Pre-Winter Break Update

Dear Sweet Briar family,

Despite the ongoing pandemic, thanks to our community’s high vaccination rates, diligence and cooperation, we’ve had a successful semester of in-person learning with a minimal number of cases. I deeply appreciate your continued vigilance and dedication.

Over the break, many of us will be traveling to visit with friends and family. I ask you to please continue to exercise caution and follow the CDC guidelines for safe behavior while you’re away from Sweet Briar. Doing so will protect you and your loved ones, as well as our own community when we come back together in January. This is all the more important in light of the growing impact of the Omicron variant.

If you have not been vaccinated, I strongly urge you to do so. The Pfizer vaccine is now approved by the FDA. Additionally, some of you may be eligible for boosters—if it has been at least six months since your second shot of Moderna or Pfizer or two months since your J&J shot. If you are eligible, I encourage you to get your booster during the break. I also encourage you to get a flu shot, if you have not already done so.

Because we saw an increase in cases following the Thanksgiving holiday, we are concerned that we could see a similar increase in January. Therefore, students who have not already provided proof of vaccination will be required to do so or must provide proof of a negative test result within the preceding 48 hours prior to returning to campus for the spring semester. Likewise, employees who have not already shown proof of vaccination must do so, or show a negative test result within the preceding 48 hours by Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

Also, beginning in January, we will begin weekly testing of every non-vaccinated member of our community (students and employees).

We will not require students or employees to have a booster to return.

I hope you have a restful and restorative holiday with friends and family. I look forward to a safe and productive spring semester.

Be well.
President Meredith Woo