See updates on our COVID-19 plans at aquinas.edu/saintstogether.

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.) This change is based on CDC’s recommendation for areas of “substantial” or “high” levels of community transition.

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
  • 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.

  • The College is evaluating the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS).
  • Any changes to campus protocols will be communicated to campus as soon as possible.

It is important to understand that getting vaccinated does not mean that you can return to “normal.” You must continue to be vigilant about masking, distancing and all of the other preventive measures that we have in place. 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.

Students 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 students who choose to do this to bring their documentation with them. Until further notice, only staff officially designated by the College will request vaccination information.

Students who choose to show documentation of being fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine if they do not have symptoms and have had close contact to a person who tests positive.

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 12 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. Please note that this is different from the daily symptom self-screen that was administered through Healthy Roster last year.

Student Quarantine and Isolation

If You Feel Sick (symptomatic)
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and wear a mask around others, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Fill out the Student COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form and a campus staff member will contact you to begin contact tracing and to provide next steps.
  • Contact your instructors regarding missed classes and assignments.
  • Call the AQ Health Center at (616) 632-2969 or contact your medical provider.

If You Have Close Contact with a Person Who Tests Positive
If you are vaccinated with no symptoms and have had close contact with a person who tests positive, you do not have to quarantine.

  • Monitor your health.
  • If you develop symptoms
    • Stay home.
    • CDC recommends getting tested 3-5 days after your exposure even if you don’t have symptoms. Students are responsible for scheduling testing and any associated costs.
    • Fill out the Student COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form and a campus staff member will contact you to begin contact tracing and to provide next steps.
    • Contact your instructors regarding missed classes and assignments.
    • Call the AQ Health Center at (616) 632-2969 or contact your medical provider.

If you are vaccinated with symptoms/unvaccinated and have had close contact with a person who tests positive, you are required to quarantine for 10 days at your permanent residence.

  • Stay home.
  • CDC recommends getting tested 3-5 days after your exposure even if you don’t have symptoms. Students are responsible for scheduling testing and any associated costs.
  • Fill out the Student COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form and a campus staff member will contact you to begin contact tracing and to provide next steps.
  • Fill out the Quarantine/Isolation Room Request Form if you need to request a quarantine/isolation room on campus due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Contact your instructors regarding missed classes and assignments.
  • Call the AQ Health Center at (616) 632-2969 or contact your medical provider.

If You Test Positive
If you test positive, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms, you are required to isolate for 10 days at your permanent residence. You cannot test out of isolation.

  • Fill out the Student COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form and a campus staff member will contact you to begin contact tracing and to provide next steps.
  • Fill out the Quarantine/Isolation Room Request Form if you need to request a quarantine/isolation room on campus due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Contact your instructors regarding missed classes and assignments.
  • Call the AQ Health Center at (616) 632-2969 or contact your medical provider.

Quarantine/Isolation on Campus
Students are required to quarantine/isolate at their permanent residence. If you have extenuating circumstances, you may fill out the Quarantine/Isolation Room Request Form to request a quarantine/isolation room on campus.

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.

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.


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.