COVID-19 FAQs - Fall 2022

Below, you'll find details on booster shot requirements and other updates regarding the College's COVID response.

Vaccines and Boosters

Will COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots be required for all students and employees?
Yes. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated. According to CDC guidelines, a person is fully vaccinated when they have received all doses in the primary series (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax), plus any recommended booster. There are certain medical and religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement.

How do I inform the College that I have been fully vaccinated?
As before, please email covidvac@wells.edu with a photo of your updated CDC vaccine card and/or other documentation of your booster shot, including the date and vaccine manufacturer. Please allow up to three business days for the College to update its records. 

Why are booster shots required?
While booster shots do not fully prevent “breakthrough” COVID-19 infections among vaccinated individuals, they provide significantly enhanced protection against hospitalization and death. Remember: it’s not just about your own health, but the health and safety of those you interact with on a daily basis—both on campus and off. 

I have completed my primary vaccination series. When am I eligible for a booster shot?
As of early January 2022, all adults age 18+ are eligible for a booster at the following intervals:

  • Two months after your initial J&J dose
  • Five months after your first two Pfizer or Moderna doses

What if I’ve received my primary vaccine doses, but have not yet had the booster? How often do I need to be tested on campus?
It depends on how long ago you received your initial COVID-19 vaccines. Anyone who received their second Pfizer/Moderna dose more than five months ago or their J&J dose more than two months ago must comply with our weekly testing requirement. Those not yet eligible for a booster are exempt from the weekly testing requirement. 

How long after getting the booster shot am I exempted from the weekly testing requirement?
The CDC states that individuals are considered "boosted" and up to date immediately following receipt of the booster shot  (more info at this link). Please send a photo of your updated vaccine card to covidvac@wells.edu so that we can update your vaccination records in our system. 

I’ve already had COVID-19. Should I still get a booster shot?
Yes—the New York State Department of Health and the CDC both recommend doing so, but please speak with your medical provider first. Scientific research is not yet clear on whether recovering from COVID-19 provides sufficient immunity to protect against reinfection.

Where can I get a COVID vaccine/booster?
There are a number of options in Central New York:

  • National/regional pharmacy chains, including CVS, Kinney Drug, Rite Aid, Tops, Walgreens, Walmart, and Wegmans
  • Independent pharmacies
  • New York state-run sites (click here to find a vaccination site near you)
  • You can also search for providers on the federal government’s vaccines.gov website, text your zip code to 438829, or call 800.232.0233 to find locations near you.

Does my booster shot need to be the same as the vaccine I received initially?
Please see current CDC guidelines. Click here for more info from the CDC’s website

Does Wells College provide students transportation to get vaccines/booster shots?
Yes! Our Transportation office coordinates regular trips to several locations in the area where vaccines/boosters are available. Students should contact Geoffrey Gabriel (ggabriel@wells.edu) prior to making a vaccine appointment. Transportation is provided at no charge. 

Vaccines and Boosters

What type of test does Wells College use for weekly testing?
Wells is using a rapid antigen test. These tests provide results in 15 minutes, which allows us to immediately begin the contact-tracing process in the event that an individual is diagnosed as positive.

How is a rapid antigen test different than a molecular PCR test?
While not quite as accurate as a PCR test, the chief advantage of the rapid antigen test is that results are delivered on the spot within minutes—whereas a PCR test is usually sent to a laboratory for processing and thus results can take 24 to 48 hours or more to be delivered. 

How often are members of the campus community tested?
In fall 2022, weekly testing will be required for the following individuals:

  • Those who received their J&J primary dose more than two months ago
  • Those who received their first two Pfizer or Moderna doses more than five months ago
  • Anyone who has been approved for an exemption to the vaccination requirement

Those who have received a booster shot will not be required to test on a weekly basis, except during specified times—such as the beginning of the semester, return from spring break, etc.—when testing will be mandatory for all individuals on campus.

I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I need to be tested weekly?
Those who have previously recovered from COVID-19 are exempt from weekly on-campus testing for 90 days following their initial positive test. (See next question for how to apply for a 90-day exemption.) This is because small numbers of virus antibodies are sometimes detected weeks or sometimes months after an infection, even if the individual is no longer symptomatic or contagious.

If I’ve had COVID-19, how do I apply for a 90-day exemption from the weekly testing?
Following the end of your isolation period, you will be exempt from the weekly COVID-19 testing requirement for 90 days if you notify the College and submit a NYS “Attestation of Isolation” form. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Download and print this attestation form.
  2. Fill out the form and sign it.
  3. Upload a copy of it, along with a photo of your positive test (if available), using this link.

Can I be tested upon request, even if it is not mandatory for me?
Yes. Any student, staff or faculty member can request to be tested during regular business hours. Please contact Geoffrey Gabriel, the College’s COVID-19 coordinator, at ggabriel@wells.edu.

Where else can I get a COVID-19 test in the area?
The College’s on-campus medical center can provide a PCR test upon request during regular weekday hours. Appointments are required; please call 315.364.3273 or 315.364.3388 for more info. Other options include:

  • Most pharmacies and health care providers that offer COVID-19 vaccines also provide testing.
  • The Tompkins County Health Department, in partnership with Cayuga Medical Center.  Visit cayugahealth.com for more details and to make an appointment.

This page was last updated on August 4, 2022.

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