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FEDERAL VACCINATION GUIDELINES

COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance
for Federal Contractors

A recent presidential executive order requires federal contractors, including those within the University System of Georgia, to comply with COVID-19 guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. The guidance requires affected employees to provide written confirmation that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022, and to comply with CDC guidelines on masking and social distancing. Universities across the nation have recently announced their plans to comply with the federal guidelines.

Next Steps

Augusta University has over 200 federal contracts and is subject to the provisions of this order. Employees impacted by the order include:

  • All full-time or part-time employees (including student workers) working on or in connection with a covered federal contract
  • Employees who perform support functions such as human resources, billing, legal review and other roles
  • Employees who are in the same workplace as employees working on or supporting federal contracts but who do not themselves work directly on or in connection with the federal contract
 
 

Suspension of Vaccination Deadlines

The COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal contractors that impacted universities across the nation has also been challenged in court and a stay was issued by a federal judge. As such, Augusta University is suspending its previously announced vaccination deadlines until further notice.

 

We encourage employees who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to do so as soon as possible and remind you that an employee may take up to eight (8) hours of Non-Closure Emergency Leave for the purpose of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, an employee may also take up to sixteen (16) hours of Non-Closure Emergency Leave if he or she receives a COVID-19 vaccine and experiences negative side effects that prohibit the performance of their duties of employment. For additional information, please see Guidance on leave time for COVID-19 Vaccinations.

For immediate questions, please contact WeAreHR@augusta.edu or call the human resources COVID-19 vaccine hotline 706-721-1896.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the federal Executive Order regarding COVID-19 vaccination and guidance apply to Augusta University?

Augusta University has over 200 federal contracts and is subject to the provisions of this order.

How will I know if I am a covered contractor employee?

You will be notified directly if you are impacted by this guidance.    

  • All full-time or part-time employees (including student workers) working on or in connection with a covered federal contract
  • Employees who perform support functions such as human resources, billing, legal review and other roles
  • Employees who are in the same workplace as employees working on or supporting federal contracts but who do not themselves work directly on or in connection with the federal contract 

Employees Affected by the COVID-19 Vaccine Federal Executive Order decision tree »

Documentation and Exemption Process

How do I share proof of vaccination?

Every employee will need to provide photographic or documentary proof of vaccination and there will be more information to follow on how to upload that in the portal. HR will also offer labs to help those who do not have readily available access to a computer or require additional assistance.

How do university employees upload proof of vaccination or file for an exemption?

The JagSafeVax portal is designed to guide you through the process of documentation and requesting exemptions. All covered employees are required to provide their vaccination status in the HIPAA compliant and secure JagSafeVax portal. The JagSafeVax portal can be found at https://jagsafevax.qualtrics.com. Individual instructions will be sent to covered employees.

How do health system employees upload proof of vaccination or file for an exemption?

If the employee did not receive their vaccine at AU Health, submit proof of vaccination to employeehealth@augusta.edu

To complete an accommodation/exemption request, please refer to the forms provided in the email to employees and email the completed form to AUHSvaccination@augusta.edu

How do I apply for a religious or medical exemption?

We are currently working on an electronic tool for this specific requirement and the exemption process. Please bear with us as we get that set up. You should be receiving more info very soon.

If the religious exemption is not approved or the weekly testing has not been approved will the deadline of January 4th be extended?

The deadline is established by the federal government; and as such, we are not able to modify it. We strongly encourage covered employees to prepare to meet the requirements ASAP. We value our employees and want to assist in every way we can to comply with the federal guidance.

I was vaccinated at a temporary vaccine location, but did not receive a vaccine card, what can I do to provide proof of vaccination?

Please contact the Department of Public Health in the state where you received the vaccine for assistance.

Compliance Questions

What are the ramifications if a person chooses to not take the vaccine, will people be fired for not complying?

We strongly encourage covered employees to prepare to meet the requirements ASAP. We value our employees and want to assist in every way we can; but naturally, the organization must comply with the federal guidance. Employees who do not meet the requirements and do not receive an exemption will need to comply. If they do not, the options may include: Counseling followed by progressive discipline consistent with our workplace rules.

When will we know the consequences of not meeting the mandate be shared?

We strongly encourage covered employees to prepare to meet the requirements ASAP. We value our employees and want to assist in every way we can to comply with the federal guidance. Faculty or staff who are not in compliance with the federal vaccine mandate by January 4, 2022 may be subject to progressive discipline, consistent with our workplace rules and guidelines. We are considering other options as well, including faculty or staff being placed on indefinite unpaid leave. There will be other guidance as we work together going forward.

Will antigen tests be administered for those wishing to be considered exempt from the vaccine?

There is no plan to administer antigen tests at this time. Under the federal executive order, antigen tests are not permitted as a substitute.

Will a person be considered un-vaccinated if they do not take the booster shot?

No; booster shots are not required at this time.

If one has already had COVID-19, doesn't natural immunity offer the same benefits of the vaccine?

Under the federal executive order, natural immunity is not permitted as a substitute.

What does it take to be considered fully vaccinated?

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson. Booster shots are not required at this time. If you have received mixed doses of Pfizer and Moderna, you are also considered fully vaccinated.

Who is impacted?

Why does this impact us as we are employed by the State not the Federal government?

Augusta University has over 200 federal contracts and is subject to the provisions of this order.

Will students be required to take the vaccine?

The requirement addresses only employees, not students; but student employees are covered as employees.

Are there any AU employees who do not qualify under the guidelines provided in the Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance?

At this time, the current review of our employee base and campus buildings indicates that approximately 84% of our employees are covered and will need to be vaccinated. The review is ongoing. See the decision tree for reference posted on our website.

Please define a "federal contract worker" and how it was determined that my department could possibly come into contact with them?

Each institution is responsible for reviewing the employees and determining whether or not each employee is impacted by the federal guidance. At AU, leadership utilized the process as outlined in the employees affected by the COVID-19 vaccine federal executive order decision tree.

What is the definition of workplace? How far of a space would that include?

The following buildings have been identified as having an AU federal contract employee that works there:

Building Code Campus
G. Lombard Kelly Administration Building AA Health Sciences Campus
Robert B. Greenblatt, MD Library AB Health Sciences Campus
Professional Building One AD Health Sciences Campus
Pavilion I AE Health Sciences Campus
Pavilion II AF Health Sciences Campus
Allgood Hall AH Summerville Campus
Augusta University Medical Center- Talmadge BA Health Sciences Campus
Medical Center (East Wing) BB Health Sciences Campus
Auditoria Center BC Health Sciences Campus
Murphey Building BF Health Sciences Campus
Dugas Building BG Health Sciences Campus
Central Energy Plant BH Health Sciences Campus
Medical Center (Sydenstricker) BI Health Sciences Campus
Medical Office Building BP Health Sciences Campus
Office of Protocol & Special Events BWC Summerville Campus
Boykin Wright BWH Summerville Campus
Interdisciplinary Research Center CA Health Sciences Campus
Carl T. Sanders R & E Building CB Health Sciences Campus
Energy Plant CE Health Sciences Campus
Christenberry Fieldhouse  CF Forest Hills Campus
Environmental Health & Safety Building CI Health Sciences Campus
Pavillion III CJ Health Sciences Campus
Hamilton Wing CL Health Sciences Campus
Georgia Cancer Center- M. Bert Storey Research Building CN Health Sciences Campus
Jennings Building EB Health Sciences Campus
Health Sciences Building EC Health Sciences Campus
Walter L. Shepeard Building EF Health Sciences Campus
Stoney Building EG Health Sciences Campus
Dermatology Offices FH Health Sciences Campus
J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons GB Health Sciences Campus
Dental College of Georgia Building GC Health Sciences Campus
College of Science and Mathematics Building GE Health Sciences Campus
Faculty Office Building HB Health Sciences Campus
Physical Plant Shops HP Health Sciences Campus
Annex I HS Health Sciences Campus
Annex II HT Health Sciences Campus
Reese Library LIBR Summerville Campus
Maxwell House MAX Summerville Campus
Maintenance Shop MS Summerville Campus
699 Broad Street OR Augusta University on Broad
643 Broad Street ORA Augusta University on Broad
HCCU OOA Health Sciences Campus
Athens College of Nursing OU Athens, GA
Payne Hall PH Summerville Campus
Walton Way Warehouse PL Health Sciences Campus
Public Safety PS Health Sciences Campus
Physical Plant Offices RA Health Sciences Campus
Hull McKnight Building RV1 Riverfront Campus
Shaffer MacCartney Building RV2 Riverfront Campus
University Hall UH Summerville Campus
Washington Hall WH Summerville Campus
Clay Street Warehouse  RE  
Warehouse WS  

Employee Leave

Is AU going to offer more time for people that have issues other than the 16 hours?

AU offers the Vaccine Administrative Leave which was implemented to encourage vaccination.

Additionally, certain employees may be eligible for Non-Closure Emergency Leave. Under this temporary provision, eligible AU employees may:

  • Take up to eight hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) of Non-Closure Emergency Leave for the purpose of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. This 8-hour time period is the total time that can be taken for both the first, second, and booster dose of the vaccine.
  • Take up to 16 hours (pro-rated for part-time employees) of Non-Closure Emergency Leave if they receive a Covid-19 vaccine and experience any side effects that prohibit them from performing their duties of employment.

Security and Privacy

Does Augusta University certify that any methods related to information gathering/storage are HIPPA compliant?

Augusta University takes the security of confidential information very seriously and follows all appropriate federal and state guidelines.

Will unvaccinated employees be segregated by those that are vaccinated? 

All employees regardless of vaccination status should be treated with respect and our values of collegiality, compassion, inclusivity and integrity.

Will unvaccinated employees have to wear an identifying marker that tells everyone that they are unvaccinated?

No. Employees do not need to share their vaccination status and managers should not ask employees about their vaccination status.

Manager’s role

What is my role as a supervisor?

You are encouraged to share information to ensure your staff is aware. You are not responsible for documenting vaccination status of employees. You should not inquire about an employee’s vaccination status.

What is the manager role if an employee applies for an exemption or refuses to be vaccinated?

Managers are not responsible for enforcing or documenting vaccination status or exemptions.

Will future hires be required to have this screening or receive the vaccine during initial Employee Health screening?

Human resources will include the federal COVID-19 guidance in all job descriptions for impacted positions

 

Watch

Federal vaccine guidelines

President Dr. Brooks Keel outlines the federal COVID-19 vaccine guidance and what it means for Augusta University employees.

Watch Video

Federal Vaccine Guidance

COVID-19 News

 

A man getting a shot from a nurse.

Vaccination deadlines suspended until further notice

The COVID-19 vaccination requirements have been challenged in court and a stay was issued by a federal judge As such, Augusta University and AU Health are suspending previously announced vaccination deadlines until further notice.

man in suit standing at balcony

President Keel discusses vaccine requirement for federal contractors in second town hall

Keel addressed frequently asked questions about the executive order, including more details on religious or medical exemptions, vaccination leave and how to upload proof of vaccination.

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Augusta University president discusses vaccine requirement for federal contractors, impact on university

A presidential executive order by President Joe Biden will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all federal contractors, which includes approximately 84% of employees at Augusta University.

Woman and man

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine guidance for federal contractors

A recent presidential executive order requires federal contractors, including those within the University System of Georgia, to comply with COVID-19 guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.