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.” 

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
Provost

COVID-19 Testing Available for Students

The Student Health Center will provide nasal swab PCR diagnostic tests for COVID-19 to students who are ill or are concerned they have been exposed. These highly accurate tests look for the virus’s genetic material. Please call 269.337.7200 to schedule. Your health insurance will be billed for the test. Test results will take 2-3 days.

Feeling Sick?

If you are concerned about COVID-19, you can access COVID screening questions in your MyChart.

  • MyChart Website: Under QUICK LINKS-COVID-19 Daily Symptom Checker
  • MyChart App: Symptom Checker

You can contact the Student Health Center by MyChart or phone for an appointment.

After the Student Health Center is closed, you can:

  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
  • If you need to speak to a resident doctor on call at the Family Practice Clinic at WMed 24 hours a day, you can call 269.337.6500. Be sure to identify yourself as a Kalamazoo College student.
  • Visit the State of Michigan website for a list of local COVID-testing locations.
  • Visit the Student Health Center website for a list of medical transportation options.

If you need to quarantine or isolate, visit the Student Health Center isolation and quarantine plan for more information.

Ventilation Plan

Strategy

As scientists learn more about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, it is clear aerosolized virus from exhalation plays a primary role in transmission.  The operation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems can help reduce the concentration of virus, thereby reducing the risk of transmission.  This is done primarily through increasing the amount of outside air introduced into a building through its HVAC system’s outdoor air intake.  However, underconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly harmful or lower their resistance to infection.  Therefore, modifications to the amount of outside air must not exceed the system’s ability to condition the air.  The College is following the guidance provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in implementing operational modifications to help mitigate the risk of exposure.  

Methods

Increased Percentage of Outdoor Air

All campus buildings with central air handling will be set to increase the percentage of outdoor air intake to the point that the HVAC system can still condition the air.  Occupants can expect that this increase in fresh air will have an impact on the ability of the system to control temperature and humidity and should plan for less thermal comfort.  The amount of fresh air that can be introduced into the building will vary in accordance with outdoor air conditions.  Opening windows in these buildings is discouraged, because this will further impede the ability of the HVAC systems to condition the air.

Central Air Filtration

All buildings are receiving new filters prior to the beginning of the academic year.  These are high quality filters that meet the design specifications of the system in which they are used.  They are not in all cases HEPA filters, which capture particles down to .3 microns.  This is because that level of filtration may impede that system’s ability to draw air through the filter, negatively impacting the system’s ability to circulate air.

Forced Air System UV Treatment

For buildings with residential type forced air systems, UV treatment modules are being installed at the furnace.  This will expose the air to UV light as it passes through the furnace, which has been shown to kill the virus.

Local Electrostatic Air Purification

In special situations, where increasing the outdoor air may be difficult, or the virus load is more localized, electrostatic air purification units will be installed.  For instance, singing is known to project exhalation further, so spaces used by groups for this purpose will have stand-alone electrostatic air purifiers.   

Single Occupancy – Radiant Heat Only

Some buildings on campus, typically residence halls, do not have centralized air handling, only radiant heat.  These buildings have exhaust fans that exchange air in bathrooms, but individual bedrooms have only heating radiators.  In these cases, each bedroom has only one occupant, and they have control over who enters the space.  Occupants are encouraged not to have guests.  These rooms also generally have operable windows that allow them to introduce fresh air directly, but they will need to cooperate with other occupants who may be affected through shared thermostat zones. 

Specific Buildings

The following is a list of buildings or building groups that will help occupants know what to expect in their specific circumstances. 

Admissions Center, Anderson Athletic Center, Arcus, Dewing Hall*, Fieldhouse, Fitness & Wellness Center, Hicks Center, Light Fine Arts*, Mandelle Hall, Stetson Chapel, and Upjohn Library Commons

This group of buildings all have centralized air handling.  Fresh air will be increased to the point where conditioning can still be maintained.  Occupants should expect that thermal conditions will be less controlled than normal.  Operable windows should NOT be opened.

* Dewing Hall: 3rd Floor Instructional Spaces, and Light Fine Arts: Singing and Wind Instrument Instructional Spaces: These specific spaces within buildings already listed above will have electrostatic air purifiers within the instructional spaces.  Thermal conditions will be less controlled than normal, as the main air handler will have increased outside air.

Dow Science

This building normally operates with 100% outside air due to the nature of the laboratory work within.  This will be operated as normal.

Olds-Upton

This building has central air-handling; however, the thermal conditioning is limited and the building houses sensitive scientific equipment.  To maintain conditioning, the outdoor air will be increased only moderately when possible, and electrostatic air purifiers will be operated in the instructional spaces.  Operable windows should NOT be opened.

Humphrey House

This building has a central make-up air unit, but thermal controls are dispersed in zones throughout the building.  Operable windows may be opened, occupants will need to cooperate with those in adjacent spaces.

Crissey, DeWaters, Harmon, Hoben, Severn, Trowbridge

This group of buildings does not have centralized air handling.  Bathroom air is exchanged with exhaust fans and bedrooms will be single occupancy.  Operable windows may be opened, occupants will need to cooperate with those in adjacent spaces.  Common spaces will be arranged to allow only socially distant occupancy and gatherings will be discouraged.

Living Learning Houses

Living Learning units in individual houses will have UV light treatment installed on their furnaces, these spaces will operate as normal.  Operable windows may be opened, occupants will need to cooperate with those in adjacent spaces.