To the Anna Maria College Community,
Our campus community is eager for your return with the start of a new academic year. I appreciate your cooperation with the College’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement and am pleased to share that more than 92 percent of our staff and faculty and 71 percent of undergraduate students are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination or an approved waiver is required by August 20th and at that time it is expected that Anna Maria will be 100 percent compliant. A fully vaccinated campus community is still our best mitigation, and I am grateful for your compliance.
With the Delta variant on the rise and in the interest of health and safety, the College will be taking some additional steps beyond the vaccination requirement to enhance our community members’ protection. Beginning Monday, August 16, 2021, the College will require masks in all indoor settings for all people. The masking requirement includes classrooms, indoor public spaces, faculty and staff offices, recreational facilities, the chapel, and dining. This policy change is also being adopted by our neighboring colleges and universities following recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control recommending that fully vaccinated individuals should return to wearing masks indoors in areas where COVID-19 transmission rates are elevated. Students at Anna Maria may remove their masks in the personal space of their assigned dorm rooms. Vaccinated guests will be allowed in residence halls after the third week of classes, depending on testing rates. The College will reassess this masking requirement at the end of September.
As a further safety measure, Anna Maria will resume a modified COVID-19 testing program in partnership with the Broad Institute. Fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will be tested weekly; those with waivers will test twice weekly. Testing will begin the week of August 24th. Further details about testing schedules and locations are forthcoming. As with masking, the College will reassess its approach to testing at the end of September. Additionally, students participating in an off-site academic program experience such as clinical, field work and internships will be required to meet that site’s COVID-19 regulations, even if the requirements extend beyond that of Anna Maria College.
Over the past year and a half, we have learned a great deal about this pandemic both as an institution and a nation. We have more resources and knowledge that were not available at the onset, and this is what I am excited for the fall. These steps put safety first. I believe that a fully vaccinated campus and proactive approach to safety will expedite our return to normalcy and I look forward to seeing you all for the beginning of the 2021-22 Academic year.
President Mary Lou Retelle