This week our Board of Trustees met and discussed the college’s ongoing health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They authorized the college to more readily make changes to our policies and measures based on discussions with the Board officers, guidance from our Emergency Operations Center, and recommendations from regional, state, and national health authorities.
As a result, our health and safety protocols at ACC will evolve. Beginning Monday, March 21, 2022, we will implement new measures on campus.
Here’s what I want you to know.
- Face masks will be optional.
- The college’s Appian health screening app will remain available to everyone who visits campus. This continues to be a good way to check your own health before coming to class or work.
- Health Liaisons will continue to be available on campus.
- ACC will expand access to events and activities that are hosted by the college on our campuses and centers. This expansion allows the college and its departments and offices to invite internal and external guests to their events and activities. We continue to restrict access for external parties seeking to host activities at ACC.
- The process for requesting accommodations will continue. Any employee who has a qualifying medical condition or disability and needs to request an accommodation in order to complete their essential duties is encouraged to submit an ADA accommodation request. Information about the process, form, and related Administrative Rule can be found on ACC’s ADA webpage.
These decisions do not come lightly. We have spent the past few days learning more and exploring what changes make sense for our community. A lot has changed in our region. Case numbers are down. Austin-Travis County is now in Stage 2 guidelines. Nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) revised its face-mask guidance. The CDC now recommends indoor masking for all only in communities at a high-risk level for COVID-19. We want to be able to respond to these developments more readily, and our Trustees stand by this approach.
I am proud of the work that’s happened at ACC to keep our community healthy. To date, we have had no reported cases of COVID-19 transmitted on our campuses or centers.
We will continue to monitor what’s happening in our community. Our EOC is working to align risk levels with health and safety measures so that we can continue to quickly adjust our protocols as needed.
As we all prepare for the well-deserved spring break, I encourage you to remain vigilant.
ACC strongly urges everyone who can get a vaccine to do so. Vaccination rates in both Travis and Williamson Counties are now at or approaching 75 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated and 85 percent received at least one dose. The COVID-19 vaccination remains a top recommendation to protect your health. ACC hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics on our campus. These clinics are free and open to the community. Here is a link to our vaccination schedule.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment. I wish you a happy and relaxing spring break, and look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.
Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D.
Austin Community College District