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. Pittsburgh Technical College encourages all employees 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. Pittsburgh Technical College encourages all employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to protect themselves and other employees. When eligible, booster doses are strongly encouraged. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in most situations, the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine for primary and booster vaccination. However, should an employee choose not to be vaccinated, this policy’s sections on testing and face coverings will apply. This policy complies with OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard on Vaccination and Testing (29 CFR 1910.501).
This COVID-19 Policy on vaccination, testing, and face covering use applies to all employees of Pittsburgh Technical College, except for employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals (such as coworkers or customers) are present; employees while working from home; and employees who work exclusively outdoors.
All employees are encouraged to be fully vaccinated. Employees are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses. For example, this includes two weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, or two weeks after the second dose of any combination of two doses of different COVID-19 vaccines as part of one primary vaccination series. Employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to provide proof of weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace.
Some employees may be required to have or obtain a COVID-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at Pittsburgh Technical College, due to their specific job duties (e.g., public facing positions). Employees subject to mandatory vaccination requirements should follow all relevant vaccination procedures in this policy and are not given the choice to choose testing and face covering use in lieu of vaccination. Pittsburgh Technical College employees who are required to maintain a fully vaccinated status are: Any employee who was hired to work for Pittsburgh Technical College on or after October 1, 2021 or any faculty member, within the Schools of Nursing and Healthcare, who may be required to work in clinical healthcare environment.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 discipline.
Pittsburgh Technical College follows a progressive discipline policy:
- Supervisor will do coaching – explaining area where improvement is needed.
- Verbal warning – a verbal warning is issued if the behaviors continue. This conversation will be documented.
- Written warning – Plan for improvement with follow up date.
- Termination of employment – if improvement is not seen or there are new infractions.
Employees may request an exception from vaccination requirements (if applicable) if the vaccine is medically contraindicated for them or medical necessity requires a delay in vaccination. Employees also 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 completing a Request for COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption. Exemptions must be applied for on the appropriate College form and approved by the Pittsburgh Technical College Committee to review exemption requests.
Requests for medical exemptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis [e.g., severe, or immediate allergic reaction after a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to component of the vaccine]. Such requests will require the completion of the College form and the submission of appropriate supporting medical documentation.
Requests for religious or sincerely held belief exemptions will also be determined on a case-by-case basis. Determinations on these exemptions will be made after an individualized assessment of each situation. These requests will require specific statements describing these beliefs and/or documentation.
PTC will weigh all medical and religious exemption requests against the health and safety of our community. Only authorized PTC personnel will know that someone has been granted an exemption unless the person making the request volunteers that information to others.
Exemption requests may take up to 2 weeks to process. After your request has been reviewed and processed, you will be notified, in writing, if an exemption has been granted or denied. All decisions are final and not subject to appeal. Individuals are permitted to reapply if new documentation and information should become available.
Should someone be granted an exemption, that person will be required to adhere to the scheduled mandatory COVID-19 screening program and follow additional guidance for protection that will be provided at the time that the exemption is granted. Pittsburgh Technical College’s Vaccination Exemption form can be found on the college’s website or by clicking on this link. All completed forms should be emailed to Terri Ducsay, MSN, RN, PTC Return to Campus Plan Administrator at Ducsay.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overview and General Information
Any Pittsburgh Technical College employee that chooses to or is required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 must be fully vaccinated no later than February 9, 2022. Any employee not fully vaccinated by February 9, 2022, will be subject to the regular testing and face covering requirements of the policy.
To be fully vaccinated by February 9, 2022, an employee must:
- Obtain the first dose of a two-dose vaccine no later than January 12, 2022, for the Moderna vaccine or January 19. 2022 for the Pfizer vaccine; and the second dose no later than February 9. 2022; or
- Obtain one dose of a single dose vaccine no later than January 26, 2022. Of note, the CDC has issued a statement of preference recommending that in most situations, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are preferred over the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine for primary and booster 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.
All employees who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccination series can schedule their appointments with a private provider. For help in finding a vaccine provider, use the “Find Vaccine Tool” offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Once vaccinated, employees should email (encrypted) a copy of his/her vaccination card to Terri Ducsay, MSN, RN, COVID-19 Return to Campus Plan Administrator at Ducsay.email@example.com.
Individuals who have received the booster dose should also send his/her updated COVID-19 vaccination card to Terri Ducsay. Pittsburgh Technical College will find opportunities to host booster clinics on its campus when demand is demonstrated. However, individuals should not wait for the college to host a booster clinic and should seek private vaccine administration when due for the booster dose. The CDC’s “Find a Vaccine Tool” can help you locate a provider near you.
Testing and Face Coverings
All employees who are not fully vaccinated as of November 3, 2021, will be required to undergo regular 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.
Vaccination Status and Acceptable Forms of Proof of Vaccination
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 encrypted email to Terri Ducsay, MSN, RN, COVID-19 Return to Campus Plan Administrator at Ducsay.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acceptable proof of vaccination status is:
- The record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy;
- A copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card;
- A copy of medical records documenting the vaccination;
- A copy of immunization records from a public health, state, or tribal immunization information system; or
- A copy of any other official documentation that contains the type of vaccine administered, date(s) of administration, and the name of the health care professional(s) or clinic site(s) administering the vaccine(s).
Proof of vaccination generally should include the employee’s name, the type of vaccine administered, the date(s) of administration, and the name of the health care 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 Pittsburgh Technical College 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), 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 criminal penalties.”
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 health care professional(s) or clinic site(s) administering the vaccine.
All employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must inform Pittsburgh Technical College of their vaccination status. The following table outlines the requirements for submitting vaccination status documentation.
|Employees who are fully vaccinated.||Submit proof of vaccination that indicates full vaccination.||N/A|
|Employees who are partially vaccinated (i.e., one dose of a two dose vaccine series).||Submit proof of vaccination that indicates when the first dose of vaccination was received, followed by proof of the second dose when it is obtained.||N/A|
|Employees who are not vaccinated.||Submit statement that you are unvaccinated but are planning to receive a vaccination by the deadline.||N/A|
|Submit statement that you are unvaccinated and not planning to receive a vaccination.||N/A|
Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination
An employee may take up to four hours of duty time (without using accrued PTO/sick 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 paid 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:
Employees who require time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccination should submit their time off request through ADP and follow up with their immediate supervisor. Employees who require time off after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination should follow the normal reporting off procedure described in the college’s personnel manual.
Employee Notification of COVID-19 and Removal from the Workplace
Pittsburgh Technical College will require 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.
As the Delta and Omicron variants continue to infect people, public health officials are warning individuals to diligently monitor for any sign or symptom of illness and to assume you have COVID-19 if you start to feel sick, regardless of the symptom you are experiencing. If you do begin to experience any symptom of illness, regardless of your vaccination status, please report off from work by notifying your direct supervisor and emailing Monique McMillan at email@example.com to review your next steps. To accurately assess the rate of disease on campus, all employees should consult with Monique if experiencing any symptom of illness or if you have had a known exposure to COVID-19. The use of PTO and/or sick time is necessary if the need to quarantine and/or isolate arises. Employees will be required to use their PTO/sick time for any absence related to the isolation/quarantine period. Employees who do not have remaining PTO/sick time will not be paid. Individuals who can work remotely during these times should discuss their personal circumstances with their respective supervisor.
Medical Removal from the Workplace
Pittsburgh Technical College has also implemented a policy for keeping COVID-19 positive employees from the workplace in certain circumstances. Pittsburgh Technical College will immediately remove an employee 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., immediately send them home or to seek medical care, as appropriate).
Individuals who experience any symptom of illness should not report for in-person work and should notify his/her immediate supervisor. Employees demonstrating signs of illness that may be related to COVID, i.e., fatigue, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, congestion, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of taste and/or smell, should also notify Monique McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monique will assess each situation and advise accordingly. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 during his/her weekly COVID screening via antigen test, the employee will be provided specific instructions at that time.
Return to Work Criteria
For any employee removed because they are COVID-19 positive (as determined by COVID-19 antigen test or COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), Pittsburgh Technical College will keep them removed from the workplace until the employee finishes his/her isolation period as defined by the CDC. Employees who receive a positive result on a COVID-19 antigen test may choose to seek a confirmatory COIVD-19 NAAT testing, at his/her own discretion and expense. If confirmatory NAAT test is negative, employees should report results to Terri Ducsay, MSN, RN for further guidance on returning to work. Employees may return to work after receiving a recommendation to return to work from a licensed healthcare provider.
Under CDC’s “Isolation Guidance,” asymptomatic employees may return to work once 10 days have passed since the positive test, and symptomatic employees may return to work after all the following are true:
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
- At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months and need not delay the end of isolation).
If an employee has severe COVID-19 or an immune disease, Pittsburgh Technical College will follow the guidance of a licensed healthcare provider regarding return to work.
All employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to comply with this policy for testing.
Employees who report to the workplace at least once every seven days:
(A) must be tested for COVID-19 at least once every seven days; and
(B) must provide documentation of the most recent COVID-19 test result to [the supervisor] no later than the seventh day following the date on which the employee last provided a test result.
Any employee who does not report to the workplace during a period of seven or more days (e.g., if they were teleworking for two weeks prior to reporting to the workplace):
(A) must be tested for COVID-19 within seven days prior to returning to the workplace; and
(B) must provide documentation of that test result to [the supervisor] upon return to the workplace.
If an employee does not provide documentation of a COVID-19 test result as required by this policy, they will be removed from the workplace until they provide a test result.
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. At this time, testing will be provided by Pittsburgh Technical College; however, this may be subject to change. Individuals requiring testing must schedule an appointment by clicking on this link. Once the appointment is scheduled, employees should report to room 103 in the college’s main academic building.
Pittsburgh Technical College will require all employees, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face covering while indoors and occupying any common area on campus, i.e., classroom, cubicle workspaces, hallways, Café (when not eating), conference rooms, etc. Face coverings must also be worn when occupying a vehicle with another person for work purposes. Face coverings must: (i) completely cover the nose and mouth; (ii) be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source); (iii) be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. Bandanas, neck gaiters, and face shields are not permitted to be worn in place of a cloth or disposable mask. Acceptable face coverings include clear face coverings or cloth face coverings with a clear plastic panel that, despite the non-cloth material allowing light to pass through, otherwise meet these criteria and which may be used to facilitate communication with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or others who need to see a speaker’s mouth or facial expressions to understand speech or sign language respectively.
Pittsburgh Technical College will provide face coverings to employees when needed. Face coverings can be found at the entrances to the campus facilities.
The following are exceptions to Pittsburgh Technical College’s requirements for face coverings:
- When an employee is alone in a room with floor to ceiling walls and a closed door.
- For a limited time, while an employee is eating or drinking at the workplace or for identification purposes in compliance with safety and security requirements.
- When an employee is wearing a respirator or facemask.
- Where Pittsburgh Technical College has determined that the use of face coverings is infeasible or creates a greater hazard (e.g., when it is important to see the employee’s mouth for reasons related to their job duties, when the work requires the use of the employee’s uncovered mouth, or when the use of a face covering presents a risk of serious injury or death to the employee).
Effective, October 1, 2021, all new employees are required to be fully vaccinated upon hire. New Effective, October 1, 2021, all new employees are required to be fully vaccinated upon hire. New employees must also comply with 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.
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.
Please direct any questions regarding this policy to the Human Resources Department.
This model plan is intended to provide information about OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. However, this model plan is not itself a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations.