Change in Campus Alert Level Effective Monday: Yellow Status

February 3, 2021

Dear Holy Cross Community, 

We are pleased to let you know that we are able to move the campus to a Yellow alert level, effective 6 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 8. 

  • With move-in behind us and COVID test results in, here is what we are observing:
  • Our 7-day positivity rate is declining, and still at very low levels;
  • Our daily cases average is also declining, and is well within manageable levels;
  • The number of close contacts per case is also down;
  • The city and state 7- and 14-day positivity rates, while still at very high levels, are also in decline;
  • Our isolation and quarantine space is at manageable capacity levels.

Here’s what a change to yellow means:

  • Classes: Classes that were scheduled to be in-person this semester will meet in-person beginning Monday, unless students hear otherwise from their faculty.
  • Dining: Eat-in dining will be allowed in upper and lower Kimball and Crossroads, with measures in place to facilitate distancing and remain within capacity limits. Dining Services will provide more information separately this weekend about how some of these new measures will work.
  • Libraries: Will continue to be open, students must be clear with HC Clear to enter the library
  • Study Spaces: A number of classroom spaces have been identified as study spaces. Students can use those spaces for studying or for class. Students must keep masks on, six feet apart and obey the posted capacity limits of these spaces.
  • Common Areas: Common areas will be open to their posted capacity limits. Please check for the capacity sign in each space and be sure it’s under capacity before entering.
  • The Jo: Despite the lowered alert level, the Jo is still being prepared and is not yet ready to open for workout activities. The Office of Campus Recreation will follow up later this week with more information about the Jo and some alternative wellness programs and activities being planned. Students are encouraged to engage in outdoor activities and exercise where practicable. Students can exercise together as long as they remain masked and are six feet apart. 

We are able to reduce the campus alert level because of everyone’s efforts to wear masks, keep up with testing and distance appropriately. Reducing the alert level does not lessen the importance of these practices. We will only be able to maintain a yellow alert level as long as we are adhering to the guidelines and limiting our close contacts. 

This weekend will be our first good test case for how long we are able to maintain a yellow status. The Super Bowl is on Sunday. It is also the first full weekend on campus for many of our residential students. We strongly urge all of you to limit gatherings to the people you live with. The more people you come into contact with, the higher chance you will be a close contact and have to enter quarantine if someone in that group tests positive. 

What we need to keep doing: 

  • Testing according to our assigned protocol:
    • Students: twice per calendar week on non-consecutive days, or more for student athletes in competition.
    • Employees: per your assigned testing schedule.
  • Stay physically distanced, six or more feet away from one another.
  • Wear your mask in accordance with our universal mask policy. 

We find ourselves in the position to move to Yellow because of the commitment and cooperation of our community members. There have been challenges, but as a community we have been working hard to accommodate our new way of doing things. If we can maintain these efforts, we will be able to remain #HCTogether for a great spring semester. 

Sincerely,
COVID Core Team