We continue to track COVID-19 and the omicron variant closely.
Following CDC guidance, we will operate as follows:
- Getting the booster is essential and mandatory (unless a medical or religious exemption can be established – please contact the Dean if you want to make a case on those grounds). By February 1, 2022, every member of this community needs to have provided confirmation that they have had the booster.
- Classes remain in person with all present wearing masks (save for the person speaking); If one needs to isolate or quarantine, then do ask the professor to permit a friend to record the lecture on their phone or copy the notes from a classmate.
- Worship remains in person with all present wearing masks (save for the person speaking). We have created an online option (for further details, see below).
- Inside all buildings, masks are required, unless eating or drinking.
- We encourage everyone to review travel needs and only take essential flights. If you take a domestic or international flight, you should complete a home rapid test and monitor symptoms closely upon return.
- Please do participate in the community testing; please do let Nurse Julia know if you are unable to do so. If you are showing any symptoms, then please do not attend community testing. Instead, obtain a PCR test from another provider.
- Visitors to the campus should be vaccinated and boosted. The host of the person or group will be required to collect proof of vaccination using the form available on the COVID Resource Center page in VTSHub (login required). Bishop Payne Library, the Refectory, and 1823 are not responsible for checking the status of guests.
- Reporting of positive cases on campus – we will ask the person testing positive to notify those with whom they have been in close contact – defined as fifteen minutes or more over the course of 24 hours in close proximity (monitored by Nurse Iva). We will inform proctors (as needed, to provide meals). To enable community awareness, the cases across the campus will be summarized in a Dean’s Commentary from time to time.
Should Cases Occur
Now it is likely that we will get some cases. If this happens, then you should take the following action:
If you test positive, you should:
- Stay home (or in your residence hall/apartment) for 5 days. Please inform your proctor and the Associate Dean of Students of your status so that they can coordinate your meals and pastoral support.
- If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
- Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
Now given we are a fully vaccinated community, if you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19, the guidance is now as follows:
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
Spring Semester Worship Details
After consultation with the Dean, Chapel practice has been modified in light of the new variant. We continue to offer an “in-person” experience. However, we do invite those with underlying conditions that put them at a greater risk or who simply do not feel comfortable, to participate in worship through the livestream. Starting on Monday, January 31 (the start of the semester service) and going through the month of February (ending Friday, February 25), our practice will be as follows:
- All primary worship services will be live streamed (Monday Morning Prayer, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday morning Holy Eucharist, and Thursday afternoon Holy Eucharist). The link for the live stream is available on the Worship page on the Hub. These services will continue to be in person as well for those who wish to worship in person.
- To shorten the services, there will be no music, and preachers are asked to keep their sermons to 7-10 minutes.
- The Opening Holy Eucharist will not include an academic procession.
- The rota for spring services has changed. Please review it for changes affecting the entire semester. It can be found on the Worship page of the Hub.
- Evening Prayer will be offered on Zoom, not in person. The Zoom link will be posted on the Worship page of the Hub. Officiants will receive a guide on how to conduct the service via Zoom.
- Compline will remain on Zoom/live streamed in the VTS Community Facebook group.