All St. Thomas students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated before returning to campus for the fall semester, the university announced Monday. The decision is due to the highly contagious delta variant spreading rapidly and rising infection rates in Minnesota and beyond.
Per recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, the university will still require unvaccinated individuals to wear face coverings indoors and is now encouraging vaccinated community members to wear face coverings indoors.
The University Action and Response Team said the decisions are also driven by the university’s desire to provide a safe, high-quality and uninterrupted experience for students and employees, however, CDC guidance could still impact fall operations.
This summer, the university implemented an incentive program and outreach. Since then, 1,300 new COVID-19 vaccinations were reported by St. Thomas community members. Currently, the overall campus vaccination rate is 78%; this includes 89% of employees and 75% of students.