COVID Response Team Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs on the COVID-19 Vaccine
What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease, as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus. Developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences. This immunity helps you fight the virus if exposed. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, because if you are protected from getting infected and from disease, you are less likely to infect someone else. This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as healthcare providers, older or elderly adults, and people with other medical conditions.
Can we stop taking precautions after being vaccinated?
Vaccination protects you from getting seriously ill and dying from COVID-19. For the first fourteen days after getting a vaccination, you do not have significant levels of protection. Then it increases gradually. For a single dose vaccine, immunity will generally occur two weeks after vaccination. For two-dose vaccines, both doses are needed to achieve the highest level of immunity possible.
Maintaining preventative measures is important especially in communities where SARS CoV-2 circulation is significant. To help keep you and others safe, and while efforts continue to reduce viral transmission and expand vaccine coverage, you should continue to maintain at least 6 feet distance from others, cover a cough or sneeze in your elbow, clean your hands frequently and wear a mask, particularly in enclosed, crowded or poorly ventilated spaces. Always follow guidance from local authorities based on the situation and risk where you live.
Should I be vaccinated if I have had COVID-19?
Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should be vaccinated when it is offered to you. The protection that someone gains from having COVID-19 will vary greatly from person to person. The immunity people get from being vaccinated after having a natural infection is consistently very strong. Getting vaccinated even if you have had COVID-19 means you are more likely to be protected for longer.
Do the vaccines protect against variants?
A growing body of data suggests that most vaccines stimulate enough immunity to retain substantial efficacy against most variants, especially for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
The reason vaccines substantially retain protection against disease is likely related to the broad immune response they induce, which means that virus changes or mutations are unlikely to make vaccines completely ineffective. If any of these vaccines become less effective against one or more variants, it will likely be possible to change the composition of the vaccines to protect against these variants, however this will take time and additional data to fully evaluate.
What is the difference between the immunity you develop from getting COVID-19 and immunity from getting a COVID-19 vaccine?
We are still learning about how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts from natural infection, and from vaccination. We are now starting to see evidence that the immunity you get after having COVID-19 can be strong. However, the type of immunity that’s developed after infection varies from person to person, making it less predictable than immunity after vaccination.
What we do know is that COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease that can have long-term consequences. It is much safer to get vaccinated than it is to risk getting COVID-19.
Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 booster shot?” anchor=”eligibility-booster
Right now, you’re eligible for a 2nd COVID-19 booster if you: Are 50 years of age or older and got your first booster at least 4 months ago. Are moderately or severely immunocompromised, 12 years of age or older, and got your first booster at least 4 months ago.
For the Health and Well-Being of the College Community
Are COVID-19 vaccinations required?
Effective January 2022, Northern Essex Community College students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit verification of their fully vaccinated status to the College absent an approved reasonable accommodation. The Colleges will be providing information to employees about the verification process following impact bargaining with applicable unions. If they have not already done so, the colleges will be providing information to students as to how to submit verification in the upcoming weeks. For more information, please view the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Frequently Asked Questions page.
Are face coverings required on an NECC campus?
NECC is a Mask Flexible Campus. We encourage mask wearing while indoors. Be mindful of those around you and their comfort level. Keep a mask in your pocket just in case!
Which type of mask best protects from COVID-19?
It is recommended that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently. Certain types of masks offer higher levels of protection than others. KN95 and N95 are more effective than cloth or surgical face coverings at protecting against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Can I re-use the more effective N95 mask?
NIOSH-certified N95 masks are designed to be single-use devices but may be used multiple times under crisis capacity strategies. Mask performance will decrease over time. NECC has a limited supply of certified N95 masks available to the college community free of charge, while supplies last.
When should I stay off campus?
Stay home and contact the team if: you or a household member aren’t feeling well, are awaiting a COVID test for cause, have been exposed or have received a positive test.
What do I do if I was exposed to COVID outside of campus?
If you are vaccinated AND have received your booster shot, you do not need to quarantine following an exposure, unless your exposure is to a household member. If someone in your household has tested positive, please remain off campus and reach out to email@example.com as we will want to connect with you directly. If you have not received your booster shot and received your initial two dose mNRA vaccination series more than 6 months ago, or one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccination more than 2 months ago, you need to quarantine for 5 days post exposure and closely monitor for symptoms. Regardless of vaccination and booster status, CDC recommends you test 5 days post exposure.
How do I report a positive test result?
Please fill out our COVID Exposure Form and closely follow the guidance you are given.
How do I get cleared to return to campus following a positive test?
Please fill out our Return To Campus Clearance Form.
How is NECC addressing air quality on its campuses?
NECC has cleaned all the duct work across both campuses. We have added MERV filters to our HVAC system and have purchased HEPA Air Scrubbers for use in high traffic areas.
Who can I reach out to for questions, concerns or support?
For General COVID-19 questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For COVID-19 policy questions please email email@example.com
Report Concerns is a private email box monitored by Marissa Elliott and Mike McCarthy
If you are a student with a question specifically geared towards academics or student life, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a faculty or staff member with questions about logistics for your team, please contact email@example.com.
For the General Public/Visitors and Prospective Students
How do I get in touch with offices like Admissions, Center for Accessibility Resources & Services, Advising, and Career Services?
We are here to serve you. For a full list of services and how to contact, visit the Student Affairs Hours webpage.
How are MassHire services being impacted?
The latest updates from MassHire Merrimack Valley Career Center can be found on the MassHire website.
For Faculty and Staff
Do I have to sign in when coming to campus?
NECC community members who are on campus during their regularly scheduled work or classroom hours do not need to sign in.
If you are visiting a building outside of your regular routine, for example, checking out a book at the library and you will be in the building for more than 15 minutes, please take a moment to sign in.
Visitors coming to an NECC campus during the spring 2022 semester must sign in via the website, the QR code or the log book and attest to the information listed.
What is the COVID response team doing to insure a safe campus?
The NECC COVID response team remains vigilant during these ever-changing times. While we remain positive and excited about the return of our campus community, the safety of our community is our top priority. We regularly monitor federal, state and local sources for continuously updated information to help shape our COVID safety policies and plans. Check your email, the NECC social media pages, and this website regularly for updated information.
If I’m a student facing employee, how do I handle being told of a positive test?
If a faculty or staff member receives information regarding a positive test or an exposure risk, we ask that you remind the student to remain off campus until the individual receives a clean bill of health, and that you reach out to the COVID Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We understand these situations may be complex or nuanced; we are standing by to be of support.
Am I a required to get a COVID test before coming on campus?
Receiving a COVID test is not required before returning to campus. However, with the continued safety for all as a priority, symptomatic individuals should remain off campus until they have spoken with a member of the COVID Response Team.
Where can I get a COVID test if I feel the need?
NECC has partnered with Lawrence General Hospital to support our faculty, staff and students who may wish to be tested for COVID 19. Our community is welcome to get tested under their free Stop the Spread initiative. Details can be found: https://www.lawrencegeneral.org/about-us/covid-19-testing.
Please email email@example.com to request a rapid test kit; a COVID team representative will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact by our COVID team, please feel free to reach out to the COVID Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a close contact testing kit.
Are vaccines required? Where can I get a COVID-19 vaccination?
Effective January 2022, Northern Essex Community College students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit verification of their fully vaccinated status to the College absent an approved reasonable accommodation. For more information, please view the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Frequently Asked Questions page. NECC has joined the White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge, along with colleges and universities across the country. As a part of this initiative, participating colleges commit to three actions: engaging every student, faculty, and staff member; organizing campus communities around vaccine efforts; and delivering vaccine access for all. As a result, the NECC COVID Response Team strongly recommends receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. We have partnered with Greater Lawrence Family Health Centers to provide vaccinations to our community. Vaccinations are also available at multiple community centers, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices. More information can be found through Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and the Massachusetts COVID website.
For Current Students
Impact on Credit Courses
Are there resources available for students who have been impacted by the coronavirus?
Students are encouraged to contact our NECC community resources coordinator, Janel D’Agata-Lynch, email@example.com to be connected to resources available in our community.
What can I do if I don’t have a computer and/or internet access at home?
NECC has a limited number of laptop computers available for students who need them to complete classwork. To request assistance, please complete the Laptop Request Form. After submitting, you will be contacted soon by someone from NECC about your request.
When will on site classes resume?
A growing number of face-to-face classes will be held in all academic areas. If you have questions or have not yet registered, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 978 556-3700.
How are practicums and co-op placements being impacted?
We understand that students are now facing challenges with finishing specific program requirements, including completing their internship, practicum or clinical hours. Additionally, there is a lot of uncertainty, especially for employers, who are evaluating their current internship programs and hiring needs. NECC is here to support you and to ensure that you are able to successfully complete your program requirements. Each program will have different policies and procedures regarding their internship, practicum and clinical programs. If you have questions or concerns about your internship search or about your ability to fulfill internship, practicum or clinical requirements, please contact Ashley Moore, Director of Career Services at email@example.com. We will make sure that all questions are properly directed and answered in a timely manner.
How do I withdraw from a course remotely?
To withdraw from a course remotely you can email firstname.lastname@example.org from your NECC email account and include the following:
- NECC Student ID
- First and Last Name
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Course and CRN Number
The “W” withdrawal grade will not impact your Academic Standing, but may impact your financial aid. Please email Student Financial Services at email@example.com with questions regarding your financial aid. Further questions, please call 978-556-3700.
Why is there a Student Activities Fee when Learning is Remote?
NECC’s Student Activities fee, currently $8 a credit hour, pays for just a portion of student activities including concerts, guest speakers, new student orientation, commencement, clubs, and special events. These funds are used solely for the purpose of student activities and are used for activities and services throughout the entire year. Because of the pandemic, many in-person events aren’t possible, such as concerts and face-to-face guest speakers. Many activities have been put on-line such as orientation and commencement, and we are exploring options for additional virtual programming.
Some extracurricular activities have transitioned to virtual events and delivery, including our theater production, our student newspaper, and our annual public speaking event, Speechapalooza. Also, many of our student clubs continue to meet virtually.
Orientation will be offered in a choice of online formats; and Commencement will be a virtual celebration that includes packages for each of the 600 graduates and a virtual ceremony that will be held in August.
If you have questions or need assistance, contact Jonathan Miller, Dean of Students, firstname.lastname@example.org 978-556-3818. Please follow on social media for updates @NECCStudentLife on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.
How will my learning accommodation be impacted by remote course delivery?
In some cases, accommodations will be added or adjusted. In addition, the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services is working closely with faculty to develop their online courses with accessibility in mind. For additional information, including contacts, please visit the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services webpage.
Impact on Early College Courses
How are Early College courses being impacted?
Early College courses are currently being offered in an online format. Each high school is working with the college’s PK12 office to create a suite of support services for students to help them succeed in the online format. If you have questions, please email email@example.com or call and leave a detailed voicemail at 978-556-3332.
Impact on ESL & Adult Education Courses
How are ESL & Adult Basic Education courses being impacted?
Northern Essex offers an Academic ESL Program that prepares students for college-level studies as well as ESOL classes, through the Center for Adult Education, for students who want to communicate more effectively in their workplace or community or in further education or training. Academic ESL and ESOL classes are all being offered online. For more information on the Academic ESL Program, contact Amy Cameron, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the ESOL classes, contact Marsha Parinussa Flynn, ESOL coordinator, email@example.com.
Impact on Community Education and Corporate Training Courses
How are community education courses being impacted?
Some courses/programs will be returning to the classroom setting, while others will be held remotely. To view classes that are currently being offered, please visit Online Training. If you have questions, please contact a Community Education staff member at 978-556-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How are corporate education courses being impacted?
COVID impacted Corporate Education by putting training on hold, some classes were postponed. While other courses were moved to online formats, sometimes requiring curriculum adjustments.
We are planning for both in person and remote classes based on client needs and requirements.
For information regarding our corporate courses, please contact Sharon Schoolcraft at email@example.com or Linda Schildkraut at firstname.lastname@example.org
Impact on Campus Access, Events, Services, and Travel
How are athletic activities and events being impacted?
Athletics has resumed practice, full league and non-league schedules for all sports. We have developed league wide COVID protocols to ensure the safety of our athletes.
Additional information and required student-athlete paperwork for the 2021-2022 academic year is available on www.neccknights.com. For additional information please contact Director of Athletics Dan Blair email@example.com or a member of the coaching staff with any questions.
How do I request technical/computer support?
IT Staff will is available by phone at 978-556-3111 during our normal operating hours of Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 7:00PM. We will be utilizing Microsoft Teams and other collaboration tools as needed to facilitate remote assistance.
You can also visit our office spaces during normal business hours. Our offices are located in L005 in Lawrence (45 Franklin St) and A341 in Haverhill (Library building). Additionally, you can open up an IT Service ticket by going to https://helpdesk.necc.mass.edu/ and log in using your NECC credentials.
How is college-related student travel being impacted?
Because of the uncertainty surrounding world travel, we are not currently offering any study abroad opportunities. We are looking forward to planning future study abroad offerings while keeping in mind the safety of our students. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are the Academic Centers being impacted?
Availability and services will vary by center so please check (https://www.necc.mass.edu/current-students/academic-centers/) regularly for area schedules or contact the area of interest directly through their NECC email address.
How is the Library being impacted?
The library and computer labs on both campuses are open with full services and will continue to offer virtual services for remote students. The library hours for the fall have not been finalized. However, a tentative schedule of 8:00AM – 4:00PM Monday through Friday has been established. For additional information on library services, visit the library webpage.
How is the bookstore being impacted?
The NECC Bookstore is open to students and the general public. We also continue to serve our customers by fulfilling online orders placed through our website www.neccstore.com. You can contact the bookstore with questions at email@example.com or call the store at 978-556-3999 Monday through Thursday 10 am to 4 pm. Stay well!
At this time, only drinks and snacks are available at the bookstore. No hot or cold meals are offered.
How are food services being impacted?
Snack and drink machines are full in the gym, TC, E building Floor 2 and 414 Common St as of now. Snacks can also be purchased at the Bookstore.
The snack bar in the gym is opening this fall when classes start, Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM till 1:00PM.
Will NECC’s “College for Kids” Summer programming be impacted?
Unfortunately, we will not be running College for Kids for the Summer 2022 session. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a voicemail at 978-556-3332.
How are Early College courses being impacted?
The majority of the courses will be offered as Hybrid, meaning one on-campus class meeting per week with the remainder online. Some courses will remain fully remote. If you have questions, please email email@example.com or call and leave a voicemail at 978-556-3332.