COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Requirement (General)

Why is Lafayette requiring students, faculty, and staff to receive the COVID-19 booster?

The vaccine is highly successful at suppressing transmission of the virus and at limiting the severity of health effects experienced by those who are infected. The booster does not eliminate the possibility of contracting COVID-19 but has shown efficacy in supplementing waning immunity from the initial vaccines.  After seeking advice from medical and other experts we determined that as a matter of public health it is essential for our community to receive the booster.

What if the deadline to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster is not within the timeframe I am eligible to receive the vaccine?

Any Lafayette student, faculty, or staff whose initial series of vaccines have not passed the length of time recommended for a booster (6 months past second dose of Moderna, 5 months past second dose of Pfizer, or 2 months past the single dose of J&J) should plan to get a booster as soon as eligible after Feb. 1.

I had a recent COVID-19 infection. Can I be exempt from the booster?

The recent surge of COVID-19 infections due to the omicron variant and the immunity that follows natural infection may offer enhanced protection. As such, while some people will enjoy robust immunity following infection, many will remain susceptible to reinfection. SARS-CoV-2 will be with us forever and we will continue to face challenges with new, emerging variants. We are close to transitioning to a “new normal” in which COVID-19 is treated like other respiratory viruses, but we are not there yet. Vaccine requirements are still the best tool to protect our community.

You are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster after you are fully recovered from a recent infection, which in most people is 10-14 days after receiving a positive result. If you have been treated with monoclonal antibodies in the past 90 days, please contact your provider.

If your provider believes that the risk of receiving a booster before Feb. 1 is high and there is a medical contraindication for vaccination, please have your physician fax the documentation to Bailey Health Center at 610-330-5704.

Can students receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster at Bailey Health Center after returning to campus?

No. Students who plan to get their boosters after returning to campus will need to schedule an appointment at a local pharmacy to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster. Students can travel at no cost to local pharmacies by using their Lafayette ID on a LANta bus, which makes a number of trips to pharmacies in Forks Township daily.

What are the consequences if I don’t receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster by Feb. 1?

Individuals who are eligible to receive a booster by Feb. 1 (6 months past second dose of Moderna, 5 months past second dose of Pfizer, or 2 months past the single dose of J&J) and do not upload proof of having done so will be restricted from campus until such a time as the booster is completed.

I am trying to schedule my arrival test but my flight arrives outside of the testing times (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Jan. 21, 22, 23). What should I do?

If I had a previous religious or medical exemption do I need to reapply?

No. If you were exempt from the vaccines, your exemption carries over to the booster.

Can I apply for a religious or medical exemption for the booster?

Medical or religious exemptions for individual students whose health or religious beliefs have changed require appropriate documentation to review. Students can utilize the medical or religious exemption request forms and submit them through the student health portal. In addition to the information requested on the form, students must clearly explain what has changed since receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

In reviewing these requests, the College will also consider whether you submitted any prior exemption requests, the content and outcome of those requests, and the fact that you received a COVID-19 vaccination. Social, political, and economic beliefs and philosophies, or personal preferences alone, do not constitute religious beliefs.

Will the College share the names of those who are vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated?

No. The vaccination status of any individual will not be shared with anyone beyond those administering the verification system.

Why are visitors not required to be vaccinated?

Visitors will be required to follow campus COVID-19 protocols. It would be impossible to keep track of all visitors on campus. Visitors, by definition, are on campus for a short period of time. Also, we are choosing to focus our energies and resources on the campus population we do know: our faculty, staff, and students.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Requirement (Faculty/Staff)

Which employees are impacted by the COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

It covers all employees of the College, full and part-time. In addition, employees who provide campus dining and custodial services and thereby interact closely and regularly with our students, faculty, and staff must be vaccinated.

Employees must be eligible to receive a booster and are eligible if the following conditions apply:

  • Completed the initial vaccines at least six months ago for Moderna, five months ago for Pfizer or two months ago for Johnson and Johnson.
  • Are at least 10 to 14 days past the resolution of symptoms if they had a recent, positive COVID-19 test.

Employees who are not yet eligible should plan to comply as quickly as possible once they become eligible.

Where can faculty and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

It is available at no cost across the region.

How will faculty and staff confirm they have received their COVID-19 vaccine booster?

All College employees must indicate their COVID-19 vaccine booster status. Employees unable to upload their vaccination card should call the Office of Human Resources at 610-330-5060.

Dining and custodial contract employees will be contacted by supervisors about providing proof of vaccine booster.

What will happen to faculty and staff who don’t comply with the COVID-19 vaccine booster requirement?

Anyone not in compliance with this requirement will be subject to employment action, which may include unpaid status or termination of employment.

 

Testing: Pre-Arrival

What should I do if I I missed the Jan. 12 deadline to create my Aura account?

Students who did not respond to the emails and reminders sent since Jan. 5, and did not complete the Aura account registration, will not be able to secure a test through Genetworx. They may, at your own expense, get a PCR test locally so that results are obtained within 72 of arrival on campus.

What should I do if my COVID-19 pre-arrival test kit does not arrive on the date I thought it would?

COVID-19 pre-arrival test kits are being sent via overnight shipping. We built in at least one buffer day for transit complications so if your test does not arrive by Jan. 16, we will determine what alternate arrangements need to be made.

What should I do if my COVID-19 pre-arrival test is positive?

If your COVID-19 pre-arrival test is positive, you should NOT come to campus as you will be restricted from moving back into your room and attending classes. You should isolate for at least five days and if asymptomatic and without fever for at least 24 hours, seek an antigen test. If you can obtain a negative antigen test after the fifth day, you will be able to arrive on campus and begin classes. If you are still symptomatic, cannot get an antigen test at home, or the antigen test is positive, you will need to isolate for the remaining 5 days before returning to campus.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 before sending back my pre-arrival test?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 at any point before returning their pre-arrival test should contact Bailey Health Center for further instructions.

 

Testing: Arrival

How will I schedule my COVID-19 arrival test?

You will access the arrival schedule using Aura (app or through your desktop). Once the pre-arrival test kits are shipped, the arrival slots will be made available.

Where is the COVID-19 arrival testing being done?

Arrival testing is being done at Pfenning Alumni Center in the Wilson Room.

Can I go to my room first or must I stop at Pfenning Alumni Center for my COVID-19 arrival test before going to my room?

Rapid tests will not be utilized for arrival testing, so if you are a returning student you can go straight to your room and then to Pfenning. You must arrive as close to the time scheduled as possible so you do not disrupt the schedule for the day. New students to the College will follow the move-in instructions provided by Residence Life.

A negative pre-arrival test is not an assurance that the arrival day test will also be negative but you are not being restricted in your movements as we await the test results. We ask that you mask as much as possible and avoid unnecessary group gatherings until your result is received.

 

Testing: In-Semester

What types of COVID-19 tests are being used on campus?

We will use a combination of antigen and PCR testing to meet our objectives. Antigen tests are best used as diagnostic tools in detecting a current infection. The majority of antigen testing is directed at students as we will use antigen tests at Bailey Health Center to assess symptomatic cases and testing of close contacts. We will also use antigen tests after the fifth day of isolation for students who test positive for COVID-19 and are in College isolation housing. 

Routine weekly monitoring tests will be done using PCR testing and overseen by Genetworx. Routine testing is required for all unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff as well as any fully vaccinated individuals requested to appear for random testing. Faculty, staff, and students who are not symptomatic and who have not been identified as a close contact through the contact tracing process but want a test, may schedule one as space permits using the Aura app.

I am a fully vaccinated student who has received a booster and is asymptomatic but was identified as a close contact. How will I be tested?

Students identified through the contact tracing process as close contacts will be tested at Bailey Health Center. Students will receive instructions during the contact tracing process with how and when to set up their test. Tests will be done at least 3 and not more than 5 days post-exposure.

I am a student, faculty or staff in the routine testing program or notified I have been selected for random testing (students only), can I go to Bailey Health Center for that test as I did last semester?

No. Routine testing will be done by Genetworx in a separate location. They will be on site two day a week to conduct routine testing and it is your responsibility to sign up for a testing slot using the Aura app and to appear for testing each week as scheduled. Routine testing will be done using PCR tests.

I am a student who wants to be sure I have access to a rapid test 24/7, what should I do?

Bailey Health Center will be focusing the administration of antigen tests on students who are symptomatic, close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases identified through the tracing process, and students scheduled for release from isolation. If you are asymptomatic and want to be sure you have access to a test you should consider purchasing an at home antigen kit and bringing it with you to campus. On-demand, antigen testing for asymptomatic students can not be accomplished while meeting our other objectives. Asymptomatic students who wish to schedule a PCR test will be able to view available slots each week in the Aura app and, as space permits, may schedule one test per week.

I am an employee who has symptoms or an exposure outside of work. Can I be tested on campus?

No. Employees who are symptomatic or who have been identified as a close contact through a non-workplace exposure should not seek testing from the College. At-home antigen test kits are becoming more available across the area and employees should consider purchasing kits to have on hand.

I am an employee who is not symptomatic but wants to have a test for my own peace of mind. Can I get tested on campus?

Yes. PCR testing will be made available as space permits. As classes begin, employees will be directed to set up an account with Aura. The on site testing company, Genetworx, will populate the schedule for the two days of testing that will be offered weekly. Any employee (or student) may schedule one test per week as space permits. These test slots will be prioritized for routine monitoring of students, faculty, and staff with exemptions from vaccination but there is extra capacity built in for asymptomatic testing of individuals. Antigen tests will not be used for this purpose.

I am an employee who has had a work-related exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Can I get a test on campus?

Employees who, in their work environment, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should complete the test kit request form to request an at-home test kit. Additional information may be requested before fulfilling the request.

Will the College continue to supply at-home antigen test kits for employees?

Our focus for routine testing of individuals who are otherwise well is to use the available slots for PCR testing by directing employees and students to sign up for slots within the Aura app. The focus of our robust supply of antigen tests is on students who are symptomatic, students who have been identified as close contacts, and students who are scheduled for release from isolation after their fifth day. That will help reduce our chances of a significant campus outbreak at any given time. In certain circumstances, such as situations where a faculty or staff member is identified as a close contact through the tracing process, we may make an antigen test available.