Published on May 25, 2021
As mentioned in our note on May 12, 2021, Samford is moving incrementally toward a more familiar fall campus environment. We approach our second marker (Summer 1) caught in the vortex of rapidly changing guidance from the CDC and other healthcare professionals regarding best practices for COVID-19. This update addresses changes effective June 1, 2021. For employees and students in the College of Health Sciences, these changes can be applied immediately as students already are attending classes.
- All vaccinated individuals — employees and students — no longer are required to wear face coverings except as noted below. Mask-optional applies regardless of indoor or outdoor environment.
- All unvaccinated individuals — employees and students — should continue wearing masks per CDC guidelines.
- Samford-sponsored events are returning to campus. For Summer 1, we continue to limit indoor group sizes to COVID-adjusted room capacities. Outdoor events should maintain reasonable spacing but are not size-limited.
- Samford sponsored camps return, but are subject to CDC guidelines with campers (academic, social, or athletic) not accessing other parts of the campus. The Caf remains closed to camps.
- Physical distancing requirements remain at six-feet for unvaccinated individuals. For Summer 1, we maintain physical distancing requirements in most classrooms and for events hosting non-Samford individuals. Very simply, we have no way of ensuring a person’s vaccination status and the rate of vaccination in Alabama remains among the lowest nationally. Out of caution, we are allowing more time to pass before reducing distancing requirements. For members of the same household, where practicable, we will not require distancing.
- Samford will not require vaccination for COVID-19 now or in the fall. Yesterday, Governor Ivy signed into law a prohibition against vaccine mandates unless those vaccinations were required prior to January 1, 2021. In other words, Samford’s policies regarding vaccines will not change one way or the other.
- The University continues to strongly encourage vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus with the body of medical evidence further supporting this position.
- Employees continue to return to an on-campus work presence. If returning employees have been vaccinated, they only need obtain a rapid-antigen test at the beginning of their first day back. Chief Taylor, Wade Walker and I remain available to provide these tests. For employees returning without vaccination, a negative PCR test result still is required.
A final and important note: Through the summer and into our new academic year, let's respect another's decisions to wear a mask as that person's personal circumstance often is unknown to us. We also need to accept — gladly — this sometimes means a member of faculty may require masks in a classroom, or we are called to wear masks during a meeting. In practical terms, this means continue to carry a mask with us, even if it remains in our pocket all day.
Please look for another update as we approach our Summer 2 session. In the meantime, I hope you summer is proving restorative to mind, body and spirit.
Colin M. Coyne
Chief Strategy Officer