–ALL students must participate in on-campus testing this week and use the Pick-A-Time scheduler to reserve a date and time, if that hasn’t been done already. We will return to the original “Block B” testing schedule on Monday, September 13.
–As long as we remain in the “low” or “moderate” transmission category, outdoor masking will not be required for students, faculty, and staff.
–Beginning today and continuing for the remainder of the semester, on-campus testing will happen in the lower level of Myrin Library. No testing will occur in the field house.
Dear Campus Community,
Officials in Montgomery County, where Ursinus is located, have issued a new recommendation stating that people in high transmission areas should now wear masks outdoors. This recommendation takes effect today, September 6, and impacts most of the county, which has seen a steady rise in positive cases and transmission rates over the past several weeks.
Early testing of our campus indicates that Ursinus currently has a moderate transmission rate and, as a result, is not subject to that updated recommendation. Consequently, we will tentatively continue with our current mask guidelines that do not require students, faculty, and staff to be masked while outdoors.
However, we take the news about the county’s concerns seriously. It is important we always know, in real-time, the health of our campus community–and that we are prepared to act quickly should the circumstances on campus ever change. For that reason, we now expect every student to participate in testing this week. Originally, this was to be our first full week of periodic testing–what we are calling “Block A”–but given the news from the county, we are expanding this week’s on-campus testing program to include every student. We hope to continue with Block B, as originally planned and communicated, next Monday.
To recap: All students, regardless of vaccination status, are expected to get tested on campus this week. Please have your NAVICA user profile completed so that you may directly receive test results.
Please use the same day and timeslot you reserved through Pick-A-Time (https://ursinus.edu/PickATime) as this week’s new testing time. For those of you who have not yet submitted anything through Pick-A-Time, the scheduling program that was explained in last week’s communication, you must do so now. The effectiveness of the campus’s testing program depends heavily upon your support and participation.
All testing beginning this week, and lasting through the end of the semester, will now take place in the lower level of Myrin; no testing will occur in the field house.
One week of comprehensive testing of every student will give us a real-time snapshot of our campus community. We are being proactive out of caution–nothing is as important to our long-term success as our ability to maintain a low transmission rate. And should the environment change, whether here on campus or beyond our borders, we will be prepared to act quickly to protect your health and safety as best we can.
Out of respect for the county’s new recommendation, however, we will encourage campus visitors to wear masks while outdoors for their own well-being–as well as for the health of our community.
Thank you for your support!
Mark Schneider, Chair of the Virus Task Force
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College