September 9, 2022

Additional COVID guidance for this fall semester

Dear Goucher community,

As we complete our second full week of undergraduate classes, I want to thank all our students, faculty, and staff for adhering to our COVID-19 vaccination policy and our return-to-campus mandatory face mask policy. 

Unlike many other colleges and universities that have seen outbreaks on their campuses this fall, these important health and safety strategies have worked to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and allowed us to begin the academic year on a positive note. 

Goucher continues to be proactive in monitoring various public health factors, including updated CDC guidelines, Baltimore City and County coronavirus stats, our twice-weekly campus wastewater test results, and the number and severity of active COVID-19 cases on campus.

As expected, we saw a significant rise in all these metrics as our students returned to campus from across the nation and around the world this August. However, I am pleased to report that due to everyone adhering to our mandatory face masking policy, we have not seen a spike in the number of active cases on campus, and instead just this week have started to see a decrease in the presence of the SARS-Co-V2 virus in our twice-weekly wastewater tests.

Based on how these factors are trending, I am happy to confirm that we will be transitioning from a mandatory to optional face mask policy effective next Friday, September 16th, except for our on-campus medical facilities.

We understand that masking is a personal choice, but if you choose to continue to mask beyond this date, we suggest that you use only N-95, KN95, or KF94 face masks. Other types of face masks, such as cloth masks, are not as effective at preventing the spread of the virus. We would also suggest that unless you are speaking you continue to mask whenever attending large in-door gatherings in Kraushaar or Merrick auditoriums until further notice. 

As our society continues to learn to live with this virus, we urge all community members to remain vigilant and practice common sense health and safety measures. Please do not attend class or come to campus when you are sick. Instead, if you develop symptoms, immediately contact  and if you test positive for COVID, indicate your status in the Report an Illness website so that the Student Health Center can follow-up with you and so your faculty can be notified. 

Most importantly, we encourage all community members to take advantage of the newly authorized COVID-19 bivalent booster shot available at numerous pharmacies nationwide. You can find a location near you to get your booster shot on this website. Undergrads, you’ll receive more information about several on-campus booster clinics in the next week, but we encourage you to take advantage of off-campus pharmacies and get the booster as soon as you're able.

The COVID-19 Taskforce will continue to monitor campus and regional public health factors and will provide updates on the college’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, as needed. Thank you all for helping to keep our community safe and healthy. I look forward to a very successful and engaging semester ahead.

Be well.


Kent Devereaux, President