Campus Health and Safety Protocols

Please check back often for updates and information.

The College's COVID-19 response will be made in consideration of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Kent County Health Department and other experts.

As the College has done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the situation, assess our COVID-19 protocols and adjust as needed in close partnership with the local health department and our health care partners as well as continue to carefully consider recommendations from medical, public health, government and higher education experts.

Our priority is the health and safety of our campus community. We will also maintain our commitment to providing a vibrant and meaningful experience in support of the mission established by the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids and the academic progress of our students.

 


Stay home when sick

In continued support of the health and safety of our campus, faculty, staff, students and guests are required to stay home if sick and self-isolate if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19.


Masks

All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks in public indoor settings (including student activities, athletic activities, training, etc.)

Masks are not required in the following indoor settings on campus:

  • Inside your own residential room, suite, apartment or house when alone or with members of your household
  • In private offices when alone
  • In dining spaces when eating and drinking (for a limited time)
  • Protocols for Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel

Students with a medical-related concern about masks should contact Accessibility Services. Employees with a medical-related concern should contact Lynda Group, director of Human Resources.

All people should also consider updated CDC and MDHHS mask guidance. CDC provides guidance to help improve how your mask protects you, a guide to masks, and considerations for wearing masks.


COVID-19 Vaccines

At this time, Aquinas College will not require the COVID-19 vaccine for students or employees; however, per public health guidance, the College strongly encourages members of the campus community that are medically able to do so to get vaccinated and boostered.

Vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death and can reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus, but vaccinated individuals can still test positive, have symptoms and spread the virus to others. Please continue to be vigilant about masking, distancing and all of the other preventive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect others in the community.

Individuals may voluntarily show documentation of being fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization (for international students). We advise those who choose to do this to bring their documentation with them.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved by or authorized for emergency use by the FDA in the U.S. and the vaccines authorized for emergency use by WHO outside the U.S. are safe and the most effective way to protect our community from severe illness, hospitalizations and death. All Michigan residents age 5 and up are now eligible for the vaccine, and getting one is easier than ever.

COVID-19 Booster

If you are hesitant or have questions about the vaccine, please refer to the following resources:


Symptom Reporting, Quarantine and Isolation

In continued support of the health and safety of our campus, all students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to report COVID-19 symptoms, exposure or a positive test.

Employees

Employees are required to report symptoms, exposure or a positive test through the Employee COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form, which is located on Acorn or the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app. Please note that this is different from the daily symptom self-screen that was administered through Healthy Roster in 2020-2021.

Students

Students are required to report symptoms, exposure or a positive test through the Student COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form, which is located on EngageAQ or the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app. Please note that this is different from the daily symptom self-screen that was administered through Healthy Roster in 2020-2021.

Quarantine and Isolation

The state health department has updated quarantine and isolation guidance to reflect recent recommendations from CDC that shorten the length of isolation, adjust quarantine guidelines and encourage testing and masking based on vaccination and booster status.

Aquinas College has adjusted campus quarantine and isolation protocols accordingly. These protocols are effective immediately for all employees and students.

[UPDATED JAN. 6: On Jan. 6, CDC also updated guidance regarding exemption for recent positive cases. Individuals who have record of a positive COVID-19 test in the past 90 days (PCR tests or rapid tests administered by health care personnel only) are exempt from the 5-day quarantine period if they have been exposed to COVID-19, but must wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on day 5 (if possible).]

If you test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

If you:

Have been boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

     

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Are unvaccinated

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home

If you:

Have record of a positive COVID-19 test in the past ninety (90) days (PCR test or rapid test administered by healthcare personnel only)

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home

Residential students are required to quarantine/isolate at their permanent residences. Students who have a hardship and need to quarantine/isolate on campus can fill out the Quarantine/Isolation Room Request Form with Residence Life. Any student quarantining/isolating on campus for extenuating circumstances that requests meals will use meal swipes, will be charged $4.75/meal or can determine their own alternative plan for meals.

Additionally, students are responsible for communicating with their instructors about missed classes or assignments due to quarantine/isolation.

Those in quarantine/isolation will not have swipe-card access to campus facilities during their quarantine/isolation periods.

COVID-19 Dashboard
The College provides information related to our campus cases on the COVID-19 Dashboard. The College will issue an emergency notification to the campus community when in accordance with guidelines from KCHD and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act for immediate threat to the health and safety of the campus community.


Testing

Contact the AQ Health Center operated by Mercy Health regarding COVID-19 testing on campus. Whether on or off campus, individuals are responsible for scheduling their own testing and any associated costs. In most cases, testing costs for individuals with symptoms or close contact will be billed to that individual's medical insurance.

COVID-19 testing is also available at other locations in our area:

The health department recommends that individuals who have a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test follow up with a PCR test to confirm presence of the virus. Individuals awaiting a follow-up PCR test should isolate at their permanent residence pending the results.


Social distancing

Seats in classrooms will be placed 3 feet apart or more when possible.

Anyone may choose to continue to practice social distancing based on individual needs, preferences or circumstances. All people, especially those who are not fully vaccinated, should consider CDC and MDHHS guidance on multiple layers of protection.


Good personal hygiene

Wash hands frequently

  • CDC recommends washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Cleaning and disinfecting

  • Disinfecting and cleaning supplies will be available in classrooms and other spaces on campus.
  • We appreciate the cooperation of all members of the campus community to keep spaces clean.

Ventilation

  • The College has installed air purification systems in various campus buildings to reduce bacteria and airborne particles for a healthier indoor environment.
  • The frequency of natural ventilation in all buildings continues to be at increased levels.

Gatherings on Campus

At this time, campus activities may proceed at full capacity. Gatherings must follow campus masking protocols. Gatherings are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing when possible.


Travel

When deciding to travel for personal reasons, we strongly encourage consultation of CDC’s guidance for travelers. In addition, we strongly encourage consultation of guidance from the U.S. State Department, MDHHS, KCHD and guidance from your home country, state and county.

Any travel for College business must follow Saints Together protocols as well as travel guidelines from CDC, the U.S. State Department, MDHHS and KCHD.