To the Thomas College community,
I want to welcome you all back to what I hope has been a successful first week of class for the spring 2022 semester.
We knew and expected that our rate of infection would rise as everyone returned to campus from areas where vaccination rates are much lower and infection rates are much higher than our campus.
Now that you have returned to a highly vaccinated community (98%), the risk of transmission is lower. However, in this transitional period we must remain vigilant by testing and masking.
As you may recall, we have been testing our entire community upon their return to campus to help us transition safely back from the winter break.
Now that most of our community has tested, I want to report our initial results. Thus far, there have been 45 positive cases identified by off-campus and on-campus antigen and PCR tests in the last 8-days. All of these individuals have worked with Human Resources and the Health Center to meet our quarantine and isolation guidelines. This means the current 8-day percentage of our community that has tested positive (on- and off-campus) stands at 5.5%. Thanks in part to our high vaccination rate, our results are well below the Maine state positivity rate of 18.5%. Our community percentage indicates that no additional risk mitigation strategies beyond our current efforts need to be adopted at this time. Should we experience a major spike at any point, we will act quickly to put further mitigation measures in place. Rest assured we are tracking this virus daily.
However, I do want to cover a few important reminders of our current safety protocols:
- Please continue to wear your masks in-doors and practice good hygiene
- If you have not yet tested but have returned to campus, please plan to test Monday or Tuesday of next week
- You can find the latest testing data on our COVID dashboard, updated daily, Monday through Friday
- All community members should test only once when they return to campus. If you have already tested since your return, you do not need to test again
- Following Maine CDC guidelines, if you are asked to quarantine or isolate, it is now only for 5-days. Recognizing that our dashboard shows an 8-day positivity rate, there may be differences between our positivity number and 5-day isolation and/or quarantine number. This is expected
- Thomas College will be offering a booster clinic next week, Wednesday, January 26 in the Student Senate Room from 2 pm – 5 pm. We urge you to please get your booster shot as soon as you are eligible. Please be sure to bring your vaccination card to the clinic
As we have demonstrated throughout this pandemic, we are unwavering in our commitment to open and transparent reporting on the health and safety of our community. Together, we will continue to move forward and make the spring 2022 semester one filled with positive and near-normal experiences.
With deep respect,
Laurie G. Lachance, President