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News >  Higher education

Gonzaga University updates COVID-19 vaccine requirement to include faculty, staff

UPDATED: Fri., June 18, 2021

Vaccination and recovery stations are in operation at the Chas Health vaccination clinic set up in Gonzaga’s Martin Centre, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.   (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Vaccination and recovery stations are in operation at the Chas Health vaccination clinic set up in Gonzaga’s Martin Centre, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Gonzaga University is now requiring faculty and staff to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination for the coming fall.

University President Thayne McCulloh publicly announced a requirement last week for students taking courses on campus. At the time, McCulloh said employees would only be required to attest whether they were vaccinated.

The Spokesman-Review obtained an email McCulloh sent Thursday to employees informing them of the change, which was made “after careful examination of relevant guidance and conferring with faculty and staff colleagues,” he said.

As with the student requirement, exemptions will be offered for religious and medical reasons.

McCulloh’s message said Gonzaga expects state rules to require vaccinations among students, faculty and staff for universities that want to eliminate physical distancing and other efforts aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Washington State University, the University of Washington, Eastern Washington University and Whitworth University are among institutions across the state who will require proof of vaccination from staff as well as students.

Regardless of the requirement, McCulloh said Gonzaga likely will begin the fall semester with some COVID-19 mitigation measures still in place “until we have a sense of the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus on campus.”

“To ensure that we are able to support and accommodate the full complement of students expected for the fall, discontinue ‘hybrid’ modes of instruction and avoid expenditure of enormous resources to support isolation and quarantine, comprehensive immunity is essential,” he said in the statement.

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