Covid19
Fall 2022 COVID Community Outlook Web Director | April 5, 2022

To the Thomas College Community, 

Nothing is more important to the College than fulfilling the promise of our mission to prepare our students for success in their personal and professional lives and for leadership and service in their communities.  Over the last two years, we have faced the trials and challenges of delivering on that promise during an unprecedented global pandemic while prioritizing our commitment to protecting the health and safety of our community. 

I am deeply proud of how we overcame obstacles in our way—mastering new technologies, adapting to COVID policy changes, and—with our Terrier hearts—supporting one another emotionally, spiritually, and physically.   

Today, thanks to effective vaccines and mitigation efforts, the prospect for returning to a pre-pandemic footing is a hopeful one and the College can now begin to plan what our on-campus experience will look like this fall.   

If the hopeful trends we are seeing today in infections and hospitalizations continue, beginning July 1, 2022, the College will adopt a series of new COVID policies informed by our partners in the Maine CDC, local health and business leaders, and our partners in higher education. 

Effective July 1, 2022: 

VACCINATION POLICY 

  • All community members are required to be fully vaccinated unless they have received an exemption.  Per the CDC, fully vaccinated means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine (two-shots for Moderna and Pfizer, one-shot for J&J).  Should the CDC change their definition of fully vaccinated, the College will update their vaccination policy accordingly 
  • All community members are strongly encouraged to be up to date on their recommended doses.  Per the CDC, up to date means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster dose when eligible 
  • Medical and religious exemptions to the vaccination policy will be available for students, faculty, and staff.  For more information on exemptions, faculty and staff should contact Human Resources and students should contact the Health Center 
  • Student athletes will continue to follow NCAA and conference (NAC) rules as directed by athletic department 

COMMUNITY TESTING 

  • The College will, if circumstances dictate, require community members to participate in campus community testing 
  • The College has not yet determined its fall 2022 testing regimen 

MASKING 

  • The College will no longer require masks to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status 
  • The College will reserve the right to alter the masking policy at any time  
  • Regardless of vaccination status, individuals may continue to mask according to their comfort level 

CAMPUS ACCESS 

  • Campus guests will no longer be required to submit a screening form and Campus Security will not need to be notified.  Unvaccinated guests will remain masked when indoors 
  • The signs limiting public access to campus will be removed and campus facilities (fields, trails, etc) will reopen to the public.  Unvaccinated members of the public will be asked to mask while indoors on campus 

Of course, as we have done all along, should circumstances require it, the College will quickly pivot to ensure the health and safety of our community.  

In March of 2020 we asked our community for patience and support as we sailed into the uncharted waters of the global pandemic.  These new COVID-19 policies will guide our college back to the known waters and friendly harbors we last saw over two years ago.  While we will return a changed and weathered community, we will also return with a profound appreciation for the power a unified and caring community can possess to overcome even the biggest challenges and buoyed up by a new understanding of the depth of our own strength that the pandemic revealed in each of us.

With deep respect, 

Laurie G. Lachance, President 

Laurie G. Lachance
President
180 W River Rd, Waterville, ME 04901
www.thomas.edu

COVID Policy FAQ 

WHY IS THE COLLEGE ANNOUNCING THESE SUMMER POLICY CHANGES NOW? 

  • Thomas generally evaluates and updates its COVID policies to align with the federal and Maine CDC and current circumstances in the state of Maine 
  • Our goal remains to create as “near-normal” college experience as possible while still abiding by Maine CDC guidelines and safeguarding the health and safety of our community 
  • We want to inform new and returning students so they know what to expect on campus this fall 
  • We want to allow new members of our community ample time to submit all necessary paperwork prior to the start of the fall semester  

WHY IS THE COLLEGE NOW ALLOWING BOTH RELIGIOUS AND MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS TO THE COVID VACCINE POLICY? 

  • The transmission and infection rate in Maine is much lower than the start of the fall 2021 and spring 2022 terms, reflecting a lower risk to the general campus community 
  • Our community is now 98% vaccinated, creating a safe, highly vaccinated environment to allow for religious and medical exemptions for students, faculty, and staff

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF COVID CIRCUMSTANCES IN MAINE CHANGE? 

  • The College reserves the right to modify its COVID policies at any time to ensure the health and safety of our community 
  • The College routinely consults with the Maine CDC, partners with MaineGeneral, and local business leaders to ensure we are acting on the latest and most well-informed data when creating our policies 

HOW WILL EXEMPTIONS BE REVIEWED AND APPROVED? 

I HAVE A QUESTION NOT LISTED HERE 

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