DATE: August 8, 2021 at 8:49 am
TO: Faculty and Staff

FROM: Kate Ferrel, President

Good morning,

Last week, I connected with the campus community to assure you that we are keeping a very close eye on the many indicators that factor into our ongoing COVID-19 response. Over the weekend, one of the sources from which we receive information, Oneida County, moved from Moderate to Substantial Transmission Level. Of course, we were holding out hope that this would not occur, but with this change, all counties which Nicolet College serves all or portions of (Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Iron, Langlade, and Lincoln) are reporting Substantial Transmission Levels.

In light of the increased spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, and the known efficacy around the face covering’s ability to reduce droplets that escape from the nose and mouth during casual conversation, coughing, sneezing, etc., college leadership and I have decided to reinstate the facial covering requirement.

Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, August 10, all Nicolet College students, employees, vendors, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings indoors—regardless of vaccination status.

How long will the reinstated face covering mandate last? In all honesty, we have no way of knowing, but based on a host of metrics, along with Nicolet College’s own data and experiences, we will reevaluate the facial covering requirement a few weeks into the fall term to determine the necessity of facial coverings.

At this time, the campus will remain open to students, staff, and the public. Should any other protocols shift, we will continue to communication with you and take necessary action to ensure the health and safety of our college community. Later today, Matthew will follow up with detailed protocols and reminders for staff as will Erika will be communicating this information to our students.
Before I sign off, I want to acknowledge that these abrupt shifts and transitions are emotional and incredibly frustrating. We remain grateful for your continued understanding and kindness toward one another as we take the actions required to prioritize the health and safety of our college community.

Please refer students with support needs to our counseling service, Transitions Counseling, at 715-365-6696. Transitions Counseling also has an online inquiry / contact form which you can access here. A full menu of Nicolet College student support services can also be found here. Thank you so much for sharing these resources with our students.

As we work hard to support our students, I urge you to please carve out time for selfcare. Our Employee Assistance Services (EAS) are available to help we employees navigate through the variety of challenges faced in the world we find ourselves living in today. Employees can schedule an appointment by calling 800-236-4457.

From the beginning, our COVID-19 response and all subsequent decisions have been informed by many credible sources (Nicolet College health indicators, community statistics, and guidance from federal, state, and local health officials). Your health and safety continue to be our number one priority, and while the COVID-19 circumstances seem to vary day-to-day, our commitment to your health and safety does not.

Please reach out to anyone on the leadership team or Matthew (see the list above in the Cc… field) if you have any questions.

With my gratitude,