We have had a great week of moving students on to campus and welcoming all students back to in-person instruction! It’s hard to believe that it was almost three months since our last in-person classes.
Many thanks to the Grounds Crew and FLC COVID-19 Testing Site employees who braved single-digit temperatures and multiple snowstorms to stay open over the last 2 weeks! We have administered over 2,300 tests at our site since January 18th and our positivity rate is well below 1% with only 11 positive cases so far. In addition to the testing completed on campus, we have received over 700 test result documents from students who completed their mandatory test elsewhere.
Next week, we will begin our weekly mandatory testing strategy. Testing asymptomatic individuals within our community will help us get out in front of any potential outbreaks. Every week, about 10% of the campus population will be randomly selected to participate. All FLC community members who are engaging on campus will be required to test when their name is drawn. Those that have tested positive within the last 90 days will be exempt from the weekly testing. Those that choose not to comply with the mandatory testing by the deadline will not receive a green health pass on the FLC App until they complete a test.
Widespread testing will help us understand the prevalence of the disease in our community, and seeing such a low number of positives is encouraging. Let’s continue what we learned last semester and double down on our mitigation strategies (mask-wearing, distancing, handwashing, and symptom tracking.) We successfully got through last semester without a classroom exposure, which is a direct reflection of the dedication our faculty and students had to these strategies.
If students are symptomatic, in quarantine or in isolation, our Academic Notification Team will notify the student’s faculty members. Those students will not be allowed back in class, nor be given a green health pass until cleared by one of our public health representatives.
As a reminder, the COVID Response Team leads contact tracing efforts with all of our students and San Juan Basin Public Health continues to lead contact tracing for all employees. It is critical to the health of our community that you cooperate with either of these groups if they contact you to complete a case investigation. Any employees involved in quarantine or isolation protocols should contact their supervisor and the HR Office.
Now that we have test data available for the Spring Semester, you can continue to track FLC-related cases at www.fortlewis.edu/coronavirus. As a reminder, our drive-thru testing site in the FLC Stadium Lot will be open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to noon and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. To register for a test, please go to www.fortlewis.edu/covid19testing or schedule an appointment via the FLC App.
Over the break, our community took responsibility for their health and took appropriate precautions to give us the best chance at a successful in-person semester. The Campus Health Team and the COVID Response Team will continue to plan and adjust strategies to ensure we are holding up our end of the bargain. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for these teams to consider moving forward.
Let’s have a great semester!
Jeff Dupont | (He/His/Him)
Associate Vice President
Student Affairs Division
Fort Lewis College