Employee COVID-19 requirements now impacting all locations, deadline extended

All Penn State employees at all locations are now subject to a federal requirement with a Jan. 4 deadline
A person wearing blue gloves holding a COVID-19 vaccine vial and a syringe

Visit virusinfo.psu.edu for the latest information on vaccination requirements and other COVID-19 topics affecting Penn State.  

Credit: Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Unsplash

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In alignment with the recent announcement from the White House on federal vaccination requirements, all Penn State employees at all locations are now subject to a federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement — either the federal contractor mandate or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate — under an executive order from President Joe Biden. The deadline for employees to receive their final dose of a vaccine — either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson — is Jan. 4, 2022.

Federal contractor requirement

At this time, Penn State has determined that the federal contractor vaccination requirement applies to individuals working at, or affiliated with, nine campuses: Altoona, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Harrisburg, Schuylkill and University Park, including Penn State Extension employees. This also has been extended to Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey and at University Park.

There is no option to test out of the federal contractor mandate. Employees covered under the federal contractor mandate must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or be granted a disability/medical- or religious-related accommodation by the University. Accommodations will include a requirement to test weekly in the University testing protocol program.

OSHA requirement

The OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on Vaccination and Testing, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees, impacts employees at all other Penn State locations. Employees covered under the OSHA requirement must receive their final vaccine dose by Jan. 4 or test weekly for COVID-19 in the University’s testing protocol.

Because employees subject to the OSHA ETS have the option either to provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly tests, they will not need to submit requests for medical/disability- or religious-related accommodations regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

The OSHA ETS does not apply at locations covered by the federal contractor mandate.

Impacted individuals

Both requirements include full-time and part-time faculty, staff and technical service workers, even if they are working remotely. This requirement also applies to graduate and undergraduate students supported on wage payroll, as well as all students supported on graduate assistantships at these campuses.

Failure to comply with the federal COVID-19 requirements will result in disciplinary action in accordance with University policies. More details on consequences of noncompliance are forthcoming, but will be consistent with existing procedures.

Vaccination process

Individuals who have not yet begun the vaccination process are encouraged to act now to get their first dose as soon as possible. The extension to Jan. 4 to receive the final vaccine dose means that those subject to a vaccine mandate can again opt to receive the Moderna vaccine. In order to meet the Jan. 4 deadline to receive their final dose, individuals must get their first dose of the various vaccines no later than these dates:

  • Moderna: Dec. 7
  • Pfizer-BioNTech: Dec. 14
  • Johnson & Johnson (single dose): Jan. 4
  • Those choosing to have a vaccine that has been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization should assess the necessary timing to comply with the Jan. 4 deadline.

Uploading proof of vaccination

After receiving their final dose, individuals need to share with the University proof that they are fully vaccinated — providing proof is not optional. Instructions on how to upload proof of vaccination are available on Penn State News. Individuals who have already uploaded an image of their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card do not need to take any action.

CMS requirement

The Biden administration also recently announced the details of a vaccine requirement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which requires vaccination for all health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid. To the extent it establishes additional requirements at Penn State, the University will issue additional communications on its scope and application.

Masking on campus

All individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to continue to wear masks while indoors in any University space. The University will share any updates to the mask policy when conditions warrant changes.

Visit virusinfo.psu.edu for the latest information on vaccination requirements and other COVID-19 topics affecting Penn State.