Publish date:

University of St. Thomas latest to require vaccines for students, staff

The college had previously offered incentives to get vaccinated, but is now mandating them.
Author:
Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 9.08.48 AM

The University of St. Thomas has become the latest Minnesota higher education institution to announce it will require its students and staff be vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus.

The St. Paul college announced Monday that after initially running an incentive program to get students vaccinated, it will now be requiring the COVID shots instead.

The incentives it was offering included gift cards and discounts on tuition and study abroad experiences for students, discounts on professional development funds for faculty, and extra PTO for staff.

The university says that this incentive program has led to an overall campus vaccination rate of 78%, with the spread of the delta variant prompting it to escalate its requirements ahead of the new academic year.

Of that number, 89% of employees are vaccinated, and 75% of students, with the university having an enrollment of more than 10,000 undergrad and graduate students.

The public statement issued by the university notes that there remain "a number of people whose vaccination status remains unknown."

Follow Bring Me The News on Facebook

It joins the likes of fellow private colleges Carleton and Macalester in requiring the vaccines. At this stage, the state's largest public university – the University of Minnesota – will not require students and staff be vaccinated, nor will the Minnesota State college system.

"The decision is due to the highly contagious delta variant spreading rapidly and rising infection rates in Minnesota and beyond," the University of St. Thomas said in an announcement, and even with the mandate, it has warned the delta variant could impact operations when the new year starts.

"The University Action and Response Team said the decisions are also driven by the university’s desire to provide a safe, high-quality and uninterrupted experience for students and employees, however, CDC guidance could still impact fall operations."

It has not followed the U of M in implementing an indoor mask mandate, saying all unvaccinated people on campus must wear face masks indoors, while the vaccinated are encouraged to do so.

Next Up

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.

Concert

Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen injured in car accident after swerving to miss a deer

Griffen was involved in the crash Thursday on his way to work.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 8.30.16 AM

DPS sparks furore with 'not reaching' pouches designed to stop police shootings

The pouches were developed in collaboration with Valerie Castile, whose son Philando was fatally shot by police while reaching for his permit-to-carry.

police lights

Maintenance worker finds 2 bodies in West St. Paul garage

It's unclear how long the bodies were in the garage before being discovered.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

Tree branch falls on tent in Mankato, killing 4-year-old girl

The tree branch fell at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Related

University of minnesota sign

U of M will mandate COVID vaccines for students, once it's FDA approved

Minnesota's largest university had been one of the prominent vaccine mandate holdouts.

Street View - Mitchell Hamline campus - St Paul

COVID vaccinations required for students, faculty on Mitchell Hamline campus

The new policy goes into effect Aug. 1 and will last through the fall semester.

Hamline University - 1537 Hewitt Ave, St Paul, Minnesota - June 2019

Hamline University requiring COVID vaccine for upcoming school year

The president, citing a goal of returning to normal, called the mandate "necessary."

Autopsy: Asthma caused University of St. Thomas student's death

Katie Millen was found dead in her dorm room bed last month.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 12.36.44 PM

Statue of Virgin Mary shattered at University of St. Thomas

University leaders say it was a deliberate act.

Minneapolis school board meeting sept 14

Mpls. schools will require staff to be vaccinated or tested regularly

The new policy also applies to contractors or partners that have direct student contact.