CIIS has been following CDC guidelines and attending the regular SF Health Department briefings about Covid-19 to be sure we are taking all recommended actions to provide a safe and healthy campus environment for everyone.  To date we have not required proof of vaccination to return to our buildings.  That will be changing as of September 15, 2021.   While San Francisco and CIIS have both done an excellent job keeping transmission rates low, with the variants in the virus and increased ease of transmission with variants, we feel we must take this step.  We will be joining with over 500 other institutions locally and nationally mandating full vaccination to enter CIIS buildings at both our Mission Street and Arkansas Street campuses starting on September 15, 2021.

We understand that this is a decision that will impact our community and we are not taking it lightly.  We would like to have felt comfortable taking and communicating it a bit earlier.  However, with information currently available to us we think it is the correct decision and will allow us to provide a safe and energetic return to campus for everyone.

Initially all students and employees entering campus will need to complete a short online health screening form daily, that affirms that they are fully vaccinated and are not experiencing any COVID symptoms. Here is a direct link to that form Health Screen Form, which we encourage you to bookmark. Expect to see further information soon about the service we will be using to track vaccination status as required by Cal/OSHA. For verification purposes you are considered to be “fully vaccinated” two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

We also recognize that, in rare instances, members of our community with verified medical vulnerability or sincerely held religious belief, might qualify for exemption. A process for requesting exemption will be announced shortly. Documentation will be required and an alternative protocol, including regular testing, will be outlined as part of that process. New F-1 students should be in communication with Jody O’Connor, Associate Director of Student Affairs, International Students (joconnor@ciis.edu), regarding meeting visa eligibility requirements.

Vaccination appointments are now widely available through myturn.ca.gov and many places now accept walk-ins with no appointments.  The City and County of San Francisco also hosts a web site that helps in finding vaccine appointments  https://sf.gov/get-vaccinated-against-covid-19 for those who live, work, or learn in San Francisco. We know that the timeline is tight, but becoming fully vaccinated by September 15, 2021 is possible, and we are committed to helping facilitate the process as needed.

Our vaccine mandate does not mean that we will be dropping other safety protocols related to COVID-19. We have upgraded our HVAC system to provide substantially better air circulation, we continue comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting of our facilities, and we will abide by any regulations related to social distancing and masking. 

Vaccine Verification

Cal/OSHA regulations require us to track and verify our community’s vaccination status to ensure everyone's safety. Getting vaccinated is still the best way we can protect ourselves and our fellow community members from the COVID virus.

CIIS is now mandating that anyone who enters our two campuses - Mission and Arkansas - be vaccinated and submit medical verification to our third-party HIPAA and FERPA compliant tracking service called Med + Proctor. Please check your CIIS email address for a unique email from Med + Proctor where you can upload your documents. The deadline to submit your verification is September 15th. Please note that it takes 72 hours for your verification to appear on the site.

If you have a request for a medical or religious exemption, please email the following for further information and consideration:

Students - Attn: Student Affairs at exemptions@ciis.edu

Employees (staff and faculty) - Attn: Human Resources at exemptions@ciis.edu

Once verified by Med + Proctor, please request a sticker at the Mission campus front desk to place on your ID card so that you can show that when you enter campus.  

In the interim period between now and September 15th, every person entering either campus will need to fill out a health screener daily, which asks for vaccination status.

Those not vaccinated will need to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of entering campus. Our third-party service Med + Proctor will also be able to track your test results in a private way. 

If you are having trouble locating a testing site or securing a vaccine appointment, please email OperationsRequests@ciis.edu

We encourage all community members who have been vaccinated in California to get a California State QR code that certifies you have been vaccinated and are in the State’s database. This QR code is often asked for in various venues around San Francisco. The process is easy and fast: you simply input your name, birth date, and phone number, and if the information syncs with State of California records, they will send a QR code to your phone. Please visit the State of California COVID-19 website to get verified. This will not substitute the requirement to follow the process below to verify your status through our third-party service.

Vaccine Guidelines

  • WHO approved vaccines are: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Astra Zeneca - others are not accepted by Cal/OSHA for people working or studying in San Francisco
  • International Students should not split vaccine doses between countries - either 100% here or in their home country
  • No citizenship requirements to receive vaccines in San Francisco
  • Vaccines are free and do not require medical insurance
  • If not vaccinated upon arrival to the US, International Students will need to self-quarantine for a full 7 days after arriving. They should get tested 1-3 days before travel and then within 3-5 days upon arrival
  • Students attending any in-person requirement on CIIS campuses need to abide by CIIS policies and above vaccine mandate

Find out more about CIIS's Vaccine Verification Process

Requesting an Exemption to the Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement

California Institute of Integral Studies is an accredited university that strives to embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities, and the earth. We are a special, unique place, a personal learning environment within a supportive community, beloved by its members. In line with our mission and educational philosophy, vaccination against Covid-19 is required because near-universal immunization of a close-knit campus community protects all members: students, staff, and faculty alike.

CIIS also recognizes that in rare instances, individuals’ health conditions or religious commitments may rise to level of a necessary exemption. A person’s personal attitudes, beliefs, or preferences are not grounds for an exemption. In order to request an exemption for either medical reasons or religious commitment, please use one of the forms below. 

Medical exemption form

Religious exemption form

Your request, and supporting documentation, will be reviewed by a panel comprised of the following appointed individuals: Dean of Students, Director of Human Resources, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Director of Accessibility and Accommodation Services.  

If granted exemption, you will be expected to follow an alternative protocol for the health and safety of the community. This will include regular Covid-19 testing, verification of results, use of masks at all times while indoors, including rest break and bathroom facilities, use of mask while outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others, and in other settings as deemed necessary by the CIIS Director of Operations. Your exemption status will be kept confidential and use of masks by vaccinated individuals will continue to be an accepted community norm and as designated as a requirement by the City and County of San Francisco. For mask requirement accommodation requests, please submit a separate request to HR (if you are faculty or staff) or the Office of Student Accessibility Services (if you are a student). Additional documentation will be required.

Deadline to submit your request for vaccine exemption is August 6, 2021.  

Deadline to submit additional supporting documentation, including as requested by the review panel, is August 13, 2021.

For questions or concerns about this process, please email: exemptions@ciis.edu

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