Worcester State is joining with the eight other state universities in requiring all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend in-person classes this fall.
“As public health officials indicate, this is the most effective way for us to prevent the spread of the virus on campus. I believe the requirement will also help ease anxiety and enable us to provide a more rewarding collegiate experience, particularly as evidence mounts that fully vaccinated populations may engage in a broader range of activities safely,” said President Barry M. Maloney in a message to campus on Monday, April 26.
Undergraduate and graduate students must be fully vaccinated prior to the start of the academic year in September, unless they qualify for limited exceptions for medical or religious reasons. A decision on whether faculty and staff could also be required to be vaccinated has not yet been made, according to Maloney.
“While a vaccine requirement for our faculty and staff necessitates formal discussions with our unions, I am pleased to note that in a survey earlier this semester, employee interest in securing a vaccine was extremely strong,” said Maloney. To find an appointment, visit VaxFinder.mass.gov.
Worcester State will continue surveillance testing in the fall as well as safety protocols, such as mask wearing and social distancing, based on CDC and state public health guidelines.
“Please know that this decision was made in the interest of promoting health and safety and is consistent with the science and medical advice. It is a credit to our community that we have managed to safely offer some on-campus activities and have remained fully open this past year. It is my hope that the vaccination requirement will allow us all to enjoy a bustling, vibrant student-centered campus once again this fall,” said Maloney.
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