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Fall 2021 Garnet Pledge for Students

In consideration of recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the best available guidance from the medical community concerning COVID-19 safety precautions, the College has updated the Garnet Pledge for students. As a reminder: the Pledge comprises a set of expectations and safety measures for all members of our community who are on campus now and into the 2021 fall semester.  

As we continue to prepare for the 2021 fall semester, we will continue to monitor the recommendations associated with the global pandemic and make appropriate adjustments to the Pledge as needed.

Masking Policy Update

In response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, the College reinstituted an indoor masking policy on campus. Initially, we excluded all students living in campus housing while they were inside a residence hall from this requirement. Effective immediately and until further notice, we are now requiring all students to wear masks inside, including in public common areas inside residence halls. You may remove your mask inside a residence hall if you are a residential student inside your own room. We consider spaces shared by roommates, such as the living rooms in PPR Apartments, a private space, and students living together are not required to wear masks in such spaces. 

We hope and believe that this will be a temporary measure and that, once transmission rates decline, we will be in a position to ease some of our masking requirements. 

Arrival Testing Requirements

We are now requiring COVID-19 testing for all students, regardless of vaccination status, upon their arrival on campus. After arrival testing, fully vaccinated students will only need to be tested if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated students must continue weekly COVID-19 testing as outlined in the Fall 2021 Student Testing Program.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

  • All students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the start of the fall semester, unless they receive an approved medical or religious exemption.
  • Consistent with CDC guidelines, the College will accept vaccinations with the following U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO)-recognized COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca-CoviShield, Sinopharm-VeroCell, and Sinovac-Coronavac.
  • We appreciate that some individuals may not be able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus. The College will provide an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine to enrolled students who are unable to receive a vaccine prior to arrival. Students who are unable to be vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to Aug. 1 must email Director of Student Health & Wellness Services Casey Anderson at canders4@swarthmore.
  • Once vaccinated, students must upload their COVID-19 vaccine documentation and dates of vaccination to their student health portal by August 1, 2021, for verification by the Student Health Center staff. (Requests for exemption from the COVID-19 immunization requirement must also be submitted to the Student Health Center staff for review through their student health portal.)
  • Students who receive a medical or religious exemption will be required to participate in the College’s weekly COVID-19 testing program throughout the fall 2021 semester.
  • Students who are unable to receive the vaccine prior to the start of the fall semester will be required to participate in the College’s weekly COVID-19 testing program until the Student Health Center staff verifies that they are fully vaccinated. 

Fall Residential Students Arrival to Campus

  • Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 [a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher, or signs of a fever (aches and chills)] will not travel to campus until they have been cleared by medical professionals and in coordination with CDC guidelines.
  • Should a student experience any symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival to campus, they  will remain quarantined until they have been cleared by medical professionals.  
  • All students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for fall 2021 enrollment. See the above “COVID-19 Vaccinations” section of the Garnet Pledge for Students for more information.

Health and Wellness During the Fall Semester

  • All students are expected to actively engage in self-monitoring of any  COVID-19 related health symptoms, daily, and are required to report any symptoms of COVID-19 [a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher, or signs of a fever (aches and chills)] to the Student Health Staff immediately.
  • If a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, [a fever of 100.4ºF or higher or signs of a fever (aches and chills)], they must immediately inform Student Health and Wellness, provide information about their contacts with others in and/or around campus, and follow all direction and guidance until they have been cleared by the Student Health and Wellness staff. 
  • If a student has knowingly been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the student must immediately inform Student Health and Wellness, and must follow all protocols, guidelines, and instructions from College staff members. Fully vaccinated and asymptomatic students will not have to quarantine if identified as a close contact, however they may need to quarantine if they develop symptoms regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Students who are identified as a “close contact” of an individual with COVID-19 who have received a medical or religious exemption or are not yet fully vaccinated because they were unable to obtain the vaccine prior to returning to campus will be required to participate in COVID-19 testing as directed by Student Health and Wellness, quarantine in delegated housing, and adhere to a health support plan developed by the Student Health Center staff. Students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are asymptomatic will not have to quarantine. 
  • Students must actively participate in all contact-tracing protocols and procedures and understand that, in order to effectively perform contact tracing, College officials may have a legitimate need to share student information with others. The identity of individuals who test positive will remain confidential during the contact-tracing process.
  • Students who are placed in isolation, quarantine, and/or interim housing are not permitted to leave their rooms without specific permission from the Dean’s Office and/or Student Health and Wellness, nor are they permitted to have any guests, even to just drop off items.

Personal Prevention  

  • At this time, ALL students are required to wear a face mask/covering inside all buildings, regardless of vaccination status, except inside one’s own residence hall room, when alone.
  • The College will continue to monitor the circumstances around COVID-19 and adjust policies around masking, gathering sizes, capacity limits, etc. We will communicate all policy changes. Students are required to remain informed and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols and policies.
  • Students are required to engage in proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes. 
  • When necessary, students are required to cooperate with directives of Student Health and Wellness staff or other College officials to participate in COVID-19 testing and to self-isolate and/or quarantine. For example, students may be required to relocate to approved isolation and/or quarantine locations until cleared by Student Health and Wellness staff. 

Please remember that some individuals may choose to continue wearing masks even when they are not required to do so, and we urge everyone to be sensitive to and understanding of those personal choices. We shouldn’t assume that someone wearing a mask isn’t fully vaccinated

Student Activities and Social Gatherings 

  • Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and in the interest of the health and safety of the greater Swarthmore community, the College will continue to limit the amount of alcohol permitted on campus. Students 21 and older are permitted to be in personal possession of a maximum of 72 ounces of beer or 750 milliliters of wine. 
  • Liquor or distilled spirits, in any form, continue to be prohibited during the 2021 fall semester.
  • Students are expected to adhere to all posted occupancy numbers and mask wearing expectations. 
  • Students will respect the physical space around others and are encouraged to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet between oneself and any other person, when possible.

Matchbox and Athletics Facilities

  • Effective Monday, Aug. 30, all current students, faculty, and staff members are permitted to use the Matchbox. Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated must remain masked while inside, even while actively exercising. Until further notice, in the interest of the health and safety of our campus community, only current students, faculty, and staff members may use the Matchbox.

  • Students must comply with all instructions from athletics facilities staff. 
  • Student athletes participating in varsity and club sports must follow all College Athletics Department guidelines and protocols regarding both organized and unorganized (pickup) athletics training, practice, and conditioning.

I understand and acknowledge that given the unknown nature of COVID-19, it is not possible to fully list each and every individual risk of contracting COVID-19. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at the College may result from the actions, failures to act, or negligence of myself and others. Additionally, I understand that the College’s efforts must also be consistent with both Pennsylvania and federal law and align with the recommended guidelines from the CDC and the best available guidance from the medical community. As a result, the College’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep the campus community safe — including the expectations detailed in this pledge — may be updated at any time.

I understand that to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and do my part to help keep myself and members of the campus community healthy, I must abide by the rules detailed in this pledge. I also understand that the College will not tolerate deliberate, reckless, or repeated disregard of the COVID-19 policy or the pledge, and violations of this agreement may result in removal from campus and/or disciplinary action.