COVID-19 Vaccines  |  Academics |  Residence Life  |  Policies  |  COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing  |  Campus Life and Student Activities  |  Admissions  |  Employees  |  Other Questions

COVID-19 Vaccines

Why is it important to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccine reduces your chances of getting sick from COVID-19 and may reduce your chance of spreading it to others.

Do I still have to wear my mask after getting vaccinated?

  • Yes, it is still recommended to wear a mask. Until a large share of the population is vaccinated, masks will be recommended everywhere you go, and will be required on MSOE’s campus.
  • The vaccine was originally studied to show effectiveness from getting COVID. Additional information continues to come out about the vaccine reducing transmission (giving COVID to others). So, until we have more data, we have been asked to wear a mask, because we know that wearing a mask can help reduce transmission of the virus.
  • Additionally, more research is needed to determine how effective the COVID vaccines are against the newer strains of the virus that have surfaced recently.

Should I get vaccinated if I have already had COVID?
The CDC does recommend you get vaccinated, even if you’ve had COVID. There is a recommendation to wait 90 days if you were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma.

What is the difference between dose 1 and dose 2?

  • There is no difference in the doses. However, the first dose “primes” the body and the second dose boosts your immune’s system response to more significantly produce antibodies.
  • You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and two weeks after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

  • Some people have reported no side effects. 
  • Experiencing side effects isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It is an outward sign that the body is building protection. The degree of intensity of side effects can also vary from person to person.
  • Common side effects are pain/soreness, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea have been reported as well.
  • Most side effects resolve in a day or so.

Can I still go to class and activities if I am experiencing side effects after getting the vaccine?

  • Generally, students and employees are asked to stay home if not feeling well, so the same is true if you’re not feeling well after getting the vaccine!
  • There is a potential that you could have had a completely unrelated exposure to COVID prior to getting the vaccine and are developing symptoms around the same time as getting the vaccine.
  • If symptoms last longer than a day or so, or if symptoms are more concerning for COVID versus vaccine side effect (loss of taste/smell, cough, shortness of breath), it would be recommended that you be tested for COVID.

Can I still test positive after getting the vaccine?

  • The vaccine will not alter an antigen or PCR COVID test result (aka, it will only be positive if you truly have COVID). The vaccine is not 100% effective, so there is still a possibility that you could test positive for COVID, even after getting the vaccine.
  • The vaccines can affect the result of an antibody test. Antibody tests are used to see if a person has had COVID in the past and is not used to test for current infection.

How much does the vaccine cost?
The federal government has pre-purchased vaccines and has vowed to make them available for free. Some vaccination sites may ask for insurance information, to bill a “vaccine administration fee,” but if you do not have insurance, you will not be turned away.

How long is the vaccine effective?
More information is coming out regularly on this topic. We initially knew all three vaccines were effective for at least 90 days. Researchers recently indicated that the Pfizer vaccine is 91% effective after six months of follow up.

What kind of documentation do I have to bring with me when I get vaccinated?
Most vaccination sites will ask for a photo ID but will not turn people away if they do not have one.

Is the vaccine effective if I already had COVID?
Yes! There is some evidence that vaccines trigger a stronger immune response than recovering from an infection.

Can I return to my old activities after getting vaccinated?

  • The CDC advises fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine or be tested if they are exposed to the virus, as long as they do not develop symptoms.
  • Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or social distancing.
  • Fully vaccinated people can also gather indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household without wearing masks or social distancing, if the unvaccinated are healthy and at low risk of contracting severe COVID disease.
  • Long-distance travel is also low-risk and fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine or get tested.

What happens if I lose my vaccination card?

  • First, we recommend you take a photo of your card and keep it, as well as the vaccination card itself, in a safe place! Please do not post a photo of your card on social media. If you do, please be sure to blur or cross out identifying information.
  • The CDC recommends you contact the facility that administered the shot, as they have retained an electronic version of the documentation and should be able to recreate the card.
  • If vaccinated in Wisconsin, you can search for your vaccine record, which will show your COVID vaccine dates. You will need to provide identifying information like your birth date and social security number in order to view your record. Wisconsin Immunization Registry (dhfswir.org)

Should I laminate my vaccination card after my second dose?
There is no specific guidance on this, but the cards do have space for additional doses, so it may be advisable to refrain from laminating it. It is unknown if/when a booster COVID vaccine dose will be needed.

Is it possible for MSOE to make the COVID vaccine mandatory?
At this time, MSOE does not anticipate making the vaccine mandatory.

What if it makes you infertile?
This myth was started when a German doctor and epidemiologist petitioned the European version of the FDA to delay the approval of the Pfizer vaccine, based on the concern that a protein called synctin-1, which shares similar genetic instructions with part of the spike of COVID, which is the same protein found in placenta in mammals. He argued that if the vaccine causes the body to make antibodies against syncytin-1, it might also cause the body to attack and reject the protein in the human placenta, making women infertile. Data from the Pfizer studies do not support this theory.

How can we know the vaccine is safe and works if it was produced so fast?
Scientists have been working with mRNA vaccines for more than a decade and were able to quickly apply them to the COVID-19 virus. Extra money from the federal government allowed them to work faster, but without skipping any steps. Because the disease has been spreading fast, they were able to show the vaccine worked much sooner than they would for other vaccines.

Isn’t it riskier for me to get the COVID vaccine, since I have no health risks?

  • No! COVID vaccines do not contain the actual virus, so you cannot get COVID from the vaccine. The vaccine teaches our body to recognize and fight the COVID-19 virus.
  • Although we do not have a lot of long-term data on the vaccine, we do know that COVID-19 can cause very serious illness and death. Getting a COVID vaccine is a safer choice.
  • With the vaccines, you may have mild symptoms. However, these symptoms show that your body is building protection and typically resolve in a day or so.

Are there incentives for us to get vaccinated?

  • Yes! Students can stop by the Dean of Students Office (CC-345) to pick up a sticker and/or button. #HipLikeKip
  • Faculty and staff can visit the Human Resources Office (CC-337) for a sticker and/or button. #IGotTheShot
  • Having a community that is vaccinated will hopefully show the Milwaukee Health Department that it is safe for MSOE to be open this fall.
  • Being vaccinated also means that an individual does not need to isolate if exposed to COVID, as long as the vaccinated person remains asymptomatic.

What locations near campus offer the vaccines?
You can make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment here: https://vaccinate.wi.gov/en-US/  Using this link, appointments are readily available 7 days per week at the Milwaukee FEMA Mass Vaccination Clinic located at the Wisconsin Center, 500 W. Wells St. This is a short 15-minute walk from campus. Including travel time, check-in and observation time, you can expect to need 90 minutes or less to be vaccinated.

Or, you can use this link to search for vaccine locations based on your ZIP code. VaccineFinder - Search for COVID-19 vaccine locations.

Is MSOE going to provide transportation to get the vaccine at the Wisconsin Center?
Yes! If you need a ride to the Wisconsin Center (0.7 miles from campus), you can call the campus shuttle. Simply call (414) 277-7464 to request a ride there. You would call the number again to request a ride back to campus when you are done at the Wisconsin Center. The shuttle runs 2-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please visit Campus Shuttle | MSOE for more information about this service.

What’s the difference between the vaccines and does MSOE have a preference on which one we get?

The vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna both use mRNA technology. When you look at images of the coronavirus, you see spikes sticking out from all sides; these spikes are actually proteins. The mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 contain the instructions cells need to make a piece of the spike protein but not the fully functioning COVID-19 virus. The formation of these spike proteins tricks your body into making an immune response against the spike protein, which works to protect you against the COVID-19 virus if you are exposed to it. This immune response is what gives you protection against the disease.

  • mRNA does not change your genes (DNA) because the mRNA cannot affect your DNA.
  • Both vaccines are a two-dose series.

The vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is based on viral vector technology. This was first used in developing the Ebola vaccine. This vaccine modifies a harmless piece of a virus to make a spike protein. Our bodies recognize this as foreign, and builds antibodies, so it knows how to protect itself from the virus that causes COVID-19 and will fight it off in the future. A number of studies have focused on viral vector vaccines against other infectious diseases such as Zika, flu, and HIV.

  • It is a one-dose vaccine.

MSOE does not require the vaccine (but hopes you will get it!) and does not have a preference. Get whichever vaccine you can get the quickest! In other words, do not wait for a specific vaccine to become available.  More information is available at Vaccines for COVID-19 | CDC

Academics

How is MSOE offering classes? How will labs be conducted?
Courses will be taught in a hybrid mode. Hybrid learning means a mix of online and in-person courses. Faculty will deliver course content in a hybrid mode of instruction where hands-on, application-oriented activities will take place on campus while supporting lecture content is delivered online. On-campus academic activities will be limited by classroom and laboratory capacity, based on social and physical distancing requirements. For example, students may alternate lab time with a classmate, or you may be asked to make an appointment for lab time with an instructor. Your professors will share details on how each class will function.  

Where can I study on campus?
All of MSOE's common areas are open, however there will be a reduced amount of furniture to encourage social distancing and decrease the number of people in the space.

How will students be graded?
MSOE will follow its traditional grading system (A, AB, C, etc.)

If I have online courses, will MSOE provide a tuition reduction for these courses?
MSOE will not be adjusting tuition as the student learning experience, while different, is not any less than if we were 100% on campus. Faculty are still teaching the same amount, holding office hours, and in many cases dedicating more of their time in the laboratories so they can work with fewer students in the spaces at a time.

How will MSOE ensure that in-person classes will adhere to COVID safety guidelines?
MSOE is implementing numerous safety policies and procedures to keep students, faculty and staff safe on campus. Classroom and laboratory capacities have been decreased to allow for social distancing, and enhanced cleaning procedures have been put in place. Everyone is required to wear a mask at MSOE. To ensure these policies and procedures are followed, students are required to follow the Raider Responsibility Pledge, pledging to protect themselves, others and the Raider community. If students do not follow the guidelines, they will be asked to leave campus and repercussions will follow.

How will my courses be affected if I have an illness or am self-isolating due to suspected illness?
Any time a student is feeling ill (regardless of the type of illness), they are encouraged to reach out to their professors to let them know they will not be in class and make arrangements to get lecture notes or make up missed work. Students who are isolating because they have COVID-19, or suspect they may, are asked to NOT attend classes in person and to report their isolation to the Dean of Students Office, who will help support students’ academic needs and, if needed, assist with communication to your faculty. If students are able to continue course work virtually while in isolation, they are encouraged to do so. If students are unable to do course work while in isolation, then the Dean of Students Office will work with students and faculty to make accommodations to assure their education continues as best possible for their situation. These are processes we’ve had in place long before COVID-19 and it has worked quite well. 

Residence Life

Should I sign a lease for an off-campus apartment?
This is an individual decision that you must make for yourself. We encourage you to reach out to your landlord to discuss options, as many of them in the neighborhoods surrounding MSOE are offering month-to-month lease options, or the ability to end your lease early.  

How many students will be living in each dorm room? 
There will be two students per dorm room, however any student who lives in the residence halls and requests a single room instead of a double room will be accommodated. 

If I do not feel comfortable having a roommate, will MSOE accommodate one student per dorm room?
Any student who lives in the residence halls and requests a single room instead of a double room will be accommodated.

Will students in residence halls be provided cleaning supplies?
Yes. There is a cleaning supply closet on each floor of the residence halls for students. There will be disinfectant spray and paper towels available for students. We also recommend that students bring their own cleaning supplies if there is something specific they like to use.

I am an international student, how will my arrival on campus be affected by COVID in the US? What happens if I am unable to enter the US for fall quarter due to closed boarders?
International students are asked to arrive in the U.S. and quarantine off-campus for the 14 days prior to the start of classes.

Policies and Procedures

 What policies do I need to be aware of related to COVID-19?

What is MSOE’s policy regarding masks?
MSOE has instituted a Facial Covering Policy; the City of Milwaukee passed an ordinance requiring masks in the city; and the State of Wisconsin issued a mask mandate. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this information. MSOE will provide each student, faculty and staff member with two masks.

What other policies will be implemented on campus focused on student health and safety?
MSOE is implementing numerous policies to keep students safe, including facial coverings, reduced class sizes with socially distant seating, enhanced cleaning efforts, and additional hand sanitizer dispensers across campus. Please review the Raider Return Plan for full details.

Can I eat or drink in the classrooms and laboratories?
Please refrain from eating or drinking in the classrooms and laboratories so that you are able to keep your facial covering in place.

How will social distancing work?
In-person classroom/laboratory meetings will focus on the hands-on, application-oriented activities that are hallmark of an MSOE education. We are reducing the capacity of these spaces to allow for proper social distancing. Faculty will utilize digital and online formats to supplement in-person activities and to deliver most of the lecture-based content. In common areas, furniture will be removed to reduce the number of people gathered in an area and encourage social distancing. In addition, we are implementing one-way foot traffic in the buildings where possible, and, of course, requiring facial coverings of everyone who is on campus. Students living in the residence halls will follow one-way traffic patterns, minimize use of common areas, limit the number of residents in the community bathrooms, laundry areas and elevators, and more. Further details are available in the Raider Return Plan.

What should I do if I feel a member of the MSOE community isn't exhibiting safe COVID-19 behavior? 
For concerns related to student behavior, please email the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@msoe.edu. For concerns related to employee behavior, please email Human Resources at hr@msoe.edu

What could cause MSOE to shut down again?
The Milwaukee Health Department, together with university administration, will make quarantine and closing decisions on a case-by-case basis.

How is the city of Milwaukee handing COVID, and what is their response compared to other large cities? You can learn more about the City of Milwaukee’s Moving Milwaukee Forward Plan online.

What if I need technical support?
The Information Technology Department is offering remote support for a majority of your technical support needs. You can initiate a request for support by emailing helpdesk@msoe.edu or calling (414) 277-7288. Where remote support is deemed insufficient by the Help Desk, users will schedule a 10-minute block for limited in-person support.

How is MSOE cleaning and disinfecting across campus?
In addition to the routine custodial cleaning schedule, the university has implemented an enhanced cleaning frequency to clean and disinfect common areas and commonly touched surfaces in occupied buildings. Touchpoints such as entrance handles, handrails, elevator buttons, tables, restroom stall handles/doors are being cleaned at least once daily, five days a week, using EPA-registered disinfectants. Each person is encouraged to use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently. MSOE installed more than 40 additional dispenser stations containing alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout campus, and will continue to review needs. Dispenser stations are available at building entrances and elevators, near time clocks, and other frequently visited locations. It is recommended that each person carries their own hand sanitizer bottle as well. Although hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, practicing the CDC’s proper hand-washing technique is considered to be more effective.  

Classrooms, Laboratories, Meeting Rooms
We are asking faculty and staff to help keep everyone healthy by thoroughly cleaning classrooms, laboratories and meeting rooms with Terminator disinfectant when they are done using the space.

Printers/Copiers
Procedures are being developed to clean printers and copy machines on a regular basis, but they will not be cleaned in between each use. You are encouraged to bring a stylus to reduce the number of times you have to physically touch the device, and to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after using the device (and clean your stylus regularly).

COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

Are students required to go through COVID testing?
MSOE is conducting surveillance testing each week.

What should I do if I am exhibiting symptoms or feel I may have been exposed?
Students who live on campus and are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, are asked to immediately put on a mask, self-isolate and contact the Dean of Students (during business hours) or MSOE Public Safety (after business hours) to report symptoms and receive assistance in relocating to an on-campus isolation location. The COVID-19 Isolation Protocol for Students will help guide you through the process. Faculty, staff and non-resident students should isolate in their own residence and contact their primary health care provider. Students should contact the Dean of Students during business hours. Employees should alert their supervisor and the Human Resources Department. Students also are encouraged to reach out to their professors to let them know they will not be in class and make arrangements to get lecture notes or make up missed work. If their absence extends beyond a few days, then MSOE will work with students to make accommodations to assure their education continues as best possible for their situation. Additional information is available in the Raider Return Plan.

Where can I get tested for COVID?
A list of testing locations is available in the Raider Return Plan, at Test Up MKE and Wisconsin Health Connect

What is the protocol if a student tests positive for COVID-19?
Please review the Raider Return Plan for details.

What if I am required to quarantine? 
If you live on campus and have an MSOE meal plan, MSOE will provide you with a room and bring your meals to you through the duration of your isolation period. Students and employees who live off campus are asked to find a place within their house or apartment to self-isolate. Additional information is available in the Raider Return Plan.

What is considered an “outbreak” that would close all or a portion of campus?
The Milwaukee Health Department, together with university administration, will make quarantine and closing decisions on a case-by-case basis.

If I am feeling anxious/concerned about COVID, who should I talk to?
MSOE Counseling Services is available to help you with your personal and mental health needs. Call (414) 277-7590 to make an appointment to speak with a counselor.

Campus Life and Student Activities

What will on-campus dining look like?
The new Spitzer Dining Commons will open on the third floor of the Campus Center this fall. Our new food service vendor, American Dining Creations (ADC) has developed a COVID-19 response plan that encompasses food preparation safety measures and alternative food options. MSOE has worked with ADC to tailor their response plan to our campus environment and includes the following elements:

  • Adjusted dining hours to help with continuous services, congestion avoidance and to allow for proper cleaning
  • Enhanced sanitation protocols and personal protective equipment for all food service employees
  • Limited seating with maximum capacity restrictions per table to allow for proper social distancing measures to be followed
  • Elimination/reduction of self-service options including fountain beverages, condiments and salad bar and replaced with bottled, single-served packages and pre-made options
  • Enhanced Grab & Go items available for those who want to minimize time in common areas
  • Touchless order and payment system for dining customers
  • Contactless access to the cafeteria for MSOE students and employees who have a meal plan or Raider dollars

How will COVID-19 affect student activities and student organizations?
Students will be able to enjoy campus life through a series of activities (virtually and in-person following social distancing and safety protocols). Student organizations are also encouraged to stay active while following proper guidelines.

How will COVID-19 affect the Career Fairs?  
This year’s Career Fairs will be held virtually on Career Fair Plus. You will be able to virtually meet, interact and network with potential employers who are looking to hire MSOE students for both internships and full-time job opportunities. Career Services is available to help you prepare for the Career Fair and connect you with employers.  

Will the Kern Center still be available for student use?
The Kern Center is currently open for students, faculty and staff to use. In regulation with Wisconsin’s mask mandate, facial coverings are required while working out in the Kern Center. Visit msoe.edu/kern-center for more information.

Admissions

What is the status of campus tours? Can I bring my family for a tour at this time?
MSOE is offering one-on-one campus tours with extra safety precautions in place, and a series of Open Houses. Facial coverings are required. Tours are by appointment only, no walk-ins. Call 800-332-6763 to schedule your tour. Learn more at msoe.edu/visit.

I’m having a difficult time signing up for the ACT/SAT test. How is MSOE accommodating this?
We encourage you to submit your test scores if you are able to. However, if you choose not to send one or have not taken the ACT or SAT you will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions decision making process.

Employees

What should I do if I am exhibiting symptoms or feel I may have been exposed to COVID-19?
Faculty and staff should isolate in their own residence, contact their primary health care provider, and contact their supervisor and the HR Department for further guidance. Additional information is available in the Raider Return Plan.

Will MSOE health benefits cover COVID-19 testing?
Testing is mandated by the CARES Act and is covered at 100%. There is no limit to the number of tests a person can receive.  

I would like to request an accommodation related to COVID-19. What do I do?
Employees with certain medical conditions that place them in a higher risk category for COVID-19 and do not wish to return to campus are encouraged to contact MSOE’s Human Resources Department to discuss the established process for receiving a medical accommodation.  

How will we be notified if there are positive COVID cases on campus?
Through contact tracing, you will be notified if someone you were in close contact with has tested positive. Close contact, as defined by the CDC, is being within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer.  

What is Rave Guardian and why am I being asked to download it?
In addition to campus safety and security, Rave Guardian is going to play a critical role in monitoring the health of our campus community to prevent a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. Students are required to use the app daily to submit COVID-19 wellness checks. Because we are all one community, faculty and staff are asked and strongly encouraged to also submit COVID-19 wellness checks. Each morning, you will get a push notification to compete the daily wellness questions. Wellness checks consist of a series of questions. Rave Guardian will provide you with more information based on your response.  

What it I don’t have a smart phone and therefore can’t download Rave Guardian?
A paper form is available for you at my.msoe.edu under the employee tab.  

Where can I find the Raider Responsibility pledge?
You can find the Raider Responsibility pledge in the Raider Return Plan and online.

Other Questions

What if I have a question that is not answered here?  
Please submit your questions and/or suggestions using this form: https://www.msoe.edu/raider-return/raider-return-suggestions/