Vaccinations Required for Faculty and Staff

Kalamazoo College is encouraged by the high number of vaccinations already reported on campus and will now require all faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with the vaccine series started no later than September 13, which is the first day of fall classes.

The decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations of our entire community is consistent with the College’s stated commitment of protecting our health and safety. The College continues to evaluate public health guidance, observe the impact of variants like the delta variant, and gather input from our community.

Colleagues who are fully vaccinated and already reported their vaccination information do not need to take additional action, other than following other College COVID protocols like masking and daily health screenings.

Colleagues who have started or completed their COVID vaccination process, but not yet reported their status, should submit their vaccination information to Human Resources as soon as possible.

Colleagues who have not yet begun the vaccination process, need assistance finding a vaccination location, or have questions about the vaccination requirement may visit the Human Resources site for more information.

Updated Mask Protocols

All Kalamazoo College employees, students, and visitors to campus will be required to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth while indoors in shared spaces, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, effective Wednesday, August 4, 2021. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, those who are feeling ill and those who would simply feel more comfortable doing so are strongly encouraged to mask outdoors as well.

In spaces that are not shared, such as single-occupancy offices, you do not have to wear a face covering if you are alone. Face coverings are required if another person enters the space. Shared interior spaces include but are not limited to classrooms, laboratories, hallways, points of service, offices, and all campus buildings.

This change to the previous face covering policy is based on CDC guidance recommending indoor masking for all personswhen COVID-19 case rates are substantial or high in a specific locale. Kalamazoo County’s level of community transmission has moved to “substantial.” 

Update to K’s Mask Protocols

Dear Students and Families,

We wanted to share with you that effective today, Kalamazoo College is requiring all employees, students and visitors to wear face coverings while indoors in shared spaces, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, those who are feeling ill and those who may feel more comfortable doing so are strongly encouraged to mask outdoors, as well.

This change to our previous face covering policy is based on CDC guidance recommending indoor masking for all persons when COVID-19 case rates are substantial or high in a specific locale. Kalamazoo County’s level of community transmission has moved to “substantial.”  

The College will provide more guidance on health protocols specific to student life (housing, athletics, etc.) over the coming days and weeks as we approach fall term. At this point in time, we do not foresee any significant changes to plans for housing, dining or class modalities, and health protocols will primarily focus on vaccination, masking and hygiene efforts.  The College will continue to monitor public health data and guidance from local, state and national health officials and we will relax or strengthen COVID-19 protocols as circumstances warrant. 

As it has been throughout the pandemic, the College’s top priority is the health and safety of students and employees. We have been able to limit COVID-19 cases on campus over the past 18 months because students, staff and faculty have overwhelmingly followed health protocols. Vaccination for those who are able and wearing face coverings when needed will be key to our continued success in limiting the spread of the virus and allowing us to move forward with our plans for in-person living and learning. By engaging in these behaviors, every one of us associated with the College can contribute to “Protecting the Hive.”

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you soon. 

J. Malcolm Smith
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson

COVID-19 Vaccine Reminder for Fall 2021

Dear K Students and Families:

We hope you are having a terrific summer. We’re writing today to remind you of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement that was communicated to students and families in the spring. All Kalamazoo College students will be required to be fully vaccinated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines* approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO). Fully vaccinated means you have completed the vaccination series at least two weeks prior to coming to campus. To meet this requirement, you would need to start a two-part series no later than August 1, 2021**. (For students who are scheduled to return to campus early due to athletics, LandSea or other commitments, please check with your organizations for vaccination deadlines.)

If you have been vaccinated in the state of Michigan, the College should be able to access your vaccination records and you do not need to submit any further documentation unless directly notified by the Student Health Center.

Anyone vaccinated outside of Michigan will need to submit a picture of their authorized vaccination card, with the dates and lot numbers easily visible, to no later than September 1, 2021.

If you have a CDC-approved medical reason for not being able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact the College at to request the waiver forms. Please understand that the College takes the health and safety of its community very seriously and very few waivers are granted. The waiver deadline is August 1, 2021.

Proof of vaccination or an approved waiver are required before a student may attend classes, move into residence halls or attend campus activities. Please be aware that if you are not vaccinated, you may not be able to participate in LandSea, study abroad/study away, or athletics, due to health protocols unique to those activities.

We’re confident the protocols we’ve put in place will allow us to return to the on-campus living and learning experience that K is well-known for, and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Stay healthy, stay safe,

Dana Jansma
Interim Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson

*Please note: If you are under 18, the CDC has approved the Pfizer vaccine only.

**The timing between your first and second shots depends on which vaccine you receive. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose.

  • If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot three weeks (or 21 days) after your first.
  • If you received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot four weeks (or 28 days) after your first.

Important Message on COVID-19 Vaccines

To Students and Families:

As we continue to plan for in-person living and learning next academic year, we are writing to share that Kalamazoo College will require students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus next fall. This will include any student who intends to live on campus, attend classes or engage in any in-person activities. We will grant limited exceptions for medical reasons, as we do with other vaccinations. 

The scientific evidence is overwhelming that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 and related serious outcomes. They are an important component in helping us return to a more “pre-pandemic” way of life on campus. We appreciate the many students, faculty and staff who have already received their vaccinations and voluntarily shared their status with the College; this information helps with planning and decision-making as we continue our gradual reopening. 

The health of our community is our number one priority, as it has been since the start of the pandemic. Our decision-making will continue to be driven by credible scientific data and public health guidance. We recognize some people may still have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. If you have general questions about the vaccines, please visit the CDC website or the FDA website for more information. 

In the weeks to come, we will communicate more details about K’s requirement, including how to register your vaccination and guidance for international students. Please watch your email or look for updates on the COVID-19 website as information becomes available.  

We look forward to welcoming our community safely back to campus in the fall. Thank you for “Protecting the Hive.”

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for Students

Kalamazoo College is thrilled to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. This vaccination opportunity is for ALL K students age 18 and older.

Thursday, April 15, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 
Thursday, April 22, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 
Hicks Student Center—Banquet Room

Register for your appointment by selecting an available time to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. Vaccine supply is limited.

By scheduling an appointment, please note:

  • You are committing to return 4 weeks later at the same time for dose #2.  This means an appointment on 4/15 and 5/13 OR 4/22 and 5/20.
  • Bring your health insurance card (or social security number if you do not have insurance) and a government-issued identification card.
  • Complete the consent forms OR arrive 5 minutes early to complete a paper copy.
  • You MUST wait up to 30 minutes after receiving the injection as a safety precaution.

Visit the Student Health Center website for more information.

Thank you for Protecting the Hive!

Vigilance Still Required! Protect the Hive.

Recent data from state and county public health officials are showing a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases in our area. The daily case count in Michigan is approaching levels last seen during the late November–January surge. On March 31, Michigan’s seven-day positivity rate for coronavirus diagnostic tests was 12.3% and on March 29, the rate in Kalamazoo County was 14.2%. (The goal is to keep positivity rates below 3% to reduce spread.) Additionally, variants of the coronavirus are becoming more prevalent, with Michigan (along with Florida) topping the list of states seeing the spread of those variants. Younger people are now being infected at a higher rate compared to previous surges, and hospitalizations have increased among younger populations that haven’t yet been vaccinated. Fortunately, K’s seven-day positivity rate remains low at 0.2%, thanks to everyone’s commitment to following our safety protocols. 

While vaccines will help a great deal in the long term, the data shows that in the short term, we need to double down on public health guidance about masking, distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene. With some states loosening restrictions and spring weather providing more outdoor activities, it’s going to be tempting to let our guard down; however, public health officials from the CDC to the local health department are imploring us to stay the course:

  • Mask up, back up and wash up. Please continue to follow K’s protocols inside and outside while on campus, even after you’ve been vaccinated. 
  • Get vaccinated when available. The COVID-19 vaccine is now open to all adults age 16+ in Kalamazoo County. While not mandatory, it is very strongly encouraged. The College will be hosting on-site vaccination clinics for students age 18 and older to be held on April 15 and April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please watch your email for more information, including how to register for an appointment. If students are unable to attend the clinic, we encourage you to sign up for other vaccination opportunities in the area, including the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department, Bronson Hospital, Rite Aid pharmacy, Meijer and Walgreens. You can also visit the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website to search for vaccine opportunities by county. Other vaccination opportunities may be available on campus at a later date; however, timing is dependent on vaccine availability.
  • The Campus Activity Level will remain at Orange. Until we see state and local data improve, we will stay at our current level.

Together we can continue to stop the spread. Thank you for Protecting the Hive. 

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson

Summer Housing

As we prepare for the final term of the academic year, we also look ahead to the summer. After reviewing campus resources, requirements imposed by the pandemic, and the historical need for summer housing, we have made the decision not to house students on campus for the summer. We believe this is the most responsible decision in the context of student health and safety, our top priority. We hope that we can return to a more typical summer program for housing students in 2022.

Departments that will employ or engage students in summer research may still do so, provided that public health guidance regarding physical distancing, masking and hand hygiene is followed. Specific information about summer research will be coming soon from the Provost to faculty.

We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson

Last Call: Sign Up or Opt Out

Thank you to everyone who has already scheduled COVID-19 arrival testing or opted out! For students who have yet to take action, we ask that you sign up or opt out by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 26, using the following links:

  1. Sign up for arrival testing (this applies to anyone who will be on campus at any time for any reason during the term, and includes students who are staying on campus over spring break).
  2. Opt out of testing (this only applies to students who do not plan to be on campus at all in the spring).

Remember, if you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, you still need to participate in arrival and surveillance testing if you are planning to be on campus at any time during spring term.

Students who miss scheduling their COVID-19 test and hope to walk in to an appointment may experience wait times, as scheduled appointments will be seen first.

One last reminder: As it is spring in Michigan and the weather could be unpredictable, please dress appropriately in the event that you may need to wait outside. 

Thank you for Protecting the Hive. 

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson