Fortify Franklin
With the impending return of students, Franklin College President Kerry Prather released the official Fortify Franklin procedures for the upcoming semester, to add to the Aug. 12 mask policy change.
Those who are fully vaccinated will be subject to fewer limitations, compared to those who aren’t. If exposed to the virus, fully vaccinated people are required to wear a mask for three to five days, until they can provide a negative COVID test. Unvaccinated students who have been exposed to the virus will be required to isolate for 14 days, regardless of symptoms.
Unlike last year, there is now no guarantee of virtual learning access – one must appeal to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students and their professors to obtain permission.
Unvaccinated individuals will be required to provide entry, re-entry, and surveillance tests through their own finances, including those required by participation in sports. Every two weeks, 25% of Franklin’s unvaccinated, non-athlete population will be selected randomly for testing in addition. For those who cannot afford testing, the college will work collaboratively to find financial aid.
Students who do not comply with the testing requirements will have their internet and card access deactivated.
On-campus events and activities are allowed to resume in-person, provided they abide by the new masking policy update. Event planners no longer need to request permission from the college to host events in-person, but they still need to register their event. In addition, non-Franklin guests who are over the age of 18 are allowed to visit but must also follow the new mask policy.
When travelling with sports teams, if there is at least a single student unvaccinated, all athletes must wear a mask during transportation. But, as of late, the NCAA has not yet cancelled or postponed competitions. Like Franklin, they too are monitoring the situation closely. Yet amid uncertainty, Prather encouraged students to maintain an optimistic attitude.
“While the resurgence of the COVID challenge is disheartening, it does not diminish our enthusiasm for the start of the new year,” said Prather. “We will continue to consult with our healthcare partners for guidance on relaxing masking policies.”

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