Message from leadership to VCU community - May 18

Updated VCU Mask Guidelines

To the VCU community:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated interim guidance allowing those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to stop wearing masks. Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed that guidance and extended it to Virginians in his seventh amended Executive Order 72.

Based on direction from the Governor, as well as the recommendation from health and safety experts on VCU’s Public Health Response Team, effective immediately members of the VCU community who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors on campus when physical distancing guidelines can be maintained.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of a two-dose vaccination series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors when physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained.

This change in guidance does not apply to VCU Health and its medical clinics where everyone should continue wearing masks at all times in VCU Health locations. In addition, members of the VCU community are encouraged to check for mask requirements of businesses and public transportation near VCU campuses prior to entering without a mask.

Students who are attending clinical placements, internships or other learning opportunities at non-VCU sites should consult the policies at those locations for mask requirements.

We recognize that some members of our community may feel more comfortable wearing masks even after they have been fully vaccinated. Please be respectful of those who make that decision, and refrain from drawing conclusions as to vaccination status based on an individual’s choice to wear a mask.

The new guidance is possible because more people are choosing to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19. VCU strongly recommends that members of the community get vaccinated as soon as possible. We encourage our community to coordinate getting a vaccination through University Student Health Services or Employee Health (by calling 804-828-0584).

To search all vaccination opportunities near you, visit vaccinefinder.org.

VCU faculty, staff and students who are fully vaccinated are also exempt from quarantine, surveillance testing and daily health attestation requirements. Students can report their vaccination to University Student Health Services. Employees can also report vaccinations.

We will continue to monitor for additional updates to the CDC’s interim guidance and will notify the VCU community of changes to our health and safety protocols. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe.

We are “One VCU — Better Together!”

Sincerely,

Art Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Senior Vice President for VCU Health Sciences
CEO of VCU Health System

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University

Meredith Weiss, Ph.D.
Vice President for Administration
Virginia Commonwealth University