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Jan 14: Updates to Quarantine and Isolation Directives, Mask Requirements

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff, 

In this message we are sharing two critical campus updates:

  • Changes to isolation and quarantine directives

  • Requirement for KN95, KF94, or surgical mask use on campus beginning Monday, Jan. 17

Quarantine and Isolation

As indicated in our last campus update, we have been reviewing information from the CDC, the Indiana Department of Health and other health agencies related to isolation and quarantine. Effective tomorrow, January 14, DePauw will implement strategies to allow for a reduced timeline for quarantine and isolation for individuals who meet a set of symptom and testing criteria.

Those who have been identified as a Close Contact of positive COVID-19 individual AND who have received a booster shot when eligible, are within 5 months of a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or within 2 months of the single dose of Johnson & Johnson, or have a confirmed COVID-19 infection in the last 90 days will not need to quarantine. Individuals who do not meet that criteria will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 5 full days if identified as a close contact. Close contacts will be tested on the fifth day following exposure and must wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days.

Students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 may be eligible to reduce their isolation period if they meet qualifying criteria. Individuals who have remained asymptomatic or whose symptoms are improving (fever-free on the fifth day of the isolation period without use of fever-reducing medications) will be able to take an antigen test on day 6 of their isolation period. If that antigen test is negative, individuals may return to classes and work, but they must wear a mask until 10 days have passed since their initial test (for asymptomatic individuals) or until 10 days have passed since the beginning of their symptoms. If the antigen test is positive, the individual will need to complete the full 10 day isolation period.

For more information, please read here.

Our COVID-19 staff will reach out to students who are currently in isolation and Human Resources will do the same for employees who have recently tested positive to provide individuals with specific guidance. Human Resources has updated their website with information for employees on how this new protocol impacts reporting time away from work and return to work for quarantine or isolation.

Masks

Dr. Box (Indiana State Health Commissioner) has expressed concern that cloth masks are no longer sufficient to prevent an Omicron COVID-19 infection and stop the spread on campus. In light of this, we are changing our mask usage policy to reflect her guidance. The new mask usage policy can be found here.  As of Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, masking with a surgical mask, KN95, KF94, or equivalent (KF94 and KN95 masks offer additional protection to surgical masks) will be required in all indoor public locations, with limited exceptions for:

  • Individuals working alone in a private office 

  • Individuals in their own bedroom (residence hall bedrooms or greek living unit bedrooms)

  • Individuals with stipulated institutional testing protocols (for example athletes during athletic competition, musicians during School of Music performances) during such designated engagements

  • In the very rare case, that course content or pedagogy requires an exception (an exemption request may be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs).

Students and employees can find individual masks available as needed at mask stations around campus. If individual offices need additional masks, please contact the Service Center (servicecenter@depauw.edu). For those departments/divisions requiring masks for meetings or events, please have a designated individual contact servicecenter@depauw.edu to acquire masks. Both surgical (disposable 3-ply medical) and KN95 options are available through the Service Center.

Signage

Updated signs are available for individuals to put on the doors of campus buildings, common spaces and personal office spaces to remind others of the mask requirement.

Vaccines and Boosters

As a reminder, to report your COVID-19 initial vaccine and/or booster, please use the appropriate link: 

Thank you for your continued consideration,

COVID-19 Mitigation Team