Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

About COVID-19 | VaccinationsSurveillance TestingMasking and Social DistancingContingency Planning | Additional Resources


In response to the global spread of COVID-19, St. Joseph’s College continues to closely monitor recommendations made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health. In an effort to protect the health and safety of the SJC community, we are sharing the following information.


About COVID-19

How is the COVID virus spread?

The COVID-19 virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. There may also be instances of spreading when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touches their mouth, nose or eyes.

How long after exposure does it take for symptoms to appear?

How long after exposure does it take for symptoms to appear?

  • Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and may include:
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How can I minimize my chances of contracting and spreading the virus?

The quickest and safest way to minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Additional measures to reduce your risk of infection include the following guidelines for good health:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough and/or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for wearing a mask or other approved face coverings.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.



St. Joseph’s College’s primary goal during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all of its community members. We aim to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus for all, and the quickest and safest way to accomplish this is through vaccination. To protect yourself and those around you, SJC strongly recommends that all members of our campus communities receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, to reduce the spread of the new variants emerging, the College is now requiring all in-person students be fully vaccinated for the Fall 2021 semester.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required for all in-person students beginning Fall 2021?

Yes, all undergraduate and graduate students are required to be fully vaccinated to attend in-person classes and activities at St. Joseph’s College this fall.

What is the College’s COVID-19 Immunization Policy?

For more information, view SJC’s COVID-19 immunization policy.

Why did the College require all students to be fully vaccinated for the fall?

The recent spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus presents a clear and dangerous risk to the SJCNY community. According to the CDC, the Delta variant has increased transmissibility and is far more virulent than earlier strains of the coronavirus. It accounts for over 80 percent of new coronavirus cases and adults and children under 50 are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by the Delta variant as opposed to earlier strains.

This variant poses a distinct threat to unvaccinated individuals in particular, with 97 percent of new COVID-related hospitalizations occurring among unvaccinated persons. In addition, 99 percent of COVID-related fatalities are unvaccinated persons. Due to these indicators and the efficacy of vaccines in preventing the spread of the coronavirus as well as minimizing the risk of serious health complications and death, the College has decided to mandate vaccination for all students this fall.

Will fully online students be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Fully online students are exempt from this policy. However, any fully online student who comes to campus and/or any of our offsite facilities will be required to show proof of vaccination before being allowed to enter the premises.

Are faculty, staff and administrators required to get the COVID vaccine?

The College is currently not requiring faculty, staff and/or administrators to get the vaccine. However, we are strongly encouraging all members of the College community to be vaccinated. The College also reserves the right to change its policies regarding a vaccine mandate at any time.

Why are students required to get vaccinated, but employees aren't?

After surveying the College community on a few different occasions, data has shown that a larger percent of our employee population is currently vaccinated, while a much lower percentage of our students have received the COVID vaccine. Research has also shown that transmission of the virus occurs more frequently in congregate settings and amongst college student populations than in the workplace. As such, our primary concern right now is to ensure that our student population gets vaccinated to prevent any further spread or potential outbreaks that could arise during in-person teaching and learning.

How can I submit proof of vaccination?

The College has engaged CastleBranch, a leading provider of health screening solutions, to manage the vaccination record collection process. Fully vaccinated students (ie: those who have completed their vaccination series of either two Pfizer or Moderna shots or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) can upload their proof of vaccination through the CastleBranch system, per the instructions sent to their SJCNY email account.

What is the deadline to submit proof of vaccination?

All students must submit proof of completed vaccination by Monday, September 13.

What if I am not fully vaccinated before classes start?

Students must receive their first dose of an FDA-approved for emergency use vaccine no later than Monday August 16 and finish their course of vaccination no later than Monday September 13. Any student who fails to submit the required documentation with proof of vaccination will be contacted and reminded of the requirement. Non-compliance of this policy by Monday September 13 will prevent you from being permitted on campus, which may also impact your enrollment in classes.

Where can I get vaccinated?

The College has arranged for vaccination clinics with our health care partners in both Brooklyn and Patchogue for ease of access to vaccinations. These clinics will take place on August 5 and August 9 from 12 to 2 p.m. and on August 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. Additionally, to find a vaccination center near you, please use the following links below:

Will I be required to get a booster shot?

We are closely monitoring the guidance from the CDC and medical experts regarding boosters for the vaccine and will be following state and federal guidance on next steps should they be required in the future.

How can I request a medical or religious exemption?

Medical and religious exemptions will be processed and evaluated by CastleBranch in keeping with the exemption process outlined in the College’s immunization protocols.

What happens if I just don’t want the vaccine? Can I switch to virtual modalities?

Unvaccinated students without an approved exemption will not be allowed to attend classes at St. Joseph’s College for the Fall 2021 semester and until further notice. Individuals requesting to switch to online or virtual modalities should contact the Academic Advisement Center on their respective campuses for more information.

What happens if I am not in compliance with the new mandate?

Unvaccinated students who have not completed their full series of vaccination by Monday September 13 may not be allowed on campus unless granted a medical or religious exemption or a special circumstances extension by the College. Examples of students who might be considered for a special circumstances extension include an international or out of state student, whose travel to campus has prevented them from meeting the established timeline or a student who enrolled at the College close to or after the established timeline. Please note that special circumstances exemptions will only be awarded for case-by-case situations and then only on a temporary basis.  Unvaccinated students will also need to participate in surveillance testing (please see below for information about surveillance testing).


Surveillance Testing

Unvaccinated students and those with approved medical or religious exemptions will be required to undergo routine PCR COVID-19 surveillance tests. Please check the On Campus Testing Schedule to see when testing is being offered on your respective campus. If you are receiving a test from off campus, please ensure you are uploading the results to the designated site for review and approval.


Masking and Social Distancing

For your safety and others, please practice social distancing when possible and consider wearing a mask while indoors.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Per the CDC and NYS guidelines, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks in all public settings. Additionally, the CDC has recently released interim guidance regarding indoor mask-wearing for vaccinated persons in areas of substantial or high transmission due to the highly contagious Delta variant currently circulating in the United States. Fully vaccinated people may also choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.


Contingency Planning

The College has established a website called Carry On to provide the Community with resources to support Faculty, Students and Staff to maintain continuity of teaching, learning and campus operations.


Additional Resources