Dear APU Community,
Welcome back and Happy New Year! We are looking forward to another safe and successful semester, and that requires the participation and support of everyone. We each have a shared responsibility not only to take care of ourselves, but also to protect others in our community. After nearly two years, we have yet to see community transmission of the virus on our campus. That’s an incredible testament to our community and a strong sign that our protocols work.
We are tracking local and campus caseloads and updated public health guidance closely. As we start Spring courses and as the pandemic continues to shift, I want to remind everyone of our university policies. Here are our current protocols:
Masking: Face masks are required to be worn in all common and public indoor spaces on either of APU’s campuses. Face coverings may be removed in private offices but are to be worn anytime another person is in the room. Face masks are not required to be worn outdoors on either of APU’s campuses except group activities where social distancing is not possible. Masking is not required when actively eating and drinking in common spaces. Eating is not permitted in classrooms.
Vaccination or Weekly Testing: Unless granted an exemption, all APU students, faculty and staff are required to submit proof of (1) being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved vaccine OR (2) participating in weekly COVID-19 testing. APU currently is not requiring the booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated, and individuals who receive the booster do not need to submit proof of receiving it at this time. However, booster shots are encouraged. If you submitted proof of vaccination last semester, you do not need to resubmit any documentation. APU is utilizing a third-party, HIPAA compliant vendor, Med+Proctor, to collect documentation of COVID-19 vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing. Information about the vaccination/weekly testing requirement, including requesting an exemption, and provides instruction on how to register and upload supporting documents to Med+Proctor is available on the APU website: https://www.alaskapacific.edu/covid-19-vaccine-or-weekly-testing/
Individuals participating in certain activities such as extended off-campus trips will be required to be vaccinated and submit valid proof. Testing may also be required to participation in trips, but participants will not have the option of participating in weekly COVID-19 testing in lieu of vaccination.
What to do if you are sick: Regardless of vaccination status, if you are sick with COVID-19 or are experiencing any other illness, stay home, monitor your symptoms, get tested and do not return to APU campus while waiting your test results. If your test is negative, do not return to campus until your symptoms improve and consider getting tested again.
If you test positive for COVID-19: Faculty, staff and students must report all positive COVID-19 test results to COVIDReports@alaskapacific.edu. Following recent CDC guidelines, APU will reduce the time required for isolation for those who test positive. Regardless of symptoms, prior infection or vaccination status, any APU student, staff or faculty member who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves immediately for at least 5 days after testing positive and await further instructions on when you can return to campus. APU maintains space to isolate or quarantine residential students who test positive for COVID, are suspected of having COVID, or who are unvaccinated and have had close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID.
Resources and questions: We have answers to frequently asked questions on our coronavirus site. Visit our FAQ pages and submit any lingering questions here. You can see the current status of infections in our campus community at the COVID-19 dashboard.
As always, I appreciate your continued commitment to keep APU and the broader community healthy and safe. Stay masked, get a booster shot, and have an excellent semester.
Hilton Hallock, Ph.D.
Professor of Education
Alaska Pacific University