Important information about COVID-19 vaccinations and Durham Tech

Durham Tech Community

I’m writing to share news about efforts to prioritize our campus community for COVID-19 vaccinations. Today, we will be sending to the Durham and Orange County health departments a list of Durham Tech employees for the first phase of vaccinations. I want you to know and understand how we are determining our list for this and later phases. 

First, I want to acknowledge the unsettling events that took place yesterday in our nation’s capital – ones I never expected to see in my lifetime. It is my hope that moving forward, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the better angels of our nature” will prevail – and allow us to address our divisions and disagreements with a focus on the goals we share for individual opportunity, worth and dignity.  

Taking the steps needed to keep each other safe is part of the work we are called on to do. Since March of 2020, our campus has been united by the goals of safety, accessibility, and equity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With the arrival of vaccines and the first phase of the vaccination effort now underway in North Carolina, we are working hard to position the Durham Tech community for prioritized vaccinations.  

To that end, the College is working with state and local health officials to identify and prioritize eligible employees and enrolled students to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. 

As a part of this process, the College will submit employee and student names that meet the state’s identified criteria for prioritization in Phases 1a and 1b.  

Determination for Vaccine Priority 

North Carolina’s Vaccine Plan is currently in Phase 1a and the state has just put Phase 1b in effect for residents 75 and older. Based on the state’s criteria, below are the College’s vaccine priority list determinations for Phases 1a and 1b: 

Phase 1a 

Durham Tech health, EMT, or paramedic faculty, employees, and students (health trainees) who, as part of their courses or clinical requirements, are 

  • caring for patients with COVID-19; 
  • working directly in areas where patients with COVID-19 are cared for, including staff responsible for cleaning, providing food service, and maintenance in those areas; 
  • performing procedures on patients with COVID-19 that put them at risk, such as intubation, bronchoscopy, suctioning, invasive dental procedures, invasive specimen collection, and CPR; or 
  • handling people for who have died from COVID-19. 

Phase 1b 

Group 1: Durham Tech students or employees who are 75 years and older. 

Group 2: This group includes two types of Durham Tech community members: 

  • Employees or students (health trainees) who are working as a patient-facing direct health care worker (in clinical settings) not vaccinated in Phase 1a and
  • Essential frontline workers at the College including instructors, student support staff, environmental services (facilities, housekeeping), and campus police who are over the age of 50. 

Group 3: All other Durham Tech employees or student (health trainees) who are working as patient-facing direct health care workers not vaccinated in Phase 1a and College frontline essential workers (as defined above) of any age. There is no requirement to have certain qualifying chronic conditions. 

Communications about the priority list 

You will receive email communication if you have been identified as meeting the state’s identified criteria for prioritization in the current and upcoming phase groups. This communication will include your eligible phase group and the next steps for vaccine registration. 

Willing individuals will be placed on a list to be registered with the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS). Students who have opted out of FERPA disclosure will not have their names submitted to CVMS. Individuals who do not wish to have their information submitted to CVMS will have an opportunity to opt-out once you receive your vaccination eligibility notification. 

Additional Vaccine Information 

Learn more about the vaccines at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Vaccination webpage. Additional updates and information will be communicated as it becomes available. 

Durham Tech vaccination updates and resources also will be published on the College’s Coronavirus webpage. For questions about vaccination prioritization, please email covid19@durhamtech.edu.  

Vaccinations and keeping Durham Tech safe  

Durham Tech will not require vaccinations for our students or employees, but I strongly encourage our campus community to join me in taking every opportunity to keep Durham Tech safe.  

We will continue to advocate for our students and employees until everyone who wants to receive the vaccine has had that opportunity. We understand that full and equitable access to the vaccine is critically important prior to considering the College’s ability to safely resume on-campus operations. 

Since COVID-19 hit, Durham Tech has worked to balance safety, accessibility, and equity in our response to the pandemic. Your vaccination will bolster our commitment to keeping our students, employees, and community safe and healthy. 

JB Buxton, President