Dear Faculty and Staff,
Following up on President Hall’s email from August 10, I want to provide further clarification on Mercy’s mask and vaccination policies for faculty and staff.
From the beginning of the pandemic, Mercy has followed recommended safety guidelines pertaining to the wearing of masks on campus. That’s partly why we had no known transmissions of COVID-19 in classrooms or offices last year.
Masks are required for individuals in all common spaces and classrooms. In compliance with recent CDC mask guidance, those in shared offices are now strongly encouraged to wear masks at their desks regardless of vaccination status. This is due to the surge of the Delta variant and our region’s designation as a high COVID transmission zone. Masks are not required inside individual offices or while eating.
The COVID-19 vaccine remains the best safeguard against serious illness, and masks are the next best layer of protection. Unvaccinated individuals continue to represent the majority of cases and hospitalizations, and infection and hospitalization numbers remain considerably lower than they were prior to widespread vaccine access. At the same time, we know that the Delta variant is highly transmissible, including among vaccinated individuals, and we encourage you to take extra precautions at the workplace and in the world, including masking.
Employees are encouraged to have conversations with colleagues about comfort levels with masking in shared offices. While you can ask someone whether they are vaccinated, it is against the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ask an individual why they are not vaccinated; if uncertain of vaccination status, continue to wear your mask. If you have questions about your specific workspace, please reach out to email@example.com.
While we anticipate that most faculty and staff are vaccinated, those who are unvaccinated or whose status is unknown are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing beginning in September. These individuals will be contacted directly by the Office of Human Resources. Failure to participate in this program will result in sanctions, up to and including suspension of employment.
If you have not yet submitted your vaccination status, please upload your documentation to the College's health records management system.
To find vaccination sites please visit vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.
Director of Human Resources