Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan
The University of Iowa Faculty Senate said Tuesday the UI administration has suggested that vaccine and mask mandates could be coming for UI staff, but state Board of Regents Senior Communications Director Josh Lehman did not say whether mandates were in the works.
Teresa Marshall, the University of Iowa faculty senate president, reported on Tuesday that the UI administration has suggested that vaccine and mask mandates may be announced in the coming days.
“We are still reviewing and evaluating,” Lehman wrote regarding the possibility of mandates in an email to The Daily Iowan.
This comes after U.S. President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 executive order that requires federal contract employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 and have “adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.”
“Our administration has suggested that we will be having the vaccine and masking mandate in place [by] December 8, consistent with that order, because we have federal contracts and we’re not going to risk that money,” Marshall said.
UI spokesperson Jeneane Beck pointed the DI to Lehman when asked for comment, as the regents guide most of Iowa universities’ COVID-19 policies.
As previously reported by *The Daily Iowan*, the Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors outlines that all individuals, including contractor employees and visitors, should comply with published CDC guidance for masking and social distancing in the workplace as well.
The guidance also outlines that COVID-19 vaccination of covered contractor employees, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation, is required.
Marshall said she has been in contact with UI President Barbara Wilson’s office, and they are continuing to work on the details of implementation with the Board of Regents and its sister institutions — Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa — as well as associations the UI is affiliated with.
Along with President Wilson’s office, Marshall has also been in contact with Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa’s faculty senate officers to see if they know anything more, she said.
“The Moderna vaccine, to be ready to go by [Dec.] 8 you have to be vaccinated tomorrow and I think for Pfizer it would be Nov. 4,” Marshall said. “We should be hearing something very soon.”