Message to students regarding COVID-19 Vaccine requirement
September 20, 2021
Dear Bristol students,
I would like to share with you an important announcement (attached) that the fifteen Massachusetts Community College Presidents will be making today. Understanding how important it is to share with our faculty, staff and students as soon as possible and wanting to give our college community ample time to prepare, we are providing you with information that is still in the planning stage. We assure you we will be working through the details in the coming days, weeks and months.
The fifteen Massachusetts community colleges will be requiring all students who have an in-person component, to be fully vaccinated by January 2022. Faculty and staff will also be required to be vaccinated. To date, the Massachusetts State University System and the University of Massachusetts’ four campuses all require COVID-19 vaccinations as well as most private higher education institutions throughout Massachusetts.
This is an important decision that will bring all of us one step closer to safely being together at our college locations again. Bristol will be able to increase face-to-face courses, support services and activities that are so critical to the success of our students.
The COVID-19 vaccination requirement applies to students with an on-campus component to their schedule; who seek to access on-campus services; and those who are required by program or activity to be vaccinated as a condition of participation (e.g. clinical placements). Students who choose not to be vaccinated remain eligible to take online course offerings. The vaccination requirement will also be in place for all employees, regardless of whether they are teaching or working on campus.
Bristol Community College students who are taking in-person courses during the fall 2021 semester are not part of this requirement.
Lead with safety.
The health and safety of our college community must be our top priority. To date, we have not had any transmissions at any of our campuses that we know of. We believe this is due to the strict protocols and standards we follow – and the cooperation of our students, faculty and staff. The COVID-19 vaccination is proven to be safe and effective. We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. For those who are vaccinated, please upload your COVID-19 vaccination card by using the Bristol App. It is a safe and secure way to show proof of vaccination. We are fortunate that many colleges and universities across the country have been requiring vaccinations for months, we will learn from their experience and make the best decisions for our college community and our region.
Know the facts.
There is a lot of information, and misinformation, in the media and circulated on social media. If you are hesitant about taking the vaccine, I urge you to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website to find out more. Myths & Facts and Finding Credible Vaccine Information.
The college will continue to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics at all of our locations. The next will be held on Thurs., Sept. 30, on the Fall River Campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in H building. You can also search www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you.
Now that the community college Presidents have made this unified decision, we will need to put into place the specifics for each of our colleges. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more information and specific guidelines. We ask that you prepare by uploading your COVID-19 vaccination card to the Bristol App or find a location near you to get vaccinated.
Thank you for your patience and assistance as we work together for the health and safety of our community.
Please take care,
Laura L. Douglas