Converse Hall in front of the Wasatch Mountains

College Updates

In this ever-changing world, college leadership is making adjustments for the health of our campus. Stay informed with campus updates.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources



Westminster's COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Westminster is requiring all employees and students to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, 2021. The FDA issued full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 23, 2021. Any vaccine currently under emergency approval will meet the standard, including those approved on the World Health Organization list for emergency use.

The CDC recommends that you be vaccinated even if you’ve already had COVID-19. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, “a positive result from an antibody test does not mean that you have a specific amount of immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection... Currently authorized SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are not validated to evaluate specific immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection.” Therefore, individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had an antibody test still need to receive a vaccination or request an accommodation.

Declare if you are or are not vaccinated in the attestation form to help Westminster College understand how to appropriately manage COVID-19 on campus.

  • Attesting to being vaccinated: You’re fully vaccinated and have thus fulfilled the vaccination requirement. Thank you! Please attest to being vaccinated in the form.
  • Attesting to not being vaccinated: You’re not yet fully vaccinated or wish to seek a medical exemption or legal accommodation. Please attest to not being vaccinated in the form. You’ll receive instructions about how to request an exemption or accommodation, or you’ll receive reminders to resubmit the form once you are vaccinated.

Employees and students will continue to receive regular, formal communication to complete the attestation form by the add/drop deadline of Aug. 27, 2021. You’ll have until Oct. 15, 2021 to satisfy the vaccine requirement or to have your exemption or accommodation approved.

If you have trouble submitting the form, try a different browser or device. If you continue to experience issues, contact the IS Helpdesk.

SUBMIT Employee VACCINation ATTESTATION
SUBMIT Student VACCINation ATTESTATION

Employees and students may request a medical exemption or an accommodation based on disability, pregnancy, or sincerely held religious beliefs. To start the process, open the vaccination attestation form, indicate that you are not vaccinated, and follow the prompts to access links to the exemption and accommodation request procedures.

Personal and philosophical reasons for not getting vaccinated are insufficient, and requests of this nature will be denied. Individuals with an approved exemption or accommodation may be required to comply with additional testing and other preventative measures.

All students and employees are required to submit a vaccination attestation form and seek desired medical or religious accommodations by Oct. 15, 2021.

Students who do not submit the attestation form or receive a medical or religious accommodation by Oct. 15, 2021 will not be able to register for the Spring 2022 semester. When the attestation form is completed or an approved medical or religious exemption is approved, the ability to register for the Spring 2022 semester will be restored.

Employees will be subjected to the processes in place for non-compliance, consistent with other violations of college policies.

Vaccination information is confidential medical information. It is collected in a HIPAA- and FERPA-compliant system and is not shared with your professors or supervisors.

Westminster College is committed to creating welcoming spaces and an inclusive, healthy campus environment. Everyone at Westminster College should be treated with respect and engage with one another with civility. No person at Westminster will be forced to publicly communicate their personal beliefs about the coronavirus or vaccinations. Be aware that concern around this evolving issue can lead to stigma and bias. Submit a bias report if you see, hear, or read misinformation or harassment.

Westminster encourages all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Staff are encouraged to work with their supervisor to coordinate work schedules and may use paid work hours to get vaccinated.

Anyone age 12 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Utah. Appointment, walk-in, and drive-up vaccinations are available throughout the state. Find a vaccination option that works for you.

A small number of people who are vaccinated will still test positive for COVID-19. These are called “breakthrough cases.” This is to be expected. No vaccine is 100% effective but it’s important to keep in mind that the vast majority of “breakthrough cases” don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 or very mild symptoms. This means the vaccines are still a success and are doing their job at keeping people from getting seriously ill. This also means that fully vaccinated people should get tested for COVID-19 if feeling ill or have been exposed.

College Community Vaccination Status

As of Sept. 2, 2021


Employees
95% attestations; 97% vaccinated
Students
76% attestations; 93% vaccinated
Combined
80% attestations; 94% vaccinated

2,815 people in the campus community

SUBMIT Employee VACCINation ATTESTATION
SUBMIT Student VACCINation ATTESTATION

COVID-19 Testing

Community COVID-19 Testing

There are more than 100 testing locations in Utah. Each testing site has different requirements and may offer different types of COVID-19 tests. Use the Utah COVID-19 testing site locator to find a testing location near you or call a healthcare provider.

Campus COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is available for free to all Westminster students and employees on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 9:30–11:30 a.m. in Carleson Hall.

If you are symptom-free, you can schedule a COVID test online. After you schedule an appointment, you must complete the online testing intake forms before you arrive for your testing appointment.

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should make an appointment to be tested if they are experiencing symptoms of illness or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call Student Health Services at 801.832.2241 before you make an appointment. If you're experiencing symptoms, but are calling Student Health Services after hours, try scheduling a test with your health care provider or urgent care instead.

The test itself will take about 5 minutes. You can wait 15–20 minutes after your test for in-person results, including getting a hardcopy of results to meet student-athlete requirements. To view test results after your appointment, download the Navica app to your smartphone.

Students and employees who are not yet fully vaccinated need to be tested for COVID-19 once every 2 weeks, or more frequently for individuals involved in higher-risk activities.

Read more about COVID-19 testing and response procedures

Academics


 

Academic Calendar

The Fall 2021 calendar is unchanged and reflects standard academic breaks.

Course Instruction

The Fall 2021 semester will be in-person. We believe that the Westminster learning environment is best experienced in community with other learners.

Being on Campus

The college’s ability to create a safe and healthy campus will be a community effort.  Do your part to keep fellow Griffins healthy and safe. Everyone, including contractors and visitors, must follow Westminster guidelines when on campus. Review the Policy on Complying with COVID-19 Guidance for more information.

 
Get Vaccinated

Get Vaccinated

Being fully vaccinated is one of the best ways to get the most out of your campus experience.

Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands

Washing hands is often the number-one way to stop the spread of germs and to stay healthy. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available.

Wear a Face Covering

Wear a Face Covering

In accordance with CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, masks are now required in shared indoor spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status.

Check for Symptoms

Check for Symptoms

Before coming to campus or leaving your residence hall, everyone, including contractors and visitors, must check themselves for symptoms. Do not come to campus if you are sick.
Stay Home When Sick

Stay Home When Sick

Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing and sneezing. Understand when to report COVID-19 and when it's safe to leave isolation or quarantine.

Report Exposure or Diagnosis

Report Exposure or Diagnosis

Westminster employees and students are required to report COVID-19 exposure and diagnosis to Westminster College. If you are part of a testing schedule, you must also report a diagnosis you've recovered from and that was not previously reported.



Practice Social Distancing

Practice Social Distancing

Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to continue physical distancing on campus. Those who are unvaccinated should socially distance themselves from others whenever possible. This means keeping at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others who live outside your home.


Keep Our Campus Clean

Keep Our Campus Clean

Disinfect shared surfaces when you arrive and when you leave. Request office cleaning from campus cleaning staff.

Avoid Behaviors of Bias

Avoid Behaviors of Bias

Be aware that concern around this evolving issue can lead to stigma and bias.

Positive COVID-19 Cases on Campus

This is a count of new positive COVID-19 diagnoses in the Westminster community within the past week. Students, faculty, and staff are required to report a positive diagnosis or potential exposure to the college. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should also call Utah’s coronavirus hotline at 1.800.456.7707.

In the event of a positive on-campus test result, the college initiates contact tracing. Anyone with a known exposure is notified and appropriate quarantine arrangements are made. Relevant faculty and supervisors are notified of excused attendance. Westminster has sufficient capacity for on-campus isolation and quarantine in buildings dedicated to that purpose for residential students.

An infectious disease outbreak is tracked using contact tracing. The intent is to prevent further spread. When an individual is confirmed to have an illness, they isolate themselves to prevent further spread of that illness.

Contact tracers help those who have been infected recall where they have been and with whom they had close contact while they were infectious. Those contacts are contacted by contact tracers and asked to quarantine to stop further spread of the illness.

Reporting your exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19 is essential to keep Westminster's case count accurate and to initiate contact tracing. All students and employees must report any instance of exposure or diagnosis to the college.

How Contact Tracing Works

Contact tracing focuses on close contacts while a COVID-19-positive individual was infectious. The infectious period begins 48 hours before the individual’s symptoms began. If the person with COVID-19 never developed symptoms, the infectious period begins 48 hours before the positive test was collected.

If you are thought to be a close contact of a COVID-19-positive individual while that person was infectious, a contact tracer will call you.

The Westminster College contact tracing team focuses solely on contacts within the campus community.

Who Is Considered a Contact

A person is considered a close contact if they have been within 6 feet of the positive individual for at least 15 minutes either continuously or cumulative within a 24-hour period.

When Contact Tracing Calls Are Made

Contact tracers reach out to COVID-19-positive individuals shortly after a positive test result is confirmed or reported in order to learn about the individual’s close contacts within the campus community. The contact tracer then calls each of the close contacts to inform them about their exposure to COVID-19 and to give them instructions about how to quarantine.

The goal is to reach the close contacts within 1–2 days after the positive test result is received or a diagnosis report is submitted. Sometimes it takes longer.

What To Do if You Don't Hear from a Contact Tracer

You might not hear from a contact tracer if the exposure you had was not enough to put you at increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. If your exposure wasn’t within 6 feet, didn’t last 15 minutes or more, or occurred before the infectious period, you would not be considered a close contact and will not receive a phone call from a contact tracer.

If you think you may be a close contact, but have not heard from a contact tracer, submit an exposure report and a contact tracer will reach out to you.

Case Count

Week of Sept. 10–16, 2021


Diagnoses Reported Within the Past Week
3 New
Currently Isolated with COVID-19
4 Active
Cases to Date Since July 2020
232 Total

2,815 people in the campus community

Campus Life

Campus Services and Events

Nothing compares to being together on Westminster’s beautiful campus. Check the events calendar for performances, lectures, and activities that you can attend. All campus services are open and available. Check department pages for hours and appointment scheduling.

Residence Life

The Office of Residence Life will be housing residents at standard capacity for Fall 2021. Therefore, Westminster is taking several precautions to ensure the health of residential students:

  • All students must prove their COVID-19 vaccination status before moving into campus housing. You will receive a form for this in early August.
  • Unvaccinated residents must complete a COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Antigen FIA test or PCR test within 120 hours prior to arrival. You must upload your test results to the COVID-19 Test Form. You will not be able to move in or receive keys without completing the form and submitting your results.
  • Students living on campus can expect housekeeping to continue to clean with CDC protocols in mind.
  • Isolation housing space will be available on campus for residents who contract COVID-19. Quarantine spaces will be provided for residents who have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Westminster’s guest policy for Fall Semester is limited to Westminster community members only. The college hopes to be able to lift all guest restrictions by Spring Semester within CDC protocols.

2021–22 Student Move-In

  • First-Year Students: August 13, 2021
  • Returning Students: August 16–17, 2021
screenshot of zoom meeting for COVID-19 brown bag discussion with public health Prof. Han Kim

"We think of it as a medical-health-related issue. It's not. It touches on social and economic issues. It touches on history, philosophy, biology, and sociology. Westminster folks with this broad liberal arts education are especially well-suited to really understand and analyze the deeper issues that COVID brings up."

Han Kim, Westminster Public Health and Honors professor

Read the story

Resources

Online Learning Resources

The Office of Student Success and Retention created a collection of tips for online learning that you may find useful as you transition to online courses. Information Services has also compiled a list of useful technology for online learning.

Emergency Financial Aid

Currently enrolled students who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply for emergency financial aid. Updates about funding are provided on a regular basis.

College-sponsored international travel is tentatively being planned for no earlier than Spring 2022.

COVID-19 Domestic Travel Guidance

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global situation and continues to impact what are normally considered to be routine domestic travel practices. It’s important to consider and plan college-sponsored travel carefully. The first step should always be to review the CDC’s latest travel guidance and find out how it may apply to your own circumstances.

Current CDC guidance strongly recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, meaning that it has been at least two weeks since you received the final dose in an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are unvaccinated and must travel, you must take additional precautions to protect yourself and others.

Fully Vaccinated Travelers

Fully vaccinated travelers should:

  • Follow face mask requirements on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations and requirements, including mask-wearing and social distancing, where applicable.
  • After traveling, self-monitor for symptoms. Stay home and get tested for COVID-19 if you feel any symptoms of illness. Self-quarantine is not required.

While COVID-19 vaccinations are still new and travel requirements are evolving, it may be a good idea to keep a paper and/or digital copy of your vaccination records with you while traveling.

Unvaccinated Travelers

Unvaccinated travelers should:

  • Get a COVID-19 test 1–3 days prior to departure or according to group trip requirements. Do not travel if you test positive for COVID-19 or have had a known exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Follow face mask requirements on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. Wear a mask when in public, indoor spaces and maintain about 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when possible.
  • Wash your hands or using hand sanitizer regularly.
  • After traveling, self-monitor for symptoms and get a COVID-19 test 3–5 days after you return home. Stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days. Avoid spending time with individuals who are at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.

Destination Considerations

Investigate your destination(s) before traveling.

  • Does your destination currently have any prohibitive health orders or restrictions that apply to your trip?
  • Does your destination require you to quarantine for any period of time before being allowed to pursue the purpose of your trip?
  • Is your destination currently experiencing a higher rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people relative to the state of Utah? The higher the case rate, the higher the risk while traveling, even for individuals who are fully vaccinated.

Travel Considerations

Purchasing travel insurance for airline tickets or other travel reservations is strongly recommended in case you have to cancel travel plans due to illness, exposure, or newly implemented prohibitive health orders or travel restrictions.

The CDC has developed travel risk guidance, including information about parts of travel that are safer, less safe, and should be avoided, especially if traveling while unvaccinated and/or with unvaccinated people.

Westminster College makes institutional decisions in consultation with federal, state, and local advisories. You’re encouraged to stay informed and follow guidance from these public health agencies, in addition to the Westminster College guidance for being on campus.

Federal Guidance and Resources

State Guidance and Resources

Local Guidance and Resources

Public Health Advisory Posters

The Westminster College community is welcome to print and post the posters below in their campus offices and buildings.