TCC Fall 2021 Re-Opening Updates
August 19, 2021
Required Vaccinations & Masking
Dear Tacoma Community College Employees,
On August 18, Gov. Jay Inslee announced several key changes intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes have a direct impact on Tacoma Community College and its employees. Please read the following carefully:
- All employees must be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.
- Fully vaccinated means, at least 2 weeks have passed since receiving the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine series, or at least 2 weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.
- This requirement is a condition of continued employment.
- This applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, and student employees, as well as those who are teaching or working remotely.
- Proof of vaccination will be required. (Additional information to come.)
- Medical and religious exemptions will be offered; needed documentation must be provided. (Additional information to come)
- No personal/philosophical exemptions will be allowed.
- A self-attestation form must be completed by every employee by October 18. Employees are strongly encouraged to complete the form as soon as possible after receiving
their final vaccine dose.
- Please note: The self-attestation form for employees will be updated within a week. Directions can be found on this webpage and will be updated as well at ly/tccattest.
- Effective immediately, and until further notice, appropriate facial coverings (masking) will continue to be required on campuses at all times indoors, as well as outside, when the three-foot social distancing cannot be followed. The masking requirement includes those who have been vaccinated.
Vaccination clinics at the Tacoma campus will be offered on Aug. 31, Sept. 21, and Oct. 12. Additional information can be found at tacomacc.edu/vaccineclinics.
There are a lot of details and processes that still need to be developed and addressed, in conjunction with the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and our state Attorney General’s office. We will share additional details with you via email and on our website at tacomacc.edu/covidsafestart. It is important for you to keep updated!
Throughout this entire pandemic, our college has done an amazing job of keeping the safety of our students, employees, and community at the forefront of our decisions. With the recent uptick of cases of COVID-19, coupled with the impact of the Delta variant, adhering to these vaccination and masking requirements will strengthen our efforts to keep our community safe.
Thank you for your all that you do, and have done, for our students, our college, and our community.
Ivan Harrell, Ph.D.
President, Tacoma Community College
- All employees must be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.
I hope you are having a great summer, and you are staying safe and cool out there!
I’ve received several emails from students expressing concerns and thoughts about our recent decision to become a fully vaccinated college. Thank you for reaching out to me. As you may know, TCC is a fully vaccinated college, meaning we are requiring students, staff and faculty to receive the Covid-19 vaccination or declare an exemption. We recognize this decision may be celebrated by some, and may raise concerns for others.
As a fully vaccinated college, we are required for students to self-attest their vaccination status.
To self-attest, here is the link to directions for students and access to the form:
This form must be completed by Friday, Sept. 17.
- You must self-attest that you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. You will be asked for the dates of your vaccination and the type of your vaccination.
- You may claim a medical, religious or philosophical exemption and must agree to wear a face covering and practice social distancing at all TCC locations if you claim an exemption.
- If you are not yet vaccinated by Sept. 17, you must self-attest by this date. Select an exemption by this deadline, and you can return to the form and change your status.
Most of our state’s two-year colleges have become fully vaccinated colleges as well as many private and public four-year universities. We continue to adhere to the CDC and state and local public health guidelines. Through this pandemic, the safety and health of our community has been our guiding principle. Deciding to become a fully vaccinated college was a key decision to help protect us against Covid-19 and its rapidly developing variants.
We are closely tracking the situation, and more announcements will be coming to safeguard our community. Your health and safety is important to us. We believe we can be safe, and still remain fully committed to support your goals and education. We are here to help you, every step of the way.
Again, please self-attest your status by Sept. 17. You can read more about this here and access the self-attestation form.
Keep the faith, Titans!
Here are some common FAQs. You can find more plus other important information on our Safe Start webpage.
What does “self-attestation” mean?
“Self-attestation” means that you will need to fill out a vaccination verification form that states you’ve been vaccinated and provides your vaccination dates. At this time, TCC won’t collect a copy of your vaccine card to keep for our records.
When is this form due?
The self-attestation form is due Sept. 17.
What if I can’t be vaccinated for medical, religious or philosophical reasons?
People who choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or philosophical reasons will need to declare their exemption on the self-attestation form. If you claim an exemption form, you will be required to continue wearing a mask on campus. You will be required to follow additional college safety protocols.
If I can’t be vaccinated for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons, will I need a note from my doctor or spiritual leader?
No. You will just need to fill out the exemption form and continue to wear a mask on campus.
Will this information be shared?
Limited disclosure regarding vaccination status is allowed, as long as the disclosure only serves the need to ensure that vaccination policies and face covering requirements are being followed.
At this time vaccine information will be accessible to specific individuals in Human Resources (employees) and Student Affairs (students). TCC is continuing to review the question of who needs access to this information and reserves the right to grant access to other college employees as needed.
Note that under FERPA, institutions must keep a log of persons who receive access to student vaccine records per 34 CFR 99.32.
I was only able to get one vaccination shot by the due date; the next vaccination shot has been scheduled after the due date. What do I do?
Please fill out the self-attestation form. You can select the vaccine and date of the first dose. You can return at a later date when you receive the second dose and enter that information.
I am undecided about getting vaccinated. Do I still need to fill out the self-attestation form?
Yes. You will need to claim an exemption by Sept. 17. If you decide to change your mind, and get vaccinated, you may update the form. In the meantime, you must wear a mask and practice all safety protocols.
I am only going to be an online student and will not be on-campus. Must I complete this self-attestation form?
Yes. We are asking all students to self-attest their vaccination status or claim an exemption by Sept. 17.
Ivan L. Harrell II, Ph.D. (he/him/his)
Tacoma Community College
The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) joined with other Washington health departments yesterday to recommend that everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, wear masks in indoor public settings where you don’t know the vaccination status of the people around you. Read the full statement here.
“This step will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public, including customers and workers, help stem the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in many parts of the state and decrease the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant,” reads the statement.
TCC strongly encourages all students and employees to follow this guidance. As a reminder, TCC also currently requires everyone to wear masks while on TCC campuses during summer quarter. The provision that vaccinated people can choose not to wear masks on campus does not go into effect until fall quarter. For more information about TCC’s new vaccination requirements, please visit our Safe Start Plan webpage. More information to come as we move forward with safely re-opening our college campuses.