RCCC will require proof of vaccination or weekly tests for staff starting Oct. 1

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 20, 2021

SALISBURY – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will begin keeping track of faculty and staff vaccinations in October.

The college is giving faculty and staff two options beginning Oct. 1: submit proof of full vaccination or submit results of a COVID-19 test weekly.

RCCC Chief Governance Officer Sarah Devlin said the policy only applies to faculty and staff as the college returns to on-site instruction.

A letter from President Carol Spalding to staff dated Aug. 5 said to be considered fully vaccinated staff would need to be at least two weeks out from receiving a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Employees can send a copy of their vaccine cards to the college’s human resources department by that date or bring a copy in person to the college’s North campus. The college has added a special vaccine leave so employees can get vaccinated without using other leave or detracting from their hours.

Employees can be disciplined for not submitting proof of vaccination or the weekly test. The college began classes on Monday and requires everyone on campus to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

The college made the change to align with Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 224 requiring certain state employees to either submit proof of vaccination or take weekly tests. The college does not technically fall under the requirements but is voluntarily implementing the procedure as an additional safety measure.

“The college is just really trying to keep our campus community safe,” Devlin said, noting this is just one of the protocols on campus like masking and enhanced cleaning.

The college was not collecting vaccination information on employees before the letter from Spalding went out. The college has not instituted a vaccine requirement. Faculty and staff are required to fill out COVID-19 reports if they are informed of an infection by a student.

The college, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, recommends people get vaccinated and asks people not to come on campus if they are symptomatic, have been ordered to quarantine, tested positive or are awaiting test results due to an exposure or symptoms.

Catawba College started classes this week and is requiring everyone on campus, including students, to either show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly tests. The college was wrapping up its own data collection ahead of classes and about 36% of students and 79% of faculty were vaccinated.

Livingstone College is part of a small number of institutions requiring all staff and students to be vaccinated with a goal of at least 75% vaccination across the board when the college starts classes in September.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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