Dear Faculty and Staff,
As we prepare to welcome our students back to campus next month, I want to update you on the status of our COVID-19 efforts, and our prospects for reopening under normal operating conditions this fall.
As you know, Clark is requiring that all members of our community return to campus only if they have been fully vaccinated against the virus or received an exemption.
It is essential that anyone who has been vaccinated upload your status and a copy of your vaccination card to our secure portal. If you qualify for an exemption (for health, religious or other extenuating reasons), you must apply for and receive the exemption as soon as possible. It is very important that every member of our community fulfills this requirement as the extent to which we can relax safety protocols depends upon our collective level of compliance. I thank everyone who has already submitted this information as it has helped us plan for start of the academic year.
Our sincere hope is that we can return to many pre-pandemic conditions and we will be able to do so if the campus achieves a 90-95% vaccination rate by the start of the fall semester. Failure to reach this threshold could mean the University will need to reinstate certain COVID-19 prevention measures across campus, including limitations on in-person activities or large-scale events.
As our dashboard indicates, Clark’s students, faculty, and staff to date have attained a combined vaccination rate of approximately 87%, which marks impressive progress toward our goal. But we cannot be complacent. The Delta variant has increasingly exerted itself across the country, and remains a very real concern. We also continue to monitor the infection rate in Worcester and Massachusetts overall, as well as guidance from the CDC for how to best approach the fall semester as safely as possible. Our priority, as always, is maintaining the health and safety of our community and that is the basis of all of our decision-making.
Thank you for all you have done and all I know you will continue to do to keep yourselves and each other healthy. I’m excited to welcome you to campus in August and be together this fall semester.
David B. Fithian ‘87