May 14, 2021
Dear MICA Faculty and Staff,
As we approach the end of the semester, it’s clear that with your extraordinary creativity, resilience, and commitment, you have successfully navigated MICA through a truly unique year, full of challenges and opportunities. Our individual and collective efforts have kept COVID positivity rates at or near zero for the entire Spring semester, an accomplishment for our entire community. We want to also applaud our students for adhering to the public health protocols that have been so important to keeping the virus spread so low. Now, with vaccines available to all adults and children age 12 and above nationwide, we are planning for a far more robust in-person experience for the Fall 2021 semester on-campus at MICA.
Vaccinations: A Cornerstone of Our Fall Strategy
Since the pandemic began, the health and safety of our community has always been our primary guiding principle, and a fully vaccinated campus is an important goal to fulfill our commitment to that principle. The data and science behind the safety and efficacy of the US-based, FDA-approved vaccines, their widespread availability, and the understanding that most, if not all, of our community, will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-to-late summer directly inform and guide our policy development and reopening plans. This is evident in the College’s May 3rd announcement of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students attending in-person classes in the fall. Additionally, we are finalizing a policy that will require all of MICA’s vendors doing work on-campus to be vaccinated as well.
As widespread vaccination is essential for a safe return to in-person, on-campus, ongoing operations, extending the vaccination requirement to all MICA employees is now under serious consideration.
As stated previously, our reopening decision-making is directly and foundationally connected to understanding our community’s vaccination rate. Because of this, we are asking all MICA faculty and staff to respond to this simple one-question survey by Wednesday, May 19.
It is only one multiple choice question and your participation is critical so:
NOTE: Your responses will only be seen by Human Resources and no individual information will be shared beyond the HR Office. Human Resources will be following up directly with employees who have not responded by May 19th, so please do. Additionally, vaccination status has no impact on an employee's teleworking status.
If You Have Already Been Vaccinated
For those of you who have been vaccinated and have already uploaded your proof of vaccination documentation to Workday, thank you! The information you’ve provided will only be seen by Human Resources and will be used solely to assess MICA’s total vaccination rate in order to plan effectively for the safety of our community.
If you are fully vaccinated but haven’t yet uploaded your documentation, please do so as soon as possible. There are detailed instructions for this found in Recap 14. If you need technical assistance uploading your vaccination documentation, please select the second option in the survey and you will be contacted by Human Resources to assist you with this process.
If You Have Not Yet Been Vaccinated
If you have not yet been vaccinated, we urge you to do so at one of the many pharmacies, clinics, and other venues offering vaccinations. To help in finding locations and booking appointments, MICA Mutual Aid —an initiative started by MICA students, staff, and faculty— provides a compilation of vaccination-related information and resources. Additionally, the One MICA Slack channels #covid-19 and #vax_alerts provide community-supported and real-time vaccine related announcements. Information on joining the OneMICA Slack channel can be found in Recap 14.
Eligibility continues to expand rapidly, so if you are outside of the immediate area but still in the US, we encourage you to connect with your local health departments for information about receiving a vaccine appointment or by using vaccines.gov.
If You Are Hesitant to Be Vaccinated
While science has shown that vaccination is the safest, most effective way to help protect ourselves, our families, friends, and the larger community, we understand that you may still be hesitant about being vaccinated. If you are, we encourage you to talk to your local pharmacist or physician as well as review the current data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
Additionally, MICA’s consulting epidemiologists will be in MICA’s Town Hall on May 18th to start the discussion on vaccine hesitancy and to better understand any concerns our community may have. Look for an announcement regarding this forum soon.
We look forward to seeing you all on-campus and fully vaccinated in the Fall. Until then, be well.
Charlene Moore Hayes
HR Transition Leader