As the spring 2022 semester approaches, so does the new Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. Shippensburg University is planning to begin the spring semester in person, but the steps that we take now, throughout the holiday break, and into the New Year will determine our ability to remain in person.
The following guidelines have been developed based on current case numbers and the need to ensure the health and well-being of our entire Shippensburg community in the spring. These spring 2022 guidelines may need to be adjusted as the COVID-19 positivity rate changes. Students, faculty, and staff should familiarize themselves with these guidelines and continue to monitor updates on the SU COVID-19 Resources Page at raiderrespect.ship.edu.
Shippensburg University strongly encourages all students and employees to be fully vaccinated and, if eligible, receive the booster before classes start. Vaccines and boosters lower the risk of infection, protect against serious illness, lessen the probability of spreading the virus, and reduce the risk of long COVID-19 symptoms. Natural immunity from a prior COVID-19 infection is not an adequate substitute and researchers have found that the risk of reinfection with Omicron is approximately five times greater than that for other variants.
Students who submit proof of vaccination will be entered into a final drawing for prizes, including a $5000 scholarship; three $2500 scholarships; and ten $500 scholarships, courtesy of the Shippensburg University Foundation. Deadline to participate is Friday, January 14, 2022. Find more information at raiderrespect.ship.edu.
Fully vaccinated students who show proof of vaccination are not required to test for COVID-19 if they are free of symptoms, unless identified as a close contact. Vaccine status determines mitigation requirements if you are identified as a close contact. Vaccinated individuals may return to class reducing or eliminating quarantine when testing negative (see quarantine/isolation below).
Masks are required to be worn indoors by all Shippensburg University students, faculty, staff and visitors. Masks should cover the wearer’s nose and mouth. The following exceptions apply:
- When eating or drinking, if individuals comply with any other posted restrictions.
- When in one’s assigned residence hall room without any guests. Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who has come in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 is required to wear a mask in their residence hall room two (2) weeks after providing a negative test and completing the required quarantine (see quarantine/isolation below).
- When alone in a motor vehicle or utility vehicle used for university business.
- When operating a vehicle or equipment where the mask may create a safety hazard by obscuring vision or from entanglement.
- When asked to remove the face mask by a school or law enforcement official to verify identity.
- When a public safety worker is actively engaged in a public safety role in situations where wearing a face covering would seriously interfere with the performance of their job duties.
- When an accommodation is necessary as indicated by a medical or similar subject matter expert and granted by the Office of Accessibility Resources. Note: Students who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask, should contact the Office of Accessibility Resources firstname.lastname@example.org; 252 Mowrey Hall, or call at 717-477-4094. Faculty and staff who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, should contact Human Resources at email@example.com; Old Main 109 or call 717-477-4037.
- Face coverings are not required while outdoors, but face coverings are recommended when in a large group and unable to social distance.
Residential students: All residential students, regardless of vaccination status, must show proof of a negative test taken three (3) days prior to moving into the residence halls. Required testing will be available on campus for students who do not provide proof of a negative test prior to moving into the residence halls.
Case Investigation: Testing will be available for all students and employees identified as a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals may return to campus upon receipt of a negative test while masking.
Surveillance testing: Periodic surveillance testing may occur at the beginning of the semester to determine if outbreaks might require additional restrictions on campus gatherings and activities. Ongoing surveillance testing may occur throughout the semester depending upon campus, local, and/or regional conditions.
Symptomatic testing: Testing will be available for all students and employees that experience symptoms of COVID-19.
Asymptomatic testing: Testing for asymptomatic individuals will be available on a limited basis.
Student athletes: Student-athletes will undergo testing based on PSAC guidance. Team members that are testing regularly, per university policy, will be permitted to participate in team workouts without wearing a mask only if fully vaccinated. Masks are required following completion of the workout while inside. Masking during competitive play will follow PSAC and NCAA guidelines.
Case Investigation: Individuals and groups may be subject to Case Investigation if identified as a close contact.
For more information on testing or to schedule a test please visit raiderrespect.ship.edu.
Vaccinated individuals will be required to show proof of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Mitigation strategies will continue to be informed by CDC, PA Department of Health guidance, and best practices for testing, mitigation, and quarantine/isolation of individuals exposed to or diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.
Fully vaccinated individuals who have had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case may return to campus upon proof of a negative test. Unvaccinated individuals who have had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case must quarantine for five (5) days from the contact notification and may return to campus activities upon proof of a negative test only after following quarantine.
Students who are advised to quarantine or isolate due to a confirmed exposure or confirmed positive test result must follow the isolation guidelines. Students, faculty, and staff will have restricted campus access while in quarantine or isolation. Students should consult with their faculty member(s) regarding the best way to stay current with assigned course work while completing any required quarantine/isolation period. Employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or exposure should contact their medical provider for diagnosis. Employees who are advised to quarantine or isolate should notify their supervisor and not report to the workplace.
Monitoring, surveillance, and reporting
Employees and students should self-report any symptoms or exposures at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 717-477-1007.