COVID-19

All concerns regarding COVID-19 and potential cases should be directed to the University COVID Support Team at 718-990-2700.

COVID-19 Notification Form

As of April 21, 2021, St. John’s will require all students to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and to provide proof of vaccination before the start of each term. Students enrolled in fully online degree programs (see Find a Program | St. John's University), defined as students not physically on-campus for the duration of the degree, do not need to provide proof of vaccination. This does not include students taking only some of their courses online.

Proof of vaccination to COVID-19 must be submitted online via Medicat, the online patient portal.

Submission Deadlines:

Summer and Fall semesters: June 30
Spring semester: December 15

How to Upload Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination and/or Booster Vaccination

To upload your documents student health services health portal (Medicat):

  1. Go to signon.stjohns.edu and sign in using your St. John's network credentials that you use to access your St. John’s email.
    • If you need assistance logging in, please review the support article, How do I log in to signon.stjohns.edu? If this is your first-time logging in, you will be prompted to set up multifactor authentication.
  2. Once you signed in, click on the icon for Medicat (Student Health Services and Wellness).
    Medicat icon in Okta
  3. Once you in Medicat, select Uploads. Scroll down to the drop-down menu and select “COVID-19 Vaccine Card.”
  4. Click Select File to browse your computer for the document you will upload and click Upload.
    • Please make sure you upload all the required forms.

St. John’s has an interface with the New York State and New York City Immunization Registries. If you received your COVID-19 vaccination in New York State it is very likely we already have your vaccination on file and do not upload anything. .

  • Before uploading your documents, verify in Medicat what immunization records are on file for you.
  • If your record is missing COVID-19 vaccination, please upload them now by following the directions above.

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

People are protected best from severe COVID-19 illness when they stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Currently St. John's University recommends students and employees get their recommended boosters when eligible. COVID-19 vaccine boosters can further enhance or restore protection that might have decreased over time after your primary series vaccination. When you have received your COVID-19 booster dose, please upload proof into Medicat.

COVID-19 Vaccine Exemptions

Students who believe they qualify for a medical or religious exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement must submit a completed exemption request. It is your responsibility to complete all documentation by the required deadlines.

IMPORTANT: As of 4:30 p.m. (ET) on August 1, 2022, religious exemption application process for the Fall 2022 semester is now closed. The University will no longer accept applications for religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the Fall 2022 semester. If you would like to apply for a religious exemption to the University's COVID-19 vaccine requirement, applications will open again later in 2022 for the Spring 2023 semester.

If a student’s application for an exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement is not granted, the student must provide proof of receipt of COVID-19 vaccination to attend in-person classes.

If a student has been previously been granted a medical/religious exemption to the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, the student must reapply each academic year or when terms of the granted exemption expire.

For students living in University housing: Before being allowed to move in, a student must have submitted proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose of J&J/Janssen) or have been formally granted a medical/religious exemption. There are no exceptions to this policy.

St. John’s University will require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose of J&J/Janssen) if a student is planning to be on campus during the 2022-2023 academic year for any reason. Only students enrolled in a fully online degree program (see list) are exempt from this policy. Please note that classes will operate in the format indicated in UIS.

If you have any questions regarding the University’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, please email Student Affairs at studentaffairs@my.stjohns.edu.

To apply for a medical exemption, please complete both forms and submit them in Medicat via signon.stjohns.edu (Medicat > Upload > Select “Medical Exemption Application”).

  1. Student form: COVID Medical Exemption - Student - Fall 2022
  2. Provider form: COVID Medical Exemption - Provider - Fall 2022

The deadline to submit an exemption application is Monday, August 1 by 4:30 p.m. (ET). Incomplete applications and/or late applications will not be considered. We strongly recommend submitting a medical exemption application as soon as possible, as processing times may be extended if consultation with your medical provider is required.

IMPORTANT: As of 4:30 p.m. (ET) on August 1, 2022, religious exemption application process for the Fall 2022 semester is now closed. The University will no longer accept applications for religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the Fall 2022 semester.

If you would like to apply for a religious exemption to the University's COVID-19 vaccine requirement, applications will open again later in 2022 for the Spring 2023 semester.

Please note any student who previously applied for a religious exemption to the University’s vaccine requirement and was denied, that student may not reapply. Decisions regarding vaccine exemption applications are final and not appealable.

If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 religious exemption application process, please contact studentaffairs@my.stjohns.edu.

Isolation/Quarantine Protocols

Use this checklist if you test positive for COVID-19 after returning to campus:

  • Do not come to campus. (If you live on campus, remain in your residence hall room.)
  • Upload to Medicat a copy of your COVID-19 positive test.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Notification Form.
  • Work with your healthcare provider for specific directives related to any medical issues. You can also contact Student Health Services 718-990-6360.
  • Isolate according to the guidance below. (Resident students must follow the guidance from Student Health Services.)

Isolate yourself, regardless of vaccination status, even if you do not have symptoms.

Please isolate yourself for at least 5 days. Based on CDC and NYS guidelines, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 (with a few exceptions) will need to isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen. If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised, you will need to isolate for a full 10 days.

  • If you are living in campus housing, St. John’s University prefers that students complete their isolation period at home whenever possible. If you are offered an isolation space on campus, you will be contacted by the University and moved to a new location to complete your isolation period.
  • You must complete 5 full days of isolation and can break your isolation on the sixth day if you are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving.
    • You cannot end your isolation if:
      • You have had fever in the past 24 hours and have taken a fever lowering medicine such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen) to lower your temperature in the past 24 hours.
      • You are still coughing up phlegm. You should only have a resolving cough that does not prevent you from wearing a well-fitting mask continuously for the next 5 days.
      • You have a runny nose.
  • Before you are released from isolation, you are required to complete an attestation form indicating that you are asymptomatic or that symptoms are resolving. Please follow the directions below to complete the attestation form.
    • To access the form, log into Medicat. Click on the “Forms” tab. Click on the “Day 5 Release from Isolation COVID-19 Attestation” link to sign the attestation form.
  • Once your attestation form has been completed, you are cleared to break your isolation (this is based on an honor system).
  • On day six after you break isolation, wear a well-fitting mask at all times (indoors and outside) around other people for another 5 days, i.e., 10 days following your exposure.
    • We recommend wearing a tight-fitting mask such as a N95 or KN95 mask. As an alternative you can wear a surgical mask under a cloth mask or double mask ensuring that there are no gaps.

If you are identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 follow these steps.

  1. Contact your health care provider, especially if you have underlying health issue or are considered high risk.
  2. If you develop symptoms, DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS. (If you live on campus, remain in your residence room.) Schedule a COVID-19 test. Students residing on campus should contact Student Health Services to arrange for testing.
  3. Quarantine according to the guidance below:
    • You should quarantine for 5 days:
      • If you are booster eligible and have not obtained a booster shot (more than 6 months past your second dose of Moderna, 5 months past your second dose of Pfizer, or 2 months past your J&J vaccine), or if you are unvaccinated even with an approved exemption.
      • Your day of exposure is day 0. You must complete 5 full days of quarantine and can break your quarantine on day 6.
      • On day 6 after you break quarantine, wear a mask at all times (indoors and outside) around others for another 5 days (or 10 days following your exposure).
      • We recommend wearing a tight-fitting mask such as a N95 or KN95 mask. As an alternative, you can wear a surgical mask under a cloth mask or double mask ensuring that there are no gaps.
      • Get tested on or after day 5 (unless you had COVID-19 within the last 90 days and have since recovered and remained symptom free, then you do not need to get tested after close contact with someone with COVID-19).
      • Once you have completed quarantine, you will need to submit the Affirmation of Quarantine document in Medicat.
    • You do not need to quarantine if:
      • You are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 booster shot.
        • However, wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days at all times (indoors and outside) around others. We recommend wearing a tight-fitting mask such as a N95 or KN95 mask. As an alternative, you can wear a surgical mask under a cloth mask or double mask ensuring that there are no gaps.
      • You had a confirmed COVID-19 case within the last 90 days (tested positive using a viral test, e.g. antigen or PCR) and submitted the notify form with documentation.
      • Get tested on or after day 5.

Please take a moment to review the New York State Department of Health Updated Isolation & Quarantine Guidance.

COVID-19 FAQs

Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. For those with a weakened immune system, there's a chance the virus could cause much more serious respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.

This virus has similar symptoms to the seasonal flu, so it is important to not make any assumptions and have any respiratory illness evaluated by a healthcare provider. Take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season. Wash your hands often, cover your cough, and if you feel sick stay home.

Concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness are understandable.

If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please don’t hesitate to turn to the Student Health Services (718-990-6360, select option 4) or the Center for Counseling and Consultation (Queens, 718-990-6384; Staten Island, 718-390-4451) or the St. John’s University Mental Health Helpline (718-990-6352).

For information and support resources, please visit Following an Emergency Situation or a Traumatic Event.

Everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

For people who are sick:

  • Stay home.
  • If you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Keep sick household members away from others. If you have a separate room that is best.
  • Use soap and water, a bleach and water solution, or EPA-approved household products. You can make your own cleanser with a mixture of 1 cup of liquid unscented chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.

The CDC is continuing to evaluate and adjust its recommendation about wearing masks. Please visit the CDC's website for the latest recommendations on wearing masks.

As of April 17 at 8 p.m., anyone in New York must wear a face covering in any situation in public where you cannot maintain social distancing. For more information about this Executive Order, please visit The New York State Novel Coronavirus website.

Vaccination will not be required for those not accessing campus or participating in any University-related activities. However, if a student accesses campus for any reason such as visiting friends, using the fitness center, participating in a University-recognized activity then proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required. If in a subsequent semester a student takes an in-person class, COVID-19 vaccination will be required.

Vaccine FAQs

There are currently three vaccines that are approved and readily available in the United States: the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are known as mRNA vaccines. Your body uses the mRNA from the vaccine as instructions to make a protein that is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. Your body then naturally produces antibodies to the protein. Once your immune system does this, it makes memory cells so that if it ever encounters this protein again, it will remember it and immediately start making antibodies to it. This way, if you ever get exposed to the actual virus, your body immediately recognizes it, and knows to use antibodies to prevent the virus from getting into your cells, replicating, and making you sick.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a harmless piece of a different virus to instruct your cells to make the protein unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. Your body then naturally produces antibodies to it in the same way described above.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, given 21 days apart for Pfizer and 28 days apart for Moderna. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose.

No.

All three vaccines–Johnson & Johnson,* Moderna, and Pfizer–offer clear public health and lifesaving benefits, providing protection against symptomatic COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. They are extremely effective at preventing death and hospitalization from COVID-19.

Mild to moderate side effects have been reported. These side effects include pain or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. Most of these side effects resolved within 24-48 hours.

The Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses administered 21 days apart.

The Moderna vaccine requires 2 doses administered 28 days apart.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only 1 dose.

A person is considered “fully vaccinated” 2 weeks after their last dose of vaccine.

 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine studies found that two doses were needed to optimize the immune response and provide the best protection from COVID-19. Therefore, the 2-dose regimen is strongly recommended and will be necessary for documentation of full vaccination.

It typically takes at least two weeks after the final dose of a vaccine for the body to build up immunity to the disease.

Yes, as per CDC recommendations, vaccination is recommended regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic coronavirus infection, including a positive antibody test. For persons who experience lingering symptoms for weeks and months after diagnosis (i.e., “COVID-19 long-haulers”), vaccination is similarly considered safe and likely efficacious.

For persons with current COVID-19, vaccination should be deferred until recovery from acute illness.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very similar in composition. They consist of the mRNA particle, water, lipids, salt, sugar, and FDA-approved buffers. A complete list of the ingredients can be found here for Pfizer (page 11) and here for Moderna (page 11).

Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination has expanded in New York State to include everyone 5 years of age and older.

Visit COVID-19 Vaccine Finder. Or call one of these numbers: for New York City, dial (877) VAX- 4NYC (1-877-829-4692); for elsewhere in New York State, dial (833) NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).