CUA Transition from COVID Protocols

Image Courtesy of University Communication

By Anna Harvey

As vaccination rates continue to climb, the Catholic University of America, under guidelines from the District of Columbia, has slowly begun to roll back Health and Safety Protocols from the previous academic year. 

On Friday, May 21, Facilities, via University Communication, sent an email to the University community explaining new and “more relaxed COVID protocols.” The email explained that the University dismissed the overnight cleaning contractors; instead, the overnight staff was replaced with in-house staff to clean the administrative and academic buildings. 

Additionally, the email stated that classrooms will no longer be cleaned in between classes, but facilities staff will still clean them once a day. Furthermore, over the summer months, Facilities will continue to reset the classrooms to full pre-pandemic capacity. 

While implementing these relaxed policies, Facilities cautioned that updates will continue in accordance with the District’s guidelines. 

“All of these protocols are being relaxed in conjunction with evolving health guidance,” the email said. “The pandemic continues to be monitored closely, and the University is prepared to restore more strict protocols if it becomes necessary in the future.” 

Moreover, on Thursday, June 3, a coronavirus newsletter update from University Communication updated the University community on eased travel restrictions during the summer months. The new guidelines would apply primarily to University employees, with national travel requiring approval by the president or dean, and international travel approved on a case-by-case basis. 

A prior newsletter, sent on Thursday, May 20, stated that University health and safety guidelines would change in accordance with the new guidelines in the District.

“[T]hose who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear a mask at all times in the District,” the newsletter said. “Student Health Services will still require all visitors to wear masks in their office.”

The email also stated, however, that the University would be lifting restrictions on gatherings and dissolving the practice of social distancing. Social distancing may be later implemented should a gathering require it, and in such cases the University stated that they would give notice in advance.

“Previously, the best way to be protected from COVID was to wear a mask, social distance, and wash hands frequently,” the newsletter said. “Now, the best way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated (and continue to wash your hands).”

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