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VACCINATION STATUS

Ringling College continues to respond to changing guidance and mandates, area transmission rates, and the current status of the campus community by taking a balanced approach to campus health. The balance between accessibility to campus, services on campus, personal choice, personal responsibility, and overall health and well-being of the campus community has led us to once again modify our health protocols.

Currently, all Faculty and Staff are required to share their vaccination status, and to provide a copy of their vaccination cards showing the type and date of each dose, if vaccinated. The disclosure options for vaccination status are: ‘Vaccinated,’ ‘Not Vaccinated,’ and ‘Prefer Not to Disclose.’

Required: To update your vaccination status, and to submit a copy (PDF or JPEG) of your vaccination card, please login here: VACCINE STATUS UPDATE

Testing protocols are subject to change when area transmission rates warrant.

Sharing your vaccination status remains confidential and the only information that will be shared is the aggregate total percentage of responses and vaccinated community members. This information is essential for the College to understand the health of, and potential risk to our community as it relates to COVID-19 planning.

Each member of the Ringling College of Art and Design community has an individual responsibility to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The College continues to strongly encourage all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and we appreciate those that have already done so. The College also recognizes, however, that not everyone can or will be vaccinated. 

In light of the low incidence in case numbers of COVID-19 among campus community members and risk assessments of the local communities, protocols for the Main Campus have been reevaluated, and the following guidelines are effective immediately:

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings in interior shared spaces, including classrooms, labs, or studios will now be OPTIONAL. However, faculty may request that students wear face coverings based on factors such as the opportunity for distancing and health concerns of faculty or student members in the class.
  • Face coverings outdoors are optional.
  • Face coverings should be worn to individual comfort level and everyone's choice to wear face coverings should be respected and supported.
  • Face coverings are REQUIRED in the following areas/circumstances:
    • Hammond Commons serving areas
    • Student Health Center medical areas
    • Film production areas
    • Large indoor gatherings, such as during Commencement ceremonies.

Testing

  • Scheduled testing of unvaccinated individuals and surveillance testing of vaccinated individuals is no longer required.
  • COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are available at no cost to campus community members who have signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or who have had a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 at the Student Health Center, Monday - Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, walk-ins welcome, no appointment needed.
  • Community members are encouraged to follow the CDC guidance based on their particular situation and community risk levels: COVID-19 Community Levels

We will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and may adjust our protocols if there is a substantial shift in campus and community case numbers, and/or a change to CDC recommendations. 

VACCINATIONS

Ringling College of Art and Design very strongly encourages all faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinations against COVID-19 have proven to be one of the most important tools in preventing infection and spread of the virus. Vaccinations are important in not only protecting the individual, but also for substantial protection for the overall community. Unfortunately, not everyone can or will be vaccinated—some due to underlying health conditions, some to religious observance, and others because of strongly held beliefs. 

Vaccination status is private. The Student Health Center has sole access to vaccination information provided by students, and the Office of Human Resources has access to vaccination information provided by employees. 

While COVID-19 vaccines are not required to be on campus, they are strongly recommended. Current vaccines that are CDC and WHO approved include: Pfizer, 

Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Astra Zeneca. If a non-approved vaccination was received, the community member will not be considered “fully vaccinated” and must continue to abide by the stricter campus policies.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Keeping space between you and others remains one of the best identified measures to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus (and other air-born infectious diseases such as the flu or common cold). Physical distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. The College continues to follow these physical distancing practices pursuant to current CDC guidelines:

  • Faculty and staff should limit close personal contact.
  • Faculty and staff should limit the number of people at gatherings. 
    • When in-person meetings are necessary, physical distancing should be in place and maximum occupancy of rooms will be reviewed and modified in accordance with CDC guidance.
  • Faculty and staff should remain mindful of physical distancing in small spaces, including elevators, hallways, stairwells, and restrooms.
  • Faculty and staff should eat in a location that allows for appropriate physical distancing (e.g. outdoors, individually in an enclosed or private space, in an office with the door closed, Hammond Commons, etc.).
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to make use of video meeting technology when possible.

HYGIENE

Good hygiene is always important as a component of a healthy lifestyle. Frequent handwashing, covering sneezes and coughs, and generally keeping your work area neat and clean are all ways to help reduce the risks of spreading infection.

  • Faculty and staff should engage in frequent handwashing or use hand sanitizer regularly. 
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as feasible.
    • Use hand sanitizer after interactions with people or objects, if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Cough or sneeze into a clean tissue or into the sleeve or elbow, not hands.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces regularly.
  • Faculty and staff should avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. 

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Faculty and staff who are returning to the workplace must monitor their own health daily.

If you have symptoms (a fever of 100.4 F or greater, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, new GI symptoms, loss of taste or smell, or a runny or stuffy nose not related to allergies), or if you feel generally like you have a cold or flu, DO NOT REPORT TO CLASS OR WORK. You should contact a medical provider for guidance.

Students should contact the Student Health Center’s Medical Services by phone at 941-309-4000. Faculty and staff are also eligible to consult with and be assessed by the Student Health Center for COVID-related concerns and symptoms by calling that same phone number.

Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare providers, their department heads or supervisors, and Human Resources at 941-359-7619 for information about current return-to-work protocols and the use of appropriate leave.

Employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 should follow CDC-recommended steps, should use appropriate leave, and should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Employees who are well but who have a family member at home sick with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should notify their manager, and contact Human Resources at 941-359-7619 to discuss return to work protocols.

Note: All visitors to campus, including contractors, vendors, guest speakers, etc., will be expected to follow these guidelines.

MENTAL HEALTH

Personal issues, planning for life events, or simply managing daily life can affect your work, health and family. Ringling College’s Employee Assistance Program provides support, resources, and information for personal and work-life issues. The program is confidential and provided at no charge to employees and their dependents.

If you could use some support with managing challenging issues that you might be facing, please contact OneAmerica ComPsych by calling 855-387-9727.