Beginning Oct. 25, 2021, Wichita State University will change its masking and vaccination policies to comply with President Biden's “Executive Order 14042 — Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.”  

Read the full statement on Executive Order 14042

Frequently Asked Questions

**Updated November 29, 2021**

 

Why is WSU making changes to its vaccination and masking requirements?

On Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden issued “Executive Order 14042 — Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.” The order mandates that covered federal contractors implement certain COVID safety protocols and procedures. WSU, like many colleges and universities, is a covered federal contractor and is required to comply with the order.

The order requires:

  • Mandatory vaccinations for all WSU employees, including temporary and student employees.
  • Mandatory masking in indoor settings (and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained) for employees, students and visitors.
  • The designation of a COVID Coordinator.
Does the vaccine portion of the order apply to employees of WSU’s affiliates (e.g., WSU Athletics, WSU Union Corp, WSU Foundation, and WSU Alumni Association)?

Yes. Based on updated guidance issued by the Task Force, individuals employed by one of WSU’s controlled affiliated corporations, which includes WSU Athletics and WSU Union Corp, are subject to the vaccine requirement.

Do the masking and social distancing portions of the order apply to employees of WSU’s affiliates (e.g., WSU Athletics, WSU Union Corp, WSU Foundation, and WSU Alumni Association)?

The masking and social distancing requirements do apply to employees of WSU’s affiliates. Beginning Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, employees of WSU affiliates must wear masks as follows (unless they receive an exemption):

  • All employees who are vaccinated and in WSU facilities are required to wear a mask at all times while inside those WSU facilities (unless granted an exemption).
  • All employees who are not fully vaccinated and in WSU facilities are required to wear a mask at all times while inside those WSU facilities. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must also wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during outdoor activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated, consistent with CDC guidance.
  • The CDC provides exceptions to this mask requirement (a) when an individual is alone in an office with floor to ceiling walls and a closed door; (b) for a limited time when eating or drinking and maintaining appropriate distancing; (c) when engaging in activities in which a mask may get wet; (d) when engaging in high intensity activities where individuals are unable to wear a mask because of difficulty breathing; or (e) when activities for which wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by a workplace risk assessment. Any such exceptions must be approved in writing by a duly authorized representative of the covered contractor to ensure compliance with the order.

Masking of affiliate employees in the Woodman Center is not required.

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

People are considered “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine. Please be aware of these important dates:

  • Moderna (two doses): First vaccination dose on or before December 7, 2021
  • Pfizer (two doses): First vaccination dose on or before December 14, 2021
  • Johnson and Johnson (one dose): Vaccination on or before January 4, 2022
What will happen if an employee chooses not to be fully vaccinated?

Employees are required to comply with the order, or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption, by the January 18, 2022, deadline to maintain employment.

Do employees who are not vaccinated but who have received an exemption have to comply with additional workplace safety protocols?

It is up to WSU Leadership as to whether employees who are not fully vaccinated must follow additional workplace safety protocols and what those safety protocols are. As noted in Task Force guidance, in most circumstances individuals who are not fully vaccinated need to follow applicable masking, physical distancing, and testing protocols. However, there may be circumstances in which WSU determines that the nature of an employee’s job responsibilities, or the location of their work, requires heightened safety protocols. Further, in some cases, WSU may determine that the nature of an employee’s responsibilities are such that no safety protocol other than vaccination is adequate. In that case, employees who are not fully vaccinated would be unable to perform the requisite work.

**UPDATED**

How will employees prove that they have been fully vaccinated?

Employees must upload vaccination documentation through the secure and confidential WSU Covid-19 Drop Box link in myWSU.

  • Teaching and Non-Teaching Employees can locate the Drop Box link in the Employee Self-Service section of the Faculty/Staff tab
  • Student Employees can locate the Drop Box link in the Employee Self-Service section of the myFinance tab

Get instructions for uploading documents

What documentation will we accept for vaccination verification?

WSU will accept a vaccine card (including international documentation) as well as vaccination status information from healthcare providers.

If employees get the vaccination during work time, will they be paid for missed work time?

Yes. Employees must coordinate with and gain approval from their supervisor to be paid for missed work time to obtain the vaccination(s). This should be recorded as regular worked hours for timekeeping purposes and will be paid accordingly.

If an employee becomes ill from the vaccine, will they receive paid time off?

If an employee experiences side effects from the vaccine that results in missed work time, then accrued leave may be used.

What if an employee is hesitant to get the vaccination?

Employees are encouraged to consult their health care provider to get the facts about specific vaccination options. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is also available for employees and provides resources that may be helpful.

If an employee can’t be vaccinated or wear a mask due to health complications or religious reasons, what do they do?

An employee may request an exemption. The process to request medical and religious exemptions in a secure and confidential manner will be communicated soon. Please watch WSU Today and Shocker Blast for more information.

Employees can find the exemption forms on the HR website's HR Forms Index, under the letter “E”.

When an employee is approved for a mask exemption – Will there be any notification to the supervisor?

The employee and the immediate supervisor will be notified via email. We will not provide the reason why they were approved (medical or religious), just that they have been approved.

Will employees know who is reviewing their medical exemptions?

Employees will not know who has reviewed their exemption requests. WSU authorized and trained personnel will review the exemption requests.

Will employees know the outcome of their exemption request?

Yes, employees will know the outcome of their exemption request and in most cases, within 2 business days from the time the request is received.

Will supervisors be notified that their employee has an approved exemption?

Supervisors will be notified if their employee has an approved Mask exemption or Remote Work exception for the vaccine. Supervisors will not be notified if their employees have an approved vaccine exemption for medical or religious reasons.

If there is a noncompliance notification to a supervisor, will they be advised on whether the employee was denied an exemption?

Supervisors will be notified if their employee is not in compliance with the order. They will not know the status of any exemption request or that an exemption request was made.

Who will have access to the documentation for medical exemptions?

Only WSU personnel authorized and trained for this purpose will have access to exemption documentation.

Can a supervisor ask an employee if they are vaccinated?

No, a supervisor may not ask an employee if they are vaccinated. They may, however, ask if an employee is able to comply with the mandate, which may mean vaccination, receiving an exemption, or being eligible for an exception.

Is it possible, when we communicate to the supervisor that an employee has received and exemption/exception – that we also include the dept. head?

The HRBP’s will be working w/the supervisors on those employees that are not in compliance. No communication will go to other leaders in the chain of command. If a department/division leader wants to be apprised of compliance status within their areas of accountability, it is recommended they work with the leaders in their area. The focus should be limited to understanding and planning for staffing impact and not the specifics of how employees are or are not in compliance.

Will boosters be required?

At this time, “fully vaccinated” does not include the booster.

Do I have to wear a mask even if I am fully vaccinated?

Yes. All individuals on our campus – employees, students, and visitors – regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask unless they have received an exemption.

What if I have lost my vaccination card?

If you received your vaccination at WSU Student Health Services, you can go into the myShockerHealth portal to obtain a copy of your vaccination record. If you did not receive your vaccination at Student Health Services, please contact your vaccination provider. Additionally, all states have a way to request a copy of your vaccination record.

What are the physical distancing requirements?

To the extent practicable, individuals who are not fully vaccinated should maintain a distance of at least six feet from others at all times, including in offices, conference rooms and all other communal work spaces. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to physically distance.

Will public gathering and/or classroom capacities be impacted by this order?

Not at this time. Classroom and event capacity guidance will continue to align with recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.