What is Evergreen’s COVID-19 strategy for the fall?
There’s no single right approach to reopening Evergreen for the fall. As community conditions continue to change, we are employing an adaptive approach that uses best practices and current recommendations by health authorities to actively prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community.
Here is what we are doing:
- We use effective prevention strategies like masking, physical distancing, and ventilation. The college is tracking, and in compliance with up-to-date guidance and requirements from the CDC, OSHA, WA Labor & Industries, WA Dept. of Health, and Pierce and Thurston County public health departments.
- We mandate COVID-19 vaccination and ensure compliance with the mandate for all students, faculty and staff who engage in “in-person” activities at Evergreen.
- We employ targeted testing to monitor case rates and sources of COVID-19 spread on campus and among students and staff.
- We use a proactive monitoring strategy to identify and isolate positive cases (whether symptomatic or not) to quickly contain outbreaks. The Evergreen Health Assessment Team, in partnership with the Washington Department of Health, actively monitors cases on campus and areas of increased risk.
- We continuously monitor both local community transmission levels and applicable regulations for changes as vaccination becomes more widespread.
- Once most students and staff are vaccinated, we will consider adjusting monitoring and testing protocols and other countermeasures. As vaccine coverage increases, monitoring and behavior restrictions by vaccinated individuals, and then potentially unvaccinated individuals, may loosen. The exact cut-off for changing these protocols will depend on multiple factors, including community transmission levels and whether other mitigation strategies are in place, and may change throughout the academic year.
- Evergreen unifies all monitoring, and vaccination data and other space reporting where possible to simplify the process for our community and to protect sensitive information. We have built our systems with the assumption that they will be needed well beyond 2021.
While there remain unknowns, Evergreen’s COVID-19 prevention, mitigation and monitoring allows for robust COVID prevention and response, and offers flexibility to pivot and respond to latest information, so we can return to campus safely.