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Fall Fox Day deadline extended, masks optional in small groups

Pictured (left to right): Jessica Gonzalez (Holt Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant for CICI), Alexandra Woods (Assistant Director of CICI), and Nicole Solomon (Graduate Assistant for Residential Life and Exploration) set up a table for the Sept. 13 Vaccination Fair.
Photo by Alexander Knobloch

President Grant Cornwell previously announced that a campus-wide immunity rate of 90 percent by Oct. 1 would be rewarded with an unprecedented Fall Fox Day. However, Cornwell has extended the deadline, as campus immunity remains at 77 percent.

In a campus COVID-19 update sent on Oct. 7, Cornwell thanked the community for its efforts, stating, “I have tremendous respect and gratitude for what each of you has brought to our shared purpose.”  

Cornwell also listed four new policies following the return from Fall Break, including the following:

  • Starting Oct. 13, masks will be optional for vaccinated students in small enclosed spaces with groups of five people or less. 
  • Also starting on Oct.13, all unvaccinated faculty and staff will be tested every other week, following the same protocol for unvaccinated residential students. 
  • Nov. 24 will be a Campus Closure Day for faculty and staff, extending their Thanksgiving Break. 
  • The deadline for reaching an overall 90 percent student vaccination rate will be extended (deadline currently unknown). 

At the time of publication, the reported vaccination rate for residential students is 88 percent. For commuter students it is 60 percent, and for staff it is 87 percent. 

According to Associate Director of the Wellness Center Denise Snyder, commuter students’ low vaccination rate is most likely due to a lack of incentive to self-report vaccination status.

Snyder said, “I believe commuter students have a higher vaccination rate than is available on the dashboard; however, without requirements, it is hard to have the true raw number for this portion of our campus community.”

Snyder said that there is a daily steady flow of Rollins members’ completing their vaccination appointments. Appointments are scheduled on weekdays and are utilized by all members of the community. 

To achieve a 90 percent vaccination rate, Snyder said,  “Peer to peer education is the number one way to promote vaccine card uploads for our campus community. As we are unable to require them, it must be a voluntary effort for the greater good of our campus community.”

Rollins administration has provided a number of incentives to students and faculty to encourage the community to complete this goal.

Students that had already received the vaccine at Rollins or who had uploaded their CDC vaccination card on Foxlink by Sept.15 received a $50 TarBucs reward. Anyone who started their first dose at the Rollins vaccine clinic before Aug. 23 also received the TarBucs reward.  

Once the fall semester began, the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Wellness Center partnered to host a Vaccination Fair on Mills Lawn on Sept. 13. All three vaccines were available to Rollins students, faculty, staff, and their families. Professors were encouraged to allow for tardiness or to end class early to allow students to attend the fair. 

As of now, there are no plans to hold another vaccination fair. At the last fair, less than 10 students obtained the COVID-19 vaccine. The flu shot, on the other hand, was administered to more than 30 individuals.  

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