8.6.21: Faculty and Staff COVID Vaccination Requirement

Dear Colleagues,

As part of our autumn semester update, we announced that we are in the process of reviewing our COVID vaccination policy for faculties and staff.

Due to the increasing number of COVID cases in the region and new information on the properties of the delta variant, all lecturers and staff must be Fully vaccinated unless they are given an approved medical or religious exemption from the requirement. Although no vaccine offers a guarantee against infection, vaccination against COVID is effective at preventing serious illness and death, and continues to be the best protection against the spread of more contagious variants of the virus. We believe this step is necessary to ensure we can provide the educational environment and workplace that students, faculty and staff have come to expect.

All faculty and staff must certify that they are fully vaccinated or are about to be fully vaccinated or apply for a medical or religious exception until Monday, August 23. Failure to comply with the compulsory vaccination is punished at university and family level as a violation of workplace and university policy. The process for submitting vaccination information and the process for filing a medical or religious exemption request will follow over the next week.

Faculty and staff who have not yet taken the first steps towards full vaccination are encouraged to do so today. Make an appointment at a Location of your choice or Register for the upcoming vaccination clinic takes place on August 17th on campus. This clinic will give the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine with a return date of September 7th for the second dose. Family members (anyone aged 12 and over) can also take part for free. For more information on COVID vaccines, see Visit the CDC website.

Anyone partially vaccinated and working towards a full COVID vaccination or receiving an approved medical or religious exception and not vaccinated must:

  • Take mandatory university COVID surveillance tests
  • consequences CDC quarantine guidelines when identified as a close contact with someone positive for COVID. has been tested
  • Continue to wear a mask indoors, even if the universal mask requirement is lifted
  • Perform a daily symptom self-assessment to gain access to the building

Unfortunately, the number of COVID cases has increased across the country and region, and Northampton County has one of the highest COVID rates in Pennsylvania. The highly transmissible Delta variant has become the dominant variety in most areas of the country.

In order to provide the communities of Lehigh and South Bethlehem with the highest possible level of protection, including from other possible variants, widespread vaccination is crucial. This requirement should support a semester that is as safe and successful as possible.

For more information, see the Vaccination Resources Center FAQs under “Vaccine Requirements for Faculties / Staff” and “General Vaccination Information”, which will be further updated in the next week.


Nathan Urban

Interim President and Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Patricia Johnson

Vice President for Finance & Administration

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