Important Message: Booster Requirement and Testing

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for all you contributed to making the Fall 2021 semester a successful one for students, faculty, and staff! As far as COVID-19, we finished out the semester with a low number of positive cases, and given the increased cases on other campuses, we think that the booster clinics in November and December certainly helped us.  

We are writing today with an important update on our efforts to protect the health and safety of our campus and our neighboring communities, while supporting an in-person academic and residential experience for Spring 2022. This message will address two topics: 

  • COVID-19 booster requirement for students and employees

  • Testing 

COVID-19 Booster Requirement 

For the Fall 2021 semester, 99% of our students and 98% of our employees were fully vaccinated (and others have approved exemptions). This level of vaccination along with masking and other campus mitigation efforts helped us successfully navigate the fall semester. Recent studies show that the vaccine booster adds to the protection provided by the initial vaccination series, and the CDC now recommends the booster for everyone age 16 and older. Vaccines, especially with the booster, reduce the risk of infection, shorten the period during which an individual is contagious, protect against serious illness, and lower the risk of further transmission. Given this information and the circumstances with the Delta and Omicron variants, Connecticut College is requiring students and employees to receive a COVID-19 booster by Feb. 1 or within 14 days of becoming eligible if that date is after Feb. 1.   

Eligible individuals are those who received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. Roughly 92% of vaccinated employees are eligible for a vaccine before Feb. 1, 2022, therefore the vast majority of you can receive the booster before we begin the spring semester. Recent illness may impact when you can recieve a booster, so you should consult with your medical provider if you are sick around the time that you plan to receive the booster. If you have other questions about booster vaccines and eligibility, please refer to the CDC website. The CDC has recently updated their guidance with a preference for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). 

All those who are eligible are expected, then, to receive the booster and upload documentation into CoVerified. Many of you already received your booster on-campus through one of our four on-campus booster clinics–please take a moment to upload your vaccine card.Those of you who have not received the booster may find it difficult to get an appointment given the high demand for boosters due to the current conditions across the country. Please plan ahead to schedule a day and time to get the booster in your community as soon as possible. 

If you are among the 2% of employees who received an approved exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination, you will continue to be exempt from the booster requirement. 

We are working on scheduling a fifth booster clinic for the last week in January for people unable to obtain it, but this is not confirmed. There will be limited appointments available, so please try to complete this requirement on your own.         

Once you have received your COVID-19 booster, you are required to provide proper verification to the College. You can do this by uploading it to CoVerified through the app or website. Use your College login information in order to access the app or website. On the app or website follow these steps: 

  • Take a picture (or scan) of your completed COVID-19 booster vaccination card and save it to your phone or desktop

  • If using the app: Click the + symbol at the bottom of the screen then click on Upload Vaccine Record

  • If using the website: Click Reports then Report Vaccination

  • Select the Vaccine Type: COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Choose Administered

  • Select a Manufacturer/Booster: Choose one of the bottom three booster options

  • Enter the date for your specific COVID-19 booster

  • Enter the location where you received the booster

  • Click on Attach a file

  • Browse for your saved file on your phone or desktop and select it

  • Click Confirm

You will also have the opportunity to submit your booster information in person at the Testing Center during the week of January 24, 2022.

Testing

The Testing Center will relocate to the 1941 Room for the spring semester.  This move occurred yesterday (Monday, Dec. 20). The Testing Center's last day of testing this week will be today (Tuesday, Dec. 21).

The Testing Center will be closed from December 22 to January 9th. If you experience COVID-19 related symptoms during this period of time, please seek testing in your local community. If you test positive, you need to email this information to Steve Langlois, Director of Environmental Health and Safety (srlan@conncoll.edu). 

The Testing Center re-opens on Monday, Jan. 10. 

  • From Jan. 10-13, the hours will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 

  • The Testing Center will be closed Friday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 17.

  • From Jan. 18-21, the hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

A winter break testing appointment schedule is available on CoVerified this week.  

For this winter break period (when the test center is open) and next semester, employees are required to continue to test once a week. If you feel any symptoms that could be COVID-19, please do not come to work at the College. You should get tested with an at-home test kit or go to your local healthcare provider. If you test positive for COVID-19, then please contact Steve Langlois (srlan@conncoll.edu) for further instructions. If you are negative for COVID-19 but still have symptoms, you should remain home until your symptoms subside, given that you might have a different virus or cold.  

We anticipate that many of the same protocols we had this fall semester will continue in the spring semester. We are also closely monitoring the situation with Omicron and will make adjustments as necessary in January as we prepare for the spring semester.  We will communicate this information to you as soon as possible. 

We wish you well during this holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the new year!  

Sincerely, 

Victor Arcelus
Dean of Students 

Jeff Cole
Dean of the Faculty

Larry Lewellen
Interim Vice President for Human Resources