Our Proactive Approach

As COVID-19 continues to affect lives across the globe, the senior management team at Anna Maria College has been proactively working with students, faculty, and staff in preparation for the changes that are occurring on a daily, if not hourly basis. In order to keep you as informed as possible, we have assembled a list of important dates and actions that we are taking to protect our community during these unprecedented times.

Update, January 4, 2022:

Dear AMC Community,

I hope your New Year is off to an enjoyable and healthy start. With the beginning of the new semester two weeks away, I want to provide this update on our plans for a safe return and appreciate your continued cooperation with our COVID-19 protocols.

This communication addresses:

  • New booster requirement;
  • Schedule changes and testing arrangements for return;
  • Information for new students; and
  • New isolation guidelines.

The CDC has strengthened its recommendation on COVID-19 vaccine booster doses for individuals who are 16 years and older. The prevalence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of utilizing these vaccines. For 2022, Anna Maria College is joining the growing list of colleges and universities in requiring a booster dose for all students, faculty and staff. This requirement will be effective February 28, so that eligible individuals have adequate time to receive their shot.  Read More.

More Information

COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols
FAQs
If You Were Exposed to Covid-19
If You Are Experiencing Symptoms of Covid-19
If You Have Tested Positive for Covid-19

COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

Together, we are responsible for keeping our Anna Maria College community safe and healthy. What we have learned over the past few years is that the risk for Covid and other illnesses changes over time. Thus, our prevention and management strategies must be flexible. By individually following current college protocols and public health guidelines to prevent the spread of illness, including coronavirus, we create a safe campus for us all.

For community members or visitors, if you are sick or symptomatic we ask that you stay home.

An important change as of June, 2022 per direction from the local Paxton Board of Health, is that Anna Maria College is no longer conducting contact tracing. It is now the responsibility of individuals who test positive for Covid to notify their own close-contacts, both on-campus and off-campus.

A very helpful tool for anonymously notifying close contacts and for staying up to date on your own potential exposures is the MassNotify tool already available on your smartphone. Information and directions on how to activate this tool can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/enable-massnotify-on-your-smartphone

Additional changes to current Covid policies will be communicated through campus-wide email updates, as well as this webpage.

These policies are current as of: August 2022

2022-2023 Academic Year COVID Vaccination Policy

Anna Maria College requires all students and employees to be up to date on Covid immunizations by the date they arrive on campus. The college also requires some third-party visitors and vendors (contractors) to be vaccinated, depending on the nature of their work on campus.

“Up To Date” means you have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for you, when eligible.

For most adults ages 18-49years this means they have completed their primary series (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) and also received their booster dose (eligible 5 months after second Pfizer or Moderna dose, or 2 months after Johnson & Johnson dose). Individuals who have completed the two-dose series of Novavax are also considered up to date as boosters are not yet recommended for this group.

The CDC webpage with additional details on current Covid immunization guidelines can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html

For the 2022-23 academic year, Anna Maria College is joining the growing list of colleges and universities requiring a booster dose for all eligible students, faculty and staff. After receiving a booster there is no waiting period, you are considered “boosted” as soon as you receive your immunization.

2022-2023 Guidelines

Masking

Mask Types: Health Services encourages using the highest filtration mask available to you. For individuals who are currently masking following recent Covid infection or exposure N95, KN95, or KF94 masks are strongly recommended to provide the highest level of protection. Other masks that are permitted on campus include surgical masks and multiple-layer cloth masks (at least 3-layers is best).

Neck gaiters are not allowed. This is based on multiple scientific studies showing that gaiters do not provide adequate protection against Covid-19 virus transmission, and may increase the risk of spread, compared to higher filtration and multi-layered face protection.

Surgical mask dispensing stations have been set up in high traffic and common areas around campus to allow for easy access.

Indoors

Although masks are not currently mandatory on campus, we welcome those who would like to continue to wear them. Masks are still required when visiting any health facilities on campus (Health Services, Sports Medicine, etc.) and for individuals who are recovering from recent Covid infection, have had a recent exposure, or have been otherwise instructed to wear a mask by a medical provider or a public health official. We advise everyone to wear masks in crowded environments.

Outdoors Masks remain optional when outdoors, and we continue to welcome those who feel more comfortable wearing them. Masks provide additional protection from respiratory illnesses in crowded outdoor settings, and we advise everyone to wear a mask in these situations. For major events on campus, the mask requirements will be communicated prior to the event.

Testing

At this time, regular surveillance testing is not required for Anna Maria community members and the campus testing center has been closed.

Changes to this policy will be communicated by email.

Rapid Antigen and PCR Covid tests are available free of charge at Health Services. Individuals experiencing symptoms or who have had a recent exposure should contact Health Services at 508-849-3315.

After hours testing kits are available through Residential Life and Housing when Health Services is closed. Students can contact the Residential Director (RD) on-call (508-527-9123) in the evenings and on weekends if a test is needed. To keep staff and others safe, the RD will arrange for a no-contact delivery or pick-up. Until they can test, symptomatic individuals should self-isolate. If you need to leave your isolation space you must practice social distancing and wear a well-fitting mask to minimize potentially exposing others.

Positive test: If you test positive for Covid-19 using a self-administered or off-campus test, please report your positive test and submit a copy of the test result through this online form: https://annamaria.formstack.com/forms/covid_positive_report

Completing this form will automatically notify Health Services, who will follow-up by email with isolation dates and guidelines. Employees should also notify Corina Hendea in HR.

Have Tested Positive for Covid-19

Please refer to THIS document is you have tested positive for Covid-19.

Additional Guidance:

Length of Isolation: If you test positive for Covid-19 you are required to complete a minimum 5 day isolation period per current CDC and Massachusetts DPH guidelines. The date of your positive test or the first day you have symptoms is considered Day 0, and five full days must pass to complete the isolation period.

At this time, Anna Maria College is following the CDC and Massachusetts DPH quarantine and isolation guidelines. In the event of a surge or outbreak on campus, more conservative isolation guidelines may need to be implemented due to the congregate living arrangements on campus and limited isolation space resources. If such changes occur, updates will be communicated by email.

Isolation Location: Employees, commuter students, and residential students who live 200 miles or less from the Anna Maria College campus are required to complete isolation at home. There is a limited number of on-campus isolation spaces and we are unable to provide isolation housing on campus for all residential students.

Residential students who live more than 200 miles from campus and cannot go home for isolation will be prioritized for isolation space on campus.

Ending Isolation: Testing is not required to end isolation. You may leave isolation on day 6 provided you meet all the following requirements:

  • You can consistently wear a mask through day 10
  • You are symptom free, never developed symptoms, OR your symptoms are improving
  • You have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication (Tylenol, Advil/Motrin/ibuprofen, etc.)

Currently CDC and Massachusetts DPH guidelines do not require testing to end isolation. Research suggests, however, that people remain infectious for an average of 8 days after symptom onset. A negative rapid antigen test on day 5 or later is reassuring that someone is significantly less likely to be infectious, and we encourage people to use antigen tests to inform their end of isolation behavior.

Individuals may choose to use a rapid antigen test on day 5 or later to help decide when to end isolation. If you test negative, you may leave isolation and must still wear a mask through day 10. If you have two negative antigen tests at least 48hours apart you may also stop wearing a mask.

If you test positive and are able to continue isolating, please do so. If you are not able to continue isolating you must continue to mask through day 10. You may re-test and once you have had two negative antigen tests at least 48hours apart you can discontinue wearing a mask. This may mean you need to mask longer than 10 days.

Please reach out to Health Services if you need assistance determining when to end isolation.

I Have Had a Close Contact Exposure to Covid-19

Please refer to THIS document if you have been exposed to Covid-19 or identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for Covid-19.

You are considered a “close contact” if:

  • you were 6 feet or closer, indoors, for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period, of an individual who was diagnosed with Covid-19
  • that exposure occurred when the person was infectious (from 2 days before their symptoms started or they tested positive until they have completed their isolation period)
  • While masks do help to prevent infection, whether masks were worn by either person during the time of exposure does not influence the designation as a close contact.

FAQs for Close Contacts or known Exposure to Covid-19

I was identified as a Close Contact to Covid-19. What do I need to do?

Mask, Monitor, and Test. Wear a mask at all times around others (except to eat, sleep, or shower) for 10 days after exposure. Monitor your symptoms. If you develop even very, very mild symptoms of Covid, self-isolate and get tested. Get a Covid-19 test on Day 6 after exposure, even if you are not having any symptoms.

Do I need to quarantine?

No, as long as you are not having any symptoms you do not need to quarantine.

If you develop symptoms within 10 days of an exposure, you need to isolate yourself until you have test results.

I have symptoms and I need to isolate. Where do I do that?

  • Commuter students, Employees, and Residential students who live 200miles or closer to the Anna Maria College campus are required to isolate at home.
  • Residential students who live more than 200 miles from campus will be prioritized for on-campus isolation space. On-campus isolation space is limited; Health Services and Residential Life will discuss details with you if this is the case.

I have more questions about an exposure to Covid-19 and/or isolation.

Contact Health Services at 508-849-3315 or healthservices@annamaria.edu

I Am Having Symptoms of Covid-19

Please refer to THIS document for detailed information if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.

Symptoms include: fever (temperature of 100.4F or higher) or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell.

General Guidance: If you are experiencing Covid-like symptoms you need to self-isolate and get tested. You can use a home rapid antigen test or call Health Services at 508-849-3315 for testing. After hours and on the weekends, call the Residential Director (RD) on-call at 508-527-9123 if you need a rapid antigen test or placement in isolation/quarantine space.

General Guidance

Visitors in Residence Halls Both residential and off-campus guests are permitted to be hosted in the residence halls. Off-campus guests need to submit proof of vaccination through the Guest Registration Form that is available to students. All guests must follow all Anna Maria College health and safety protocols, if they do not, they will be removed from campus. Guest and visitation policies are subject to change depending on covid case patterns and other public health markers. Changes will be communicated through email updates.
Meetings and Gatherings Gatherings of members of the Anna Maria College community are allowed. External presenters, trainers or lecturers are allowed, but must follow all Anna Maria health and safety guidelines.
Admissions Visitors Campus tours and activities are available. Please contact the Anna Maria College Admissions Department at admissions@annamaria.edu or visit the Admissions Webpage for more information.
Visitors to Campus and Sporting Events Visitors are permitted to campus and sporting events. All visitors to campus events must adhere to the Anna Maria College health and safety guidelines.