UR Ready: COVID response, return to campus

It's up to all of us

As the University of Redlands continues to move forward with plans for an in-person fall term, each one of us—including students, faculty, and staff—plays a critical role in maintaining campus health and safety.

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we encourage you to visit this website regularly for updated guidelines regarding our return to campus.

Ongoing response

The University continues to monitor and respond to the ever-changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working closely with local agencies such as the County of San Bernardino and Marin County departments of public health.

University-wide committees meet regularly to review the latest developments and shape the University's response, with the goal of prioritizing health and safety while fulfilling the University's mission to provide an engaging, personalized education. 

Safety pillars

  • Vaccination is a key prevention strategy, both for your safety and the safety of our community. (See below for general information on COVID-19 vaccination.)
  • Use of face coverings when inside in the presence of others
  • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water, and the regular use of hand sanitizer
  • Increased routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces
  • Health checks to help those who are sick know to report their symptoms and stay away from others
  • Isolation of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and quarantine for those at risk due to exposure

General information on COVID-19 vaccination

Why should I get vaccinated?

We all want things to return to “normal” and to reach herd immunity. Our campus community can accelerate our path to normal by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. There are many compelling reasons to go ahead and get vaccinated now:

  • Protection from COVID for you, your family, colleagues, and friends.
  • Protection from severe illness and hospitalization.
  • No more weekly testing requirement (unless conditions change).
  • Ability to meet with others who have been vaccinated without face coverings or physical distancing.
  • No need to quarantine if you are exposed and are asymptomatic.
  • Travel in the United States without the need to self-quarantine upon return.

How safe is the vaccine? There still seems to be too many unknowns.

Millions of people have safely received a vaccine for COVID-19. Read more on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page “Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines.”

How long does the vaccine last? Will booster shots be required?

Immunization against COVID-19 will help protect you for the near future, but it’s still not clear how long the protection will last. Per the CDC, we do know that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice. Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity.

If COVID-19 has a 98% survival rate, why are you mandating the vaccination?

Vaccine efficacy and “survival rates” are different measures and cannot be directly compared. The survival rate of a disease is the likelihood someone with the illness will survive it, even with severe disease and/or ongoing illness post-recovery (known as “long COVID”), which can affect people of all ages. The efficacy of a vaccine is the probability it will prevent someone from catching the disease in the first place.

Vaccination has many benefits, both for you and our community:

  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You and other vaccinated members of the community can start doing more, for example gathering indoors without masks with others who are vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available, and the vaccine is an important one.

Read more at the CDC’s web page “Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine.”

The vaccines do not not give you immunity, so why promote them?

In fact, vaccines work to promote immunity. All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by teaching your immune system to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19 and will protect most people from getting sick. A very small percentage of fully vaccinated people will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the COVID-19 virus (called “breakthrough cases”), but their cases are usually mild. If you are fully vaccinated, the risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 is much lower than among unvaccinated people with similar risk factors.

Are the vaccines fully approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA)?

Vaccines for COVID-19 are currently being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. An EUA makes a product available quickly in public health emergencies, after data on safety and effectiveness from clinical trials has been submitted to the agency and manufacturing safety has been established. After an EUA is issued, the pharmaceutical company is expected to continue to monitor and collect data from clinical trials then request full approval, a process that usually takes several months. Both Pfizer and Moderna have now applied for full approval for their COVID-19 vaccines.

The known and potential benefits of a vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks before it is used EUA. Watch a video explaining an EUA.

If I already had and recovered from COVID-19, do I still need to get the vaccination?

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts believe your immunity will be stronger if you receive the vaccine, even if you have had the disease.  Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

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 are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Can you spread COVID-19 if you are vaccinated?

While studies are ongoing, the CDC indicates that early data show that vaccination reduces the spread of COVID-19.

More resources

Please see these national and local authorities for additional information on COVID-19.