In response to increased community transmission of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a new health order effective Sunday, July 18, 2021, which amends the face covering mandate and requires the use of face coverings in indoor public settings and businesses, regardless of vaccination status. This is a change from the previous order, which generally did not require vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings indoors.
Therefore, Pepperdine will update its face covering protocol to reflect this new health order. Beginning Sunday, July 18, 2021, Pepperdine’s face covering policy will require the following:
- Outdoors. Face coverings are not required.
- Indoors. All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces.
- Residence Halls. Individuals sharing suites or apartments may be considered a household and are not required to wear face coverings while in their “home” area, but should wear face coverings when exiting their suite/apartment in public areas of the resident halls.
- Classes. Face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
- Workplaces. Face coverings are required for all individuals regardless of vaccination status, unless alone in an office.
- On Campus Shuttles. Face coverings are required for all individuals riding a University shuttle, regardless of vaccination status.
- In Healthcare Settings (including the Student Health Center). Face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
The University will continue to monitor health orders and guidance and will communicate any additional changes to University COVID-19 protocols. Please direct any questions to the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at email@example.com.
With the objective of prioritizing the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, while ensuring the highest standards of academic excellence and a transformative student experience, the University Management Committee (UMC) gathered community feedback on a draft COVID-19 vaccination policy, evaluated Pepperdine vaccination data, consulted with leading medical experts, and benchmarked other universities. Following this work, UMC is issuing a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requiring all faculty, staff, and students who do not claim an exemption described below to be vaccinated in advance of return to campus for the fall semester.
This policy acknowledges the University’s high degree of confidence in COVID-19 vaccinations, with authorized vaccines proving effective in preventing illness and death, including from known variants. The policy also recognizes there are those in our community who, after carefully and prayerfully considering how best to balance their medical health and religious or philosophical convictions with their desire to care for their neighbors and our community, have determined they are unable to be vaccinated at this time. Therefore, the policy entitles community members to claim a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption in good faith. These exemption categories mirror the University’s long-standing mandatory vaccination practices. Community members who need to claim an exemption (which could include one based on emergency authorization of the vaccine) must complete the vaccination exemption form, the instructions for which can be found on the COVID-19 Vaccine Information website.
While we do not know precisely which infection control measures will be required by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) in the fall, we expect LACDPH may mandate face coverings indoors for those not vaccinated, and for all community members when riding campus shuttles and in the health center. Regardless of health orders or vaccination status, all community members should feel comfortable wearing face coverings at any time. We foresee some fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students will continue to wear face coverings in certain circumstances for a period of time as a personal choice. We also understand LACDPH will continue to require a ten-day solitary quarantine for any unvaccinated person identified as a close contact with a positive case. In contrast, fully vaccinated persons identified as close contacts will not have to quarantine. The University will comply with applicable public health orders.
As a reminder, all faculty, staff, and students are required to notify the University of their current vaccination status by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Notification Form. The deadline has been extended to July 16, 2021. If your vaccination status changes after you have completed the form, please resubmit the form with your updated response. With roughly half of the community already responding, we are encouraged the results currently indicate more than 86% have either been fully vaccinated (80%) or are in the process of getting fully vaccinated (6%).
Consistent with our standard practices regarding mandatory vaccines, students will be directed to submit verification of vaccination. Instructions will be shared next week, and the documentation must be submitted by July 31, 2021. Documentation, including exemption forms and medical records, will be kept confidential. Vaccination status will be shared with University officials who have a legitimate need to know this information. This could include faculty or staff in academic or administrative settings, or for contact tracing purposes, etc.
If you have questions regarding any COVID-related issue or concern, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.
With the Delta variant of the coronavirus continuing to spread, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) issued a recommendation yesterday that all residents resume wearing masks in public indoor spaces regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. While public health officials have said the available vaccines continue to offer strong protection against variants, there is significant concern that those who are unvaccinated or have yet to receive all their required shots, remain vulnerable to the Delta variant, which may be twice as transmissible as conventional coronavirus strains.
The University expects LACDPH to publish updated guidance for colleges and universities any day. With that in mind, the University is not updating its face covering policy at this time. However, this will be reconsidered once the new guidance is released. In the meantime, all members of the University community, including those who are fully vaccinated, should feel comfortable wearing masks indoors and otherwise around campuses.
Pepperdine continues to make plans to fully reopen its campuses in anticipation of the fall semester and welcome the Waves community home. In an effort to update the community with the most accurate information, Pepperdine continues to closely follow developments with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), which is scheduled to provide a briefing for institutes of higher education later this week. Once University officials evaluate the information received from LACDPH, updated information will be provided to the community likely sometime next week.
On June 17 the University announced COVID-19 protocols for social distancing and face coverings on campus have changed, relaxing many social distancing and face covering guidelines. At this time, however, updated social distancing and face covering guidance may not be reflected in all current COVID-19 signage on Pepperdine campuses. University officials will review and update campus COVID-19 signage as needed over the coming week.
As a reminder, all students, faculty, and staff must notify the University of their current vaccination status by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Notification Form no later than June 30. This form is different from the vaccination survey distributed earlier this year and is accessible only by signing into Google using your Pepperdine NetworkID and password. The University is committed to making COVID-19 prevention a top priority and encourages everyone who is able to get vaccinated.
As always, the University stands ready to help. If you have questions regarding any COVID-related issue or concern, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at email@example.com.