The University System of Maryland has announced all its member schools, including Salisbury University, will be required to enforce COVID-19 vaccination mandates for all students and employees who plan to “live, learn or work on campus” during the fall semester.
SU students who have been vaccinated and filled out the university’s COVID-19 consent form will still be required to receive a coronavirus test once every 30 days in the fall to maintain access to campus facilities, per a recent Stay Informed email.
Unvaccinated campus members, as well as those who have not completed the consent form, will be required to be tested once every two weeks in the fall, according to the email.
Conflicting approaches have been taken by universities across the country thus far on vaccination requirements, according to the Associated Press, with debates swirling nationwide over the legality of such a mandate.
One Maryland lawmaker has even introduced a bill to ban employers from requiring workers to receive the vaccine, according to FOX 5.
Even before a vaccination requirement was established, however, SU President Charles Wight continually urged all university members to receive their vaccines as soon as made available to them.
“These vaccines are safe and necessary to return to our pre-pandemic way of life,” Wight said.
All SU students, faculty and staff are now eligible to receive the vaccine under Phase 3 of the state’s vaccination distribution plan, which granted eligibility to all Marylanders at least 16 years old on April 6.
The university has made a push to vaccinate its campus population over recent weeks, holding three on-campus vaccination clinics exclusive to university members. Each clinic was held in Maggs Physical Activities Center and hosted by the Wicomico County Health Department.
More than 300 doses of the vaccine were administered during the first SU-exclusive clinic on April 1, said Dane Foust, vice president of student affairs.
Unvaccinated campus community members may still register for appointments at either of the state’s two current mass vaccination sites, located at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center and the former Tuesday Morning store in the Centre at Salisbury, respectively.
Registration for those appointments may be completed here.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of KTLA.