Dear Kalamazoo College Community,
In late January, the White House announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency and national emergency will end May 11, 2023. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has noted that since the peak of the Omicron surge in January 2022, COVID-19 deaths have declined by over 80% and new hospitalizations are down nearly 80%. Daily reported cases are down 92%. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 81% of the entire United States population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on the latest COVID-19 data and trends and considering the availability of COVID-19 treatment options, the College will no longer require the COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff effective the start of spring term (March 27, 2023). All other COVID-19 health protocols remain in effect. We will continue to recommend masking when ill and as required by COVID-19 protocols, and we will continue to support community members who mask for any reason. Masks may still be required by faculty members or staff inside classroom spaces, in individual offices or for gatherings.
This was not a decision taken lightly. Like the CDC and many health experts around the world, the College strongly recommends all members of the K community stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.
We believe that our high rate of vaccination, along with our commitment to following established health protocols, allowed us to return safely to campus in the early stages of the pandemic and continues to offer protection from serious illness and spread. We also recognize that as the pandemic transitions from a public health crisis to a matter of personal health and responsibility, our policies will naturally transition as well. We will continue to make every effort to keep vaccination options available and accessible at a reduced cost to our community, and to encourage vaccination as a responsible health choice—for oneself, as well as to protect those with whom you live, study and work.
We are deeply grateful to all members of our campus community who have done—and continue to do—their part to Protect the Hive.
J. Malcolm Smith
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students
Danette Ifert Johnson