FAIRMONT — With classrooms expected to be at full capacity this fall, Pierpont Community & Technical College is offering students, faculty and staff incentives to become fully vaccinated by Sept. 10.
The moves comes as the college plans to open its campuses in-full for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 terms.
“Vaccines have proven to be extremely effective in the fight against COVID-19,” Pierpont Interim President Anthony Hancock said. “The safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance, and we will follow state and national guidelines to ensure their health and wellbeing.”
Pierpont officials will monitor infection and hospitalization rates and get input from the Marion County Health Department in the event there is a need to adjust COVID protocols in the coming school year. Incentives will be offered to faculty, staff and students who show proof of being vaccinated by 4 p.m. on September 10.
Vaccinated students will be required to show proof of getting their shots by 4 p.m. on Dept. 10 in order to be entered into a drawing to receive one of four $500 scholarships through the Pierpont Foundation Inc.
College employees who have shown proof of vaccination will be entered into a drawing for $25 gift cards through the foundation. The college’s 2021-22 protocols apply to all Pierpont campuses, including the Advanced Technology Center in Fairmont, the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg, the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center in Bridgeport and every regional site.
Every Pierpont student is being required to register their COVID vaccine status by Aug. 1, according to a college press release. College officials will send letters or emails to all students, faculty and staff who haven’t registered their vaccine status by Aug. 5 asking them to do so. Those who do not register or are unvaccinated are expected to report to the Advanced Technology Center, 500 Galliher Drive, on Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon or from noon to 4 p.m. for COVID testing prior to the beginning of the semester.
Students are being asked to mail their vaccination proof to the college office on Galliher Drive by Aug. 5, while faculty can upload in their immunization record using forms on the college website.
Students on Fairmont’s State University’s campus must follow that institutions protocols, which can be found at https://www.fairmontstate.edu/coronavirus/reopening. Vaccines Pierpont will encourage but not require vaccination for faculty, staff and students. The college will re-evaluate vaccination requirements upon FDA approval. All employees and students must register their COVID vaccine status by August 1.
College officials plan to team up work with the local health department to offer a free COVID vaccine clinic at the Advanced Technology Center.
All unvaccinated faculty, students and staff will be asked to get tested two additional times for COVID-19 during the fall semester, prior to the 12-week and 8-week sessions. Those dates and times will be scheduled later in the semester.
College officials have eliminated the requirement to wear a mask indoors or outdoors on any of Pierpont’s campuses for those who have been vaccinated. Faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear a mask while inside all Pierpont facilities and outdoors when around other people. Fully vaccinated individuals who wish to continue wearing a mask for additional protection are encouraged to do so.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of exposure, Pierpont officials ask that employees and students continue monitoring their personal health.
“Those who feel ill should not come to campus. Students, faculty, or staff who become ill while on campus should return to their campus or local residence, self-isolate and avoid further contact with others,” states the press release,
Anyone who believes they are sick should wear a mask or face covering and follow physical distancing guidelines.
Pierpont students who will be living in Fairmont State University housing must follow university rules regarding visitors and guests. PCTC students will move in Aug. 14-15. Fairmont State will continue to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of arrival or students can get rapid tested on site at a cost of $20. Guests will be permitted to assist with the move-in process.