On Nov. 1, William Jewell College transitioned into Level A-1 of its Operation Resurgent Campus plan. This plan was introduced at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year as a way for the campus’s COVID-19 protocols to adapt to the constantly changing pandemic and its effects on our community.
The Jewell campus community is currently reporting an 86.6% vaccination rate and a 1.1% positivity rate for the 2021-22 school year.
The high vaccination rate, low positivity rate and low on-campus instances of virus transmission this semester are some major contributing factors to the change in levels. By transitioning to Level A-1, the college is demonstrating that they meet the requirements outlined in the threat matrix of Operation Resurgent Campus.
Another important cause for this transition is the fact that COVID-19 positivity rates in the surrounding Clay County and Kansas City Metro area have been declining as well. The recent approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 12 is expected to drive the number of new cases down even further.
Two significant changes are being made in the transition from Level A-2 to Level A-1. The first is that face masks are no longer required for vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals on campus. This does not apply to faculty who incorporated a mask requirement into their syllabus and the college reserves the right to require face masks at certain events or venues.
The second change is to the quarantine protocols for unvaccinated individuals. The previous protocol for unvaccinated individuals who were identified as close contact was immediate quarantine while vaccinated individuals had to wear a face mask for 14 days and test between three and five days. Under Level A-1, both vaccinated and unvaccinated will not need to be quarantined. Instead, they will need to wear a mask for 14 days and get tested between three and five days, unless they become symptomatic.
All positive cases are still required to follow isolation procedures despite vaccination status. Detailed protocols can be found in the exposure matrix provided by the college as shown below and on Jewell’s Operation Resurgent Campus webpage.