COVID updates: Back to on-site work, vaccination requirement, updated protocols

May 3, 2021

To:  Faculty and staff
From:  Michelle Rogers, Vice President for Administration
Subject:  COVID updates: Back to on-site work, vaccination requirement, updated protocols

As COVID-19 cases continue to fall, the University needs to move ahead with plans for an in-person fall semester. Thank you for all your contributions getting us to this point!

In pursuit of our goals of offering an engaging, personalized education to our students and protecting our community’s health and safety, we are updating several important aspects of our COVID practices and procedures for employees. These revised policies—which reflect input from the University-wide COVID Working Group, COVID Task Force, and President’s Cabinet—relate to on-site work, COVID vaccination, and health and safety protocols. 

I will provide an overview during tomorrow’s Town Hall at 10 a.m. (register here to attend in person or join virtually at https://redlands.webex.com/redlands/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7f1185484d38294cb12150e917d297c0). 

ON-SITE WORK

We have begun a phased reopening of all offices, to be completed by June 1 for most employees but no later than July 1 as the default for everyone.  A continued temporary remote work arrangement through September 1 or an earlier date may be granted with approval from the respective Cabinet member.  The Cabinet is evaluating a new remote work policy for post-pandemic use for release later this year.

COVID-19 VACCINATION

Starting July 1, the University will require a full course of COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty and staff who come onto a U of R campus, with a pathway for exemption for medical, religious, or other reasons. A detailed policy will be released within the next two weeks.

A full course of vaccination is defined as two doses for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For more information or to sign up for a vaccination appointment at the vaccination clinic on the main Redlands campus, visit https://www.redlands.edu/clinic/.  Once you are vaccinated, you will need to upload your vaccination card through a secure and confidential portal. Details on the submission process will be forthcoming.

We are currently building a web form to submit requests for exemption; that link will be shared in a subsequent email. Those who meet exemption criteria will continue to be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing requirements and strict health and safety protocols. 

UPDATED PROTOCOLS 

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated employees can:

  • Visit indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing face coverings or physical distancing.
  • Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease without wearing masks or physical distancing.  Please continue to follow the interim pandemic guidelines for all non-University visitors located at:  https://www.redlands.edu/urready/info-for-visitors/.
  • Participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a face covering at small outdoor gatherings, or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. In certain crowded settings and venues, face coverings are still required.
  • Resume domestic travel without testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • Be exempted from requirements for:
    • Weekly routine screening testing
    • Quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic (with some exceptions for specific settings)
    • Testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States 

Vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions, like wearing a well-fitted face covering and physical distancing, in public indoor campus spaces.
  • Wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Wear face coverings, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple areas or households.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow all guidance issued by the University.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.

To read the complete policy document, which also includes updates related to business and personal travel, see Interim COVID-19 Policies for All Employees. Again, we appreciate your flexibility in the face of the evolving circumstances of the pandemic and everything else you do for the University.