Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccination Program

On May 25, 2021, the COVID Response Team (CRT) and Cabinet announced a path for Luther College to move to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal) and resume classes, residential living, and operations of administrative offices without mandates for face masks and physical distancing.

The Path to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal)

A high rate of vaccination for COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff presents the best way for Luther College to return to normal operations. Both the CDC and the Mayo Clinic recommend that all individuals who are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine do so as soon as it is available to them, deeming that the vaccines are both safe and effective.

The CRT and Cabinet have therefore determined that Luther College will move to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal) and remove mandates for face masks and physical distancing when no COVID-19 Indicators are activated AND 70% of the campus community (students, faculty, and staff) has voluntarily provided proof of vaccination for COVID-19. Separate determinations will be made for both the summer and the fall, with requirements and descriptions of operations described below.

If the conditions are not met to move to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal), Luther College will continue in-person classes, residential living, and operations of administrative offices in both the summer and fall with mandates for face masks and distancing in effect.

The planning of the CRT and Cabinet was informed by the following recent developments:

  • On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance regarding face masks and physical distancing. Individuals that have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 no longer need to wear face masks and observe physical distancing, except where required by mandates, including those issued by workplaces.
  • On May 17, the Decorah City Council voted to end the city's mask mandate, effective May 27.
  • On May 19, Iowa Governor Reynolds signed into law a bill that prohibits cities, counties, and K-12 school districts from mandating the wearing of face masks, effective immediately. 
  • On May 20, Iowa Governor Reynolds signed into law a bill that prohibits the mandatory disclosure of whether a person has received a vaccination for COVID-19. Entities that violate the law would no longer be eligible to receive grants and contracts from the state of Iowa, which would potentially include the Iowa Tuition Grant that many students at Luther receive in support of their education.

Submitting Voluntary Proof of Vaccination

Students, faculty, and staff who are on campus may bring proof of vaccination to the Student Health Service (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff). The Student Health Service is open for administrative purposes and by appointment Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (June and August). Human Resources is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. (June through August).

Alternatively, students, faculty, and staff may submit proof of vaccination through NorseHub. Instructions for securely submitting vaccination information may be found here. Please do not send vaccination information by email. Vaccination records shared through NorseHub are secure and will only be seen by either the Student Health Service (students) or Human Resources (employees). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does allow for the voluntary sharing of information such as vaccination records.

The COVID-19 Dashboard will contain the voluntarily reported vaccination rate of the campus community beginning in June.

General Operations

When the alert level is changed to Level 0: Blue (Normal), no individuals, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated for COVID-19, will be required to wear face masks or observe physical distancing in indoor or outdoors spaces on campus. All individuals will be treated in the same manner with respect to face masks and physical distancing based upon guidance received by Luther's legal counsel.

For the protection of the community, quarantine and isolation will be handled differently based on vaccination status. Because of the protection afforded by the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine if identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19; unvaccinated individuals will still be required to quarantine. Any individual who contracts COVID-19 will still need to be isolated

The system of COVID-19 Indicators and Alert Levels will remain in effect, and the alert level may be raised and mandates for face masks and physical distancing reinstated if conditions on campus or in Winneshiek County warrant it. An email message is sent to faculty, staff, and students whenever an alert level changes.

Summer Operations

Luther College will move to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal) and remove mandates for face masks and physical distancing when no COVID-19 Indicators are activated AND 70% of the students, faculty, and staff scheduled to be on campus in the summer have voluntarily provided proof of vaccination for COVID-19. An email message will be sent to faculty, staff, and students on campus when the conditions have been met.

All faculty, staff, and summer student workers may use work hours to travel to vaccination sites.

Fall Operations

Luther College will move to Alert Level 0: Blue (Normal) and remove mandates for face masks and physical distancing when no COVID-19 Indicators are activated AND 70% of the students, faculty, and staff scheduled to be on campus in the fall have voluntarily provided proof of vaccination for COVID-19. Individuals are requested to voluntarily submit vaccination information by August 1 in order to allow ample time for classroom operations on campus to be adjusted. An email message will be sent to faculty, staff, and students when the conditions have been met.

Operations for NCAA athletics and the performing arts (e.g., music, dance, and theatre) will be determined over the summer in consultation with the NCAA and performing arts professional organizations. Further information regarding safety protocols for these activities will be provided in a separate message.

Operations for campus events with large numbers of anticipated participants and/or guests on campus (e.g., Homecoming and Christmas at Luther) may be adjusted to accommodate a smaller number of in-person guests.

How to Find COVID-19 Vaccinations

Contacts for Questions

Please contact the following individuals and/or offices with questions: