July 13, 2021
To: Faculty, Other Academic Appointees, Postdoctoral Researchers, and Staff
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost, and Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President
In May, the University announced that starting with the 2021 Autumn Quarter the University will require all students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Since then, a group of leaders and medical experts from across the University has examined whether to introduce a vaccine requirement for University employees.
Today we are announcing that the University expects every University employee to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they cannot do so because of a medical or religious reason or other authorized exemptions. The University will use an online registry to confirm employee vaccination status. University faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff should upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccination in the University’s registry by August 13, 2021. Our goal is a campus-wide vaccination rate that is as close to 100% as possible.
Any University employee working on campus or at a University facility in the Chicago area who does not upload proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for any reason will be required to participate in the University’s weekly COVID-19 testing program, wear a mask at all times in any University facility with limited exceptions, and potentially follow other mitigation measures. These requirements apply to University employees who access University facilities in the Chicago area for any reason and at any frequency. University employees who are still in the process of getting vaccinated on August 13 will be required to follow mitigation procedures until they are fully vaccinated.
Separate vaccination policies will apply to employees of the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), employees with patient-facing duties in the Division of the Biological Sciences, and those employed by the UChicago Charter School or the Marine Biological Laboratory.
In developing the University’s policies, the group considered the highly positive impact that COVID-19 vaccines have had so far in the U.S. and around the world. The University has determined based on expert guidance that widespread COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to contribute to greater immunity, reduce the likelihood of sudden clusters of COVID-19 on campus, minimize the risk imposed by new variants, and help protect members of our community who are at the highest risk of developing serious illness from the virus. It is also a crucial part of the University’s plans for a full resumption of in-person activities this upcoming Autumn Quarter.
We will share further details this week on the University’s COVID-19 vaccination-related requirement and related procedures, including information about how to confirm vaccination status via a registry. UCMC and the Division of the Biological Sciences will communicate separately with their employees about vaccination requirements. Information regarding exemptions and how to fulfill the weekly COVID-19 testing requirement where necessary will be shared at a later time. In the meantime, these FAQs should address some common questions, including how to make a vaccination appointment at UChicago Medicine. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our University community.