Since the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted our community in March 2020, Chestnut Hill College has committed to four guiding principles in decisions related to living and learning on campus: 1) the expertise of scientists and medical experts, 2) the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), 3) the health and safety of our community, 4) and a care for our dear neighbors that grows from our mission of inclusion. In this spirit, and in keeping with decisions to date, the College will require COVID vaccines for all faculty, staff, and students for Fall 2021. This includes both full and part-time faculty and staff, as well as students enrolled in all three schools (School of Undergraduate Studies, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Graduate Studies). There will be limited exemptions for medical, religious, and philosophical reasons (described in detail below). In addition to the personal and communal health benefits, we believe the reception of the vaccine is an act of mercy and an act of charity for the dear neighbor.
While it was wonderful to have a percentage of our community in-person for Spring 2021, we know that a world governed by mitigation efforts and social distancing is not the ideal environment for true immersion in the college experience. Vaccines not only protect the individual against contracting or being significantly ill from COVID, they also protect the community against spread. Requiring the vaccine will allow us to return to the experience our students expect at Chestnut Hill College; one that is hands on, personalized, and characterized by a highly engaged curricular and co-curricular experience.
The information contained on this page has been updated to comply with the COVID vaccine mandate issued by the City of Philadelphia for all colleges and universities.
Please read this page, including the FAQs at the end, carefully. It contains important details regarding the Chestnut Hill College COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
Reporting Vaccination Status
A feature is being added to myCHC that will allow individuals to submit proof of full vaccination. This document uploader went live on July 12, 2021; details about how to upload documents will be forthcoming. Proof of vaccination or an approved exemption will be required for all members of our community. The deadline for submission of either proof of vaccination or exemption form for students was August 15 and deadline for faculty/staff was August 2. If you have not yet submitted your information, please do so immediately.
Fall 2021 Expectations Please note these are subject to change based upon evolving guidance from the CDC and PDPH.
· Per the PDPH mandate for higher education, ALL individuals, both vaccinated and not, will be required to wear face coverings while on campus.
· Occupancy limits and social distancing guidelines will be lifted for Fall 2021.
· Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing, unless guidance from the NCAA requires this for student-athletes.
· Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine or participate in contact tracing due to a possible exposure. If a vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID they will then be subject to isolation and contact tracing.
Chestnut Hill Vaccination FAQs
Why is Chestnut Hill implementing a vaccination policy?
- 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. 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 fall.
How do the vaccine requirements align with Pennsylvania health guidelines?
- In April 2021, Governor Wolf issued a statement urging college students to be vaccinated with the goal of providing more in-person learning opportunities. Every decision we have made at Chestnut Hill has been guided by science. Our vaccine policy is in alignment with CDC, FDA, and American College Health Association guidelines. In August 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health instituted a vaccine mandate for all area colleges and universities, of which Chestnut Hill College falls under.
How do members of the Chestnut Hill community provide proof of vaccination?
- MyCHC has been updated to include instructions to submit proof of vaccination.
Which vaccines are accepted?
- Any FDA-approved vaccine, including the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccines below, as well as any that receive full biologics license approval in the future:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)
International students who have received a vaccine approved in their home country should provide this documentation for assessment on a case-by-case basis.
When is a person considered fully vaccinated?
- COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. According to the CDC, it typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, or 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
Are other vaccines required for students?
- Yes, other vaccines are required for students to enroll at Chestnut Hill. They include:
- Two M.M.R. vaccines
- Hepatitis B vaccines
- Tetanus vaccine (within the past 10 years)
- Meningitis vaccine
How do I request a medical or religious exemption?
- Individuals who meet the criteria for a medical or religious exemption will be required to submit the COVID-19 Vaccination Waiver Request available on myCHC. This Waiver Request provides full details on the documentation required to request a vaccine exemption. Those who are granted vaccine exemption will be provided detailed testing, contact tracing, and quarantine requirements. Un-vaccinated individuals will be required to wear face coverings while indoors.
What should I do if I'm vaccinated but others in my household are not?
- We know there are cases where members of the same household may not all be vaccinated due to those with young children who cannot be vaccinated yet or those with medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated. Currently, the CDC notes that we are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms. Early data shows that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19. If you are vaccinated, but others in your household are not, please use your discretion while on campus.
Will Chestnut Hill offer COVID-19 booster shots if they become necessary?
- It will be required that individuals maintain full vaccination status based on the guidelines of the vaccine they received; it is not yet known if this will include the need for booster shots. To the extent possible, Chestnut Hill will make necessary efforts to offer booster shots on campus or at an off-site location.
Will I have to isolate if I test positive for COVID-19?
- Yes, those who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate in line with CDC guidance.
Will I have to quarantine if in close contact to someone who tests positive if I am fully vaccinated?
- Consistent with current CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with a known COVID-19 positive individual will not need to quarantine.
How will Chestnut Hill ensure the privacy of students, faculty, and staff who qualify for a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination policy?
- Chestnut Hill will not disseminate vaccine status information. In addition, the process to determine whether a person qualifies for a medical or religious exemption shall be confidential.
How will this policy affect campus visitors?
- 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 both vaccinated and not, must follow CDC and PDPH guidance which includes wearing a mask. Those who are not vaccinated, are also advised to practice social distancing while on campus.