According to the FDA: “COVID-19 continues to be a very real risk for many people, and we encourage individuals to consider staying current with vaccination, including with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. The available data continue to demonstrate that vaccines prevent the most serious outcomes of COVID-19, which are severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
The Food and Drug Administration has announced that any adult who has not yet been vaccinated will get one dose of an updated bivalent shot, rather than starting with the original vaccine and receiving the bivalent shot as a booster. The FDA is withdrawing authorization for those older COVID-19 vaccines targeting the original strain of the virus.
The CDC has updated and simplified its recommendations for older and immuno-compromised adults.
In such a case, the faculty member will have a contingency plan in place. The professor may move the class online for a short period of time, or they may have an alternative approach that can involve any number of options, such as guest lecturers or independent study.
With the exception of some graduate classes, Clark’s classes are being taught in person only. Students with extenuating health or personal circumstances that prevent them from attending in person are encouraged to contact the Dean of the College office. Any immunocompromised student is encouraged to email their professors regarding the possibility of an online learning option. However, faculty are not required to offer online options, or may not be able to accommodate that approach. Students should consult with their faculty adviser to identify alternative solutions.
Students who are in isolation need to email their professors to let them know they will not be in class, and inquire how to keep up with their course work. This is the same protocol they should follow anytime they are absent from the classroom due to an extended illness or personal matter. Faculty are expected to have academic continuity plans in place to allow an isolating student to continue with their work. However, this does not necessarily mean the course will be taught online, and may involve other instructional approaches. Students can also seek out information the dean of the college.
If you test positive, remain at home and notify your primary care physician, your Clark supervisor, and close contacts both on campus and in your personal life. The CDC defines “Close Contact” as close contact through proximity and duration of exposure: Someone who was less than six fee away from an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Clark follows CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation.
Once the isolation period has ended, you may return to work following CDC protocols and with the clearance of your health care provider. If your job allows you to work remotely, you should do so until you test negative. Please be in contact with your supervisor to assess your availability to return to campus.
Clark Health Services is available for all students to contact Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 508-793-7467, for any medical questions for concerns during the academic year. If students have an urgent medical need on the weekend or another time of the day, Hahnemann Family Health Center provides an on-call service that can be reached through the Health Services number. Students are encouraged to try to wait to call between Monday and Friday unless they are experiencing urgent symptoms.
As with any certified absence, students should work directly with their professor to develop an appropriate plan to keep current with the material or to catch up when they are well enough. Faculty members have been sensitive to the fluidity of health-related absences due to COVID and will be mindful of providing clear policies and contingencies for such cases. Contact the Dean of the College office with any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.