From the President, re: Employee Masking Requirements

July 14, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach August 2, the date when staff will return to on-campus work on a full-time basis, many of you have asked about the status of mask and social distancing mandates for employees moving forward.

As I have stated previously, in accordance with CDC and state Department of Public Health guidelines, many of the health and safety restrictions that we now have in place will be lifted for vaccinated individuals. Effective immediately, masking and social distancing will not be required in or outside campus buildings for vaccinated employees. Vaccinated students and professors will not be required to wear masks during in-person classes, though classroom seating will be limited to three feet of separation.

Unvaccinated employees will be required to wear a mask indoors (except when working alone in their office) and outdoors when they are in a crowd, at a large event, or in a public place where keeping their distance from others is difficult. To help determine the level of vaccination on campus, we are developing an employee survey in coming weeks in which faculty and staff will be asked to attest to their vaccination status.

I want to note that any member of the campus community who is not otherwise required to wear a mask may voluntarily choose to do so in any setting at any time and for any reason. I ask that you respect this personal choice – and as with vaccination status, no one should ask another individual about why or why not they have made the personal choice to wear a mask.

As you know, the CSCU Board of Regents has mandated that all students will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they arrive on campus, unless they request and receive an exemption. With most students anticipated to return to campus the week of August 23, we have requested that they be fully vaccinated and have uploaded their vaccination card to Southern’s Student Health Services patient health portal by August 9 at the latest.

With this in mind, employees are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to keep yourselves, your families, and your coworkers as safe as possible when you fully return to campus. It is important that we are ready to personally and safely engage with and assist our students as they return to on-campus learning and living.

Free, walk-up vaccine clinics for employees and students are being held in the Engleman Hall Bagel Wagon area during the week of July 19 (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday). Or, if you wish to make an appointment closer to home, visit the CT COVID-19 Vaccine Portal at: https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal .

Please remember that getting vaccinated protects your health, as well as the health of those around you, especially individuals who are medically compromised and can’t receive the vaccination. A dynamic and vibrant campus requires all members of our campus community to feel that they can return safely with as minimal exposure to COVID as possible.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation in helping ensure that our campus remains a safe and healthy learning and working environment for all members of our community.

Sincerely,

Joe Bertolino
President