Information for the IU community about COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
It’s hard to believe that the summer is winding down. Over the past few months, we have been actively planning for what we hope and expect will be a much more normal fall semester. The purpose of this note is to supply you with some details about the expectations for every member of our campus community for the upcoming fall semester. Despite our hopes for complete normalcy, current alerts from national and local health officials are concerning. Chester County is now classified by the CDC as a substantial infectious zone. As a result, the following campus protocols for fall 2021 will be effective immediately:
Masking: Masks are required, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public and common spaces on campus including classrooms, laboratories, and other meeting spaces. Masks are not required in individual offices or when outdoors on campus; unvaccinated persons are required to wear masks outdoors when attending a gathering or where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This practice is effective immediately.
Indoor facilities and Dining: Indoor spaces will return to full occupancy. Dining will resume full indoor operations and all students, faculty and staff are welcome to dine indoors. Plexiglass will remain in place in the dining hall as an additional precaution.
Visitors: Visitors must enter buildings with masks. Contractors, vendors, or other visitors essential to university business who work indoors on campus must wear masks and should maintain physical distancing where possible.
Testing and Quarantine: We will not conduct surveillance testing for vaccinated students or employees. Community members who are not considered fully vaccinated or have received an exemption must continue to do a COVID-19 health check daily. Testing for community members with exemptions will not be required; however, if there is an outbreak on campus, we may need to move to required surveillance testing of unvaccinated community members.
Vaccination Guidelines: COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students and employees. Individuals can apply for exemptions for medical reasons or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Booster vaccinations may be required if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds them necessary.
EMPLOYEE COVID-19 REPORTING
Employees experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed to an individual testing positive for COVID-19 should complete this form.
STUDENT COVID-19 REPORTING
Students experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed to an individual testing positive for COVID-19 should complete this form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I have had close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19?
If you have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes—cumulatively—or been exposed to respiratory secretions of a person with COVID-19:
- Students who are fully vaccinated who have been a close contact with a positive case but do not have symptoms are not directed to quarantine but are required to get tested 3-5 days after exposure and mask and monitor symptoms for 14 days.
- Students who are who are not fully vaccinated (those partially vaccinated and/or those who have an approved religious or medical accommodation) who have been a close contact with a positive case will be required to quarantine for up to 14 days after last contact as determined by health care professional and guidelines from health officials, and should consult with their primary care provider.
Why is vaccination required?
Rates of COVID-19 infection and transmission are high among college-aged individuals related to the way young adults live and socialize. Infections cause illness and result in quarantine and isolation which can adversely impact mental health. Vaccination provides an important barrier against many new and more dangerous forms (variants) of COVID-19. By requiring vaccination, we will sharply reduce the potential for outbreaks on campus, while allowing for a thriving campus atmosphere.
I am a student and do not take any classes on campus. Do I need to get vaccinated?
Students who are taking courses off campus are required to submit their vaccination information. Students enrolled in online courses are not required to fill out an exemption waiver if they are not vaccinated at this time. Even so, Immaculata strongly encourages that members of our community receive vaccination for the health and safety of themselves and those around them.
What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated.
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
- 2 weeks after a single-dose, such as Johnson & Johnson/Janseen vaccine
- If you do not meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated and should take all safety precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
Community members refusing to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement?
Students who are not vaccinated or have not received an exemption will not be able to attend class. Immaculata University will not provide COVID-19 learning accommodations, students are expected to attend class in the format as listed In their course schedule.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Experiential Learning
Will requesting a medical or religious exemption impact my ability to complete clinicals, student teaching, internship or other experiential learning requirement?
If you are granted an exemption, you will be able to participate in classes and other activities on our campuses, as long you follow all other safety protocols. However, any exemption from the University’s vaccine requirement may impact your ability to participate in clinicals, student teaching, internships, etc.
Many hospitals and other clinical sites, as well as other area employers have already announced that they are requiring the vaccine. We have no control over the vaccine requirements of site locations. Although we will try to place students with an exemption in a site location where the vaccine is not required, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
In addition, it is best practice to put students at different sites throughout their program. We may not be able to find enough sites that do not require the vaccine to accommodate you, which could limit your ability to complete degree requirements and potentially delay your time to graduation.
If I don’t get the vaccine, can I complete my clinical requirements via virtual simulation?
No. Unless the University must move to fully remote learning based on the spread of the virus or based on state or local requirements, we will not offer virtual simulations.
What is the refund policy for students who need to drop a clinical course?
The University’s Refunds and Academic Credit Policy is located here. If you choose not to get vaccinated and cannot be placed in a clinical site, you must drop your course(s) by the stated deadlines or you will be responsible for tuition charges, as outlined in our Refund and Academic Credit policy.
If I drop my clinical course(s), will I be able to take it in a future semester?
Not completing your clinical requirements as scheduled will very likely delay your time to graduation.
Protecting ourselves and our community.
Outbreaks among students have been shown to lead to outbreaks in surrounding communities, including deaths among vulnerable populations. COVID-19 presents one of the greatest disease threats we have seen in any of our lifetimes, and we have decided that requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is in the best interest of our campus community.
What do I do if I am an employee and have already verified my vaccine information?
If you have already voluntary uploaded your COVID-19 vaccination card, please click on the employee verification button, fill-in the required information, and select “Employee: previously submitted COVID-19 vaccination record.”
Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all Immaculata students and employees?
We will continue to promptly communicate any vaccine information. Additionally, if any changes in campus protocols are warranted, the campus community will be notified.
Medical and religious exemptions will be considered. Request an exemption using an online form and submission process. Exemption requests can take up to 10 business days to review once received.
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