December 17, 2021
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The college will be adding COVID-19 precautions to help promote health on campus for the return to campus in January.

Boosters required for Spring semester 2022

Beginning January 24, the first day of the Spring semester, the college will require employees and students who are 6 months beyond their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or two months beyond their single J&J dose, to have a booster shot or get tested weekly. Individuals who are vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster will not be required to get tested.

We encourage everyone who is vaccinated and eligible for a booster to seek one over the break and to upload their updated vaccination card as soon as possible.

To demonstrate their booster status, students must upload evidence of their booster here no later than January 18; and employees at six months past their second dose (Pfizer or Moderna) or two months past their J&J dose must upload evidence of their booster here no later than January 18. Individuals who become eligible for a booster after January 18 should get boosted and upload evidence as quickly as possible; they will need to test starting on the day they become booster-eligible and until their booster is reflected in the system.

Individuals without a booster will be required to test weekly, on a day and time of their choosing, no later than the end of day on Thursday of each week. 

On-campus boosters are available at CareATC on Monday, December 20. Appointments can be made online via ColumbiaQ.

The Moderna booster shot is approved by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for individuals who completed an initial sequence of the Pfizer, the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, as well as the Moderna vaccine.

The decision to require boosters or testing is driven by the CDC’s recommendation that adults ages 18 and over should get boosted; new studies showing that boosters offer more protection against COVID-19 and variants than regular vaccination; as well as our ongoing consultation with epidemiology experts from Rush University Medical Center. Though case numbers remain comparatively low on campus, a recent uptick in cases also informed this additional precaution to help ensure that we can continue the valuable in-person experiences that were at the heart of the fall semester.

It is important to stress that while boosters offer higher protection against both the delta and omicron variants, breakthrough infections are possible with a booster, and it is critical to keep up other precautions – including masking, self-monitoring, testing, and timely reporting of new cases and exposures – even after being boosted.

Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be required to present a negative test that is no older than 48 hours old to enter campus buildings.

If you have already received a booster and have not uploaded your vaccination status, please do so as soon as possible. To update booster shot information via MedProctor (for students) or COVIDNavigator (for employees). Sharing your booster information helps the college gauge vaccination levels among our campus community and facilitate contact tracing efforts.

Note: Students who receive an on-campus COVID-19 booster at 618 S. Michigan Ave., do not need to upload their record. The college will receive the information from the CareATC team administering doses. (Employees who receive their booster on campus still need to upload their record to COVIDNavigator.)

Other precautions
  • Residence hall students who spend the break in the halls will be required to test January 5 and January 7.
  • Residence hall students who leave the halls during the break will be required to produce a negative test no more than 48 hours old before returning to the residence halls.
  • While the “boost or test” rule will not be in effect until January 24, additional precautions are being studied for J-term and will be communicated soon to those taking part in J-term.
The college will release additional details and information about the new processes as the spring semester approaches. That information will be emailed and posted on the Back Together, Columbia website.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

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