NEWARK — University of Delaware staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, UD President Dr. Dennis Assanis announced during a board of trustee meeting on Thursday.
The university already had a vaccine requirement in place for students by the start of the fall semester. This new policy applies to all employees, Dr. Assanis said, including those in labor unions, those who work at home or have already contracted COVID-19.
Exemptions are possible for those with legitimate medical or religious reasons.
Dr. Assanis said 87% of employees are currently vaccinated, which includes 91% of the employees on campus. Employees who were not vaccinated previously had the option to be tested for the virus weekly instead.
The new vaccination policy came into place because President Joe Biden, a UD graduate, issued an executive order in September to require the vaccine for federal employees and employees of workplaces connected to federal contracts. Dr. Assanis said federal funds support UD’s internal employees, students and its programs.
“We do intend to comply,” Dr. Assanis said during his speech. “Because if we don’t comply, the impact on our workforce would be tremendous.”
The university is the first school in Delaware to have such a requirement. Other colleges in the state have yet to announce their plans.
UD also currently requires all external visitors to UD events to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test for the virus