Employment Services staff are eager to help, whether you simply need someone to talk to or formal assistance navigating and accessing available resources. With that intention, we wanted to provide information on COVID testing and support or resources available through Employment Services and the Macalester benefit plan. Some of the benefits are tied to our enrolled health plan participants, while the others are accessible regardless of benefit election or eligibility. You can find more information about each of these benefits by following the links provided. Again, please know that you may contact any ES staff member for assistance or questions.
Macalester College Employee Vaccination Requirement
For the 2021-22 academic year, each employee is required to affirm being vaccinated for COVID-19 or submitting a completed medical/non-medical accommodation form by August 2, 2021.
There are two ways to meet the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. Either,
Affirm your vaccination status (i.e. vaccine type and dates doses received) using this form; or
Provide a completed medical/non-medical accommodation form to Employment Services.
The college will accept documentation of vaccines that have received emergency use authorization (EUA status) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or placed on the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO). As of June 18, 2021 the FDA has listed for authorized use the following COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use:
Johnson & Johnson (Jannsen)
As of June 16, 2021, WHO has listed the following COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use:
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine
Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
This list is taken from the CDC website and will be updated as additional COVID-19 vaccines receive an emergency use listing from WHO.
COVID-19 Testing Guidance and Information
As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, we assembled information about testing resources to assist in screening and locating testing locations. At all times, we encourage communication with your primary care provider. To complement that, we are providing the following guidance and information. At any time, Employment Services is ready to help employees navigate, if help is needed.
UPDATE: November 2020. The Minnesota Department of Health announced guidance for increased access to COVID testing. To learn more about this program and find a location near you, follow this link: https://mn.gov/covid19/
If you have HealthPartners insurance, visit their COVID-19 testing page to locate testing locations. HealthPartners is partnering with the MN Department of Health and are offering convenient drive-up testing at eight of their MN clinics following a screening and by appointment only. Their site includes the ability to conduct a screening and if it is determined that you should be tested, they will let you know where to go and tell you more about how the drive-up testing works. You can either login to your HealthPartners account before you begin the testing or can continue as a guest. Macalester amended the health plan to cover testing expenses. As a result there is no cost for Macalester HealthPartners’ participants for the COVID-19 tests when billed through the Plan.
Nice Healthcare is available at no cost to any individual covered by Macalester’s health insurance. If you have questions about COVID-19, please schedule a visit with one of their licensed clinicians. Please note that Nice does not provide COVID-19 testing.
Macalester Benefits and Resources
New Benefit: Omada Mind
Omada Mind is a new online program from HealthPartners that offers support and coaching to help you feel your best. Participants will gain techniques that help them tackle life’s challenges: whether it is finding relief in the tough moments, managing the unique stress of today’s environment, or developing lasting mindset changes to improve their health for the long haul. With Omada Mind, participants will get secure and convenient access to a dedicated coach, learn tools and techniques to manage stress, and develop a plan that is tailored to fit their needs. Omada features programs that can help with the unique stresses that may have entered your life in the past several months. Page 2 of 4 To get started participants will want to download the Omada Mind app to their phone or tablet. Once the app is downloaded, they will want to open the app and enter in the following access code: HEA07689.
This online program is available to those currently enrolled in the Macalester health insurance plan at no additional cost.
Nice Healthcare offers chat, video and home primary care visits at no expense to enrolled health plan participants. Nice offers the most commonly accessed primary care labs, x-ray imaging and prescription delivery. In addition, participants can access coaching on topics such as wellness, pregnancy and living with chronic conditions. Learn more about Nice Healthcare.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Available to all employees at no cost, the EAP gives you access to a wide range of professional support and resources encompassing mental health, child care, financial consultations, identity theft, legal advice, pet care, senior care and more. The EAP team has taken special steps to recognize the unique challenges of COVID in their service offerings, including the establishment of a comprehensive COVID Resource Center. The Macalester EAP benefit offers 3 mental health consultations at no expense. Learn more about the EAP, including how to establish an account.
Wellness coaching is available to all employees at no cost. Our Wellness Coach, Kelly Fang, has been an invaluable resource to many across our community for the last 5 years. As a confidential resource, Kelly provides 1 on 1 coaching, education and programing related to wellness and selfcare. In addition to establishing a secure video platform to continue coaching sessions, Kelly can assist with connecting you to resources that address your personal needs. Kelly also co-leads the Wellness & Health At Macalester (WHAM) committee. Learn more about wellness coaching.
WHAM (Wellness & Health At Macalester)
WHAM continues its community activities and programing during the summer to keep you active and connected while fitness facilities are closed. Current offerings include: Yoga, Strength Training, Mindfulness and Cardio Training. WHAM offerings are open to all employees. Most offerings are free, while some may require a small registration fee. Learn more about WHAM programs.
Wellbeats is an easy-to-use, on-demand fitness platform to help you workout wherever, whenever, and however you like. This is ideal for the rhythms of the constrained lifestyle that we have had to adopt during this period of staying close to home. With over 450 virtual fitness classes in 29 channels, there’s something for every age, interest and fitness level. From cycling, to yoga, to quick office breaks, there is a class for anyone. All staff and faculty on Macalester’s health plan, as well as your covered spouses or domestic partners, are eligible to participate with no additional cost. Learn more about Wellbeats.
Virtuwell from HealthPartners
Just like a doctor’s visit, but online. No video required. No apps to download. No waiting. That’s Virtuwell – your 24/7 online clinic. Their offerings include responses to your COVID related questions as they help you navigate this uncertain medical environment. This component of our health plan is available to current plan participants and has a per visit cost of $50. Learn more about Virtuwell and establish an account.