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COVID-19 Update: New CDC Guidance & SLU Vaccine Clinic Updates

March 16, 2021

Dear SLU community members: 

I have two updates to share with you today: 

Recent CDC guidance 

The CDC announced some relaxed guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This guidance allows those who are fully vaccinated to gather indoors without masks, safely, with some additional caveats. 

However, on our campus, no restrictions are changing at this time. SLU community members who are fully vaccinated are still required to wear face masks and maintain a safe, social distance when in all campus public spaces according to existing public health requirements and current policies.  

Our residential, group-housing model presents unique challenges and risks, which the CDC guidance does not cover. This is further complicated by how few members of our community have already been vaccinated and are eligible for vaccination as the state rollout continues. 

Changing our mask requirements at this time for indoor activities involving fully vaccinated individuals would create a significant equity issue and exacerbate existing inequities.  

At this time, fully vaccinated people –– excluding roommates and suitemates –– who gather in private spaces, such as an on-campus living space or office, must continue to wear face masks and be socially distant consistent with our current University policies. Doing so is a commitment to equity and an act of solidarity. 

When in public — whether outdoors on campus, in classrooms and labs, in the Simon Recreation Center, our libraries and all our academic buildings, and in common areas of our on-campus living spaces residence halls — all fully vaccinated students, staff and faculty must continue to wear their face masks. They must continue to practice social distancing, too. 

The CDC also says fully vaccinated people must continue to avoid medium- and large-sized gatherings, and they should continue to postpone travel. Here on campus, non-essential University-sponsored travel outside of the St. Louis area is still suspended. We also continue to allow gatherings of only 10 people or fewer on campus, though it’s possible to request an exception as described in the interim events policy. (For information about restrictions and exceptions specific to student-focused activities, please review the "Guidance on Student Activities, Meetings, and Events - Spring 2021” document which can be found here.) 

As a reminder, a person is deemed fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving their single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

SLU vaccine clinic update 

Thanks to the extraordinary work of SSM Health, the St. Louis City Health Department, the Missouri National Guard and many other COVID-19 vaccine providers, about 2,500 SLU students, staff and faculty have reported they have already been vaccinated.  

With the help of clinical students and faculty, we have vaccinated more than 1,200 SLU students, faculty, staff, employees, and employee household members at our first few clinics. We have another vaccination clinic scheduled for this Wednesday, where we expect to vaccinate an additional 750 people who meet the state’s vaccine population priority plan. 

Yesterday, the state opened up Phase 1B Tier 3 for vaccination, which meant an additional 650 faculty, staff and students became eligible and received the link to register for Wednesday’s clinic. You can review the state’s guidance here to see who is included in this new group.  

If you haven’t already, please fill out the survey indicating your interest in getting a COVID-19 vaccine and where you fall within the state’s prioritization. If you believe your situation has changed since the last time you filled the survey out, you may do so again. Employees can use this survey to identify household members and where they fit into the phases/tiers. We use data from the survey to inform who we invite to register for our vaccine clinics. 

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