Important updates regarding COVID-19 vaccinations
Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
As access to COVID-19 vaccines has increased in recent weeks, I write today to share the following updates regarding vaccination for students and employees, as well as related topics such as testing and return to work.
Skidmore College will be requiring that any student who is living, studying, working, conducting research or doing an internship on campus this summer be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students who wish to have an on-campus presence this summer will be required to have received their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves resumption of its distribution) no later than Monday, May 24. Subject to an approval process, requests for medical and religious exemptions to this requirement will be permitted. Additional information regarding how, when, and to whom students will need to submit proof that they have begun their vaccine series, and about how to submit an application for review of medical and religious exemptions, will be shared next week.
Once a student is fully vaccinated (14 days after the second Pfizer or Moderna dose or 14 days after the single Johnson & Johnson dose), they will be exempted from Skidmore’s summer COVID-19 surveillance testing, which will be conducted in partnership with the Broad Institute.
We continue to strongly encourage all faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible. In an effort to make informed decisions regarding employee vaccination and testing policies and procedures, Human Resources will be reaching out to all employees to request that they provide information about whether they have been vaccinated or plan to be. Please monitor your email for information and instructions. Obtaining an accurate understanding of where our community stands is of critical importance as we engage in summer and fall planning.
Like students, employees who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from COVID-19 testing requirements over the summer, if they would have otherwise been required to be tested in order to work on campus.
Please note that the current weekly testing requirements and schedules will remain in place for all students as well as all faculty and staff working on campus, regardless of vaccination status, until May 24.
Planning for the fall semester
As we look toward the fall semester, I want to share that the College anticipates that students returning to campus for the 2021-2022 academic year will be required to be fully vaccinated. We will provide options for students to submit medical or religious exemption requests for review. Additional information, including which vaccines will be acceptable per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, as well as if, when, and how new and returning students would need to submit proof of vaccination, will be shared when available.
Vaccinating as many members of the Skidmore community as possible will significantly reduce the negative impact of this virus, both at Skidmore and in Saratoga County. We will have fewer members of our community in isolation or quarantine, fewer missed class days or work time, and fewer demands for case investigations, contact tracers, quarantine and isolation spaces, student support services, and more. It will also allow us to return to more normal campus operations and the full residential learning experience we take pride in offering to our students — something I know we are all looking forward to.
Again, please monitor your emails for additional information in the coming days.
Marc C. Conner