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.

Accommodation Request Forms

Macalester College Employee Vaccination Requirement

In order to sustain our goal of minimizing infections and curtailing transmission on campus, all employees are required to provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccine series and booster by February 1, 2022.  There are two exceptions to providing documentation:

  1. You are currently in the waiting period for when a booster can be provided.  Booster doses are recommended for those who are six months past their second does of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months past their single Johnson & Johnson does. Or,
  2. You have an existing COVID-19 vaccine exemption in place.

You are required to submit documentation of your prior vaccination series and booster dose (i.e. a photo or scan or your vaccination card) using this COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Reporting Form.

The college is requiring this information in anticipation of meeting institutional reporting needs, as well as to inform planning for the spring semester.  We announced this expectation December 13, 2021 in order to allow all individuals time to secure a free booster shot in the coming weeks.  We urge you to get your booster does as soon as possible.  You can direct questions to healthresponse@macalester.edu.

High rates of vaccination has been one of the foundational public health layers to our in-person fall semester. Such a solid foundation aided in avoiding large-scale outbreaks by limiting cases to small groups of close contacts. Our community has also effectively complemented vaccination by maintaining other public health practices: masking, observing physical distance, avoiding large crowds, and staying home when not feeling well followed by getting tested. Recent data show that vaccine-mediated protection from infection wanes over time, leading to more breakthrough cases. Vaccines remain, however, very effective at reducing hospitalizations and death and reports released during the past week show that a booster dose reduces the likelihood of infection by the omicron variant. In fact, both the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have communicated that anyone 18 or older should receive a COVID-19 booster.

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:

  1. Pfizer

  2. Moderna

  3. 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/

What to Do If you Test Positive

If you get tested for COVID-19 and your test result comes back positive, you should email contacttracing@macalester.edu. The Macalester contact tracing team collaborates with the Minnesota Department of Health and will follow up with you. Students will be connected to the COVID case management team for support, and employees will be advised about support resources and next steps for the contact tracing process.

HealthPartners

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

Nice Healthcare is available any individual covered by Macalester’s health insurance. Nice Healthcare offers chat, video and home primary care visits at no cost. Nice offers the most commonly accessed primary care labs, x-ray imaging, prescriptions (550+ prescriptions), physical therapy, mental health therapy, wellness, pregnancy and chronic condition coaching. 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

Nice Healthcare

Nice Healthcare offers chat, video and home primary care visits at no expense to employees enrolled on Macalester health plan. Nice offers the most commonly accessed primary care labs, x-ray imaging, prescriptions, physical therapy, and mental health therapy. 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 Coach

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

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.