Employee COVID-19 policies post-August 1

Message sent on July 16, 2021

Jennifer Lucas, Executive Director of Human Resources, and Chris Zappe, Provost, explain the College’s policies regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated employees for the 2021-22 academic year.

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to follow up on the email that was sent on June 23 that detailed the College’s indoor and outdoor masking policy and strongly encouraged all employees to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. In that message, it was noted that the current policy is in effect until August 1, at which point the policy would be reevaluated based on current COVID-19 conditions and our increasing campus density.

Today, with roughly two weeks remaining in July, we are in a position to assess the COVID-19 environment and begin to forecast its potential influence on our campus population this fall. With these considerations at the forefront, we would like to share with all employees our policies for the upcoming semester.

Unvaccinated Employees

As of August 1, in keeping with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, employees who have not uploaded their COVID-19 vaccination card into Human Resources’ SISCO system or sent it to vaccine@gettysburg.edu will be:

  • Required to wear a mask in all indoor College facilities, except while alone in a private office.
  • Required to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing throughout the 2021-22 academic year. Surveillance testing will be administered through WellSpan on campus.

Employees who are out of compliance with the masking or testing policies will be subject to progressive discipline.

The College continues to urge all employees to receive their COVID-19 vaccination before the start of the fall semester. Receiving the vaccine will help all of us to have a more traditional campus experience and will assist in keeping our community safe and healthy. More information about fall semester requirements will be sent to employees who have not uploaded their vaccination information in the coming weeks.

Vaccinated Employees

Any employee who is fully vaccinated and has successfully uploaded their COVID-19 vaccination card into Human Resources’ SISCO system or sent it tovaccine@gettysburg.edu will not be required to mask nor will they be required to participate in surveillance testing this academic year. This reflects a continuation of the policy currently in place for all fully vaccinated Gettysburg employees.

Of course, any employee who has been fully vaccinated and elects to wear a mask on campus is welcome to do so.

Now Required: Uploading your vaccination information

If you have been fully vaccinated and have yet to upload your records, or you plan to get vaccinated in the near future, please know that you are now required to upload your records by August 1.

If the College does not receive record of your vaccination by August 1, you will be placed in the surveillance testing program and will be required to wear a mask indoors. For the purpose of enforcing the masking and testing requirements, supervisors will receive a list from Human Resources identifying the employees in their areas who have not yet reported their vaccination status.

Reporting COVID-19

All employees are still required to contact the Human Resources Office as soon as possible if they are confirmed to have COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who tests positive. This timely reporting will allow us to evaluate the situation to determine if the employee is required to quarantine or isolate.

Please note: according to the CDC, most fully vaccinated people without COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, be restricted from work, or be tested for COVID-19 following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as their risk of infection is low. In contrast, unvaccinated employees will be required to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case.

Anyone who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19.

Employee Health

In closing, we simply cannot overstate how important it is to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. People who have not been fully vaccinated are most at risk for COVID-19 and the emerging variants. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines protect fully vaccinated people from serious illness, hospitalization, and death when exposed to the virus or one of its variants.

An Associated Press study published in late June found that nearly all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. are now among the unvaccinated. Please do your part to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated.

The College continues to keep a close watch on the COVID-19 pandemic, the emerging variants, and how they are impacting those with and without the vaccine. We will continue to monitor and update our plans and policies if conditions change.

Thank you,

Jen Lucas
Executive Director of Human Resources

Chris Zappe