January 4, 2022
As we learn more about the highly transmissible omicron variant, the scientific case for receiving a COVID-19 booster shot becomes stronger. It is now clear that vaccinated individuals who have received a booster dose typically experience less severe health consequences, including symptoms requiring hospitalization, than those who have not received a booster dose.
Over the holiday closure, the University of California announced that it is joining an increasing number of employers nationwide who are requiring employees to receive a booster shot as part of a full vaccination regimen. Berkeley Lab will require proof of a booster shot for all employees, regardless of work location, by February 28, 2022. This represents a new understanding of what it means to be fully vaccinated in the present environment.
If you have not yet received a booster shot, please schedule one now. You can schedule a booster shot through your personal health care provider or at local pharmacies.
Once you receive your booster, please re-enter your vaccination status to the Lab’s Occupational Health Record (OHR) system following this instruction sheet.
Affiliates who enter or expect to enter any Lab site must first provide proof of having received a booster shot, or have an approved exception in place, also by February 28.
Employees and affiliates who have received a vaccine exemption do not need to resubmit a new request for exemption; previous exemptions will apply to the new booster requirement. For those whose situations have changed and who would like to submit a new request for an exemption, do so by February 28 by submitting an exception or deferral request through the Lab’s OHR system.
Your health and safety remain our highest priority. Thanks to your commitment to taking care of one another, our sites have remained exceptionally safe places to work during the pandemic. We expect to see a continued increase in COVID-19 cases in our local communities as a consequence of holiday gatherings and travel, and because of the high transmissibility of the omicron variant.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor the local COVID-19 case rates and make decisions that ensure our sites continue to be as safe as possible. Please review our Health Pledge and our current safety protocols at COVID.lbl.gov. If you are coming on site, continue to do your weekly symptom self checks, monitor your symptoms daily, and obtain a COVID-19 test weekly; please do not come on site to obtain a test if you have any symptoms or if you are planning to work remotely that week. Thank you for your continued dedication to a healthy and safe Berkeley Lab.
Read the Sept. 9, 2021, leadership message
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