Summary of COVID Protocols for In Person Instruction

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Summary of COVID Protocols for In Person Instruction

February 7, 2022

 

The following briefly summarizes the main points of Western State’s COVID Protocols:

 

  • Booster requirement: Effective February 14, 2022, faculty, staff and students who enter the campus must not only demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine), but also that they have received a booster shot, unless they are not yet eligible for a booster shot, or they have been granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement.  Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson booster shots will satisfy this requirement, regardless of which vaccine was first received.
  • Booster eligibility: Individuals who received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster shot five months after receiving their second dose of those vaccines.  Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster shot two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Smartphone CLEAR app and verifying receipt of booster shot: The same CLEAR app which WSCL used in fall 2021 to allow individuals to verify their vaccination status will be used to verify booster status.  Your vaccine record, including booster shots, may be obtained in QR code format from https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/.  The QR code may be scanned into the CLEAR app at the “Add COVID-19 vaccination” screen.  Once the vaccination and booster information is verified by the CLEAR app it will produce the green screen you need to gain access to the WSCL campus.  If you have already uploaded your vaccination record to the CLEAR app and you are not yet eligible to obtain a booster shot, the CLEAR app will continue to give you a green screen until you become eligible for a booster, at which point it will require proof of a booster shot to continue to receive a green screen.
  • CLEAR app protocol questions and reporting requirements: The three protocol questions that had to be answered each day in the CLEAR app before entering the campus have been removed from the app.  The purpose of those questions was to determine whether the responder needed to isolate or quarantine.  Asking those same questions every day encouraged people to ignore the questions and routinely answer them no.  Furthermore, those questions were based on CDC guidelines that have since been revised.  What is important now is not that everyone answer those questions “no” each day, but that those who have tested positive or developed COVID symptoms, report those facts immediately.  We will therefor focus on reminding everyone frequently of when and how reporting of positive test results, symptoms, or exposure needs to be accomplished.  To that end, it is important to understand the current CDC isolation and quarantine requirements.
  • Current CDC isolation and quarantine requirements:
    • If you test positive: Regardless of vaccination status you should isolate for five days or until symptoms are resolved.
    • If you are symptomatic: Regardless of vaccination status you should get tested and isolate.  If you test positive see above.  If you test negative, stay home until symptoms resolve.
    • If you are exposed to someone who tests positive for Covid: If you are boosted, test at day five.  You need not quarantine or isolate unless you test positive or develop symptoms.
    • If you are not boosted and are exposed to someone who tests positive for Covid: Quarantine for five days, test on day five.  Isolate if you test positive or develop symptoms.
    • Anyone who tests positive, develops symptoms, or is exposed to someone who tests positive, must report this information to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs using this reporting form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdS9t-ncbAAVN0EqvnumTc3Cv6xzd-jHG6mBfzcx0oowcMoSA/viewform.
  • Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces: All individuals — whether fully vaccinated and boosted or not — are required to wear well-fitting face masks in indoor spaces on the WSCL campus, including (but not limited to) classrooms, offices, workspaces, study rooms, the library, and common areas.  Masks may be removed when actively eating or drinking.  But please be respectful of those nearby who could be exposed and adhere to social distancing requirements.  In workspaces, masks can be removed when one is alone in an office.
  • Upgraded masks required: Because of the ease of transmission of the omicron variant, it is important to wear a mask that provides acceptable levels of protection, both for the wearer and those around the wearer, and to wear these masks properly so they fit snuggly covering the mouth and nose.  The following are acceptable and unacceptable masks:
    • Acceptable types of upgraded masks include:
      • Medical-grade procedure masks
      • Surgical masks
      • Cloth masks as an extra layer on top of medical-grade or surgical masks
      • KN95s and KF94s
      • N95s or other respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    • Unacceptable face coverings include:
      • cloth masks
      • scarves
      • balaclavas
      • ski masks
      • neck gaiters
      • bandanas
      • turtleneck collars
      • and most masks with external valves or vents
    • For more information on upgraded masks and respirators, see the LACDPH’s Upgraded Mask Guidance (PDF).
    • For more information on finding acceptable masks and avoiding counterfeit masks, see the following: https://www.nytimes.com/article/covid-masks.html?searchResultPosition=7.
  • Exemption requests: Exemptions from vaccination requirements are limited to documented medical reasons (severe allergy to the vaccine components) or sincere religious beliefs.
    • If you are a new student and wish to seek an exemption you must fill out an exemption request form, which will be delivered automatically to the Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services for decision. The form may be accessed here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeRQ25-ir_CQQVgoimMglUpCk7FemFxb45vmDlTwylzzNWaXQ/viewform.
    • For those who have already received an exemption from the vaccine requirement from the Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services you need not apply for an additional exemption from the booster requirement.
    • If you are already vaccinated you may not seek an exemption from the booster requirement.
    • Having contracted COVID-19 is not grounds for obtaining an exemption from either the vaccination or booster requirements.
  • Weekly negative COVID test for those granted an exemption from vaccination: Faculty, staff and students who are granted an exemption from the vaccination and booster requirement must provide, at their own expense, proof when entering the campus of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last week.
  • Visitors: Visitors to the campus should contact the department they wish to visit in advance of their visit to inquire about COVID protocols.  At a minimum visitors will be required to undergo a temperature check and answer current COVID protocol questions, and adhere to current masking and social distancing protocols.
  • International travelers: International travelers must follow CDC guidelines on vaccination, testing and quarantining for a safe return to campus.  CDC International Travel Guidelines
  • No fully online option: It will not be possible for a student to enroll for a semester in exclusively online classes.
  • Future changes: This policy is subject to change should future developments in the pandemic warrant change.
  • Violations: Violations of this policy by a student will subject the student to charges under the Honor Code.  Violations of this policy by faculty or staff will subject the violator to appropriate administrative sanctions.

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