Siena’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 returned to traditional delivery modes of instruction and campus activity for the Fall 2021 semester. We are delivering The Education for a Lifetime with all classrooms, residence halls, dining areas and athletic facilities at normal capacity, and are offering a full slate of in-person student clubs and sports. Our ability to withdraw most COVID-related protocols was contingent on vaccination, and a fully vaccinated community is the best way to ensure we all are able to enjoy the full Siena experience.
Once full/routine use approval was issued by the Food and Drug Administration for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Siena enforced its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all on-campus students and employees for the 2021-22 academic year. We thank the nearly 90 percent of students and employees who have fully completed their vaccine series and uploaded their vaccination cards, and we expect to reach fully vaccinated status (greater than 99 percent) in the coming days.
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 in 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 College is conducting bi-weekly mandatory testing of unvaccinated students (approved with official exemptions). Any unvaccinated employee must test bi-weekly on their own and submit their results to Human Resources.
The College is conducting monthly wastewater sampling.
Will the Siena community still have to wear masks and be socially distanced this fall?
Masks are required for those with a vaccine exemption, and may still be required for all attendees at some classes and gatherings. Otherwise, students and employees will not be asked to mask, though they are welcome to do so.
Is Siena tracking COVID cases on campus this year?
Yes. The College is maintaining a COVID dashboard as it did last academic year.
If I am not vaccinated and I do not have a medical/religious exemption, will I be able attend classes remotely?
What is the difference between “emergency” FDA approval and “full/routine” approval of the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines produced by different pharmaceutical companies were issued emergency approval by the FDA earlier this year to control the spread of the pandemic. Vaccination has proven extremely effective at protecting the public. Full/routine approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been granted by the FDA; other brands of the vaccine are still under emergency use approval but are considered safe and effective.
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. Employees are required to wear a mask indoors when fewer than six feet away from another person.
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.