COVID-19 Policies and Updates

Campus update - 8/24/21

MASKS INDOORS

The College is still enforcing the Tompkins County Health Advisory and requiring all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks in all indoor settings, unless you are alone in your office or private workspace.

CAMPUS VACCINATION RATE

As of 9/7/21 – this is the current rate of vaccination:

Students – 80%
Faculty/Staff – 77%

***If you have not yet provided proof of vaccination, please do so ASAP. It is possible that these percentages are higher and we just have not yet received everyone’s vaccination status. See the next section for information on how to submit your vaccination status.

***If you are REMOTE ONLY, please also let us know this status so we can remove you from the list who will be reminded to test weekly. You can email reportcovid19@tompkinscortland.edu to let us know. This applies to students, faculty, and staff.

VACCINATION STATUS REPORTING

The College is encouraging faculty and staff to submit proof of vaccination through this online form: https://forms.office.com/r/9A8twmYCWp.

Students may submit proof of COVID-19 vaccine by uploading it via the Health and Wellness Portal in your MyTC3 account at https://tompkinscortland.studenthealthportal.com or call Health and Wellness Services at 607-844-8222 ext. 4487 if you need assistance.

IF YOU LOST YOUR VACCINATION CARD: You can either download an app for your phone that will validate your vaccination status OR access a digital version of your proof of vaccination with the Excelsior Pass Plus. You can do both of those things at this website: https://epass.ny.gov/home - a screenshot of your Excelsior Pass is an acceptable form of proof of vaccination for this purpose.

TESTING – UNVACCINATED & EXEMPTIONS MUST TEST WEEKLY

  • If you are unvaccinated, you will need to test weekly. Faculty, staff, and students that are unvaccinated are expected to pick up their saliva test kits at the Health Center and return them weekly.
  • If you have not submitted proof of vaccination or you have received an exemption, you are expected to test weekly.
  • If you have only had your first dose, you need to test weekly until two weeks after your second dose.
  • We will send reminders for testing and will be tracking who is testing to ensure we are compliant with the mandate from SUNY.

ON CAMPUS SECOND DOSE VACCINATION CLINICS - September 22 & 23

A reminder that we will be hosting second dose vaccination clinics on campus on Sept. 22 & 23. If you received your first dose at the clinics on Sept. 1 or 2 – you must return on one of these dates for your second dose.

SECOND DOSE CLINICS (you will get your second dose appointment when you get the first dose)

  • September 22 from 1 - 4 p.m.
  • September 23 from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

These are NOT booster vaccination clinics, as no booster has been approved yet by the CDC or FDA.

THIRD DOSE VS. BOOSTERS

Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and are fully vaccinated with one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) are advised to get a third dose of vaccine.  The third dose should come 28 or more days after your second dose.

Anyone in one of the following situations should talk to their provider about a third dose:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Is a third dose the same as a “booster” dose?

No. According to the CDC the third dose is recommended for immunocompromised people as a way to add to existing protection. It’s like getting a higher than normal dose of vaccine: the immune system cannot use the vaccine as efficiently to build immunity, so you up the dose. The FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization to make both Pfizer and Moderna available for a third dose for immunocompromised individuals.

A booster dose is intended to restore the protection that has decreased over time after a normal 2-shot dose (waning immunity). How long the vaccine remains effective at building immunity is still being studied, though some reports suggest it fades after 8 months.

Currently, the FDA has not authorized any vaccine to be used as a booster dose.

LOCAL VACCINATION CLINIC INFORMTION

Cortland County: https://www.cortland-co.org/1009/COVID-19-Vaccine-Information

Tompkins County: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19popup

CAMPUS REPORTING PROTOCOLS

The College has established an email that can be used for any of the following reasons:
•If you wish to report or a student self-reports to you that they are positive or in quarantine
•If you wish to report or a student reports to you that they think another student is positive or in quarantine
•If you wish to report a concern that someone is not following College COVID-19 protocols
•To ask a question regarding any of the College COVID-19 protocols

The email is reportcovid19@tompkinscortland.edu.


Campus update - 8/24/21

Download the 8/24/21 Update and Letter to Campus

August 24, 2021

Dear Campus Community:

Since the start of the pandemic, TC3 has successfully maintained a productive environment for teaching and learning, while prioritizing the health of our students, staff, and faculty.  We have relied on the Tompkins County Health Department to help us ensure that our protocols are in line with county, state, and federal guidance.  That guidance tells us that the key to ending this pandemic lies in widespread vaccinations.  That is why upon the recent federal authorization of the Pfizer vaccine, SUNY has mandated that all community college, SUNY four year, and CUNY students who use on-campus facilities will be required to show proof of vaccination.

Full FDA approval of the vaccines further shows that they are safe and the best defense against COVID-19, including the Delta variant.  The vaccines do not stop all infections, but they drastically reduce the significant negative impacts that can lead to hospitalization and death.  We recognize that there has been much misinformation and skepticism about the vaccines, but the position of TC3, SUNY, the State of New York, and the CDC is clear:  vaccines are our best option to ending this deadly pandemic.  The vaccine requirement and our mask mandates are vital to keep our campus safe for the next academic year.

Thank you for working with us to create and maintain a safe and vibrant campus community.

Dr. Paul Reifenheiser
Provost and Administrator in Charge (AIC)

Vaccines Now Required for Students Using College Facilities in Person

Tompkins Cortland Community College is now requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students who will be attending classes on campus, using our facilities – including the Ithaca and Cortland Extension Centers, or living in our residence halls per SUNY (The State University of New York) requirements.   This requirement took effect on August 23, 2021 and students have until September 27 to submit proof of vaccination showing that they have had two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, or two shots of the Moderna, or one shot of the Johnson and Johnson.

The College is offering a convenient way to be vaccinated on campus through two clinics to be held September 1 and 2. Students can move-in to residence halls and begin classes if they are unvaccinated, but should register to receive the vaccination on one of these days through this link: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19popup. This is for the Pfizer vaccine that requires a second dose. The second dose clinics are also scheduled on campus for September 22 and 23.

Students who fail to show proof of vaccination – except those who have obtained approval for an exemption  - will be removed from in-person classes and our residence halls without a refund on September 27.  Students who wish to request a medical or religious exemption must contact the Health and Wellness Center at healthcenter@tompkinscortland.edu or 607-844-8222 ext. 4487 and make the request by September 1.

 

 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Last updated 8/24/2021

I don’t want to get the vaccine, may I still take classes?   
Unvaccinated students may take fully online/remote classes.  While you may not utilize our in-person facilities, we offer a wide array of online/remote courses and we offer support services virtually. However, we can’t guarantee that you will be able to replace your face-to-face classes with remote/online options.  If you need assistance changing your class schedule please contact Enrollment Services at regbilling@tompkinscortland.edu or call 607.844.6580.  

Where can I read more about the SUNY policy and the vaccine mandate?
The official announcement from the FDA is here: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine and the official SUNY Policy is here: https://www.suny.edu/sunypp/documents.cfm?doc_id=900

I am only taking online classes, may I live in the residence hall if I am unvaccinated?
All residence hall students must be in compliance with the vaccine mandate by September 27. The types of classes you are taking do not change this requirement. Students can move-in to residence halls and begin classes if they are unvaccinated, but should register to receive the vaccination on one of these days through this link: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19popup. This is for the Pfizer vaccine that requires a second dose. The second dose clinics are also scheduled on campus for September 22 and 23. 

I am only taking online classes, may I come to campus to utilize support services?  
Unvaccinated students may not come to campus to utilize support services after September 27. We do offer a variety of online/remote services to help fully online/remote students.

I need a medical/religious exemption to getting the vaccine; how do I do that?  When do I need to make that request?
Students must request a medical or religious exemption by September 1. Students may initiate the request by contacting Health and Wellness Center at healthcenter@tompkinscortland.edu or 607-844-8222 ext. 4487.  Please note that all exemptions must be approved, and a request is not a guarantee of an exception. Students will also be required to provide supporting documentation.

How do I show my proof of vaccination? Students may submit proof of COVID-19 vaccine by uploading it via the Health and Wellness Portal in your MyTC3 account at http://tompkinscortland.studenthealthportal.com or call Health and Wellness Services at 607-844-8222 ext. 4487 if you need assistance.

May I use the College’s facilities while I am in the process of getting vaccinated? 
Yes.  SUNY has noted that students have until September 27 to show proof of being of vaccination.  Until that time, students may use our facilities.  We urge students to take the necessary steps to become vaccinated by September 27.

May I continue to use College facilities if I have the first shot but not the second by September 27? Students must show proof of vaccination by September 27.  That means students must have completed both shots of Pfizer or Moderna or the single shot of Johnson and Johnson by September 27.

Will my face-to-face classes provide a remote option for me after September 27?
The SUNY mandate requires that we remove unvaccinated students from face-to-face classes.  However, some of our face-to-face classes offer fully remote options for students.  In those cases, the College will work with faculty if an unvaccinated student wishes to use all remote options for the remainder of the semester.  In those class sections, faculty will be provided a list of students who may only continue in the class if they are taking part fully remotely. Please note that most of our face-to-face classes do not offer fully remote options, and faculty are not required to provide fully remote options for face-to-face classes.  Do not assume that you will be provided a fully remote option if you have signed up for a face-to-face course.  Instead, review the course outlines and confirm with your professor if this option is available.  

May I take a face-to-face course until September 27 and then switch to a fully remote/online course?   
No.  Students may not switch sections after our drop/add period.  Students may sign up for late start 10 week classes, but those are new courses and any work done in other classes would not carry over.

What will happen if I do not show full proof of vaccination by September 27?
You will be dropped from face-to-face courses, removed from our residence halls, and not allowed to utilize any of our campus facilities.

What if I lost my vaccination card? You can either download an app for your phone that will validate your vaccination status OR access a digital version of your proof of vaccination with the Excelsior Pass Plus. You can do both of those things at https://epass.ny.gov/home - a screenshot of your Excelsior Pass is an acceptable form of proof of vaccination for this purpose. You will need to know some basic information such as the county where you received the shot and the dates of your first (and if needed) second dose to access your validated pass.

If you still have your paper card, it is recommended that you take a photo of or scan both sides of your card so you will always have a digital copy of it.

Does the vaccine requirement apply to CollegeNow students? This requirement does not apply to students taking courses in their high school.  This mandate applies only to students taking courses and utilizing our facilities.  So, a student taking CollegeNow courses at their local high school would have to follow the health protocols of their high school.

The College has implemented vaccine requirements, and mask mandates, but what are the cleaning protocols for classrooms?
The College will be disinfecting classrooms on a daily basis, which is in-line with SUNY requirements.

I want to get vaccinated ASAP. Where can I go to get vaccinated? Most local pharmacies are now offering the vaccine, so you can check in with your local doctor or visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ - this site also allows you to search the entire United States as well as filter by the type of vaccine.

Do I need to continue to get tested now that the vaccine mandate is in place? Yes, unvaccinated students who come to campus will continue to be tested weekly until they show proof of vaccination.

Do I need to wear a mask on campus? The College is still enforcing the Tompkins County Health Advisory and requiring all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks in all indoor settings, unless you are alone in your office or private workspace.

 

 

ON-CAMPUS VACCINATION CLINICS

COVID Vaccination Clinic ad

A reminder that we will be hosting vaccination clinics on campus on Sept. 1 and 2. This will allow for any students that still need to be vaccinated to be able to conveniently do so during the first week of classes. Students that opt to get vaccinated at these clinics will be considered in compliance with the SUNY mandate. We are preparing quarter cards with the information that will be handed out at move-in and Orientation, and will be sharing details with our students this week.

FIRST DOSE CLINICS (make appointment at: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?OpID=C9235E660EE703B0E0530A6C7C16F12C )

  • September 1 from 1-4 p.m.
  • September 2 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

SECOND DOSE CLINICS (make appointment at: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?OpID=C9239D92CC90027AE0530A6C7C165F1C)

  • September 22 from 1-4 p.m.
  • September 23 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

These are also open to the public, so feel free to share this information with family and friends. These are NOT booster vaccination clinics.

BOOSTER SHOTS

Right now, booster shots are only recommended for a small set of people with specific immune-compromised conditions. You should contact your primary care physician for consultation to see if you meet the identified criteria. These are recommended for individuals who meet the criteria who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The vaccination mandate for students does not include booster shots.

More information on the criteria and how to schedule a booster shot can be found at:  https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid-19-update-vaccine-booster-shot-information

VACCINATION STATUS REPORTING

The College is encouraging faculty and staff to submit proof of vaccination through this online form: https://forms.office.com/r/9A8twmYCWp

IF YOU LOST YOUR VACCINATION CARD: You can either download an app for your phone that will validate your vaccination status OR access a digital version of your proof of vaccination with the Excelsior Pass Plus. You can do both of those things at https://epass.ny.gov/home - a screenshot of your Excelsior Pass is an acceptable form of proof of vaccination for this purpose.

MASKS INDOORS

The College is still enforcing the Tompkins County Health Advisory and requiring all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks in all indoor settings, unless you are alone in your office or private workspace.

 


Campus update - 8/2/21

All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are now required to wear masks when inside campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

With a spike in COVID cases over the past week, Tompkins County is now classified by as having “Substantial” community transmission, a category defined as having spread above 50 cases per 100,000 residents. Current CDC recommendations for these communities is for everyone to resume wearing masks in public indoor settings – including fully vaccinated individuals. The Tompkins County Health Department has also issued a recommendation for county employees to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

In the best interest of the health of our campus and community, the College will follow the TCHD and CDC recommendations and once again require masks be worn indoors on campus. This applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. This applies to all individuals on campus (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) and in all indoor spaces on campus, unless in a private, non-shared space (e.g., office) or when eating. 


 

Fall 2021 COVID Plans

Tompkins Cortland Fall 2021 Guidance PDF (updated 8-9-21)

COVID Reporting Dashboards

SUNY's COVID tracker
Tompkins County COVID resources
Cortland County COVID resources