DELHI TOWNSHIP — Mount St. Joseph University students and workers must send the university proof of their COVID-19 vaccination by Dec. 15, school president H. James Williams announced Monday morning.
The small Catholic college, located in Mount St. Joseph since 1920, joins a number of larger Cincinnati-area schools — among them the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Xavier University — requiring COVID-19 vaccination as a prerequisite for on-campus learning during the upcoming school year.
Many schools had planned at one point to reopen without masking or vaccination requirements for the fall semester, but the highly contagious delta variant of the novel coronavirus has fueled a resurgence of COVID-19 across the United States.
Mount St. Joseph has recorded 18 cases of COVID-19 on campus since the start of the fall semester, resulting in 39 quarantines for unvaccinated students, 52 classes either canceled or restructured and three athletic teams competing with less than a full roster.
Some Cincinnati-area K-12 schools and districts have been forced to shut down for a week at a time because so many students and staff are too sick to come to class.
"It has become apparent that we must take action now to ensure that we are positioned to deliver on our promises to our students as we move forward,” Williams, the Mount St. Joseph president, wrote in a statement.
The university will host two on-campus vaccine clinics, the first on Oct. 29 and the second on Nov. 19, to encourage vaccination among students and staff.
"If there is one thing that we know to be true, it is that Mount Lions care deeply for one another," Williams wrote. "By requiring each student and employee to make a small gesture of love by getting vaccinated, in the words of the Holy Father, we ensure a better future for all of us."