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Student - COVID-19 FAQs

 

FALL 2021 SAFE RETURN TO CAMPUS for

MASSACHUSETTS STUDENTS*

FAQs

 

(updated 9/21/21)

 

 

 

* THIS ONLY APPLIES TO MASSACHUSETTS STUDENTS ENROLLED

 

FOR IN-SEAT CLASSES IN THE FALL

 

 

               

 

ATTENTION!

 

The College has transitioned from using CastleBranch to only requiring a

Cambridge College Vaccination Card.

  • To obtain a new CC vaccination card a government photo ID and proof of vaccination (i.e. CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card) must be provided.
  • Exemptions for health and religious reasons are also available. Please see the Registrar’s Office.
  • CC Vaccination cards ARE NOT required for those who have completed the CastleBranch registration and have received or are waiting to receive their CastleBranch Vaccination Card or Waiver Card.
  • The CC Vaccination Card will be made available as soon as the registration process with the Registrar’s Office is completed.

 

 

I. VACCINATION VERIFICATION

1.  Why is Cambridge College (CC) requiring that students attending in-seat classes in the Fall be fully vaccinated?

CC is requiring that all students who will be attending in-seat classes in Massachusetts be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Protocols for California and Puerto Rico were issued directly from the Regional Directors.

This requirement is being put in place to protect the health and safety of our community, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  The vaccinations have been found by the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) to be highly effective and are the best tool we have to ensure that we can open our campus safely in the Fall of 2021. 

There are many reasons why we think requiring vaccinations for students returning to in-seat classes on campus makes good sense for CC. They include:

  • It helps prevent severe COVID-19 infection and the potential for related serious and/or long­-term adverse health effects among students, faculty, and staff (as well as their family members, some of whom may not be vaccinated);
  • It significantly reduces the likelihood of transmission among members of the CC community;
  • It creates a safer, more secure environment for CC community members by drastically reducing the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks on campus;
  • It helps to alleviate anxiety and discomfort for students, faculty, and staff who are fearful of contracting COVID-19;
  • It reflects the College’s support of and contribution to a larger public health endeavor with global implications; and
  • It provides clear signals to prospective, new, and current students and other community members about the importance of safety and health at CC.

For information about exemptions please refer to Question #8.

2.  What is the definition of “fully vaccinated”?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) all students are considered to be fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
  1. Who must be vaccinated in order to return to campus?

All students returning to campus in the Fall for in-seat classes in Massachusetts must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to coming to campus except as otherwise stated in this FAQ.  

4.   When do I need to be vaccinated to return to campus? 

All Massachusetts students planning to attend in-person classes must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the start of classes.  If you have not already been vaccinated, we advise you to do this as quickly as possible for your overall health and that of those on campus. 

5.   Where can I get a vaccine?

There are many places in Massachusetts offering the COVID-19 vaccines – including local pharmacies and national pharmacy chains (e.g., CVS, Walgreens), community health centers, hospitals, and the state government. Some places require an appointment and others allow you to receive a vaccine without an appointment. You can search for vaccine availability near you by typing in your zip code at this link: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.

  1. If I am fully vaccinated but haven’t received my CastleBranch Vaccination Card, can I still attend an in-seat class?

 

Yes.  Temporary Vaccination Cards are available for students that have ordered, but have not yet received their CastleBranch Card.  To obtain a Temporary Vaccination Card, students need to present a valid photo ID and a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card on the first day of classes at the Boston campus.  Arrive early to ensure that you have ample time prior to the start of your class to obtain your card. Once you receive your CastleBranch Card, the Temporary Vaccination Card will no longer be valid for use.

  1. When will I receive my CastleBranch vaccination verification card?

If you have applied for a CastleBranch Vaccination Card, it will be mailed 7-10 business days after registering and submitting your information on the portal.  All requested mailing information – complete name and address – must be accurate to avoid any delays in receiving the card.

  1. What should I do if I have not started the CastleBranch process?

The College has transitioned from using CastleBranch to only requiring a Cambridge College (CC) Vaccination Card.  To obtain a new CC Vaccination Card a government photo ID and proof of vaccination (i.e. CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card) must be provided.  Please contact COVIDRC@cambridgecollege.edu for additional details.

  1. What if medical reasons make vaccination inadvisable, or if vaccination would violate a religious belief

You may seek an exemption from vaccination requirements because of medical reasons or for sincerely held religious beliefs.  Forms are available at the Registrar’s Office.

  1. What happens if I choose not to be vaccinated but do not have a religious or medical exemption?

Students who choose not to be vaccinated and do not have an approved exemption cannot take classes in personStudents will have the option to take remote classes (subject to the availability of sections and classes) and should contact their Academic Advisor to discuss the different types of modalities available to them.

  1. Do I need additional vaccinations if I received my vaccinations outside of the U.S.?

Students who completed a COVID-19 vaccination series (both doses of a 2-dose series or the single dose of a single-dose series) of a CDC or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized or approved vaccine, will be able to take in-seat classes on campus.

  • Students that have received all shots in a vaccination series that is authorized by the FDA/CDC but administered outside of the US do not need additional vaccinations.
  • Students that have received all shots in a vaccination series not authorized by the FDA/CDC but listed for emergency use by the WHO do not (at this time) need additional vaccinations
  • Students that have started, but not completed, a vaccination series not authorized by the FDA/CDC are required to complete a series in the U.S.  Vaccination locations near you can be found by typing in your zip code at: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
  • Students that have received all shots in a vaccination series not authorized by the FDA/CDC or the WHO are required to complete a series in the US.  Vaccination locations near you can be found by typing in your zip code at: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
  1. If I am an international student and have additional questions regarding vaccinations, who do I contact?

If you are an international student and have additional questions, please contact the COVID Response Team at COVIDRC@cambridgecollege.edu.

  1. What should I do if I’ve lost my CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card?

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health the following options are available:

  • Contact your healthcare provider or the location where you were vaccinated. They can print out another copy of your record.
  • You can fill out an Immunization Record Request Form that goes directly to the State

Department of Public Health.  If you use this form, you will get a complete history of all vaccines you have received, not just the COVID-19 vaccine, and it can take up to 6 weeks to get your record.

 

Note that official proof of vaccination is required to obtain approval to access the campus and to take an in-person class.

  1. Do I need to be vaccinated to come on campus to use the computer lab, study or meet an advisor?

Yes.  You must be fully vaccinated to access the campus.  If you are not enrolled in or attending an in-person class, you will need to provide a picture ID (CC ID card or driver’s license) and a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to access the campus. A mask will be required at all times while on campus.

 

II. FACILITIES UPDATES

  1.   What are the air quality and cleaning policies being implemented by the College?

We have confirmed with an outside consultant that the air quality throughout the campus meets and exceeds the standards set for safety.  We are additionally installing HEPA filtration as a supplement in areas where we anticipate higher volume of activity.  Cleaning policies have also been upgraded to ensure that we are continuously meeting all health and safety requirements. 

16.   Will we have access to food when we return to campus?

There are currently no options for purchasing food on the campus.   Food can be brought to campus, but we will no longer allow eating in the classrooms to avoid the removal of masks in a closed room.  There are a number of eateries in the surrounding area to purchase food.

III.  HEALTH AND SAFETY

  1. Besides vaccinations, what additional measures are being taken to ensure we stay safe in returning to campus?

We will continue to require masking and encouraging social distancing.  Hand sanitizer stations are available at the end of all hallways. We will maintain occupancy numbers throughout the campus that avoid overcrowding.  Safety protocols will also be provided via email and displayed in signage throughout the campus when you return.

18.  Will I have to wear a mask while I am in class?

Until further notice, masks will be required at all times while on campus.  Everyone is encouraged to regularly wear appropriate masks, properly positioned on the face [see CDC Mask Guidelines].

19.  What happens if I take an in-seat class and/or come to campus and get sick with COVID-19 symptoms?

  • If you are home, stay home and contact your health provider. If you are on campus, immediately leave and go home. 
  • Notify your instructor or advisor regarding your absence from class as soon as you can.
  • Directions will be provided by the College’s COVID Response Coordinator, regarding testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for COVID-19 positive cases as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Public Health (DPH).

VI.  CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. Who do I speak to if I need an accommodation due to COVID-19 protocols for an in-seat class?

Please contact COVIDRC@cambridgecollege.edu.

  1. Where can I find COVID-19 updates for the Fall semester?

On our website, and via MyCC.  We also encourage everyone to regularly check emails from the OfficeofPublicRelations@cambridgecollege.edu, the OfficeofAcademicAffairs@cambridgecollege.edu and COVIDRC@cambridgecollege.edu for updates.

  1. Who should I contact with any additional questions?

Please send all questions to COVIDRC@cambridgecollege.edu.

  1. Who should I contact if I have any questions about the vaccination verification process?

If you are just starting the process, you will need the new CC Vaccination Card.  Please direct all questions to COVIDRC@cambridgecollege.edu.  

If you have questions about completing the CastleBranch registration process, please contact the CastleBranch Support Line at 888-723-4263 or email servicedesk.cu@castlebranch.com.  

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