Vaccinations are required for students, faculty, and staff for the upcoming academic year. In May, we announced that all students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021-22 academic year except for those with an approved medical or religious exemption. On August 1, we announced that all faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 13, except for those with an approved medical or religious exemption. Members of the collective bargaining unit are required to be fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021.
Masks are now required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
This includes all Knox College buildings and spaces. There are several instances where it is not required or practical to remain masked at all times including:
The NCAA and Midwest Conference have protocols in place to allow athletic competition to resume this fall. Knox athletic teams and visiting teams are subject to those protocols. In some cases, student-athletes and/or coaches may not be masked during particular practice and competition activities.
Masks are not required outdoors, but are recommended in crowded outdoor settings, and when interacting with campus visitors.
All students will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival; those who have approved medical and religious exemptions will be tested twice weekly on an ongoing basis. New and returning students will be tested upon arrival, and those students and faculty and staff who have approved medical and religious exemptions will be tested twice weekly. We will share details of the testing process soon.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices are in place at Knox. Campus offices and residence halls will be stocked with proper supplies stations to refill hand sanitizer will be placed across the campus.
Visitor protocols are determined according to the following categories. Please review all categories carefully. When in doubt about the appropriate category, please contact your immediate supervisor.
Residential hall/other living spaces visitors: Visitors and guests (anyone other than a Knox student, faculty, or staff member) are NOT allowed in residential halls, theme houses, fraternity/sorority houses or any other on-campus living space. A one-time exception is being made for families on move-in day. Family members assisting with move-in must wear masks at all times, limit the time inside the residential hall, and limit the number of family members in the residential hall to only those essential for move-in.
The policy regarding residential hall and living unit visitors will be revisited near the end of September.
Day visitors to non-residential buildings: Speakers, performers, and alumni visitors fall into this category. These visitors are subject to the indoor mask policy. Prior to entering a non-residential campus building, visitors for the day must check in with campus safety and complete a form providing vaccination status. If a visitor is vaccinated, or unvaccinated and provides proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival on campus, they will receive a Knox wristband, and will be able to enter non-residential campus buildings.
Prospective students and their families: Prospective students and their families are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. They will be required to check in with admission. They are also encouraged to limit the number of family members who join them for their visit. Prospective students and their families will not visit residential halls, observe classes, or participate in overnight visits.
Repeat visitors to non-residential buildings: These visitors include ensemble members, community groups that regularly use our indoor facilities, or other members of the community who do ongoing research in our library. Members of this visitor category are subject to the indoor mask policy, and must be vaccinated. They will be required to check in with campus safety, complete a form and provide proof of vaccination and will be issued a lanyard and visitor pass which will include their name and date approved.
15 minutes or under visitors to non-residential buildings: These visitors include those delivering supplies, mail, or other items to campus. These visitors are subject to the indoor mask policy and must limit their time indoors to 15 minutes or under. Any time over 15 minutes will require following the day visitor policy.
Athletics spectator policies (with guidance from the NCAA and Midwest Conference) have been developed and are available on the Prairie Fire website. Please check the policies frequently as they are subject to change.
If you need more information on a topic or have questions that are not included below, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Confidential Vaccination Verification Form should be completed immediately; completion was due on Friday, August 6.
Full vaccination — defined as two weeks after the final dose — is to be completed as soon as possible, but no later than September 13, 2021. Members of the collective bargaining unit are required to be fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine protects you by reducing risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Getting vaccinated also protects people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Scientists have identified COVID-19 vaccinations as the key factor in reducing COVID-19 infections and allowing us all to return to a less restricted, more normal way of life. Not only do these vaccines reduce risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, they also limit the spread of the virus within communities. FAScom, Staff Council, and the Board of Trustees were consulted and supported this carefully considered decision.
Beginning the week of Monday, September 13th, all students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated are required to test twice weekly for COVID-19. RT-PCR COVID-19 testing is available on campus at the T. Fleming Fieldhouse Monday through Friday from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Twice a week testing should be spaced 72-96 hours apart. You do not need an appointment. *Prior to arriving for your test, you should avoid drinks, food, smoking, nasal sprays, teeth cleaning, and chewing gum for at least 60 minutes before sample collection. Test results should come to you by email in 1-2 days.
Yes! RT-PCR COVID-19 testing is now available on campus at the T. Fleming Fieldhouse Monday through Friday from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. You do not need an appointment. *Prior to arriving for your test, you should avoid drinks, food, smoking, nasal sprays, teeth cleaning, and chewing gum for at least 60 minutes before sample collection. Test results should come to you by email in 1-2 days. Testing is available to all faculty and staff. You should self isolate while you are waiting for your test results.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should stay home and self isolate for 10 days from the onset of your symptoms, or 10 days from the date of your positive test if you have no symptoms. Positive cases of COVID-19 should be isolated whether they are fully vaccinated or not. Please inform HR of your positive test result by calling 309-341-7137 or email email@example.com. They will work with you to determine a return to work date and inform your supervisor of your absence. They will also work in conjunction with the Health Department to determine any close contacts that may have arisen during your time on campus.
A close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 2 meters (6 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
If you are fully vaccinated and have come into close contact with a positive case, you do not need to quarantine. You can come to work, but should be tested 3-5 days following the date of your exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. You should isolate yourself if you test positive and if you develop symptoms while awaiting your test result.
A close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 2 meters (6 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
If you have a vaccination exemption and you have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should stay home for 10 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19. Please inform HR that you have been identified as a close contact at your earliest convenience. Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, you should stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Yes. Employees who have an approved exemption will need to get tested twice weekly on an ongoing basis.
Yes, you are still required to be vaccinated even if you were previously infected with COVID-19. Consult with your physician on the type and timing of your vaccine.
We will consider all options in the future that contribute to the safety of our community and all decisions will be informed by CDC and local health agency guidance.
Yes, every employee is allotted two hours of release time to receive each dose of the vaccination. If an employee experiences side effects from the vaccine that prohibits them from coming to work, they may use their accrued sick leave to cover their absence.
The CDC has provided information on contraindications related to COVID-19 vaccines. Your personal health care provider should help determine whether you have a health condition preventing you from getting vaccinated.
Current guidance does not recommend regular testing of fully vaccinated individuals, except in special circumstances. Fully vaccinated vaccinated individuals should be tested if they are symptomatic or may have been exposed to an infected individual.
You can fill out the form again with updates as your vaccination status changes.
No. Employees are required to complete the “Confidential Vaccination Verification Form” in lieu of showing proof of vaccination.
No, however, you may elect to share your vaccine status if you feel comfortable doing so. Please note that some people prefer not to disclose that information.
Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the FDA or by the World Health Organization ( read an up-to-date list) will be accepted.
People are considered fully vaccinated:
14 days after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
14 days after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
If you only receive one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you are not considered “fully vaccinated.”
Employees who are unable to wear a mask due to a documented health issue should complete a Face Covering Accommodation Form and return it to Human Resources.
Yes. Employees who have religious or medical exemptions will be tested twice weekly on an ongoing basis.
Employees are entitled to protections against discrimination based upon age, disability and a number of other protected categories. Such conduct could implicate the college’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policy. Others should not presume to determine if someone is at increased risk.
Employees should assess their own health with their health care provider to determine if they believe it is safe to come to work. Employees who learn of an increased risk factor for a coworker should maintain confidentiality about that information, only reporting it to the Office of Human Resources.
Employees who have depleted their sick leave balances should contact Human Resources to determine if they would be eligible to use any other type of leave. For other health-related absences, employees should follow regular procedures for using their sick time and requesting a leave of absence.
No. You cannot return to work unless you have a negative COVID test and are fever free for a minimum of 24 hours. If you test positive for COVID, you must be quarantined for 10 days from the start of symptoms or from the date of the test if asymptomatic. After 10 days, you may return to work if you have improving symptoms and have been fever free for 24 hours. Please refer to this list of COVID-19 symptoms, as needed.
Yes. Knox College provides benefit-eligible employees an Employee Assistance Program through Precedence Inc. that allows for up to five free mental health counseling visits each calendar year. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.