Beloit College Fall 2021 Covid Policies
The 2021 Fall semester is underway with students back on campus, but COVID-19 has stuck around making it difficult for life to return fully back to “normal”.
The college pushed their “Worth a shot” vaccination campaign throughout last semester and continued to do so throughout the summer by requiring students to be vaccinated to return to campus.
Campus policies have changed a bit compared to the Spring 2021 semester. The biggest one being the removal of requiring masks to be worn outdoors on campus. Masks are still required indoors except for personal spaces.
Physical distancing signs as well as COVID-19 room capacities have been removed but are still encouraged.
“The excitement of being back on campus and living more of a robust campus life is everywhere. Students seem genuinely engaged in being here. While that is wonderful, we are not done with restrictions, the pandemic or needing to stay cautious. Everyone should continue to have a great time and full college experience, but do it with a mask on,” said Tara Girard, Associate Dean for Recreation, Wellness and Engagement. Girard is still serving as the Director of Health and Wellness for the college until a new Director is hired in addition to being a member of Beloit College’s COVID-19 Task Force.
The COVID-19 Task Force has been making their decisions for the campus based off of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
Unvaccinated students are required to take a COVID-19 test weekly in addition to filling out paperwork if they were unable to take the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons prior to returning to campus.
Academically, the college has transitioned back to the traditional semester format while allowing fully in-person courses.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Rock County hit a low of 54 cases this past summer on 7/06/2021. Currently, there are 543 known active cases as of 9/03/2021. There have been a total of 17, 555 active cases in Rock County with 192 total deaths since 3/13/2020.
Although it is unclear exactly how many people are vaccinated on Beloit College’s campus, Girard believes that it will be above 90%.
Summer on campus was a totally different experience for vaccinated students. Vaccinated students and staff did not have to wear masks indoors or outdoors this summer but since Aug. 6, masks are required indoors.
The only way to have a safe and successful semester is if people do their part.
“Everyone should wear their masks, respect and care for each other. Take care of yourself, eat well, get some sleep, get outside with friends and laugh. Work to support and encourage the work we have all done here and need to do to stay here. Be kind,” Girard added.
There is a chance that restrictions could loosen or tighten depending on how the semester progresses. Having a fun yet safe semester is the key to making sure that everyone has an enjoyable college experience.