Dear St. Catherine Community,
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to implement policies and procedures to protect our community based on the best available data and public health guidelines. As the situation changed, we continued to review our plans and make updates as needed to keep our campus and community safe. With fall semester just a few months away, we are excitedly planning to welcome everyone back in-person and looking forward to gathering together again.
As we move forward, the health and safety of our community remains our top priority. The latest guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and American College Health Association (ACHA) all support vaccination as the best option for COVID-19 prevention.
According to the CDC, institutes of higher education where all students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated prior to the start of the semester can return to full capacity in-person learning, without requiring or recommending masking or physical distancing for people who are fully vaccinated per the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
We have learned a lot about COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Last fall, many colleges and universities were hot spots for virus transmission because of the way campus life inherently puts people in close proximity to each other, including residence and dining halls, classrooms, and gatherings. With that in mind, we have determined that a vaccination requirement is the best way to keep our community safe and prevent potential outbreaks as we return to more regular, in-person operations.
St. Catherine University will be requiring all students, faculty (including adjuncts contracted for the fall semester and beyond), staff, and residents age 12 and older to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series by August 16, 2021, unless the University approves a medical or religious accommodation or other accommodation/exemption. This means:
An individual has received two (2) doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one (1) dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; OR
An individual has been vaccinated with another vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO).
Many colleges and universities across the country are making similar decisions, and data continues to show that the vaccines are safe and effective. This is our opportunity to safely return to the experiences we have missed.
Once fully vaccinated, students, faculty and staff should visit the Patient Portal to report their COVID vaccination(s) and upload a copy of their COVID vaccination record. If you’ve lost your COVID vaccination record card, please request a duplicate copy from your health provider or the site where you received your vaccination. If you received your vaccination on campus, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a duplicate copy.
Students in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health who have already reported vaccination as part of program requirements will also need to report their vaccination in the patient portal as outlined above.
Faculty or staff requesting a reasonable accommodation/exemption should submit a request for medical or religious accommodation/exemption to Human Resources. Students requesting a reasonable accommodation/exemption should submit a request for accommodation/exemption to Student Affairs at email@example.com. These requests should be submitted as soon as possible.
Vaccines are free and available to everyone 12 and over living in the U.S., regardless of immigration or insurance status. In Minnesota, appointments can be scheduled directly at one of the state’s community sites through Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector, and at many pharmacies.
You can also search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our community.
Safely Returning to Campus Committee Co-Chairs:
Amy Kelly, MD, MPH, Director, Health and Wellness Clinic
Matt Goodwin, PhD, Associate Provost for Student Affairs
Pat Pratt-Cook, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Equity and Inclusion