Contractors and subcontractors working on or in connection with a federal covered contract are included under the executive order’s vaccine requirement. Other contractors and subcontractors who may perform work on campus, but not on or in connection with a federal covered contract, are considered visitors under the executive order and are not subject to the vaccine requirement. Fully remote contractors and subcontractors who do not work on or in connection with a federal covered contract are not subject to the vaccine requirement.

No. The executive order mandate for federal contractors does not have a clause that would allow ongoing testing in place of vaccination.

Penn State officials are continuously monitoring public health and government guidance and requirements. As federal guidelines and mandates change, the University will communicate with the Penn State community how these changes affect students, faculty and staff.

No, the executive order does not permit an exception for those who have previously had COVID-19.

The University is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff at seven campuses to comply with a federal requirement. Unless they have an approved medical/disability- or religious-related accommodation, employees are expected to comply with the requirement. As with all University policies, there are disciplinary processes in place for failure to comply, with consequences up to and including termination from employment.

At this time, the vaccination requirement applies to employees who perform work at or with the following campuses: Altoona, Behrend, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Harrisburg and University Park. The vaccine requirement applies to all employees at these campuses, including full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and technical service workers, even if they are working fully 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.

No. At this time, the science behind the presence of antibodies and level of protection against COVID-19 is still uncertain. Based on the advice of infectious disease experts at Penn State and guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the University is not accepting serology (antibody) tests in lieu of vaccine evidence or for exempting individuals from testing protocols this fall. To learn more about serology testing for COVID-19, visit the FDA website.

It is recommended that instructors/advisers/graduate teaching assistants not ask a student if they are vaccinated, as the student is not required to share this information. In addition, due to the power differential between faculty/staff and students, asking students whether or not they are vaccinated may put them in a situation where they feel that they have no choice but to answer, even if they would prefer to not answer the question.

The University plans to continue having employees work on site with confidence in the health and safety measures that are currently in place.

In alignment with CDC guidance, all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear face masks while inside buildings on Penn State campuses, effective Aug. 4. Community members will be required to wear masks indoors, including in all classrooms — regardless of size — as well as in meeting rooms, common areas in residence halls, and at any indoor events. All individuals on campus will be permitted to eat in designated food service areas, and students living in residence halls will not be required to wear a mask in their living space. In addition, vaccinated employees with individual offices are not required to wear a mask in their personal office. All individuals must wear a face mask while using public transportation and in some additional settings such as when visiting on-campus health care facilities and when conducting in-person research involving human subjects.

This guidance does not change the University’s steps for the return to an on-site working experience. More information can be found on the Health Guidelines page. Updates will be provided to employees if this guidance changes.

Throughout the fall semester, free COVID-19 vaccines will be available on or near all campuses. At University Park, University Health Services (UHS) will offer appointments for vaccines on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays beginning Sept. 2. University Park students can schedule appointments online through UHS.

Fully vaccinated people who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 need to be tested 2-5 days after exposure and should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test. Regardless of vaccination status, any person with new or unexplained symptoms of COVID-19 still needs to isolate and be tested for COVID-19.  

Anyone is free to voluntarily share their vaccination status with others, but employees should refrain from asking their peers whether they are vaccinated. Supervisors, however, are permitted to ask their direct reports about their vaccination status. Supervisors should not disclose this information to others and should not ask questions specific to reasons for receiving or not receiving the vaccine. In addition, supervisors should not take proof of vaccination, rather employees are encouraged to confirm their vaccination status via Salesforce Health Cloud. If supervisors or employees should have any questions, they should contact their unit HR. Technical services employees and other employees represented by a collective bargaining agreement should check with their unit HR to determine if there are other requirements applicable to them.

Students at University Park, Commonwealth Campuses and Dickinson Law can upload their vaccine information now into the MyUHS portal and are encouraged to do so as soon as their vaccine series is complete.

Employees and World Campus students can provide their vaccination status to the University using SalesForce Health Cloud, a secure online platform for collecting health data.

Your vaccine status is only available to University personnel directly involved in the COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts and to public health officials.

In compliance with President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all federal employees, contractors and others, as of Oct. 12, all University Park employees, including full-time and part-time faculty, staff and technical service employees even if they are working remotely. The order also applies to graduate and undergraduate students supported on wage payroll, as well as students supported on graduate assistantships. Employees must submit proof that they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which require four weeks or three weeks between doses, respectively. Nov. 24 is the last day individuals can get their final dose to meet the Dec. 8 deadline.

Under the umbrella of the executive order, all Penn State employees will need to be vaccinated unless they are entitled to a medical exemption or an accommodation for religious beliefs. Information on the exemption request process for faculty and staff is forthcoming.

Importantly, while the University is not currently requiring vaccinations for students and certain campuses, Penn State is not impartial when it comes to getting vaccinated. The University’s stance is that everyone who can get a vaccine should do so as soon as possible to attain high vaccination rates on all Penn State campuses.