Since the reopening of our residential campus one month ago, we have succeeded in maintaining a healthy setting for living and learning. This is due in significant measure to our outstanding surveillance testing program, and to our community’s round-the-clock adherence to mask-wearing, distancing and other safety measures. We commend and thank all of you for your vigilance, and encourage you to visit our Testing Dashboard often for the latest 7-day percentage of positive test results. Throughout February, this rate has stayed low. Still, spikes can occur easily and suddenly; continued caution and compliance with guidelines are essential.
As always, Emmanuel continues to plan for the future, taking into account a range of factors in our external environment, including the ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. At this time, the College is planning for a nearly full resumption of face-to-face courses for the Fall 2021 semester, as well as a return to more normal occupancy levels in our residence halls. We similarly anticipate that co-curricular activities—from internships to athletics to student activities—will largely take place as they did prior to the pandemic, with potential limitations due to city and state health mandates.
We understand that health considerations may continue to exist next fall among students, faculty and staff. The College will work collaboratively with these individuals and provide for virtual teaching and learning in select circumstances, making use of the technologies and practices that have been so beneficial over the past year.
The emergence of COVID-19 mutations is a reminder that the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is far from over. None can accurately predict the trajectory of the virus or of public health guidance. Yet recent developments, including a nationwide decline in infections, offer real hope for 2021. Whatever the future holds, Emmanuel will continue to take every opportunity to maximize the vitality of the educational experience and keep students progressing safely toward their highest academic and career aspirations.
We will continue to provide information throughout the spring semester as developments unfold. For all the latest updates and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), please visit the EmmanuelForward website.