Frequently Asked Questions

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Are all students required to be fully vaccinated?

Yes, all full-time and part-time undergraduate, graduate, and certificate-earning students who come to campus are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated?”

According to the CCD, in general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine


How can I schedule an appointment to get the vaccine?

Call/email your healthcare provider or use Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine location near you. Los Angeles County residents can also visit the Public Health Department for more information.  

Currently, the following vaccines are available in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, while Johnson & Johnson requires only one dose. Students under 18 may only get the Pfizer vaccine. This vaccine requires you to wait 3 weeks between doses.   

 

How do I submit proof of vaccination?

GRADUATE & RETURNING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Log into your student MyWhittier account. Under “Quick Links” click on the Student Health Portal link. 

NEW UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Log into your student MyWhittier account. Go to the New Student Checklist. Under section 2, click on the Student Health Portal link.  

  • Once on the health portal link, scroll down to the bottom of the landing page and look for the link to upload documents.
  • Follow the instructions for uploading a scan or photo of both sides of your COVID-19 vaccine record. 

 

Can I opt-out of the vaccine requirement?


Any student who is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (for students in the U.S.) or the WHO Emergency Use Listing (for students outside the U.S.) due to a disability or sincerely-held religious practice, belief, or observance, may request an exemption to this policy by contacting the Health and Wellness Center. Students who opt out of the COVID-19 vaccine may not be allowed to live in the residence halls.

What happens if I do not get the vaccine?


Undergraduates and returning graduate students who have not submitted their proof of vaccination or have not been approved for a medical or religious exemption will be dropped from all classes on August 10. You will not be allowed to attend classes for the Fall 2021 semester. 

Will online/remote courses be available?

Fall instruction will be primarily in-person (on-campus) for the 2021-22 academic year. While limited online class options may be available, it will not be possible to complete all your classes online or be excused from in-person attendance beginning the week of August 24.


Can people who’ve received the COVID-19 Vaccine donate blood?

According to the Red Cross: In most cases, there is no deferral time for individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are symptom free and feeling well at the time of donation. The following eligibility guidelines apply to each COVID-19 vaccine received, including boosters:
 

  • There is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with an inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/J&J, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer. 
  • Eligible blood donors who received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait two weeks before giving blood.

 
If you have further eligibility questions, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

Will Covid-19 Vaccination Disqualify Me from Life Insurance?

In March, the American Council of Life Insurers responded to a social media post that said payouts were denied to beneficiaries when the insured received a vaccine.
 
“The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim,” said Paul Graham, the organization’s senior vice president, in a statement March 12.
“Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them. 
https://www.acli.com/Posting/NR21-012

 

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?

According to the CDC: Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.

 

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

According to the CDC: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.

Learn more about how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work. ​

Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.

 

Additional resources:

Are all employees required to be fully vaccinated?

Yes, all full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and contracted employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 1.


Is my employer allowed to ask if I have been vaccinated?

Employers/supervisors have a legitimate business reason to keep track of employees who have been vaccinated for safety reasons. As such may ask employees if they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 and may also ask employees to provide proof of vaccination.

Can I ask co-workers if they have been vaccinated?

You may ask, but coworkers are under no obligation to answer your questions regarding their vaccination status. Coworkers should refrain from asking follow-up questions about why an employee did or did not receive a vaccination. 

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated?”


According to the CCD, in general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine



How do I submit proof of vaccination?


Employees may submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 via email to Human Resources. All medical information submitted in the course of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program will be kept in a separate confidential file in Human Resources.


Acceptable proof of full COVID-19 vaccination includes a copy of your vaccination card—front and back—(which includes the name of the person vaccinated, type of COVID-19 vaccination provided, lot number, clinic site, and date the last dose was administered) or documentation of full vaccination against COVID-19 from a healthcare provider (which includes the name of the person vaccinated and confirms that the person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19).

 

Can I opt-out of the vaccine requirement?


While the vaccines are being distributed under Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), employees and contracted workers will have the option to decline vaccination for personal reasons by submitting the Personal Declination Form. The declination form can also be submitted via email to HR.


Once the FDA approves at least one COVID-19 vaccine, however, Whittier will require immunization against COVID-19, with fewer exemptions. Employees unable to receive an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine due to a disability or sincerely-held religious practice, belief, or observance, may request an exemption to this policy once enacted. Updated participation requirement details will be announced following FDA approval.

How can I schedule an appointment to get the vaccine?
Call/email your healthcare provider or use Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine location near you. Los Angeles County residents can also visit the Public Health Department for more information.  

 

Can people who’ve received the COVID-19 Vaccine donate blood?

According to the Red Cross: In most cases, there is no deferral time for individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are symptom free and feeling well at the time of donation. The following eligibility guidelines apply to each COVID-19 vaccine received, including boosters:
 

  • There is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with an inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/J&J, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer. 
  • Eligible blood donors who received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait two weeks before giving blood.

 
If you have further eligibility questions, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

Will Covid-19 Vaccination Disqualify Me from Life Insurance?

In March, the American Council of Life Insurers responded to a social media post that said payouts were denied to beneficiaries when the insured received a vaccine.
 
“The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim,” said Paul Graham, the organization’s senior vice president, in a statement March 12.
“Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them. 
https://www.acli.com/Posting/NR21-012

 

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?

According to the CDC: Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.

 

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

According to the CDC: No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.

Learn more about how mRNA COVID-19 vaccines work. ​

Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.

 

Additional resources:

 

 

Am I able to live on campus this year?

The Whittier College Office of Housing and Residential Life is excited to welcome students back to the residence halls for fall 2021. Our ultimate goal is to accommodate every student who requests housing. While we have begun to plan for the fall, we are still awaiting final regulations from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. We anticipate that those regulations will be released in early summer. We will provide more information after the release. 

 The following is the information we can provide right now: 

  • Returning student (current student) application will open May 10 and the priority application deadline is June 6.  Applications after this date will be placed on a waitlist.
  • New/Transfer student application will open May 17 and the priority application deadline is June 13.  Applications after this date will be placed on a waitlist.
  • A recorded “How to Complete the Housing Application” tutorial will be sent to students' Poet email between May 5 and May.
  • To request accommodations with Student Disability Services (SDS) please contact their office directly at DisabilityServices@whittier.edu or 562.907.4825 as soon as possible to start your paperwork. (Please do not send any medical documentation/emails to the Housing office, all accommodation approvals are through SDS). 
  • For the 2021-2022 academic year, students WILL NOT self-select their building/room during housing selection. Students will be assigned a room on campus by a Housing & Residential Life (HRL) staff member.  We will do our best to place each student upon their preference, however, we cannot make any guarantees. 
  • Students who have a preferred roommate in mind should make sure to request and accept each other on the housing application. Students who don't specify a preferred roommate will be placed with someone based on their profile compatibility.
  • Single rooms are limited and, while the Office of Housing and Residential Life will make every effort to accommodate all requests, no guarantees can be made. All requests for single rooms will be entered into a lottery. Students who do not receive their requested single room will be automatically placed on a single room waitlist.
  • Housing assignments will be sent to the student's Poets email between July 7 and July 9.

Please contact Housing & Residential Life via email (residentiallife@whittier.edu) if you have any questions, comments or concerns.  We will do our best to return voicemails but highly encourage students to email.

How can I search for housing outside of Whittier College?

Whittier College does not endorse any off-campus housing search engines, landlords, or apartment complexes. However, the following websites and contacts may prove useful during an apartment search. 

Students are encouraged to email Marysol Mendoza (mmendoz2@whittier.edu) should they need assistance with developing non-Whittier College housing plans.

How can I contact Housing & Residential Life or other departments with questions?

The majority of campus employees have not returned to campus. Please email ResidentialLife@whittier.edu with any questions. Questions not related to Housing can be answered by the following offices. 

  • Dining Services
  • Meal Plans: mealplan@whittier.edu
  • Billing and Charges: businessoffice@whittier.edu
  • Academics, including course registration: caas@poets.whittier.edu
  • Parking: dispatch@whittier.edu
  • General assistance: deanofstudents@whittier.edu or mmendoz2@whittier.edu

When can I return to work or campus after a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure?

Employees must be cleared for return to work or campus by Human Resources. Human Resources will confirm that you have completed the isolation or quarantine period, are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and that symptoms, if any, have improved. Neither medical certification nor a negative COVID-19 test is required.

When can I return to work or campus if my symptoms are not COVID-related?

Employees must be cleared for return to work or campus by Human Resources. If your symptoms are not COVID-related, you will first need to submit certification from your healthcare provider.

Nearly all community counseling and support services are still being offered through tele-health, on-line or by phone.

What Wellness Resources are available to me?

Check out Engage to see weekly Wellness Calendars and a plethora of De-Stress activities

What phone/text services can support me in a crisis?

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 24/7 at 800.273.8255 or 1.800.SUICIDE
  • The Crisis Text Line: 24/7: text HELP to 741741
  • The Trevor Project specifically supports LGBTQIA+ young adults: 1.866.488.7386 or on their website

What if I’m not in crisis, but need someone to talk to?

  • The California Warm Line, 24/7, non-urgent mental health support:  855.845.7415

  • Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN):

    • English: 1.888.448.9777

    • Spanish: 1.888.448.4055

Are there teletherapy options available through health insurance?

HealthiestYou offers free services covered under the UHCSR insurance plan. Services are available to students not enrolled in the College's insurance plan for a fee of approximately $40 to $85.

What other supports are available to me?

  • A COVID-19 Anxiety support group and general support groups, led by therapists on FaceBook
  • Support Groups Central for free/low-cost virtual support groups
  • Hillside Wellness: free groups for residents of California, thru 7/1; 3 free sessions ($25 for more) individual, couples, or family

Are there any apps that I can use to help support my mental health over the summer?

We recommend these apps which can be found on Google Play and the Apple App store:

  • Sanvello
  • What’s Up
  • The CBT Thought Record Diary
  • Headspace

For a more free and paid mental health apps, click here

What are the options for staff or faculty who might be experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety due to COVID-19?

  • Whittier College has an employee assistance program (EAP) through Health Advocate (Unam) that provides free, confidential, assistance to employees accessible 24/7 that can help with work-life balance issues ranging from managing anxiety around the current pandemic to finding temporary child care. Call 1.800.854.1446 or visit unum.com/lifebalance.
  • Individual Health Plans likely offer Telemedicine options including psychological visits. For example, the Anthem BlueCross plans offered through the college have a LiveHealth Online Psychology option to talk to a licensed psychologist or therapist through video. Sign up at livehealthonline.com or download app to get started.
  • Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus
  • APA’s Podcast on Coronavirus Anxiety

Bookstore

Is the Bookstore open?

The Bookstore is open with limited hours for the upcoming modules 1 and 2. The store will be open for in person and online operations. 

Bookstore Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday:  8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Can I come to the bookstore to check-in my rental textbooks for this term?

You are able to return rental check-ins both in store and through mail.

Can I buy or extend my rentals on the website?

If you originally rented your textbook in the store, there is no option to buy or extend the rental on the website at this time. If you rented your textbook online, you have an option to buy or extend the rental on the website on the Rentals page.

I placed an order online for pickup. What should I do?

The Whittier College Bookstore is open. Please contact the campus store to track your order.

I placed an order but I have not received any confirmation my item has shipped. What’s going on?

Your item may be shipping from a location that has closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Your order will be filled when we are able to access that location again. Items that are in this situation are marked as “backordered” on the website. However, when you placed your order, the ship-from location may not yet have been closed or was in the process of closing so this backorder status may not have been displaying, check the item again now for confirmation. 

I need to purchase upcoming term textbooks and supplies; do I need to come to the store?

The Whittier College Bookstore is open and you may purchase textbooks and supplies in person. You may also order from the bookstore website.

Can I sell my textbooks back to the bookstore?

Yes, the Whittier College Bookstore is open and you may sell your books back. You may also sell back your books online (ship your books) through the “Sell Your Textbooks” link in the Bookstore site footer. On the Sell Your Textbooks page, refer to the Online section and click “Sell Your Textbooks” button.

What happens after I complete the Symptom Checker?

You will receive a green (approved) or red (not approved) pass through the Everbridge App Feed and email showing the current date to access or move about campus. Campus Safety or Compliance personnel may ask to see your pass to verify whether you are approved to be on campus that day. If you are not approved, you will be notified to stay home or in your dormitory room and will receive further instructions.

Is my data safe with Everbridge?

One of the main reasons Whittier College chose Everbridge is the company’s commitment to security, compliance, and privacy. Everbridge adheres to strict privacy policies and has achieved critical security certifications such as ISO 27001, SSAE18 SOC 2/SOC 3, FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program), Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (C5), which underline their commitment to operating at market-leading standards.

Why do Apple (iOS) users have to download two apps?

For the proximity-based Contact Tracing capability which utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology on iOS devices, the only application that the Apple Application Review team agreed to approve was a standalone application that keeps all other Everbridge Mobile Application functionality separated.

If both Apps have the Self-Report button, which one works?

Apple users must use the Self-Report button in the Contact Tracer App. When Bluetooth Low Energy Proximity Contact Tracing is enabled, the Self-Report button will appear in BOTH the standalone Contact Tracer iOS app and the Everbridge iOS App. However, the Self-Report button will only function accordingly when used in the standalone Contact Tracer app.

Why does the iOS Contact Tracer app require wakeup notifications?

Wakeup notifications allow the app to return to an active state so the operating system can continue leveraging BLE proximity functionality. The app has been built to function in the background, but there are scenarios where we are not able to override Apple's operating system, which puts apps that are not in use in a "suspended" state. These intervals determine how often the app sends wakeup notifications - the more frequent the notifications, the greater the likelihood exposures will be captured.

How often are tracing keys uploaded to the Contact Tracer service? 

Only when a Self-Report occurs.

How often are unique keys generated at the device level?

Once per day.

How long are keys stored on the user's device?

14 days.

Do I report sick leave on my timesheet if I am able to work remotely during isolation or quarantine?

No. If you are well enough to work while in isolation or quarantine, it is not necessary for staff to report sick leave on your timesheet provided you have been cleared in advance by Human Resources. If you are unwell and unable to work, please report sick leave as C-19 Leave on your timesheet.

What happens if I become ill while on campus?

Employees who become ill while on campus or who demonstrate symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should call the Health Center immediately, avoid contact with others, and depart campus as soon and safely as possible. If you are unable to depart campus because you are waiting to be picked up, rely on public transportation, or are unable to drive, the Health Center will coordinate moving you to a designated isolation room until transportation arrangements can be made.

What are the options for staff or faculty who might be experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety due to COVID-19?

  • Whittier College has an employee assistance program (EAP) through Health Advocate (Unum) that provides free, confidential, assistance to employees accessible 24/7 that can help with work-life balance issues ranging from managing anxiety around the current pandemic to finding temporary child care. Call 1.800.854.1446 or visit the Unum website.
  • Individual Health Plans likely offer Telemedicine options including psychological visits. For example, the Anthem BlueCross plans offered through the college have a LiveHealth Online Psychology option to talk to a licensed psychologist or therapist through video. Sign up at the LiveHealth website or download the app to get started.
  • Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus
  • APA’s Podcast on Coronavirus Anxiety