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Stetson University requires all employees to be vaccinated

The new rule applies to the school’s College of Law in Gulfport, which will hold three vaccination clinics.
A health care professional administers a COVID-19 vaccine shot to a Stetson University student earlier this month.
A health care professional administers a COVID-19 vaccine shot to a Stetson University student earlier this month. [ Tribune News Service ]
Published Aug. 11
Updated Aug. 17

Stetson University president Christopher Roellke announced Wednesday that all of the school’s employees would need to be vaccinated by Sept. 30.

Exemptions will be allowed only for medical conditions or religious beliefs.

“This decision is rooted in kindness, empathy and shared ownership of our collective well-being,” Roellke said.

The private university, which has a campus in Gulfport, will offer vaccination clinics for students and employees in DeLand on Aug. 18 and Aug. 25. The College of Law, in Gulfport, will host clinics on Wednesday, and on Sept. 9 and Sept. 30.

The university previously sent a message stating that they “expect” all community members, including students, to be vaccinated but that unvaccinated individuals would be required to participate in “gateway testing” before returning to campus.

The university also made masks a requirement in all classrooms, meetings, shared office spaces, indoor events and outdoor events where specified in light of updated Centers for Disease Control guidelines following the delta variant surge in coronavirus cases.

At a university webinar Wednesday, Dr. Joseph Smith, chief medical officer at AdventHealth Deland, spoke of recent statistics at local hospitals.

“As you can tell he’s painting a difficult picture for our local area hospital systems and it’s our responsibility as Stetson University community members and members of the broader DeLand and Volusia County communities as well as community in Gulfport ... that we do our part,” Roellke said.

So far, the University of Miami, Nova Southeastern University and Jacksonville University — all private schools — have required vaccinations for employees.