COVID update for January 2022 return to campus

Dear Sweet Briar community,

We have been closely watching the developments surrounding the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and made the following adjustments to the plans we emailed you about last week.

First, we will expand the requirement of providing a negative COVID test within 48 hours of returning to campus to include all students and employees, regardless of vaccination status. Student return dates will vary. For our employees, that date is Jan. 3, 2022. Employees and students who are not able to get a COVID test before they return may go to our on-campus health clinic to get a test immediately upon returning. The hours of the clinic are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Second, we will require booster shots for both students and employees within two weeks of when they are eligible to receive one. We will assist eligible students to get access to boosters after their return to campus. If you are already eligible, please get a booster before you return. Boosters will help ensure that we can live and learn together safely. 

Students should email documentation of their booster and negative COVID-19 test to Employees should upload booster and negative test documentation in Paycom under Documents > Action-Required. Paycom will send employees an email reminder when each upload feature is available. Students and employees who have previously received a medical or religious exemption will be exempt from this new booster requirement but must still submit proof of a negative COVID test.

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters and prevention efforts to protect against COVID-19. Please take all necessary precautions while you are on break and traveling back to Sweet Briar. Masking, hand-washing, social distancing and limiting social gatherings are important tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

As I indicated last week, unvaccinated members of our community will be tested weekly beginning in January.

I am meeting frequently with my leadership team during the break to monitor and review the emerging situation. I will let you know if there are any additional adjustments to our plans.

In spite of the public health issues, I hope you can manage a good break with your friends and family. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Be well.
Meredith Woo