*last updated January 20, 2022
Siena College’s status as a fully vaccinated community and its ongoing commitment to necessary health and safety precautions will provide a strong defense against the coronavirus and ensure an uninterrupted, in-person college experience throughout the 2021-22 academic year.
Marching Forward outlines Siena's ongoing response to COVID-19.
Siena College will continue to deliver The Education for a Lifetime this spring with all classrooms, residence halls, dining areas and athletic facilities at normal capacity, and a full slate of in-person student clubs and sports. Our ability to withdraw most COVID-related protocols remains contingent on vaccination, and a fully vaccinated and boosted community is the best way to ensure we all are able to enjoy the full Siena experience.
SPRING 2022 UPDATES
As outlined in a January 5, 2022 email from President Gibson, all students are required to receive the vaccine booster once eligible. All students who are currently eligible for the booster must receive it before returning to campus for the Spring 2022 semester. For students who become eligible throughout the spring, the College will host a series of 10 on-campus booster clinics: January 27, February 3, February 10, February 17, February 24, March 10, March 31, April 7, April 25, and May 5.
Also, all students are required to receive a PCR (not rapid antigen) COVID test 5-7 days before returning to campus.
For more detailed information, please read the FAQs below.
Who is required to receive the vaccine booster?
All students are required to receive the vaccine booster once eligible (all adults who fully completed the initial Pfizer vaccine series five months ago, the initial Moderna series five months ago, or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago are eligible). We learned this fall that a flourishing Siena experience is predicated on a fully vaccinated community, and it is critical that we strengthen our immunity to limit the impact of the virus. All students who are currently eligible for the booster must receive it before returning to campus. For students who become eligible this spring, the College will be hosting a series of eight on-campus clinics for students throughout the semester, beginning on January 27. Students must upload an image of their updated COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to their student health portal. Once boosted, employees are expected to upload an image of their updated COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to Human Resources using this secure file submission.
Do I need to receive a PCR test before returning to campus?
Yes, all students are required to receive a PCR COVID test 5-7 days (ideally five) before returning to campus. Pre-entry PCR tests can be acquired at most pharmacies, among other locations. Use this resource to find a testing site near you. Please note, a rapid antigen test result will not be accepted for our pre-entry screening. Most testing sites allow you to schedule your PCR test several days in advance, so please plan accordingly and book your test date as soon as possible. Once you test, limit your risk of exposure to the fullest extent possible. Students who have tested positive within 90 days of campus arrival are exempt from testing, but must provide proof of their positive test. Student Life will email all students with more details, including information on how to submit your test results. If you are exhibiting any symptoms at all, please stay off campus until the symptoms subside.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine required by Siena College for the 2021-22 academic year?
Yes. Once the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech two-dose vaccine series last August, the College began legally mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all students and employees. Several exemptions were issued on medical and religious grounds.
Will the College be conducting testing?
Yes, the less than one half of one percent of students with College-approved exemptions will be required to test weekly (an increase over bi-weekly testing conducted in the fall) and wear their mask indoors.
Wastewater testing will be conducted every other week (an increase over monthly then tri-weekly testing conducted in the fall). Testing sites will be determined by our wastewater field team and the results will be posted to the Daily Digest and included on the Spring 2022 COVID-19 Dashboard (which will launch on January 24). Community members should be knowledgeable of wastewater status in their campus location and monitor for any emerging symptoms as appropriate.
The College is planning to provide rapid testing options on campus for asymptomatic students interested in testing during the spring semester.
Will the Siena community have to wear masks this spring?
Masking is, of course, welcomed and encouraged for all fully vaccinated community members desiring additional COVID protection during this high transmission period. For optimal defense, consider a filtering facepiece respirator, such as an N95 disposable mask designed for personal use, rather than a cloth mask. Respirators have better filtration and can provide a higher level of protection than cloth masks. All students are required to have a mask with them, and all faculty have the authority to mandate masking in their classrooms and labs at their discretion.
Is Siena tracking COVID cases on campus this year?
Yes. The College is maintaining a COVID dashboard as it did last academic year. The Spring 2022 COVID-19 Dashboard will launch on the first day of the spring semester, January 24.
If I am not vaccinated and I do not have a medical/religious exemption, will I be able to attend classes remotely?
If I am a fully vaccinated student but still want to wear a mask on campus, may I do so?
Of course. Masks are welcome for all who want to wear one, and are not an indicator of who is not vaccinated. All students are required to have a mask with them, and all faculty have the authority to mandate masking in their classrooms and labs at their own discretion.
What if I test positive for COVID-19 while on campus even though I am vaccinated?
Breakthrough positive cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated individuals are rare but they do occur. Those who test positive and their close contacts will be expected to follow the College’s quarantine/isolation protocols.
The College has a designated Ops Team to manage compliance with all aspects related to Marching Forward. You can reach the Ops Center at email@example.com or 518-782-5600.