By President Emerita Judie Wexler July 15, 2021

Dear CIIS Community,

As you all know, 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 website that helps in finding vaccine appointments 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. 

This is a group effort, and I want to personally thank everyone for helping to make CIIS a safe and robust working and learning environment, we do this together in service to our greater well-being. 

Thank you,

Judie

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