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Westminster College requires all students, employees to receive COVID-19 vaccine

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 18:08:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Westminster College, a private school based in Salt Lake City, announced that students and employees associated with the school are required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by October.

In a memo, school officials wrote that students, faculty, adjunct faculty, full- and part-time staff will need to be vaccinated by October 15, 2021. The date comes six weeks after the FDA is expected to give full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Read - Salt Lake County Health considers K-6 mask mandate

For individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to health, medical or religious reasons, accommodations will be made.

In addition to being vaccinated, individuals have to fill out a "vaccination attestation form," declaring vaccination status to school officials. Those who report they have not been vaccinated will receive follow up reminders to receive a vaccine by the deadline.

A representative with the college told FOX 13 in an email that officials have been communicating with the campus that a COVID-19 vaccine would be required for "some time," but the deadline to receive and report the vaccination is new.

Following new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the college is also requiring that everyone wear a mask when indoors, in shared spaces.

The mask reinstatement comes as Salt Lake County returns to a high transmission level of the virus and records over 1,000 new cases in one day.

Read - Salt Lake Co. returns to high transmission COVID level; 1,096 new cases Thursday

School officials wrote in the memo that they believe the learning environment of the school is best when it is able to be in person. "The college will continue our Fall Semester plans for full, in-person capacity in classrooms, at events, and in campus facilities."

Social activities will continue to move forward and the college will continue to monitor data to make adjustments as needed in order to keep students and staff safe.