Health & Wellness Policies and Procedures

This page was last updated on January 7, 2022.

Recently added or updated information denoted by NEW or UPDATED

COVID-19 Testing

The College's testing protocols for the fall 2021 semester are as follows:

  • The College conducted saliva PCR pooled tests for all residential students as part of check-in on each student's move-in day.
  • Throughout the semester, students who have not been vaccinated (due to a religious or medical exemption) or are not fully vaccinated (two weeks post the completion of a vaccination series) are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing on campus.
  • In alignment with CDC guidelines, vaccinated students are not currently required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing.
  • Students presenting with symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, will be assessed by Health & Wellness Center staff and tested if advised by clinical assessment.
  • Asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff can avail themselves of free COVID-19 PCR testing offered twice per week on campus by safeCircle.

As with all our policies related to COVID-19, we will, along with the local Department of Health, assess this testing plan as we navigate the weeks and months ahead, and are prepared to adjust should it become necessary to do so.

What is Sarah Lawrence's vaccination policy?

The College's vaccination policy is as follows:

  • All residential and commuter students—both undergraduate and graduate—are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, barring an approved medical or religious exemption
    • This includes a booster shot once an individual is eligible based on the timeframe specific to the vaccine they received
  • All employees of the College must provide documentation of full vaccination and booster shot, barring an approved medical or religious exemption
  • All visitors to campus, including family members, guest speakers, and vendors, must be fully vaccinated OR provide proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of arrival on campus
    • Both PCR and rapid tests are acceptable, provided they were conducted at an official testing site or lab (at-home test results are not acceptable)
    • Test results must show the visitor's name and date of test

Consistent with CDC recommendations, the College will require COVID-19 booster vaccinations for faculty, staff, and students. Sarah Lawrence instituted a COVID-19 vaccination requirement last semester, and our community benefits from a 99% vaccination rate among faculty, staff, and students. Individuals are eligible for a booster:

    • Two months after receiving their single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine
    • Five months after receiving their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine

Are masks required on campus?

Yes. All faculty, staff, students, and campus visitors must wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. The exception to this policy will be for individuals dining indoors, students in their own residence rooms/apartments, and faculty or staff in a private office. A private office is defined as a designated space, occupied by one person with a closed door; it does not include open, shared spaces that are accessible to others (such as cubes, an office with a shared photocopier/printer that others will be routinely accessing, etc.) Anyone working in such a space is required to wear a mask at all times due to the likelihood of foot-traffic around their work space. In addition, masks must be worn in hallways, elevators, and shared bathrooms.

Unvaccinated individuals are also required to wear masks outside when gathering with others.

What kind of mask/face covering is acceptable?

All members of the Sarah Lawrence community should wear the best fitting, highest quality mask available to them. Multi-layer cloth masks with a filter, a surgical mask under a cloth mask, and KF94, KN95, or N95 masks are all appropriate options.

What if a residential student tests positive for COVID-19? How will isolation/quarantine work?

Residential students who test positive for COVID-19, or who are tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting a PCR result, will be relocated to a room on campus that has been identified for isolation or, in some instances, be instructed to isolate or quarantine in their residence. Unvaccinated residential students who identify as a close contact (less than six feet apart for greater than 10 minutes) with a confirmed case will be relocated to a room on campus that has been identified for quarantine or, in some instances, be instructed to isolate or quarantine in their residence. Residential students in isolation or quarantine will have their health monitored by the SLC Health & Wellness Center, and will be provided with mental health support services, food, medicine, and necessary supplies. Students in isolation or quarantine on campus will only be allowed to return to campus activities when medically cleared by the Health & Wellness Center, in accordance with CDC and NYS DOH guidelines.

When a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact tracing to identify persons with a potential exposure will be coordinated through the Westchester County Department of Health and supported by the Health & Wellness Center.

What does it mean to be in isolation?

The CDC defines isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Learn more about isolation and quarantine on the CDC website.

What criteria will be used for clearance to return to campus activities from isolation?

  • Fever-free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours AND
  • Symptoms have improved AND
  • It has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared

If a student tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms during this time, then the individual must follow the criteria above using the date symptoms started as the first day of isolation.

Students placed in isolation housing because they are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 PCR test will be released from isolation immediately if their test result is negative.

What criteria will be used for clearance to return to campus activities after quarantine?

  • 10 days from last exposure AND
  • No symptoms developed during the 10 day period

If symptoms developed during the 10 day period, a student would start isolation from the date symptom(s) began and return to campus will be based on isolation clearance criteria.

Will students who reside off campus quarantine/isolate in a campus space?

Due to space constraints on campus, the College will not be able to isolate or quarantine students who reside off campus. Students residing off campus who test positive for COVID-19, or who believe that they have had contact with a confirmed case, should contact the Health & Wellness Center for instructions on how to isolate/quarantine and obtain medical and mental health support services during this time.