Guidance for Employees

Employee Vaccine Requirement

All SPSCC staff and faculty are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18, 2021.

This includes all full- and part-time staff and faculty, regardless of whether they work on campus or remotely. This requirement is per Gov. Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.

Verify Your Vaccination Status in the mySPSCC portal >

You'll be asked to complete a form and upload a document or image (ie. JPEG, PNG, PDF) of your:

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card; or
  • WA State Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination; or
  • WA State Immunization Information System Printout.

Exemptions: You can request a medical exemption or religious exemption because of sincerely held religious beliefs. Requests for exemption must be submitted by Oct. 4 to allow time for review before Oct. 18.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or single dose of Johnson & Johnson). See Common Questions below for more detail on vaccination timeframes.

Vaccination events are happening regularly throughout Thurston County or you can search for a pharmacy or healthcare provider near you at vaccines.gov

Common Questions

Employee Vaccination Requirement

I have a Telework Agreement and won't be working on campus. Does this still apply to me?

Yes. This requirement applies to all employees, even those who work remotely.

Telework agreements are voluntary and must be mutually agreed upon between an employee and their supervisor. Our Telework Procedure and Agreement outlines considerations for telework suitability, responsibilities and expectations of teleworking employees and supervisors, and identifies equipment and technology requirements.

Faculty do not need telework agreements and should continue to manage their schedule in discussion with their Dean or administrative supervisor as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

Employees who need to continue work off-campus need to work with Human Resources for an accommodation; these types of requests should not be handled solely by supervisors.

I already attested to my vaccination status. Do I still need to provide proof?

Yes. This requirement supersedes the earlier vaccination requirement and requires proof of vaccination.

What will be accepted as proof of vaccination?

The Washington Department of Health identifies three primary items that can be submitted as proof of COVID-19 vaccination:

  1. CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card; or
  2. WA State Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination; or
  3. WA State Immunization Information System Printout.

These items are described in more detail in this Visual Guide to Official Washington State Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination.

Is there any way to opt out of vaccination?

All employees must be fully vaccinated or have obtained a medical or religious exemption by Oct. 18, 2021, as a qualification of fitness for continued employment.

Employees who do not provide proof of vaccination or a medical or religious exemption will be subject to non-disciplinary dismissal from employment for failing to meet the qualifications of the job. There may be continued or additional safety requirements for employees who are granted exemptions.

When do I need to receive my vaccination to be in compliance with the order?

All employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, 2021. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or their only dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Vaccine Series Dose Requirement First Dose No Later Than Second Dose Completed Series Fully Vaccinated
Pfizer 2 doses, 21 days apart 09/13/21 10/04/21 10/04/21 10/18/21
Moderna 2 doses, 28 days apart 09/06/21 10/04/21 10/04/21 10/18/21
Johnson & Johnson Single dose 10/04/21 n/a 10/04/21 10/18/21
Can I continue to work before I am vaccinated?

Yes. If you are not fully vaccinated, you may continue working as you take the time to get fully vaccinated or request a medical or religious exemption.

You must be fully vaccinated or obtain an exemption by Oct. 18, 2021, as a condition of continued employment.

Are my only options to get vaccinated or lose my job?

No. The Governor's order allows employees to obtain a medical or religious exemption, if necessary.

What qualifies as a medical or religious exemption and how do I request one?

You can request a medical or religious exemption in the mySPSCC portal (login with ClipperID required).

According to the Proclamation, employees "...are not required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 under this Order if they are unable to do so because of a disability or if the requirement to do so conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs, practice, or observance."

Will I have any recourse to losing employment?

Any dispute over dismissal will follow existing collective bargaining agreement and/or college policy and procedure.

I've already been infected with COVID-19 and have natural immunity. Do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes.

So far, data shows that it's uncommon to be re-infected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after someone was infected, but it's unknown how long natural immunity lasts as people can get COVID-19 more than once. In addition, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends anyone who previously had COVID-19 to get the vaccine. The risks of infection are greater than the risks of immunization, and the vaccine offers better protection than natural immunity alone and helps prevent reinfection.

Is there an option to undergo regular COVID-19 testing instead of vaccination?

No.

Testing is a strategy that some organizations are using as part of their COVID-19 mitigation practices. However, testing regimens don't have the same efficacy as widespread vaccination or masking, and will not be a substitute for receiving the vaccine or obtaining an exemption, per the Governor's order. 

On what legal grounds can the Governor issue this requirement?

In response to the emerging COVID-19 threat, the Governor declared a state of emergency on Feb. 29, 2020, using his broad authority under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 43.06.

More specifically, under RCW 43.06.220, after a state of emergency has been declared, the Governor may suspend statutes that prohibit any activity that he believes should be prohibited to preserve and maintain life, health, property, or the public peace. Under an emergency such as this, the Governor's paramount duty is to focus on the health and safety of our communities.

Where can I find information for students?

Student-focused information is available on the Guidance for Students page.

Campus Visitors & Contractors

Does this requirement also apply to campus visitors?

Visitors to campus, such as people visiting to get information or enroll, do not need to provide proof of vaccination.

Starting Oct. 18, 2021, people attending events, performances, athletic games, or 3rd party events held at an SPSCC facility must be fully vaccinated. Organizations hosting events in an SPSCC facility will be responsible for verifying the vaccination status of their attendees.

COVID Exposure, Symptoms & Quarantine

I think I was exposed to COVID. When should I quarantine?

It is best to follow CDC guidance when it comes to quarantine. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine unless you are experiencing symptoms.

The CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals should stay home for 14 days after a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (close contact is being within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more in a day). People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after close contact unless they have symptoms. Check the CDC's Quarantine & Isolation page for the most current guidance.

Can I travel for work?

Work-related travel may be allowed on case-by-case basis with supervisor approval.

Should I quarantine after I travel?

There is currently no statewide or organizational requirement to quarantine after traveling. However, we encourage everyone to follow CDC recommendations when it comes to traveling during COVID.

How do I submit COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test?

Employees should contact their supervisor if they have COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive test result. Students should contact a faculty member. Supervisors and deans should continue to report suspected or confirmed cases using the COVID-19 Reporting & Tracking Form.

Anyone, regardless of vaccination status, who has COVID-19-like symptoms should not come to campus until their symptoms resolve or they receive a negative COVID test. We will continue to track confirmed COVID cases associated with campus as directed by the Washington State Department of Health.