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Local colleges differ on vaccine requirements for fall

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Marquette University joined the list of Wisconsin universities requiring students to have the COVID-19 vaccine before classes start in the fall. Colleges around Madison, however, have said they're not planning to ask students to get the shot.

"We're not planning to have vaccinations as a requirement," Madison College COO Mark Thomas said.

He said one major factor in the school's decision was the fact students won't be living together on campus.

"We're not a residential campus, we don't have dorms," he said. "We don't have students living in close proximity to each other."

Across town, Edgewood College is planning to have students back on campus and living in dorms in the fall.

Chief of Staff Ed Taylor said school leaders haven't made a full decision on if the school will require students to get the vaccine before the school year starts.

"We're in the discernment phase," he said. "We're just taking some time and making sure that whatever decisions we make are going to be best for our students, first and foremost, and for our community as a whole."

Both schools are planning for in-person classes in the fall, and Thomas said he expects campus to look similar to how it did in the fall of 2019.

"We're crossing our fingers and praying for luck over the summer, but the way things look right now, we're feeling really good about what the fall is going to be like," Thomas said.

Thomas said Madison College will announce details about the fall semester by August 3. Taylor said Edgewood College doesn't have a set date for making a decision on fall COVID-19 protocols, but he said the school wants to give families enough time to plan if there are any major changes.

UW System President Tommy Thompson said no UW schools will require vaccines for students. Beloit College announced last month it will require vaccines.

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Caroline Dade

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist, 27 News

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