Davidson College requiring some students, staff to get fully vaccinated

DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson College will require COVID-19 vaccines for students, staff and faculty who participate in activities that present a high risk for transmission, which includes members of the Dining Services staff, officials announced Tuesday night.

[Coronavirus: CDC recommends masks indoors for some vaccinated people]

The college cited the increase in the delta variant cases and hospitalizations for the decision.

“Davidson College is incredibly proud of how the entire college community -- including the Dining Services team -- has met the unpredictable challenges of the pandemic,” officials said in a news release. “Our colleagues who serve on the front lines responded to the unknown with creativity and bottomless empathy.”

When class starts next month, the school will require vaccinations for everyone on campus who could be exposed to the virus, including employees like the dining services staff, and athletes, such as cheerleader Kylee Taylor, who also works on campus. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be allowed on the squad.

“So, I feel like that was a little bit of an initiative like for me to go and get it (the vaccine),” she told Channel 9.

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Until this announcement, Davidson College had only recommended that students and staff get the vaccine.

The Dining Services staff must get their first shot by Aug. 15. They must then submit proof they are fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Those who do not get vaccinated will be let go on Aug. 15, officials said.

There will be exceptions available for medical and religious reasons.

>> Read more about Davidson College’s fall plans and policies here.

Student Jason Zhang said he was on board with the school’s decision.

“For the sake of the community and the people that you’re going to be around, it’s better to have the vaccine,” he said.

Strenuous indoor activity, such as singing in chorale, playing an instrument in an ensemble, dance, or working out are activities that present a high risk of transmission as well, the school said, and participants will be held to the same standards.

Examples of high-risk activities include:

  • Some activities that require very close contact with others for an extended period of time, such as working in dining services;
  • Strenuous indoor activity, such as singing in chorale, playing an instrument in an ensemble, dance, or working out; and
  • Participation in intercollegiate, club and intramural athletics.

If you are not vaccinated (student or employee), these rules will apply to you on campus:

  • You will need to wear a mask indoors and sometimes outdoors.
  • You will be required to maintain physical distancing indoors and sometimes outdoors.
  • You will be required to get tested weekly for COVID-19.
  • You will have to quarantine for two weeks if you are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • You may not have access to some campus facilities.

“Davidson just wants the students to be safe, and the staff to be safe, so I think it makes sense to require the vaccine,” Taylor told Channel 9.

The state says that private industries, including colleges, can require vaccine proof in order to access facilities and services.

“We intend to require COVID vaccination for all members of the Davidson community once a vaccine fully approved by the FDA becomes available,” the school said.

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