A building on the Loyola University Chicago campus in November 2018. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

ROGERS PARK — Loyola University will require faculty and staff to get vaccinated against coronavirus for the fall term.

All teachers, staff members and employees will be required to submit their vaccination cards by Sept. 21, Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney and other administrators said in a letter to the school community Thursday. The requirement extends to contractors and vendors who work on campus.

Exemptions on medical and religious grounds will be reviewed by the university and “may be granted provided they are consistent with our policies,” Rooney said. People who do not submit proof they are fully vaccinated or receive an exemption by the September deadline will face discipline up to and including being fired.

Loyola’s fall semester begins Aug. 30.

The vaccine mandate for staff follows an earlier requirement for Loyola students to be vaccinated before returning to campus. Students who are not fully vaccinated by the start of fall semester will not be able to move into dorms, attend in-person classes or participate in on-campus events.

Loyola’s full-time faculty and staff have a 90 percent vaccination rate already, Rooney said in the letter. Requiring vaccinations for all people on campus will help ensure the school year goes smoothly, she said.

“Requiring all faculty and staff to be vaccinated from COVID-19 — along with our students — provides extra assurance that we return to campus safely and efficiently,” Rooney wrote. “Vaccination allows us to provide our student community with an authentic on-campus experience they deserve and ensures our faculty and staff feel secure as they return to or continue working on campus.”

The university’s three Chicago campuses were mostly remote last school year. The university started fall 2020 by closing dorms and moving most of its classes online. Over the spring semester, it opened some dorms and held about 10 percent of classes in person.

Loyola is planning a return to campus this fall and is following local and federal health guidelines to do so. To learn more about the school’s plans for returning to campus, click here.

The requirement at Loyola comes as more institutions are considering vaccine mandates. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday she will soon announce whether Chicago will have a vaccine requirement for city workers.

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