Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the phased return to campus 

Will I receive a reimbursement for room and board? 

Students in the Group 2 arrival will be given a pro-rated credit amount on their student accounts for days not used in housing/meal plan. Due to 1098T deadline for January, it will be early February before the Business Office will be able to finalize credits. The Business Office will send a reminder for students once these credits are posted. 

I want to move in a certain weekend due to previous travel plans, bad internet at home, a scheduling conflict or another reason. Who do I contact about this? 

Questions can be directed to questions@roanoke.edu and our Communications team will assist you or connect you with the correct person. 

How will students get textbooks that are being shipped to the school? 

If you need your books forwarded to your home, please email mailroom@roanoke.edu. Your email should include your name, campus box number and the address that you would like your books sent to. If you do not need your textbooks at home, Mail Services will hold them for you. 

Is there a different check-in process for commuters? 

Commuter students should take their COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to their first time coming to campus. If they test negative, they should upload their result to the Student Health Portal or email Student Health at healthservices@roanoke.edu. 

With the drive-through check-in process, is it a problem if I'm coming via plane or train and don't have a car?

No. You can get an Uber or Lyft to drop you off in the parking lot behind Olin Hall and you can check in on foot. You don't need to be in a car.

If I have a Friday class but I have to travel on a Friday in order to move in on my assigned day, will I be excused from that Friday class? 

Please contact your professors with course-specific questions. Our faculty have proven time and again how flexible and understanding they are, and they will be happy to work with you. 

COVID-19 specific questions

What happens if I get a positive test just before move-in? 

Please isolate off-campus if possible. We do have space on campus but if you can isolate elsewhere and save an isolation room for someone on campus, that would be best. If you do test positive, contact Student Health & Counseling Services at healthservices@roanoke.edu. They will guide you through the next steps.

How long before move-in should I get my COVID-19 test? 

Please get your test within 72 hours of move-in. 

If a student gets COVID-19 or gets quarantined after exposure to it, will they have to miss class or will there be any kind of online option for them?  

Faculty will be notified when a student in their class has been told to isolate or quarantine by Student Health Services. Students will not be penalized for these absences. Students who are isolating or quarantined should contact each of their professors to work out a plan as soon as possible. Faculty members may be able to extend deadlines, assist in getting class notes, schedule appointments to review missed materials, and similar strategies. Most faculty are NOT able to offer Zoom to isolating or quarantined students because most classrooms are not equipped to do that. The College will assist in quarantining or isolating students with their academic progress just as it would in other health-related circumstances.

The CDC guidance recently changed on the quarantine/isolation period. What is the College’s requirement? 

Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for five days. If, after five days, you have no symptoms or if your symptoms have fully resolved, including no fever for 24 hours, you may return to classes or work and must wear a mask when indoors and around others for five additional days. If you are symptomatic at the five-day mark, remain in isolation for a total of 10 days, or until your symptoms have fully resolved or until you test negative. 

What should I do if I was exposed to someone with COVID-19? 

The most recent CDC guidance depends on your vaccination and boosted status. 

If you have been boosted, OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months OR Completed the J&J vaccine within the last two months you should: 

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day five.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

If you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna over six months ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of J&J over two months and are not boosted OR are unvaccinated you should: 

  • Quarantine/stay home for five days.
  • After that continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
  • Test on day five If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster questions

Will the deadline to get my booster shot be pushed back now that we’re getting to campus later? 

No. Students are still required to get their booster shots by Jan. 31. 

What is the student vaccination/booster requirement?  

Beginning fall semester 2021, Roanoke College is adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines for students. Additionally, students must receive a booster vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Students must submit booster documentation by January 31, 2022.  

Are faculty and staff members also required to get vaccinated/boosters?  

All Roanoke College faculty and staff are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and to receive a booster vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Similar to the students, employees who are now eligible are expected to submit booster documentation by Jan. 31, 2022. The vaccine and booster will be mandated for employees who travel and perform critical functions. This list remains the same as the fall semester and includes all of division of Business Affairs, Resource Development, Admissions and Financial Aid, Athletics, Campus Safety, Office of the Dean of Students, Residence Life, Marketing and Communications and certain other designated individuals. If you are uncertain whether or not you are required to be vaccinated and boosted, check with your supervisor.  

When am I able to receive my booster vaccination?   

Many are eligible for a booster now. Current CDC guidance is that those who received the Pfizer vaccine initially should wait five months after the series was complete, Moderna should wait six months after the series was complete, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) should wait for two months after their vaccination. 

What boosters are acceptable? 

Any of the three brands will satisfy the requirement. (Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen). It is also acceptable to mix brands for your booster. For example, if you received the Janssen vaccination, you might elect to receive the Moderna booster. 

Where can I get a vaccination or booster? 

Roanoke College will be holding several clinics. Please watch the Daily Announcements for details. Additionally, the vaccination/booster is widely available at retail pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kroger and others. The Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District is offering vaccines/boosters at the former Sears location at Valley View Mall. You can search here for hours and appointments. Finally, check with your family physician for other options in your local area.  

Why has Roanoke College made this decision to require boosters?  

The high infection and death rate of COVID-19, continues to present risks to Roanoke’s small and largely residential campus community. Vaccine effectiveness wanes over time and studies show that boosters can significantly increase resistance to contracting COVID-19, and greatly lessen the severity of symptoms for those who become positive. Think of the COVID-19 vaccine like a flu shot – it needs to be repeated to be effective.  

What is the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)? 

The OSHA ETS requires the college to establish a COVID-19 vaccination policy, to collect vaccination records, and to test unvaccinated employees weekly, among other requirements. It impacts faculty, staff and student employees. Many college policies are already aligned with the requirements and work is being done on others to bring us into compliance. This law has undergone several legal challenges and is currently waiting for review by the Supreme Court, but may go into effect in mid-January.  

How do I get my vaccination/booster information to the college if I am a student?  

Documentation that you have received the vaccine should be submitted via the Student Health Portal by Jan. 31, 2022. Vaccine hard copies can be sent by email to healthservices@roanoke.edu or you can bring a copy to the Student Health Center.  

How do I get my vaccination/booster information to the college if I am a faculty or staff member?  

Human Resources will be collecting the information. Please upload a picture/copy of your vaccination card through our collection system’s secure portal by Jan. 31, 2022. If you prefer, you may also stop by the Human Resource offices located in College Hall between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to show your card. The OSHA ETS standard requires that the college keep a copy of vaccination cards. We are asking any faculty and staff member who uploaded a card prior to December 13 to please upload your card again. 

I am a student, faculty or staff member and I have a medical condition where the vaccine/booster is contra-indicated. What can I do?  

Students, faculty and staff can visit the Healthy Campus page to obtain a form to download and give to their physician to complete. Students should return completed forms to Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS), and faculty and staff should return the completed form back to Human Resources. If you already have an approved exemption for the vaccine, you do not need to file another for the booster.  

I am a student, faculty or staff member and I have a religious objection to getting the vaccine/booster. What can I do?  

Students may request a religious exemption by visiting the Healthy Campus page and completing an online form. Faculty and staff should visit the Healthy Campus page and complete this online form.   If you already have an approved exemption for the vaccine, you do not need to file another for the booster.  

Do students, faculty and staff who received their vaccination/boosters at Roanoke College vaccination clinics still have to submit evidence of their vaccination?  

Yes, please submit your information via the appropriate portal.  

I have been vaccinated but have lost my card providing documentation. How can I get a record of my vaccination?  

People who have misplaced their vaccination card can request their immunization records from their state department of health. People who were vaccinated in Virginia can request their immunization records through the Virginia Department of Health’s Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS), located here. You can call VIIS at 866-375-9795 or email them at VIISHelpDesk@hp.com. A list of other states’ Immunization Information Systems can be found here 

If I am approved for an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine/booster, what health and safety protocols will I have to follow?   

  • Students, faculty and staff who are approved for the waiver and are not vaccinated:  
  • Will be required to wear a mask in indoor setting and in outdoor setting when social distancing can’t be maintained
  • Must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing
  • Will be required to quarantine per CDC guidelines if exposed to COVID-19
  • Will be placed in isolation if they have tested positive for COVID-19

What happens if students don’t provide proof of receiving a booster?   

Some students may not be eligible for receiving a booster by Jan. 31 and they may continue to attend classes. For students who would rather defer any decision about vaccination, they should fill out a medical or religious waiver request. Unboosted students will be required to test weekly. 

What happens if faculty and staff don’t provide proof of vaccination/booster? 

Vaccinations are the most effective tool we have to keep our community safe. Unvaccinated faculty and staff in mandatory areas will be required to undergo weekly testing. This includes those with approved medical or religious exemptions. Those in non-mandatory areas will undergo random testing. Once the OSHA ETS is in effect, ANY unvaccinated faculty, staff or student employee, even with medical or religious exemptions, will be required to test weekly. 

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to get the vaccine/booster? 

Yes, you should get vaccinated/boosted. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that you could be infected with the virus again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Why are you not testing those who have been vaccinated?   

The CDC doesn't recommend regular testing for vaccinated individuals. Testing of vaccinated individuals is recommended only if the vaccinated person is symptomatic. 

Are vaccinated students required to wear masks in the classroom?  

For now, yes. Due to the continued evolution of variants, we are requiring masking in all common spaces which includes classrooms. We evaluate this position monthly and any change will be communicated.