Williamson College of the Trades – COVID-19 Information
Message from President Michael J. Rounds (February 28, 2022)
Dear Williamson Community,
Two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything in our daily lives. Today, we have reached a point where our medical experts in alignment with the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health data support these safety protocol changes for the college. These changes were possible only through the tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by us all for the safety of our college and community. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I express my sincere thanks to the entire Williamson family in making these last two academic years so successful during this unprecedented time.
Michael J. Rounds, PE
AY 2021/22 Campus Protocol (Updated for 2022 Spring Term)
Emerging in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact to all elements of our daily lives. The college’s pandemic and preventative protocols are designed towards a singular focus — keeping our students and community safe. The college will continue to work alongside its local, state, and federal partners to safely conduct campus operations. We look forward to continuing our work with all members of the college community in making this upcoming academic year a memorable, safe, and successful one.
We ask the college community to understand that information and guidance outlined within our strategy may change based on the spread of the virus, the advice of public health experts, or by order of the Pennsylvania Department of Health or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The college will continue to evaluate all measures and strategies to safeguard its students and the entire Williamson community. More information can be found in the sections below. Williamson reserves the right to change or modify its policies as the nature of the pandemic evolves.
Student Immunization Policy
The emergence of omicron as the dominant COVID-19 variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination boosters. We strongly encourage everyone receive a booster to their initial COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals can receive a booster six months following their Moderna initial vaccination, five months if vaccinated with Pfizer, and two months if receiving the J&J vaccine.
Individuals who received an exemption under the college’s immunization policy or have yet to complete the vaccination requirements outlined above will be considered unvaccinated in terms of the college’s policy and safety protocol.
Public Health Measures
Current CDC Level of Community Transmission in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
One of the challenges throughout the pandemic is the need to make policies while new facts and the local community health assessment continue to unfold and evolve. Our principal goal remains to sustain the safety of the entire college community to the best of our ability. Certainly, the college is striving to restore a sense of normalcy to campus life but must take reasonable steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 within our community. The college continues to closely monitor reports and recommendations from the CDC and the PA Department of Health and may modify its protocol accordingly. We understand the difficulty and significant impact that the pandemic has made on our college, nation, and world. As last year, we ask all members of the college community to remain flexible and patient as we continue to navigate these challenging times.
All campus spaces — classrooms, shops, dormitories, dining spaces, administrative offices, etc. are in operation.
In light of increasing favorable conditions in the local community and on campus, the college is planning to move its indoor masking requirement to optional, with an important exception, effective February 28, 2022. The exception is that masks will be required on an individual case-by-case basis as determined by the Director of Health Services. Visitors to campus may be required to wear masks dependent upon vaccination status.
As we make this change, there are many ways we can all continue to protect ourselves and others including getting vaccinated and boosted, testing as needed, and staying at home when experiencing symptoms. Williamson will continue to monitor all relevant information from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health, and adjust its policy as necessary.
Cloth masks or neck gaiters are not approved for use given current CDC recommendation with the Omicron variant. KN-95 masks will be provided to staff and students. When directed, masks must be worn at all times to cover both the mouth and nose.
Given the high rate of transmission of the COVID-19 variants, the college will continue to conduct both diagnostic and screening testing of both students and employees. Diagnostic testing is intended to identify current infection in individuals and is performed when a person has signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or when someone has been exposed to a known positive COVID-19 individual. Screening testing is intended to identify infected people who are asymptomatic and do not have known, suspected, or reported exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Screening helps to identify unknown cases so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.
All employees and students may receive diagnostic testing depending on symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or when exposed to a known positive COVID-19 individual.
Vaccinated employees and students can refrain from routine screening testing. Unvaccinated employees and students will be subject to weekly screening tests conducted within the college Health Services Clinic.
Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine
Health Services (HS) will continue to offer a full range of services to students and employees, through both in-person and virtual consultations. Students or employees who believe they have been exposed to, have contracted COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms associated with the virus should contact Student Health Services (SHS) immediately or their Dormitory Manager if after hours.
- Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms will use the Rowan Hall Student Lounge which will serve as an additional patient waiting area. Students with non-COVID-19 symptoms will use the current SHS waiting area.
- Students reporting COVID-19 symptoms will be assessed by the SHS staff. Diagnostic testing may be administered if COVID is suspected. The SHS staff, consistent with CDC and PA Department of Health Guidance, may place the student in isolation or quarantine based on the medical assessment. Given the small size of the college, students placed in isolation or quarantine status will likely be sent home if they reside within the local region. The college has set aside limited housing for both the isolation and quarantine of students who are unable to travel home.
HS staff will remain in contact with all students and employees in isolation or quarantine to assist and monitor the developed recovery strategy for a safe return to campus. HS Staff and college administration will notify and work with local and state agencies to conduct contact tracing. The college may require additional students or employees to quarantine awaiting the results of COVID-19 test as a result of contact tracing.
Additional Safety Measures
- Facility heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system filter replacement schedule will remain consistent. MERV 13 filters will be used throughout campus in alignment with CDC, American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE), and the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA) recommendations.
Visitors to Campus
Given the increasing favorable conditions in the local community and on campus, the college is open to visitors. As per college policy, any visitor to campus is required to check-in with the reception office in Rowan Hall before proceeding to any location on campus.
Visitors to campus may be required to wear masks dependent upon vaccination status.
The college reserves the right to change its visitation protocol as local conditions change.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources