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UNR: Employees must be vaccinated or submit weekly test results at own expense

By ThisIsReno

University of Nevada, Reno, (UNR) President Brian Sandoval said today all employees must have COVID-19 vaccinations or must submit weekly coronavirus test results at their own expense.

The announcement was confirmation UNR is following the mandate set by the state.

“There continues to be refinement in strategies the State of Nevada is utilizing against the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” Sandoval wrote in an email to faculty and staff. “On Friday, the State of Nevada announced a new COVID-19 testing policy for all state employees who are not fully vaccinated. Effective Aug. 15, employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests and provide proof of testing and results. These tests will be at the employee’s expense.”

The Nevada Faculty Alliance recently called for all employees and students of Nevada higher ed. institutions to be vaccinated, but Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Melody Rose yesterday said that decision is up to the Nevada Board of Health.

“We will be working this week to gain more clarity on the new requirement and will provide you with an additional update as soon as we can,” Sandoval added.

Full statement below

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

I hope this message finds you well and that you are looking forward to the new academic year. We are less than two weeks from opening our residential halls to students, having our first-year students participate in their introduction to our institution through the NevadaFIT program as well as welcoming new faculty and staff to their new positions at our University.

As we prepare for our in-person fall semester, there continues to be refinement in strategies the State of Nevada is utilizing against the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. On Friday, the State of Nevada announced a new COVID-19 testing policy for all state employees who are not fully vaccinated. Effective Aug. 15, employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests and provide proof of testing and results. These tests will be at the employee’s expense. 

The University is in the process of finding out more details about how the new testing requirement will impact our campus, as well as how testing will be implemented and tracked for all member campuses of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Below is general information that was released late last week regarding state workers. We hope to have a more in-depth update for all of you later this week.

In making the announcement, Gov. Steve Sisolak said that the vaccine is the best tool in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. State government workplaces that reach more than 70 percent vaccination of employees will not need to follow the weekly testing protocol, although the recently announced masking requirement for employees will remain in place as long as the county in which they work is deemed to have substantial or high transmission levels.

The new testing requirement for unvaccinated employees includes four hours of paid administrative leave to receive the vaccine or leave for the vaccination of dependent minor children. The paid administrative leave cannot be used to receive testing. All state employees who do not have medical conditions prohibiting vaccination are being strongly encouraged to initiate vaccination prior to Aug. 15 to avoid the required weekly COVID-19 testing protocol.

Again, we will be working this week to gain more clarity on the new requirement and will provide you with an additional update as soon as we can. Please also review theState’s FAQ document regarding this requirement for more details.

As an additional reminder, last week we provided information that the University will follow the mask mandate that regardless of vaccination status, all students, employees, and members of the public must wear masks indoors. Also, students, employees, and members of the public, who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are also still required to wear face coverings outdoors while on campus.

In general, we continue to encourage all students, faculty and staff to seek vaccination if you have not already done so. We all have a hand in this. We can all make a positive impact by seeking vaccination. Thank you to all of you for taking this matter seriously, and for making decisions that benefit not only you, but the health and well-being of everyone in the Wolf Pack Family.

Go Pack!

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