After careful consideration and consultation, the College’s leadership team and I have decided that we will best serve the health and safety of the College and community by requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
As many of you will be acutely aware, even as the country, New York state, and the College are living and working with far fewer COVID-19 protocols in place, it is too early to declare victory in our efforts to fully contain the virus and limit its spread. Indeed, throughout the world and now in parts of the U.S., the Delta variant has emerged as a cause for concern. Thankfully, at this point public health officials in the U.S. think that the vaccines available here continue to provide protection against the Delta and other variants. As more individuals are vaccinated for COVID-19, the risks associated with more virulent variants are reduced.
Guided by the available data and our own mission to do our utmost to ensure the well-being of all members of our community, I believe, along with Pope Francis, that we are ethically obligated to receive the vaccine to ensure our own health and the health of others. To this end, we have implemented the following policy:
All faculty, administrators and staff are required to submit proof of vaccination for COVID-19 by Monday, Aug. 16, the first day of classes for first-year students. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). Employees who are unable to become fully vaccinated by Aug. 16 should notify the Office of Human Resources of the date that they expect to be fully vaccinated, which should be no later than Sept. 15. Until fully vaccinated, employees must follow the protocols detailed below.
Employees who do not submit proof of vaccination will be required to adhere to health and safety protocols, which are subject to change and may include but are not limited to the following:
· wear a face covering at all times indoors unless alone in an enclosed single-occupancy office
· maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others
· complete weekly COVID-19 testing with the College testing program or on a weekly basis submit proof of negative PCR test results from external official testing location
· follow all New York State and CDC regulations pertaining to unvaccinated individuals
Employees who believe they are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination for medical or religious reasons should contact the Office of Human Resources.
I am fully confident that each member of the College will act responsibly and with concern for the health of the community. We are all looking forward to a full and lively fall semester with as few disruptions to our typical routines as possible. I ask that each of you please do your part and, if you have not done so already, get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D.