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COVID-19 FAQ for International Students

Q: Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before I come to the United States? 

A: You may be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result before traveling internationally. Please follow the guidance from the CDC. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the COVID-19 Travel Planner. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel. It will be important to follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions.

Q: Will I have to take a COVID-19 test when I arrive in the United States?  If so, where can I get tested?

A: If you are not yet vaccinated, it is recommended that you get tested. The college will provide a list of locations to get tested when you arrive. If you have been vaccinated, you do not need to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in the United States. 

Q: How long do I need to quarantine when I arrive in the United States if I am not vaccinated? 

According to the CDC, if you are not vaccinated, you will need to self quarantine for 10 days. If you are tested for COVID-19 three to five days after your arrival to the U.S., and the result is negative, then your quarantine time can be reduced to seven days.

Q: Do I still need to quarantine if I have received the vaccine and been exposed or identified as a close contact?  

A: If you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, do not have any symptoms, and are identified as exposed to COVID-19 or a close contact of a positive case, per the latest CDC guidance, you do not need to be quarantined. However, you are expected to follow all safety and health guidelines.

Q: Can I choose which vaccine I get? 

A: Yes. Local pharmacies and health care providers are administering the vaccine and each offers a different vaccine. You can choose where to get your vaccine according to what they are offering. EC will be hosting a vaccination clinic for students from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7 in one of our residence halls, Rainier Place. To register, go to https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov//appointment/en/reg/5962157690

There may also be additional opportunities to get vaccinated on campus. Please connect with your housing or International Programs counselor advisor for information on those dates and times.

Q: How much does the vaccine cost?

A: The COVID-19 vaccine is free in the United States.

Q: How do I show proof that I have been vaccinated?

A: Be prepared to provide the documentation given to you by your healthcare provider. Bring what you have with you.

Q: Do I have to carry proof that I am vaccinated at all times? When I go to class, shopping, riding the bus?

A: No, you do not. However, this may change in the future based on state recommendations.

Q: What documentation do I need to show that I have an exemption for the vaccine?

A: You will need to fill out a form that states the reason (exemption) why you cannot receive the vaccine. Exemptions will be allowed for health, religious, or philosophical reasons. We are currently working on the process by which you can apply for these exemptions, and we will update the campus when it is ready. Those with an exemption will be required to wear a mask while indoors on campus per the governor’s proclamation and guidance provided by the State Department of Health and Labor and Industries.Reasons for exemptions will not be shared outside of Human Resources and the college’s designated Health Coordination Officer.

Q: Can I still participate in campus activities? 

A: Yes. You will be required to wear a mask during the activity.

Q: Can I live in the residence halls (dormitories) or with a host family? 

A: Yes, you can live in a dormitory or with a host family. Contact Housing for more details. 

Q: If I have my own housing arrangements, do I have to quarantine and for how long?

A: If you are vaccinated, you do not; however, you’ll need to wear a mask for five days and monitor any possible symptoms. If you are unvaccinated please work with housing or OIP to connect with vaccine resources.

Q: If I make my own housing arrangements, do I have to be vaccinated?

A: All students will be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine or file an exemption to it. Please see the Fall FAQs for information on exemptions. 

Q: If I’ve been vaccinated, do I have to quarantine if I’m going to live in the residence halls (dormitories) or with a host family? 

A: No, you do not; however, you’ll need to wear a mask for five days and monitor for any possible symptoms.

Q: Are all employees in the residence halls (dormitories) vaccinated?

A: All employees are either vaccinated or have an exemption and will continue to mask while working and moving about housing spaces.

Q: Are all host family members vaccinated?

A: We are currently surveying our host families and expect that about 90% are vaccinated.

Q: Are only international students required to be vaccinated?

A: All students and employees, except for those with the above mentioned exemptions, are required to be vaccinated.

Q: What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?  

A: You are fully vaccinated once you are two weeks past the last dose required for the vaccine that you were given. 

Q: If I received a vaccine that is not on the accepted list from the World Health Organization (WHO), will I be required to get vaccinated again in the U.S.? And, what safety guidelines and quarantine procedure will I have to follow?

A: At this time we do not know what that will look like. If you are required to get vaccinated again, per state and federal health guidance, you’ll need to follow the college’s safety guidelines and procedures. The office of International Programs will be available for support and guidance as conditions change.