Easing of COVID restrictions

Dear Members of the Sweet Briar Community,

After two years, we seem to be entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases have been trending downward in both the nation and our immediate area. As a result, the COVID Task Force has determined that it is now possible for Sweet Briar to adjust its pandemic protocols, particularly in light of the high level of vaccination in our campus community.

Beginning on Friday, March 25, at noon, masks will be optional throughout campus, including in classrooms, the library and other public spaces.

However, some members of our community may feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask and may ask that visitors to their rooms, classrooms and offices wear one. Therefore, you should always have a mask with you and be prepared to put it on, if requested, in someone’s personal or professional space.

Below are links to signs that you can print and post in your space—classroom, office, residence hall room or elsewhere—if you would be more comfortable if visitors put on a mask before entering.

We strongly encourage any individual who has not received a COVID vaccination or is not fully up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations to continue to wear a high-quality mask.  Remember that the Office of Student Life and Physical Plant have N95 masks available if you’d like one.

Guests to campus will still need to sign in at the gatehouse—as they did prior to the pandemic—but masks are no longer required to enter any particular space on campus except as outlined above.  The campus Envoy system used for visitor check-in will still ask if the visitor has any COVID-19 symptoms and if they have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the previous 14 days. If they answer yes to either question, the visitor will not be permitted on campus.

Prothro will be open to off-campus guests from the community.

I know the last two years haven’t been easy for anyone, and I want to thank you for complying with our health and safety protocols. It will be great for us to see one another again, without masks. But I do want to caution that as we have seen throughout the pandemic, circumstances can change quickly. The task force will continue to meet and may make adjustments to these policies as needed.

If you have questions about these changes, please reach out to covid@sbc.edu. We will also add some questions and answers to our COVID-19 FAQs webpage.

Thank you, and stay well.

Meredith Woo