Revised Health Protocols
Research and real-world results have demonstrated that COVID-19 vaccines protect people from contracting COVID-19 and are safe and effective in preventing transmission of the virus and its variants. As a result, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (issued May 13) and the Ohio Department of Health (revised on May 17) state that, except in limited circumstances, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance. Prevention measures such as masks and distancing are still recommended for the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated (read details on vaccination status).
Xavier has successfully managed COVID-19 in our community since the start of the pandemic, giving confidence that we can manage the risks associated with these shifting recommendations. After reviewing the updated health guidance from the CDC and the state of Ohio and consulting with TriHealth, the University announced the following revised health and safety protocols for the Xavier community, effective Wednesday, June 2:
- Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance. People are welcome to continue wearing a mask if they would like.
- Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people are at a significantly higher risk of getting COVID-19 and suffering its devastating toll. As such, unvaccinated individuals should continue to protect themselves using mitigation measures, such as masking and social distancing.
- As before, masks are not required indoors when working alone, in a cubicle, or a closed office. Continue healthy behaviors like regular hand washing and staying home if one feels sick.
- These protocols apply to nearly all campus spaces, including common spaces, office spaces, and classrooms. Masks will be required for all, regardless of vaccination status, at Student Health Services at the HUB, following CDC and state recommendations about healthcare settings as well as TriHealth policy.
- Regular daily cleaning continues, and cleaning and hand sanitizer stations will be maintained.
- Classroom furniture needs for summer courses are being assessed; additional furniture will be returned as needed.
- Summer camps involving children who are not of age to be vaccinated should continue to use existing safety protocols.
Xavier employees are urged to make every effort to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. All approved vaccines have been proven safe and effective, and vaccine appointments are readily available. In addition to the personal protection provided by the vaccine, Xavier joins with other Catholic organizations to promote vaccination as an act of charity and solidarity with others that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and build immunity against the virus. TriHealth has helpful COVID-19 vaccine FAQs to address common questions or hesitations about the vaccine, and all Xavier community members are encouraged to reach out to their medical provider with specific questions or concerns. Employees will be required to provide their vaccination status once a system for tracking this status is in place. This information will allow Xavier to make data-informed decisions. Vaccinated individuals will be exempted from quarantine and future surveillance testing. Protocols for the start of the academic year in August will be refined over the summer per current and future guidance and developments.
Our commitment to each other’s health and safety is an extension of our approach to being in community together as Musketeers: All for One and One for All. As Father Graham shared in his recent message to the campus community, “Xavier has successfully managed the challenges that have come with the pandemic, and we will continue to meet the challenges before us as we always do - together.”
Published on May 24, 2021.