COVID-19 Policies and Updates

Fall 2022 Update and FAQs (pdf) - updated 7/13/22
Fall 2022 COVID Policy Document (pdf)
COVID Vaccine Upload Information (pdf) STUDENTS ONLY

College logo and header for COVID update

Updated July 6, 2022

Summary of TC3 Fall 2022 COVID-19 Policies

  • All students taking any in-person classes must be fully vaccinated before the start of the Fall 2022 semester. Fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks after receiving the last dose of a two dose series or two weeks after receiving a one dose vaccine.
  • All students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to stay up to date on their boosters as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) per age group.
  • There is currently no mask requirement on campus. However, individuals are encouraged to continue to wear masks as a personal choice. We recommend that you make the decision that is best for your own health and wellbeing. Please support anyone’s choice to continue masking or to maintain social distancing, and be kind and respectful of everyone’s individual choices.
  • Students who have an approved exemption from vaccination are subject to mandatory weekly testing through the Health Center on campus. Faculty and staff who have chosen not to share their vaccination status are no longer required to test weekly.

Per updated SUNY and NYS guidelines for Fall 2022, Tompkins Cortland Community College continues to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students who will be attending classes on campus, using our facilities – including the Ithaca and Cortland Extension Centers, using classrooms at the TC3 Farm and Coltivare, or living in our residence halls. The initial vaccine requirement took effect on August 23, 2021. All who are eligible for a booster shot are strongly encouraged to stay up to date with all boosters.

Information about eligibility and CDC recommendations for booster shots can be found here:
https://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19vaccinefaq#boosterdoses

Students are expected to provide proof of vaccination – except those who have obtained approval for an exemption - before the start of the Fall semester, August 29. Students who wish to request a medical or religious exemption must contact Health and Wellness Services at healthcenter@tompkinscortland.edu or 607-844-8222 ext. 4487 and make the request no later than Friday, August 12. Residential students must be fully vaccinated before moving in to their on-campus apartment.

Students who are vaccinated, but not boosted, per SUNY and the New York State Department of Health, are encouraged to get their booster shot as soon as they are eligible.

CAMPUS RAPID TESTING

The switch to a campus rapid testing program allows for individuals to be immediately identified as positive and isolate accordingly.

What is the difference between a rapid test and a PCR test?

Rapid antigen tests are recommended for individuals who do not have symptoms, and are seeking quick results to identify infection or increase confidence that you are not positive for COVID-19. They are a simple self-administered nasal swab with results in 10 minutes.

PCR testing will continue to be available but should only be used by those who are symptomatic or have had a known exposure. A PCR test allows the test to successfully detect even the smallest amount of coronavirus genetic material in a sample. This makes it a highly sensitive and accurate test for detecting the presence of the virus, whether or not you are currently contagious. If you are symptomatic, a PCR test is preferred so that you can identity if your symptoms are from COVID-19 or another illness. If you know you have been exposed to a person who is positive, a PCR test is also preferred to determine presence of the virus before symptoms develop.

Return-to-Campus Testing & Surveillance Testing

There will be no required return-to campus or ongoing surveillance testing for Fall 2022, except for students who have a College approved medical or religious exemption.

On-Campus Testing

STUDENTS: Students can visit the Health Center (118A) during regular operating hours to pick up a rapid test if needed. PCR testing can be scheduled through the Cayuga Health System by making an appointment at https://cayugahealthsystem.org/. The Health Center can assist with arranging transportation to the site if needed. Testing is provided at no cost to students.

STUDENTS WITH RELIGIOUS OR MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS: Unvaccinated students who have received religious or medical exemptions must be tested weekly. Students should go directly to the Health Center (118A) to set up a recurring appointment to be tested.

FACULTY AND STAFF: PCR testing can be scheduled through the Cayuga Health System by making an appointment at https://cayugahealthsystem.org/. Rapid tests are widely available at local pharmacies. The Health Center will not be providing tests for Faculty and Staff.

What happens if I am positive when I test?

Please report your positive result to the COVID-19 Campus Team at reportcovid19@tompkinscortland.edu and isolate immediately.  Residence Hall students can isolate in their individual bedrooms. DO NOT come to campus if you have tested positive from any form of testing.

For additional information on isolating at home, please see this link:

https://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health/factsheets/coronavirusfaq#isolation

 

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 all of your required or desired 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.  

If you choose all online classes, you must also register yourself as a fully online student and complete an attestation at the Health and Wellness portal here https://tompkinscortland.studenthealthportal.com.

I’m vaccinated, but not boosted – can I come to campus or take in-person classes?   
Yes. The current mandate is that students be vaccinated with the original one or two dose vaccine. However, all who are vaccinated, but not boosted, per SUNY and the New York State Department of Health, are encouraged to get their booster shot as soon as they are eligible.

Where can I read more about the SUNY policy and the vaccine mandate?

The official announcement for the August 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  SUNY’s Spring 2022 guidance is here: https://www.suny.edu/campus-reopening/

We will post links to the Fall 2022 SUNY guidance when it is made available online.

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. The types of classes you are taking do not change this requirement. Students can live in residence halls and begin classes if they are vaccinated but not boosted, and are strongly encouraged to get the booster shot when eligible.

I am unvaccinated and I am only taking online classes, may I come to campus to utilize support services?  
Unvaccinated students should not come to campus to utilize support services. We do offer a variety of online/remote services to help fully online/remote students.  You must also register yourself as a fully online student and complete an attestation at the Health and Wellness portal here
https://tompkinscortland.studenthealthportal.com .

If a need arises for you to come to campus for a brief period of time (sign a form, pick up a book, etc.) you should make an appointment to do so whenever possible and wear a mask when you come to campus.

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 contacting the Health and Wellness Services at 
healthcenter@tompkinscortland.edu or 607-844-8222 ext. 4487 no later than Friday, August 12.  Please note that all exemptions must be approved, and a request is not a guarantee of an exemption. Students will also be required to provide supporting documentation.  

I am participating in a one-time BIZ workshop, do I have to be vaccinated?

One day or short-term workshops are not subject to the vaccine mandate. You should check with the instructor of the workshop for any additional requirements per class or workshop.

How do I submit my proof of vaccination and booster shot? 

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 I already submitted proof of vaccination, do I have to go in again to provide proof of my booster shot? 

Yes. Students may submit proof of COVID-19 booster 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.

What if I lost my vaccination card?  

You can download an app for your phone that will validate your vaccination here: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/excelsior-pass-and-excelsior-pass-plus - 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 got your vaccine or booster dose at a pharmacy (like CVS or Walgreens) they may be able to provide an electronic copy for you.
  • 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 and booster 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.  A student taking CollegeNow courses at their local high school would have to follow the health protocols of their high school.  

Does the vaccine and booster requirement apply to BOCES P-TECH students?  

Yes. This mandate applies to students participating in programs that are utilizing our campus facilities. P-TECH students may request a medical or religious exemption by contacting the Health and Wellness Services at healthcenter@tompkinscortland.edu or 607-844-8222 ext. 4487.

The College has implemented vaccine requirements, and mask mandates when advised by the County, but what are the cleaning protocols for classrooms and other facilities?   
The College will be following a standard cleaning protocol and disinfecting classrooms on a daily basis, which is consistent with current SUNY and NYS DOH requirements.   

I want to get vaccinated or boosted ASAP, where can I go to get vaccinated or boosted?   

Most local pharmacies are now offering the vaccine and the booster, 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? 

  • Unvaccinated students - only students with medical (temporary or permanent) and religious exemptions - who come to campus must be tested weekly. 
  • Vaccinated but not boosted students are not required to participate in any testing at this time.

Do I need to wear a mask on campus?

There currently are no mask requirement for campus facilities, including residence halls, athletic facilities, and extension centers. Individuals are encouraged to continue to wear masks as a personal choice. We recommend that you make the decision that is best for your own health and wellbeing. Please support anyone’s choice to continue masking or to maintain social distancing, and be kind and respectful of everyone’s individual choices. Masks are also available at the Health Center on campus (118A).

Should I come to campus if I am symptomatic?

No. If you are ill at all, please seek guidance from your doctor and/or testing through the site at the mall to determine if your symptoms are from COVID-19 or another illness. Do not come to campus. You should also contact your professors if you are able to let them know you are ill.

What should I do if I take a home test and I am positive?

Do not come to campus. Please let the campus COVID-19 team know by emailing reportcovid19@tompkinscortland.edu and we will contact you to check-in. Students should work with their faculty members to stay current on academic responsibilities and faculty/staff should contact their immediate supervisor.  Counties in New York State are also asking that individuals self-report their home testing positive cases. For more information on home testing and reporting, please visit these links:

Tompkins County: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/factsheets/coronavirussamplingsite#selftest

Cortland County: https://www.cortland-co.org/432/Health-Department

Someone that I live with has tested positive for COVID-19– should I quarantine? Can I come to campus?

If you are vaccinated and boosted, you can continue to come to campus. You should wear a mask and monitor your symptoms. If you become symptomatic, then you should stay home and seek PCR testing immediately.

If you are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or vaccinated but not boosted, you should quarantine for 5 days and monitor your symptoms. If not symptomatic after your quarantine, you can return to campus and wear a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days.

Whom can I contact if I have any questions or wish to report a concern?

The College has established an email that can be used for any of the following reasons:

  • If a student self-reports to you that they are positive or in quarantine
  • If 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 and is listed in Outlook as “COVID19 Reports.”

 

Past Campus Updates

 

COVID Reporting Dashboards

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