Johnson & Wales University requires faculty, staff to be vaccinated

JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY is now requiring its faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19. / PBN FILE PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE
JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY is requiring its faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19. / PBN FILE PHOTO/JAMES BESSETTE

PROVIDENCE – As COVID-19 cases rise in Rhode Island, another local college is mandating its faculty and staff to be vaccinated for the coronavirus.

Johnson & Wales University announced Thursday that all faculty and staff are now required to be vaccinated, a change in direction from the university’s policy announced in the spring regarding vaccinations on campus. In mid-May, JWU announced it was requiring students to be vaccinated before arriving to campus this fall but faculty and staff at the time were only “strongly encouraged” to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

JWU Providence Campus President Marie Bernardo-Sousa on Thursday cited a “growing concern about the rapid spread” of the Delta variant, other emerging variants, and breakthrough cases of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a reason for the policy change.

JWU said faculty and staff must receive their first dose by Aug. 30, the first day of classes, and be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. Faculty and staff can also request medical, religious and other exemptions from the vaccination requirement – the same policy the university offers students – JWU said.

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In Rhode Island, Brown University and Roger Williams University have also required staff and faculty to be vaccinated.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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