August 06, 2021

An Important Message Regarding Mandatory Employee Vaccination, Masks, and COVID Testing

In response to current trends related to COVID variants and rising infection rates (primarily where vaccination rates are low), the College is taking additional steps to help protect the campus community as we move into the fall semester. In line with the growing number of institutions requiring vaccination for students and employees alike, the College is extending its policy requiring COVID-19 vaccination to employees. We are also reinstituting certain requirements regarding masking and COVID testing on campus. These steps are in line with recent guidance from the CDC, the Oregon Health Authority, and county public health officials.


Mandatory Employee Vaccination Policy

The COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are highly effective at preventing COVID-19, as well as at preventing serious illness even in those who do get COVID-19. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect our community are the best protection from COVID-19 available to us, and will allow Lewis & Clark to return as much as possible to the pre-pandemic, in-person instruction and activities that are the hallmark of a Lewis & Clark education. COVID vaccines are readily available at pharmacies and other locations throughout the area. Information about vaccination sites is available from the Oregon Health Authority.

Please review the new Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.The policy requires proof of full vaccination for Lewis & Clark employees. The deadline for achieving full vaccination, or obtaining an approved exemption, is September 15, or as soon thereafter as is reasonable based on an employee’s particular circumstances. If you have already uploaded proof of full vaccination in Workday, there is nothing further you need to do.

This policy is immediately effective for unrepresented employees only. We will be discussing this policy with our labor partners for represented employees (LCCSSA and Teamsters) in order to best ensure the health and safety of all employees. Further information will be provided when available regarding any obligations of represented employees under this policy.


Mask-Wearing on Campus

We are reinstating the requirement that all unvaccinated persons (faculty, staff, students, contractors and visitors) wear a face covering in indoor public spaces on campus.

It is also recommended, consistent with guidance from Multnomah County Public Health, that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in indoor public spaces on campus where the vaccination status of others is unclear.

The following is a summary of our current requirements regarding masks:

  • Unvaccinated persons are required to wear a mask in indoor public areas of campus.
  • All persons, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on buses and other forms of campus-provided transportation, including the Pioneer Express.
  • It is recommended that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in indoor public spaces on campus where the vaccination status of others is unclear.
  • Masks may be required for all persons, regardless of vaccination status, in certain circumstances, such as at events where a significant number of persons are expected to congregate in a small area; events at which a significant number of persons are likely to have recently traveled; events, activities, or classes that include or are likely to include other unvaccinated persons or persons who are immunocompromised; and small areas with poor ventilation.
  • All persons with weakened immune systems are strongly encouraged to continue to wear masks and observe physical distancing, consistent with current CDC guidance. Such persons are encouraged to talk with their healthcare providers to discuss their activities and precautions they may need to keep taking to prevent COVID-19.

You should carry a mask with you whenever on campus, and be prepared to wear it when necessary or when asked to do so.


COVID Testing for Unvaccinated Persons

The College will be reinstating mandatory COVID testing for unvaccinated employees and students. This requirement will apply to all faculty, staff, and students who have not provided the College with evidence of being fully vaccinated or who have received a vaccination exemption. Such testing will occur weekly. More information will be provided to those who are subject to testing.

Thank you to all of our employees for taking the steps necessary to help protect all members of our campus community. None of us want to return to more stringent COVID mitigation measures, but hopefully taking limited measures now will help us as the fall semester gets underway.

All of our updated COVID-related policies can be found on the COVID-19 Ongoing Response webpage. We will continue to revise these policies as circumstances warrant and as public health guidance changes.