Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
Westminster is requiring all employees and students to be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation or exemption by Dec. 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 or exemption.
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 an exemption or 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.
Some programs, such as international travel trips and nursing clinicals, will require vaccinations for participation, even for those seeking an exemption or accommodation.
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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 will be required to comply with additional testing and other preventative measures as instructed.
Employees may request a medical exemption or an accommodation based on disability, pregnancy, or sincerely held religious beliefs. Employees may also request an exemption based on sincerely held personal beliefs, as required by state law.
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.
Employees requesting a personal belief exemption should reach out to Human Resources at email@example.com.
All students and employees are required to submit a vaccination attestation form and seek desired accommodations or exemptions by Dec. 15, 2021.
Students who do not submit the attestation form or receive an approved accommodation or exemption will not be able to register for the Spring 2022 semester. When the attestation form is completed or an approved accommodation or exemption is approved, the ability to register for the Spring 2022 semester will be restored.
Employees who do not submit the attestation form or receive an approved accommodation or exemption will be subject 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 aged 5 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Utah. All fully vaccinated individuals aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
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 they are feeling ill or have been exposed.
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 through Student Health Services during the primary academic year. Campus testing is conducted at the east door of HWAC, across the fire lane from the Student Health Services door.
Student Health Services is closed during Summer Terms. Please use the state testing site locater to find a testing location near you or reach out to your healthcare provider.
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.
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.
Being fully vaccinated is one of the best ways to get the most out of your campus experience.
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
In accordance with CDC guidance for low COVID-19 community levels, masks are optional in most shared indoor spaces on campus starting March 28, 2022, and are required in Student Health Services and the Counseling Center.
Check for Symptoms
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
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
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
Disinfect shared surfaces when you arrive and when you leave. Request office cleaning from campus cleaning staff.
Avoid Behaviors of Bias
Be aware that concern around this evolving issue can lead to stigma and bias.
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.
In the event of a positive on-campus test result, the college collects information for contact tracing. Anyone identified as a close contact is notified of a potential exposure and appropriate quarantine arrangements are made if necessary. Relevant faculty 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.
Reporting your exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19 is essential to keep Westminster's case count accurate and to initiate contact tracing. The COVID-19 diagnosis report form includes a section for members of the campus community to identify close contacts. 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 identified as a close contact of a COVID-19-positive individual while that person was infectious, you will be notified of potential exposure, including the date of exposure if known.
Notifications of potential exposure will only be provided to close 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 Exposure Notifications Are Made
Members of the campus community who report a COVID-19 diagnosis can submit information about those with whom they have been in close contact during the period when they may have been infectious. Notification of potential exposure will be made upon receipt of this information, and no identifying information about the COVID-positive individual will be shared.
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 Receive Notification of Potential Exposure
You might not receive notification of potential exposure if the exposure you had wasn't 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 would not receive notification of potential exposure.
If you think you may be a close contact, but have not been notified of potential exposure, submit an exposure report and you will receive information on how and when to quarantine based on your individual circumstances.
Week of July 29–Aug. 4, 2022
Diagnoses Reported Within the Past Week
Currently Isolated with COVID-19
Cases to Date Since July 2020
2,815 people in the campus community
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.
The Office of Residence Life is housing students at standard capacity. Westminster is taking several precautions to ensure the health of residential students:
- All residential students must comply with the college's vaccination policy.
- All residential students must test negative for COVID-19 120 hours prior to move-in.
- All residents and visitors are required to adhere to current masking requirements.
- 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.
"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."
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 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.
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.
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.
The state of Utah has expedited testing resources for pre-travel testing. It’s your responsibility to understand the testing requirements of your intended destination so that you get the right kind of test.
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
- Utah Department of Health
- State of Utah Coronavirus Hotline: 1.800.456.7707
- Utah Health Guidance System
- Live On Suicide Prevention and Support
- Utah Fraud Squad