
Key policies for the start of Fall 2022 are outlined below. Be on the lookout for further information with more details about COVID policy and practice from various campus partners as the semester nears.
- Students are required to self-test within five days prior to their arrival to Haverford to begin the Fall 2022 semester. The College will not provide arrival testing unless a student is symptomatic.
- Symptomatic students can get tested for COVID-19 at Health Services at no charge throughout the year.
- Faculty and staff are responsible for their own COVID testing as needed, in consultation with their medical provider.
- Hosts will establish masking expectations for all gatherings, inclusive of faculty in their learning spaces, and organizers of events.
- On our mask-friendly campus, nobody may forbid mask-wearing in a given space or a gathering.
- Always carry a mask!
- Students who test positive will generally remain in their assigned housing and follow CDC isolation guidelines: a minimum of five days of isolation and masking through day 10.
- A limited number of separate isolation spaces will be available to accommodate complex housing situations, which Student Life staff will manage on a case-by-case basis.
- Contact tracing and close contacts:
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is responsible for conducting their own contact tracing. That means notifying all close contacts, defined as those within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. Close contacts must follow CDC guidance, which generally means masking until day 5 and then getting tested.
- Pivoting toward additional mitigations:
- We will continue to rely on the combination of county infection and hospitalization rates and our on-campus data in setting/changing policy. An increase in COVID numbers in our area or on campus could prompt a return to universal masking for a period of time. Remember: prepare to pivot!
Feel free to share your thoughts and questions about these draft policies via our anonymous Community Care feedback form; we will endeavor to address common questions in our subsequent communications.
To those who have experienced COVID-19 here at Haverford, thanks for everything you have done to minimize campus infections through all kinds of change. Thank you in advance for working together to have a safe and healthy 2022-23!