Testing Dashboard & Action Steps
The health and safety of our campus and local community is paramount during these unprecedented times. In order to keep you as informed as possible, we are providing the dashboard below to track key data elements associated with COVID-19. In addition, we outline action steps that are being taken to protect our community during the pandemic. We are teaching, learning, working and living in new ways, and ask for your cooperation with our safety guidelines.
More InformationTesting Dashboard
COVID Testing Summary Dashboard
General Q&A and Action Steps
Anna Maria College is planning for a traditional on-campus experience for the Fall 2021 Semester. We remain vigilant to the ongoing pandemic and will follow local, state and federal public health guidance as it adapts to changing variables. As with the previous semester, we maintain contingency plans for remote operations, schedule changes, hybrid learning, etc. based on different projections of the national and local spread/containment of the COVID-19 Virus. The FAQ section below has been updated to reflect our current plans for the Fall 2021 semester and will continue to be updated as needed.
The following vaccine FAQ reflects current public health guidance and Anna Maria College’s health and safety planning. The FAQ is subject to change. The College will continue to communicate any changes as they arise.
Where can I find current and comprehensive information on COVID-19 vaccines in Massachusetts, including vaccine locations and vaccine safety data?
The COVID-19 vaccine is free and widely available. People ages 12+ who live, work or study in Massachusetts are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine for more information.
What are the benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Data shows that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death. Current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against all variants of the virus currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.
It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a comprehensive overview of the COVID-19 vaccine at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. Massachusetts provides a vaccine FAQ at: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions.
Why is Anna Maria requiring the vaccine for students, faculty and staff?
Our priority is always the health and safety of our campus community. Maximizing vaccine coverage is critical to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 at the College and in the surrounding community. Millions of people in the United States and around the world have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo intensive safety monitoring. Research to date supports the safety and efficacy of the authorized vaccines as well as their effectiveness against the effects of COVID-19.
Does Anna Maria College recommend one vaccine over another?
No. At present, Anna Maria accepts the three FDA-authorized vaccines for emergency use: Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson as well as the vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Is it recommended that students, faculty, and staff who have already been infected with COVID-19 receive the vaccine for ongoing protection?
Yes. People should get a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of whether they already had COVID-19 in order to protect themselves and others. People who are known to have COVID-19 should wait to be vaccinated until their isolation period has ended, usually 10 days after symptoms started or, if they didn’t have symptoms, 10 days after their test was positive.
Are students from out of state eligible to receive the vaccine in Massachusetts? Are international students also eligible for vaccines in Massachusetts?
Yes, anyone who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts can get a vaccine in this state. You may also get your second dose in Massachusetts if you received the first dose in another state.
What if I don’t want to get vaccinated for COVID-19 at this time?
Anna Maria is requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for students, faculty and staff. We have a process in place for medical or religious exemptions. If you haven’t been able to access the vaccine, the College will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus on August 30, 2021, and anyone who is not yet vaccinated, may return to campus if they pledge to attend this clinic. Unvaccinated individuals must also present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours prior to returning to campus or test negative in a rapid test upon arrival and will be required to wear masks.
To be clear, for the Fall 2021 Semester we require that students, faculty and staff:
- Show proof of being fully vaccinated; or
- Have an approved vaccine waiver; or
- Are committed to participating in the August 30, 2021, COVID-19 vaccine clinic and test negative.
Will vaccination be mandatory to access campus?
Students, faculty and staff will not be allowed on campus unless they have met the vaccine requirement, have pledged to attend the August 30 COVID-19 vaccine clinic or have received a religious or medical exemption.
What happens if the College does not reach its goal of a fully vaccinated campus?
We know that everyone is looking forward to returning to a more traditional on-campus experience so we are confident we will reach our goal. This will be a community effort, but we will get there by strictly adhering to our vaccine or waiver requirements.
Will classes be held remotely in the fall?
We look forward to teaching our classes face to face in the fall. The option to learn remotely will not be available at this time. Vaccinations or waivers are mandated, and we will be wearing masks until further notice, as we do all we can to maintain a safe learning environment. There is a chance that one or two classes of your classes may have a remote (hybrid – some online and some face to face) component to them due to class size but, in general, we will be on ground teaching and learning as we were prior to spring 2020. Feel free to connect with your academic advisor or program director if you have any questions about scheduling.
What is the plan for masks?
Anyone who wants to wear a mask is welcome to do so at any time. We recommend that everyone always carry a mask with them. Beginning Monday, August 16, 2021, the College will require masks in all indoor settings for all people. The masking requirement includes classrooms, indoor public spaces, faculty and staff offices, recreational facilities, the chapel, and dining. This policy change is also being adopted by our neighboring colleges and universities following recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control recommending that fully vaccinated individuals should return to wearing masks indoors in areas where COVID-19 transmission rates are elevated. Students at Anna Maria may remove their masks in the personal space of their assigned dorm rooms. Vaccinated guests will be allowed in residence halls after the third week of classes, depending on testing rates. The College will reassess this masking requirement at the end of September.
Masks are required for all individuals visiting Anna Maria Health Services. The same rule applies to most medical and congregate care facilities. In addition, masks are still required for all passengers on planes, buses, trains, taxis, and other forms of public transportation. Public health guidance for those who have been fully vaccinated is available at: https://www.mass.gov/guidance/guidance-for-people-who-are-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19.
Will faculty members know who is vaccinated in their individual classes? Will Anna Maria track who is vaccinated and who isn't at the college?
No. Faculty will not know who is and who is not vaccinated. Information on vaccination status will remain confidential. Anna Maria will follow best practices and comply with applicable laws in maintaining privacy and security with respect to vaccination status. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will maintain an electronic record of everyone in Massachusetts who receives the COVID-19 vaccine.
Will Anna Maria continue surveillance testing for COVID-19 this fall?
Our goal is to have our campus fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the only exception being those holding approved waivers. Anna Maria will resume a modified COVID-19 testing program in partnership with the Broad Institute. Fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will be tested weekly; those with waivers will test twice weekly. Testing will begin the week of August 24th. Further details about testing schedules and locations are forthcoming. As with masking, the College will reassess its approach to testing at the end of September. Additionally, students participating in an off-site academic program experience such as clinical, field work and internships will be required to meet that site’s COVID-19 regulations, even if the requirements extend beyond that of Anna Maria College.
If someone who is vaccinated later develops COVID-19 symptoms, should they be tested for COVID-19?
Yes. Currently public health guidance recommends testing for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms regardless of their vaccination status.
If I am fully vaccinated, do I have to follow COVID-19 restrictions like mask requirements?
If you have been fully vaccinated, you still need to follow public health guidance and requirements pertaining to your geographic region, this institution and at local businesses.
Is there guidance on seasonal flu vaccinations?
The State of Massachusetts has not yet issued a mandate on seasonal flu vaccinations. However, we will likely host a seasonal flu shot clinic on campus as we have done in previous years.