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UGA workers to get some clarity on possible fed vaccine mandate

University of Georgia employees are finding out, starting today, whether they will be required to get a coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine requirement for UGA staff stems from an executive order from President Biden, and applies to faculty, staff, and student employees whose work is funded – totally or in part – by federal contracts as well as those whose work is “in connection with” a federal contract. It remains unclear exactly how many people at the university will be affected.

Earlier today, UGA officials told employees that the process of parsing out who is subject to the mandate is underway, and that those who do have to comply with the federal rule will be notified on a rolling basis via email.

Another facet of the federal mandate could be more confusing. Biden’s executive order also requires masks and social distancing, per CDC guidelines, for UGA employees who work in so-called “covered contractor workplaces.” That definition is more open-ended, and more subject to change based on community transmission levels. UGA officials are expected to elaborate on that part of the mandate in coming days and weeks.

Meanwhile, UGA administrators continue to urge faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated, although it is not required at University System of Georgia institutions.

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