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COVID-19 Management FAQs

What should I expect this academic year on campus?
The health and well-being of the campus community remains Keystone’s priority.  As we return to a sense of normalcy, we expect students, faculty, and staff to maintain many of the practices that have seen us through the pandemic. Keystone community members are expected to continue to practice good hygiene by frequently washing and sanitizing hands and staying home if sick.

Do I need to wear a face mask/covering and maintain social distancing when on campus?
In the best interest of the health and safety of the entire campus community, the College requires masks/face coverings to be worn by all members of the College community inside all campus buildings, including academic buildings, common areas of residence halls, and the Student Restaurant (when not eating). Mask/face coverings will not be required inside individual residence hall rooms. They will not be required in individual employee offices unless assisting in-person visitors. There are no masking requirements for any outdoor activities. This policy applies to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals and includes all members of the College community: students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus.

Do I need to quarantine if I am fully vaccinated and been exposed to COVID-19?
Per guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, individuals who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine. Fully vaccinated means that the individual received all doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine (two doses for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines; one dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) AND the appropriate amount of time has lapsed since the final dose of the vaccine was administered (three weeks for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines; two weeks since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). However, it is expected that anyone with exposure to a COVID-19 positive case will participate in contact tracing.

Am I required to be fully vaccinated by receiving an authorized COVID-19 vaccine to attend classes or live on campus?
Keystone College is requiring all students and College employees to receive an authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Our vaccine policy is now in effect for all students who take in-person classes, as well as faculty and staff who work on campus. Individuals can receive the Pfizer vaccine or any other COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be compliant with Keystone College’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Am I required to be fully vaccinated if I have an off campus internship or am student teaching?
All students enrolled in Keystone College courses which have an in-person component are required to be fully-vaccinated to continue attending in-person classes on campus, effective November 1, 2021. Unvaccinated students who are enrolled in off campus courses are permitted to continue those educational experiences in-person provided they comply with the policies and regulations of the location at which they are completing their experience. This applies to any student engaged in student teaching, field observation, experiential learning and/or internships. This does not in any way alter the current Keystone College policy requiring full vaccination for participation in in-person courses on Keystone College’s campus. Click here for the Off Campus Internship Vaccination Policy. 

I received my first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, but tested positive for COVID before receiving my second vaccination and I will be unable to meet the October 29, 2021 deadline. What should I do? 
It is possible to get COVID-19 between the first and second doses of the vaccination process. Students in this situation should apply for a temporary medical exemption to allow for the 90 days post-recovery period to lapse. Once the period lapses, the student will need to become fully vaccinated. Students will need to provide Carla Salsman, carla.salsman@keystone.edu or 570-945-8255, with the positive test result and date of the diagnosis as part of the exemption process.

How long will I have to receive my vaccination or exemption once the FDA removes the emergency use authorization status for one or more of the WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines?
It is expected that students will be fully vaccinated or have received an exemption within two months of the FDA’s removal of the emergency use authorization status for one or more of the WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines. Since the emergency use authorization was removed for the Pfizer vaccine on August 23, 2021, it is expected that students, faculty, and staff will provide vaccination records to the college by October 29, 2021. Failure to provide vaccination records prior to the billing due date before the start of the next semester will result in students being dropped from their in-person classes. During this time, unvaccinated students will be required to wear masks.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated prior to the October 29 deadline?
Students who have received their first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine by October 8 may request a temporary medical exemption to the fully vaccinated deadline. To request this accommodation, students must provide a record of their first dose and the date and time for their second dose to Carla Salsman via email at carla.salsman@keystone.edu by October 20. Students may also choose to receive the J&J vaccine by October 15 and be considered fully compliant by the October 29 deadline.

What happens if I am not fully vaccinated or have not provided that documentation by the posted deadlines?
Unvaccinated students who have not provided COVID-19 vaccination records or have not received an official College exemption:
Will be provided alternative instructional methods for in-person courses beginning November 1, 2021. Student-athletes who are provided alternative instruction cannot participate in Athletics activities.
Resident students will be moved to one location on campus.
Will have limitations placed on participation in other campus activities.

Will I be dropped from my Fall 2021 classes if I do not receive a vaccination?
No. Unvaccinated students will be dropped from in-person Spring 2022 classes on January 5, 2022 if they have not yet provided COVID-19 vaccination records or received an official College exemption by January 4, 2022.

Are there incentives for students to become vaccinated?
To reward students for completing the vaccination process and reporting their vaccination status to the College, we are offering a variety of incentives for students who have completed this important step, including chances to win a free room on campus or free parking for the year. Drawings for vaccinated students will be held throughout September and October.

I am fully vaccinated. Do I need to notify the College?
All students attending in-person classes will be expected to email a picture of their vaccination card to Carla Salsman (carla.salsman@keystone.edu). Carla can also be reached by phone for assistance by calling 570-954-8255. Employees are expected to provide proof of vaccination to humanresources@keystone.edu.

Is there a COVID-19 vaccination exemption process?
For students who have medical or religious reasons to be exempt from receiving the vaccination, the Counseling and Well-Being Center will provide a form for students to apply for a medical or religious exemption. These exemption requests will be reviewed by a committee who will notify students if their request has been approved. Employees who have medical or religious reasons to be exempt may complete a waiver request with the Human Resources Department.

I received a COVID-19 exemption. Do I need to follow any special obligations?
Students who are granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination are subject to special obligations to enable them to remain on campus.

Resident students and in-season student athletes are required to:

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 test from a sample taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to arriving on campus or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival on campus and a negative test result with the sample taken on or after day 5 of quarantine.
  • Participate in monthly surveillance tracing. Click here for the unvaccinated student surveillance testing policy.

All unvaccinated students must:

  • Wear a face mask or covering in all public spaces on campus except in their assigned residence hall room if they are a resident.

Am I able to take my classes online instead of attending in-person classes?
Keystone College also offers many courses in an asynchronous on-line format. While not all courses are available in this format, options are available. Students should discuss schedule changes with their academic advisor.

How will I be able to continue my classes if I am placed into quarantine?
Alternative instruction will be provided if a student is placed into quarantine. Methods of instruction may vary. Students should contact their individual instructors for details.

Will I be able to attend classes remotely if I choose?
Requests for remote instruction were due by August 23, 2021.  Students with questions regarding remote instruction after the deadline should contact the Office of Disability Services for assistance or with questions: disabilityservices@keystone.edu.

Will the College continue to maintain and sanitize buildings?
The College will maintain routine cleaning and regular housekeeping practices, including frequent disinfecting of common areas and high-touch surface areas. To help support the health and well-being of students and faculty, classrooms will be cleaned between classes.

Will there be regular testing for COVID-19?
Monthly surveillance testing will continue to be required for unvaccinated resident students and in-season student athletes. Affected students will receive detailed instructions prior to the start of classes. Click here for the unvaccinated student surveillance testing policy.

What will happen if a member of the campus community tests positive for COVID-19? When a member of the campus community tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing will be initiated and the student will be moved to an isolation room. If the student is a commuter, the student will be advised to isolate at home. Click here to view the student quarantine procedure.

Will the College still conduct contact tracing?
Yes, contact tracing will occur for any suspected, probable, or confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and for all contacts of the case.

Do athletes need to follow special guidelines?
Student-athletes and coaches have been strongly encouraged to become fully vaccinated this summer. Those who are not fully vaccinated will undergo surveillance testing weekly with the campus quarantine rules still in effect. Policies for fully vaccinated student-athletes related to practice and competition will remain in place while the College monitors recommendations from the NCAA and CSAC. Click here for the Supervised Athletics Activities and Spectators Policy.

Are spectators allowed to attend on-campus Athletics events?
Yes, however, all spectators must be masked inside Gambal Athletic Center for volleyball, basketball and wrestling contests this fall regardless of vaccination status until further notice. Spectators will be permitted at home games this fall to support the Giants at the Athletic Field and Track Complex for football, field hockey and soccer contests. Due to being outside, masks for spectators are not required at this venue. As of August 10, 2021, each CSAC institution shall dictate, monitor and enforce its own spectator policy for each competition venue. Click here for the Supervised Athletics Activities and Spectators Policy.

RESIDENCE LIFE AND DINING SERVICES

What will be the living situation in the residence halls?
Residence halls will resume normal operations. Resident students will be expected to wear face masks/coverings in common areas of residence halls and are not required inside individual residence hall rooms except when visiting rooms other than their own. Residents who are granted a vaccination exemption will be subject to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 and must participate in monthly surveillance testing. Click here for the unvaccinated student surveillance testing policy

What will be the dining situation?
Dining Services will resume normal operation and individuals should wear a mask/face covering when not eating and continue to social distance.

Can I request a roommate who has been vaccinated?
Residence Life accept requests and fulfill these requests as best as possible if space allows.