Students and faculty will not be required to have their COVID-19 vaccines for the fall semester, according to an email Thursday from university President Bill Underwood.
Vaccinated students and faculty will fill out a "screening questionnaire," and unvaccinated students and faculty will be required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to the start semester.
"While the University currently has no plans to require students and employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19, we strongly encourage all eligible individuals to be vaccinated before the fall semester," the email says.
Unvaccinated traditional Macon campus undergraduate students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis, the email says. Other unvaccinated students and employees will be subject to basic surveillance testing. Fully vaccinated students will not be required to participate in surveillance testing.
"These protocols are based on current conditions, and we will continue to monitor developments throughout the summer," the email says.
Vice Provost Kelly Reffitt says that the goal of these protocols is to get as many members of the Mercer community vaccinated as possible.
"We just want to encourage students and employees to get vaccinated this summer if they haven't, and we look forward to seeing everyone in the fall," Reffitt said.
According to the email, students and faculty receive another email with instructions to prepare for the fall semester.
Mary Helene Hall is a junior majoring in journalism. She is a Presidential Media Change Maker Scholar who has worked consistently for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. Mary Helene has received accolades for her work from National Public Radio, Discord, the Georgia College Press Association, and more. When she’s not working on a story, you can catch her reading a good book or enjoying the outdoors on Mercer’s campus.