We're not out of the woods yet
Keep doing your part to #ProtectTheForest
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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
We have successfully moved through three weeks of classes, and we are so glad to have everyone back on our beautiful campus. On the COVID front, our planning and precautions have led to a relatively smooth transition back to campus. Our community is over 93% vaccinated, and that number will continue to grow as the remaining faculty and staff complete their requirement. We’ve experienced only three COVID cases (one faculty member and two off-campus students), and the associated contact tracing led to a few dozen additional tests with no further positive cases. The weekly COVID Testing Clinic for the unvaccinated continues to ensure that our most vulnerable population has not contracted the virus. And, our dashboard is updated every Wednesday with active isolation and quarantine cases.
But, the Delta variant continues to be a significant threat, and we’re not out of the woods. We must all do our part to uphold our community expectations and preserve our safe on-campus experience. Here are some important reminders that speak to common concerns we hear:
- Masks are required indoors for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors – regardless of vaccination status.
- Masks most cover your nose and mouth and sit snugly against your face.
- Masks are required when visiting friends in other residence hall rooms, and when friends are visiting you. Masks are also required in all other places of the residence halls, including hallways, elevators, and bathrooms.
- Masks are required when visiting and exercising in all areas of the Sports and Recreation Center.
- Masks are required to be placed back over your nose and mouth immediately once you are done eating or drinking.
- Masks are required to be worn by faculty and staff when not alone inside personal offices or labs.
- Masks are required by unvaccinated individuals anytime you are within six feet of others.
- If you are feeling unwell, stay home. As you likely know by now, the symptoms of COVID are wide-ranging, and can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, or vomiting.
- Symptomatic students can seek medical care, or a COVID test as a precaution, at the Health and Wellness Center, which is open Monday – Friday. Symptomatic faculty and staff should seek medical care from their established providers or local clinics.
- The Health and Wellness Center nurses are seeing a large number of upper respiratory infections and fall allergies around campus.
- Each week, we have tested dozens of symptomatic students and, fortunately, none have tested positive for COVID.
- We continue to welcome all students who aren’t feeling well to be tested as a precaution, but I hope you find it reassuring that none of the symptoms we are seeing have turned out to be COVID.
Finally, we are receiving a variety of questions about booster shots. This conversation is active in the federal government as I write this; meetings are scheduled for FDA consideration of Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccines for third doses/booster shots. Soon, we will have guidance around whether a third dose is recommended only for certain populations, or for all vaccinated individuals, and whether that third dose should be scheduled 6 or 8 months after the second dose. We are watching this news carefully and will provide more guidance to campus as soon as we are able.
Best wishes to you for a fantastic weekend! If you’ve read this far, write me back with one thing you’re going to do this weekend that’s healthy for you!
Andrea B. Conner
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Lake Forest College
555 North Sheridan Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Pronouns: she / her / hers
FLU VACCINATION CLINICS
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Skybox—Mohr Student Center
Flu Vaccine Clinic Coming to Campus
As we continue to be in a global pandemic while entering flu season, it is imperative that you consider getting your annual Flu vaccine. As both COVID-19 and influenza target the lungs, medical experts are concerned about the impact on your health if you should contract both viruses. It is well established that the flu vaccine is safe and effective and can significantly reduce your chances of contracting the flu. We want to ensure that our community is as safe as possible and therefore it is strongly ADVISED that our community members get the flu vaccine this season.
How flu spreads:
Flu spreads primarily by tiny droplets made when you cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. You can also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes prior to washing your
Period of Contagiousness:
Those with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after they feel sick and can remain contagious for up to a week after they get sick. You may even be able to spread the flu to someone for a day before you feel sick. Most people get sick about two days after they are exposed to the influenza virus.
How can you limit the risk of getting flu?
- The first and most important step to take is to get a flu vaccination each year. It takes about 2 weeks to develop antibodies to help protect you from the flu.
- Even years when the flu vaccination isn’t a good match to the flu virus strains that are circulating, getting a flu shot can make symptoms milder if you contract the flu.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands before eating.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Use Clorox wipes (or similar product) on frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, remote controllers, keyboards etc.
Health & Wellness Center