College Announces Updated Vaccine Guidance Following CDC Announcement
By Katie Oglesby, News Editor
On Tuesday, March 9 the college responded to the new guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in a campus-wide email from Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students Jeff Foster and Executive Director of Human Resources Jen Lucas.
The announcement from the CDC states that fully vaccinated individuals may gather with other fully vaccinated individuals — or with low-risk unvaccinated individuals of a single household — indoors and without masks or social distancing. In public settings, however, those who have been vaccinated should still wear masks and maintain six feet of distance from others.
“Since the very large majority of our campus community has not yet been vaccinated, community members who have been vaccinated should continue to follow the College’s health and safety protocols including wearing a mask, staying physically distanced, and continuing to participate in the College’s testing protocols,” wrote Foster and Lucas.
The message to the campus community also explained that scientists have not concluded how well vaccines prevent transmission of the virus even if the vaccinated individual doesn’t get sick. A person can still carry the virus — even if they don’t have any symptoms.
Foster and Lucas also included an overview of the vaccination process in the state of Pennsylvania. The college is working with WellSpan Health and discussing what will occur when the state moves to vaccination Phase 1B, which would allow educators and “people working in congregate settings” to receive the vaccine. Campus community members are encouraged to use their MyWellSpan accounts to register interest in the vaccine so they can be notified when they are qualified to receive it.
Currently, Pennsylvania is still in Phase 1A of vaccine distribution, which allows people over 65, healthcare workers, and those with high-risk conditions to receive the vaccine.