Wellness Center

December 20 - Important Information Regarding COVID Vaccine Requirement

Dear Ursinus Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we embark on our holiday break and finalize preparations for the spring semester, we wanted to take a few minutes to communicate several important updates to our COVID strategies. Details will be forthcoming early in the new year, but our hope is that you can take advantage of time away from campus to reflect on these changes and, wherever appropriate, begin acting on them.

As you know, our region has witnessed a significant spike in the number of infections stemming from the Delta variant. Our task force, which meets twice weekly, is also monitoring the spread of the Omicron variant while remaining in regular conversation with health officials in Montgomery County. We’ve reported 24 new positive cases through our on-campus testing program in just the past two weeks, and evidence continues to point to social gatherings and non-academic settings as the likely source of transmission.

Unfortunately, we expect this trend to continue into the new year and through the remainder of the winter season. It is more important than ever we remain agile in our preparations and take whatever measures we can to promote the long-term health and well-being of our campus community.

That is why we are making two important changes to our COVID strategies that will take effect in late January. First is that we will be requiring booster shots for every student, while continuing to allow previously granted exemptions. The second is a new policy mandating vaccinations for all faculty and staff, allowing for the same exemptions that have been extended to our students. Details of the policy will be shared in the first week in January, but we strongly encourage unvaccinated individuals to schedule appointments now so that they will comply with the policy.

For our students, we will require booster shots because data and recent studies have indicated that boosters provide an extra layer of protection against the Omicron variant, decreasing the likelihood of–but not preventing–infection. We encourage eligible students to act as soon as possible and get the booster during winter break and before they return to campus on Tuesday, January 18. We will have a survey in place for you in January so that you can submit your booster information when you return to campus. For those who have not received booster vaccinations at that point, the college will host an on-campus booster clinic on January 27. More details will be shared in early January so you can make an informed decision that best fits your circumstance, and please note that a town hall for our families will be held on the evening of Wednesday, January 12, with information and a registration link to follow in the new year.

We are thankful to have tremendous support across campus and for your commitment to maintaining as safe and healthy a campus as possible.

Sincerely,

Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78, P’18
President

Mark Schneider
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean
Virus Task Force Chair