Coronavirus Update – October 24, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

Since mid-August when we instituted the current indoor masking policy, we have reminded students, faculty and staff that our goal, as soon as our health partners deemed it safe, was to return to a more flexible policy for persons who are fully vaccinated.  After reviewing our latest vaccination rates, positivity rates and surveillance testing protocols, and recognizing that Johnson County has returned to the “yellow” category of infection rate, our consulting physicians have approved the following changes to our masking policy, effective immediately.

 Fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff will not be required to wear masks indoors or outdoors, except in the following areas: 

  • all classrooms and labs
  • private offices where adequate distancing is not possible (masks may be removed by mutual consent of fully vaccinated persons)
  • the servery area of the student dining room
  • when requested by the inhabitant of a private office or residence hall room prior to entry.  

All students, faculty and staff must have a mask on their person or otherwise readily accessible at all times. Any group traveling in a college vehicle or on college business with any unvaccinated individual, will require masking for everyone in the vehicle, regardless of vaccination status. 

Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks in all indoor campus spaces.  This includes while traveling in a college vehicle, or when traveling in a vehicle as part of a group on college business.  Unvaccinated students and employees must continue to submit a daily symptom check via CampusClear.  Unvaccinated students will continue to be randomly surveillance tested on a weekly basis at the student’s expense.  Student organizations must still register their activities but are not required to request permission for in-person events. There may be some additional restrictions placed on unvaccinated students to ensure safe participation or event-specific protocol based on the nature of the activity. If necessary for safety, some events may only be open to vaccinated students and/or be limited by maximum capacity. Some organizations may require all participants to mask indoors for events that do not allow for distancing. 

If you have concerns about campus community members violating Fortify Franklin protocol, you may submit a notification here:  Any violation of masking policy by unvaccinated students, faculty and staff is considered serious.  Student violations will be addressed through the student conduct process, with repeat violations being ultimately subject to suspension and/or dismissal. Employee violations will be addressed through the provisions of the appropriate employment handbook. 

A faculty or staff member, or resident, may ask any individual (vaccinated or unvaccinated) to wear a mask when entering their private office or residence hall room.  Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff will not be required to wear masks outdoors where adequate social distancing is possible.

We continue to encourage masks indoors for students, faculty, and staff, regardless of vaccination status, especially in situations where adequate distancing may not be achieved or maintained.  We encourage all members of the campus community to err on the side of caution when deciding which environments lend themselves to the need for masking.  Masking protocol is subject to change as recommended by our consulting physicians.

We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to provide a safe learning and working environment.  I will remind everyone that the safest path forward for the entire community is to continue increasing our rate of vaccination.  I again encourage unvaccinated students, faculty and staff to consult your primary health care provider for advice on receiving the vaccine.  Thank you.


Kerry Prather
President of Franklin College