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Saint Leo University’s Response to COVID-19

Latest Communication Updates

Saint Leo University issues COVID-19 guidelines update

The Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team continues to closely monitor trends and medical guidance from health experts concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently the team reviewed new guidance regarding quarantine and isolation periods from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and re-evaluated some of its prevention guidance in response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

As a result, the university has issued an updated Stage 4 Framework for Protecting the Pride guide to reflect new recommendations, which will be in effect until January 21. At that time, transmissions rates and other available information will be reviewed to determine appropriate next steps. A summary of these changes is provided below:

  • Quarantine and isolation protocols for those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as close contacts have been changed. In accordance with new CDC guidance, quarantine periods have been adjusted.
  • Indoor university events with more than 50 people will be held remotely, postponed or canceled. Outdoor events may continue with masks highly recommended. Exceptions to the guidelines include Athletic competition and events hosted by external organizations which will be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • Masks will be required by all individuals while indoors. This guidance is required regardless of whether the individual is vaccinated.
  • The university is strongly encouraging meetings by Zoom when possible. Small in-person meetings are still permitted as needed.

The university will continue to hold in-person classes for the Spring Semester and will require that masks be worn while in the classroom, regardless of vaccination status. Students, faculty, and staff should continue to monitor their health and refrain from being around others or coming to a university location if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Managers are encouraged to consider areas where remote work is feasible. Requests for temporary approval to work remotely through January 21 should be submitted through the divisional vice president to the COVID-19 ICT Leadership by email to covid19commandteam@saintleo.edu. Requests will be reviewed and decisions communicated to the vice president and HR business partner.

All members of the University community are strongly encouraged to pursue vaccination and booster as they have proven success in reducing the severity of illness and are a critical part of reaching the end of this pandemic. The university will continue to monitor the guidance of professional health organizations and may issue a new update should conditions change. Please check your university email and the Saint Leo website regularly for additional updates.

Saint Leo prepares to implement Federal COVID-19 requirements

Key Takeaways

  • • President Biden’s COVID-19 plan is requiring employees who work at large businesses to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive weekly testing.
  • • The university is preparing to implement this requirement and will provide more information by December 5.
  • • The university must enforce this requirement by January 4 or face significant fines.
  • • Employees who do not wish to be vaccinated, for example for religious or medical reasons, have the option to undergo weekly testing instead.

As you may recall, last September, President Biden announced a national COVID-19 plan, called Path out of the Pandemic. It is a six-pronged plan outlining several action items that individuals and large private and public businesses would need to take, with the goal of speeding up our nation’s recovery from the pandemic.

One part of the plan mandates that large employers (with 100 or more employees) require their employees either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive weekly COVID-19 testing. Last week, guidelines for implementing this requirement were rolled out by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring compliance by January 4, 2022.

While it is possible that this requirement may face legal challenges in the coming days, the university is preparing to implement the guidance from OSHA by the deadline in order to avoid the possibility of significant financial penalties. By or before December 5, Saint Leo University employees can expect to receive information about the policies and procedures for implementing the requirement at the university. Until then, employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to submit a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card to Human Resources at HR@saintleo.edu.

Additional information about the Path of the Pandemic plan can be found at whitehouse.gov/covidplan.

Saint Leo University issues update to COVID-19 guidelines

Saint Leo University has been closely monitoring Florida Department of Health information on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. This information is helpful in understanding the risk for spreading COVID-19 within our community and for determining our prevention efforts.

Last week the positivity rate for COVID-19 cases in Pasco and Hillsborough counties fell below 5%, which triggered a review of our COVID restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic, Saint Leo University has based its prevention guidance on the latest health information and has made changes as new information becomes available. As a result of this new development, the university has released Stage 4 A Framework for Supporting the Pride. A summary of these changes is highlighted below. Not all changes are captured here. Please read the full Framework to understand the University’s current guidance.

What is changing?

  • • With the exception of inside our classrooms, vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks. All students and faculty are still required to wear masks in the classroom, regardless of vaccination status, which will serve as an added layer of protection against the low vaccination rates within our student population (45% vaccinated, with a goal of 85%).
  • • Masks or face coverings are no longer required outdoors for any individuals.
  • • Attendance limits on large gatherings and athletic events have been removed.
  • • Employees who are working from home in response to COVID-19 protocols are asked to return to the workplace.

What is staying the same?

  • • Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks at all times while inside any University buildings.
  • • Masks may be worn by those who are vaccinated as a matter of personal choice and preference. Those wearing masks should not be queried regarding their vaccination status or asked or encouraged to remove them.
  • • All students, faculty, and staff, must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be on-site at any university location.
  • • Those who have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to notify the university and must not enter the Saint Leo community until they have been cleared to do so.
  • • The COVID-19 daily health check is still available for students, faculty, and staff to report concerns about possible illness and potential exposure to COVID-19.

While this news is a positive step in the right direction, it is important to continue to practice good hygiene habits and take care of your health. Faculty, staff, and students also are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine and register it with the university. Students should send their registration to health.center@saintleo.edu, and faculty and staff should send their registration to HR@saintleo.edu.

Students, faculty, and staff should continue to check their university email and the Protect the Pride website for updates and information related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

Saint Leo University is strongly encouraging faculty, staff, and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. See how our community is making process.

View Vaccine Incentives

What to do if you think you are sick

If a campus student in residence is experiencing symptoms of illness and is concerned about possible COVID-19 infection (fever over 100.4, other symptoms of illness), they are asked to immediately self-isolate and contact the Health Center in DeChantal Hall at (352) 588-8347. After hours, they can contact University Safety at (352) 588-8432 for the on-call nurse. Online and education center students, are asked to immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider and notify your center director or advisor of your illness. Staff and faculty should do the same and also contact their supervisor and human resources business partner.

Video Updates

Learn about Saint Leo's reopening plans and hear messages from university leadership.

Face Masks Protect the Pride

 

Town Hall - August 14, 2020

 

Tips to Help Protect the Pride