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Penn State to enact faculty, staff coronavirus vaccine requirement at 6 branch campuses

BJC Vaccination Site, David Snyder

David Snyder, of Bellwood, Pa., receives a dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, March 15, 2021, at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.

Penn State extended its coronavirus vaccine requirement for faculty and staff at University Park to six of its branch campuses Tuesday, according to a release.

All faculty and staff where work is completed under federal contracts at Penn State's Altoona, Behrend, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette and Harrisburg campuses must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

The vaccine requirement was initially announced under the same terms for Penn State's University Park campus on Wednesday.

According to the release, the requirement includes part-time and full-time faculty and staff, technical workers and anyone working remotely. It also applies to graduate and undergraduate students who work on a wage payroll at the university, as well as students supported by graduate assistantships.

Penn State said the decision was made in compliance with President Joe Biden's Sept. 9 executive order requiring vaccination for all federal employees, contractors and others.

The order applies to employees in buildings where no federal contracting work is taking place, Penn State said in the release, "unless the institution can 'affirmatively determine' that none of its unvaccinated employees will come into contact with a vaccinated contractor employee."

In order to meet the Dec. 8 deadline, the last day for employees to receive their last dose is Nov. 24.

The release said the only exemptions for the vaccine requirement is if an individual has a medical or religious reason, and the exemption request process for faculty and staff is "forthcoming."

Penn State said a task group is determining how employees will submit vaccine confirmation, and exact details will be shared when they're finalized.

Employees will face consequences for refusing to be vaccinated and comply with federal requirements, which could be up to and including termination, university spokesperson Wyatt Dubois said Wednesday.

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