June 30: Updated Employee COVID Policies

Dear Colleagues, 

I write to update our policies and practices to keep pace with changes in science, CDC guidance, local and state requirements, and the course of the pandemic. Please note that all pandemic-related policies are subject to change should circumstances warrant. I appreciate the continued commitment of the community to keep ourselves and one another safe, and I am pleased to share the following changes to important COVID policies at Bates.

Vaccines

All Bates employees are required to provide their vaccination status to Human Resources by July 12. Every employee is required to provide to the college evidence of vaccination or disclosure of non-vaccination. To do so, please:

  • Go to Garnet Gateway, where you can indicate you are vaccinated and upload an image of your vaccination card or indicate you are not vaccinated; OR
  • Beginning July 6, please contact Mike Milliken in Human Resources to arrange a time to present your vaccination card. Human Resources staff will coordinate with managers of large departments to facilitate in-person verification where needed.

All Bates employees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Global experience with COVID-19 and the evolving variants continues to demonstrate the effectiveness and importance of vaccines.

Face Coverings

Consistent with CDC guidance, employees who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear face coverings on campus, indoors or outdoors. Full vaccination takes effect two weeks after the final dose of vaccine: after two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or after the first and only shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

Employees who are not fully vaccinated are required to continue wearing face coverings while indoors when not in a private space, and outdoors when distancing cannot be maintained. Similarly, Bates requires unvaccinated visitors and vendors to wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors when distance cannot be maintained.

When must I wear a face covering on the Bates Campus?
Vaccinated EmployeeUnvaccinated
Employee
Unvaccinated
Visitors & Vendors
Outside, when distance cannot be maintainedNot required REQUIREDREQUIRED
Outside, when distancedNot requiredNot requiredNot required
Inside, when distance cannot be maintainedNot requiredREQUIREDREQUIRED
Inside, alone in private spacesNot requiredNot requiredNot required

Verification of Vaccination Status

Verification of your fully vaccinated status requires documentation of an FDA-approved vaccine (J&J, Moderna, or Pfizer) and the date of the vaccination.

ILS is finalizing the development of the reporting system in Garnet Gateway such that employees can see that the college has verified their vaccinated status based on the information provided into Garnet Gateway or directly to Human Resources, and that information allows the college to notify managers which employees must remain masked when indoors in shared spaces, or outdoors when distance cannot be maintained. We expect this functionality to be in place the week of July 12.

Those who are not vaccinated for whatever reason must continue to wear a face covering as described above, consistent with CDC guidance. Employees who violate this health policy, and / or misrepresent their vaccination status to managers prior to the Garnet Gateway verification reporting, are subject to a disciplinary response.

Please note that employees who have previously contracted COVID-19 are not considered to be vaccinated. From the CDC: “Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Individuals who have already had COVID are encouraged to be vaccinated.

Some vaccinated faculty and staff may choose to continue wearing masks, and are welcome to do so. Consistent with our community standards, we ask that you respect individual decisions and not make assumptions about why people are masked or why someone may not have been fully vaccinated.

Physical Distancing

To be consistent with state guidance, we are returning to pre-pandemic densities in work areas, and lifting the limits on the number of people in various spaces. Looking to the fall, we will be scheduling classes at pre-pandemic student levels.

Reminder of Current Policies

Earlier this summer and based on changes in state health guidance, we announced a series of updates to our policies.

  • Visitors are allowed on campus when accompanied by a Bates employee.
  • Domestic travel is supported on college funds; international travel is on an exception basis.
  • The most recent update of our Infectious Disease and Response Plan is available on the Human Resources website.

Please note that all pandemic-related policies are subject to change should circumstances warrant. We will work throughout the summer to align building signage with the changes in policy described above. Thank you for your continued commitment to public health.

Best,

Geoff