April 28: Weekly COVID Update

The Situation

We have 5 positive cases. A student who was a close contact to these cases is unvaccinated and, now, will be in quarantine until the day before move out.  

A majority of these cases traced back to parties.

Please keep up the precautions that helped us bring down the cases and allowed us to ease restrictions. 

To give you a sense of the stakes: Seniors, if you are not fully vaccinated and are exposed to a positive case today, you will not walk at commencement.

(We need) the numbers!

Thank you to everyone who has started COVID vaccinations or is fully vaccinated. We have made enormous progress:

1,354 students have started vaccinations, and 1,213 of those are fully vaccinated. 

Many more of you have gotten your shots. Please TELL US: Log on to the student health portal and upload your vaccination card. If you have any trouble, please call 704-894-2300 or email: studenthealth@davidson.edu.

The Masks

You likely have seen the federal guidance about wearing masks outdoors. Our campus mask requirement must remain in place, and the previous two pieces of news explain why. We don’t know the true level of vaccination on campus, and our seniors and others in our community are in a precarious moment. If they are exposed right now, they miss commencement. 

The Core COVID Team plans to revisit the outdoor mask policy after commencement. Until then please continue to wear them, even outdoors, and to continue physical distancing for the rest of the semester.

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April 21: Weekly COVID Update

The Situation

We have 3 positive cases and 18 students in quarantine. 

This is a significant jump in affected students from where we have been for nearly a month. 

All of these cases traced back to parties or gatherings over the past weekend.

Your hard work in keeping down the number of cases has enabled us to relax some of our safety guidelines and allow more of the meeting, connecting and fun events on campus that make our community special. Your eagerness to get vaccinated has helped protect each other. But we cannot abandon the precautions that got us here—masks, distance, hand washing. Several of the students connected to these recent cases had received the last dose of their vaccine too recently to be considered "fully vaccinated" for contact tracing purposes and were quarantined. A vaccination provides important protection, but it is not a deflector shield. It is still possible for a vaccinated person to contract COVID and to spread it to others, even if that person never gets sick. 

We’re especially thinking about our seniors. Commencement is coming up and we really want each senior to have the option of participating. Please let’s help keep each other healthy and out of quarantine. 

The Masks

Physical labor in the heat is difficult and demanding on the heart and respiration. Effective today, employees of the Physical Plant and Athletics Maintenance will be allowed to work without a mask when they are doing isolated, individual work outdoors. These employees must have a mask with them at all times, and they must wear a mask any time they are working within 6 feet of any other person. 

We are sharing this information so the community will understand that an unmasked employee alone on a mower or alone repairing a roof is not violating college policy. 

The Core COVID Team plans to revisit the outdoor mask policy for the rest of the community after commencement. Until then we appreciate everyone continuing to wear their masks, even outdoors, and to continue physical distancing for the rest of the semester.

Core COVID Response Team

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April 14: Weekly COVID Update

The Situation

One positive test since March 25. Thank you! Keep it up! 

112 students have submitted their vaccination information through the student health portal and are fully vaccinated, which will exempt them from weekly testing once they receive a confirmation message from the testing team. 

935 students have registered as having started the vaccination process, meaning they got the first of two shots. 

400 employees have reported that they are fully vaccinated.

The Vaccine

We emailed information on Monday regarding the federal government’s pause in using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If you have questions, please contact the Center for Student Health & Well-Being. These articles in Axios and The New York Times also offer some helpful context.

The Campus

Some of you have asked whether we can resume parties at Armfield as more students get vaccinated. 

Parties and outdoor consumption areas remain prohibited. Here’s why: The biggest risk factors for infection are the number of people with whom you come in contact, the duration of that contact and your proximity to them. Parties mean lots of people, longer conversations and less distance because you’re talking over the music. 

What we are doing: 

  • Weekly food trucks and events
  • Live Thursday has returned and actually is live and in person
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Trivia
  • Cardio Dance block party
  • Basketball courts and volleyball nets reopened
  • PCC Week
  • Semi-formals for organizations (outdoors, no more than 50 people, no alcohol)
  • Senior class party
  • Commencement will be on campus

Here's a link to other FAQs about testing, vaccines and the fall semester.

Thank you for the masks, the distance, the handwashing, staying on campus over the mini-breaks and everything else you are doing to protect and support each other. 

Core COVID Response Team

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April 13: Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine

Message to Davidson Students, Faculty and Staff: 

You likely have seen news reports today regarding the decision by the Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, which was the vaccine administered at both of the vaccine clinics held on campus and has been used by other providers.

This action is the result of six cases of blood clots out of nearly 7 million administered doses. 

The joint statement by the agencies said that the cases appear to be “extremely rare” and that they are taking this step out of an abundance of caution and partly to ensure that health care providers are aware of the potential for these cases and how to handle them.  

Anyone who has received the J&J vaccine who develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider or the Center for Student Health & Well-Being. If you have questions, you can contact the Center for Student Health & Well-Being.  

Core COVID Response Team

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April 7: Weekly COVID Update

The Situation

One active case on campus. Thank you. Please keep at it. Masks and all of other safety precautions are what is keeping the virus in check. 

The Testing

Testing continues. Please show up for your assigned days, even if you received a shot. Students are expected to continue testing until they are fully vaccinated and receive an official exemption notification from the testing team.

Fully vaccinated is defined as beginning two weeks following the final dose of a vaccine. Submit your documentation of vaccination to the Student Health Portal. This step is required in order to receive an exemption from testing once you meet the definition of being fully vaccinated.

The Masks

Keep wearing them. Keep social distancing. Keep washing your hands. Here’s what the CDC says:

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.

Stay safe,

Core COVID Response Team

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