BYU students speak out against campus COVID-19 guidelines 11

A notice promotes COVID-19 guidelines on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

In an announcement on Thursday morning, BYU-Hawaii stated that the COVID-19 vaccination will be added to its student health clearance requirements starting in the fall of 2021.

The university, located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, will allow for medical or religious exemptions to be requested but a statement from the school said the requirement follows the current university policies governing student immunizations.

“The decision to add this vaccination requirement was reached after careful consideration of available data about COVID-19 vaccination safety and efficacy and consultation with experts in medicine, public health, and epidemiology,” said BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III in a press release. “This action promotes the safety of our students and our community. It also supports our efforts to provide students who choose to pursue their education at BYU–Hawaii with a quality on-campus experience and minimizes disruption from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

BYU-Hawaii students will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on-campus if unable to do so before arriving, but students are asked to be inoculated when possible before leaving for the fall semester.

The addition of the COVID-19 vaccine to the immunization requirements is supported by the BYU-Hawaii Board of Trustees.

When asked about the requirement with regards to Brigham Young University, a spokesperson pointed to a statement urging members of the BYU campus community to safeguard themselves and others through vaccination.

The statement continues, saying that individuals are responsible to make their own decisions with regards to vaccinations.

“In general circumstances and situations, and consistent with the First Presidency Statement on Vaccinations, BYU encourages but does not require employees or students to receive the COVID-19 vaccination,” the statement said.

For members of the campus community that want to be vaccinated, appointments are currently available and can be booked at the former Provo High School building and the BYU Student Health Center.

During the week of June 5 to June 11, there were two reported cases in the campus community, the seven-day rolling average of new cases is currently 0, and there have been a total of 37 new cases reported during the spring term.

Come BYU’s summer term, which is set to start on June 21, masks will no longer be required on campus, according to the BYU COVID-19 page.