Getting back to normal

For the last year, we have diligently followed our COVID-19 virus mitigation protocols to protect each other and our FLC community. COVID-19 vaccines are another critical pillar in our public health strategy that will help end this pandemic.

To ensure safe campus interactions, A COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all FLC students enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester.

A broadly vaccinated student body provides our best hope for returning to the hands-on, inclusive, and personalized learning environment that we all know and love. FLC takes seriously our role in protecting the health of Durango and surrounding communities, some of which were the hardest-hit by COVID-19. For these reasons, it is vitally important that all our students are vaccinated.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination include prevention of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus. On campus, this vaccination requirement will allow you to attend in-person events, play intramural sports, dine with friends, attend performances, cheer for our athletes, and have more in-person interactions with classmates and faculty.

View the Vaccine Policy

Vaccine eligibility & availability

In Colorado, as of April 2, 2021, anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to receive either the Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Because it takes time to schedule a vaccine appointment and for the vaccines to provide full protection, we strongly recommend you get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you live outside of La Plata County, you should contact your local public health authorities for vaccination information. Prior to the start of Fall 2021, FLC will provide COVID-19 vaccines to any students, faculty, or staff who were not able to obtain one in their home communities.

Sign up for a vaccine with a local provider (La Plata and Archuleta counties)

Vaccination documentation

Before the Fall 2021 semester, you are required to upload a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card to FLC’s secure document upload portal or through the Fort Lewis App.

*Continuing students enrolled in online courses only (and who are not accessing on-campus services) will not need to provide proof of vaccination.

You will receive an email receipt by the end of the business week indicating that your vaccination documentation was received.


The medical and non-medical immunization exemption process for the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will parallel the exemption process for the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination requirement, which is outlined by the state of Colorado.

If you wish to request an exemption, you may do so using the Vaccination Requirement Exemption forms: 

Submit your exemption form online:

If you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, you will be required to take additional safety precautions, including regular testing throughout the semester and mandatory quarantine if you are exposed to COVID or if you have a positive COVID test. In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus, unvaccinated students may not be allowed to come to campus—this includes on-campus housing, dining services, in-person classes, and all other in-person activities. This COVID outbreak protocol will be similar to the state-mandated measles outbreak protocol.

COVID-19 vaccine Q&A

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

A vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce immunity to and protection against a specific disease. The COVID-19 vaccines prevent or lessen the effects of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have all been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All three vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective.  

Learn more on the CDC website

What is the deadline for students to receive their vaccine?

The vaccination process must be started before the first day of Fall 2021 classes. For those who need it, FLC will provide vaccinations the week before classes begin.

What if I have questions or concerns about getting the vaccine?

  • Read San Juan Basin Public Health’s FAQ section on their website.
  • Call the Colorado vaccine information line: 1-877-268-2926 (1-877-COVAXCO), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in multiple languages.
  • Contact your primary care physician or other provider to discuss your concerns.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention vaccine website.

Are faculty and staff required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccination is strongly encouraged, though not currently required, for faculty and staff. At this time, many of our faculty and staff have already received at least one shot.

A recent survey revealed that 85% of FLC faculty and staff who participated responded they have received at least a first dose of the vaccine. Because making this change requires Board approval, at this point FLC is strongly encouraging the vaccine but may change this position in the coming weeks. The President is currently exploring with the Board of Trustees what policy changes might be necessary to require the vaccine.

Will I be able to register for Fall 2021 classes if I do not have proof of vaccination?

Yes. Registration for Fall 2021 classes begins for continuing students in April and for new students in May. We understand that different communities have different schedules for making COVID-19 vaccinations available and we want to give you every opportunity to plan for a positive fall semester. You will be required to have at least one shot of a COVID-19 immunization by the time classes begin.

Do I still need to wear a mask, keep my distance from others, track symptoms, and participate in mandatory testing?

Yes. Our campus COVID-19 safety precautions still apply to all students, faculty, and staff regardless of vaccination status. By Fall 2021, when most of our campus is vaccinated, we are hopeful that we will have different protocols in place.

Will FLC offer vaccinations?

Yes. In collaboration with our local health authorities, FLC plans to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to students, faculty, and staff prior to the start of the fall 2021 term.

Currently, on-campus vaccinations clinics are planned for students in April and May. Refer to your email for details.

Will my vaccination documentation remain confidential?

Yes. Your vaccination documentation is protected and will remain confidential. FLC employs security measures appropriate for private health information.

How will my vaccination documentation be used?

Your vaccination documentation will be used internally by FLC to determine if you are eligible to be on campus. Your vaccination status may be shared with federal, state, and local public health agencies to help monitor community immunization rates and facilitate contact tracing if new COVID cases arise. Your individual information will not be sold or released to unaffiliated third parties without your express permission.  

How long will my vaccination documentation be stored?

Your vaccination information will be stored by FLC as long as there is a legitimate need. Your information may be purged one year after you are no longer a registered student at FLC. If you are re-admitted you may need to provide your vaccination information again.

If I already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, does it count towards the vaccine requirement?

Yes. Even though the CDC and FDA released a statement pausing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 12, 2021, people who have already received it are considered vaccinated and in compliance with the requirement.