January 26, 2023

Dear Spelman Community,

During the fall semester, given the potential for increased COVID-19 transmission during the fall and winter respiratory season, Spelman maintained its indoor masking policy even though the rest of the AUCC adopted a mask optional policy. COVID-19 data from the fall semester shows that there is a negligible difference between the positivity rates at Spelman and the other AUCC institutions where masking is optional. (Morehouse 139 cases, Spelman 145 cases and Clark Atlanta 152 cases).

Since there is a continued low rate of COVID-19 in the Atlanta metro area and throughout the AUCC, we will now move to a mask optional policy for Spelman’s campus.

Based on these data, the College will lift the indoor masking policy effective January 31, 2023. Beginning February 1, 2023, indoor masking will be optional except in campus healthcare settings

We recognize that there may be people who are at increased risk for COVID-19 transmission because of existing health conditions and whose jobs require prolonged contact in congregate settings such as the classroom. Faculty members who choose to require indoor masking in their classroom should send an email to Yemi Brown, our campus epidemiologist, to ensure that she is able to keep track of who has elected to continue to require masks.

Free masks will continue to be available on campus. Everyone can continue to mask to reduce their own risk. Existing data suggest that self-masking reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection by approximately 50% even when others around you are mask-free.

As we transition our protocols, be sure to use the CDC COVID-19 Community Level Indicator as a helpful self-care tool to decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.

As we transition to optional indoor masking, let's remember to be mindful
of a few things:

  • Faculty who are medically high-risk or immunocompromised and have been directed by a medical professional to take extra precautions may ask students to mask while in the classroom or instructional space.

  • Be courteous and respectful when entering campus classrooms or learning spaces whose instructors require mask wearing.

  • Do not come to campus if sick, unwell, or COVID-19 positive.

  • Always wear a mask during the 10-day COVID-19 post-exposure or diagnosis period.

  • Continue to wear a mask when in a campus healthcare setting.

Our COVID-19 Operations team and the AUCC epidemiologist will continue to closely monitor the incidences of COVID-19 across the campus. We thank you for your continuing support as we remain fluid in managing COVID-19 on campus.

Kind Regards,

Yemi Brown, PharmD
Spelman College COVID-19 Operations

Spelman College
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30314

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