In an email delivered to the entire NEOMED community Tuesday, May 25, President Langell outlined the University’s COVID-19 safety policies now in effect on campus. He explains that the differences depend on whether people can and will provide proof of being vaccinated or not.
Dr. Langell’s message follows.
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
As promised in last week’s communication, I am thrilled to provide our latest development. Upon participating in several meetings this week, including one that consisted of Ohio’s 14 public universities (the Inter-University Council), we have decided to make effective immediately a “return to normalcy” option for those who have been fully vaccinated.
NEOMED’s standards for safety measures ― including enhanced cleaning of areas used, hand washing, mandatory social distancing, face coverings and COVID-19 testing ― have combined with an increasing percentage of fully vaccinated members of the NEOMED community to make it possible for us to remove all restrictions for those who have decided to become fully vaccinated and are willing to show proof of vaccination.
NEOMED Community members who are not vaccinated, or who choose not to report it, will be required to continue to comply with the University’s mandatory policies for social distancing, face coverings, regular COVID-19 testing, etc.
As our full return to campus with in-person instruction begins as early as June for Academic Year 2021-2022, such options allow our entire community to safely learn, teach and work on campus.
Effective immediately, all employees and students who meet the CDC definition for being fully vaccinated and are willing to show proof of vaccination:
- will no longer be required to wear masks on campus or to remain physically distant,
- will no longer be required to undergo mandatory campus asymptomatic COVID-19 testing (with valid proof of vaccination),
- must follow hand hygiene policies, and
- must receive medical evaluation and clearance prior to returning to campus if they develop symptoms consistent with or test positive for COVID-19.
All unvaccinated employees and students or those who choose not to provide proof of vaccination will continue to follow existing NEOMED COVID safety guidelines that have been in place as well as modifications to our testing protocols outlined below:
- must wear a face covering in communal indoor settings on the University campus,
- excludes private offices and private cubicles with doors (if applicable) and Village apartments,
- excludes those actively eating or drinking, and
- excludes those actively engaged in exercise at the Sequoia Wellness facility.
- must wear a face covering while in crowded outdoor areas on the University campus,
- must maintain physical distancing while indoors and outdoors on the University campus, and
- will be required to undergo mandatory weekly campus asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.
Being within 90 days of an infection is considered vaccinated by the CDC, but only for that 90-day window. During such time, these people would not be tested because some will have a false positive result. However, they must comply with all other safety guidelines including facial coverings, social distancing, reporting, etc.
Campus guests must be informed in advance by their hosts that they are required to either wear face coverings or be vaccinated to enter buildings on campus. Although we will not be requiring campus guests to show proof of vaccination or be tested for COVID-19, signage to support such expectations of visitors will be posted throughout.
Employees who choose not to be vaccinated or choose not to provide proof of vaccination and fail to follow the face covering, testing and physical distancing mandates will not be allowed on campus and will not be permitted to participate in remote working opportunities. For the safety of the campus community, these employees will be required to use sick time, vacation time and follow FMLA rules until they become compliant with mandatory face covering and testing policies.
Students who choose not to be vaccinated or choose not to provide proof of vaccination and fail to follow the face covering, testing and physical distancing mandates (while on campus) will not be allowed to be present on the NEOMED campus or attend courses until in compliance. This requirement does not apply to those who attend online-only courses. Students who train at off-campus locations are expected to follow the requirements of the facilities at which they train.
It is our desire to have a fully vaccinated campus. And while we strongly recommend vaccinations for all members of our NEOMED community, we are providing a choice option to comply with continuing COVID safety measures for those not vaccinated to ensure our entire campus will have the opportunity to contribute and participate safely upon our full return to campus.
Updates regarding Fall Semester policies will be determined, disseminated and updated on our website by July 1, 2021.
Thank you again for your commitment to the safety of our NEOMED community. We are looking forward to truly seeing everyone soon.
John T. Langell