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COVID Policy, Testing Reminder and FAQs Update

October 1, 2021

Dear University community members:

We’re one month into the semester, and we are already seeing the powerful impact of our 97 percent vaccination rate and the City’s face mask mandate against COVID-19. 

Our St. Louis campus COVID-19 positivity rates are significantly lower than rates in St. Louis City and County, just as they were for almost all of the last academic year.

We have yet to find any evidence of transmission in the classroom, similar to last year, but we continue to monitor this closely [SLU COVID-19 dashboard] now that we no longer require physical distancing. 

COVID-19 safeguard policy for fall

The University has implemented a revised “Interim Public Health Policy In Response To Covid-19 For Academic Year 2021-2022” approved by Dr. Pestello. It adds greater detail to our prior interim policy by outlining our COVID-19 vaccine requirement, replacing and updating the previous face mask policy, and reiterating the requirement that community members comply with all public health safeguards, such as isolation, quarantine, testing, and timely cooperation with our Contact Tracing Team. 

As a reminder: Our internal Contact Tracing team is made up of public health students, staff members, and faculty. They are fellow Billikens. We expect you to treat them politely and professionally. They play a critical part in keeping our campus open and safe for us all. 

Reminder about testing

We want to remind everyone that we expect you to report any symptoms that might be COVID-19 to Student Health (314-977-2323), Employee Health (314-257-8400), or to your primary care provider so that you may be screened by a health professional to see if you need to be tested before coming to campus or class. 

Even if you are vaccinated there is still a risk of infection. Disease symptoms experienced by a vaccinated person typically are much more mild. And it’s possible you may only have one mild symptom, such as a headache, fatigue, or a runny nose. 

Even with a single COVID symptom, it is critically important that you be tested to keep our campus safe. 

If you get tested off campus, we expect you to report your test results to Student Health (314-977-2323) or Employee Health (314-257-8400). This allows us to monitor infection rates among our employees and students, and our Contact Tracing team to do their job.

COVID-19 FAQs updated

The Delta variant, reinstituted face mask mandate, and frequently changing CDC guidelines have required modifications to our campus protocols in ways we did not anticipate last spring. We appreciate all of the grace and flexibility our campus community members have shown in learning and following our revised procedures for fall. 

We know some of you have lingering questions about current COVID-prevention safeguards. We hope these updated FAQs will help. 

As always, please email pandemic@slu.edu if you can’t find the answer to your question on SLU’s website.

Thanks for all that you do to keep our OneSLU community healthy!

Stay safe and be well.

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC
Special Assistant to the President
Director, Institute for Biosecurity
Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
College for Public Health and Social Justice