Dear Faculty and Staff,
As a campus community, we can be proud of the success of Seattle U’s pandemic response. Working together, we have implemented multiple measures for preventing and containing COVID-19 on our campus, including remote learning and working, physical distancing, de-densification of campus, enhanced cleaning, mask wearing, daily health checks, restrictions on visitors and events, surveillance testing and contact tracing, vaccination clinics and other requirements recommended by public health experts. Public health conditions are improving and as shared with students and their families this week, we plan to be as fully in-person as possible in the fall. To do so, we must all do our part to keep one another safe.
At this turning point of the pandemic we know that widespread vaccination is the strongest tool for preventing transmission of the virus. As previously announced, Seattle U will require all students who will be on campus this fall to be fully vaccinated. To reach the high levels of vaccination needed to protect our community, Seattle U is extending that vaccination requirement to all Seattle U community members, including faculty, staff and independent contractors or consultants who will have an on-campus presence.
This decision is based on recommendations from experts in public health and medicine, as well as discussions with faculty and staff leadership across campus. The university will also engage in conversations with its union partners regarding the implementation of this policy. More details and instructions will be shared in early summer on how you can confirm that you have been vaccinated. Regarding exemptions, we will provide further information on the criteria and process by early July.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has issued new guidance regarding vaccine verification and health and safety requirements for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. Please note that unvaccinated individuals may be subject to additional public health measures to protect themselves and others such as masking, physical distancing and COVID-19 testing above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. We anticipate updating university requirements in the coming weeks to reflect new regulatory requirements and public health guidance.
Faculty and staff are advised to complete their vaccination as soon as possible and submit verification by attesting to your vaccination status through the Safe Start registration no later than Sept. 6, or Labor Day. (More than 50 percent of faculty and staff have already registered their status.) Any community member who is already vaccinated and has not yet submitted verification of vaccination should submit this information immediately because the data will inform additional policy and planning decisions.
Our planning for fall quarter is ongoing. We realize there are many questions about what we should expect when we come back to our classrooms and workspaces. The Washington State anticipates a statewide re-opening on June 30 and in the coming weeks the Governor’s office is expected to issue guidance specific to institutions of higher education. We will continue to assess and update our guidance over the course of the summer and will share updates with the campus community.
FDA-authorized vaccines are readily available and the science demonstrates that they are safe and effective. Visit King County for locations in this area that provide vaccinations. For those outside the Seattle area, search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
Thank you to everyone who has already gotten vaccinated to protect the health and safety of our students, colleagues, families and friends. We encourage all of those who are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated to do so at their earliest convenience. Together we can take the next important step toward welcoming our students in the fall and safely resuming a robust learning and working environment at Seattle University.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
Shane P. Martin
Timothy P. Leary
Executive Vice President