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COVID-19 Update: Jan. 7, 2022

January 7, 2022 (8:55 a.m. Central Time)

Dear Faculty and Staff: 

This email contains vital information concerning the implementation of new U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements regarding unvaccinated employees, enforcement of which takes effect Jan. 10, 2022. This applies to all Simpson College employees—including student workers. 

Whom does this impact? 

OSHA has established an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that pertains to any employee who has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. At present OSHA defines “fully vaccinated” as being at least two weeks past either the second shot in the Pfizer or Moderna series or the single Johnson & Johnson shot. These requirements apply to all employees – faculty, full- and part-time staff, and students who are employed by the College. The ETS does not apply to employees whose work is done fully remotely or entirely outdoors. 

What exactly will be required beginning Jan. 10, 2022? 

The requirements contained in the ETS are as follows: 

  • The College must have up-to-date COVID vaccination information for all employees. If you are vaccinated and have not previously submitted vaccination information or have updated information (including receiving a booster) please send a copy of your vaccination card to Mimi Bartley-Nancarrow. If you are unvaccinated please inform Mimi of your status.  
  • Any unvaccinated employee must always wear a face covering. The only exceptions to this requirement are: 
  • When an employee is alone in a room with floor to ceiling walls and a closed door 
  • For a limited time while an employee is eating or drinking at the workplace 
  • If the employee has sought and been approved for an accommodation 
  • Any unvaccinated employee must submit weekly COVID test results. 
  • Testing will be available on campus, Monday through Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Unvaccinated employees must cover the $7.00 per test cost 
  • Results from off-campus testing may be submitted to Human Resources (faculty/staff) or Health Services (students) providing that the test was not an un-proctored, self-administered test 
  • Human Resources (faculty/staff) and Health Services (students) will notify unvaccinated employees when we begin our testing protocol 

What if someone doesn’t comply? 

Failure to comply with the ETS has significant penalties for both the institution and individual:  

  • In the event of an OSHA investigation, the College could be fined approximately $14,000 for each violation.  
  • Individual employees who are non-compliant (failing to either properly wear a face covering or submit COVID test results) will be asked to immediately leave the workplace and return only when they are able to comply with the requirement.  
  • Time away from work due to non-compliance would either be charged as “vacation” (if available) or unpaid leave. 
  • Employees seeking exemptions for medical and religious purposes must do so through Human Resources (faculty/staff) or the Director of Accessibility Services (students) 
  • Please be aware that this is not a vaccination requirement; people who have elected to not be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons must still comply with the ETS requirements unless they have received specific accommodations applying to face coverings and testing 

How will this be implemented? 

After the campus-wide mask requirement is lifted, supervisors will be informed by Human Resources of anyone in their area who needs to wear a face covering. After the testing protocol is implemented, supervisors will be informed if anyone needs to be away from the workplace until further notice is received. 

Thank you for your attention and assistance in these vital matters. Please do not hesitate to direct any questions to covidresponse@simpson.edu or mimi.bartley@simpson.edu


Heidi Levine
Chair, COVID Management Team 

*Testing Clarification

Although the new OSHA regulations take effect next week, OSHA has provided a window of time within which employers must implement the testing requirements. We are finalizing our campus required testing protocols and will provide more detailed information about when this will take effect and the role of supervisors in the process in the coming week.