Revised CDC Covid guidance and Williams policies

To the Williams community,

You may have seen headlines announcing that the CDC released a revised Covid guidance this week. We’ve received a few questions about whether this will affect campus policies.

The new guidance is in fact a closer match to our rules than the CDC’s previous version was. As such, we see no need to make changes to college policies for now. Anyone who’s coming to campus, or who’s planning arrival programming, should please continue on your current course.

One important note: While the new guidance doesn’t encourage asymptomatic surveillance testing, the college is going to stick with our requirement for self-testing at the start of the term only. This is because the arrival process is an extraordinary moment, with thousands of people coming back together on campus for the academic semester.

Here’s a reminder of that process:

The CDC also announced that they’re working on revised guidelines for congregate living situations with higher risks of transmission. This potentially includes residential campuses. We’ll review those guidelines when they come out and let you know ASAP if changes are required, either then or at any time in the future.

On a particular point of interest, faculty still retain discretion to set masking rules for your classrooms and labs. And administrative units have similar discretion to set rules for your own workspaces. Those policies remain unchanged.

Thanks for your interest, and best wishes for a healthy return as we all get back together!

Jim