W&J’s COVID-19 Response

Updates, news, and resources concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

W&J’s COVID-19 Response

fall 2020 reopening

Your Safety Is Our Priority

Throughout this challenging and unprecedented time, the safety of our community has remained top-of-mind. We’ve implemented a number of new protocols designed to keep our campus safe, and our faculty, staff and students healthy. Please check this page regularly for updates about our safety plans and protocols, including information about visiting campus, our cleaning procedures, and health monitoring. The Helpful Links section includes quick access to information from the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners, whose guidance we closely followed to formulate our Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Fall 2021 plans. We’ve also provided a COVID-19 case tracker to keep you informed about cases on our campus. Please note that the last day of COVID-19 testing for the Spring 2021 semester was May 13, 2021. Information about Fall 2021 testing requirements is under consideration, and will be shared closer to the start of the semester.

Covid Vaccination Requirement

June 3, 2021

We have received questions regarding the vaccination requirement. Based on CDC guidance, and advice of our Clinical Advisory Panel, the COVID-19 vaccination requirement has been added to our existing list of immunization requirements outlined on page 35 of the W&J Student Handbook. As with all required vaccinations, W&J will honor immunization exemptions for medical, religious and philosophical reasons. This exemption form can be found at MyW&J (Student Life). No student receiving an exemption will be prevented from fully participating in courses, campus activities or athletics. Specific provisions for students who choose not to be vaccinated will be made available on July 15. These may include surveillance testing, symptom tracking, and masking in certain situations.. Decisions about these provisions will be made with guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the W&J Clinical Advisory Panel. Submit questions you may have to questions@washjeff.edu.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are W&J College students required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 the 2021/2022 Academic Year?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccination requirement has been added to our immunization requirements outlined on page 35 in the W&J Student handbook. The inclusion of the COVID-19 vaccination was recommended by both the COVID-19 Response team as well as the W&J Clinical Advisory Council.  The current W&J health policy states that “All incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to provide a medical history, a physical examination, and proof of required immunizations. A physical exam is performed for students planning to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the team physicals as scheduled by the Athletic department. The team physical examination does not replace the required college entrance physical.

What if I need an exemption from the vaccination requirement?

Consistent with federal and state laws, as well as W&J policy, students may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and other immunization requirements listed in the student handbook. The exemption form can be found here: Exemption to Immunization Form and submitted to the Office of Student Life. This exemption form can also be found at MyW&J on the Student Life page under the Student Life File Finder sidebar. First year students should email the completed form to gateway@washjeff.edu, and upperclass students should email the completed form to studentlife@washjeff.edu.

Will I be required to show that I’m fully vaccinated?

Proof of vaccination, or exemption, will be required for all students enrolled at W&J for the upcoming calendar year. The process of doing so will be announced in mid-July and posted on MyW&J. As always, we will ensure that information submitted protects the privacy of our students.

What if I haven’t received my vaccination(s) before start of the Academic year?

W&J will work with those students who need to receive the vaccination. The College has partnerships with local health systems and providers to support our public health and community efforts.

I am an international student or have been living abroad, should I receive an approved vaccine for the country I am currently living in, or wait until arriving in the U.S. for the Fall 2021 semester?

At this time, we expect that any vaccines that receive the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Use listing will meet our requirements. We will closely monitor the CDC, Pa. Department of Health and consult our clinical advisory council on any updates to vaccination approvals. As of June 1, 2021, the WHO has listed Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK, Bio, Serum Institute of India, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.

Are W&J faculty & staff required to be vaccinated by the start of the Fall 2021 semester?

As of June 1, more than 80% of W&J faculty/staff have been fully vaccinated or are in the process of vaccination which is higher than the state of Pennsylvania and the national average. At this time, we are not requiring vaccination of our employees.

If I am not fully vaccinated by the start of the academic semester, will I still need to follow CDC best practice mitigation protocols?

We will be announcing later this summer the protocols that will need to be followed for those who are not vaccinated. We are closely monitoring updates to recommendations and policies by the CDC, and the Pa., Department of Health, as well guidance from the W&J Clinical Advisory Council, to help guide our decision-making process. Our primary goal is to ensure that our campus community is healthy & safe, while ensuring an optimal living and learning environment.

Additional Information

Reopening Campus

The College is following the guidelines of the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners to implement the appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of the disease as we reopen campus. We are continually monitoring the situation as it develops and will continue to update our procedures to continue to follow guidelines.

No institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In addition to the measures the College is instituting, the students, faculty and staff are expected to take the necessary precautions, and to be mindful and respectful of each other to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Mask Policy
Cleaning
Pledge to Promote Safety
Health Monitoring
Visiting Campus
Vaccinations

COVID-19 Case Tracker

Students

2

# of test performed

0

# of positive tests

Faculty and Staff

38

# of test performed

0

# of positive tests

Counts updated every Thursday. Last updated: 05/20/2021

W&J College is committed to providing weekly updates to the W&J Community and surrounding areas as it relates to COVID-19 active cases on campus. COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Case Tracker is a component of the W&J College plan to identify and report, if any, the number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections (active cases) among students and employees on campus. The Tracker will be updated weekly on Thursday. Active on-campus student cases will be immediately isolated for a period of no less than 14 days in designated campus housing (the 14-day isolation is recommended by the CDC). Commuting students and faculty/staff who have been identified as active cases will also be required to isolated in their home locations for the 14 day time period.

Testing of all on-campus faculty, staff, and student populations, including commuter students, began on January 25, 2021 and will continue every week throughout the Spring semester. Students are placed into two groups, with 50% of students getting tested for SARS-CoV-2 each week. W&J College Student Health & Counseling Services will reach out to provide daily assistance to students in isolation and will also be open and available to all students daily and to schedule testing as clinically indicated. Faculty and staff who need to be on campus are also placed into two groups with 50% of faculty/staff being tested each week. Human Resources will be in contact faculty and staff members who test positive. Faculty/staff who test positive will be required to remain within their home residence for 10 days as recommended by the CDC.

The W&J College COVID-19 Response Team, in coordination with the W&J Clinical Advisory Council and other college/university testing protocols, has determined that the frequency in weekly testing for the Spring 2021 semester is necessary with the significant increases in COVID-19 cases and variants that are being discovered.

Footnote: During the time period of January 9 – January 24, 2021, 623 students who opted-in to reside on campus this semester were tested for COVID upon move-in and required to quarantine for a 14-day time period. During this quarantine period, there were 19 positive cases reported in our on-campus student population. These students were placed in isolation for 10 days and had no contact with others on campus. Between Jan. 21 and Jan. 27, six students were re-tested due to experiencing symptoms; four of those students tested positive and were isolated.

All students, faculty and staff are required to take the daily screening survey if they are on campus for classes or work.

Helpful Links

Health Care Tips from the Centers for Disease Control

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists, and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  2. Stay home when you are ill. This will help you to recover more quickly and decrease the spread of illness when on campus.
  3. Use a tissue or the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  4. Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  5. If you have not had the flu vaccine, please consider getting one. While this will not protect against the coronavirus, the vaccine may prevent against the flu.