January 14, 2022
Dear Heritage University Community:
As we went into the winter break, it was with great hope that the tide was beginning to turn on the Coronavirus. And then, with great rapidity, the Omicron variant emerged. While the Omicron variant is not as severe in terms of symptoms or hospitalizations, it is significantly more contagious. With coronavirus cases in Yakima County at an all-time high, and projections estimating that the peak in cases may not occur for several weeks, it is with deep regret, but out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of us all, that I announce today that we will revert to an all-online course delivery schedule for the first two weeks of the spring semester.
All courses will be delivered online for the first two weeks of the semester, starting Tuesday, January 18, through Sunday, January 30. Your instructors will post a zoom link for your classes on the course page in MyHeritage. If you do not hear from your instructor, please contact (509) 865-8663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. All classes will be taught at their scheduled times.
The rationale for this decision is the potential for spreading the virus within the close confines of the classrooms.
It is important to note that campus will remain open and that all staff will report to campus as regularly scheduled. Students can access the Library, Dining Commons, Academic Skills Center, Student Affairs, IT Help Center, Registrar, and all other campus services needed, such as WiFi and printing. The staff will be on campus to help support students.
A reminder that all persons coming to campus must be vaccinated unless they have an approved exemption. Additionally, all are encouraged to get a booster shot if they have not already done so.
Additionally, we are making a change to our masking policy. In alignment with CDC guidance, all persons on campus must wear either an N-95, a KN-95, or be double-masked with a surgical mask in addition to a cloth mask. Surgical masks are widely available throughout campus.
No single cloth masks nor single surgical masks are permissible until further notice.
The following safety protocols remain in place:
- Masks are required in all interior spaces. The exception is the café, where you can remove your masks while eating/drinking.
- Social distancing at a minimum of 3-feet.
- Maintain enhanced cleaning protocols.
Do not come to campus if you are sick or think you have been exposed to COVID-19. Report any exposure or positive cases to the University’s COVID hotline (509) 865-8660.
We strongly recommend that our entire community continue with prevention protocols such as frequent hand washing and covering your cough.
Finally, it is important to note that, much like everything with the pandemic, these policies may change as circumstances in our environment change. We will continue to provide regular updates.
I am sorry to have to once again delay the resumption of a more normal campus community life. I hope we can all return to in-person learning on Monday, January 31.
Be safe, be well, be strong, be kind.
Andrew C. Sund, Ph.D.