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Message to Faculty and Staff

August 23, 2022

Good morning,

As we begin the Fall 2022 semester, the FSU Re-entry Committee would like to share several updates with you relative to COVID-19.

If you are new to our University community, this committee was established in early 2020 to help students, faculty and staff safely navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. As of late April 2022, we have remained in the post-surge recovery phase, and for that we are thankful. The committee held its final meeting of the spring semester on April 26 and was placed on reserve.

However, with COVID-19 still a reality, last week the Committee came back together to discuss what the fall semester would look like relative to COVID-19 health and safety. Please read the following information and updates below.

Masks

At the conclusion of the Spring 2022 semester, masks were no longer required in classrooms or other instructional spaces. This protocol remains. However, masks were and continue to be required in patient care areas such as the Pharmacy Care Clinic, the University Eye Center (masks are strongly encouraged for patients but not required unless exhibiting respiratory symptoms) and Birkam Health Center. Masks can be requested through the Facilities – Plant Stores operation by key building custodians using the AiM system. Or, you can obtain masks from Human Resources, the Pharmacy Clinic or the David L. Eisler Center Information Desk. Masks for the KCAD campus are available at both building security desks. The University will continue to support all campus community members and visitors who choose to wear a mask while indoors on campus.

COVID-19 Tests

The University has procured at-home COVID-19 rapid tests for distribution on the Big Rapids campus and at KCAD. It is a good idea to have at least one on hand at your place of residence in case you are exposed or have symptoms.

Free at-home tests will be available in the residence halls, the Pharmacy Clinic and at Birkam Health Center for students, and through Human Resources, the Pharmacy Clinic and the Birkam Health Center for faculty and staff. At-home tests can also be picked up at the David L. Eisler Information Desk.

At KCAD, at-home tests are available via shopUICA or you can email Mary Bradshaw.

In addition, at-home test kits are now available at many public libraries and pharmacies such as WalgreensRite Aid and Meijer. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also has a Test Finder on their website to help you locate places throughout Michigan where you can get a free COVID-19 test. Free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests are also available for order and shipment through the United States Postal Service.

Other testing information to note:

  • Birkam Health Center will continue to provide symptomatic testing for students
  • Students will not be required to test upon move-in
  • The University does not anticipate creating large scale testing clinics, but will do so if needed
  • Wastewater testing will continue on campus

Vaccines and Boosters

The University continues to encourage COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots, but they are not required for students, faculty or staff. You can get vaccinated/boosted at most pharmacies or through your healthcare provider. More information is available via the CDC website.

Quarantine and Isolation

On Aug. 11, 2022 the CDC released new guidance relative to quarantine and isolation. If you are exposed to COVID-19 or if you test positive, please review the CDC’s updated isolation protocol here. You can also contact Human Resources at x2150 for information and guidance.

Classrooms

Mobile plastic barriers are still available and currently in many of the classrooms already, in addition to MicrobeCare being applied to the flat surfaces in the classrooms. If you do not see a mobile plastic barrier in your classroom, you can request one through the Facilities – Plant Stores operation and selecting PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

KCAD faculty and staff can order additional cleaning and other PPE supplies via email to Jack Bartholomew.

Building Safety

In 2020, Facilities evaluated the HVAC system capabilities for buildings across campus and implemented strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Through these efforts, the air quality of all of our buildings meet or exceed industry standards.

In 2020, Facilities also applied MicrobeCare to all touchpoints within buildings to combat possible exposure to COVID-19. You can find more information on MicrobeCare here.

Hand sanitizer stations will remain available across campus.

Role of the Re-entry Committee 

  • The Re-entry Committee will continue to serve as a centralized hub for communication on COVID-19 and provide updates as needed
  • The Committee will continue to follow CDC guidelines relative to COVID-19
  • The Re-entry email, [email protected], will remain active and monitored to answer your questions or share information
  • The Committee will remain on reserve and will not meet regularly, unless conditions change
  • Human Resources has updated their webpages to include information on communicable diseases. You can read more here. 

Stay Healthy

Even though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining, it still remains. Please continue to practice daily health habits, such as washing your hands often, keeping hand sanitizer nearby and staying home if you are not feeling well. Please take good care of yourself.

-The FSU Re-entry Committee