Important Information About Traveling Over Break and Safety Protocols

April 14, 2022

 

Dear AUC Sint Maarten Community,

As you prepare for final exams and semester break, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of travel guidelines, safety protocols and resources. AUC is committed to supporting your academic journey while keeping your health and safety our priority.
 

More About Travel Protocols

If you are traveling over semester break, we encourage you to stay up to date on the most current Sint Maarten entry protocols regarding your return to campus.
 

Sint Maarten entry requirements as of April 1, 2022:

  • Fully vaccinated* travelers: Pre-authorized Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) application form (printed copy or QR code) and proof of vaccination.
  • Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers: Pre-authorized EHAS application form (printed copy or QR code) and a negative COVID-19 test: rt-PCR within 48 hours or antigen test within 24 hours before departure.
  • Travelers who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 9 months: Pre-authorized EHAS application form (printed copy or QR code) and proof of recovery. One of the following will be accepted:
    • A government/public health authority-issued proof of recovery (Digital COVID Recovery Certificate or letter)
    • A lab-issued positive COVID-19 PCR test result also indicating a Ct value of 35 or higher.
    • A signed and stamped COVID-19 recovery letter from a physician accompanied by the positive COVID-19 PCR test result.
  • All non-fully vaccinated and those with a past COVID-19 infection older than 9 months: Required to have a negative COVID-19 test in accordance with the required type of test.

*Fully vaccinated means you have completed the full regimen of a WHO-approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel.

 

The entry protocols for all travelers to the United States from an international point of origin remain in place:

  • You will need proof of a negative test within one day of departure.
  • Documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days is also accepted.
  • If you are traveling from the island to another destination other than the U.S., please closely monitor travel requirements for your country of destination. 

Please keep the following in mind if you are planning to leave the island:

  • Be responsible about your movements and do not put yourself in a position that could impact your health or return to island.
  • While home, consider getting your COVID-19 booster and flu shot as additional means to protect your health.
  • In the event you test positive before break and are unable to leave the island as planned, we will be here to support you. Please reach out to Student Affairs at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu for support resources.
  • If you test positive before returning to island from break, please connect with Student Affairs so we can coordinate with your academic team.

 

More About On-Campus Travel Testing

For your convenience, rapid antigen COVID-19 travel testing will be available:

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2022: 4:30 PM ‒ 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, April 20, 2022 ‒ Friday, April 22, 2022: 4:30 PM ‒ 6:30 PM

 

Limited spots are available, so please schedule your appointment here. The password is "cupecoy". The test costs $65 paid on the day of testing by cash, card or PayPal.

Please bring your passport for identification. A lab-certified antigen test result will be emailed to you within 1-2 hours.
 

More About On-Campus Safety Protocols

As previously communicated, the following updates to AUC’s Sint Maarten campus COVID-19 protocols went into effect on Tuesday, March 15, 2022:

  • Face masks are optional on campus. 
  • Campus community members are no longer required to complete the health screening on the AUC Safe App before entering campus, and temperature checks are no longer conducted at the entrance to campus.
  • Social distancing restrictions are lifted.   
  • Random surveillance testing is no longer being conducted. 

Please note that our standard procedures remain in effect for campus community members who feel unwell and/or test positive for COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, do not come onto campus. Call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Health's COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1-721-542-1570 and notify AUC via the contacts below:

We will continue to keep our campus community informed when relevant information becomes available, so please continue to check your emails. Thank you for your attention to these details. On behalf of the university, I wish you a safe break and look forward to the start of the next semester.

 

Sincerely,

 

Pedro L. Delgado, MD

Acting Dean

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Normal In-Person Activities to Resume Next Week

January 27, 2022

 

Dear Physicians in Training,

As we approach the end of the temporary hybrid period on our Sint Maarten campus, AUC will begin resuming in-person academic activities and campus operations next week as planned. This decision comes after a careful review of COVID-19 trends both in our AUC community and the broader Sint Maarten community, which have been steadily declining. As we fully return to in-person activities, I expect that everyone will follow our robust COVID-19 safety protocols so that we may continue to operate in this capacity.

Key updates are outlined below. Please note that Monday, January 31 is a Faculty Development Day and no in-person teaching is scheduled. The changes below are effective Tuesday, February 1 unless otherwise stated.

 

Academic Delivery
  • Unless otherwise communicated for a specific course or module, academic activities will resume in person, including lectures with in-person teaching, small group activities, office hours and tutoring. Please refer to Canvas for specific course/module details.
  • A social distance of at least 3 feet must be maintained during academic activities. Masks are still required at all times. KN95 masks or double masks are encouraged.
  • Exams and quizzes will continue to be held in person. Please contact Student Affairs prior to an exam if you have recently been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please follow the instructions described in the “Safety Protocols” section of this message.

 

Campus Facilities and Extracurricular Activities
  • The cafeteria is reopening tomorrow, Friday, January 28.
  • The gym will reopen on Wednesday, February 2.
  • Student-run clubs and SGA may resume in-person meetings. We strongly suggest hosting these meetings with a virtual option so students can also join remotely if preferred.
  • On-campus services and offices will be available for in-person meetings and support, but students may continue to contact them by email or phone as appropriate.

 

Safety Protocols

Please continue to be vigilant in your efforts to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in our AUC community. This is essential to our ability to continue and expand in-person learning and extracurricular activities. As always, we expect that each of you will continue to follow our safety protocols, including:

  • Maintain social distancing of 3 feet.
  • Regularly monitor your health and any onset of symptoms.
  • Remain home if you feel unwell.
  • Participate in our mandatory random surveillance testing program.
  • Note: As a reminder, AUC’s Random Surveillance Testing Program resumed on Monday, January 24. In a change from last semester, we are including everyone in the random selection, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination and booster status. Participation is mandatory for students and voluntary for faculty and staff. Selected individuals will have two weeks from notification to complete their test. 
  • Wear a facemask when on campus and judiciously when in the community. Consider double masking if using a cloth or surgical mask, or use a KN95 or N95 mask.
  • Note: KN95 masks are recommended for close contact activities. AUC is distributing KN95 masks before in-person sessions, including exams and small group activities, while supplies last. KN95 masks should be discarded if soiled, wet or damaged.
  • All masks should fit well to the face. For tips on effective mask wearing, visit the CDC website or watch this video.
  • Complete the health screening on the AUC Safe App each day before coming to campus.
  • Follow campus signage for occupancy limits and traffic flow.
  • If you have not already, consider getting a COVID-19 booster shot at one of the available vaccination sites on island.

 

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, do not come onto campus. Call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Health's COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1-721-542-1570 and notify AUC via the contacts below:

 

As always, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust plans as needed to comply with local guidelines and restrictions and will keep you informed should we need to modify our plans. Thank you for your attention to these details and your continued commitment to the safety of our AUC community.

 

Sincerely,

Pedro L. Delgado, MD

Acting Dean

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Important Academic Updates and COVID-19 Safety Protocols

January 12, 2022

Dear Physicians-in-Training,
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AUC has closely monitored the evolving situation globally as well as locally in our campus communities and surrounding areas, adapting our operations accordingly to deliver our MD program while mitigating the spread of the virus. As Sint Maarten—like many other countries—is experiencing a rise in cases driven by the Omicron variant, AUC is temporarily shifting to a hybrid approach for academic and extracurricular activities, for the period of January 13-28, 2022.
 
Our goal is to minimize disruptions to your education and limit the potential for in-person exposure during this period of increased transmission. Campus remains open and your faculty are available to you. We will continue to reassess the status of COVID-19 in Sint Maarten, make adjustments if needed, and communicate any updates on a regular basis.
 
Key details are outlined below. Unless otherwise noted, these updates are effective beginning Thursday, January 13 through Friday, January 28.
 
Academic Delivery

  • For all in-person activities, social distancing requirements will increase from 3 feet to 6 feet. 
  • All lectures will be delivered virtually. Classrooms will remain open and available for students who prefer to watch lecture content from their computers on campus rather than at home. Please refer to Canvas for specific course/module details and Zoom links.
  • All exams and some quizzes will remain in-person (refer to Canvas for specific course/module details).
  • Some in-person small-group activities will be rescheduled to early February.
  • Office hours and tutoring will be virtual.

 
Campus Facilities and Extracurricular Activities

  • The library, classrooms, and study areas will be open and available to students.
  • The gym and cafeteria will be closed.
  • Student-run clubs and SGA meetings will be conducted virtually.
  • Students are encouraged to contact on-campus services and offices by email or phone whenever possible.
    • Note: For Business Office inquiries regarding payments on accounts, payment plans, registration holds, or direct deposit setup, please contact Chaendro Bute via email at cbute@aucmed.edu

 
A Note on Travel

AUC’s temporary shift to hybrid and virtual activities is intended to be a short-term measure, and we expect that all students will remain on island as planned during this period.
 
For those who have not yet arrived on island, we realize that there may be situations beyond your control regarding your travel plans to campus, such as canceled flights and delayed/positive COVID-19 test results, but we expect that you will proceed to island as soon as you are able. If you are experiencing any delays in your arrival, whether flight or test-related, please stay in contact with Student Affairs (studentaffairs@aucmed.edu) and continue making your way to island.
 
Safety Protocols

As always, each of us has a responsibility to each other and ourselves to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in our AUC community. In addition to our policy requiring students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, we expect all campus community members to follow COVID-19 mitigation procedures, regardless of vaccination status, including:

  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet (increased from 3 feet).
  • Regularly monitor your health and any onset of symptoms.
  • Remain home if you feel unwell.
  • Participate in our mandatory random surveillance testing program.
  • Wear a facemask when on campus and judiciously when in the community. Consider double masking if using a cloth or surgical mask, or use a KN95 or N95 mask.
  • Complete the health screening on the AUC Safe App each day before coming to campus.
  • Follow campus signage for occupancy limits and traffic flow.
  • If you have not already, consider getting a COVID-19 booster shot at one of the available vaccination sites on island.

 
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, do not come onto campus. Call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Health's COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1-721-542-1570 and notify AUC via the contacts below:

 
As always, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust plans as needed to comply with local guidelines and restrictions and will keep you informed should we need to modify our plans. We appreciate your attention to these details and your continued commitment to the safety of our AUC community.
 
Sincerely,
 
Pedro L. Delgado, MD
Acting Dean
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

 

UK Travel Protocols: Staying Informed

December 18, 2021

 

Dear Students,

As you are traveling to Preston, UK, we strongly encourage you to stay up-to-date on the most current UK entry protocols and any impact they may have on your travel plans ahead of the semester start. Below are a few recent updates:

  • As of 15 December, all 11 countries (Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) were removed from the UK’s travel red list, meaning that non-UK citizens or residents traveling from these countries are no longer barred from entering the UK. Previously, only UK citizens or residents arriving from those nations were allowed in and then were required to comply with additional restrictions, including quarantining in a hotel.
  • As of 7 December, anyone aged 12 and over must show a negative PCR or lateral flow test result before traveling to England from abroad. You must take the test in the two days before you travel to England. You must also take a PCR test within two days of arriving and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated. PCR tests are available at airports or from multiple providers. Please be advised if you do not follow quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

 

Additional Resources

Please continue to regularly monitor the COVID-19-related entry restrictions and requirements for the UK as well as your home country as they may continue to change, given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

If you have questions or concerns related to travel, please contact Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu, Catherine Rankin, Director of Operations, at crankin@uclan.ac.uk , and your admissions advisor.

Important Information About Variants and Traveling Over Break (Sint Maarten)

December 9, 2021

 

Dear AUC Sint Maarten Community,

Your well-being has been at the forefront of our coronavirus response as we continue to support the educational goals of our students. While the recently identified Omicron variant is being closely studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global health partners, much still needs to be learned to inform public health practice.  

The university is following the variant as details emerge and reviewing guidance from agencies like the CDC and World Health Organization. We want to reassure you that all classes and exams remain as scheduled and will be in-person through the end of the semester. Additionally, there is no change to our planned academic operations for the January semester — they will be held in-person, on-island.

As always, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust plans as needed to comply with local guidelines and restrictions and will keep you informed should we need to modify our plans.

More About Variants

According to the CDC, viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others persist. New variants will continue to emerge. It’s important to keep in mind:

  • Taking measures to reduce the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine and wearing masks, are the best ways to slow the emergence of new variants.
  • Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for individuals who are eligible.

More About Travel Protocols

If you are traveling over semester break, we encourage you to stay up to date on the most current Sint Maarten entry protocols regarding your return to the island. At this time, we have not heard of any changes taking place, but we know that protocols can swiftly change with emerging COVID-19 variants and the subsequent response from government leaders to mitigate spreading the virus. 

As communicated last week, the entry protocols for all travelers to the United States from an international point of origin have changed effective December 6, 2021.

  • You will need proof of a negative test within one day of departure. Note: This does not mean it has to be within 24 hours. For example, if your flight is at 1 pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday.
  • Please refer to the previous communication for details on local testing sites.
  • Documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days is also accepted.
  • If you are traveling from the island to another destination other than the U.S., please closely monitor travel requirements for your country of destination. 

Please keep the following in mind if you are planning to leave the island:

  • Be responsible about your movements and do not put yourself in a position that could impact your health or return to island.
  • While home, consider getting your COVID-19 booster and flu shot as additional means to protect your health.
  • In the event you test positive before break and are unable to leave the island as planned, we will be here to support you. Please reach out to Student Affairs at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu for support resources.
  • If you test positive before returning to island from break, please connect with Student Affairs so we can coordinate with your academic team.

 

On-Campus Testing Available

For your convenience, rapid antigen COVID-19 travel testing will be available on campus at the patio outside the cafeteria on Monday, December 13 from 12-3 pm AST and Tuesday, December 14 to Saturday, December 18 from 8 am-12 pm AST. Limited spots are available, so please schedule your appointment here.

The test costs $40 cash or card, and a lab-certified antigen test result certificate will be emailed to you within 3-4 hours. Please bring your ID and payment and wait socially distanced with a mask. After making an appointment through the above link, you will be taken to another link to complete the details needed for the certificate.

 

On-Island Booster Shots

COVID-19 booster shots are available between the hours of 8:30 am -12:00 pm and 1:30 pm -3:30 pm at Collective Prevention Services (CPS) located at the Vineyard Building in Philipsburg. If you are remaining on-island over break, please consider getting your COVID-19 booster shot. Please refer to Say Yes to the Booster shot (sintmaartengov.org) for more information.

We will keep our campus community informed as soon as relevant information becomes available, so please continue to check your emails. On behalf of the university, I wish you a safe winter break. And for those celebrating, please enjoy the holidays. There is much to look forward to in 2022 as we continue to support those on a journey toward becoming tomorrow’s physicians who are globally minded and community driven.

 

Sincerely,

Pedro L. Delgado, MD

Acting Dean

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

 

Important Information About Variants and Traveling Over Break (UK Track)

December 9, 2021

 

Dear AUC UK Track Community,

Your well-being has been at the forefront of our coronavirus response as we continue to support the educational goals of our students. While the recently identified Omicron variant is being closely studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global health partners, much still needs to be learned to inform public health practice.  

The university is following the variant as details emerge and reviewing guidance from agencies like the CDC and World Health Organization. We want to reassure you that all classes and exams remain as scheduled and will be in-person through the end of the semester. Additionally, there is no change to our planned academic operations for the January semester — they will be held in-person, on the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) campus.

As always, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust plans as needed to comply with local guidelines and restrictions and will keep you informed should we need to modify our plans.

More About Variants

According to the CDC, viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others persist. New variants will continue to emerge. It’s important to keep in mind:

  • Taking measures to reduce the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine and wearing masks, are the best ways to slow the emergence of new variants.
  • Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for individuals who are eligible.

More About Travel Protocols

If you are traveling over semester break, we encourage you to stay up to date on the most current UK entry protocols regarding your return to the UK, as well as the travel requirements for your country of destination.

Effective Tuesday 7 December, anyone aged 12 and over must show a negative PCR or lateral flow test result before traveling to England from abroad. You must take the test in the two days before you travel to England. You must also take a PCR test within two days of arriving and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated. PCR tests are available at airports or from multiple providers. Please be advised if you do not follow quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

For more details, please review the UK entry protocols website and continue to monitor the guidance regularly, as we know that protocols can swiftly change with emerging COVID-19 variants and the subsequent response from government leaders to mitigate their spread.

Please keep the following in mind if you are planning to leave the UK:

  • Be responsible and do not put yourself in a position that could impact your health or return to the UK.
  • While home, consider getting your COVID-19 booster and flu shot, if available, as additional means to protect your health.
  • You must abide by official government directives (home or UK as relevant) announcing the imposition of new COVID-19-related entry restrictions and requirements
  • In the event you test positive before break and are unable to leave the UK as planned, we will be here to support you. Please reach out to Catherine Rankin, Director of Operations – UK Track, at crankin@uclan.ac.uk for support resources, including housing accommodations.
  • If you test positive before returning to the UK from break, please connect with Catherine Rankin at crankin@uclan.ac.uk so we can coordinate with your academic team.

We will keep our campus community informed as soon as relevant information becomes available, so please continue to check your emails. On behalf of the university, we wish you a safe winter break. And for those celebrating, please enjoy the holidays. There is much to look forward to in 2022 as we continue to support those on a journey toward becoming tomorrow’s physicians who are globally minded and community driven.

Sincerely,

Andy Ginty, PhD

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs – UK Track

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

 

Pedro L. Delgado, MD

Acting Dean

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

 

Changes to United States Travel Protocols Regarding COVID-19 Testing

December 2, 2021

 

Dear Physicians in Training,

As we approach the end of the semester and potential travel arrangements to return to the United States for the holidays and semester break, be advised the US government has announced changes to the US entry protocols for travelers arriving from international countries.

Beginning next week, all travelers to the United States from an international point of origin will be required to provide proof of a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours pre-departure; the testing timeline has been reduced from 72 hours. The United States currently accepts rapid, antigen, PCR, and TMA tests for re-entry. At home tests are accepted under the condition the test meets the antigen or PCR requirement. (Source: CDC)

If you are traveling to the US over the break, please schedule your COVID-19 test for no more than 24 hours before your departure. Testing windows may be limited so set (or reschedule) your appointment or plan for a walk-in test as soon as possible. Here is a list of local testing sites:

Throughout your break, we encourage you to stay up to date on the most current Sint Maarten entry protocols regarding your return to the island. Protocols can swiftly change with emerging COVID-19 variants and the subsequent response from government leaders to mitigate spreading the virus.

We will keep our campus community informed as soon as relevant information regarding travel becomes available.

 

A Message from the Dean: January Semester Plans 

November 5, 2021

 

Looking ahead to January, I’d like to reaffirm AUC’s plans for academic delivery of our medical sciences program. We will continue delivering our program in-person at both our Sint Maarten and Preston, UK campuses with all current COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

It has been gratifying to see the level of safe engagement among students and colleagues at our campuses and in our communities. In Preston, AUC students are complementing their coursework with unique learning opportunities outside the classroom, such as the Semester 4 cohort’s recent observation of medical practitioners’ tribunals in Manchester.  In Sint Maarten, we are successfully delivering both our new integrated curriculum and our legacy discipline-based curriculum while also collaborating with community partners to advance health priorities. We are inspired by our students’ and colleagues’ commitment to giving back and serving our Sint Maarten and Preston communities, from offering free health screenings through Project H.E.L.P., to leading educational sessions with children at the Lancashire Science Festival.

Our goal is to continue expanding these kinds of in-person learning and engagement activities while keeping our community safe through our robust COVID-19 safety protocols. For the January 2022 semester, we are working to reintroduce the preceptorship program, for example, in which fifth-semester students shadow a specialist at Sint Maarten Medical Center and experience the inpatient and/or outpatient setting firsthand.

Future plans will continue to consider the COVID-19 pandemic. AUC will keep a close eye on the prevalence of COVID-19 in our local communities, and we will adjust, if needed, to stay in alignment with CDC and WHO health guidance as well as government policies.

With the holidays approaching, we are closely monitoring ongoing changes to travel requirements and will share key updates as applicable—read on to learn more about recent updates to Sint Maarten entry requirements and U.S. travel guidance. We are also planning to offer on-campus rapid antigen testing opportunities available for a fee to campus community members who are planning to travel and need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test. However, we strongly encourage you to stay up-to-date on travel requirements for your destinations as the information may be subject to change.

Thank you for your continued dedication in helping us ensure a safe and successful academic experience. Please continue to be vigilant in following these protocols: wear your facemask on and off campus, social distance, avoid large gatherings and for those on our Sint Maarten campus, complete the health assessment on the AUC Safe App every time to enter campus, and participate in our random surveillance testing program if you are required to do so. These measures will help AUC do its part to mitigate the spread of the virus and support our community.

 

Sincerely,

Pedro L. Delgado, MD
Acting Dean
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

 

PUBLIC HEALTH RESOURCES

Learn more about COVID-19 from the CDC: