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COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

The health and safety of our students has been our highest priority — after thoughtful deliberation and in order to control the COVID-19 virus and its more contagious Delta variant which has become the dominant strain in the US, St. Thomas Aquinas College will require all students and employees to become vaccinated. We want this academic year to be as safe as possible so we can enjoy a “return to normal” campus experience. We will, of course, allow documented medical or religious exemptions and implement additional safety protocols for students and employees who are not vaccinated. 

This decision was not taken lightly and — consistent with many of our peer colleges — we are committed to working with all members of our campus community to help them achieve vaccinated or exempt status as readily as possible. We will host vaccine clinics on campus, provide free transportation to nearby vaccination sites, and work earnestly to ensure that all members of our community have free, easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Please reference our Spartan Startup FAQ Resource for more information about STAC’s COVID-19 policies, procedures, and more that can help answer any questions you may have. (Common FAQs from our Resource can be found below.)


Vaccination Documentation

If you have not yet submitted your fully or partially completed vaccination record, you must submit via www.stac.edu/COVID, or complete the medical or religious exemption request form via www.stac.edu/exemption as soon as possible.


STAC COVID-19 Call Center: 845-398-4011
The COVID-19 Call Center is an additional resource available to the STAC Community who may have questions regarding our COVID-19 policies and procedures. The Call Center number is 845-398-4011 and will be available Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. 

Anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine is urged to speak with appropriate health professionals, including our Director of Health Services, Ms. Yanara Reda, [email protected], 845-398-4242. As we make progress with more and more members of our community becoming vaccinated, we urge you to do the same. Help us stay “Spartan Strong” as we look forward to a great year ahead!


Spartan Startup: COmmon FAQs

Please reference the below Spartan Startup FAQs for more information about St. Thomas Aquinas College's COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement as well as additional policies, procedures, and more that can help answer any questions you may have. For a full detailed list of FAQs, please read our Spartan Startup FAQ Resource.

Q: Why is the College requiring the vaccine?
A: St. Thomas Aquinas College is requiring all students and employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to protect the health and safety of the entire College community. The COVID-19 vaccine requirement creates a safer environment for the St. Thomas Aquinas College community by dramatically reducing the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks on campus, leading to a more “normal” campus experience for our students, while also alleviating the distress felt by students, faculty and staff about exposure to the virus, and the need for quarantine and isolation. The safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff has always been our top priority.

Q: There's not a lot of time between now and August 25th! What will happen if I am unable to complete my vaccination by the August 25th deadline? 
A. If you have begun the vaccination process but won't be fully vaccinated by August 25th, please submit your evidence of at least one dose of the vaccine through www.stac.edu/COVID. Once your vaccination is complete, you must submit your completed vaccine documentation to the College at www.stac.edu/COVID. Until you are fully vaccinated, you must wear a mask indoors at all times, except while eating or drinking, or while in your own residence unit. You will be required to participate in our weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing process until you submit evidence that you are fully vaccinated. You must immediately notify Health & Wellness Services if you test positive for COVID-19 or have a known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19. You will be required to quarantine off campus at your own expense.

Q: What if I already had COVID-19? Do I need to submit evidence of vaccination?
A:
If you previously had or have been exposed to COVID-19, you are still required to be vaccinated and must submit your evidence of vaccination to the College. Current medical guidance is that you can receive the vaccine as soon as you recover from COVID-19. However, if you were treated for COVID-19 with a monoclonal antibody treatment or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days. If you have further questions about this topic, please speak with your medical provider.

Q: Is the COVID vaccine safe?
A: Yes, all 3 available vaccines in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are safe and effective. Over 386 million doses of these vaccines have been administered since December under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. All 3 available vaccines have met the Food and Drug Administrations rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality and have therefore all received emergency use authorization. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety, please visit: CDC Safety of COVID VaccinesCDC COVID Vaccine Information for Specific GroupsWHO Safety of COVID-19 VaccinesUS Dept. of Health & Human Services Vaccine Safety.

Q: What happens if I choose not to be vaccinated for COVID?
A: The College expects all students and employees to submit vaccination documentation by August 25th. If you have a medical condition where you cannot be vaccinated or a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits vaccination, you may apply for an exemption. We will do everything we can to help you get vaccinated and to support you, but if you do not get vaccinated, students may be subject to restrictions up to and including the need to pause your academic journey and employees not in compliance with this policy may be required to take an unpaid leave of absence and/or may be subject to other appropriate action determined by the College.

Q: If I cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons, can I request an exemption? How do I request a medical or religious exemption?
A: Yes. Students and employees who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or have sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit vaccines can submit a request for a medical or religious exemption through the Office of Health & Wellness Services. After reading the COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Fact Sheet at www.stac.edu/exemption, please complete the applicable medical exemption or religious exemption form. Please note that for medical exemptions, documentation from your treating healthcare provider is required. The documentation must be on the providers official practice letterhead and include a signature, practice address and NPI#. STAC students and employees exercising this right will be fully supported.

Q: Will students/employees be required to wear masks on campus?
​A: 
Rockland County has been designated by the CDC as having a high level of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus and emerging Delta variant. Based on the CDC designation and in accordance with CDC guidance, the College requires all members of the STAC Community to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, including classrooms, hallways, stairwells, elevators, shared offices, restrooms, the Fitness Center/Gym and other shared spaces. Individuals do not need to wear a mask when in their own family residence unit on campus or alone in a private office or workspace but should put on their mask if someone enters that space, preferably before the other person enters. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors, unless you cannot maintain six feet of physical distance or are in a crowded area.

Q: Where can I find more specific information about getting a vaccine?
A: Please visit our Vaccine Information web page.

Q: What international travel guidelines do I need to follow before arriving on campus?
A: Fully Vaccinatined Individuals

  • Do not need to get tested prior to leaving the US unless the destination requires it.
  • Show a negative COVID-19 Test BEFORE boarding an international flight to the United States.
  • Get tested 3-5 days AFTER International Travel.
  • You do NOT need to self quarantine after arriving in the United States.


Unvaccinatined Individuals:

  • Show a negative COVID-19 Test BEFORE boarding an international flight to the United States.
  • Self Quarantine for a full 7 days after travel - even if you test negative.
  • Get tested 3-5 days AFTER International Travel - continue self quarantine for full 7 days even if you receive a negative test result.