Updates to Webster COVID-19 Guidelines
July 22, 2021
The following message was distributed on July 22, 2021.
Our sincere hope is that everyone in our community is staying safe and enjoying the summer. We are proud to say that our community has had outstanding results in our fight against COVID-19 during the pandemic with relatively few cases on our main campus in Webster Groves and throughout the Webster University global network. By following numerous health protocols such as wearing masks, following social-distancing guidelines, taking daily temperature tests, and self-reporting illnesses, confirmed cases of the coronavirus among students, faculty and staff were kept to an impressive low.
Currently, health departments around the world are reporting a rapid increase in documented infections due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. Also, there are reports of other variants. Medical agencies report that those who are unvaccinated make up nearly all cases of those who become critically ill from these mutations. Given that environment, Webster University will now require that all students, faculty and staff begin the vaccination process by the start of the fall semester. The goal of this new policy is to make sure we can safely resume in-person education worldwide.
This new vaccination policy does not apply to:
- Students who are studying fully online and adjunct faculty who are teaching fully online; and
- Students, faculty and staff who work and/or study in states or countries that have local laws that prevent Webster from enforcing mandatory vaccinations.
Also, there are exemptions to this new vaccination policy, and the University will create a review process for those who wish to request an exemption from the vaccination policy. Exemptions include:
- Students, faculty and staff who request religious exemptions to vaccinations; and
- Students, faculty and staff who request exemption by submitting documentation from a medical practitioner indicating the vaccination is not advisable for medical reasons.
Webster recognizes that some countries with Webster campuses have vaccine shortages. We will work with the administrators at those locations to formulate safety measures that can be followed until the community can be fully vaccinated.
Student Affairs and Human Resources will communicate the steps for students and employees to register their vaccination status or to file an exemption in a follow up to this communication, next week. In addition, details about vaccine availability on campus will be part of that forthcoming message.
The safety and health of our community is paramount as we work to attain our educational goals during the pandemic and the complications it has caused. We appreciate everyone’s diligence in helping keep the community safe and we look forward to a productive 2021-2022 academic year.
Julian Z. Schuster
The Task Force on Transition and Adaptability