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Am I required to get the COVID-19 booster?

All vaccinated students, faculty, and staff are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot within 30 days of becoming eligible, and to upload a photo of their vaccination card showing they have received the booster by January 15. The booster is free and readily available.

Previously approved exemptions remain in force. If you have questions about your eligibility, please consult the CDC website or call Human Resources (employees) or the Health Center (students).

The College will take steps to enforce this mandate after February 10.

To upload your booster record, please visit the Vaccine Status page on the Hamilton COVID-19 website. Once you’re there, you will see a new section for “Booster Doses.” Click on "Add a Booster Dose," then input the date, the vaccine manufacturer, and a photo of your updated vaccination card. Click on “Save All.” You can return to the form if you need to add additional doses in the future.

If I have had COVID-19, do I have natural immunity or do I still need the full vaccine series and booster? [REV, JAN. 13]

Hamilton's policy requiring a booster has been carefully considered, and all vaccinated students and employees are still required to receive a booster within 30 days of becoming eligible, even if you have recently contracted the virus. Eligibility timelines have changed, so please refer to CDC guidance, and people who have had or been exposed to COVID-19 should wait until their isolation or quarantine has ended.

CDC and other experts strongly support getting the booster even as they continue to define "fully vaccinated" as completing the primary series of each approved vaccine. The NCAA uses the same definition for athletes. According to CDC, "Emerging evidence shows that getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection to your immune system. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery."  

Can I request a medical exemption for the COVID-19 booster?

Yes, you may request a medical exemption if your physician recommends it. The policy and process are the same for requesting any immunization requirement exemption at Hamilton. If your exemption is not approved, you must receive the booster within 30 days of becoming eligible.

I test positive for COVID-19, who needs to know?

If you test positive for COVID-19, please contact your supervisor and Human Resources.

Are close contacts of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 required to quarantine?

If you are fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine. Individuals who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, must quarantine for 8 days with negative antigen tests submitted to the Health Center on Day 6 and Day 8. Hamilton students may quarantine in their rooms if they are in a single or have a roommate that previously tested positive for COVID. Otherwise quarantine will be in a hotel or at home.

If I test positive for COVID-19, what counts as day zero (0) for determining the duration of isolation?

Under CDC guidance, day 0 is the day of symptom onset or, if asymptomatic, the day of collection of the first positive specimen. Because Omicron spreads so easily in a congregate setting like ours, and because the College is regularly screening the entire campus community (not just those who are symptomatic), it is safer to treat day 0 as the date on which the test that comes back positive was administered rather than to rely on subjective reports of symptom onset. 

What options do employees have if a child or other family member tests positive and must quarantine?

Every situation is different, so staff members should work with their supervisor and Human Resources, and faculty members should consult with the Dean of Faculty Office. The College will do what it can to support employees concerning family obligations that pertain to quarantine for COVID-19.


What will happen if we see a cluster of positive cases?

It's possible that we could see a cluster of positive cases with multiple students being placed into precautionary isolation or quarantine and therefore unable to attend classes. This could happen with or without a change in the College's operating status. If this occurs, LITS is available to assist faculty members with their instruction efforts. The Dean of Faculty Office is also available to offer guidance. If we change operating status (from blue or green to yellow), we will move to a professor choice instructional mode. While we understand that not all classes lend themselves to hybrid or blended modes or recording, we appreciate any steps that faculty members can take to assist students who are isolated or in quarantine.


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