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All Princeton employees must be vaccinated for fall semester

<h6>Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian

The University will require all employees to submit proof of a COVID-19 vaccination prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester, according to a June 8 announcement.

All employees are required to receive their final dose — a one-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine — and submit proof of receipt by Aug. 1.

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This announcement follows the University’s vaccine requirement for all undergraduate and graduate students for the 2021–22 academic year as well as similar mandates for employees at peer institutions, including Harvard and Yale.

Acceptable COVID-19 vaccines are those authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, which include Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and AstraZeneca.

As with undergraduate and graduate students, University employees with certain disabilities, medical conditions, or religious beliefs that would impede vaccination can request an accommodation. Those individuals will be required to fill out a COVID-19 Vaccine Accommodation Request form, continue wearing face coverings, frequently participate in the asymptomatic testing protocol, and practice social distancing during the fall term to comply with University guidelines.

By July 1, all employees must either submit proof of vaccination via the VacStatus portal, report their current unvaccinated status and intent to become fully vaccinated by a given date, apply for an accommodation, or report their decision to remain unvaccinated regardless of the University requirement.

Campus Guidelines

In the announcement, the University also revised its current social distancing, on-campus gathering, and face covering guidelines to align with current federal and state health guidance.

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In-person gatherings of more than 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are now permitted if approved by the Gatherings Review Team. Groups of 25 or fewer people indoors and 100 or fewer outdoors do not need official approval. Spaces must be reserved and events must be scheduled via the EMS web app.

Those who are vaccinated no longer need to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals, regardless of whether they are gathering indoors or outdoors. 

Face coverings are no longer required outdoors, though they are still required indoors — regardless of vaccination status. This policy will be “revisited” after July 1 once the University has determined the vaccination rate across campus. Exceptions to the policy include situations when students are alone in their living spaces and other scenarios discussed on the COVID Resources website.

After July 1, employees routinely on campus who are not fully vaccinated must participate in the twice weekly asymptomatic testing protocol. Those who are fully vaccinated will be tested weekly “until the data indicate that testing vaccinated individuals is no longer needed,” according to the press release. Individuals with an accommodation will continue to be tested throughout the fall term.

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All employees coming to campus still have to complete the Daily Symptom Check until further notice.

Fall Semester

Looking toward the fall semester, the University continues to plan for the resumption of in-person classes and activities. All remote work is expected to conclude on Aug. 29, before classes begin on Sept. 1. 

“The expectation is that all University facilities, including administrative and research spaces, will operate at full capacity,” the statement said.

By Aug. 29, the University said it expects that eating clubs may reopen, classrooms may be used at “normal occupancy,” dining halls and cafes may operate with no limits on indoor dining, campus housing may resume at normal capacity, and in-person student activities may resume.

The announcement clarified that singing and wind instrument related activities may require “mitigation measures” in order to resume.

The asymptomatic testing program used in the spring will also continue into the fall, with requirements for regular asymptomatic testing in place for employees who aren’t vaccinated and a “periodic” testing protocol for employees and students who received the vaccine.

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