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. For booster eligibility information visit the CDC website.
- College employees can update their booster information at: https://annamaria.formstack.com/forms/covid_vaccination
· Students should go to https://annamaria.medicatconnect.com/ and login to your Patient Portal account. If you have never used the Anna Maria College Medicat Patient Portal before, click the “register” button to register with your @amcats.edu email address. Once logged in to the Patient Portal, you must complete two tasks:
1. Click on the Immunizations tab and select “enter dates” and enter the date of your Covid-19 Booster in the corresponding box;
2. Click on the Upload tab and follow the directions for uploading a copy of your booster vaccination card (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff, and .gif files are all acceptable for image uploads).
Move-in for returning students will begin Saturday, January 15. Resident students should check their email for additional information regarding the move-in process.
New students attending orientation on Thursday, January 13 will need to rapid test at check-in before participating in orientation. These tests will be made available to students during check in. New students will then take a PCR test when the testing center opens at 10:00 a.m. on orientation day. The parent orientation session scheduled for January 13 has been canceled. We will be scheduling Zoom Question and Answer Sessions for the parents of new enrolling students.
All Students and Employees
Masks will continue to be required indoors. All students and employees are required to be tested on campus and receive their results before the start of classes. All students will be tested upon arrival to campus and will quarantine until they receive a negative PCR test on campus. To start the semester, the testing center will be open Wednesday, January 12 through Friday, January 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To allow for additional testing time, there will be no ‘in person’ classes on Tuesday or Wednesday, January 18-19. The first day of ‘in person’ classes is now scheduled for Thursday, January 20. Students should check their Engage shells for instructions from their faculty. We are not planning for remote learning at this time.
Beginning January 24, the testing center will return to a Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. schedule and all students and employees will be required to test twice-weekly regardless of vaccination status. The College strongly advises you to get a COVID-19 test whenever you are sick so that we can implement appropriate safeguards quickly.
The CDC recently announced updated guidelines to reduce isolation time. The guidelines state that a positive test (with or without symptoms) will now require a five-day isolation period. If you are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), you will follow the isolation period with five additional days of strict mask wearing. Anna Maria is currently consulting with state and local public health officials to determine an appropriate isolation protocol for our campus which may add to the CDC’s amended guidelines. Employees that test positive or are a close contact should contact Joellen Andrews in HR to discuss return to work at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-849-3444.
All of these measures are intended to keep our campus community as safe as possible. We will adjust them as data and public health guidelines evolve. Because of your cooperation, we have done well weathering the pandemic to date. Thank you for doing your part and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
President Mary Lou Retelle