K-State gives staff deadline to get COVID-19 vaccine

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State University announced Friday it will now require all employees get the COVID-19 vaccine by a deadline at the end of the year.

K-State Provost Charles Taber announced in a virtual town hall for staff that all employees must be fully vaccinated by Wednesday, Dec. 8. K-State’s decision takes the federal vaccine mandate from President Joe Biden a step further, since the federal rules announced in September still allow workers at large employers to opt into showing negative COVID-19 tests weekly.

Taber’s presentation in the town hall indicates that because Biden also made an executive order requiring the vaccine for federal employees and contractors, that requirement with no testing option also included K-State.

“It has been determined that this executive order applies to Kansas research universities and their employees… regardless if they work on federal contracts,” a slide in the presentation reads. “There is no test-out option.”

While the university will not have a test option that impacts the vaccine requirement for staff, it does offer COVID-19 testing services for students and faculty at Lafene Health Center. K-State has not indicated if the vaccine mandate will impact students as of Friday, but does require some students to get tested for COVID-19 depending on where they live while attending.

“The university generally will not require employees, students or visitors to undergo testing for COVID-19. However, in limited circumstances, certain employees, students or visitors may be required to undergo testing at reasonable intervals if the individuals will be engaging in activities where the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is high, or if participating in the activity while actively infected or after having been infected could present a significant health risk. In addition, students residing in on-campus housing will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before moving into residence halls.”

Kansas State University

Watch the virtual town hall where K-State made the announcement below:

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