Vaccinations & Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions
It is encouraging for us to see significant progress here in Berrien County, the state of Michigan and the United States overall in the management of the spread of COVID-19.
Yesterday’s new CDC ruling, which offers new guidelines on mask wearing for those who have been fully vaccinated, is another sign of significant progress for the United States.
While Michigan has not announced any changes in its current COVID-19 guidelines as the state has faced challenging COVID-19 numbers in recent weeks, we will follow and implement any state COVID-19 policy changes for the State of Michigan and higher education institutions as they are announced.
As you may know, Michigan continues to focus its plans to safely reopen and lift COVID-19 restrictions based on the overall percentages of individuals vaccinated in the state. As we focus on those ultimate goals, please note that the Andrews University position remains the same: we do strongly encourage but will not require a COVID-19 vaccination.
With these realities and commitments in mind, we want to let you know how we plan to relate to reopening and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on our own campus:
- We plan to reopen for fall 2021 without the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. However, we will be able to do that only if 70 percent (ideally 80 percent) of employees and students are fully vaccinated.
- To help measure our progress toward that goal, it is very important that all employees report their vaccinations so we can best know where we stand as a campus as we work toward our 70 percent, or better, vaccination goal. If you have been vaccinated, please report that online to Andrews University at this link if you have not already done so (note that the link will require an Andrews ID sign-in to report your vaccination).
An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks following their final dose—either after the second dose of either Moderna (administered 28± days after the first dose) or Pfizer (administered 21± days after the first dose) or after the first and only dose of Johnson & Johnson. The University’s online reporting system will prompt you to report whether your vaccine is a first or a second dose, as appropriate.
- We want to thank those who are fully vaccinated and who have reported their vaccinations online, and we will be sending you a small token of appreciation. Your decision to be vaccinated (and reporting that vaccination online) will also allow us to reach our goal of lifting restrictions and being prepared to fully reopen this fall even more quickly.
- Also, please note that Andrews employees, once fully vaccinated, will be able to travel on University business nationally and internationally where vaccination requirements can be met. In turn, there will be no need to quarantine on return for those who have been vaccinated. However, please be sure to inform your supervisor about your travel plans, and for employees who will be traveling internationally, final approval still needs to be given by senior management (the Provost, Vice President for Financial Administration or President). Quarantines will also not be required upon return for personal travel by those who are fully vaccinated.
- For employees who are not yet vaccinated, our current policy will remain. No domestic or international travel will be allowed on University business at this time for those who are not fully vaccinated. Personal travel will require the employee to quarantine upon return if public transport was used during that personal travel or if physical distancing of six feet (or two meters) could not be maintained at all times during those travels.
- Beginning July 15, 2021, the University will return to its normal policies relating to sick leave (e.g., a COVID-19 illness will be treated as any other illness, and as a result, employees will not be able to use their long-term sick bank for a COVID-19 related illness or quarantine unless it meets the criteria for an FMLA leave).
- In our general campus policies related to occupancy, mask wearing and distancing we will continue to follow the expectations issued by Michigan through its Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA). As policies change, you can expect to see those updated policies in releases on the State of Michigan Coronavirus website and particularly on its dedicated vaccination website. We will also update our Andrews University COVID-19 Safety Plan, which you can find here.
As your Andrews University administration, we wish to let you know that we realize this year has been a challenging one for everyone, here on campus, for our families and neighbors, and around the world. We join with you in committing to the hard work that is still needed to return to a more open, personally engaging environment as soon as we can.
As we do that, we continue to be thankful to each one of you who has gone the extra mile again and again over this last remarkable, unexpected and challenging year.
Our blessings and thanks,