There is not a process to completely eliminate the risk and probability of COVID-19 on our campus. However, through a multi-layered strategy and through shared community responsibility we can greatly diminish this risk.
To support the full health and wellness of our community, and in line with our commitment to a fully in-person, on-campus fall, we are requiring the COVID-19 Vaccination for all enrolled students, faculty, staff, and volunteers.
- Fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID vaccine or a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine more than 14 days ago.
- Under-vaccinated is defined as an individual who has received a COVID vaccine not approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or an individual who is not yet two weeks post their terminal COVID vaccine (second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or first dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson).
- Unvaccinated is defined as someone who has not received a COVID vaccine, including due to being approved for a medical or religious exemption.
Proof of your completed COVID-19 Vaccination is required to be submitted to Health Services before your arrival to campus, and preferably by August 1, 2021.
Incoming first-year students may submit a photocopy of their completed CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card / International COVID Vaccination Card with their health packet. A returning student may submit a photo of this completed card to firstname.lastname@example.org. The vaccine card must include your full name, date of birth, name of the COVID-19 Vaccination received, and dates of the vaccinations. Requests for an immunization exemption, for either religious or medical reasons, may be granted in accordance with Massachusetts state law governing immunizations.
Students will not be permitted to check in for the fall semester without submitting this documentation. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
- Waiver Information: Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law: Chapter 76, Section 15C, students who qualify for a medical or religious exemption may submit an exemption form and any required documentation to Health Services by August 1.
- Extenuating Circumstances: If any student is having trouble accessing a WHO-approved COVID vaccine, they must contact health_services@
wheatoncollege.edu to discuss options to fulfill this requirement by August 1.
Faculty, Staff, and Volunteers
By Tuesday, August 31, all Wheaton College faculty, staff, and volunteers who access campus must be vaccinated and must provide their COVID-19 vaccination documentation by that date, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.
In light of the latest guidance from the CDC and other health authorities, all persons on campus are required to wear a mask or face covering in any indoor space, including classrooms, laboratories, and other instructional spaces, regardless of their vaccinated status. Masks are not required to be worn in private residence hall rooms when the residents of the room are the only ones present, or while actively bathing or eating. Masks are also not required to be worn in private offices when someone is alone in that office.
Community members who are not vaccinated or are under-vaccinated (prior to the 14 days post-second dose, or first dose for J and J Vaccine) are expected to adhere to additional safety protocols as outlined in college policy. These protocols include mask-wearing at all times when on campus (both indoors and outdoors) and engaging in physical distancing of at least six feet, wherever possible.
All community members should bring their own masks when coming to campus, although the college does have a limited supply of masks for community members that on occasion require one. As a result of evolving guidance and research, masks with exhalation valves are not permitted. Some N95 masks have these valves, but those will be permitted only with a surgical mask used over the N95 mask. Additionally, as they are not recommended as appropriate face masks by the CDC, bandanas and neck gaiters are no longer permitted to be used as a face covering on campus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and to slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to keep a distance from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Although it is not a requirement for those who are fully vaccinated, physical distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at a higher risk of acute symptoms.
Everyone is expected to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public space, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your face cloth covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Then throw the tissues immediately into the trash and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
The college has added hand sanitizer stations throughout the college.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Building Services team has increased their cleaning and disinfection in high-traffic areas. Community members are expected to wipe down commonly used surfaces in personal workspaces, residence halls, and classrooms. These spaces are being equipped with disinfecting materials. Supplies should not be removed from these locations. They will be replenished as needed.