VCU Together update for faculty and staff

Public health measures, vaccine deadline extension, PHEL leave update and more

Our priorities are the health, safety and wellness — both physical and emotional — of every member of the VCU community. VCU continues to monitor, assess and address situations as they arise. This update will be a resource to help keep you informed as details become available. All updates are available at together.vcu.edu. Receive notifications by downloading VCU Mobile from your iOS or Android app store.

Everyday public health measures

The VCU community has shown great determination in complying with VCU’s vaccine and masking requirements. Together, these public health measures are paramount in keeping our students and employees safe, but we must remain vigilant with our everyday habits including handwashing, cleaning and monitoring our own health. Below are reminders about requirements for reporting symptoms and test results. For information about all public health measures, visit together.vcu.edu/public-health-measures/.

If you are symptomatic (even mild symptoms) or test positive for COVID-19
Do not report to any campus activities and call 1-804-MYCOVID or 1-804-692-6843 to report your symptoms or test results to University Student Health Services or Employee Health. All university community members must follow this public health measure regardless of vaccination status. Call center representatives will ask you who you have been in contact with, so they can contact exposed individuals. Notify your faculty or supervisor that you will be absent from class or work. You are not required to disclose a reason. Note: COVID-19 infection in vaccinated individuals is less common; however, when breakthrough infections occur, symptoms are typically mild.

If you are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19
You will be contacted by VCU’s contact tracing team if you are known to have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Contact tracers will advise you regarding testing and quarantine/isolation. Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine unless they are symptomatic, however, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Employee vaccine compliance deadline extended to September 15

On August 9, VCU announced that university employees are required to receive and submit documentation for a COVID-19 vaccination or request a medical or religious exemption. The deadline for submission has been extended to September 15 and an exemption process is now available. If you have not already done so, submit your documentation or exemption request here.

  • If you responded to the employee vaccine survey prior to August 9, but did not upload your vaccine documentation, you will be required to respond to the survey again as there are new options from which you are required to choose.
  • If you would like to confirm your vaccination status, log into your myVCU portal and click VCU Profile (in the dropdown under your eID).
  • Employees whose exemption requests are approved or under review are required to participate in frequent asymptomatic surveillance testing, which is offered on-campus through VCU at no cost to the employee. Employees will receive an email from covidtest@vcu.edu when they are required to report for testing.

Employees who work at VCU Health System facilities

  • If you are dually employed through both the university and the health system, or if you are a university employee working in health system facilities, you must follow VCU Health System vaccination requirements for employees, which requires vaccination documentation or an approved exemption. This also applies to student workers. Dually employed employees must report vaccine documentation or submit an exemption request to both the university and VCU Health System.

Meetings must have a virtual option

While many faculty and staff are back on campus, many have flexible work arrangements that include remote work. VCU is committed to equity and access, and therefore all meetings must offer a virtual option for attendance.

PHEL leave is back

The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management reactivated Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) effective September 1. All employees, including wage employees and adjunct faculty, are eligible for up to 80 hours of PHEL during the 2021 calendar year to attend to their own medical needs and/or those of their immediate family members due to positive cases of COVID-19. For details, see the leave section on VCU Human Resources' COVID-19 webpage.

Booster shots and vaccinations

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination booster shots later this fall, vaccination appointment availability may become limited. VCU medical experts encourage those who have yet to receive a vaccination to do so as soon as possible. You can search for COVID-19 vaccine availability near you at www.vaccines.gov. For more information about vaccine safety and efficacy, visit the COVID-19 vaccine page on the VCU Health website.

Faculty FAQ updated

The FAQ on the Faculty One-Stop webpage is being updated regularly. New questions are added to the top of the list.