Campus Operations and Business Continuity Update

Williams faculty, staff, students,

You may or may not be on campus, but you’re still part of this place. You know that because you continue to get these emails. Proof of life.

We’ll probably decommission the Ops update later this summer. But right now there’s way too much administrative joy to spread. So read on if you’re interested in updates on Covid testing, masking, vaccination requirement, facilities reopening, etc.

Students, if you’re doing a moon internship on the moon this summer and don’t expect to ever come back from the moon you might be one of the few folks who doesn’t need to read it.

Then again, it’s lonely on the moon so maybe you want to. If so, we’re here for you.

Covid website

We did a massive spring cleaning on the Covid website. Outdated information has been removed so that we can highlight what’s relevant for this summer. Just wanted you to know. If you miss the old guides, we’ll organize a tag sale and you can buy them from us for keepsakes.

Many thanks to Rob White, Abby Wood-Meczywor ’10 and the Communications crew for a ton of work to get the site in order.

Vaccination requirement

Staff and faculty, you received an email from Fred and Safa this afternoon about the processes for submitting proof of vaccination and requesting exemptions. It’s got all the info you need, so I won’t rehash it here.

Students, this one ain’t for you. You’ll still submit your vaccination info through Medicat as always.

Public health rules, clarified

I muddled an important point in several previous messages. If you work with me, are related to me, or have even seen me from a distance that fact won’t surprise you.

After the state ended most of its Covid restrictions on May 29, I sent mixed messages about our new rules on masking and testing. I apologize. Here are the true facts:

  • If you’re vaccinated and more than two weeks past your second (Pfizer or Moderna) or only (J&J) shot then you no longer need to wear a mask on campus, indoors or out. If you want access to campus you do need to continue testing until you’ve submitted proof of vaccination and received confirmation that it’s approved. Once you get the confirmation you can stop testing. Not before.
  • If you request and are granted an exemption you’ll need to continue testing weekly and wearing a mask indoors on campus for the foreseeable future.
  • If you haven’t been vaccinated yet or haven’t completed the vaccine sequence, please continue masking and testing until you’ve done so. This will have to operate on the honor system.
  • If you’re not coming to campus right now you don’t have to test through our system. But the above will apply the minute you want to come back.

I want to thank Sarah Allen and a couple of other people whose questions made me aware of the confusion in prior messages.

Routine testing

Remember, weekly testing is now only offered for staff and faculty 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Field House. Drive-through is available.

The only exception is for 2nd and 3rd shift people and others who’ve made special arrangements with Heather Main to test from 3-11 p.m. on Wednesdays in Hopkins Hall. Wednesday tests aren’t scheduled through Coverified: please contact Heather if you need one.

Wednesday evening will also be the time for re-testing anyone who received an inconclusive result. Again, in such cases please contact Heather.

Students, you’re required to test on Tuesdays and it’s only once a week now, which hopefully makes life just a little easier.

All of us should continue to make our appointments via Coverfied. Masks must be worn at the test site at all times.

If you miss your scheduled test…

… You’ll either be cast into the seething abyss of eternal disgrace or forced to take minutes at Senior Staff meetings for the rest of eternity.

I know which I’d choose.

Please, please, please do everything possible to show up for all of your appointments. If you miss one for reasons beyond your control, you can book a makeup appointment in CoVerified for the next available testing day.

Email [email protected] for scheduling questions. Email [email protected] for all other Covid-related questions

Reopening details

Our custodians are awesome and have been exceeding sanitation guidelines to keep us safe. That’s information but not news. Here are a couple of bits of information that are also news:

  • Facilities will continue to distribute hand sanitizer across campus. Look for it in a central location in each building.
  • The team will no longer provide additional cleaning supplies to departments or individuals, since their own cleaning and sanitation practices meet CDC standards.
  • All campus distancing/spacing requirements and capacity limits have been lifted. Remember personal space? It’s still a thing, just not a legislated thing.
  • If you want masks they’re waiting for you at the testing center. Masks miss you, they totally thought this thing you had was going to be long-term.
  • Now the question seemingly on everyone’s mind… Yes, we’re reopening kitchenettes. You can almost catch the aroma of microwave popcorn and burning toast: it smells like home. Please be patient though, since the reopening effort is non-trivial: For example, did you think about Legionella? Probably not, but Facilities did, and they’ve been flushing the water systems to protect us against it.
  • Facilities has also begun removing the thousands of Covid information stickers that the college posted across campus last year. Your pal Dan Levering and his crew would appreciate it if you’d help them by removing and discarding any stickers you find that they haven’t removed yet. So go crazy, engage in your own personal act of Covid defiance. Remove one.
  • Appliances can now be used even if they have stickers on them.
  • Relatedly, if you’re using your office coffee machine for the first time in a year, please cycle it a few times first, to purge any sludge. Your taste buds and immune system will thank you.
  • One last reminder: custodians no longer empty personal trash and recycling receptacles in campus offices. We each have to empty them ourselves, into the larger bins in nearby common areas. Thank you for helping out.

Building access

Students, if you’re authorized to live on campus this summer then you have swipe access to all buildings for which you usually have access, and no access to any for which you don’t.

Children of faculty and staff can enter campus buildings with their parents as long as they’re masked or vaccinated and not excessively sticky from Lickety Split.

Building access for Athletics and the Stetson-Sawyer 24 hour study space remains active for all continuing students (freshmen, sophomore and juniors) regardless of whether you’re on campus this summer or not.

Seniors who completed studies in May, don’t take this the wrong way, but your swipe access has been turned off. It’s time to fly, my lovelies, fly.

Dining

Driscoll reopened on Tuesday and is the only dining hall that will be open this summer. It’s operating for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday and brunch and dinner on Sunday. Whitman’s and all retail locations are closed until fall. See the Dining website for full information.

Faculty and staff, I know some of you have asked when we’ll again have access to Lee’s, etc. Not yet. I’ll share more details in a future update.

Athletics

The Athletics website has been overhauled with new information that takes effect on Monday. Check it out.

That’s all what I got for now. In case anyone asks, I definitely didn’t write any of this message during meetings while staring attentively at the Zoom screen.

(I really can’t imagine how we’re going to get any writing done once we’re meeting in person again.)

Have a good weekend,

Jim