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CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University will not require its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the administration announced Friday.
The administration said that the topic had been discussed, debated, and explored throughout the faculty senate, the staff association, the student association, and individuals across campus. The university added that it also discussed the topic with public health officials, local leaders and members of the state legislature before arriving at its decision.
"Due to these added complexities and additional conversations, we have determined it would not be prudent for our institution —at this time—to implement a vaccine requirement for students. Circumstances, available health solutions, and what is permitted under COVID-related laws may change. This is an evolving pandemic, and we will continue to evaluate all of this and engage with public health officials and our campus community," a statement by the university said.
The university still encouraged its students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, the university asked the campus community to wear masks indoors and in classroom settings.
"We know the best way to remain open and keep campus safe is to follow public health guidelines, including vaccination, mask usage, testing, social-distancing, and proper health hygiene," the statement continued.
The university said it will continue to hold vaccine clinics and educational forums during the fall semester with campus and medical experts to answer vaccine and COVID-related questions. Additional on-campus testing sites will also be added to the campus, the administration said.
Student vaccination clinics:
- Oct. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cedar Breaks Room
- Nov. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cedar Breaks Room
- Dec. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cedar Breaks Room
Faculty and Staff Vaccination Clinics
- Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Escalante Room
- Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Escalante Room
The decision varies from several public Utah colleges that have opted to mandate a vaccination requirement for students. Those colleges include Davis Technical College, Salt Lake Community College, University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University and Utah Valley University.