Reopening Updates 2021-2022

October 29, 2021: End Universal Mask Mandate

To All Employees and Students:

In alignment with the City of Springfield ending its universal mask mandate, effective November 1, 2021, masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated* individuals on AIC’s campus (including in classrooms, residence halls, and dining facilities) with the following exceptions:

  • Per Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines, all individuals (regardless of vaccination status) are still required to wear a face covering while in the Dexter Health and Counseling facilities, in the Athletic Training facility, and on all public & private transportation (including the shuttle and athletic transport vehicles).
  • All individuals (regardless of vaccination status) are required to wear a mask during indoor events with 50 or more non-AIC visitors overall or 50% or more non-AIC visitors. See the full events policy under the “Visitation and Events” section at aic.edu/faqs-2021/.
  • All individuals (regardless of vaccination status) should wear a mask if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Students should call Dexter Health Services at (413) 205-3248 for evaluation and testing. Employees should remain home until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.

All individuals who are not fully vaccinated* are still required to wear face coverings and observe physical distancing while inside any AIC facility where others are present, and while outside when social distancing cannot be guaranteed with the following exceptions:

  • Students who are not fully vaccinated* are not expected to wear a face covering when they are in their private residence hall rooms, suites, or apartments.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated* are not expected to wear a face covering when they are in their private office.

*Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

The Student Handbook Addendum and the Reopening FAQ page have both been updated to reflect this modification to the universal mask mandate.

-AIC Pandemic Planning Committee

September 10, 2021: Update on Vaccination Rates and New Mask Mandate

AIC has achieved an astounding 98% vaccination rate amongst employees and students who are currently on campus! This vaccination rate excludes students in fully remote or online programs. This incredible accomplishment is due to our collective commitment to keep each other and our surrounding community safe and moves us toward a more normal academic year.

Unfortunately, the surrounding community has not achieved the high level of vaccination that AIC has, with only 47% of the eligible City of Springfield residents fully vaccinated as of August 31, 2021. This has resulted in increased COVID-19 transmission in the community and is again taxing local hospitals. To combat this increased transmission, the City of Springfield has enacted a mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors and while outdoors and unable to maintain social distancing through November 1, 2021. In alignment with this local mandate, a mask mandate will remain in effect on campus and for all college-sponsored events while indoors and while outdoors and unable to maintain social distancing. Please review the updated FAQ site for more information.

We pride ourselves on being part of the community in which we live, work, and learn, and our community is once again calling upon us to do our part to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to consult with local health experts to ensure we are able to safely progress toward the typical college experience everyone expects and deserves while keeping the community safe.

 

The Pandemic Planning Committee

 

August 24, 2021: Update to Mask Policy through September 10, 2021, and Vaccination Reminder

Below are some important updates and reminders as we approach move-in weekend and the first day of classes. Please read the full email carefully.

  1. Temporary Universal Indoor Masking

From August 27, 2021 through September 10, 2021, all individuals regardless of vaccination status (including students, employees, and visitors), must wear a face covering while indoors unless alone in their private office or in their assigned residence hall room.

Individuals do not have full immunity provided by the COVID-19 vaccine until two weeks after their final dose. Students are allowed to submit proof of their final vaccine dose up until they come to campus for their first day of classes, which means some students will not have had two weeks between their final dose and their first day on campus.

Enacting universal indoor masking during the first two weeks of classes provides enough time for everyone on campus to have the highest level of protection against COVID-19.

  1. Vaccine Compliance Reminder – It’s Too Late to Start a Two-Dose Vaccine

All students coming to campus for any reason must provide proof of their final COVID-19 vaccine dose prior to coming to campus. This means it is TOO LATE to begin a two-dose vaccine. Students who have not received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine may still receive a single dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, in order to move-in and/or attend classes on time for the Fall 2021 semester.

Students who have a final dose scheduled for after they would normally arrive to campus are reminded that they cannot move into college housing, participate in athletics, or attend in-person classes until they have received their final dose and provided proof to the institution. In addition to not being able to come to campus, if a student does not have their final dose submitted prior to the end of the add/drop period (9/10/21), they will be withdrawn for the fall semester.

  1. On-Campus Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

AIC will run Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine clinics on campus during the following times:

Friday, 8/27/21:             9am – 12pm     Griswold Lobby

Sunday, 8/29/21:          9am – 4pm       Griswold Lobby

Monday, 8/30/21:         9am – 12pm     West Wing of Cultural Arts Center

Tuesday, 8/31/21:         9am – 12pm     West Wing of Cultural Arts Center

No pre-registration required. Open to the public. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only authorized for individuals 18 years or older. Please bring your health insurance information.

  1. Upload Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

Students are reminded to upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccine immediately after they receive their final dose by going to https://aic.medicatconnect.com/ and selecting “Upload.” If you have difficulty signing into the system, please email proof to dexter.health@aic.edu.

  1. Student COVID-19 Vaccine Exemptions

Religious Exemptions: The deadline for students to submit religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine was 8/20/21. No additional student religious exemption requests will be accepted.

Medical Exemptions: Medical exemptions will be accepted and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Questions?

Please visit https://www.aic.edu/faqs-2021/ or email covidquestions@aic.edu.

 

August 10, 2021: Update to Vaccination Requirement for Students in Fully Online or Remote Programs

Students who are enrolled in fully online or remote programs are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination to participate in their online or remote coursework.

Students in fully online or remote programs who choose not to provide proof of vaccination or receive an approved medical or religious exemption, will not be permitted to come to campus or attend in-person college-sponsored activities for any reason. This includes utilizing on-campus resources (such as the library), living on campus, participating in athletics, and attending events (such as commencement).

This policy modification applies to students in the following programs who do not have any in-person course requirements on AIC’s campus to complete their program of study:

School of Health Sciences

  • Post Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)
  • Nursing RN to BSN (BSN)
  • Nursing Administration (MSN)
  • Nursing Educator (MSN)

School of Business, Arts, and Sciences

  • Cannabis Certificate
  • Cannabis Science and Commerce (MS)
  • Counseling Psychology (MA)
  • Professional Counseling and Supervision (EdD)

School of Education

  • Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.)
  • Elementary Education Program (M.Ed.)
  • Middle or Secondary Education (M.Ed.)
  • Moderate Disabilities (M.Ed.)
  • Reading Specialist (M.Ed.)
  • School Adjustment Counseling (MA)
  • School Guidance Counseling (MA)
  • School Leadership (M.Ed.)
  • Educational Leadership and Supervision (Ed.D.)
  • Teaching and Learning (Ed.D.)

Students who are required to participate in an off-campus experience for credit (practicum, internship, clinical rotation, etc.) may be required to follow additional guidelines or mandates prior to participation in that experience. Such parameters will be disclosed by the off-campus site and may impact student participation if unvaccinated. AIC will not be held responsible for delays or inability to complete program requirements related to off-site participation restrictions. Any student needing an off-site experience is recommended to research, locate, and receive approval for the experience as soon as permitted by their academic program.

Students enrolled in programs that require any in-person coursework, such as most undergraduate programs, will not have an option to take all of their courses remotely and must follow the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

For more information, please visit the Fall 2021 FAQ Page or email covidquestions@aic.edu.

 

AIC Pandemic Planning Committee

August 2, 2021: Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Required before Return to Campus

Update to the vaccination deadline: All students must provide proof they have received the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus for the first time and before attending Fall 2021 classes. This means there is still time to begin the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines prior to move-in day and/or the first day of classes! There are four weeks between the first and second dose of the Moderna vaccine and three weeks between Pfizer doses. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a single dose. Please plan your vaccination schedule accordingly.

Consistent with CDC and Massachusetts guidelines, effective July 6, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals (meaning reaching two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after the one dose J & J vaccine) will not be required to wear masks while on campus, but may choose to do so.

Students who are not fully vaccinated (as defined above) are required to wear a mask at all times on campus, except while in their assigned residence hall space. They should follow guidelines for unvaccinated individuals per MA state guidelines that requires unvaccinated individuals to continue to wear masks while on campus (indoors and outdoors) and maintain social distancing.

All individuals are required to wear a mask while in counseling and health facilities, the athletic training facility and on campus shuttles per MA state guidelines.

Additional information for student-athletes: Proof of the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccination is required prior to participating in athletics activities. Athletes who have received their final vaccination dose who are not fully vaccinated will be required to follow all MA state guidelines while participating in athletics, such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

Students who have been granted an approved religious or medical exemption to the vaccination requirements, must follow Massachusetts state guidelines for unvaccinated residents that include continuing to wear masks in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance. All religious and medical exemption requests must be submitted for review a minimum of one week prior to returning to campus.

July 8, 2021: REMINDER: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement and Fall Reopening FAQs

Due to an email server issue, some students did not receive two key announcements—made on June 11, 2021, and June 25, 2021, respectively—concerning AIC’s Fall 2021 reopening and the requirement that all students be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the fall semester.

As a reminder, after receiving the final dose of an authorized vaccine, ALL students (including graduate, undergraduate, online, and fully remote students) are required to provide proof of vaccination using the “Uploads” button on the AIC Patient Portal. Vaccination or exemption documentation must be submitted prior to the fall semester and no later than August 15, 2021.

Please refer to www.aic.edu/reopening-2021-2022 for the latest information, including updated reopening guidelines and a comprehensive FAQ section.

June 25, 2021: New Reopening FAQs and Guidelines

Dear Campus Community,

AIC has updated its reopening guidelines including a comprehensive FAQ section on the website. Please refer to https://www.aic.edu/reopening-2021-2022/ for the latest information. Updates will be posted here throughout the summer.

As a reminder, all students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus, and will need to upload images of their proof of vaccination. The reopening guidelines provide detailed parameters and timelines for vaccination requirements, information on potential exemptions, and instructions for uploading COVID-19 vaccination record cards.

Beginning Tuesday, July 6, 2021, masks will no longer be required on campus for fully vaccinated individuals, which is two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

Wishing you a safe and healthy summer,

The Pandemic Planning Committee

June 11, 2021: Letter from President Maniaci Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Dear Students,

For over a year, our collective goal has been the safe return to campus for all members of the AIC community. To that end, the College is requiring that all students and employees be fully vaccinated prior to returning to campus for the Fall 2021 semester. All students are required to provide proof of vaccination prior to coming to campus for the fall semester and no later than August 15, 2021. This requirement applies to all undergraduate and graduate students. Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

Why this requirement? The development of safeeffective, and accessible COVID-19 vaccines has made it possible to begin a transition back to a more normal campus environment for all, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that institutions of higher education can return safely to in-person learning without requiring masks and social distancing with a population of fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff. Having a fully vaccinated population also lowers each person’s risk of getting the virus and creates a safer community. A fully vaccinated campus means the ability to have students back in the classroom, to allow students to visit each other in the residence halls, and to resume large-scale/high-capacity programming on campus.

Students may request a medical or religious exemption from receiving the vaccine. Information about the process will be provided on the FAQ page of the website within a few weeks.

AIC appreciates your understanding of and compliance with this vaccine requirement as it represents an extension of the College’s abiding commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe campus environment and doing its part to help end a public health crisis. I look forward to welcoming you all to campus this fall as first-time or returning students.

Sincerely,

Vince Maniaci
President

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