We are very pleased to announce that this Fall, life in our community will move steadily toward normal.

As President Dlugos expressed to our 2021 graduates at Saturday’s Commencement, this will not be a return to the old normal, but will look and feel like something new – offering the best of pre-COVID campus living and learning, but also reflective of the ways the global pandemic continues to shape our lives. Below, we have outlined the parts of this new reality that we can define now. Other aspects will become clearer later this summer.

Our confidence in our community’s ability to move to this new normal is based on a few critical factors. First, we are heartened by the success of the vaccine rollout in Maine, which currently has the fourth highest vaccination rate in the nation. Next, the guidance we continue to receive from the Maine CDC is trending toward looser restrictions as vaccination becomes more widespread. Finally, we are putting in the safeguards described below, which will ensure that our campus community reaches and sustains “community immunity” – a lynchpin of our planning.

Like everything about this pandemic, preparing for life after it will take all of us working as one community. Please read the following four guidelines carefully. The PRT has weighed each one over the past weeks and months, and together they will ensure that SJC remains the safest experience it can be:

1. Saint Joseph’s will require a COVID-19 vaccine to live or learn on campus, or work for the College.

We will be putting public health first, requiring campus and commuter students, all staff, and campus and online faculty to be fully vaccinated against this deadly virus. This measure puts SJC among a growing number of colleges and universities (including all of the members of the Maine Independent College Association) requiring vaccination, and follows American College Health Association recommendations. We did not make this decision lightly, but like masks, social distancing, and sanitation, it maintains our practice of using the best tools available to keep our community safe.

Vaccination deadlines are as follows:

  • All employees of the college, and any student returning for campus activities before August 27th, must submit proof of final vaccination by July 1, 2021.

  • All residential and commuter students arriving on or after August 27th must submit proof of final vaccination by August 1, 2021.

Final vaccination means your last shot. However, you will not be considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving a second dose of a two-dose series (such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) or a single-dose series (such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

IMPORTANT: Our Health and Wellness Center will be processing all completed vaccination cards, which must be submitted by the dates above. Please use this encrypted Google form to enter your vaccine information and upload an image of your completed vaccination card.

If the available vaccines require a booster shot at any point during the school year, we will also require this necessary protection, and do our best to provide them on campus.

For more information on the effectiveness and safety of the available vaccines, please visit our Vaccine FAQs provided by Cigna at the Prepared With Purpose site.

Medical and other exemptions from the vaccine will be considered on an individual basis. Students, if you require a medical exemption, please have your doctor fill out and sign this form, scan, and email it to healthcenter@sjcme.edu. Faculty and staff in need of a medical or sincerely held religious belief accommodation should contact Heidi Jacques in Human Resources.

2. Beginning August 30th, 2021, students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to participate in regular COVID-19 testing to access campus or take part in on-campus activities.

All community members, vaccinated or not, will be required to receive an entry test upon their return to campus for the fall semester.

Any student, staff, or campus faculty with a vaccine exemption will have mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing to maintain their access to campus facilities. While we expect that our vaccine requirement will bring us to community immunity status, we want to ensure that those who cannot be immunized are still aware of their condition and able to get immediate medical treatment to protect themselves and others.

3. We plan to hold all classes in person, unless directed otherwise.

We expect our classrooms to return to normal capacity limits, allowing all students to learn in person with their professors and classmates. If Maine CDC guidance recommends maintaining a 6- or 3-foot distance between desks, we will weigh that heavily in our planning. Our HyFlex system will be available for hybrid learning if we cannot reach normal capacity.

4. We will continue to follow Maine CDC mask guidance.

This fall, we hope to enjoy a mask-free environment once the school year begins, both indoors and outdoors. However, if the Maine CDC maintains or reinstates mask requirements for certain scenarios, the College will follow the advice of our public health officials in nearly all circumstances.

This summer, we will continue to require masks indoors at all times (unless in a private room or office with the door closed), and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Please stay tuned throughout the summer for more information on these and other guidelines and goals. Thank you as always for your commitment to keeping our community healthy and safe.

The SJC Pandemic Response Team

PS. If you’re near campus this summer….

Community Pharmacy will be conducting a COVID 19 Vaccination Clinic at the Windham Raymond Adult Education building located at 406 Gray Road, Windham, ME.  This clinic will be held on Wednesday May 19th and another clinic on Wednesday May 26th.  The vaccine clinic on the 19th will run from 09:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  The vaccine clinic on the 26th will run from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

Community Pharmacy will be administering both the Moderna (two-shot) and the Johnson and Johnson (one-shot) vaccines. Please use the links below to sign up for a time and indicate which vaccination you would like to receive.  If you choose to receive the Moderna vaccine your second appointment will be scheduled once you receive your first vaccination.  Attached you will find an informational sheet for both vaccines.  You will also find a Community Pharmacy consent form.  To expedite the process please print off and complete the consent form prior to your arrival.  Sign-ups will remain open until all of the available time slots are filled.  You will receive a confirmation email Monday night or Tuesday morning prior to your appointment.

This vaccine clinic is available to anyone 18 year of age or older.

May 19th Sign up- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdcCguHmTm2YMxCsW1hO5-o9Nt-vZHDHi4OLqJC5PzM2GldMw/viewform

May 26th Sign up- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSedLaBmdRLcbKh0WfWA0mI2VXAi0C6A1DAwzFjdPs_XFMpWIA/viewform