November 5, 2020
Dear campus community,
Through cooperative testing and investigation with San Juan Basin Public Health, Fort Lewis College has identified a COVID-19 outbreak in the FLC community. Per SJBPH, an outbreak is defined as two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among individuals from separate households within a single classroom or cohort, whose onset of disease occurred within the same 14 days.
At this time, two or more individuals have been confirmed as COVID-19 positive within the football community and are isolating. All football activities have been cancelled until further notice and all football staff have been asked to work remotely. Anyone associated with the football program will be tested for COVID-19 this week.
SJBPH and FLC staff members have notified close contacts of the individuals who are positive for COVID-19; a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. All close contacts have been instructed to quarantine for 14 days. The outbreak investigation is ongoing and additional cases or contacts may be identified.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, it is best practice to track your symptoms daily and to schedule a COVID-19 test 5-7 days after the potential exposure (time period of COVID-19 incubation). As we see cases rise in La Plata County and across the state, everyone in our community is highly encouraged to limit personal contacts, track symptoms daily, and take advantage of our free on-campus testing should any symptoms arise.
At this time, FLC will continue with in-person instruction while closely monitoring these cases and their contacts. We have the necessary resources and staff capacity to manage this situation currently. Should we have widespread outbreaks that alter our ability to effectively contact trace or exacerbate our mitigation resources, we will not hesitate to move all course instruction online for the safety of campus.
This scenario is unpredictable, but our response planning has prepared us to manage it as best as we can. It’s critical that you take heightened precautions to stay healthy.
FLC take seriously the privacy of the individuals affected and they will not be identified publicly. The Health Center views all test results and will notify appropriate personnel as follows:
Students: Faculty will be notified when a student is officially placed on symptom watch, quarantine, or isolation by the Health Center. Faculty will receive an email explaining that the student needs remote learning access and assigning them an academic case manager.
Employees: The Health Center will notify Human Resources, who will coordinate with the employee’s supervisor for remote work accommodations.
PILLARS OF MITIGATION & TESTING
It’s essential that we continue to practice our pillars of virus mitigation to keep each other safe:
- Stay home as much as possible, especially when feeling unwell for any reason
- Avoid social gatherings with more than one household, especially indoors
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands frequently
- Practice physical distancing
- Track your symptoms daily in the FLC App and stay home when you’re sick
- Get tested if you have symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19
COVID-19 tests are free for FLC employees and students at the drive-thru testing site in the FLC Stadium Lot, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. FLC employees and students can register for testing at www.fortlewis.edu/covid19testing.
Fort Lewis College