Southern Adventist University drafts new vaccine guidelines to meet federal regulations should OSHA mandate go into effect

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Vice President for Student Development Dennis Negrón explained Southern’s plan if the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) goes into effect by January 10, the first day of the Winter 2022 semester, in an email sent to the student body on December 3. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the ETS in November, which states that businesses with 100 or more employees are mandated to develop a policy that requires one of two scenarios for all employees. The first mandates that all employees be vaccinated. The second mandates that employees be fully vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19 while being required to wear a mask indoors, according to the OSHA National News Release. Southern has chosen the second scenario, according to Negrón.

OSHA issued the ETS with the original implementation date set for January 4.

However, the exact implementation dates are still not clear since federal courts have placed a hold on the ETS to examine its language and legality, according to Negrón. Nevertheless, Southern will be planning for the Winter 2022 semester as if the ETS implementation date is January 10, according to the email.

Negrón stated that by January 10, Southern employees will need to choose to be either fully vaccinated or tested weekly and wear a mask indoors. This includes all student employees, administrators, faculty and staff of the university. 

He added that a complete policy related to ETS will likely be sent to students before Christmas break. 

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