Updates, Frequently Asked Questions, Guidelines and Resources for Russell Sage College regarding COVID-19

COVID-related questions? Contact us: covid@sage.edu or 518-244-3129

COVID-19 Vaccine Status

Register your vaccine status and provide proof of vaccination.

June 14, 2021

Dear Sage Community,

Russell Sage College will be requiring COVID vaccinations for all students and employees prior to the beginning of fall semester. This policy is designed to protect the health and safety of everyone at Sage and support our return to full in-person operations this academic year.

We have all endured a lengthy period dominated by restrictions on our activities and gatherings as a result of the pandemic. It is in the interest of our institutional well-being and the experience of our students, faculty and staff to return safely to offering the full collegiate experience.

CDC guidance reinforces the opportunities we should have: “[Colleges] where all students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated prior to the start of the semester can return to full capacity in-person learning, without requiring or recommending masking or physical distancing for people who are fully vaccinated.”

Many of you have likely already been vaccinated. If that is the case, we need you to take the next step and follow the process below. Documentation that proves students and employees are fully vaccinated can be uploaded using the link below:

  • Students should upload their vaccination documentation here. Documents should be submitted no later than August 1, 2021.

  • Employees should upload their vaccination documentation here. Documents should be submitted no later than August 1, 2021.

Vaccinations are readily available. To find out where you can get a vaccine visit NYS vaccine or vaccines.gov. More information is available on our FAQ page. If you have any questions you can contact COVID@sage.edu and you will receive a reply within 24 hours.

Thank you for all you have done for Russell Sage during the pandemic, and thank you for taking the next step to ensure our future.

Sincerely,

Chris Ames
President

RSC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy 2021-2022

Overview

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among our community, Russell Sage College (RSC) is requiring all students and employees to be fully vaccinated with an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption.

Ensuring widespread vaccination on our campuses is the best way to protect everyone’s health and to be able to resume normal collegiate activities without masking and distancing: classrooms with normal capacity, cultural and social events, residence life, athletics and recreation, in-person meetings, etc

Must Prove Fully Vaccinated with Authorized COVID-19 Vaccine

All non-exempt students and employees must provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated with an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to coming onto campus for the Fall 2021 semester for any reason, including but not limited to moving into a residence hall, attending classes, employment, participating in RSC related activities, and/or entering any campus building. An authorized COVID-19 vaccine is an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

Students and employees are considered fully vaccinated:

    • Two weeks after second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or

    • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Documentation that proves students and employees are fully vaccinated must be uploaded by August 1, 2021.

This policy is subject to change to remain consistent with relevant state and federal guidance. All changes will be promptly communicated to the RSC community.

Medical and Religious Exemptions

To be exempt from this COVID-19 vaccine policy, students and employees must submit a written request for a medical or religious exemption, which must be approved by RSC. The Director of the Wellness Center will coordinate the medical and religious exemption review and approval process for students and the Director of Human Resources will coordinate the exemption process for employees.

To request a medical exemption, students and employees must submit a written statement from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner:

  • certifying that immunization may be detrimental to the student’s or employee’s health or is otherwise medically contraindicated; and

  • including the date the qualifying medical condition exemption ends if the contraindication is temporary.

To request a religious exemption, students and employees must submit a written statement demonstrating that the student or employee holds a genuine and sincere religious belief which is contrary to immunization. RSC reserves the right to request supporting documentation.

The written request for either a medical exemption or religious exemption must be dated within one calendar year of the date when it is received by RSC, and must be addressed specifically to RSC.

Personal opposition to vaccination is not valid grounds for an exemption.

Accommodations for Those with Approved Medical and Religious Exemptions

RSC shall provide reasonable accommodations to students and employees with approved medical or religious exemptions provided they do not create an undue hardship for the College and/or do not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on campus. As discussed below, remote work or learning opportunities will not necessarily be available as an accommodation.

Additional Health and Safety Precautions for Approved Exemptions

Students and employees who receive an approved medical or religious exemption may participate fully in campus activities (i.e., classes, events, athletics, residence life), but must abide by the following additional health and safety precautions:

    • submit a negative COVID-19 test result before arrival to campus for Fall 2021 semester;

    • participate in surveillance testing throughout the semester;

    • complete the daily health screener;

    • wear masks both indoors and outdoors;

    • quarantine if they test positive or become exposed to COVID-19; and

    • leave campus in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, as defined by local Department of Health.

Additional Considerations for Students and Employees with Approved Exemptions

Students and employees with an approved medical or religious exemption need to be aware that:

  • Our intent is to return to full in-person mode, without routinely scheduled online options, for classes normally taught in person.

  • Many courses and degree requirements CANNOT be fulfilled via remote learning options. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, experiential rotations and laboratory coursework.

  • inability to take these classes in-person might result in a graduation delay.

  • Depending on employment responsibilities, the ability to work remotely may not be applicable.

  • RSC reserves the right to deny remote work or learning as an accommodation, if other accommodations are available and effective.

Denied Exemptions and Refusal to Comply

Students and employees whose requests for medical or religious exemptions were denied, or who refuse to comply with this COVID-19 policy may be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Conduct (for students), or any applicable union contract, individual employment contract, or the Employee Handbook (for employees).

Additional Resources

For additional information and resources, please refer to our COVID Vaccination FAQ page.

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Updated June 15, 2021 at 10:08AM

The above numbers reflect a 14-day rolling period.

For more information on Coronavirus statistics at educational institutions across the state, visit
New York’s COVID-19 School Dashboard

RSC-Spring-2021-Reopening-Plan.pdf