Gonzaga to require COVID-19 vaccines for students

Gonzaga University is joining the list of schools that will require students to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in campus activities this fall.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh made the announcement Thursday in a message to the university community, The Spokesman-Review reported.

The requirement includes students in programs split between in-person and online activities, but not graduate programs offered exclusively online.

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Exemptions will be permitted for medical and religious reasons. As far as personal or philosophical objections, McCulloh said the university "cannot determine how those would be evaluated, and so (we) are not including them."

McCulloh said he expects the university’s COVID-19 vaccination reporting web page to be online later this month.

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Gonzaga joins colleges and institutions across the state with some sort of vaccine requirement in place, including Washington State University, Eastern Washington University and the University of Washington.

Gonzaga is requiring staff to only attest whether they are vaccinated, McCulloh said, which is a policy is based on a directive from the state Department of Labor and Industries.

"The virus is a known hazard," he said. "Our obligation is to do everything we can to keep people safe."