Friday Update: Pandemic Response

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Over the past week Pierce County has rolled back to Phase 2 in Gov. Inslee’s reopening plan for Washington state and the fourth wave of the virus is here. In light of this, we have been fortunate to continue experiencing a very low incidence of COVID-19 on campus. Thank you for everything youare doing to keep yourselves and all members of our campus community safe. You can find the latest information about how we’re doing on our COVID-19 dashboard.

A few other important things to know include:

Vaccinations

  • At this time we are strongly encouraging but not requiring members of the campus community to be vaccinated. Look for more guidance about this as we announce testing and other mitigation plans that will be in place for the summer and fall.
  • Counseling, Health and Wellness Services (CHWS) conducted very successful Moderna vaccine clinics on April 21 and 22.  We received more doses than we had ordered, and were pleased to open up registration to family and friends, as well as students at Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Washington-Tacoma. Thanks to everyone on campus who pitched in to support this event!
  • We hope to hold another vaccination event soon. Should public health officials end the current pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, we have a small supply of this single-dose vaccine that may become available for distribution. CHWS will follow up via email as we learn more.
  • Vaccine availability in Pierce County has increased significantly. Please avail yourselves of the opportunity to sign up for vaccination through nearby pharmacies, health care offices, and mass vaccination sites. More information is available on the Washington state vaccine locator website and through the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Testing Pavilion Reopens Today

  • To support the vaccination clinics, the testing pavilion was temporarily closed on Wednesday and Thursday. Students—please be sure to stop by the testing pavilion today.

Updated University Travel Policy

  • Revisions to the university’s Statement Regarding Temporary Restrictions on International and Domestic Travel Due to COVID-19 include anupdate on international travel that is effective immediately, and an update on domestic travel that will go into effect May 17, 2021.
  • The domestic travel policy has been updated to reflect current CDC guidelines, which vary depending upon vaccination status. Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff members who travel out of state may not return to regular campus activities until after they receive one negative COVID-19 test and complete a seven-day self-quarantine period. Please review the revised policy in full to make sure you are in compliance.
  • All international travel on behalf of or otherwise supported by the university continues to be prohibited until further notice and personal international travel is strongly discouraged. The university expects campus members to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 international travel guidance and to comply with any applicable Washington State quarantine requirements for higher education institutions prior to coming or returning to campus. Regardless, before entering the University of Puget Sound campus, all international travelers, whether campus members or visitors, must complete a 14-day self-quarantine period after international travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
  • Most study abroad programs for the summer have been cancelled by the program providers. Affected students have been notified. Please contact the International Programs office with any questions.

Returning to Work on Campus

  • Over the summer we expect to begin to transition back to working on campus in preparation for a campus-centered experience in the fall. Most summer term courses are being offered remotely, with some in-person and hybrid courses. All fall courses are scheduled to take placein person. Faculty and staff members—especially those who have been working remotely—are encouraged to review and expected to comply with the COVID-19 Work on Campus plan.
  • As we are a residential campus, all faculty positions and the vast majority of staff and student staff positions require a presence on campus to support our students and their success. To facilitate our remote operations over the past year and to modernize our policy, in August 2020 the university introduced a new telework policy, replacing the previous work from home policy. This is a flexible work option that supports remote work when the position and the staff member are suited to such an arrangement and the needs of the department and university can be met. Staff members interested in continuing a portion of their work remotely beyond summer 2021 should discuss this with their supervisor. Approval is required by the supervisor and department head, in consultation with their area vice president/provost.

Preparing for Move-out and Commencement Weekend

  • In order to safely support the ceremonies and move-out weekend, we will not be able to allow any other in-person events the weekend of May 14–16. Our interim policy on campus events remains in place, and departmental and other events must remain virtual throughout the remainder of the semester, with the exception of a very small number of activities approved by the provost and area vice presidents in accordance with policy and for which detailed plans and protocols are in place, including senior music recitals and the senior art show. The restrictions on in-person gatherings includes all events and activities that are sponsored by or affiliated with the university, whether on or off campus.
  • Details about the in-person May 16 ceremonies for the undergraduate and graduate classes of 2020 (10 a.m.) and 2021 (3 p.m.) are on the Commencement website. Note that attendance is limited to two guests per graduate, and tickets are required for entry.
  • More information about move-out weekend is available on the residence life website; students have also received communication via email.

Thank you again for your exemplary adherence to public health guidelines as the semester comes to a close. Let’s stick with it, and stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Isiaah
Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President