As we prepare for the end of the semester and a long-awaited Christmas break, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for doing your part to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus on our campuses these past few months.
As you know, we were able to minimize the viral spread on campus, without requiring vaccinations, by implementing a multi-layered approach that encouraged vaccine consideration and required indoor masking and daily symptom tracking.
Despite our past success, we must prepare for an enforced, stricter standard of mitigation policies, should a new federal requirement go into effect. We realize that there are several legal challenges that could stop this mandate. Nevertheless, we must begin to prepare in case the mandate is upheld.
Beginning January 4, 2022, all employers with 100 or more employees must require all employees to either provide proof of vaccination OR submit to weekly tests and comply with mandated mask policies, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing. These requirements apply to all full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and student workers, unless they are working fully remotely.
While Concordia remains committed to encouraging rather than mandating COVID-19 vaccinations, the weekly testing option will incur a substantial and unsustainable financial and human burden on the university. Therefore, unvaccinated employees can expect to be responsible for the costs and incidentals associated with the testing option.
Specific details regarding proof of vaccine and testing are still being finalized. Be assured that should the federal mandate go into effect, CUWAA must comply and will be ready.
In the meantime, I urge anyone unvaccinated to consider getting the vaccine. It is free, readily available, and avoids the time and expense of weekly testing.
All important information regarding the OSHA ETS mandate will be communicated via email over the upcoming weeks, as that information becomes available. Please remember to check your email before returning to campus after the Christmas break.
In His Service,