WATERVILLE — Thomas College’s president announced Thursday students, faculty and staff will not be mandated to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
However, in a news release, the college continued to “strongly” encourage everyone at the school to get the vaccine as soon as they can.
“We looked first at the fact that our student populations and our faculty and staff are broadly reflective of Maine in general and when we start to see what the vaccination rates were in Maine and also the decline in the infection rates in Maine that was a really important factor for us,” said Thomas College Provost Tom Edwards about the decision to not require individuals to get the vaccine.
The college will still have safety measures in place, requiring unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask indoors.
Thomas College will also require those who are unvaccinated to participate in the campus’ COVID-19 testing program. Edwards said the testing will most likely occur every week.
Vaccinated individuals will be exempt from these requirements.
“We will always continue to monitor what goes on in the broader community, we will always look to see what’s going on in the state of Maine, and if the conditions change and they become much more serious and the infection rates start to rise and the delta variant becomes a much more prevalent piece, then we can always come back and revisit what those requirements are,” said Edwards.
In addition, the college said classrooms and offices will return to normal capacities, and dining areas will be less crowded and spaced out.
Campus guests will also be required to wear masks if they are not vaccinated.