Carleton College to require COVID-19 vaccines for all students, faculty and staff

Carleton College will require all students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus this fall, President Steve Poskanzer announced Wednesday.

The liberal arts school is the latest Minnesota college to require vaccines on campus, following Macalester College’s announcement last week. Everyone will be required to get flu vaccines as well — a continuation of an existing school policy. However, the school said it will consider requests for vaccine exemptions based on federal and state law.

"Certainly, this last year has led to a heightened understanding of how being together on a residential campus advances Carleton’s mission," Poskanzer said. "The College is at its best and most impactful when we can study, teach, do scholarship, create art, share ideas, and grow face-to-face. Accordingly, we very much want to return to more normal campus operations for the 2021-22 academic year."

Employees who have been working remotely will start to transition back into in-person operations over the summer, and most employees will be back on campus by August. The college is aiming to have all employees in person by Aug. 30.

As the Northfield college gears up for a return to normal operations, Poskanzer said he does not anticipate requiring students to wear masks unless state or federal policies say otherwise. Residence halls are also expected to return to pre-pandemic occupancy levels, and student activities will go back to normal, the only possible exception being crowd sizes.