SNC’s response to OSHA COVID standard [action required]

Nov. 22, 2021

Dear SNC faculty, staff and student workers,

St. Norbert College continues to encourage vaccination for all individuals who are safely able to do so. Vaccination is the best way to decrease COVID-19 spread in our communities and to protect those around us. On Nov. 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new emergency temporary standard to protect more than 84 million workers from the spread of COVID-19 on the job. 

Under this standard, organizations with more than 100 employees must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy or adopt a policy requiring employees to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. While the standard is working through litigation, St. Norbert College is considering the guidance provided in the standard to be a strong direction of the necessary path forward for our community. To that end, St. Norbert College has developed a Vaccination, Testing and Face-Covering Policy that would require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees beginning Jan. 9, 2022. 

In anticipation of the new policy, St. Norbert College is proactively collecting vaccination records for all employees, including student workers. All employees will be required to report their vaccination status to Human Resources through a secure and confidential COVID-19 vaccine tracking form. (If you have received a COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to have your vaccination card on hand when completing the form.) The deadline to submit vaccination information is Dec. 13, 2021. Employees who have previously uploaded vaccination records to Medicat will need to resubmit using this form because, under the HIPAA privacy rule, Health Services cannot share that information with other college offices without the express consent of each individual. Any employee who does not report their vaccination status to HR will be considered unvaccinated and expected to comply with weekly testing and masking required under the policy. 

Vaccination is safe and effective, and it is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from severe reactions to the COVID-19 illness. Additionally, under the new policy, vaccination allows employees to forego weekly testing.

If you are not yet vaccinated or are looking to get your booster vaccine, several options are available to you:

Please note that if you wish to be fully vaccinated before the policy is in place, you must get your first dose of Moderna vaccine by Nov. 28, of Pfizer vaccine by Dec. 5, or of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Dec. 26.

More information will be provided regarding the OSHA standard and the new policy when it becomes available, and an information session for supervisors will be held in early December. In the meantime, please be sure to complete the COVID-19 vaccine tracking form. If you have questions about submitting vaccination records, contact martha.hitchcock@snc.edu or amy.sorenson@snc.edu. If you have questions about the college’s COVID-19 response, please email covid19response@snc.edu; emails will be routed to the person or department best able to respond.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Sincerely,

The President’s Cabinet