COVID-19 Screening for Campus Events

Updated October 20, 2021

This webpage provides guidance about when screening for COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test is required for SPU events pursuant to a local vaccination verification order.

Background

On September 16, 2021, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the Local Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, issued a vaccination verification order, and he has updated the order periodically since that time. As of October 18, 2021, the order generally states that for all patrons and customers 12 years of age and older, verification that they are fully vaccinated or recent proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required prior to entry to the following public events and establishments:

  • Outdoor recreational and entertainment events with 500 or more people, such as collegiate sports, professional sports, and concerts (effective date: October 25, 2021);
  • Indoor restaurants, bars, and taverns with seating capacity of 12 and more AND entertainment and recreational establishments such as entertainment and performing arts venues, night clubs, music and concert venues, movie theaters, museums, collegiate and professional sports stadiums and arenas, exhibition halls, and convention centers (effective date: October 25, 2021); and
  • Indoor restaurants, bars, and taverns with seating capacity of less than 12 (effective date: December 6, 2021).

Medical and religious vaccine exemptions are not accepted in place of vaccine verification or documentation of a negative COVID-19 test. For purposes of the order, “fully vaccinated” means that a person has received all the required doses of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) or a WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series, and 14 days have passed since the final dose. 

The order permits verification of vaccination by any of the following methods of documentation, and does not require additional identification (e.g., driver’s license):

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card, or photo of CDC Vaccine Record Card
  • QR Code, digital or printed certificate from MyIRMobile – https://myirmoble.com – a Washington Department of Health partner website for immunization records
  • Vaccine administration record from a vaccine provider, including an individual's doctor, pharmacy, or other official immunization record from within or outside the U.S., including a photo or photocopy
  • Specific mobile applications that verify vaccination status will be allowed if approved by the Washington Department of Health or Public Health – Seattle & King County

As an alternative to providing vaccine verification, prior to entry individuals must provide digital or printed documentation from a testing agent, including a laboratory, health care provider, or pharmacy of a negative FDA-authorized or approved molecular (e.g., PCR) test, or an FDA- authorized or approved antigen (e.g., rapid) test administered within the previous 72 hours. Antigen tests that are self-administered will not be accepted.

This order also includes a list of exceptions. Some of the exceptions that may be most relevant for SPU that the order does not apply to are:

  • Outdoor dining;
  • Indoor dining in buildings that primarily serve non-dining purposes such as in airports, mall food courts, and school or employee cafeterias; or
  • Faith-based gatherings, except those occurring in any of the above public indoor establishments.

SPU will monitor the order for updates and will attempt to make updates to this information as needed in a timely fashion.

SPU Guidelines

  • Large Outdoor Events (500 or more people): Outdoor collegiate sporting events with 500 or more people are explicitly subject to the order. Other outdoor events with 500 or more people may also be subject to the order if they are “recreational” or “entertainment.” SPU departments sponsoring outdoor events that may be considered “recreational” or “entertainment” should email COVID19Plan@spu.edu ahead of time for consideration of whether the order applies.
  • Indoor Collegiate Sporting Events: Indoor collegiate sports stadiums and arenas are explicitly covered by the order regardless of the number of people in attendance. SPU believes that this means that the requirement to screen for vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will apply inside Royal Brougham Pavilion in connection with any sporting competition open to the public.
  • Indoor Music and Performing Arts Events: Indoor performing arts venues and music and concert venues are explicitly covered by the order regardless of the number of people in attendance. SPU believes that any concert, theatre performance, or other artistic performance that is in King County and is open to the public is subject to the order. 
  • Dining at SPU: Given the exceptions for outdoor dining and for buildings that primarily serve non-dining purposes (such as school cafeterias), and given that SPU is a private campus, SPU does not believe that it is required to verify vaccination status or obtain negative COVID-19 tests from students or employees at on-campus dining establishments (e.g., Gwinn Commons, the First Floor SUB).  
  • Indoor Academic Events Open to the Public: Indoor events on campus that are open to the public are only covered by the order if they are “recreational” or “entertainment.” SPU takes the position that if an event is solely academic (e.g., a lecture), then it is not the type of “recreational” or “entertainment” event covered by the order. However, as a precaution, SPU plans to treat these events as if they were covered by the order. 
  • Chapel: SPU believes that Chapel services fall within the exception from the county’s vaccination verification order as faith-based gatherings. However, as a precaution, SPU plans to treat these events as if they were covered by the order. 
  • Off-Campus Events: Events that are sponsored by SPU but are held off-campus may be subject to the order if they are held at a venue that is covered by the order. SPU departments wanting to sponsor off-campus events should email COVID19Plan@spu.edu ahead of time for consideration of whether the order applies.  
  • On-Campus Conference Groups: While not all Conference Group activities on SPU’s campus will be subject to the order, groups that rent SPU space for entertainment or recreational events that are open to the public, or that hold conferences on campus, likely will be subject to the order. Also, use of Gwinn Commons by Conference Groups may be subject to the order. Conference Services will notify Conference Groups that they are responsible for complying with the order, to the extent their activities on campus fall within its scope. 

For purposes of the items listed above, “open to the public” means that the event is not restricted to only SPU employees and students. Also, in determining whether an outdoor event that is expected to include hundreds of people is subject to the order, it should be assumed that the event will exceed 500 people unless protocols are in place to limit the total number of people in attendance (including participants) to less than 500 people.

SPU departments should also remember that regardless of whether the order applies, all people on campus should follow the protocols stated on SPU's COVID-19 Health and Safety Expectations webpage while on campus (e.g., regarding face coverings, not coming to campus when sick).

The following are recommended guidelines for implementing the order when it is applicable:

  • When advertising an event, provide explicit notice in advance that either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test will be required as a condition of entry for anyone who is not a current SPU student or employee, and that SPU students and employees will be required to show their SPU ID card.
    • SPU plans to take the position that current SPU students and employees may attend events, activities, and facilities on-campus that are covered by the order without needing to provide evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, if they show their SPU ID card. SPU believes this is consistent with the current state and county guidance, but if SPU receives additional guidance from the county regarding its vaccination verification order then SPU may need to change its approach. 
    • Specify the types of proof of vaccination that will be accepted. Since SPU generally has not established an infrastructure supporting use of verification apps, the following types of proof are generally what will be accepted by SPU: (1) CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card, or photo of CDC Vaccine Record Card; or (2) Vaccine administration record from a vaccine provider, including an individual’s doctor, pharmacy, or other official immunization record from within or outside the U.S., including a photo or photocopy.
    • Specify the type of negative COVID-19 test documentation that will be accepted—i.e., a negative FDA-authorized or approved molecular (e.g., PCR) test, or an FDA- authorized or approved antigen (e.g., rapid) test—and note that the test must have been administered within 72 hours preceding the event. 
  • Identify the exterior entry point or points for the event, and designate one or more SPU personnel to screen for proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.
    • People should not be allowed into the venue until they have been screened.
    • A photo of a record (e.g., of a CDC vaccination card) can be treated the same as an actual hard copy of a record.
    • When checking a record, the screener does not need to request additional identification such as a driver's license. The screener can assume that the person is providing their own record.
    • When reviewing a vaccination record, the screener should make a good faith effort to confirm that the record shows appropriate evidence—e.g., for vaccination, that it shows the required number of doses (e.g., two doses for Pfizer or Moderna, one dose for J&J) with the final dose at least 14 days before the event, and for a negative COVID-19 test that the test is negative and was administered within 72 hours of the event.
    • Organizers of events should have someone with seniority and authority available to speak with anyone who is turned away, so that front-line staff are not required to handle upset individuals by themselves. The Office of Safety and Security may be called if the local staff do not believe they can handle a situation on their own. 
  • Screeners do not need to keep a record of individuals they have screened. They only need to perform the required screening.
  • The event organizers will need to perform the screening for anyone who enters the venue, including if they arrive late or if they have already been screened but leave and seek to re-enter.

Yes, SPU departments can potentially require verification of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test even if not required by the order. However, advance permission should be sought from the area vice president for the department organizing the event before such a requirement is implemented. Also, protocols similar to those above should generally be followed to be consistent with applicable law, except that it is recommended that any person who is a current SPU student or employee only be required to show their SPU ID card as a condition of entry. SPU does not currently intend to exclude students or employees from campus events and activities if they have obtained a religious or medical exemption from SPU’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement, unless SPU is required by law to do so.