Important update – employee vaccine policies
Dear PLU Faculty and Staff,
On May 21, the governor issued a new Healthy Washington Proclamation 20-15.13 requiring employers must obtain proof of vaccination or obtain a self-attestation from each employee, certifying their fully vaccinated status, before the employee may work at a worksite without wearing a mask.
We also learned this week that the Washington State Department of Health is finalizing guidance for Higher Education which makes it clear that only campuses with a vaccination requirement for students, faculty and staff will be allowed to eliminate physical distancing and other extensive mitigation requirements this summer and fall.
As a result of these two important developments, and in order for PLU to return to anything resembling a normal in-person campus environment this fall, we will be making two policy changes immediately.
- In addition to our previous decision to require Covid-19 vaccinations for all students, we will now require vaccination for faculty and staff as well. Just like with students, exemptions may be made for religious and medical reasons.
- PLU must now either obtain proof of vaccination or have each employee attest to their vaccination status. We are choosing a simple attestation form, similar to the one we used for voluntary reporting, by which you can certify your full vaccination status.
This does mean that those of you who have already volunteered your vaccination status will need to do so again using this simple attestation.
As the new rule states, attesting to your fully vaccinated status means that you do not have to wear a mask or physically distance at work, except in settings where PLU is currently requiring that masks be worn through Summer Session Term I (June 7 – July 2):
- All indoor teaching and learning spaces, e.g., classrooms, meeting rooms, the library, studios, and labs (in line with Washington’s updated mask guidance for schools)
- The Commons, 208, and all dining facilities, except while consuming food or drink
- The PLU Health Center
- All visitors to indoor spaces on campus
Vaccinated Lutes can go without masks in all other spaces.
As a reminder, campus community members (employees and students) and visitors who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear masks and physically distance in all indoor spaces. It is expected that unvaccinated individuals and those requesting an exemption will be required to wear a mask on campus for the entire 2021-22 academic year unless health department guidance changes.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can access the attestation here. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, save this email and/or check the COVID-19 site for access to the form when you do achieve that status, so you can update the information.
Vaccinations are readily available throughout Pierce County and Western Washington.
The employee vaccination policy, including links to the exemption forms (Medical Exemption Form and Religious Exemption Form), can be found here. Student employees are subject to the separate requirements which can be found here.
Thank You for Caring!
We know that not everyone will agree with the requirement to be vaccinated. However, it has become clear that for PLU to return to in person learning this fall, achieve our enrollment goals and serve our students fully, we must do this – and there is flexibility built into the policy with the exemption option.
To thank those who are fully vaccinated for the care they have shown for our community in taking that step, we will utilize a small amount of the federal relief monies to fund a cash prize to those attesting to their fully vaccinated status. Once a week, for ten weeks, one name will be randomly selected from the list of fully vaccinated employees and awarded $250. Drawings will take place each Wednesday, beginning June 9 and ending on August 4. Each recipient will also be allowed to designate a student club, organization or scholarship fund of their choosing to receive an additional $250.
Winners can’t win more than once; once in the pool, you’re in for the duration of the drawings; the sooner you enter the more chances you have to win!
Chief Operating Officer and COVID-19 Site Supervisor