Chestnut Hill College is Mask Optional Starting April 22nd
Dear Chestnut Hill College Community,
Earlier this morning, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) announced that they are rescinding the mask mandate implemented on Monday, April 18th. This decision was made citing a decline is hospitalization rates and a leveling off in the previous rise in cases. PDPH still recommends wearing masks indoors. Please note that the mask mandate has also been lifted by SEPTA.
Effectively immediately, masks are no longer required on campus. We recognize that the many sudden changes regarding masking are confusing and we will continue to do our best to provide our community with the most up to date information. We appreciate the flexibility you all have shown throughout the pandemic and look forward to once again seeing more smiling faces on campus.
Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
Chestnut Hill College Updated Vaccine Policy
Chestnut Hill College has updated its COVID Vaccine Policy and will now require all members of the community to get a booster shot, with the exception of those who have an approved exemption. In order to help facilitate this process, CHC, in partnership with Giant Pharmacy, offered an on-campus clinic on February 17th with Giant Pharmacy, offering both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Our vaccine policy is in alignment with CDC, FDA, and American College Health Association guidelines. We are implementing this policy because we are confident in the scientific evidence to date that widespread vaccination is safe and effective to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including spread by the more highly infectious variants of virus such as the alpha and the new delta strains. The addition of the booster is essential given the current rampant spread of the Omicron variant.
Our mission of a, “transformative holistic education, just relationships, innovative thinking and responsible action toward a more unified society and sustainable Earth,” is best delivered through personalized, in-person opportunities. These educational offerings are safer for all members when there are high rates of community vaccination. With the exception of our students who choose fully online programs, we know that our faculty, staff, and students value a Chestnut Hill experience that can be found through in-person learning and gathering safely with peers, and we look forward to offering that this spring.
The complete Chestnut Hill College COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available online at https://www.chc.edu/vaccination-policy.
Key details are outlined below:
- Proof of vaccination or request for exemption must be uploaded to myCHC. Faculty, staff, and students will see a COVID Vaccine Verification link on the left nav (or the red and white arrow on the bottom of a mobile device) upon logging into myCHC. Members who have previously approved medical or religious exemptions are exempt from this policy. For those eligible to receive their booster, proof of booster vaccination is required by March 1, 2022. The CDC recommends a Pfizer or Moderna booster 2 months after the single dose J&J shot, 5 months after the second in the two dose Pfizer vaccine series, or 6 months Moderna after the second in the two-dose series. Those who are not yet eligible for a booster will have a 30-day grace period from eligible date to upload proof of a booster.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, and Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) are accepted. International students who have received a vaccine approved in their home country should provide this documentation for assessment on a case-by-case basis.
- Per local guidance, all individuals, vaccinated or not, are no longer required to wear face coverings while on campus. The College is mask optional as of March 4th, 2022. For those choosing to wear a mask, beginning in February, FREE N95 masks are available in a series of pharmacies and health centers. Individuals are permitted to pick up three masks per person. It is recommended that you call ahead to make sure the pharmacy has received its shipment and has masks in stock.
- Chestnut Hill will not require short-term visitors - including prospective students and families, speakers, and event attendees - to provide proof of full vaccination. All visitors will be notified of Chestnut Hill’s vaccination policy which reinforces that those individuals who are not fully vaccinated must follow CDC guidance for unvaccinated individuals. The exception to this assertion is any event at which food is being served. Beginning on January 3, 2022, Philadelphia implemented a vaccine mandate for indoor dining. Proof of vaccination or an approved exemption will be required for outside guests at any indoor event that serves food.
- Occupancy limits and social distancing guidelines will be lifted for Spring 2022.
Additional resources, including links to the Center for Disease Control, as well as local guidance, have been compiled on our CHC COVID-19 Resources page. Note: Beginning January 18th, residential households in the US can order free at-home COVID tests (see below). Insurance providers must also cover the costs of tests purchased over the counter; policies and procedures vary by provider so you should check with your insurance if you would like to purchase tests.
For additional questions related to CHC’s return to campus or vaccination policy, please contact COVIDVaccine@chc.edu.