Sunsetting Our COVID-19 Protocols

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Institutional Planning and Development, and Chief of Staff  

After more than two long years of living through the coronavirus pandemic, we have learned so much about our ability to innovate while working through change and uncertainty. Our resilience and commitment to learning, as we kept our health and safety a priority, was made evident by our transition of more than 4,000 course sections to online in less than two weeks, moving our in-person student services to a virtual environment, establishing illness reporting and contract tracing protocols, and updating our cleaning, sanitation and indoor air quality — just to name a few. Thank you for each and every way you contributed to helping us serve our community and one another during this remarkable time.

The past two years have brought much innovation in new ways of keeping ourselves healthy and safe. Vaccines and tests are now widely available and accessible, effective treatments for the virus are readily available, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID county tracker transmission status shows the transmission rate for Orange and Osceola counties as low. The CDC guidance continues to reflect that people may choose to wear a mask at any time, and those with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19, should wear a mask.

In conjunction with lower transmission rates in Orange and Osceola counties, at Valencia, we’ve also experienced a reduction in the number of COVID cases for individuals who have been on campus during their infectious period. Our COVID Case Management team is currently tracking four cases (as of Tuesday, March 29, 2022), which is down significantly from this year’s peak of 136 cases tracked on Friday, January 7, 2022.

Based on this data, Valencia College will adjust our COVID-19 protocols and operations as follows:

Mask Protocol
In accordance with our previously communicated plans, when Orange and Osceola COVID transmission has been “medium or low” for 30 days, we will change our mask protocol to “masks welcomed.” On Friday, March 4, 2022, both counties moved below high transmission and have remained at low transmission since.

As of Saturday, April 2, 2022, we will move from “Masks Expected” to “Masks Welcomed” on all Valencia campuses and locations. The signage on our campuses and locations will be changed over the weekend to reflect the change in protocol. Masks will continue to be available in our Campus Security offices and our classrooms for employees and students.

Sunsetting Our COVID-19 Protocols
Effective at the end of the spring term on Saturday, April 30, 2022, we will sunset our COVID-19 protocols. Starting on Sunday, May 1, 2022, operations will return to pre-pandemic conditions including:

  • The COVID-19 Case Management team will cease operations, including illness reporting and contact tracing. COVID will be handled as other illnesses, such as the flu, where employees report their illness to their supervisor and are encouraged to stay home if feeling ill. Please join us in thanking Tanya Mahan and Angelica Munoz Garcia for their steadfast, thorough, and compassionate work throughout this remarkable time.
  • We will add additional in-person classes during our summer term as we ramp up for fall, and on-site classes will return to regular capacity in the Fall 2022 semester. We look forward to welcoming more students to on-campus services, classes, and co-curricular experiences.
  • Work locations, whether in-person, remote or hybrid, will be determined by your vice president-level supervisor or interim campus president/provost, based on the needs identified to best support our students.
  • COVID leave with pay will be discontinued.
  • Vaccination leave with pay will end on its previously scheduled date of Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
  • If you have a disability that may impact your ability to perform the essential functions of your job, you may contact Jennifer Page, director, leave and access services, at jpage@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-8032 to inquire about reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For questions about these upcoming changes, I invite you to attend the final Roadmap to Reopening town hall:

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: Zoom

You may also reach out to me directly at abosley@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-8255.

As we return to more in-person interactions, I encourage each of you to continue to support each other and give grace to your colleagues and students who may feel sick and need to stay home.

Thank you again for your hard work, for rising to meet the challenges presented by this pandemic and your unwavering support of our students and each other. I’m looking forward to seeing our campuses bustling again this fall and I hope you are, too.

2 Comments

  • Karen Murray said:

    This statement lacks information about how possible future surges will be dealt with.

    PMFri, 01 Apr 2022 12:25:03 +0000Fri, 01 Apr 2022 12:25:03 +0000pm22,12:25 pm

  • Amy Bosley said:

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your feedback. While it's impossible to know exactly what is coming next, we now have a lot of experience managing through changing circumstances and will stay abreast of the guidance of the CDC.
    Amy

    PMFri, 01 Apr 2022 12:36:26 +0000Fri, 01 Apr 2022 12:36:26 +0000pm22,12:36 pm

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