Statement on Executive Directive 18 for the VMI Faculty and Staff
VMI Employee Vaccination Reporting Deadline & Testing Guidelines
Governor Northam’s Executive Directive 18 goes into effect on 1 September 2021. The following information is provided:
Submission of Vaccination Status Form to Human Resources by 1 September 2021:
- All State employees – full time and hourly/wage, whether they are in the office or teleworking (see teleworking guidelines below), vaccinated or unvaccinated, are required to complete an Employee Vaccination Status Form and submit it to the VMI Human Resources office at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring to the Human Resources Office - 305 Letcher Ave by 1 September 2021.
A copy of your COVID Vaccination Card is required to be submitted with the form for those who are vaccinated. Vaccination records will be kept confidential and separate from personnel files.
- If partially vaccinated, please complete the vaccine status form with information and documentation from your vaccine card for the initial dose and submit it to the Human Resources Office. Once you have received your second dose, please submit the form again along with a copy of the completed vaccine record to the Human Resources Office.
Weekly COVID-19 Testing Requirement Guidelines:
- Employees who show proof of being fully vaccinated are not required to be tested weekly for COVID-19.
- Weekly testing is required for employees who are not fully vaccinated and who are on the work-site or performing public-facing duties off-site.
- Employees who are not fully vaccinated and have a documented medical condition/disability or assert a sincerely-held religious belief which precludes testing must request, complete, and submit an accommodation form to the Director of Human Resources.
- Additional documentation may be requested to support exemptions.
- Employees will be notified of the status of their exemption request by the Director of Human Resources.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has advised that antibody testing does not meet the requirements of Executive Directive 18.
Employees who have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days (from June 1, 2021 to present), and are not fully vaccinated may be temporarily accommodated and not expected to participate in the weekly COVID testing until the 90 calendar day period concludes. Temporary accommodations are provided by the Human Resources Office.
- Employees who were positive for COVID-19 prior to the 90 calendar days (before June 1, 2021) must either be fully vaccinated or comply with weekly testing for COVID-19.
Testing Requirements for Teleworkers:
The following testing requirements apply to teleworkers:
- Teleworkers who have documented that they are fully vaccinated may access the work-site and/or perform public-facing duties as needed without being tested.
- Teleworking employees who are not fully vaccinated will be subject to testing prior to admission to the work-site or to the assignment of public-facing duties. Such testing should occur in advance within 24 hours but not more than 7 days prior to accessing the work-site or public contact. Test results must be documented and reported to Human Resources prior to access.
VMI Testing Procedures:
After September 1st, employees who are not fully vaccinated or are unvaccinated, will be provided weekly testing (in 7-day intervals), by VMI at no expense to the employee, at a regular location/time. All testing will be provided during standard work hours, and employees will not be required to take personal time to complete testing. Unvaccinated employees will be asked to complete a COVID-19 Testing Acknowledgment Form with each test. Separate instruction will be provided on VMI Testing Procedures.
Antigen Test/Rapid Test provided by VMI:
- Antigen/Rapid tests do not require laboratory involvement and are less reliable than the PCR test. Employees may self-administer the VMI provided antigen/rapid test and observe individual test results. The anticipated turnaround time for results is 15 minutes
- There is a chance of false negatives with antigen testing. A PCR test may be required under certain circumstances (e.g. showing COVID related symptoms and receiving a negative rapid test).
Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) and Employees Return to the Workplace Following a Positive Test and Required Isolation:
- Effective 1 September 2021 full-time Classified Employees who test positive for COVID-19 and must isolate may utilize the available balance of 80 PHEL hours provided on 10 January 2021 until cleared to return to the work site. Remaining PHEL hours may be used for an employee to take care of an “immediate” family member diagnosed with COVID-19. Medical documentation is required for all PHEL leave and should be submitted to the Human Resources Offices.
- Classified full-time employees with no PHEL hours remaining will use personal leave balances to cover isolation periods to care for their own COVID-19 illness or that of an immediate family member.
- Regardless of PHEL balances, all Classified full-time employees have 8 hours of PHEL leave that can be used only for time away from work to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and recover from any side effects.
- Teaching & Research Faculty and Administrative & Professional Staff will utilize their 30 days of annual leave to cover isolation periods related to COVID-19 illness for themselves or immediate family members.
- For any positive COVID-19 employee cases, return to work authorization forms will need to be completed and returned to Col. Jay Williams, Director of Emergency Management per normal VMI COVID-19 Intake procedures.
Face Covering Requirement:
All employees not fully vaccinated must cover their mouth and nose with a face covering in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while indoors and conducting public business.
Classified employees who do not comply with VMI testing and reporting requirements will be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions per DHRM Policy 1.60 Standards of Conduct.
Non-compliance for all other employee classifications – (Teaching Faculty, hourly/wage, A/P) with either completion of the employee vaccination status form and vaccine record by the 1 September deadline, or with required weekly testing/face covering protocols for the unvaccinated (unless there is an approved accommodation), will result in disciplinary measures, which may include a written warning, leave without pay, or may ultimately result in termination of employment.
VMI is working with community partners on getting vaccine clinics to post regularly, and VMI’s emergency manager can assist in scheduling a COVID vaccine off-post as well. COVID vaccines are free at most local pharmacies. You may also visit www.vaccines.gov/search/ to find a vaccine clinic near you.
Major General Cedric T. Wins ‘85
U.S. Army (Retired)
VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE