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News on the coronavirus and COVID-19 is consistently changing and evolving. Ripon College continues to closely monitor the scenario and will announce the most recent plans and updates as soon as they’re available. Please use this site as your ongoing source for information related to the virus and its effect on College operations.

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Ripon College’s COVID policy has been updated to reflect the revised CDC guidelines issued on August 11, 2022. Changes to the policy are reflected in the guidelines regarding quarantining for close contact individuals.

A Letter from President Folse | July 2022

Dear campus community,

We remain grateful for your commitment to public health throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, a set of Ripon College campus policies has been created in consultation with the Fond du Lac County Health Department. Our campus mitigation efforts will combine vaccine mandates with baseline testing. We will suspend surveillance testing and maintain a predominantly mask-optional indoor and outdoor environment. We urge the campus community to continue social distancing as well as organizing large gatherings outdoors when possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and community medical experts highly recommend the booster for COVID as the best way to reduce serious illness from COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness declines over time, and boosters provide additional protection. Furthermore, recent studies show that the booster reduces many of the serious long-term physical effects of COVID-19.

Required Boosters

With our understanding of the science, medical expertise and the ever-evolving public health needs of residential campuses, being up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations (including the booster) will be required for all students this fall. All students must have the full vaccination including one booster or an approved exemption for a medical, religious or firmly held personal/ philosophical belief. Returning students who were approved for exemption for the primary vaccine series do not need to request an exemption for the booster. Students who completed their primary series but who choose not to complete the booster must submit a request for an exemption for a medical, religious or firmly held personal belief (see below for required documentation).

How do I get up to date and share my results? COVID-19 boosters are widely available at many pharmacies or primary care offices. Please consult your primary care provider about which booster is best for you. All students should provide their up-to-date vaccination results no later than Aug. 22 (regardless of whether you have submitted this material in the past).

Note: Up-to-date verification should be sent to [email protected].

How do I request an exemption? We understand that the vaccination and booster for COVID-19 is a medical choice that is guided by your personal circumstances. If you already have been approved for an exemption, that exemption will be extended to the booster. You don’t need to do anything. If you are requesting an exemption for the first time for either the vaccine or the booster, please complete this waiver no later than Aug. 22.

Failure to comply with vaccination/booster verification and/or documenting an exemption may result in expulsion, suspension, fines and/or restriction of OneCard access.

Requesting an exemption is a simple process and likely to be confirmed if paperwork is submitted accurately and completely.

Mandatory Baseline Testing

All students will participate in non-rapid PCR saliva testing on campus on either Saturday, Aug. 27, or Sunday, Aug. 28, as part of their campus check-in. Masking will be required in all indoor campus spaces until negative results are communicated. Students arriving on campus earlier also are required to complete a rapid antigen test within 72 hours of arrival and will repeat baseline testing on campus before the start of classes. If unable to complete an antigen test prior to arrival, please contact Health Services. Results should be sent to [email protected] and must be on file to participate in early arrival activities. Students who have proof of a positive COVID test within the past 90 days are exempt from baseline testing. Exemption requires verification to be sent to Health Services or [email protected].

Note: Logistical details regarding specific timing and locations for testing will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Isolation and Quarantine Protocols

Note: Students should plan to isolate off campus if they are COVID positive; limited isolation housing is available for students who cannot travel home. Asymptomatic close contacts may quarantine in place; limited quarantine housing is available for students who are symptomatic and cannot travel home.

  • After testing positive for COVID-19, students should:
    • Isolate for 5 days, starting immediately after test results are known. The day of test participation is Day 0. Day 1 is the first full day following.
    • If symptoms are improved after 5 days, consult with Student Health Services. You may be able to end isolation if you adhere to vigilant, proper use of a high-quality, well-fitted mask for an additional 5 days.

  • Students identified as close contacts of a COVID-positive individual should report close-contact status to campus health services.
    • Regardless of vaccine status, students identified as close contact for someone who tests positive for COVID, must wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and test on Day 5. No quarantine is required unless you develop symptoms. Please contact Student Health Services to report your close contact status and to obtain an N95 mask.

We appreciate your ongoing commitment to our campus health and well-being and look forward to welcoming you all back to campus for the 2022-2023 academic year. For additional information, please visit ripon.edu/covid19 for the COVID-19 dashboard, pertinent updates and FAQs.

We believe that our policies and a good-faith commitment from our students, faculty and staff to remain vigilant in fighting the spread of COVID-19 will allow us to continue with the personalized experience synonymous with the Ripon College living and learning environment. We will continue to monitor the local health situation and will adapt and change these policies if the need arises.

Sincerely,

Dr. Vickie Folse, President
Chris Ogle, Vice President and Dean of Students
Kathy Welch, Director of Student Health Services


COVID-19 FAQs

  • When and where do I report for the return-to-campus testing event?
    Logistical details regarding specific timing and locations for testing will be communicated in the coming weeks.

 

  • Which COVID-19 vaccines will Ripon accept, and how do I provide proof of vaccination?
    Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted at Ripon. Students should submit proof of vaccination at their check-in location upon arrival to campus. Students can submit proof of vaccination to [email protected] or at their check-in location upon arrival. Students who received their vaccination in Wisconsin do not need to provide proof given that they are registered through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry.

 

  • How do I get my booster if I am out of the U.S. for the summer?
    Students who are abroad for the summer may request a deadline extension. However, the deadline cannot be extended beyond Aug. 22, giving us time to process your information before the first day of classes. Request a deadline extension by emailing Student Health Services.

 

  • What if I am not yet eligible for the booster because I recently finished the vaccination process?
    Submit your vaccination information with the dates of immunization. When you become eligible, you will need to submit your booster information or a request for exemption within 30 days of eligibility.

 

  • Will I be required to complete surveillance testing each week if I am not up to date?
    We do not plan to require surveillance testing at this time unless state regulations change or our transmissions rates on-campus reflect a high transmission rate.

 

  • If I am not up to date, will I be required to quarantine if identified as a close contact?
    Regardless of vaccine status, students identified as close contact for someone who tests positive for COVID, must wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and test on Day 5. No quarantine is required unless you develop symptoms.

 

  • Should I wear a mask in large crowds?
    Medical experts advise individuals to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask in large gatherings or in physical spaces in which physical distancing is not possible. Efforts should be made to hold large gatherings outdoors where the air quality is better.

 

  • Can I continue to wear a mask on campus?
    Yes. We must respect the individual choices made by students, faculty and staff.

 

  • Can an event organizer require masks be worn?
    Yes. If an event is publicized as a mask-required event in advance, individuals must adhere to the conditions of the event.