Student COVID-19 Protocol

Every student must acknowledge reading this 2021 protocol, revised May 26, 2021.

From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, MTSO has pledged to follow the best scientific knowledge and respond to new facts and developments – specifically, guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With the wide availability of vaccines, our COVID-19 protocols are evolving as we seek the proper balance between safety and the strong desire to be together in community.

Beginning in the summer of 2020, all members of the MTSO community signed Healthy Together Protocols, which governed our practices throughout the fall and spring semesters. This new document replaces those protocols. Once again, all members of the community will be required to sign and abide by it.

Following these new protocols will allow us to safely relax our requirements regarding masks and distancing. With this new freedom come expectations that each of us is among others who are vaccinated when we are together. For that reason, we will require evidence of vaccination of students, employees and campus residents for on-campus participation.

This document reflects the current status of the pandemic as we understand it in anticipation of the summer of 2021 and the 2021-22 academic year. As we have throughout, we will pivot as needed in response to new realities.

Vaccination requirements

All students must be fully vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes, reside on campus or be present on campus for any reason at any time. All academic courses will be offered online through the Fall Semester and into the foreseeable future, giving unvaccinated students who wish to remain enrolled and attend class remotely the option to do so.

Unvaccinated students are prohibited from participating off campus in in-person meetings or public events at which they are recognized as or understood to be participating as MTSO students.

Currently, three vaccines are authorized and recommended in the United States to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Information on the safety and efficacy of these vaccines can be found at
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html.

Vaccination deadlines

Returning students: All returning students who are campus residents must be fully vaccinated – meaning two weeks past the final required dose of their chosen vaccine – by July 1. Returning non-resident students who intend to take classes in person or otherwise interact on campus must be fully vaccinated no later than Aug. 1, 2021.

New students: Newly enrolled students who intend to take classes in person, live on campus or otherwise interact on campus must be fully vaccinated – meaning two weeks past the final required dose of their chosen vaccine – no later than Aug. 20, 2021.

How to submit proof of vaccination

Either of the following is acceptable proof of vaccination:

  • A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
  • A vaccination record from a physician’s office or online health portal.

Instructions for submission: Cut a small piece of dark paper to cover only your date of birth on your CDC card or vaccination record. Attach a digital photo of the card to an email addressed to Registrar Lee Richards at
lrichards@mtso.edu.

Applying for an exception to the vaccination requirement

We don’t anticipate a need for exceptions to MTSO’s vaccination requirement. Students seeking exceptions of any kind must email President Jay Rundell at jrundell@mtso.edu or Dean Valerie Bridgeman at
vbridgeman@mtso.edu to schedule a meeting with President Rundell and Dean Bridgeman to discuss the request. For students who are campus residents, the meeting must take place by June 3. For non-residents, the meeting must take place by July 16, 2021.

Protocol for vaccinated individuals

Masking: Vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks either indoors or outdoors.

Distancing: Vaccinated individuals are no longer required to physically distance by 6 feet.

Grace around masking and distancing: Individual choices to continue masking and maintaining physical distance will be respected at MTSO. Further, each of us is encouraged to wear a mask if requested to do so by an individual with whom we are in extended close proximity.

Protocol for unvaccinated individuals

Those who are unvaccinated for an approved reason must observe the following.

Masking: Unvaccinated individuals must wear masks in common indoor spaces. When working alone in spaces with a door, masks may be removed. However, masks must be quickly accessible if someone should enter the space. Outdoors, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks when in close proximity to others.

Distancing: Unvaccinated individuals must continue to physically distance by 6 feet.

Campus environment

Surfaces: Recent epidemiological data indicate COVID-19 is not spread through physical contact with surfaces. Therefore, the use of public water fountains, coffee makers, ice machines, exercise equipment etc. is once again permitted across campus.

Signage: Restrictions have been eased in many places on campus, and many Healthy Together signs are being removed or revised. All are encouraged to continue to follow directions on remaining Healthy Together signs.

Termination of campus housing privileges

An unvaccinated returning campus-resident student who has not been granted an exception will be required to move to an off-campus residence no later than July 31, 2021.

An unvaccinated newly enrolled campus-resident student who has not been granted an exception will be required to move to an off-campus residence no later than Sept. 20, 2021.

Printable PDF of the protocol

Required acknowledgement

Each student is receiving an email from Registrar Lee Richards with a link to acknowledge reading this protocol via Populi.