COVID-19 Update and Masking Changes

13 April 2022

Dear Members of the Carleton Community,

As noted in Friday’s COVID-19 update, we are writing today to share an update on the campus mitigation strategies now that complete results of last week’s baseline testing are available.

The second round of Spring Term baseline testing returned three positive results for a test positivity rate of 0.14%. When considering the 10 positives from the first round of baseline testing, the overall Spring Term baseline positivity rate was 0.31%. This is good news and represents a strong start to the final term of the academic year.

We saw a slight uptick in cases early this week, with 14 positive tests reported within our community since Saturday. Eight of those positives were reported on Monday, April 11, and we have not seen an upward trend in the two days since.

Because overall case numbers are low within our campus community and we aren’t seeing a concerning trend at this point, masks will become optional in most indoor spaces on campus beginning this Saturday, April 16. As during other mask-optional times, we ask that you continue to keep a clean mask with you, as you may still be required to wear one in some circumstances:

  • Classrooms and labs: Faculty may choose to require that masks be worn in their classrooms and labs.
  • Individual, department and office workspaces: Faculty and staff who are masking may choose to require that masks be worn in their individual, department or office workspaces.
  • Visitors: All visitors are required to wear a mask while indoors on campus, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Indoor gatherings: All attendees at indoor gatherings where visitors are present—including weekly convocations, music and theater performances, indoor athletic events, and social gatherings—will be required to wear a mask.
  • Musicians: Mask-wearing and other protocols that are currently in place for singers and other musicians will continue.
  • Unvaccinated community members: Masks continue to be required in all indoor public spaces for those who are not fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible).

We are continuing to work on a revised decision-making framework to better reflect how decisions are being made at this stage of the pandemic. We hope to share an update with you in the coming days.

Sincerely,

The COVID-19 Core Team

Carolyn H. Livingston, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Eric Runestad, Vice President and Treasurer
Elise Eslinger, Vice President and Chief of Staff
Eric Egge, Associate Dean of the College
John Bermel, Director of Security and Emergency Management
Helen Clarke, Director of Digital Strategy and Public Affairs