University of St. Thomas to require vaccinations for all on-campus students, staff

With COVID-19 cases rising again due to the spread of the delta variant, the University of St. Thomas is implementing a vaccination requirement.

The university said Monday that it will require all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus this fall, joining Carleton College and Macalester College.

St. Thomas also said it will require unvaccinated people to wear face masks indoors and is encouraging vaccinated individuals to do the same, per recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"These decisions are driven by our desire to provide a safe, high-quality and uninterrupted experience for our students this fall," the university said in Monday’s announcement.

According to the university, its recent vaccine incentive program last month helped drive more than 1,300 vaccinations and resulted in an overall campus vaccination rate of 78%, including 89% of employees.

"While these numbers are encouraging, we still have a number of people whose vaccination status remains unknown," the announcement said. "Additionally, evolving CDC guidance could impact our fall operations, even with our current vaccination rate. We must do our part to try to curb the spread of the variant and help ensure our community members feel safe when they return to campus for in-person learning and working this semester."