Jeff Foster, Dean of Students, and Jen Lucas, Executive Director of Human Resources, provide an update on vaccine distribution status and what new CDC guidance means for the campus community.
Dear Campus Community,
Last week, the Biden administration said that the United States is on track to have every adult vaccinated by the end of May. This is welcome news. I know that some members of our community have already been vaccinated and others have scheduled their appointments.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released updated guidance for those who have already received their vaccine. The guidance says that those who are fully vaccinated may gather with others who have been fully vaccinated without wearing masks.
Since the very large majority of our campus community has not yet been vaccinated, community members who have been vaccinated should continue to follow the College’s health and safety protocols including wearing a mask, staying physically distanced, and continuing to participate in the College’s testing protocols.
Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not get sick. If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you may still be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. After exposure, people can be infected with or “carry” the virus that causes COVID-19 but not feel sick or have any symptoms.
It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Please visit the CDC website to learn more about what the CDC currently knows and doesn’t know when it comes to the vaccine.
Vaccine distribution update
The College has been in touch with WellSpan Health to understand if they have any insights about when Pennsylvania will move to Phase 1B, which would make educators and people working in congregate settings qualified to receive the vaccine.
It is still unclear when the state will move into Phase 1B, but WellSpan is encouraging community members to sign in to your MyWellSpan account and register your interest in the vaccine by completing the MyWellSpan “COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Questionnaire.” By registering, you will be notified when scheduling is activated for your phase.
Pennsylvania is currently operating in Phase 1A, which includes people over the age of 65 and people who have chronic conditions. A listing of chronic conditions can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website. If you meet these criteria, you can register to receive your vaccine at the following website: COVID-19 Vaccine (WellSpan Health).
Thank you for your help in keeping our community safe.
Jeff Foster, D.Ed.
Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students
Executive Director of Human Resources