COVID-19 Exemptions | Coronavirus Messages – Nevada Today

October 21, 2021

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

To the University Community:

We hope this email finds you and yours healthy and safe. As a reminder, the State of Nevada and the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) have mandated the COVID-19 vaccination for all students and employees at the University.

In late August, the Nevada State Board of Health approved a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for NSHE students, which needs to be completed by November 1, 2021, for students to enroll at the earliest time for Spring 2022 semester classes.

In late September, NSHE enacted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all NSHE employees, which needs to be completed by December 1, 2021. Failure of an employee to comply with the vaccine requirement, in the absence of an approved exemption, will result in termination from employment on December 31, 2021.


The procedures set forth for both mandates include provisions for students and employees to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement due to a documented medical condition for which the COVID-19 vaccine is contraindicated or a sincerely held religious belief. Forms for student exemptions are available on the University’s student’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements page. Medical and religious exemption request forms related to the employee vaccine mandate are now available via the Employee COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Form in the Human Resources Knowledge Base.

Exemption Review Committees

The University has tasked two separate committees to review requests for exemptions. One committee will address requests made for exemptions due to a documented and contraindicated medical condition, and one shall address requests made for exemptions due to a sincerely held religious belief. Both committees have begun meeting to review requests.

The composition of the committees includes individuals from the healthcare field, human resources, student services and the theology field. Individuals who have made a request for an exemption will be notified by email of the decision. If approved for an exemption, individuals will also be notified of enhanced safety measures that will be required, which will include weekly COVID-19 testing, mask wearing while indoors and outdoors on campus, and possible exclusion from campus if outbreaks occur. Students and employees whose requests are denied, if any, will be informed of the appeal process in the denial letter. As part of the appeal process, the President of the University, or his designee can make a final decision after reviewing the request or can request additional review by the committee before rendering a final decision.

Information regarding all COVID-19 policies, including information on how an individual can get a vaccination, is located on the University’s coronavirus page.