Dartmouth, Colby-Sawyer to require vaccines for employees as well as students

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/27/2021 10:17:34 PM
Modified: 5/27/2021 10:17:33 PM

HANOVER — Two Upper Valley residential colleges announced this week that they plan to require employees as well as students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the next academic year begins.

Dartmouth College plans to expand its current requirement that all students be vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of fall term to also include employees, Dartmouth Provost Joseph Helble said during a webcast community conversation on Wednesday.

“I fully anticipate we are moving towards requiring vaccination for all employees,” Helble said.

Though the details of the requirement for employees are still being finalized, Helble said he expects they will be set before the start of summer term next month. He said he expects employees will be offered the same opportunity to submit waivers for medical and religious exemptions that students have.

As of Thursday, 54% of the on-campus Dartmouth community and 42% of the entire Dartmouth community have submitted documentation to the college indicating that they have completed their COVID-19 vaccination, either one or two doses depending on the vaccine type.

In addition to the three vaccines currently approved for emergency use in the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — Dartmouth also will be accepting proof of vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. Those include Sinopharm and two versions of the AstraZeneca vaccine, said Dr. Lisa Adams, co-chair of the college’s COVID-19 task force, during Wednesday’s online conversation.

Adams noted that vaccines are now readily available in the Upper Valley, including at the CVS in Hanover by appointment.

Helble’s statement came the same day that Colby-Sawyer College announced in a news release that it is requiring students and employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug.1. Colby-Sawyer’s mandate also includes commuter and part-time students, as well as anyone seeking to participate in on-site or in-person courses or activities at the New London college, Wednesday’s release said.

“The vaccine mandate will ensure the safest learning environment possible for our students and our residential educational experience,” Colby-Sawyer College President Susan Stuebner said in the release.

The requirement also will allow Colby-Sawyer to resume offering co-curricular activities and events that it would otherwise have to restrict, Stuebner said. The requirement also will allow for the eventual phasing out of other COVID-19 related policies, the release said.

Questions regarding the college’s vaccination mandate can be directed to covidvaccine@colby-sawyer.edu.

UVAC to reopen for non-members

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Beginning on June 1, the Upper Valley Aquatic Center will be open to day guests with reservations, according to a news release.

The White River Junction facility has previously been open only to members amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn how to reserve a spot, visit https://uvacswim.org/how-to-reserve-a-spot/, email welcome@uvacswim.org or call 802-298-2850, ext. 0.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.

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