COVID-19 Policy Changes | Student Vaccine Requirement for Fall 2021

President Rebecca M. Bergman sent this message to students, faculty, and staff on May 18, 2021.
Posted on May 18th, 2021 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: President Bergman
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Policy Changes | Student Vaccine Requirement for Fall 2021
DATE: May 18, 2021

As we wrap up the spring semester and turn our attention to planning for the 2021-22 academic year, I write today to announce three important COVID-19 policy updates for the Gustavus community. These changes are being implemented in response to updated guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), changes to executive orders in Minnesota, and input from other public health entities.

• Vaccines Required for Students for 2021-2022 Academic Year
Gustavus will require students to be vaccinated for the 2021-2022 academic year. The College is joining a growing number of colleges and universities in implementing this requirement for students after considering guidance from public health officials, our community’s residential setting, and the risk of COVID-19 transmission through close contacts that may occur in classes, athletic and fine arts settings, and social gatherings. We believe that requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for students provides the College the best possible chance of returning to normal on-campus operations this fall. As with all Gustavus vaccine requirements, students may request an exemption under the College’s existing vaccine/immunization waiver process. Please see the Gustavus Health Service Immunization webpage for more information. Faculty and staff are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.

Gustavus students are encouraged to utilize the Health Service Vaccine Resources webpage to find a vaccine that will be administered at least 14 days before returning to campus. If you are unable to find a vaccine in your summer location, the College will help you schedule an appointment when you return to campus. If you are vaccinated in Minnesota, record of your vaccination status will automatically be sent to the Gustavus Health Service through the secure Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) system. If you are vaccinated in a different state or outside of the United States, you must upload documentation of your vaccination status to the Gustavus Health Portal.

• Gustavus Campus Open to Visitors
Effective immediately, the Gustavus campus is open to visitors. People who are visiting campus no longer need to fill out a COVID-19 visitor registration form or be formally hosted by a Gustavus student, faculty member, or staff employee.

• Facial Covering Requirement Lifted for Vaccinated Individuals
Effective immediately, fully vaccinated individuals (14 days past second dose of Pfizer/Moderna or 14 days past single dose of Johnson & Johnson) no longer need to wear a mask or facial covering on campus (indoors or outdoors). Unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear facial coverings in accordance with current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As we implement these changes, I ask that we continue to respect one another, maintain at least three feet of physical distancing, and practice good public health behaviors. Members of the community who are vaccinated are welcome to continue wearing a mask and maintain physical distancing.

We will continue to review campus COVID-19 policies and procedures, evaluate vaccine rates among our community, and monitor COVID-19 transmission levels and be in conversation with MDH and other public health officials moving forward. We will communicate any additional changes to the campus community as adjustments are made throughout the summer.

If you have any questions, please contact the Gustavus COVID-19 Response Leadership Team at g-covidresponse@gustavus.edu.

Yours in community,

President Bergman

 

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