Three new cases have been identified among our student body. Our thoughts are with them as they isolate from the rest of campus. Additionally, we currently have 13 students quarantining on campus following our contact tracing protocols. We have 32 beds remaining in our expanded health center residences.
Given what we learned in the course of our last outbreak, we expect this outbreak to grow, along with the scope of the contact tracing. The Pandemic Response Team is currently meeting regularly, and is reviewing all options as we manage this situation. We now have a process for this kind of event, and we’re following it.
You have a part to play as well. When each of us follows campus safety protocols to the letter, we can stem this outbreak as quickly as we did last time. Here’s what this means for you:
Masks: Wear them whenever you’re not in your room, office, or eating. You must wear them at all other times in all other spaces: including outside, in the Alfond Center, in your car if others are with you, at athletics practice, and in all residence hall common spaces. The Governor of Maine has mandated this as of last week, and we all must comply with state law.
Distancing: Here’s how I like to think of the CDC’s new guidelines on social distancing. If you have been within 6-feet of someone for 15 minutes over the course of a day and that person has COVID-19, you will need to quarantine for 14 days. That’s a big disruption to your life and your studies. So please: keep your distance.
Travel: Residential students may not take overnights out of state and return to SJC. This policy will be in place for the remainder of the semester. However, this does not apply to the Thanksgiving holiday. Faculty, staff, and commuter students are still bound by the statewide order mandating a test or quarantine when returning from non-exempt states.
Both the outbreak and our enhanced measures to control it reflect what is happening out in the rest of the country. There is evidence of community spread in the state and region and a significant increase in positive cases. Each of us must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and others.
Thank you all for doubling down on your commitment to this community.
President Jim Dlugos