Q: Who is allowed to ask about someone’s vaccination status, and what can be asked? For example, can lab directors or clinic directors ask for proof of vaccination (e.g., photo of vaccination card) from students and employees?
A: Faculty and supervisors are not authorized to inquire about a student’s or colleague’s vaccination status. This may only change if regulations are established that distinguish between those vaccinated and unvaccinated (face coverings in the workplace, for example), and guidance will be issued in this case.
Q: Who can share someone’s vaccine status, and with whom can they share it? For example, if an instructor, lab director, or fellow grad student/employee knows that a student or employee is unvaccinated, can this be shared with others in the class or lab?
A: Knowledge of any other person’s vaccination status should not be shared with others.
Q: Can lab directors refuse lab access to students/employees who do not have proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-test?
A: No. At this time the university is not requiring proof of vaccination or testing for entry into UO facilities; and departments/units, including labs, may not create their own procedures and policies. The universal face covering requirement is the protective measure in place for indoor spaces such as labs. The university will review public health indicators, such as local community transmission rates, before making a change to this requirement, and only in consultation with campus stakeholders. In keeping with the CDC’s current guidelines, even with low community transmission rates and other favorable public health indicators, unvaccinated individuals may be required to wear face coverings inside UO facilities.
Q. Do individuals have to upload proof of vaccination to comply with the vaccine mandate?
A: Students are required to upload their proof of vaccination when complying with the university’s vaccine requirement, and their vaccination status is verified by health center staff as it is for all other vaccines required of students (e.g., measles). Currently, faculty and staff compliance is done through attestation. However, the university is in the process of acquiring software that allows for faculty and staff to upload proof of vaccination as well. This software should be available early this fall as individuals begin to receive booster shots.
Q. Beyond medical exemptions, what other exemptions are allowed for students and employees to not be vaccinated, and how are these conditions being evaluated?
A: Exemptions are allowed for medical, religious reasons, philosophical, or other non-medical reasons. Details about the University’s vaccine requirement, including exemptions, can be found here: https://coronavirus.uoregon.edu/vaccine.
Q. Our unit is planning orientation and onboarding activities for incoming graduate students. Can we ask about vaccination status of participants since activities begin before the date of UO’s reporting requirement?
A: No, the vaccination requirement deadlines for students were intentionally set to support compliance, based primarily on the start of our two fall academic terms. Although departments may not establish different deadlines for fulfilling the requirement for their specific populations, they may encourage students to complete the requirement early. In fact, the University is encouraging students and employees to complete the requirement by September 1 by holding weekly DuckBucks (campus cash) drawings.
Departments may also hold orientation events outdoors, to the extent possible, and be thoughtful as they incorporate food and beverage service into these events, since eating and drinking require individuals to temporarily remove their face coverings.
Q: Is the UO going to modify the vaccine attestation process for employees to require proof of vaccination, rather than self-attestation? Are there any plans to remove the philosophical exemption once the vaccine receives full FDA approval?
A: The university’s process requires proof of vaccination for students through the University Health Services student medical records system. The UO is procuring software that will provide for effective employee vaccination record-keeping, including for records related to vaccination verification.
Q: Does the vaccination requirement apply to individuals with courtesy appointments or contracted workers?
A: The university expects tenure-related faculty, career faculty, officers of administration, classified employees (SEIU, UOPA, Teamsters), UO and agency temporary employees, and volunteers to complete the employee vaccination requirement; those with courtesy appointments who regularly come to campus are also expected to complete the requirement. Graduate employees and student employees will complete the student vaccination requirement. Emeritus faculty, those with courtesy appointments who do not regularly come to campus, and other unpaid appointments are not subject to the vaccination requirement but should be sure to review the UO COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Regulation Notice. Detailed information regarding the expectations and action required can be found in the Compliance Action Guide on the UO COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement- Employee Process webpage.