The decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students of Doane University was made to help keep our community safe and provide students with the experience we promise. We’re joining nearly 600 other higher educational institutions in making this call, including two other Nebraska universities.
Throughout summer 2021, we have been monitoring CDC guidelines, state and local infection rates, and vaccination rates, all of which have factored in making this decision. The experiences Doane is known for — our close relationships with students and faculty, our campus events, our athletic and performing arts programs — are far less likely to be interrupted due to quarantines if a majority of our campus populations are fully vaccinated.
Students can request an immunization exemption or extension with additional responsibilities for COVID-19 testing and reporting.
Masks are required indoors. Exceptions include: your private residence or office; residence halls; when eating in the dining hall and other eating areas; while exercising in Haddix or Fuhrer Field, or participating in athletic activities. Starting Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, masks will be available in building entrances. All individuals will wear masks for group travel in buses, vans, cars, etc.
Our aim is to return to seeing faces, so we are committed to evaluating weekly whether masks will continue to be required based on area transmission designations. As soon as we are able to, our intention is to return to an experience that is as normal as possible. Updated (Jul. 27, 2021) CDC guidance recommends: “If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a significant known exposure to someone with COVID-19 (15 consecutive minutes without a mask and no physical distancing) you will be asked to stay home and not report to classes. Students should notify their professors via email or phone if they do not feel well and use the following guidance:
Crete Campus: Students attending classes on the Crete campus who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had a significant exposure, should self-isolate with a mask on and contact Student Health Services for further guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-826-8265. Students should not attend classes, practices, or activities until cleared to do so by the Student Health Office personnel.
Lincoln or Omaha campus locations: Students attending classes on the Lincoln or Omaha campus locations who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or unvaccinated students who have had a significant exposure are advised not to report to campus. They should self-isolate and contact their medical provider for further guidance. If a vaccinated student is exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 and remains asymptomatic, they will not have to quarantine and may attend classes, but are asked to self- monitor for 10-14 days for symptoms after exposure. Faculty should report ill students to the Lincoln (email@example.com) or Omaha (firstname.lastname@example.org) Campus Directors.
Fully vaccinated employees who are exposed to the coronavirus no longer need to be tested or quarantine if they remain asymptomatic. Exposures should still be reported to the HR department (email@example.com), and if symptoms develop, the employee must stay home and contact HR for more guidance.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated that have come into contact with someone that has COVID-19 will need to notify Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org), quarantine for 10 days from date of exposure and test if they become symptomatic.
Employees that test positive for COVID-19 should contact the HR Department (email@example.com) and will need to isolate at home from the onset of symptoms for 10 days. After the 10 days, employees can return to work as long as symptoms have improved and they are fever-free for 24 hours without Tylenol or ibuprofen.
Students have the option to seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement due to medical or religious reasons. Requests will be reviewed by the university’s offices of student health and student experience.
Students who do request an exemption or extension will be required to receive routine COVID-19 testing, and participate in a 10-day quarantine per CDC guidelines if a test returns positive.
A temporary medical circumstance that requires a delay in vaccination.
A desire to defer the COVID-19 vaccination until the FDA issues full approval, rather than emergency use authorization.
Testing positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days (documentation of the positive test will be required).Submitting an extension request does not exempt a student from the vaccine requirement. Individuals will have four weeks from the end of the circumstance that prompted the extension request to complete their vaccination requirement. For any student that has tested positive, vaccination or exemption/extension is still required 90 days after receiving their positive test.
It is important to us to protect the health and safety of all our students and employees. Whether a student is living on our Crete campus or attending classes after work on any Doane campus, this requirement helps protect them as well as others in our community.
Acceptable vaccines for coronavirus include Comirnaty (formerly known as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine), which received approval by the FDA on Aug. 23, 2021; those approved for emergency use by the FDA (Moderna, Johnson & Johnson); and any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization for international students. For students who have only received the first of a two-part vaccine (Comirnaty and Moderna), the second dose must be received by or before Sept. 9, 2021.
If a vaccinated student is exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 and remains asymptomatic, they will not have to quarantine. If an unvaccinated student is exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, they will have to quarantine regardless of whether they demonstrate symptoms.
Faculty will not need to prepare simultaneous lesson plans for in-person and remote learning students (unless this is already a part of their course curriculum). Students who miss class for quarantine and isolation will need to work individually with their professors and instructors to determine how to keep up with coursework.
Unvaccinated Crete students will also be required to participate in random testing throughout the academic year. An antibody test will not be allowed.
If a test returns positive at any point during the academic year, we require students to take appropriate measures as determined by the CDC. Students should upload any test results to either the Student Health Portal (Crete) or WebAdvisor and, if the test is positive, remain in isolation for a total of 10 days before coming to campus.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/your-vaccination. At this webpage, you will be able to learn about why the currently available vaccines are safe and effective, how to get a vaccination, what vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the FDA, and how you can prepare for your vaccination.