457: COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

 

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.

 

I.        PURPOSE

 Vaccination is a vital tool to reduce the presence and severity of COVID-19 cases in the workplace, in communities, and in the nation as a whole. Hopkins Public Schools has encouraged and continues to encourage all employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to protect themselves and other employees.  

 

II.       GENERAL PURPOSE OF POLICY

This COVID-19 Policy on vaccination, testing, and face covering use applies to all employees of Hopkins Public Schools.  The only exceptions apply to staff who do not report to a workplace where other individuals (such as scholars, staff, or visitors) are present and employees while working from home. 

All employees are encouraged to have full vaccination. Employees become fully vaccinated two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine with, if needed, the three-week or four-week interval between doses. 

 All employees are required to report their vaccination status and, if vaccinated, provide proof of vaccination. Employees must provide truthful and accurate information about their COVID-19 vaccination status, and, if not fully vaccinated, their testing results. Employees not in compliance with this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures. 

Employees may be legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation if they cannot be vaccinated and/or wear a face covering (as otherwise required by this policy) because of a disability, or if the provisions in this policy for vaccination, and/or testing for COVID-19, and/or wearing a face covering conflict with a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Requests for exceptions and reasonable accommodations must be initiated by          application to district Human Resources using their form required for the request.  All such requests will be handled in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and relevant district policies.  

 

III.      OVERVIEW AND GENERAL INFORMATION

 Vaccination

Employees will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the requisite number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as stated above. An employee will be considered partially vaccinated if they have received only one dose of a two dose vaccine or have not met the two week post vaccination requirement.  

Staff may seek free vaccinations at any vaccination clinic or retail pharmacy convenient to them.   

The Hopkins Public Schools COVID-19 Management Team and Human Resources will maintain and implement this policy.  Human Resources staff will maintain all employee records/information in accordance with all applicable privacy laws, regulations, and policies.

 

Testing and Face Coverings

 All employees  will be required to COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering when in the workplace. Policies and procedures for testing and face coverings are described in the relevant sections of this policy. 

 

IV.      VACCINATION STATUS AND ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF PROOF OF VACCINATION

 Vaccinated Employees

All vaccinated employees are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of where they received vaccination. Proof of vaccination status can be submitted via physical copy, scanned, or photographed proof of vaccination.  The Hopkins Public Schools Human Resources team will create the details of the process.

Acceptable proof of vaccination status is:   

1.       The record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy; 

2.       A copy or photograph of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card; 

3.       A copy of medical records documenting the vaccination;

4.       A copy of immunization records from a public health, state, or tribal immunization information system; or 

5.       A copy of any other official documentation that contains the type of vaccine administered, date(s) of administration, and the name of the healthcare professional(s) or clinic site(s) administering the vaccine(s).

6.       A completed and signed attestation of vaccination provided by the District.

Proof of vaccination generally will include the employee’s name, the type of vaccine administered, the date(s) of administration, and the name of the healthcare professional(s) or clinic site(s) that administered the vaccine. In some cases, state immunization records may not include one or more of these data fields, such as clinic                      site; in those circumstances Hopkins Public Schools will still accept the state immunization record as acceptable proof of vaccination.

If an employee is unable to produce one of these acceptable forms of proof of vaccination, despite attempts to do so (e.g., by trying to contact the vaccine administrator or state health department), as suggested in option 6 above, the employee can provide a signed and dated statement attesting to their vaccination status (fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated); attesting that they have lost and are otherwise unable to produce one of the other forms of acceptable proof; and including the following language: 

“I declare (or certify, verify, or state) that this statement about my vaccination status is true and accurate.  I understand that knowingly providing false information regarding my vaccination status on this form may subject me to dismissal.  I permit Hopkins Public Schools to attempt to verify my vaccination status by searching relevant state  or local health records.”  

An employee who attests to their vaccination status in this way should to the best of their recollection, include in their attestation the type of vaccine administered, the date(s) of administration, and the name of the healthcare professional(s) or clinic site(s) administering the vaccine.   

All Employees

All employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must inform Hopkins Public Schools of their vaccination status. 

 

V.       SUPPORTING COVID-19 VACCINATION

An employee may take up to four hours of duty time per dose to travel to the vaccination site, receive a vaccination, and return to work.  This would mean a maximum of eight hours of duty time for employees receiving two doses.  If an employee spends less time getting the vaccine, only the necessary amount of duty time will be granted.  

Employees who take longer than four hours to get the vaccine must send their supervisor an email documenting the reason for the additional time (e.g., they may need to travel long distances to get the vaccine). Any additional time requested will be granted, if reasonable, but will not be paid.  In that situation, the employee can elect to use accrued leave, e.g., sick leave, to cover the additional time.

If an employee is vaccinated outside of their approved duty time they will not be compensated.

Employees may utilize up to two workdays of sick leave immediately following each dose if they have side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination that prevent them from working. Employees who have no sick leave will be granted up to two days of additional sick leave immediately following each dose if necessary. 

The following procedures apply for requesting and granting duty time to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine or sick leave to recover from side effects:

 All staff will request time off with their supervisor.  If that supervisor serves at a lower level, they will document the request with an email sent to the appropriate principal or department leader and copy the Employment Specialist, Brady Flies, or Benefits Coordinator, Julie Kaczmarek, within the Human Resource Department.  In the event the supervisor cannot approve the requested time off or the employee needs sick leave for symptoms, the supervisor will consult Human Resources staff and document the consultation by email.

 

 VI.      EMPLOYEE NOTIFICATION OF COVID-19 AND SELF ISOLATION FROM THE WORKPLACE

In accordance with existing District policies, Hopkins Public Schools requires employees to              promptly notify their supervisor when they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been              diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider.

 

Medical Self Isolation from the Workplace

Hopkins Public Schools has also implemented policies for keeping COVID-19 positive employees from the workplace. Hopkins Public Schools will immediately require an employee to self-isolate and remain away from the workplace if they have received a positive COVID-19 test or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider (i.e., if at work, immediately send them home or to seek medical care, as appropriate).

 Return to Work Criteria

For any employee self-isolating because they are COVID-19 positive, Hopkins Public                        Schools will require them to remain away from the workplace until the employee may return              to work in accordance with existing District COVID-19 policies for safe return to work. 

Generally speaking, under Hopkins Public Schools policy, employees may return to work                  once 10 days of self-isolation have passed since the positive test or symptoms began or                  when symptoms abate without medication for more than 24 hours, whichever occurs last.

If an employee has severe COVID-19 or an immune disease, Hopkins Public Schools will                follow the guidance of a licensed healthcare provider regarding return to work.

 

VII.     COVID-19 TESTING

Employees will not be required to test on  regular basis.  Should, however, an employee develop symptoms, employees are expected to access testing opportunities at the site or District level through provided test kits.

Employees who are symptomatic and testing are advised to notify their supervisor and the benefits office to assure  that proper isolation and absence protocols are being followed while waiting for results.

Employees who have received a positive COVID-19 test or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider, are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing for 90 days following the date of their positive test or diagnosis.

 

VIII.    FACE COVERINGS

Hopkins Public Schools will require all employees  wear a face mask. These staff must wear a face mask in compliance with the District Policy 808: Face Coverings. In addition, they must continue to wear a face mask in compliance with the District Fall 2021 COVID-19  Mitigation Measures adopted by the School Board on August 17, 2021. 

As with all required personal protective equipment for COVID-19, the District will provide face masks to any staff requesting them.  This will include replacement face masks as needed.

 

IX.      NEW HIRES

All new employees are required to comply with the vaccination, testing, and face covering requirements outlined in this policy as soon as practicable and as a condition of employment. Potential candidates for employment will be notified of the requirements of this policy prior to the start of employment. 

 

X.       CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

All medical information collected from individuals, including vaccination information, test results, and any other information obtained as a result of testing, will be treated in accordance with applicable laws and policies on confidentiality and privacy.

 

QUESTIONS:

Please direct any questions regarding this policy to Employment Specialist, Brady Flies, or Benefits Coordinator, Julie Kaczmarek, or Environmental, Health, and Risk Coordinator, Jeff Goldy.

 

Cross References:

 

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Adopted: January 5, 2022

Revised: January 28, 2022