Quinnipiac updates COVID-19 requirements going into the spring semester


Katie Coen, Executive Producer: Q30 Newscast

Even with the new COVID-19 variants impacting the number of cases in Connecticut, Quinnipiac University will not be requiring its students to get the COVID-19 booster shot before returning to school for the spring semester, but they are requiring a negative test.

The new COVID-19 variant, called Omicron, has been found in Connecticut. The Omicron variant and Delta variant have and plan to lead to an increase in cases, according to Senior Medical Advisor for the COVID-19 Task Force Dr. David Hill. Hill says the decision to test all students is due to increasing numbers of cases.

“With cases increasing in Connecticut and the region and some increase [in] case numbers within our own community, we felt well, what can we do to start out next semester as code free as possible, so we considered approaches and decided that having everyone tested was the best approach to doing that,” Hill said.

First-year marketing major Max Koesterich says he understands why the university wants students to submit a negative test.

“It’s fair for them to want us to get tested before we come back. New information about the variant comes out every day and it’s probably best for us to be tested,” Koesterich said.

PCR tests are preferred by the university, but they will also accept rapid tests and home tests. These test results must be uploaded to the Student Health Center patient portal. For the J-term and school of medicine which start on Jan. 3, the test must be taken Dec. 28 or after and uploaded by Dec. 31 at midnight. For all students returning for the spring semester that begins on Jan. 24, the test must be taken on Jan. 18 or later and uploaded by Jan. 21.

While the university is not requiring the booster shot, it is still highly recommended for students to receive.

“QU strongly encourages all students to get a booster shot. The university is not mandating boosters at this time but will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and reserves the right to require boosters in the future if warranted,” said Hill and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett in an email to students.

Hill also says the university does not want to require the booster shot and hopes students choose to get it themselves.

“That’s a possibility that we would require [the booster shot], but it’s not our goal,” Hill said. “Our goal is not to require it unless something really untoward happens so if we don’t require it, we again hope our students will honor that decision and then go ahead and get their boosters.”

When students return in the spring, there will be an on-campus booster clinic. The dates for these clinics will be released after they are finalized.

Many students like second-year economics major Sarah Milch are happy with the university’s decision to not require the booster shot.

“If the university required a booster shot, I would probably get it sooner than I would if they did not require it,” Milch said. “I would be disappointed that they were forcing me to do something that I’m not ready to do myself after doing copious amounts of research.”

With student concerns about getting the booster shot, Hill and the university urge students that it is safe.

“We have a very good picture of these vaccines, now we have literally hundreds of millions of doses of these vaccines that have been given, both in the US, millions in the state of Connecticut and hundreds of millions in the US, and you know even more in the world,” Hill said.

The university recommends that students get the booster shot over break to further protect the campus community in the spring semester.

“Actually getting it over the break is a good time because you don’t have to get up at 8 a.m. the next morning and get [to] the class or an event,” Hill said.

After a full fall semester, students are ready for another “normal” semester at Quinnipiac.

“I really hope these new variants do not impact us at school and I hope we can have another full semester in 2022,” Koesterich said.