The University of Akron is sticking with its COVID-19 vaccination policy enacted two months ago, but says they are relaxing some of the exemption acceptions.
UA says all faculty, staff and students still need to be fully vaccinated by December 13th. However, after a review of the policy, the school says they are streamlining the process for requesting an exemption. The university noted yesterday, "A short statement using the streamlined exemption form outlining the reasons of religious belief or reasons of conscience for requesting the exemption is all that will be needed." For those requesting medical exemptions, they will need to complete the medical exemption form and provide supporting documentation from a licensed health care professional.
As of Monday, UA noted more than 70-percent of university employees and nearly 61-percent of all students have provided proof that they are fully vaccinated.
See the full press release from the University of Akron below:
(UA) Since The University of Akron’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement was put in place two months ago, good success has been achieved by the campus community to protect each other by becoming vaccinated. As of October 25, 2021, 70.3% of employees have verified that they have been fully vaccinated; 60.9% of students have verified their vaccination status. As health officials remind us, the virus is still prevalent and spreading, and even though case numbers have declined somewhat, being vaccinated is the most effective way of continuing progress and avoiding surges in infection rates. With all of that in mind, UA is adjusting its policies and procedures to continue efforts to have as many members of our community as possible become vaccinated. The main elements of those adjustments are as follows:
- We will continue to require that all members of our community be fully vaccinated by December 13, 2021, and to provide proof of that vaccination history or have an approved exemption. The University is exploring an additional way to verify vaccination status and details will be announced shortly.
- We will streamline the process for requesting an exemption from this vaccination requirement for matters of religious belief or reasons of conscience by removing the requirement that the request be notarized. A short statement using the streamlined exemption form outlining the reasons of religious belief or reasons of conscience for requesting the exemption is all that will be needed. Those requesting an exemption for medical reasons still will be required to submit a completed medical exemption form and supporting documentation from a licensed health care provider.
- Those individuals who do not provide the required documentation or who request and receive an exemption will be subject to up-to-twice-weekly testing protocols, as will others, including some who are fully vaccinated and for whom there is reason to believe such testing is warranted. Those factors include, but are not limited to, an individual’s potential exposure to others who have tested positive and share facilities, density of congregate living environments, wastewater monitoring in the residence halls, multiple cases in a classroom, and activities with higher risk of close contact.
- Current students will be allowed to register for spring semester classes. If they have not verified their vaccination status or received an exemption, the additional testing requirements will apply. Students who enroll for the first time for the upcoming spring semester will be subject to the same requirements.
- The current indoor masking requirement will remain in place.